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This blade controls me
This blade enters my skin without stuttering
This blade knows it's home within me
This blade hasn't yet cut too deep but has taken my life, you see
This blade is my life now
This blade slices through my skin like a hot spoon through butter
This blade draws art on my wrists and writes stories on my thighs
This blade will one day end my total existence
This blade is my addiction, you see
This blade has become my infatuation
This blade is wrecking me
This blade is scarring my skin with shiny white lines
This blade makes me joyous
This blade forces me to cut my activities short so it can cut my skin
This blade is my bestfriend, because when
This blade allows the red to run free of my flesh, I get giddy with excitement
This blade comforts me
This blade will be here 'till the end...
{m.r.l}
No one likes me.
(razor blade, razor blade)
Everybody hates me.
(razor blade, razor blade)
At 30, I feel more like 15.
(razor blade, razor blade)
I should dye my hair black.
(razor blade, razor blade)
And cut it into weird angles.
(razor blade, razor blade)
But I don't have enough black clothing.
(razor blade, razor blade)
And I go to church.
(razor blade, razor blade)
I don't know how to put on eye liner.
(razor blade, razor blade)
And I listen to country music.
(razor blade, razor blade)
Wow.
(razor blade, razor blade)
I even **** at emo.
Copyright Ellen Elizabeth Farris 2010- From Where I Find You
This blade controls me
This blade enters my skin without stuttering
This blade knows it's home within me
This blade hasn't yet cut too deep but has taken my life, you see
This blade is my life now
This blade slices through my skin like a hot spoon through butter
This blade draws art on my wrists and writes stories on my thighs
This blade will one day end my total existence
This blade is my addiction, you see
This blade has become my infatuation
This blade is wrecking me
This blade is scarring my skin with shiny white lines
This blade makes me joyous
This blade forces me to cut my activities short so it can cut my skin
This blade is my bestfriend, because when
This blade allows the red to run free of my flesh, I get giddy with excitement
This blade comforts me
This blade will be here 'till the end...
{m.r.l}
Maha Salman Jan 2015
Your blade kisses you like they never did
Your blade marks his love like they never did
Your blade is always there like they never were
Your blade proves you human like they never did
Your blade protects you like they never did
Yet your blade still hurts you like they always did
And your blade still leaves unpleasant memories like they have done too.
Ironic isn't it.
You come to your blade for relief
Yet the results are still the same
Except this time you're in control of the pain  you feel.
ANONYMOUS Jun 2017
I yearn for the blade, for the cold steel to pierce my skin and let the blood flow,

I yearn for the blade, for the comfort that only it can provide even if it is only short lived,

I yearn for the blade, for the purposefulness it makes me feel the purposefulness that I know I don’t possess,

I yearn for the blade, for the sparkling red tint it gains when it emerges from my flesh,

I yearn for the blade, for the release of everything that only it can provide, the release of emotions and anger so long bottled up,

I yearn for the blade, for the first the last and every cut in between,

I yearn for the blade, for the point to make one last mark, a mark that will end it all,

I yearn for the blade, for the steel to wash it all away, all the pain, sadness and anger until nothing is left just memories of someone long gone,

I yearn for the blade, for one last night looking at the sky, to end it all,
Nadia DeLevea Oct 2013
I felt that jagged blade slice right through my bare flesh,
The unforgettable moment when my heart was first pierced.
Do you understand what you've been doing to me everyday?
I know you feel the pain,
That you of all people can empathize with me.
After all, you describe to me the same pains she causes you.
I'd think you wouldn't be so blind,
It is the same pain that you've always caused me.
Do you ever hear my silent cries,
As you twist the blade you've so brutally carved into me?
You have stabbed it deep into my heart through the hands of so many others.
Can you see the transparent tears I cry?
Forever shaking the blade through every second we spend together?
We laugh, we hug,
You make my world safe while you're with me.
Yet you are the one who is causing my slow torturous death.
Through every ounce of unbearable pain you cause me,
I have almost become numb.
For as far and deep as that blade is shoved into my heart,
I will continue to eternally endure it.
As terrible as it is,
I know my mangled heart would fail without you.
I always thought it a lie that abstinence from one's presence would deepen love.
But being apart caused me to fall madly in love with you.
It has caused you to firmly grip the handle of the blade with both your hands,
As you push that razor-sharp blade so deeply into my heart.
It's almost as if you are pulling barbed wire through my very soul,
Twisting so viciously into my heart,
That the handle on the blade is gone.
The only evidence is that you're body is covered,
Covered in the bright red stains that is my blood.
This is for you, I hope you read it one day and realize how you killed me....

The Blade Inside My Heart™  By Nadia DeLevea
Michael Kusi May 2018
Message drew out her Celestial Blade Saber and prepared for The Conflict.
But she felt the energy of Nihilist, and knew she was the strongest warrior she tangled with.
Message spoke to The Alliance Project and said, I’ve never encountered a woman who has basically goddess power.
The Alliance Project said on the watch, Stand down and we’ll get you out of there, this fight isn’t yours.
Nihilist, Tell that loved one of yours good-bye, because this is now your end and doom.
The Alliance Project turned on the Isotrain Mechanism and said, We must rescue Message soon.
Breastplate-Bearer ram their ship, and the Projects will go in and help Message fight.
Message is too good a warrior to lose to this type of power, because we have The Insight.
Message knew that her best chances were at long-range, because up close she would have died.
She touched her Celestial Blade Saber all the way up to the end, to fuel the Acidier flames inside.
She then pulled a button on the handle of the Saber, and fired it as Nihilist charged.
Nihilist kept coming as each missile from the Blade Saber hit its mark.
Nihilist grabbed Message by the waist with her hands and held her up, all the time mocking.
She shouted, No enemy can see me and live, and Message taunted, The Federation is coming, keep talking.
Nihilist pushed on both of Message’s sides, and Message felt her hips and ribs go out of alignment.
She started to black out and wondered if it was wise to get this assignment.
Suddenly Message had an idea, and put the Celestial Blade Saber through’ Nihilist’s foot to the ground.
And used the Death-Touch to **** Nihilist’s leg, so it was lifeless, and Nihilist roared with a raging sound.
Nihilists tried to pull the Blade Saber out but it would not come out, it was attracted to the Death Touch.
Message knew that she did not have time so she had to go to the cockpit because she was in a rush.

She ran to the cockpit, and she saw activity all around the ship as they prepared for the fight.
But Message remembered that on spacecraft like this, the cockpit was to the right.
She entered the cockpit, and used the Death-Touch on both of the pilots.
Message then told The Alliance Project, I will join the Isotrain Mechanism by flying into it.
The Alliance Project responded incredulously, You will crash our ship? Message giggled, You was going to do it first.
She started to fly Vibrate’s spacecraft into the Isotrain Mechanism, but made sure to crash into its side.
That way the Projects could get out and fight, and no one on the Mechanism could have died.
The Celestial Blade Saber suddenly snapped into Message’s hand, and she thought Nihilist is free.
And with all that pent-up energy and anger, she is surely coming after me.
The Covenantial Project said, We are on Vibrate’s ship, and are headed to link up with you.
Suddenly Nihilist burst in and said, Tell me, what would it feel like to see your insides on the outside too.
Message wrestled with Nihilist, and although Nihilist was stronger, Message was skilled in hand combating.
Soon Message was on the floor with Nihilist’s foot on her chest, and Message wondered if this was the end.
Nihilist said, You will die by the blade you used so badly, and pulled out a blade to strike her neck
She ****** down but the blade was stopped short, by the Excalibur of the Templarist Project.

Arthur pushed Nihilist off of Message and they soon began to fight with respective blades anew.
Message was so engrossed with Arthur’s blade skill she forgot she had a mission to do.
Meanwhile the Covenantial Project and the Alliance Project were fighting Achilles, and doing well.
So well that Vibrate was aggravated, and she was holding a scepter and muttering about hell.
Message knew that that scepter was the key to something and she resolved to steal.
So she put the Concealment Garment on a Netherbeast, and turned him into Message to be killed.
Message then kicked him to Vibrate, who utterly disposed of this Netherbeast in disguise.
But as Vibrate was doing so, she momentarily turned her eyes.

Message snatched the scepter out of her moving hands, and suddenly she heard a voice.
It was the words of her father the Legate, who said, You were my one and only choice.
To hold the Dahomeyian Rulership and lead the Federation to victory,
This power is now yours, and you wield the Dahomeyian Kingfather Scepter.
Vibrate knew with horror that the scepter was out of her hands.
And was now in the reach of someone who was purposed to command.
Message said to Vibrate, This is your end, you will die here on this ship.
Your reign of terror across the universe is over, because of what I grip.
Message and Vibrate charged, and soon much blood was shed.
But Vibrate saw to her horror that all of it was hers, and that she had bled.
Suddenly Message pushed the Kingfather Scepter into Vibrate’s chest.
Her chest collapsed into her backbone, and she fell dead and lifeless.
Achilles looked up and said, Mother! as he sank to one knee in respect.
The Alliance Project said grimly, You’ll join her, and he put the Abyss Sword between shoulder and neck.
The Alliance Project then held up Achilles and screamed, This **** was made by this face!
This was the weak spot of anyone, The Alliance Project pushed Achilles off the ship into space.
Message took the Kingfather Scepter and roared, Where is Nihilist, I have unfinished business.
A Netherbeast was speaking to Nihilist from afar and said, It is better to retreat than die in this.
Nihilist went into a Beacon Pod that detached from the cockpit, after warding off Arthur’s blow.
She could not believe that someone so righteous could be so strong, so she knew she had to go.
Nihilist said, I will take the place of Vibrate, and Achilles only wanted to conquer a kingdom not there.
Then all will know the name of Nihilist, and when people hear it, they will tremble with The Fear!
FallenAngel93 Mar 2015
Razor blade, razor blade,
Lets sing a song,
Lets erase the pain,
Even though its wrong,

I'll press you against my skin,
And wait for the blood to come,
My eyes full with tears,
The ***** deed is done,


The pain is gone,
Even if its only for now,
As I smile to myself,
And take a little bow,*

Razor blade, razor blade,
We sang our song,
And now your time is done,
Was it really that long.
Valeria Lopez Sep 2015
Don't cut youself. You are worth more than that.
Darling,put the blade down. Cutting isn't the way.
The feeling of the blade across your skin is relieving yet it's not the solution.
Blood runs down your arm/legs.
Red taints your body.
Darling,put the blade down. Don't cry. Don't let your demons win this battle. Your
Body is on the ground.
Darling, put The blade down. People cry around you. You don't wake up.
Darling,put the blade down. Everyone tries their best to wake you up. Your blood is everywhere.
Darling,put the blade down. You deserve better than this. Throw it away. Don't harm yourself no more. Fight that urge to cut yourself again.
Darling,please put down the blade. Don't taint your body red no more. You are worth more then you know.
Ron Sanders Feb 15
(Glade, World, Master, Boy, Hero)

                                                 GLADE

There is a glacier.
Its blue tongue’s tip just tastes a frozen gorge.
There is a gorge, its walls shattered by cold; a once-green thing that, in dying, birthed a thousand aching fissures. It works its jagged way downhill, round ragged rifts and drifts until it comes upon a little frosted wood.
There is a wood, an island locked in ice.
Within this wood the gorge descends. It wanders and it wends; it brakes and all but ends outside a clearing wet with sun. And there, forking, its bent and broken arms embrace a strange, enchanted glade.

There is a glade.
And in this glade the black bears sleep, though salmon leap fat between falls. Here the field mouse draws no shadow, the eagle seeks no prey; they spend their while caressed by rays, and halcyon days are they. Here rabbit and fawn may linger, no longer need they flee. For in this timeless, taintless space, the Wild has ceased to be. (Outside the glade are shadow and prey, are ice and naked death. There blood may run freely. There the eagle, that thief, is a righteous savage, a noble fiend. But once in the glade he is dove, and has no taste for blood, running freely or otherwise).
And in this glade there nests a pool:  a dazzling, blue-and-silver jewel; profoundly deep, pristinely clear. All who sip find solace here, for this is the Eye of Being. They lap in peace, assuming blear, not knowing it is seeing. And ever thus this pool shall peer:  a silent seer, reflecting on—all that Is, and all Beyond.
(Outside the glade there lies a world where rivers ever run, where ghastly calves in random file revile a bitter sun. East, the day is born in mist. West she dies:  her rest, the deep. And North…North the Earth lies mute. Wind gnaws her hide, wind wracks her dreams. Wind screams like a flute in her white, white sleep).
But in the glade are tall, stately grasses, sunning raptly, spinning lore. Roots render the rhythms, blades bend without breeze, as signals ascend from the glade’s tender floor. (In this wise the glade weaves its word, airs its views. All the glade’s flora are bearers of news). They do not wither with fall, for in the glade there is no fall. They do not bind or wilt or brown—they gesture, spreading the mood, the mind; conveying, indeed, the very soul of the glade. As ever they have, as they shall evermore.
Bees do not hum here; they sing. They fatten the dream. Mellow and round are the timbres they sound, sweet is the music they bring. Birds do not sing here—they play. They carry the theme. Dulcet and warm are the strains they perform. Gifted musicians are they. (All in the glade are virtuosi. They were born to create. Melody, harmony, meter…are innate). Now the performance is lively and bright, now full, now almost still. For, though all in the glade may lean to the light, they must bend to the maestro’s feel.
And yet…there was a day, long ago in a dream, when this ongoing opus was torn. And on that day (so the lullaby goes) the wind brought a scream, and Dissonance was born.
There was a noise.
Moose tensed, their coffee eyes narrowed, their patient brows creased. Bees mauled the tempo, birds lost their place. The grass stood *****, all blades pointing east. There was a crash, and a shriek, and a naked, bleeding beast burst stinking through the fern, fell stumbling on its face.
Moose scattered:  unheard of. Sheep brawled, geese burst out of rhyme. The symphony, forever endeavored to soar sublime, fluttered, plunged, and, for all of a measure, ceased.
The pool was appalled…what manner brute—what kind of monster was this? Furless flank to forelimb, hide obscured by blood. As for its face…it had no face; only a look:  of shock frozen in time, of horror in amber. A deep welling rift ran temple to chin, halving the mask, caving it in. Such a grievous wound…the pool watched it stagger, on two legs and four, thrashing about till it came to a rise. There it labored for air, wiped the blood from its eyes, lashed at illusion, looked wildly round. Beholding the pool, the beast tumbled down.
And there this wretch plunged his thirst, drank his fill, fell back on his haunches.
The pool became still.
The two traded stares.
The glass read his features:  that durable eye pondered the wreckage and probed the debris. Revolted, the pool sought the succor of sky. But that thing remained—that face…in all creation…surely there could be…no other creature so ugly as he.
And he gazed in the glass.
Beneath the surface were…images…swimming in currents of shadow and light. He saw half-shapes and fragments…hideous men, exotic beasts…saw blue worlds of water, saw white worlds of ice…it was all so vague and unreal—yet somehow strangely familiar. Deeper he peered, but, as his mangled face neared, the sun smote the pool and the shapes disappeared. The brute pawed the ground and, dreaming he’d drowned, shook his head sharply and slowly looked round:
There were starlings at arm’s-length, transfixed with suspense, their tail feathers trembling, their dark eyes intense. Fantails and timber wolves, stepping in sync, paused for a sniff, stooped for a drink. Bees, pirouetting, threw light in his eyes. Seizing the moment, the pool pressed its hold.
And the glade revolved.
The freak watched it spin—saw the ferns’ greedy fingers reach round and close in, saw the tall grass rise high in an emerald sheen, swaying to rhythms from somewhere obscene. This place was madness; he struggled to stand, but, weak as he was, keeled over cold.
And the glade heaved a sigh, and the tall grass reclined, in curious patterns once rendered in whim. Far off in thunder the hard world replied, as iced pines exploded and screamed on the breeze. Down bore the sun, a chill just behind. The pool, grown blood-red, fended frost from its rim. Details dissolved in the oncoming tide. The pool dimmed to black. Night seeped through the trees.
Now flora found slumber while, pulsing below, the pool was infused with a soft ruby glow.
Soon birds bearing beech leaves, and needles of pine, laid down a spread and returned to the limb. But breath from the North blew their blanket aside. The wind grew in earnest, the air seemed to freeze.
And the wolf and the she-bear, of contrary mind, abhorring their task approached, looking grim. They sniffed him for measure, then, loathing his hide, growled their displeasure and dropped to their knees.
All night these glum attendants flanked his naked quaking form. The rising moon drew dreams in gray.
In time the man grew warm.

Morning swept through the glade in one broad stroke of the master’s brush, dappling the foliage with amber and rose. The pool was roused by the sweet pass of light. He opened his eye and the glade came alive:  into the whirlpool of life a thousand colors swam, chasing the scattering eddies of night. The magic of morning began.
Bluebird and goldfinch descended in rings, primaries clashing with robin and jay. Dollops of sun, repelled by their wings, spattered anew on the palette of day. Banking as one, the hues struck away.
There was a crowd.
And in this crowd that oddity sat, its chin on its chest, its rear pointing west. Its forepaws lay leaning, upturned and at rest. ***** and blood messed its muzzle and breast. Passed overnight. Or perhaps only dozed…tendril by tendril, claw by claw, the crowd decompressed:  the ring slowly closed.
And the stranger cried out and shifted his seat. His eyes sought his feet—rounding the arches, and topping the toes, the tall grass was questing. The little brute froze.
And the fauna took pause, and the flora went slack. Leaves followed talons, stems followed claws. Hooves tromped on paws as the crowd drifted back.
Not a breath taken. Not a move made. Stillness, like fog, enveloped the glade.
Now the grass tugged his feet, now the sea of jade splayed—left hand and right, the slender shafts reared. Gaining momentum, blade followed blade. The green field was torn till a deep swath appeared. The swath hurtled west, reflecting the sun. A hundred yards distant it died. Once more the grass stood, its tips spreading wide. The swath, born again, repeated its run.
Plain was the message, and clearly conveyed. The newcomer gawked. Confusion ensued.
The tall blades were swayed by the pulse of the glade.
But the swath was not renewed.
Something tiny bounced by. He ventured a peek, barely rolling an eye.
A chocolate sparrow, with pinfeathers black, popped past an ankle and paused to look back. The bird cocked its head, rocked in place, hopped ahead. It fluttered. It freaked. It glared and stopped dead. Vexed to its limit, it burst into flight.
The sitting thing watched till it passed out of sight.
Now a breeze bent his back, picked him half off his stern. The wind, done its best, grew flustered at last. It trailed to the west, thrilling lilies it passed. It wound round the willows and didn’t return.
So the fauna repaired to the live oak’s shade.
A strange kind of stupor fell over the glade.
From deep in the wood came a shape through the trees—a pronghorn, perhaps, or an elk swift and sure. But up limped a moose, a flyport with fur, low in the belly and wide at the knees. Wizened he was, scarcely able to see. Neither vision, nor vigor, nor velvet had he. He hobbled abreast, then groveled or died, his nose facing west, his tail flung aside.
The brute merely glazed.
But the glade was unfazed.
Those long shafts reshuffled. A tense moment passed.
The ominous shadows of badgers were cast. Three left their holes, as if to attack. They pedaled like moles and the stranger jumped back. He stumbled, fell flailing, and, kicking his guide, threw out his arms and tumbled astride. First he stepped on his tail, then he stepped on his pride. The moose bellowed twice and shook side to side while the little pest clung to his high, homely hide.
And the old moose unbent to his knees by degrees. He reeled like a drunk down the path of the breeze. Together they lurched through a break in the trees. And all morning long, and on through the day, both beggar and bearer would buckle and sway. The moose lost his temper, but never his way.
And the wind blew the sun to its deep ruby rest; the scrub, in obeisance, inclined to the west. Their slow taffy shadow in slinking would seem to slip round the rocks like a snake in a dream.
And the sun became a beacon, and the underbrush a stream. The wide Earth took their weight in stride, and the wind named him Hero.

                                               WORLD

When the sun was low the old moose began to stumble, at last limping to a halt beside a swift river lined with stunted pines. He’d half-expected a somewhat graceful dismount, but Hero, dug in like a tick, wasn’t about to let go. The moose knelt until his joints objected, shimmied, bucked, and with a sudden whirl sent the little bother flying.
Hero scraped himself out of the dirt and looked up forlornly. The ancient moose, his good eye gone bad, glared a long minute before hobbling away, his bony **** rocking with dignity, his scraggly tail fighting off imaginary flies.
Hero managed a few steps and dropped, staring in disbelief as the moose disappeared between half-frozen pines. He remained on his knees for the longest time, his jaw hanging, waiting for the moose—waiting for anything to show. At last a ruckus to his left snapped him out of it. His head ratcheted around.
Fifteen feet off the bank, three screaming gulls were dancing on an immense stone outcropping, fighting over a rapids-tossed sockeye. Hero was instantly famished. He wobbled to his feet and stumbled twice wading out, only regaining his balance by leaning against the current while rapidly wheeling his arms. The shrieking gulls reluctantly backed off as he stepped in slow-motion through the rushing water. Hero lunged at the slapping fish, cracked an ankle on the rock, and hopped around howling with both hands holding his shin. One foot was as good as none in the surging water. He went right under. Before he knew it he was being swept downriver.
This was glacial meltwater, so cold he quickly lost all sensation. Hero swallowed a mouthful and surfaced fighting for life; too disoriented to combat the current, too numb to realize his waving arm was striking something solid. That solid something turned out to be a swirling clump of rotted birches tangled up in scrub. He embraced one of these trunks as the mass slammed against isolated rocks, kicked his feet wildly, and somehow hauled himself aboard. The raft ricocheted rock to rock until repeated impacts sent it spinning. Giddy from the whirling and soaking, he clung freezing to the trees, retching continuously while the river roared in his ears. Through spray and tears he made out only cartwheeling fragments of the world.
But then the river was widening, its fury dissipating. The raft was approaching the sea. Hero gasped as the seemingly boundless Pacific swallowed the broad red belly of the sun. And as he spun he was treated to a panoramic, breathtaking spectacle:  the great indigo ocean with its slow traffic of driftwood and ice—voiced-over by the dismal calls of foraging gulls, and broken rhythmically by intermittent glimpses of the river’s rocky banks growing farther and farther apart. Whirling as it went, the dying man’s soul was taken by the sea.

At the 59th Parallel in winter, the Pacific coast plays host to numberless floes and minor bergs orphaned from Alaskan coastal glaciers. Hero cruised into a watery gridlock on a boat of ice-glazed birches, one bit of flotsam among the rest.
The cold wouldn’t let him move, wouldn’t let him breathe, wouldn’t let him think. He lay supine, feet crossed and hands clasped, terrified that to budge was to roll. An ice patina grew over the tangled trees like a white fungus—this growth soon webbed his fingers and toes, speckled his chest and thighs, glazed his hair and face, danced and disintegrated with his breath’s tapering plumes.
Floes and frozen-over debris tended to group with passing collisions; Hero’s married birches bit by bit accrued a mostly-submerged tangle of trunks and branches, all becoming fast in a creeping ice cement. Night came on just as resolutely, until land was only a flat black memory. The raft moved silently over the deep, still accepting the occasional gentle impact. And the floes became thicker and wider in a freezing doldrums; soon the proximate sea was all a broken field of packed ice, bobbing infinitesimally with the planet’s pulse.
Long ghostly strands of fog came striding over the torn ice field. They leaned this way and that, their mourners’ skirts tearing and patching and leaning anew. The ghosts were there to seal it:  their locked fingers and gray diaphanous wings were quickly becoming a wholly opaque descending shroud, its boundaries lost in the soughing wind.
Collisions came less and less. Darkness and silence, breaching some previously impenetrable barrier, began to take up residence in Hero’s chilling marrow. From his very center broke a weak little cry of refusal, of denial, as mind mustered frame in one desperate bid for freedom. His skin, frozen to the raft, peeled right off, and at that his inner brave succumbed. Hero’s smashed head arched back. His face contorted frightfully while the little lamp fluttered and paled within.
A raucous chorus slowly worked its way through the mist. It emerged a few hundred yards off—a tiny, terrified barking, growing in clarity as it grew in volume and urgency. It was a sound beacon. Hero strained eagerly, and when for one excruciating minute the beacon was cut off by a large passing body, was certain death had claimed him. Then it was back, and his heartbeat was quickening. He caught a heaving sound…something was moving his way down a wide tributary between floes. Hero could hear a gasping and snorting, accompanied by a hard slapping and splashing. The sounds vanished. In a moment the raft was rocked from below.
A sputtering muzzle blew salt in his eyes. A cold slimy flipper flapped across his chest and slapped about his face. The fur seal barked directly in his ear. Whiskers raked his dead cheek. The seal barked again.
Back below the surface it slipped. Hero listened anxiously as the splashing sound retreated whence it came.
The seal swam off perhaps a hundred feet and began barking hysterically.
From much farther off came a profusion of answering barks.
The seal swam back to Hero’s raft, circling and calling, circling and calling, while the responders approached en masse.
Now a sallow beam could be seen cutting through the fog. Several more showed vaguely along a plane yawing with some huge, barely discernible object.
A herd of northern fur seals burst into sight, barking madly, beating through the ice. They converged on Hero’s raft, really bellowing now.
Those odd yellow beams came in pursuit, and soon were close enough to eerily illuminate a gigantic wooden vessel parting the ice. The seals barked ferociously. Whenever the vessel leaned away, those nearest Hero’s raft would absolutely howl.
The fog deepened, condensed, crystallized, and then the collective light of a dozen lanterns was playing over a low, listing nightmare. Hero could hear the shouts of many aggressive men, but the waterborne seals, rather than scatter, boarded the ice and redoubled their din, fighting their way onto his quickly mobbed raft.
The sealers hurled serrated spears even as they clambered down rope ladders. When these men reached the ice the seals snapped and gnashed madly, refusing to be dislodged. The sealers lost all composure with the thrill of the hunt:  wielding clubs, spears, and hatchets—sometimes using iron bludgeons or any old utensil handed down—they crushed skulls, dragged carcasses, hooked animals still spurting and bleating. Clinging though he was, Hero was flabbergasted by the way the slipping and scampering men went about their butchery, hacking and smashing more with passion than with precision. But not a single seal attempted to flee—throughout the carnage they barked all the louder, egging on their slayers, carcass by carcass drawing the impassioned sealers to Hero’s ice-locked raft.
It was all so hazy and macabre. Hero’s eyes rolled back, and the next thing he knew he was sitting hunched on the vessel’s sopping deck. Two men were rubbing his limbs while another poured warm water down his back. He looked around in shock. The very notion of a boat containing more than one or two individuals—a sort of floating tribe—was way beyond his ken; so to see it, to have it come looming out of nothingness, was an experience almost supernatural.
He remembered some of those fur-covered men force-feeding him mouthfuls of halibut and seal fat, and he recalled a small group standing around him, shouting words that made no sense at all. After that he had a very vivid memory of their angry little chief repeatedly punching him while hollering one angry little word over and over and over. Hero couldn’t make out his inquisitor’s face, for the large feather-lined hood quite engulfed the man’s head, yet he could see those quick eyes flash as they caught the oil lamps’ light. Finally this man stopped boxing Hero’s ear. He stared hard. In these remaining decades of the tenth century it was fully within his power to administer as he saw fit—he could have ordered Hero’s immediate execution and not a man of his crew would have objected. He hesitated only because there wasn’t a hint of resistance in his prisoner’s pinched and frightened eyes. He leaned forward, studying the wound that all but split Hero’s face in two before grunting, raising his right arm, and yanking down its seal hide sleeve. Attached to the stump of his forearm was a primitive prosthesis consisting of a thick oak cap strapped to the arm with lengths of gut, and, hammered squarely into the center of that cap, a broad, cruelly hooked blade chiseled from a narwhal’s tusk. He held this obscenity in front of Hero’s eyes, traced the face’s deep diagonal rift, and once more demanded his captive’s identity. Hero then vaguely remembered being dragged along a tilting deck and thrown into the ship’s tiny hold. He retained a strong mental image of landing in a place of musty odors and dank projections.
There came a soft scuffling in the darkness, and presently a blind and exceedingly old woman felt her way to his side, mumbling as she approached. Her speech was comprised not of words; it was rather a running gibberish of cooing vowels and clucking consonants. The old woman was as mad as her circumstances; sick with sea and solitude, bedeviled by age and confinement. She sat cross-legged, patting her withered palms up his arm until she came to his face. Her strange mumbling soliloquy rose and fell as her bony fingers daintily explored the newly opened wound. Hero let his head fall back in her lap. A pair of hands like emaciated tarantulas scurried through the filth and tiny bodies until they came upon an old otter’s pelt bag that held her secrets. The woman loosened the bag’s cord and extracted an assortment of herbs, sniffing each in succession. She then scooped a handful of blubber from a bowl made of a previous occupant’s skull, kneaded the selected herbs into the blubber, and commenced gently massaging the wound, clucking and cooing while the black rats watched and waited.
For nine interminable days Hero remained in that cold, stinking compartment, rocking back and forth between life and death. The old woman never gave up on him. She clung to him during his seizures, rubbed his limbs vigorously when his blood pressure fell. She gathered various accumulated skins and, using woven strands of her own long hair, sewed him a multilayered, body-length wraparound with arm sleeves and very deep pockets, working by touch with a needle formed of a cod’s rib. By this same method she was able to fashion a pair of heavily lined snug-fitting moccasins. The old woman made him eat; she masticated the cod and halibut their keepers pitched into the hold, then shoved the results down his throat with a long gnarly forefinger. She called into his screaming nightmares, talking him out of sleep and back into their foul little reality. Together they lowed in the dark, while the keel groaned along and the waves beat time.
At the end of those dark nine days his strength was restored, but not his mind. Once again he was taken on deck.
The vessel had reached a chain of remote wind-swept islands, rocky and treeless, naked except for patchy carpets of hardy grass. These islands stretched far to the west, shrouded in mist. The ship was making for the smallest; just a chip on the sea. When they reached depth for anchorage Hero was hustled into a rowboat and lowered over the side. He looked up, saw two men climbing down by rope. These men positioned themselves at the oars and slowly rowed toward the islet. Seated between them, Hero felt like a man being led to his execution. He snuck a peek. The rowers’ heads were lowered, their features completely obscured by the heavy feathered hoods; they had all the somberness of pallbearers. Not a word passed between them as they rigidly worked their oars:  the only sound was the dip-and-purl of wood in water. Hero looked away. Against his will, he found his eyes drawn to that rocky islet waiting in the fog.
Not a bird, not a sea lion, not a shrub. It was lonesome beyond imagination.
Upon landfall one of the men used a spear’s point to **** Hero ashore. While his companion steadied the boat, he removed a skin sack full of half-frozen halibut, followed by a few armloads of precious tinder. These articles he tossed at Hero’s feet. He resumed his place at the oars and, without looking back, used the blunt end of his spear to shove off.
Hero watched the boat moving away, watched the men climbing their ropes, watched the boat being hauled aboard. As the mysterious vessel receded he saw a number of those silent men standing at the stern, stolidly returning his stare. Their hooded forms grew smaller and smaller, finally becoming indistinct. The vessel was swallowed up in fog.
Hero looked around, at a desolate world of rock and drifting ice. In the sunless pools at his feet a few purplish, flaccid sea anemones were waving in a sickly phosphorescence; along the rocks ran a tattered quilt of wild grass and lichen. It was the end of the world. He began to pace in his anxiety, only to crumple bit by bit inside his furs. At last he just sat with his face in his arms and wept. When he could weep no more he raised his head and opened his red, swollen eyes.
There were gulls all around him, staring like statuary in a madman’s garden. Standing in their midst were auks and puffins and murres, absolutely spellbound, unable to lean away. The silence was broken only by a wild, fitfully pursing wind—a wind that seemed, eerily, on the verge of producing syllables. And on that wind a flock of terns was rising slowly, their beady eyes fixed on the lone sitting man. The terns watched as he trembled, and banked as he swooned.
Then, beating as one, they threw back their wings and blew into the sun.

There was a blaze.
Behind that blaze a pair of black, bug-like eyes met his and immediately withdrew. A man wrapped in caribou hides stood abruptly, drawing angry swarms of sparks.
The Aleut peered queerly into the icy Pacific, his craggy profile merging seamlessly with a jumble of rocks showing just beyond his shoulder. The man was very tall, closer to seven feet than to six, and thin almost to emaciation.
He was also a mute. Soon enough he would display a talent for communication through gutturals, but now his body language spoke louder than words. It told the shivering stranger that he was not only disliked—he was feared.
The islander removed the hides he’d piled on the sleeping man. He produced a bone awl and strategically pierced a caribou hide, draped the hide over the old woman’s handiwork, and ran a cord of tightly woven tendons crosswise through his made holes, knotting it at the bottom to create a kind of cloak. He then killed the fire, heaped wood, fish, and remaining hides into Hero’s arms, and led him to a tiny cove where his long skin canoe lay in the grass. This was not the one-man kayak used by his people for centuries, but an actual canoe modeled on the graceful vessels he’d observed under the control of northern coastal tribesmen. After dragging it into the water he perched Hero in the fore, placed the cargo in the middle, and stepped into the rear like a gaunt furry spider. The Aleut dug out a paddle and began pulling with smooth strokes of surprising muscularity, his black eyes trained on his quiet companion’s back.
So began their long island-hopping journey. They stepped the chain one stone at a time, living off the sea. But much as the islander disliked Hero’s vapid company, it was not in his nature to proceed expeditiously; his people, remote as they were, had learned to count not in days but in generations. Given this, the Aleut took his time. He showed Hero how to build shelters of skin and gut; during bad weather the two would sit on an island in utter silence while rain hammered on their stretched seal-intestine window. And one very clear night he pointed out constellations while attempting to demonstrate, using broad gestures, just how the brighter heavenly bodies were in perfect alignment with the Aleutians. Hero followed his guide’s gestures as a pet follows its master’s movements and, like a pet, soon became bored. The Aleut did not grow flustered. He grew ever more wary:  behind that granite, weather-beaten exterior squirmed a very primitive imagination. Superstitious as he was, the Aleut was almost certain Hero could read his mind. So one time, and one time only, he threw a searing look at the back of Hero’s bowed and listing head. After a long minute of vigorous thought-projection he shifted his gaze aside. The brute appeared to feel this shift, and gently turned his head. And both saw the ocean break rhythm, and watched as otters and sea lions surfaced, noted their progress, and slipped without tremor beneath the waves.
In spring the fogs lifted. The grimness gave way to serenity, a generous sun buttered the dappled sea. On the islands grass grew lushly. Wildflowers leapt on the color-starved eye.
And one day the islander’s nape itched. He turned to see a flock of arctic terns casually tracking them under a gorgeous, white-plumed sky. As the day progressed the terns came drifting high overhead, slowly but surely taking the lead.
The Aleut squinted against the sun. He’d never known these birds to pursue a westerly migratory pattern—the terns were distributing themselves into a rough wedge shape, much like geese on the wing.
For a while he let the flock be his guide. Then, to test his stars, he cunningly steered his canoe north. At once the wedge disintegrated. Not until he’d lowered his eyes and pulled purposefully to the west did the disrupted pattern reassert itself. He peered up timidly. The wedge was now in the shape of a perfect arrowhead.
Just so were the fates of mariners and aviators inextricably entwined. At night, once the Aleut had landed his canoe on the nearest pearl, the terns would light in a quiet circle and remain until sunrise. As the Aleut and Hero took to sea, the flock would quickly form that same authoritative pattern.
In time the Aleut paddled his companion clear to the westernmost islands of the Aleutian chain. His people had dwelt, even here, a thousand years and more, but no contemporary islander knew for certain what lay beyond. Legend told of an enormous land mass forever gripped by cold, where a cruel people waylaid innocent seafarers for barbaric sacrificial rites.
So here the islander paused. But even as he vacillated he noticed the terns were veering south.
If the Aleut had been able to curse aloud he would have been vociferous. He was being compelled to follow an even less desirable course—that of the unknown open ocean. Now he looked upon his passenger’s hunched back not with fear but with loathing. He took a deep breath, rolled his shoulders, and defiantly continued west. The wedge broke up immediately. The terns dive-bombed the canoe, whirled around the windmilling Aleut, tore skyward and hovered determinedly. Something huge broke surface behind them, but the Aleut was way too frayed to turn. He dropped his head, a beaten man, and began paddling south. Little by little the birds returned to formation.
The tiny canoe had no business going up against the mighty Pacific. It would soon have been swallowed and smashed, had not the terns veered in close formation whenever the distant sea appeared too rough. Once he’d lost his bearings the Aleut religiously followed their serpentine course.
The days began to warm.
Now the sea’s bounty all but leapt in the canoe.
It seemed the Aleut was forever catching the finest currents, practically sliding down a corridor entirely free of peril. In this manner he was able to safely navigate waters no such craft had mastered before.
They were proceeding south by southwest, awed children of a plenteous, generous sea. The going became easier by the day, the ocean heavier with cod.
Nights the Aleut drifted comfortably, but a lifetime of wariness made him wake off and on. He’d slowly rise to find Hero sitting quietly under the stars, and soon he’d see, pallid in moonlight, a large body neatly pleating the ocean’s surface. The shape would precede them a while, only to vanish without a ripple.
All this strangeness kept the Aleut’s heart in a whirl, though he took pains to maintain his poise.
To allay his fear he kept a flat black stone planted squarely between them. It was his oldest treasure; an oddity he’d taken off the body of a mauled Tlingit woman when he was a child. Who she was, and how she’d come by the stone, were mysteries far beyond him, for no such piece had ever been known to Aleut or Inuk.
The stone was smooth and had been worked perfectly round. Bright yellow specks were scattered about its dull black face.
Long ago someone had etched a quaint and clumsy rune on that flat black surface—it was the crude, universal symbol for sun:  a broad circle surrounded by several rays. When the stone was rubbed against a pelt it possessed the curious property of growing quite warm and bright in the rune’s grooves, while the surface remained cool and dull.
This stone, both friend and overlord, had always “spoken to him”. It caused him to become restless when it was time to move on, and allowed him to relax when a destination had been reached. In this way he’d come to the familiar islet and discovered the unconscious little man. Just so:  the stone, he was sure, was responsible for making him “feel bad” as he watched the stranger shiver, and “feel better” once he’d built him a life-saving fire from the small pile of tinder he’d found nearby.
By now, however, the Aleut was wholly disenchanted with his stone, and deeply regretted having done its mysterious bidding. Never before had he been so long from sight of land, and never before had he felt so very, very small. The unimagined immensity of the Pacific was really starting to get to him when, after all their while at sea, a gray, seductive haze broke the horizon. They had reached another chain of islands, an Asian chain, the dark and smoky Kurils. Here a cold current kept the climate cool and foggy, and the chill, along with the prevalence of otter and seal, made him feel almost at home.
But this place gave him the creeps; he was a stranger, a trespasser somewhere sacred. There was a looming quality to the island mountains that made him extraordinarily aware of his transience, his pettiness, his puniness. He grew more and more cautious, sure their progress was being monitored—he could have sworn he saw wraiths in the trees, and wolves padding warily in the brush. The big islands looked on breathlessly. All along the rocky cliffs, thousands of auks and puffins followed the canoe in dead silence, their heads turning simultaneously, their countless tiny eyes peering redly through the fog. As the weeks passed, the Aleut’s anxiety was manifested in tics and sighs, and he’d cringe each time the crimson sun sank behind those black volcanic summits. In his imagination the mountains would rise right out of the sea, as though to pluck him. But the islands, in all their dignity, would always refuse to acknowledge so meek a stranger, and return their eyes to sea. The Aleut would hang his head, and timidly paddle by.
Then for days and days he pulled his weary canoe west—through a strait parting two mighty islands not part of the chain, and thence across a sea that was a warm, enticing bath. Spring had come to the East Asian coastal waters, and the Ainu, alone and in groups, were venturing deeper in search of increasing bounty. The Aleut, absorbed in his thoughts of sweet climate and bitter fate, was unaware they’d been spotted.
This first meeting between strangers of different worlds was a brief and awkward one. A lone Ainu fisherman, seeing the Aleut come paddling out of the unknown, dropped his net and turned to stone. The Aleut, for his part, instinctively froze with his body turned half-away to make the leanest target possible. Their stares locked. Never had the Aleut seen a face so heavily bearded, and never hair so fair. The Ainu began banging on his bronze catch pail. Other fishers soon appeared from the north and south, effectively cutting off the canoe. The Aleut caressed his stone and looked to the sky. The wedge had vanished. He put down his head and paddled for all he was worth.
With the word out, uncountable fishing craft appeared out of the blue and broke into hot pursuit, their pilots determined to force the canoe ashore.
Suddenly they were in sight of land, and the sea was absolutely riddled with watercraft. A train of small boats cast off from the mainland, even as a posse of two-man coracle-like tubs began to surround the battered skin canoe, their inhabitants calling back and forth in astonishment at the sight of these dark, savage newcomers. But the pursuing little coastal men, banging excitedly on the sides of their boats, were not Ainu. They had very straight black hair, prominent cheekbones, and strangely slanted eyes. And their speech, oddly marvelous as it was, was a rapid series of coos, chirps, and barks. Their boats formed a tight semi-circle around the canoe, forcing the Aleut to approach the mainland. The little men banged their boats maniacally, with more joining in as the canoe neared shore.
A bit farther south was a natural harbor swarming with fishing vessels of every description. As the canoe was forced into this harbor, people along the rocky coast began banging whatever they could get their hands on, until the air was filled with their lunatic percussion.
Tiny brown men came running along a soft yellow cliff overlooking the harbor, gesturing wildly. The canoe was squeezed between a chain of tubs and the shore, and, as it slowed, the tempo and ferocity of the banging decreased accordingly. When the canoe came to a halt the banging and shouting stopped. Hero creaked to his feet. The first North American to set foot on Asian soil stepped out shakily.
There followed the profoundest silence imaginable.
A second later it was as if a dam had burst.
Hundreds of hysterical, yammering voices erupted from hundreds of hysterical, clinging men and women. Hero was spun around, jostled about, handed along. He stared into their astounded, pinched little faces, and the sun, pulsing between their heads as he was turned, repeatedly stabbed his eyes. There came an excited outburst and frantic splashing which could only have been the Aleut’s violent demise, and then Hero was somehow limping alongside a primitive fishing village, blindly following a narrow dirt path that hugged the yellow cliff’s base. The warm spring sun caught the dust as he shambled. He rounded a bend and stopped.
Half a dozen children stood in his way, too fascinated to run. A chatter and scuffle rose behind him. He looked back to see that he was now in the midst of a small crowd of these children, and that more were running up with cries of amazement.
A stone struck his shoulder. As Hero turned another glanced off his chest.
A moment later he was being pelted from all sides, and the giggles and gasps had become something wildly unreal. He dropped to his knees in a hail of hurled rocks, covered his head with his arms, and slithered up the path on his belly.
A new voice broke in; an older, authoritative voice.
The children scampered off squealing.
Hero, shaken to his feet, found himself face to face with a diminutive, shouting, incomprehensible old man. The old man threw his arm around Hero’s waist and, jabbering all the while, led him to a secondary path cut into the cliff’s face. This path sloped gently upward over the waves. Together they picked their way to a place maybe halfway up, where the cliff’s face was honeycombed with natural alcoves and dug-out caves. Most of these spaces were used as one-man shelters; a few, cut deeper in the earth, as family hives. Strange gabbing people slid out of these holes like worms, reaching, but the little old man, who was evidently a little old man of some stature, embraced his find possessively and shouted them back inside.
The path narrowed as they climbed.
At its summit spread the upscale end of the neighborhood. Hero was led to a hovel nestled amid dozens of similar hovels, all scattered around a dainty stream wending between patches of stunted vegetation.
The old man’s place was basically a one-room hut fashioned of earth and salvaged boat hulls, with a slender side-yard surrounded by dry, dusty hedges. But inside it was clean and tidy, with rice paper partitioning and, built into the far earthen wall, a miniature stone fireplace. The old man sat his guest in the exact center of the room. There he fed him scraps from his bowl, using long sticks to pluck out bits of fish and clumps of tiny, starchy white pellets.
He studied the brute closely, watched him chew, walked round and round him. He poked here. He pinched there.
And that night he lit a fire on his crushed-shell hearth.
Hero curled up on a mat where the gossip of flames could reach him. Nearby, at his delicate wicker table, the old man sat in semi-darkness, illuminated only from the waist down.
But his eyes were alive. They spat and darted as they reflected the fire’s light, and, when at last they’d begun to sputter, his scratchy little voice came pattering out of the dark, muttering something vile and oddly modulated, sometimes in a whisper, sometimes in a gathering snarl.
Hero feigned slumber, unable to ignore those paired ominous flashes. Still, the room was cozy, and the fire warm, and the play of light and shadow kicked sleep in his eyes.

In the morning he woke in the old man’s side-yard, his head pounding, a rusty iron clamp securely fastened around his neck. This clamp was attached to the outermost link of a crude three-foot chain, and the link at the other end to a long stake driven into eight inches of solid rock. The chain and stake, like the clamp, were hammered of local iron. The clamp was too tight for comfortable swallowing, the chain too short to make standing possible. Hero could, however, spread out on his chest and stretch an arm to a low row of hedges. By parting the tangled undergrowth he had a limited view of the fishing village below, and of the harbor beyond. As the days passed he was able to tweak himself a view-space discernible only from his peculiar vantage. He accomplished this by gently breaking small branches strategically, then guiding their interrupted growth with the utmost tenderness. It was his secret garden.
He had no memory—none whatsoever—of being staked here. Obviously the old man hadn’t set this up overnight. Hero’s mind prodded timidly…how many others had been chained to this spot, and why?
But over the subsequent weeks and months he went beyond caring. Each day was the same:  just after dawn the old man would storm into the tiny side-yard swinging his reed whip wildly. The lashings were savage and unremitting. The old man, except for his eyes, would be mute. Only his whip need speak. And the snap of his reed had but one message:  when you see this whip you go down, and you go down immediately.
The naked savage, scarred head to foot, learned to go prostrate on the moment. Even so, the old man couldn’t resist the temptation to indulge in the occasional good old, all-out thrashing. And after each session he would toss the prisoner a vile mess of dead fish and rotting leftovers.
Hero lived like this for many months, lost in a confused world of pain and anticipation. Perversely, he came to look forward to the bite of that whip, for, whether he flogged him in passion or just for sport, the old man was always sure to make it personal. It seemed their relationship might go on forever.
But one day there was a great commotion in the sleepy little fishing village. Hero parted the leaves and beheld a small train of oblong coaches at rest near the harbor. Large oxen yoked in pairs lolled between the carriages, immune to the clamor around them. There were dark shaggy horses and colorfully dressed Bactrian camels. The horses and camels were tethered in the rear, but were occasionally paraded around the carriages by little men wielding long painted bamboo poles. The whole affair was exotic and mesmerizing, eccentric and profane. Hero watched all day in amazement, infected by the hubbub, though he was totally mystified by the crowd’s fascination on the carriages’ far side.
And late that afternoon he saw the old man come walking out of that crowd, talking heatedly with another man. The stranger was shorter and broader than the old man, with long stringy hair and long stringy mustaches. He saw them climbing the path, saw them crawl inside a hole lashing furiously. They were lost from view for a minute, then popped up big as life. Hero glowed and curled up eagerly as they approached.
The old man and stranger came into the narrow side-yard still arguing. The old man grabbed Hero by the hair and twisted until he was facing the newcomer.
The stranger had oily, porous skin, and a round but grave countenance. His highly slanted eyes were bright and restless. He studied Hero’s mutilated face with keen interest before borrowing the old man’s reed. When Hero scraped at his feet he grunted and returned the reed.
The stranger pulled out something shiny and hefted it in his hand. He then raised his other hand while considering Hero, as though weighing him too. The old man’s eyes glinted, and for an instant his expression became grotesquely servile. The stranger and old man, facing, nodded curtly in unison. The stranger dropped the shiny thing onto the old man’s itching palm. The old man whipped Hero frantically before taking a small ax to the chain. A few hard blows split a link, the broken link was bent back by the tool’s shaft, and the prisoner was at last released.
The old man handed the stranger a short hempen rope. The stranger bowed deeply. He then tied an end of the rope through one of the remaining links and began dragging Hero along. Hero’s hands sought the old man, who kicked and cursed him all the way to the path. The three stumbled single-file to the bottom. The old man waved his arms and shouted hysterically, trotting behind until he ran out of breath. But he got in a final kick and, before he came to a gasping halt, managed to lash Hero once for old time’s sake, and to spit on him twice for luck.

There were five carriages; a long one in the center hitched to four oxen, and two smaller coaches in the front and rear with a pair of oxen on each. The carriages were old and battered, built of splitting wood slats and rusted iron braces. Various hides, spare wheels, and a hundred odds and ends were tied to the sides and roofs. Hero’s new master, using him as a ram, shoved him through the crowd to the long carriage. He hauled him up the single wood step and watched the crowd’s reaction. Children hid behind mothers, mothers hissed and jeered, men spat in that smashed, disgusting face.
Satisfied, Hero’s master twisted the rope tighter and dragged him through the hide flap that served as the carriage’s rear wall.
A strange ruckus began at their entrance.
Inside the carriage were bulky shapes and quirky movements, yet the immediate and overwhelming impression was one of unbelievable stench. Hero, instantly covered with flies, was kicked and shoved down a foot-wide aisle. The carriage’s walls were riddled with black flecks of old dried blood, the floor coated with standing *****, a variety of small carcasses, and some clinging, indefinable slime. But the living contents of this hell were so horrifying, and so unexpected, that Hero at once dropped to his knees. Observing this, master grabbed a whip off the wall and lashed him along the floor.
A number of bamboo cages lined either side of the carriage, each four feet high, four feet wide, and three feet deep. In the first cage to their left, a quadruple amputee dangled in a leather harness in a cloud of flies, jealously gnawing a chicken carcass balanced on his belly. The second cage held a man who had been burned over ninety per cent of his body, and the third a middle-aged woman with no eyes or tongue, her head shaved. The next cage housed a fully grown black leopard, its bright eyes fixed on the horrified newcomer. Then an empty cage, and finally a cage containing a demented man whose long yellow nails were busily raking a face deeply scarred and bleeding.
The first cage against the opposite wall held two girls rolling in their own excrement. Siamese twins unable to part, they had developed a unique method of locomotion, and now executed a three-quarters cartwheel in Hero’s direction, their mangled, severely bitten hands attempting to reach him through the bars. In the cage next to theirs a naked dwarf glowered menacingly, his eyes following coldly as Hero’s master shoved him down the narrow aisle, occasionally pausing to lash a cage. The hissing and howling increased as each prisoner beheld the new neighbor.
The third cage held an intensely sick adult Bornean sun bear, so confined it was entirely unable to move. Its hide was a patchwork of scraggly fur and grayish skin, glistening with odd eruptions. It rolled its sunken eyes in Hero’s direction, its muzzle twitching feebly.
The next cage contained a man who was frightfully diseased. Broad fungal patches covered his face and limbs, terminating in waxy folds that dangled like a rooster’s wattles. Welling sores spotted his chest and back. His eyes were bugged and sallow; his lower lip drooped below his chin. He barked wetly at Hero’s passing legs.
The second-to-last cage housed a rare, completely hairless Chinese albino, and the last cage a very tall, skeletal woman. The albino snapped at Hero while repeatedly banging his head against the cage. The woman hissed and coiled like a snake, her spine arching amazingly.
Master hauled Hero to the empty cage on his left, swung its door open with his foot, and forced him to his knees by pushing down with all his weight. He kicked and punched until Hero had been squeezed inside, then shut and secured the wide bamboo door.
Master inched his way back down the carriage, hammering the **** of his whip on each cage as he passed. There was a glimpse of daylight as he lifted the flap.
Once he’d departed, the carriage grew eerily silent.
Hero cautiously turned his head. Less than a foot away, the black leopard was frozen in place, one paw waving hypnotically in his face. The beast’s fangs were bared, its ears straight back, its eyes glistening. Hero turned ever so slowly, until he was looking into the eyes of the demented man in the final cage. The man cocked his head quizzically. A second later he was screaming his lungs out in a bizarre downward spiral.
At once the carriage erupted. The freaks shrieked and scrabbled, the leopard spun in place. Directly across the aisle, the albino hurled himself against the bars of his cage. He batted his face with his fists, threw back his head, and just howled and howled and howled. The snake woman curled even tighter, her long scrawny legs entwined behind her head.
Hero sat with breath held, absolutely silent, absolutely motionless. He very, very slowly closed his eyes.

Later that night the flap was flung high. The menagerie came alive as master, weirdly illuminated by moonlight, slowly made his way down the aisle carrying a skin sack oozing blood. He stopped at each cage to toss in a dying chicken and a handful of smelt.
When he reached Hero’s cage he looked down thoughtfully.
He extracted a quivering chicken and held it above the cage so that blood dripped on the brute’s deeply pleated forehead. Hero lowered his eyes. Master’s face darkened. He smashed the bird against the cage, over and over, a vein throbbing in his temple. Finally he hissed and displayed the limp chicken high over the albino’s head. The albino yelped and kicked, thrusting his hand up between the bars and jerking it back to lick away the blood rolling down his forearm.
Master eyed Hero coldly before pointedly dropping the chicken into the albino’s searching hands.
Master hissed again. He slowly made his way out.
Soon there was a commotion outside. The carriage rocked a bit before settling. Hero, turning in his cage to peek through a rift in the wood, saw horses being urged forward. He could hear men shouting. The carriage rocked again. He looked up and saw the gibbous moon suspended in mist. For just a second something wedge-shaped cut across its soft white face.
But then the oxen were grunting, the wheels had been freed, and the horses drawn abreast. Master’s lash spat left and right, and the show proceeded…west.

                                              MA­STER

She was very round and very small, with very short, very shaggy black hair. Her arms bore the scars of numerous bites from beast and man, and around her neck ran long wheals from a particularly savage owner. Hero, having spent the better part of the morning watching master storm in and out of a strange screaming house, now watched him drag the little round woman through the dirt. For a while he listened to the song of his master’s lash, waiting for the woman to break. But there was never a whimper.
It had been a difficult transaction for master, and an altogether difficult morning. For hours he’d paced up and down the main carriage, alternately murmuring affectionately into, and lashing at, each cage he visited. The sun bear, long dead and stuffed, had been taken outside for barter. It had soon been returned.
Master had lingered over Hero’s cage for a good while, staring critically. He’d begun shouting, and three of his men had burst in through the flap, unlatched the demented man’s cage, and dragged him out by the feet for trade, master personally stomping on his torn and groping hands.
And now master was kicking and shoving the little woman down the aisle as his men restrained her by the hair and throat. Upon master’s command these men stripped her naked and commenced pinching and slapping while making threatening faces and mocking noises. The freaks sat right up in their cages.
The woman looked as though she’d fainted:  her arms were lax, her eyes rolled up. Her whole face seemed to purse, and her body, head to toe, began to run blue. Her fingers quivered, arched, and clawed—the woman was self-asphyxiating. Master fairly leaped with delight while the cages rocked around him. He had the men slap her awake. Once she was fully conscious they stuffed her into the demented man’s old cage next to Hero’s.
Master then looked in eagerly, one to the other, his hands balled into fists. The woman buried her odd round face in her forearms as she squeezed herself into her cage’s deepest corner. Hero gazed indifferently and went back to his peephole.
Master exploded. He smacked and kicked the cages over and over, swore up and down, ran the shaft of his whip back and forth against the heavy bamboo bars. Eventually he calmed somewhat. He stared coldly at Hero, made a ***** smile, and spat right in his eyes. A tense minute passed. Master slowly made his way outside.
Hero automatically relaxed. Across the aisle the albino ****** his face between his cage’s bars to sniff the newcomer. The leopard, bobbing rhythmically, emitted a high-pitched squeal that gradually descended to a steadily throbbing growl.
Hero looked the stranger over. Once she’d lowered her hands he saw that her eyes were crossed, her jaw slack, her face as round as the full moon. He looked closer. There were scars all over her throat and arms:  plainly, the small round woman had been treated very badly. Hero instinctively slid a foot between the bars; the woman cried out and scrunched even deeper. Across the aisle the albino quickly extended an arm. Without knowing why, Hero turned on him. The albino flinched, his eyes tearing into Hero’s. A second later he was stamping his feet and grinning wildly. Hero went back to his peephole.
Next morning master and two of his men dismantled the bamboo walls separating Hero’s and the woman’s cages. They bound the frames with broad leather bands, making a single cage of the two.
A common door was fashioned and secured. Master used his broad blade to shear away Hero’s rags. The men hunched around the long cage expectantly.
The naked couple backed away. Master was instantly exasperated—he shouted, lashed furiously, stamped and screamed, jabbed a broken shaft between the bars with malevolent intent, whirled and hurled the shaft at nothing. The carriage’s inmates went out of their minds. At master’s bellowed command a man scurried outside, returning with a long rope of woven leather strands. Master opened the cage and, applying all his weight, pinned Hero and his new mate in an awkward embrace while his men tied them together.
Again master and his men bent over the long cage to watch.
When Hero realized his predicament he made a desperate attempt to reach his peephole.
The men, misreading his struggles, babbled and cheered, but master threw up his hands. He then, through gesture, ordered his men to drape a number of hides over the long cage. Once these hides were in place he very quietly bent to one knee and placed an ear against the cage. After a while he cursed and rose to his feet. He shook the cage and stormed out, whipping and kicking the howling inmates.
In the semi-darkness the man and woman quit fighting their bonds.
A muffled patter began on the hide-covered roof.
Rain, as always, had a calming effect on the carriage’s occupants, causing the freaks and beasts to slip, one by one, into lethargy or slumber. Under such a spell, the attainment of master’s goal was inevitable.
It was a coupling both innocent and vile, without passion or celebration. Occasionally the freaks would surface, register their excitement by shrieking, shaking their cages, or otherwise clamoring…but very quickly the air would stifle them, weighing their heads and confusing their impulses. The atmosphere grew heavier by the minute. And, when night rolled over the carriages, the rain came down in sheets.

Leaning ******* the woman’s cage, master slipped his gnarly hand between the bars and slowly rubbed her belly in a counter-clockwise motion, his sinister features soft in the candle’s light. And he told, in nonsensical cooing whispers, of a lovingly secure and impossibly prosperous future.
How large and promising that belly had become! And how wise was he, the cunning and aggressive master, in his far-reaching business decisions. He turned his affection to the motionless gaping brute; stroked the battlefield of its face, tossed in another lizard. Master rubbed his palms together. From now on it was extra lizards daily, for both the woman and her mate. He remarked, with only passing interest, his star player’s continuing indifference. They didn’t know each other, didn’t need each other.
There’d been months of shows on the road now, broken only recently by this sensible rejoining of the mates at conception.
Hero’s horrible disfigurement was unquestionably top draw; he was a guaranteed crowd pleaser at every stop. So now master looked him straight in the eyes and smiled. He held the reeking candle high. The carriage was absolutely silent. Master smiled again, rose to his feet, tiptoed away.
Hero watched him retreat until the flap had fallen. He returned to his peephole, saw master round the rear of the carriage and slowly crunch by. For a time he could see nothing but the half-shapes of junipers bathed in starlight. There was a tentative movement to his right and a large shape came to obstruct his view.
The horse stood for a minute in profile. It slowly brought its head to rest against the carriage, applying its eye to the peephole. Hero froze. The two remained fixed, eyeball to eyeball, while a breeze played odd tunes on the outer wall’s hanging paraphernalia. The horse’s big dark eye rolled nervously. A long moment passed. Slowly the horse backed off. It stood uncertainly for a while, staring at the peephole. Then it quietly moved away.

Master kicked the cages one by one, left hand and right, as he slowly made his way down the aisle. Into each cage he delivered a personalized warning in passing—a growl, a hiss, a bark—but he was quickly losing control. Animal electricity hopscotched the carriage, cage to cage, ceiling to floor, front to rear and back again. Master froze. Much more of this excitement, he feared, could seriously agitate the woman—with grave consequences for master.
She was splayed on her back, in labor’s throes, her ankles and wrists bound to the long cage. Hero had been removed to give her room, and now sat hunched atop the snake woman’s cage, two men holding him by the throat and legs.
Master gnashed and snarled, listening to the woman scream, watching her stupid round head bounce up and down and back and forth. He knew it! He’d been suckered, hoodwinked, scammed—ripped off like a common rube. The woman was too ******* to handle even something as natural as childbirth. Still…it was too late to second-guess himself—all these months he’d been patient—he’d been supportive and vigilant and now he would not be denied. He flogged one of the men to alleviate his tension.
The blue lady was very slowly, very dramatically arching her spine. Master wiped the sweat from his eyes. When the bars were pleating her big round belly, her shoulders began drumming on the straw-strewn floor.
Master screamed one very colorful expletive.
A razor silence came over the carriage. Not a body moved or breathed.
At last two men tiptoed around their purpling master and leaned into the cage. One obediently ****** a foot between the bars. He pushed ******* her right knee while using a hand to grip the left knee, spreading her legs wide. The other man drew a broad leather strap between her teeth. After lifting the woman’s head he pulled the strap behind her neck, knotted it to make a gag, and yanked a skin sack over her face. He looked up anxiously. Master licked his lips and nodded. The man made a fist and frantically punched the woman’s face until her muffled screams ceased. She moaned gently throughout her contractions.
Master genuflected, brought a spitting candle in tight, and took a deep breath. As he raised his hand the candle’s light bounced off his knife’s chipped and scored eleven-inch blade. Master swore and reached down carefully. He flicked his wrist twice and the menagerie went mad.

The child was a tremendous disappointment.
Master had eagerly anticipated an infant ******* and deformed; something embracing the best qualities of its parents. He had even designed a special cage that could be expanded by degrees as the spawn developed. There also remained the tantalizing option of a family display, though such an undertaking would require the eventual construction of a structure even larger than the cage its parents now shared. Master anguished over the logistics, knowing it would break his heart to have to cut one of his jewels’ throats just to make room for a growing child. Nights he would slowly pace the carriage with all the possessiveness of a jealous suitor, one hand maneuvering a sputtering candle, the other tenderly rapping his whip’s **** against each visited cage.
But the boy was a flawless specimen; a beautiful, undemanding baby. From the moment master angrily tossed the placenta he felt cheated, even betrayed. He grimaced as it peaceably took to its mother’s breast, despite the surrounding horrors. Master hated it, immediately and entirely. The ****** thing was so docile it was almost charming. He drew his knife and was just reaching down, when an overwhelming sense of dread shook him like a rat in the jaws of a mastiff. Sweat poured down his squat, pig-tailed nape. He knew he would live to regret it, but decided to not cut the child’s throat right away. It was the oddest feeling. His knife hand had trembled for the first time in his life, and he had found himself momentarily contemplating right and wrong at the outset of a perfectly simple and commonplace procedure. That was it, then. His business instincts were letting him know there was a good, albeit unknowable, reason to let the sweet baby live. Master left the carriage anxiously, muttering in his ambivalence.
The boy grew to embody his worst expectations. Not only was it a poorly oriented child, clinging to its father rather than its master almost from the moment of weaning, but it soon proved a lousy draw with the patrons. Those who paid to view the child dangling in its special cage inevitably departed unsatisfied, some vocalizing, strangely, an acute sense of shame. So once again master entered the carriage with his knife hand steady, and once again he exited trembling, his heart in his throat and his soul in a whirl. He whipped the dwarf savagely before leaving. What place conscience in the mind of a businessman?
Soon as the boy could walk, master put him to work fetching and feeding. But the brat was slothful in his chores, preferring to hang around his family’s cage while staring wistfully at his father. For their part, the parents were wholly disinterested. Master would fume while Hero gazed for hours out his peephole—even as the mother lolled, perpetually ill. Sometimes that accursed woman’s condition riled poor master to no end. She could teeter at death’s door for months at a time, her body changing hues to the fascination of customers, only to bounce back with a hardiness that was of interest to no one. But at the peak of her performances the blue lady could really hold a crowd. Master produced an entire outdoors extravaganza around her:  within concentric rings of raging torches his men would slowly strip her naked before wild audiences, then allow the dwarf and albino to take her while the leopard strained against a gaily festooned chain. Master circulated his crew through the crowds to encourage his patrons’ cult-like behavior of breath-holding and fainting. No getting around it:  the customers were crazy about her—village to village, master’s Bactrian vanguard’s colorful robes shouted her approaching fame. And Hero’s popularity continued to soar. Many were the nights when master, pacing the perimeter, wondered just what devilry could have produced the lovely boy.
Overall, Hero remained his master’s favorite conceit and hottest property. Part of the little brute’s appeal was, of course, his exoticness. And certainly the ugliness arising from his deformity was compelling…but there was a detachedness about him that fascinated every soul with a fistful of copper cash coins. Whether they ****** him, cudgeled him, or spat in his face, he remained unflappable, staring only at the aching sky. Though many would leave uneasy, master noted with deep satisfaction that they almost invariably returned.
The boy soon evinced an amazing affinity for animals. No matter how agitated an ox or horse became, the child could pacify it with one hand on a lowered brow. This was a source of endless fascination for the crew. Wagers were made. The boy was pitted against oxen whipped to a frenzy. But they would not harm him; they would rather go prostrate and take the lash. Master tried to work this knack into a viable act, but his patrons just weren’t buying. They wanted freaks.
When the lad was a mere five years old, master had him trained in the peripheral art of the pickpocket. The boy worked well alone, and had all the makings of a fine little flimflam artist. Master sighed, his chronic nightmares a thing of the past. As ever, his business instincts were guiding him well.
Then late one afternoon he found the boy squatting outside his parents’ cage. The boy had done the unthinkable:  he had deposited his day’s pickings at the feet of his father instead of bringing the ***** to master. Master flew into a rage and raised his whip to give the little traitor the lashing he deserved. But before he could deliver a single stroke his other hand shot to his chest and he staggered back against the albino’s cage. He blinked down at the boy, who regarded him steadily while scooping the plunder into a little pile.
From that day on the boy placed whatever he could get his hands on at his father’s feet. As time passed he became ever more adroit at thievery, growing into a youngster both admired and despised by master and his crew; admired because theft was a cinch for him, despised because they were all that much lighter in their possessions.
Now, for eleven long years the strange little train had bounced along, sometimes camping outside villages for months, occasionally pausing on connecting roads. The show traversed the heart of Manchuria, skirted the Gobi in the north, and so eventually crossed almost the entire width of Mongolia before proceeding north to the confluence of the rivers Yenisey and Ob’. Much silver and copper had come to master’s coffer, much fame to his name, but he now sat looking over a vast, unmapped Siberian wilderness. The mostly nomadic characters they’d been encountering spoke in tongues unfamiliar even to his personal valet-translator-accountant, and the tone of these nomads had been unmistakably hostile.
Master huddled surlily under a canopy of sopping hides. Night was falling hard during a merciless rain, the wind was picking up, and his supplies coach was bogged in a growing sea of mud. At that moment he accepted the whole end-of-the-line concept, and knew he wasn’t going anywhere but back. And when he got back he was going to shine! He jumped from the coach.
The earth took his weight for a heartbeat—and he was up to his chin in muck, splashing about on his hands and knees, sliding forward on his palms and toes. He did a belly flop into a rain-filled depression and churned to his feet with the devil in his eyes. Wallowing in mud and bile, master stomped to the supplies coach and kicked wildly at the stuck rear wheels.
Somewhere between kicks he lost it completely.
Master broke for his whip. One minute he was blindly lashing his men, the next he’d succumbed to a mindless ferocity. He thrashed about like a berserker; whipping the beasts, the coach, the very night. His men were scarcely able to move in all that mud, but their dread of his savagery kept them hopping. They gathered as one and shoved the coach recklessly; slipping, splashing, shouting. A minute later, three lay splayed underfoot, but the mired wheel had been freed.
Throughout all this the oxen had swayed nervously, while the horses softly tramped their hooves in place. Master had his men turn the oxen about until the rickety train was pointing dead east. He checked the hitches and personally applied the lash. The oxen didn’t budge. Master swore and wiped the rain from his eyes. He had the horses hitched ahead of the oxen, but they were even less obliging. Master flew into a spectacular rage. His men, fearing for their lives, ran liberally with the lash.
The swaying of oxen picked up until the entire train of carriages was rocking. Yet the oxen could not, would not be compelled, under any amount of prodding, to take an eastward step. Master looked around in exasperation.
The night had gone insane.
Horses were fighting hitches, oxen walking on fire.
Master cursed the rain and mud and lashed all the harder. His men, seeking to please, whipped maniacally until the horses and both lead oxen broke their hitches and bolted west. The men immediately embraced the rear oxen, but the hitches shattered and the beasts stormed off. The remaining horses blew it, kicking at everything and nothing.
Inside the long carriage all was chaos. The albino was neighing and screaming, the aged leopard spinning in its cage. Hero stared out his peephole, amazed at the blur of figures stumbling by in the rain.
A pair of clopping blows rattled the opposite wall. Three slats cracked. A tremendous impact, and a huge section collapsed. A thrashing, hysterical mare burst through the breach in a veil of rain.
The horse went mad, killing the albino and snake woman in a flurry of hooves. She fell ******* the near wall, crushing the cages. The leopard shot into the air like a rocket, slashed at the mare’s throat and vanished in the rain. The horse reared above the family cage. She was just coming down in a wheeling storm of hooves when something made her freeze. Her stare locked with Hero’s, and a second later her eyes were rolling in their sockets. The mare kicked crazily and came down ******* her left flank, smashing the long cage’s side. She whirled upright and leaped outside.
For a tense minute the family sat in the rubble, rain bombarding their eyes. Nothing in their years of captivity had prepared them for such a situation. But by the end of that minute the son had taken full command. He rolled onto his back, braced himself, and kicked his parents across the aisle, through the remnants of the opposing cage, and out of the carriage. They all fell about in the mud and rain. To the west, the mare stared back strangely as she splashed into the night. The boy wedged himself between his parents, threw his arms around them, and pushed with all his might. Their bodies found a common center of gravity. Fumbling drunkenly, the family staggered through the rain in the wake of the mare.

The boy was the natural leader.
Master’s innocent-looking little ex-student could quickly assess and exploit almost any situation. He did the foraging and the figuring, slept with one eye open and one fist ready. He got what he wanted by charm or by stealth, slipping off at nightfall, returning at daybreak with small slaughtered animals and chunks of dark peasant bread. He also pilfered any bauble or oddity he could get his paws on, to be placed reverently at his father’s mangled feet. Breadwinner and watchdog, he faithfully held the family together; a nuclear son. He sewed hardy feather-lined cloaks of reindeer hide, and turned a cache of marmot pelts into a kind of side-slung backpack. He was doting nurse during his mother’s episodes, and unbending apportioner of calories in lean times. Dauntless when it meant crossing mighty rivers, relentless when it came to finding mountain passes. But the endless marching, the unreliable diet, and the countless predators made the three wanderers lean, haggard moving targets. There were times when the little lamp of family was all but extinguished, and long stands in places that seemed absolutely impassable. Still, the boy would work things out. He would stoop to any level to feed Hero, and for a stranger to threaten his father was to summon a psychotic, unyielding monster. He was both spear and shield.
The toughest job of all was maintaining a tight unit, meaning he was forced to become a hard-nosed ******* whenever his father was ready to wander off, which always seemed to be whenever the mother was hurting most. She’d become a tremendous impediment to Hero’s compulsion, and therefore her son’s chief nemesis. It wasn’t a big-picture concern anyway; the writing was on the wall. The blue lady’s attacks were increasing spectacularly on the steppe; her world had always been an enclosure of some kind, and the great horizon was proving just too much. Perhaps these intense affairs served as links to Hero’s suppressed memories, for at the onset of each attack he’d turn and hike, and then only exhaustion could curb him. The boy would press his mother on, dragging, shoving, and smacking—he could be mean when necessary, and though circumstances had made him the nucleus, their worlds unquestionably revolved around Hero. Where he sat, they sat. When he rose, they did the same. In this manner they marched for years across the vast steppes, single-file—father, mother, and son, respectively—unmolested, lacking possessions, always following the sun. Long before they could be measured they had drifted into obscurity.
The woman’s end came quickly and dramatically, in a rocky little depression on a half-frozen field. One moment she was responsive to her son’s prompts, the next she was flat on her back, her eyelids fluttering. That night she leapt from fever to chill, from alertness to stupor. The boy, squatting beside their campfire, watched her face and hands run cadaver-blue to fish belly-pale and back again. While he was staring her eyes popped open and her hands came scrabbling. He sweated through the clawing embrace until he could bear it no longer. He oozed out and ran down to fetch his father.
When they got back Hero watched incuriously for a while. His mate’s face was scrunched up and her skin the color of sapphires. She wasn’t breathing.
His gaze became glassy, his eyes returned to the night. As he rose the boy immediately grabbed an arm. Neither moved for minutes. When the boy at last relinquished, his father casually stumbled off.
Strange things were going on in Hero’s world. Some days he would notice how animals regarded him oddly, in a manner that seemed almost personal. He found, for instance, that particular creatures were recognizable even over great distances. A number of times he would sit with one in a stare-down, waiting patiently, until the animal’s natural disposition caused it to bolt. Though the meaning of these encounters was way over his head, he would watch, and he would listen.
In time he noticed an increasing skittishness in some of these familiar creatures. Something had them spooked. He then observed a number of lean gray wolves moving in and out of the picture with an air of complete indifference:  these wolves weren’t hunting; they were loitering—lounging in the grass, lackadaisically padding to the rear, filing by slowly in the distance. Once in a while a lounger would raise its head, yawn cavernously, and drop back out of sight. So unobtrusive was their behavior that even Hero’s ever-vigilant son began to take them for granted. They paused where the family paused, and halted whenever the woman broke down. Perfectly camouflaged by the gray boulders and dire sky, they were completely forgotten in the drama of her passing.
There were other, far subtler events existing for Hero’s senses alone. He could perceive patterns in everything around him; in the manner vegetation gave way wherever his heart was leading, in the way so many animals appeared to be not merely mirroring, but making his course. And wind, rain, running water:  these phenomena had voices. Yet not for everybody. No one—not his mate, not his son, not another soul on the planet could hear this call, for they were all of a sort. They were static, they were temporal. Hero couldn’t have cared less about the lives of his family, or about the mundane goings-on in the encampments and small tribes they skirted. Such beings lived in a world that was defined by the moment. They shouted, they banged, they clamored.
But west—west was music.
For his boy, once again watching Hero shamble off, the moment of truth had arrived. He looked back down, at his mother’s death mask being remade by the dying light of their campfire. As the flames dwindled he could have sworn he saw shadows creep into the wells of her eyes, while others, crawling up around her jawline, drew her bluing lips like purse strings. He hopped to his feet and ran for another handful of tinder. When their little fire provided enough light he dropped to his knees and looked again.
She was sinking right before his eyes, every aspect of her expression in collapse. The boy watched clinically, fascinated. As the flames began to sputter he thought he could see large purple bruises spreading across her cheeks like the seeping limbs of overflowing pools. He bent closer.
From deep in the night came the longest, the leanest, the saddest wail he’d ever heard. He turned to see the starlit ghost of his father, facing away, staring at a low barren hill. Uncountable stars embroidered the spot. The boy made out a low shape moving along the hilltop, cutting off patches of stars as it passed.
The wolf howled again; a mournful, spiraling cry to nowhere and nothing. Hero’s head notched upward. He began to hike.
Halfway to his feet the boy stopped dead.
It took a minute to sense why he’d frozen in place, and a good while longer for his heart to quit pounding. He was aware of a nervous padding, and, once his vision had adjusted, of a lazy stream of eyes gleaming in the dying campfire’s light. The eyes bobbed around him, glared momentarily, returned to the ground.
A massive gasp, and his mother was tearing at his wrist. He watched her hyperventilating, saw her bulbous yellow eyes sinking in a wide violet pool. With a sizzle and pop the last tongue of flame was taken by the night.
Then her clammy hands were all over him, pulling and demanding, caressing and beseeching. He had to pry them off like leeches, had to place them clasped on her shuddering arched belly.
A silky snarl rose almost in his ear.
With a little squeal he sprang to his feet, even as something nearby jumped back in response.
The boy stood absolutely still while the panting thing padded nearer. They stood very close, smelling each other. He instinctively extended a hand, palm forward. But it was no good; his arm was shaking out of control. The snarl rose again, not so tentatively this time. His mother’s nails tore at his ankle.
The boy gently stepped away, only to find himself surrounded by the shifting silhouettes of half a dozen gray wolves. They approached in a calculated manner:  two from the left, one from the right, another from behind. He was being goaded away from his mother; he could hear her fists beating the ground, and a few seconds later the sounds of a nauseating assault and ravaging.
He shakily raised his other hand. Now both arms were extended, and their message was clearly one of defense rather than control. Two snapping wolves stepped aside, leaving him a gateway into the night. A cold wet nose bumped his wrist.
Screaming like a woman, he took off after his father just as fast as his feet would carry him.

                                                  BOY

Alon­g the great Kazakh Steppe a man could wander a lifetime and never meet another of his kind—especially if his kind happened to be Alaskan Inuk, and if he happened to be the teenaged patriarch of a two-man family going nowhere.
Here history is mostly mute.
Upon this continent-spanning steppe, unnamed communities were scattered and rebuilt, lives blown about by the wind. The only centers of humanity a traveler might encounter, far removed from the Silk Road at the very crack of the new millennium, were temporary encampments of civilization at its rudest—shifting holes of cutthroat commerce existing solely for the barter of silk and spices and hapless souls. Life here was revered far less than merchandise, and the longest-lived men were those who kept their distance.
Hero and his boy hiked over permafrost and tundra for years; their meandering course a drunken mapmaker’s scrawl. Chronological entries along this imaginary line would reveal that they’d stopped, sometimes for months at a time, when the father had grown too weak and disoriented to continue. Hero’s internal compass was long-sprung, and his weight had fallen considerably. He’d sit on his lonesome, scarecrow-scrawny, wistfully scrolling a 360-horizon while his boy scouted and scavenged. Then, for no apparent reason, he’d just up-and hike—sometimes northwest, sometimes along a tangential plane that always threatened to spiral. It was brutal:  winters were frigid, summers, by odd contrast, running steamy to baking. Season by season these marches lost their tenaciousness, and eventually their heart. Hero’s obsession was becoming his demise.
Now, to a hypothetical observer, the ratty pair of woolly camels materializing out of the rising August heat might have been mirages.
These beasts were novelties here, and pioneers, for they were way beyond their normal stomping grounds. They’d tramped for months with a mind-numbing monotonousness, a thousand miles and more; round the Urals to the south, and through the hard territory braced by the Volga and Voronezh, avoiding anything that even smelled of men. They’d been wild camels; ugly, ill-tempered, and unpredictable, until the boy tamed them by touch…but this new pattern was a literal change of pace…for weeks the frail little man and his dark teenaged son rose and fell with the animals’ rhythm, lulled by it, sick of it, dreaming of lands far removed from hoarfrost and peat moss. In this manner they were borne clear to present-day Belarus, whereupon the camels’ stupefying march began to quicken. Mile by mile they put on steam, until one day they reached a broad area distinguishable from its bracing terrain only by its many deep surface cracks. Here the camels’ behavior became erratic; they crouched at an angle while tramping, their long necks oscillating, their noses bobbing along the ground. Eventually they came upon a dingy pool nestled in a pebbly depression. The local brush surrounding this pool was situated like iron filings about a lodestone. The boy hauled back his camel’s neck and laid a hand on its brow. The brute slowed to a halt. The other camel imitated its partner, move for move. Simultaneously the animals dropped to their knees.
The boy jumped off, catching Hero as he fell. The camels stood watching stupidly as son maneuvered father, but after a while grew nervous and began tramping their hooves in time. They slowly stepped to the pool’s rim and knelt woozily, their noses poised just above the surface. Their whiskers danced on the pool’s face, their lids became heavy, their hindquarters quivered as they drank. Their nostrils, having fluttered in unison, remained agape. They appeared to be asleep.
The boy began filling skins.
The water was quite warm; he slurped a palmful and almost immediately felt intoxicated.
He flicked it off his fingers; the water was bad.
Three heads were now mirrored in the pool; the camels’ at ten o’clock and two o’clock, the boy’s at six. He watched their reflections continue to ripple, long after the pool had become still. His face, melting and firming, rapidly fluctuated between extremes of age, and between his own recognizable features and those of some…monstrosity. The effect was hypnotic. He felt his joints stiffen; his eyes became weak, his thoughts muddled…his face was irresistibly drawn to the pool’s surface, and for a moment he was in real peril of drowning. He ****** his head aside and creaked to his feet.
Where the camels had knelt were only the prints of their bellies and knees. In the distance they could be seen galloping all-out for the horizon, right back the way they’d come. The boy watched until they were swallowed by their dust, and when he turned around his father was long gone.
Now he knew it was all just a matter of time.
And sure enough, after eleven more days of feebly staggering along, Hero completely ran out of gas. The boy bundled him up in a shawl, like an old woman.
Sitting there, cradling an unresponsive man weighing less than eighty pounds, he couldn’t help but let his morbid fantasies run wild. He was now old enough to realize his father had at some time suffered severe head trauma, and honest enough to accept that the man was rapidly approaching a vegetative state. This understanding accompanied him like a shadow, and that night he questioned, for the very first time, his own convoluted rationale.
He was just beginning to sense that his will was not his own.
He built a semi-permanent camp west of the Desna and foraged in a tight spiral, always returning in a straight line. Some days he came back feeling uneasy, sensing another presence. Then it was every other day. It bugged him to no end. At last, when it became every day, he hauled his father to his feet and began a resolute march to the west.
Again he became anxious, and after only a dozen yards.
He turned slowly while hunching, certain something bulky had just dropped out of sight. Nothing looked suspicious, everything looked suspicious. He walked Hero some more, occasionally peering back over his shoulder. There was…something.
He whirled:  only masses of rock and high brush. Yet, when he really strained his eyes, he was sure, pretty sure, that he could make out a large crouching body continuous with the rocks. Heart in his throat, he began a slow steady creep, only to pause, positive the bulge, whatever it was, had shifted in response. The boy very gradually raised his arm until it was level with his eyes, faced the palm outward, and extended the arm parallel with the ground. He could almost feel some kind of current passing between his itching palm and…nothing. He walked over to Hero, stopped again. There’d been the subtlest sense of traction. The boy propped up his father in a cloud of flies and waited.
In a minute the bulge drew *****.
Out of the brush strolled a furry gray wild ***, her back inclined from countless weary miles; stretching her neck, pausing to nibble, taking her sweet time. Grungy as she was, she fit right in.
At the boy’s first casual step she immediately hit the dirt and remained flat on her belly, one big dark eye staring between her hooves. Another step, and her **** bunched up. The closer he got, the higher her rear end rose. When he was almost at arm’s length she sprang back and danced away, seeming to bound with delight. But not to the east, as she’d come.
To the northwest.
She backpedaled while the boy came on whistling and cooing, matching him step for step. But the moment he threw up his arms in resignation she spun round as though cued, dropped on her belly, and peered over her shoulder.
The boy was first to blink. This time he approached fractionally, keeping movements to a minimum. She rose just as carefully, sauntering northwest in reverse, and at the first sign of hesitation turned, dropped, and cautiously gazed back. The boy glared at that huge mocking **** and broke into a sprint. She easily danced out of reach, plopped down, and continued to stare.
He began hurling stones, with venom and with accuracy, until she’d scurried into the brush.
But on the way back to his father he could feel her tagging along.
Twenty feet behind she halted, looking bemused.
The boy nodded ironically. He walked Hero over, murmuring baby talk all the way, and firmly placed a palm on the animal’s muzzle once her breath grazed his fingers. She stroked his hand up and down with her whiskers, gave a kind of curtsy, and waited on her knees while he helped his father mount.
At Hero’s touch a shudder ran down her body. She stood up straight. Her eyes became set, her back absolutely stiff. She put down her head and began the long trek northwest, never once breaking stride.
It was an amazing march, an impossible feat. For a little over three days and almost four hundred miles she progressed like an automaton, driving herself without rest, without food or water.
After trotting alongside for an hour the boy climbed on and force-fed his father berries and smoked meat, his dark eyes constantly searching the countryside. Occasionally he’d see a run of red foxes to their left, watching intently, padding cautiously. Sooner or later they’d vanish, only to be replaced by a train of feline or equine pursuers. Packs approached and receded while, high overhead, flocks formed triangular patterns that continually broke up and reformed. There was a peculiar rhythmic quality to this ebb and flow that lulled his senses further. The boy shook his head to clear it, but his exhaustion was deeper than he’d supposed—even the brush appeared to be leaning northwest.
That first day he grew numb with the pace, and that night the relentless pounding of her hooves drew him into a miserable slumber. He wrapped his arms around his sleeping father and lay half atop. When he couldn’t keep his eyes open any longer he tore strips from his skins, then looped his tied wrists round her neck, his ankles round her belly.
On the second day she was breathing hard, but her back was still high and she showed no signs of faltering. Her eyes remained focused on the ground dead ahead. She always sensed the best routes; finding mountain passes, fording wetlands.
But by the third day they could feel her ribs quaking against their legs. Her breath exploded as she marched, blood frothed and caked about her nostrils. Still she pushed herself on, her pace so steady it was almost metronomic.
On the fourth day her legs were gone. She veered and stumbled, shuddering every few paces. The boy hopped off for the umpteenth time and tried to bring her to graze, but she wouldn’t be turned. He ran behind her as she staggered along, unwilling, or unable, to rest.
At last a foreleg gave and she went down hard. Sobbing and snorting, she plowed her muzzle back and forth in the soil, the useless leg repeatedly pounding the ground. After a minute she raised her head and brayed at the sky, her neck muscles taut, her head slowly swinging side to side. Her cry went on and on.
With a tremendous effort she pushed herself upright and butted the boy aside. Every part of her body was shaking. From her depths a low moan grew to a steady bray, and finally to a wild, pulsing howl. She came to a rise, but was too weak to climb without sliding. Stamping in frustration, she managed a few feet, reared feebly, slid some more. The boy got behind her and applied his back; it took all he had to assist her almost to the top. With a desperate lunge she crashed on her belly.
Amazingly, she dragged herself on, her howl now a scream, her head whipping left and right. When she could pull herself no farther she ****** forth her neck to its very limit and, with a shudder that ran from the tip of her nose to the tuft on her tail, shoved her muzzle straight into the dirt and died.
The boy hauled off his father and fell back. The animal’s eyes were fixed upwards, seeming, even in death, to be straining for a glimpse of what lay just beyond the rise. The boy half-dragged Hero the last few yards. They collapsed at the top, and together looked over the cold Baltic Sea.

At water’s edge a haggard fisherman sat on his boat’s ravaged deck, blindly staring out to sea. His was a queer vessel; a family structure built more like an aft-cabined barge than like seacraft typical of that period. The fisherman’s boat, like his mind, had been abused beyond repair.
He’d lost much in his life. Time had taken his dreams, pox his face, hardship his back and shoulders. And, more recently, a brawling band of drunken Baltic pirates had ***** his wife and daughter before butchering them along with his two fine sons, while he sat helplessly bound to the mast. Finally, to further their delight, they’d set the boat aflame and sent it crackling against the sun; knowing he could hear their hoots and howls, knowing he would drift undead, accompanied only by this last unspeakable memory.
But a squall, without prelude, had doused the flames and blown his home ashore.
There he’d remained for a full long day, staring at nothing, his shattered life caught on the rocks. On the second day he’d worked himself free and commenced staggering about in his memories, gathering shards. It was a pathetic claim. He made a pile of all the old bedding and linen and usable cords, and set about sewing a sort of mementos sail. All that third day he had sewn, and on the fourth he had hoisted this sail and been moved to see it billowing in a northwest-blowing breeze. Again he just sat and gaped. And later that day he’d become aware of a commotion taking place on the long grade leading down to the water, where a writhing mass of seagulls was proceeding like a tremendous slow-motion snowball. He’d never seen anything like it. It wasn’t uncommon to find gulls in a group of many dozens or more, but there must have been two, maybe three thousand of the birds now swarming toward his boat. They were making an incredible racket. In the midst of this cloud could be seen a couple of slowly walking figures; as they neared he made out a small man accompanying a boy in his late teens, both dressed in odd skins. When they reached the rocks his eyes were drawn to the small man’s face. It was a foreign face, brutish and dark, with a deep cleft running from above the right temple to the jaw’s left side. Whatever instrument had felled this man had been devastating—everything in its path was smashed, and with permanence. The forehead was caved in. There was no bridge to the nose, the left cheek was completely collapsed, one side of the mouth was a mangled mess. The jaw itself had set improperly, so that it jutted to the side. The general impression, especially from a distance, was of some unforgettable circus freak’s countenance puckering at an angle. It was a face right out of a nightmare. But there was nothing frightening about the eyes. They were the eyes of a child.
Maybe half the gulls hopped screaming on the rocks. The rest circled overhead.
The boy considered the fisherman curiously before placing a foot on the charred deck. His gaze went around the boat, lingered on the makeshift sail, returned to the slumped figure. He passed a hand before the eyes. No response. He then leaned in close and placed his fingers on the man’s forehead. Immediately that bleak expression became fluid, brimming over with horror and heartbreak. Tears rolled down the fisherman’s cheeks as he gasped, shuddered, and backed up the scorched mast to his feet. Thus propped, he squinted at his visitors and was overcome by a wave of homesickness so strong he had to turn away. The feeling bewildered him, for this vessel, and this sea, were all the home he’d ever known. He clung to the mast while the boy helped his father board. Once he’d collected himself, the fisherman tore a heavy crossbeam from the toasted cabin. He and the boy used this as a lever, and together they shoved the boat off the rocks. The wind picked up nicely, and the little craft was swept across the water.
Exploding off the rocks, the gulls shot after the boat as if it were brimming with fish, the loudest and orneriest vying for favored positions directly overhead. The melee attracted additional gulls—they came shrieking in their hundreds from all sides, banking and calling in the oddest manner, until the mass grew so thick as to cast a permanent shadow on the boat. All day long the clamor continued, and all that night. The fisherman rolled with the rudder, listlessly, allowing the sea to control him. Eventually he let go, that the wind might bear them where it would. His sail ballooned but held firm, and the boat fairly zipped across a sea somehow smooth as glass, broken only by the vacillating ripples of bottleneck dolphins and migrating humpback whales. The three tiny sailors sat hunched together, motionless, all throughout the next day, until the black coast of Sweden loomed in the twilight.
As the boat neared land the cloud of gulls broke up, shot to shore, and landed in groups of a thousand and more; a dizzying, wildly uproarious reception committee.
The dung-covered boat slammed into the rocks, shattering the fisherman’s trance. He intuitively walked his **** up the mast and, swaying there, watched the boy draw his father over the side and lead him to a clearing at wood’s edge. There in the dusk he made out what appeared to be a hefty spotted runaway heifer hitched to a rickety wood wagon. He saw the cow gallop up to meet them, saw the boy look around warily, saw him help the little man into the wagon and climb in beside him. The animal immediately began picking through the woods, the large brass bell round her neck clanging forlornly.
The clarity of that bell made him realize just how quiet it had become. He craned his neck:  there wasn’t a gull in sight. He fell back against the shot mast and slid onto his tailbone with a clacking of teeth. His eyes were misting up. In the gathering dark a few sail fragments flew past and were ****** into the woods. The boat rocked and relaxed. After that there was only the sound of the receding bell’s sad, monotonous song being batted about by the wind.

The little cow strode through moonlit woods until she came to a path formed by the rutting of wheels over many years. She followed this broken, serpentine track throughout the night, and by morning was passing farms and, occasionally, crossing broader paths that might realistically be defined as roads. All day long she bore down that ragged track, until she came in late afternoon to a clearing near a village. Here many such tracks converged. And here the boy slipped away while she grazed.
Sometime after dark he returned with a load of straw, a couple of pilfered blankets, and a fat iron kettle. Crammed in this kettle were salt, tubers, cheese, a few loaves of rye, legumes, and a plump foot of lamb sausage. Most of this ***** he’d brought in tied to the bowed back of a huge, puffing, highly amenable black pig which, thus laden, now followed the boy’s every step like a fresh convert tracing the heels of the messiah. The boy built a fire under the stars, filled the kettle with creek water, and commenced simmering their dinner. While waiting, he couldn’t help but note an odd feature of the local flora:  plants, especially trees, all seemed inclined to a northwesterly disposition, though no amount of wind could account for it. He shooed the pig. But rather than run along, it backpedaled in a nervous circle, round and round in reverse, until it lost its balance and fell on its ****. There it remained, a yard behind the wagon. The boy fed his father and lined the wagon with straw. They settled in for the night. The boy must have nodded, might have dreamt, but while he was drifting he became aware of a stirring in the woods. He sat up, saw the pig’s eyes gleaming inches from his nose. And there were a number of animals, some wild, some strayed from farmsteads, arranged in a broad circle around the wagon, their eyes glinting with moonlight. Not a rustle, not a peep, was lifted from the woods.
In the morning he woke to find the pig still staring. The fidgeting heifer, impatient to roll, began her long day’s march while Hero and his boy were yet stretching and scratching, and the ******* pig, galloping heavily, fell in close behind. Each new day this routine was repeated. They banged past farms and small communities until the ruts intersected a broad rocky road wending halfway across the kingdom. The cow addressed this road with vigor. They picked up followers—a goat here, a couple of sheep there—which hurried after the wagon as best they could. The cow stomped on with resolve, mile after mile, day after day, her bell keeping steady time. That bell’s peal attracted foals, lambs, and kids into the wagon’s narrowing wake. Hares hopped between hooves and wheels, boars and blue foxes fell in and withdrew. White falcons, normally solo fliers, whirled into wedge shapes high overhead.
At night the entire train would camp on the road while the boy raided proximate farmsteads, always returning fully laden. And as soon as the fire died the colony grew, creature by creature, and the moment the sun broke the horizon the heifer came to life and moved on, but each day a bit more resolutely, as though straining to meet a deadline. The march took on a sense of real urgency. The cow pressed on with attitude, the clang of her bell more strident with each passing mile. Soon her followers numbered in the hundreds, as animals deserted their farms or crept out of the woods to tag along. Tillers and traders stood dumbfounded, amazed by the bizarre flow.
Once they’d crossed into Norway the frothing cow veered hard to the west. The pace really picked up; no longer were Hero and his boy afforded the luxury of a night’s sleep in one spot. Days blurred into a single variegated flow as the bashed and lopsided wagon continued building its entourage; the riders were surrounded dawn to dusk by a confused and confusing scurry. Word of the flow’s weirdness preceded it clear to the Norwegian coast, so that now plowmen and merchants, wearily gathering their goggling families, found themselves lined in anticipation along the king’s highway. Horsemen went pounding to and fro with news of the procession’s progress and particulars, children ran through the streets banging pots in imitation of the cow’s approaching bell. Livestock wheeled and stamped, fowl leaped and crashed.
The slobbering cow broke into a run.
Bystanders trotted behind, calling back and forth excitedly, while the wagon’s permanent following squealed and squawked between their heels. The cow made a hard turn onto a widening swath in the brush. This swath, seeming to strain against the soil, ran straight down to the crest of a low hill overlooking the Atlantic. On either side a crowd had been studying the phenomenon for some time, but now all eyes swung to the dark and disfigured man and his son, clinging to the disintegrating wagon behind the careening spotted cow.
The trailing people traded views as they ran. Most—at the very outset of the new millennium, with Christianity burgeoning throughout Europe—leaned to the miraculous. Others, just as superstitious but prone to a darker point of view, threw looks of horror at the deformed little man. Yet they ran no less eagerly.
The galloping crowd made for the seaside, where only one local event of any moment was brewing:  on the coast a Greenlander Viking was preparing his longship for the rough voyage home. Impetuous son of the great island’s first permanent European settler, he’d just been baptized in Olaf’s court, and was now eager to sail—but not as a warrior—as a missionary. While his spirit remained in a tug-o’-war between his father Erik’s will and that of gods old and new, his duty was clearly to his king. And Olaf had charged him with the Christianization of pagan Greenland.
Something on the wind now made this destined man turn his head. From behind the gentle hill to his rear came a kind of thunder. Heads popped up, followed by a confused explosion of voices, and seconds later a frantic bug-eyed heifer burst into view, dragging the wheel-less skeleton of a shattered wooden wagon. On the wagon’s splayed frame a man and teenaged boy clung for their lives as the spewing animal made a beeline for his ship.
The new missionary, still egocentric enough to assume his Maker might actually toss him a personal, surreptitiously rolled up his eyes. The sky yawned at his arrogance. At his side a smallish cowled man rose irritably, but the missionary sat him right back down. He then snorted, squared his shoulders, and signaled his men to halt their preparations.
Knowing it was expected, he gathered his hard Nordic pride and coolly made his way into the crowd.

The priest clung to port, gagging above the waves.
After a completely uneventful minute he leaned back and stared through tearing eyes at the distant backdrop of gathering mists. Weeks now…a man of his constitution had no business at sea.
Along, too, were a quirky little man and his fiercely devoted son.
Through his pantomime, the boy had been so persistent in begging their passage that refusal, under the circumstances, would have been unbecoming not only a man of God but a man of the world.
So there it was:  a priest who couldn’t hold his lunch, a witless eyesore who couldn’t sit still, and a surly teenaged protector who snarled at the first hard look. This crossing just had to be some kind of divine test—of mortal patience as well as moral values. Norsemen weren’t made for babysitting.
The mists condensed.
And the shifting shape became a hard familiar coast.
And the longship was mooring, and the crew were jostling and clambering, and the big missionary had booted off the haunted little freak and his hypersensitive son, and was condescendingly half-escorting, half-carrying, the green priest ashore.
And they were home.

Priest in tow, Leif quickly took up the Christianization of Greenland’s Western Settlement, as per Olaf’s command. The mangled little man and his son followed him around like dogs, slept outside his door and annoyed his visitors, ultimately proving far easier to adopt than to shake. Barely tolerable shadows…still, the lad was simply amazing with livestock…and though the youth’s useless father seemed time and again to be just begging for a whooping, his son’s presence bore some ineffable quality that always curbed the missionary’s hand. Several times he’d witnessed the father approached by settlers bent on abuse. Each time the boy had stepped in, and each time the troublemakers were mysteriously repelled. The missionary of course didn’t attribute any kind of celestial intervention to these episodes, and certainly the popular notion of devilry was a natural reaction to the pair’s outrageous exoticness, but…in the son’s company, and even under the sharp eyes of his fellow Norsemen, Leif more than once found himself oddly moved to protect the father. And so the deformed man and his boy day by day blent in—as village idiot and mystic guide. And when in time a ****** brought tales of an unvisited land to the west, it was only natural for the restless Greenlander to buy that ******’s boat and, before stalwart comrades, weary family, and whimsical God Almighty, reluctantly accept the eccentric father and son as sort of seagoing mascots.
Hero was from then on irrepressible. During preparations he would pipe and stammer in his half-mute way, brimming with a confounding anxiety that kept him underfoot and at odds with all. On frigid nights he perched on the westernmost rocks, moaning to the horizon in the strangest fashion while his son stood guard. He positively spooked the locals; they’d gossip, nervously and with bile, of an answering wind that came wailing off the sea like a banshee in labor. The whole island wanted rid of him. And when his champing beneficiary, still clinging to the notion of Christian charity, bundled him aboard with his son and a crew of thirty-five, not a single settler was sorry to see him go.
Almost from the moment they cast off everything went wrong, as all attempts to control the longship were met with some kind of unknowable countermanding force. Vikings were not renowned for passive resistance—they fought, squaresail and steering oar, leaning oarsman to oarsman, until the ship rocked on the waves like a bucking bronco. An erratic weather system pursued them, worsening dramatically at each minute variation in heading. The Norsemen doubled down, and when the clouds finally burst wide, the cowling sea went mad. Dervishes whirled about the hull, crisscrossing winds bedeviled the sail. Patches of kelp belonging to much warmer waters came heaving alongside, fouling the work of the oars, while far to the west a humongous fog bank formed, eradicating the navigable field. The lightning-streaked horizon was a throbbing gray slit.
The longship became locked in a slow westerly current.
Fatigued crewmen complained of headaches and hallucinations, and of a nasty, slightly metallic tang to the air. There were numerous walrus sightings; bobbing flippers and snouts amid drifting ice chunks that came prowling the North Sea like a circling pack of famished white wolves.
Worst of all was the boy’s father—instantly agitated by everything and nothing, prey to some primitive impulse that caused him to periodically incline his head, shudder to his feet, and loop his arms as though embracing the sky. Leif would watch him scrabbling at the prow like a cat at a tree, furs snapping in the wind. He’d watch the boy re-seat him for the hundredth time, and for the hundredth time be filled with an immense contempt. By now he’d acknowledged that it takes a special kind of strength to shoulder charity and tolerance. That brown little freak struck him as an enormous malformed barnacle, slowly working its way back up the prow. Trying so hard to go unnoticed, looking and listening so intently, though there was nothing to see other than the growing shelves of fog, and nothing to hear save the rising, almost hysterical voice of the wind.
Leif sniffed the air, his ******’s instincts nagging him. This was a foul current, and a fool's errand; he took a deep breath and tentatively ordered the longship brought about.
The ship kicked twice, as though an enormous submarine hand had seized and released the hull.
A whirl formed in the water, causing the keeling ship to sweep around like a clock’s second hand. All about them, those drift-ice ghosts cruised dangerously near.
But they’d been liberated from that accursed current. Leif fiercely urged on his rowers, and at last the ship broke free. They made a bead due north.
Night came and the temperature plummeted.
Small sheets of ice converged, drifting between the hunks. The Norsemen, instinctively huddling amidships, passed out one by one in a massive pile of fur and flesh. In the freezing silence the floes bumped and recoiled, bumped and gathered, bumped and bonded. The tiny ship, swallowed whole, was dragged along in a labyrinth of black sea and interlocking slabs of ice.

The Norsemen came to in a surly, foul-smelling heap, lost at sea. While they were still groggy a voice cried out that a darker patch was developing in the fog. The men all fell to port. Under the confusion of their voices could be heard a distant rumble.
At this Hero hauled himself up the high curved prow. A half-light began to penetrate the fog, barely illuminating the irregular faces of drifting ice. The missionary stormed forward and indicated by gestures that if the boy didn’t restrain his father he would have the man tied down.
The longship stopped dead in the water.
The men found themselves regarding a perpetually frozen coastline swathed in bluish veils of mist. Directly before them loomed an immense ice cliff hundreds of feet high. Rising beyond this cliff were endless snow fields, where lean violet shadows seemed to drag about of their own volition. And upon those bleak fields a thin howling wind prowled, kicking up brief white dervishes, leaving a strange zigzagging signature.
Even as they stared, a darker shadow high on the ice cliff’s glistening face began to widen, accompanied by a cracking sound that could be felt before it was heard. With the illusion of slow-motion, a stupendous chunk broke out of the cliff and came screaming toward the sea. It hit the water like a bomb. The thunder of its separation and the explosion of its impact took a moment to reach them. Then, out of a spewing crater of crests and spume, the new calf came lunging, tromping the sea so hard the longship, fully a mile to sea, was swept out and ****** back in like a cork. The floundering mountain of ice bobbed and lilted, generating huge waves which continued to rock the ship long after the monster had settled. In a while the roaring in their ears subsided and there remained only the swirling, nerve-wracking howl of the wind.
The missionary’s eyes swept left and right. Whatever this place was, it sure wasn’t the fair shoreline he’d been promised. Hero again scrambled up the prow, and Leif again yanked him down. This time he made good his threat; he had the little nuisance bound, though he was half-tempted to let him take his chances overboard.
From somewhere deep in the haze grew a soulful, otherworldly call. It went on and on, electrifying the air, bottoming out once the ship had merged with that previously fought westerly flow.
By now Leif’s nerves were shot. He ordered the oars raised.
The longship began to drift. Ship and ice were pulled due west.
The clouds fell far behind as the ship embarked upon an amazingly calm sea—so calm its entire visible surface was featureless except for the faint wakes provided by the ship and its hulking ice companions. To the east a huge fog bank appeared on the horizon, and a while later a smaller bank to the north. Then a very dense one to the south. In time these banks converged, imperceptibly becoming a single mass that closed about the ship, bit by bit creating a slowly heaving dome. Tiny beads of water appeared on beards and eyebrows; in a minute everything was soaked. The only sound was that of the dragging steering oar. The men were now sopping ghosts, speaking only with their eyes.
Directly ahead the fog began to dimple. The dimple became a hollow, the hollow a cave, and then ship and ice were being towed through a low, ever-extending tunnel in fog. The current increased its pull. Ship and drifting ice accelerated through the tunnel.
After a while the missionary quietly stepped forward. He stood with one hand on the prow’s neck, listening to the mist, so motionless he might have been a carved extension of the longship’s aggressive design. Not a man breathed. The tunnel’s dilating and contracting bore was producing an all but seamless series of oscillating, near-phonetic sounds. Leif almost tiptoed back. No god, pagan or Christian, could account for the strangeness of this situation.
They were borne on a course that grew more southerly, and the following day beheld an inhospitable shoreline glazed by dazzling white beaches. Their course held. Two days later they came upon a far pleasanter, thickly wooded coast. Here the current released its hold, and here the missionary untied Hero and personally placed him and his son in a tiny oak faering. He was just as sick of them as he was excited by this promising new land. Once the rowboat had been heaved over the side, he and another man stepped aboard and took up the oars. They began rowing with easy, powerful strokes.
When the boat kissed sand the missionary stood unsteadily.
The first European to set foot on North American soil now placed one hand on his crucifix, the other on his sword’s hilt, and awkwardly plunged his leg into the thigh-deep, ice-cold surf. Before he could take another step the boat lurched as Hero leapt headfirst into the water, followed an instant later by his son. The Greenlanders watched sourly as the two splashed their way into a mad dash for the waiting pines. Leif wished them both good riddance and turned to grin wryly at his fellow Norseman. He must have blacked out for a second, must have been blinded by a shaft of sun, for he found he was staring stupidly at a point midway between his companion and the longship. It felt like he’d been kicked between the eyes.
Everything was dissolving.
He studied the beach and pines closely, but saw nothing of the man or his boy. He turned back, disoriented. With what seemed a superhuman effort he took up his oars. He rowed out sluggishly, in a dream, and the fog rolled in to meet him.

The boy broke into the trees and embraced a trunk, fighting for breath. What happened next happened so fast and so unexpectedly he didn’t have a chance to react.
Three savages stepped from behind the pines and beat him to his knees. They twisted his arms behind his back and hauled him to his feet. He’d barely processed the impression of a wild painted face when something sharp struck him ******* the temple and tore down his cheek to the jaw. Two of the assailants manhandled him into an upright position and held him in place while the third brought his weapon down again and again and again.
All but dead, he watched a nightmare countenance shouting through a shot veil of blood, and behind that image a reeling crimson sun. He lay there gushing while the savages went through his rags. They propped him against a pine and shrieked with triumph, tore the hair and gory scalp from his skull, threw back their heads and screamed at the screaming sky. Tooth and nail, they ripped apart his face and throat and, certain he would die, split what bits of fur were left and let his carcass lie.

                                                HERO

The weeks stretched into months while he fought his way back into the light.
He progressed in stages; only half-conscious, stumbling along in a blood-red stupor punctuated by a slow strobe of frequent blackouts. Days loomed and decayed, nights pounced and were gone; the backlit, swirling gray cosmos collapsed and expanded on every missed beat of his pulse. A thousand times he broke down to die, and a thousand times he clawed to his feet, driven to pursue a tiny, ghost-like figure fluttering in his memory.
Everything conspired to check him.
A bay like an immense landlocked sea was skirted over months or years—it was all the same. Cold locked him in, Hunger drove him afield, that rude ***** Wind lashed him blind, wore him like a shoe, screamed for his skin while he worked his way west.
Somehow he ate, somehow he avoided being eaten; the instincts that had served him halfway around the planet were still vital beneath the abused exterior. His simple burrows became sturdy temporary shelters. He relearned the art of fire, and began to cook what he killed. He manufactured crude snares and weapons and, when his recuperation was complete, paid closer attention to the on-again, off-again trail he’d been following…forever.
Sometimes this trail would call to him like a lover. Other times he stood peering uncertainly, trying to recapture meanings and aims. Then the ground would turn spongy and the sky revolve, and once again he’d be lying all but dead in the woods, while from the face of the sun emerged a vile winged horror, its ugly pale head lashing side to side, its cruelly hooked beak dangling something that glistened in the wild pulsing light…then the fat moon, rising like gas against the icy black night…the feel of the wind:  the slashing of her nails, the chafing of her hem…the sound of things crunching and pausing and sniffing…then the sun, blazing anew. And again that thing, descending, its wide black wings beating slowly, metronomically—but none of that mattered any more. For his mind had quit him, had flown howling into ice and pine to roost with things surreal. In the day his madness might muddle and run, or spend the light stalking, cat-like, watching and waiting. But at night it came creeping from all sides. Sometimes it came in waves. It could gnaw like the devil, or wrap around him like a warm second skin. But none of that mattered either.
The only thing that mattered was the trail—whether it was lost for good, or for only a while. He’d been following it through his episodes, always north, wondering just who and where in the world he was, and trying to shake a ridiculous notion of being led on a wild goose chase.
The cold was unbelievable.
The deeper north he delved, the more confused he became. He grew starved for colors and scents, finding nonexistent patterns in the stark contrast of shadow and snow. He thought he could detect a kind of otherworldly design in the overwhelming number of dead ends he encountered, and, too, in the diabolically frustrating locations of natural obstacles. He seemed to be forever fighting the wind—a hulking, despondent snowman, he hiked face down and focused, while another aspect of his attention floated just behind, disembodied, watching his silent pursuers…leaving no tracks, blending perfectly with the environment in their clever winter coats…not predators, but creatures that normally should have been hightailing it away from him. By the time he could turn, they’d become nothing more menacing than snowdrifts. But they pursued him nevertheless.
And so his paranoia increased…had there ever really been a trail…and when did this miserably cold, miserably anemic crusade begin…his long-term memory was falling apart a chunk at a time. It just got colder and colder and colder until at last, one snippet of a day during one blur of a year, he found himself utterly lost, and clueless as to his history or objective. His mind was a blank, as colorless and featureless as the endless world of ice around him. He’d come this far solely to learn that the only trail he’d been following was his own—and now even that trail was succumbing to ice. On all sides there was nothing to see but an infinite field of glaring whiteness, and nothing to hear but the ululating wail of the tubular polar wind. It was the loneliest, the unholiest, the creepiest sound imaginable. But it wasn’t insanity that made him wheel. It was his self-preservation instinct.
And then he was somehow on his knees in the woods, facing a furious setting sun.
Whole seasons had passed from his memory like chalk from a board. His only recollections were those of a broken, haunted animal:  of being perilously sick, of fearing the unseen, of blindly struggling across a solid-white wilderness. That he’d survived such an ordeal meant nothing to him. And that he had in some indecipherable manner stumbled across the cold-as-stone trail did not fill him with amazement or with thankfulness—there simply wasn’t anything visual or emotional left to draw on. A significant part of his life had been whited out.
But now he could focus entirely on the trail. And before he knew it, the fuzzy area between fantasy and reality found a seam. He began to analyze and plan. He paid attention to hygiene, and kept a kind of running mental journal. Things were sorting out. Yet there were nights when the old sickness would resurface, reestablish its hold, and leave him sweating and uncertain under the stars. Then, paradoxically, his perception would become razor-keen. And so he would see, on a distant hilltop, a pair of scrawny silhouettes, one on four legs and one on two, slowly crossing the faintly pocked face of the setting moon. He would become strangely excited, and thereafter retain crystal-clear images of himself, as if seen from above, hurrying with adroitness through the silent, graveyard-like setting of black and blue night and white-frosted trees. Then the fuzzy area would broaden, and it would be the next morning, and he would be staring at the prints of man and elk in snow. And he would see how the elk’s prints doubled back, and how the man’s prints terminated where he had obviously mounted his guide. An unfathomable glow would bring tears to his eyes. But, even as he gathered himself, a fresh snowfall would wipe out the prints. And once again the world would plummet into white. And the wind would howl as the snow hammered his eyes. And he would ***** on.

A haggard animal sat shivering in a small grove of frozen pines, watching his campfire die. His eyes were fixed. Like the fire, he was running out of warmth, running out of fuel. There wasn’t a whole lot of tinder round his bones, and not much feeling left in his limbs. The slowly heaping downfall was burying him alive, but he was too numb to care.
It had taken him six long years to cross an entire continent, and during that time he’d known only cold and excruciating pain. The pain was leaving him now. The cold was making it right. His eyes glazed over.
Along a narrow plain to the west a herd of caribou filed dreamily through the snow, cutting across a panoramic backdrop of dazzling white mountains. The slow-motion parade was hypnotic. After a while it occurred to the drifting man, in a roundabout way, that he was dying, that he was nonchalantly freezing to death. Concurrent with this notion there rose in his chest a wonderful liquid warmth. His eyes slowly closed and, once shut, began to set fast.
He was jolted from within. It was as if he’d been kicked in the heart.
He ****** to his feet, pounded his fists on his thighs, felt nothing. The breath spurted from his mouth in small white clouds as he stumbled downhill after the slow caribou train. He swam through the snow, hallucinating, imagining that certain individuals in the herd were mocking him by slowing and accelerating, while others glanced back with expressions of contempt.
As he burst into their midst the animals stepped aside indifferently. A few galloped ahead to keep up the herd, but most simply sidestepped while he danced there, stamping his feet and smacking his hands. The herd grew thinner, until only the old and infirm were filing by. The man desperately embraced a hobbling female for warmth, but she cried out and kicked, triggering a panic reaction in the herd. Clinging for his life, the man was dragged along beside her as the herd stormed into a maze of flying ice and snow. His weight caused her to stagger sideways until they slammed against the flank of a sick male. The man instinctively threw an arm over the male and, thus draped between them, was borne across the drifted plain for upwards of a mile, his freezing feet alternately dangling above and dragging through the snow. The herd broke into a hard run, forcing him to assume a broken trot. Soon his legs were stinging. Sensation rushed through his body.
Now the herd, still picking up speed, began to contract, jamming him between his bearers. There was a quick jolt to his right and he was lifted clean off his feet, nearly straddling the bucking female. It had become an all-out stampede. Through hard-flung snow he saw the cause:  just ahead, the caribou had run head-on into a solid wall of galloping wood bison, and both frantic herds had blindly veered to the east; were in fact running side by side down a deep, ragged canyon—were pouring over the canyon’s lip like a cataract. He was approaching, at breakneck pace, that very place where the converged herds so abruptly swerved. The hanging man snarled as he was borne inevitably to the point of deflection.
There came a concussion at his left shoulder, followed by a blast of snow. In an instant the ailing male was tumbling head over heels to the east, ****** into the stampede’s plummeting mass by the fury of its descent. The man and female, rebounding from this impact, were shot to the west in a crazy jumble of flailing legs. The caribou lost her footing, flew nose-first into a snowbank, and came up running. Kicking off, the man used the last of his strength to heave himself astride. At first she fought to shake him, but the spell of the run was too strong. She and half a dozen others went pounding in the opposite direction of the stampede, quickly joined by a number of bison that had likewise splintered from their herd. The riding man could make out their huge hulking shapes thundering by in a blizzard of flying ice, could hear their heavy gasps and explosive grunts. One passed so close he felt its massive flank brush his leg. He peered to his right and saw a black, pig-like eye regarding him excitedly, moving up and down like a piston as the beast ran alongside.
The eye shifted, focusing on the gasping, completely obsessed female. The bull dropped its head and slammed into the caribou’s side, sending her and the man careening down a ***** to the west. The caribou brayed hysterically and her backside went down, but she managed, despite the weight of her rider, to return to all fours and frantically continue along the *****. Again the bull charged, crashing into her shoulder. The man and caribou were launched sideways into the white searing air.
He sat up carefully. The huffing bison was straddling him like a bully laying down the ground rules. Its big wiry beard came right up to brush his chin. The stench of its breath was stupefying.
The bull stamped and snorted, thrusting its stubby horns left and right as the man used his elbows and heels to back away. The bull followed, move for move. When the man collapsed under his own impetus the bull shoved him along with its snout, bellowing furiously. Clear down the ***** they lunged, shoving and lurching, until the man lay sprawled on his back; up to his chin in snow, completely helpless. The ton of a bull butted and kicked, but only glancingly:  those hooves could **** with a blow. At last the man, in one clean sequence, spun on his rear, dropped to his side, and went rolling down the ***** using his elbows for ******.
At the bottom ran a narrow fence of frosted saplings marking an ice cliff’s precipice. He lay face down in the snow, too done in to do anything but **** at an air pocket.
And there came a high-pitched crackling, a sound like the protracted gasp of embers in a dead fire. He turned just as those saplings began leaning to the west, their frozen skins cracking with the strain.
The bison bellowed menacingly.
The sprawled man looked back and saw it still standing with legs spread wide, silhouetted against the sky. In a moment it began huffing downhill, lurching side to side, surfing the snow between lunges.
It chased him through the genuflecting saplings straight into a frozen gully where, protected by a few feet of insurmountable verticality, he was able to slide on the ice between its stomping hooves, downhill out of reach, then downhill out of control—spinning just in time to glimpse a breathtaking vista:
Partly framed by the gully-straddling saplings was a vast crescent of jagged white mountains seemingly huddled round a small stretch of snow-draped pines. The little wood these mountains surrounded was isolated in a broad lake of solid ice. Hundreds of fissures radiated crazily throughout this packed ice field, appearing to issue from somewhere near the frozen wood’s center, which was completely obscured by a ring of rising mist. Above this thumbnail panorama the sun showered gold.
Then the gully dipped radically, and he was skidding headfirst, slamming back and forth against its slick white walls. This uncontrollable plunge had the positive effect of getting his blood flowing. Yet it tore him up. Had the gully concluded in a cul-de-sac, or had further progress required a single calorie of uphill effort, his struggle would certainly have ended here. He would have been too weak to move, and death would have been swift.
But there was a glacier—a great river of ice pouring slowly out of the clouds. The gully, terminating in a little scoop formation near the glacier’s base, spat him flailing onto its gnarly glass hide. He went head over heels, bits of skin and fur flying like chips from a band saw. Somehow he gained his footing, and then he was running against his will, tumbling and recovering and tumbling again.
He didn’t catch much of that crazy run. He half-glimpsed whirling walls of ice, felt a fickle surface underfoot, and broke through an assaultive mist that clung to his ankles and arms. He remembered having the ragged hides torn right off his body, and then being skinned alive. And he remembered reaching the glacier’s base and crawling like an animal; round its sweeping drifts, past its peaked moraines, all the way to a twisting frozen gorge.
And he followed this gorge down; ricocheting wall to wall, delirious, small plumes of thrashed snow marking his descent.
Through a freezing wood he fumbled. In a veil of mist he tumbled down a steep and verdant grade. As cold consumed his closing breath, he fell upon, near-blind, near death, a strange, enchanted glade.

There is a pool.
And in this pool a man lay purged, his broken body half-submerged.
The stumbling man stopped. He knelt to weep, but lost his thread. One hand took a bicep, the other, the head. With a twist and pull the corpse emerged.
That visage…that face—misshapen mask, contorted, bleached; of life’s deposits fully leached. Essence dispatched—a void, sodden wretch.
He let it fall and the glass was breached. All a freak, all a stretch:  upon this act his grip detached.
And the bridge collapsed…one vagabond grasp…what were these feelings; recaptured and trashed…a span elapsed…who was this puckered mass…he hauled it by the waist and thighs…slid it in, watched the pool react:  purse and recover, expand, contract. The glass reformed, now silver-backed…a sudden mirror…the man leaned nearer…saw his reflection, just smashed, remade intact.
The pool grew still.
Within its depth a shadow stirred—visions gathered, some distinct, some obscure. What they meant, and who they were, was much too much to fathom. The glass became blurred.
He closed his eyes, let his heavy head fall, fell back on his haunches, felt the sweat seep and crawl. The air was a pall—as he struggled to rise, a nib crossed his wrist.
He opened his eyes.
Between his fingers the blades poked and crept. Round his knuckles they ventured, up his forearm they stepped:  they seemed to be triggered by prompts from the ground. He shook his head slowly and dully looked round.
There were jays grouped about him, their black eyes aglow. Red hens came running, their fat chicks in tow. Gophers engaged in a weird hide-and-seek. Bluebells and buttercups craned for a peek. Sparrows hopped past and, paying no heed, burst into flight. He watched them recede.
Westward they flew.
Bewildered, he slumped.
Bumped from behind, he jumped to his feet, flabbergasted to find an ancient gray moose near-eclipsing the sky, with grit in his snarl and fire in his eye.
The old moose took aim.
The man turned to flee and stumbled, then tumbled and fell on a palm and a knee.

But there lies a world (so the lullaby goes) where rivers ever run.
Poked from behind, pushed out of his mind, he staggered into sun.







Copyright 2020 by Ron Sanders.

Contact:  ronsandersartofprose(at)yahoo(dot)com
Sorry about the ghastly copy. This system makes graceful formatting impossible.
Andrew T Hannah Jan 2014
Days, weeks, month’s years…..
All I really have to say is that it has come, time has passed me bye but nothing else matters anymore.
October is now behind us all but it’s coldness still remains and it’s not going to thaw anytime real soon.
I saw it all shattered earlier….
As I was heading back home, I saw the brilliance of a perfectly blown proportion, oh yes I had felt something carefully settle its self to the ground and it scattered.
Someone else had tossed it out but how it had landed was completely up to the moment.
Maybe the moment broke a little bit too soon, but not to worry because it didn’t take me long to admire a perfect disaster.
I had let this one slide bye, usually I’ll try and fix things, make good since out of the things that life has broken, but today I did not. I had allowed it all to crash down around me but for this moment alone I for one am still standing.
I stood once before, fell flat on my *** but now I have brought myself up once more, here I will stand until it is time to go someplace else.
It has always been time to pack up, go and leave, always the same as far back as I can remember, but at least I had her then, I had her at the time but I have her no longer because she has packed her bag and she left me her goodbye in a letter she had written as the light died down a little more.
The light died down on the inside and the same familiar coldness has settled in once again surrounding us all.
Flash forward now….
I already knew that he could tell by the marks on my flesh that my life has been built upon sin and agony.
She yearns to know my past,
She wants to know why I am who I am. She wants to know the things that have taken place in my life that has molded and shaped me into my being.
“Life has brought me to this point.” I told her.
“And, there is no turning back now because I am already here.”
She swore she could kiss away these scars…. But it is another secret that I will keep locked away inside along with so much more.
She may one day kiss these scars until they vanish, but nothing can ever make me new again because time has already left its mark upon my body and it has already aged my soul to the core.
Broken, shattered, battered and lost…. I tend to derange the cycle of my life….
Either that or, I am the biggest **** up of 1997 that my parents ever did make that year.
Along came Luke… and 16 years later along came my suicidal tendencies.
I have came a long way baby, and I have nothing more to think about that mistake at this point other than…“**** it I am here.”
I am here at this moment in time, and yes I repeat this life has left its mark on me once again, but long ago the others have left me far behind so today I stand alone in a world that could not give two *****.
I have been dying since the day I was born but yes I DO EXIST.
I do exist but I am somebody else now.
And as I walk through the valley in the shadows of my life, alone I lean against my own wall of darkness as I watch it all pass me bye.
And exactly what is the twist when you are the twist?
KILLER YOU’RE ADDICTED….. killer the blade turns around and now you are using it on yourself. **** it you can cry but no you don’t need any help….
And, what else can you possibly say for yourself when your mind is a nest and your least bad days have come to be you very best? And, as you lie awake you can’t help but wonder what he is thinking and wonder if he is thinking of you….
She had told me this once before, the girl who stands behind the mirror in front of my face, but still so much remains unspoken because I never knew what to say.
BUT…. Perhaps if I could turn back the clock of time to days, weeks, months, or even years ago…. Then maybe I could fill in all of the blank spots of all of the times that I could not speak up.
Mother, father, sister, brother….. Would that be enough to make you proud of this beautiful disaster that I was destined to become?
The times that you have all dropped in and out of my life…. Some moments I can remember were for the better, others for the worse…. Could you have taken me any more serious, really when I said the day is coming that I am going to leave?
And could these years of silence hush away my cries that would put me to sleep?
Do not weep, do not shed one tear if the day ever comes that mother calls and says that I am not here.
You know, I can still remember the very first time I turned to my blade for guidance…. For comfort… for advice.
Although I didn’t know how to take in any of it at the time because it was all much too strong to absorb, but that same blade has grown to be my friend that I could never find in anyone else in this life.
In a pathetic manner, this blade has nurtured me through my at most trials, when I  had nobody else to turn to, my knife was always, always in reach no phone…. Just one on one contact.
I can remember the very first time that I ever realized how very cold the knifes blade was to the touch, and how it would be my own blood that could warm it quicker than anything else, so in a way it’s like I was there for that blade too.
I used to cry until I fell asleep of a night, I cried out to a god that I now realize was never even there to start out with…..
But now, now I cut myself until I drift off someplace else.
Some claim it as ADDICTIVE, no different than drugs or whatever else the good kids of the world are doing these days, but all I can really say to that is LOVE…. Can you really be addicted to that?
I was afraid that day but over the years it has brought me up much stronger then who I was raised to be, that is, somewhere along the line it has killed who it is that I used to be, and alls I gots so say is that I just happened somewhere along the way.
I AM NOBODY’S SON,
I AM NOBODY’S BROTHER,
I AM NOBODY’S FRIEND….
I AM NOBODY’S NOTHING NOW…. Committed till the end.
I now belong to my knife, because my blood is written on his blade.
Sticks and stones may very well break my bones, but words can never change me.
Trust me, I have heard it all before and it is pointless everyone…. Please, you are only wasting your precious breath when you tell me to quit.
I am committed to slowly killing what is left inside of me, surely one blood drop at a time, and when I decide to quit, that decision is mine….
That is, I will be finished when the blade decides that I am really through, but till then everyone is just stuck with me.
Nicklaus Bailey Oct 2019
1-Establish Lux as a farmer with his brother, father, mother. Show dissatisfaction at a lot in life, yearning for more, however Lux feels compelled to stay with family and help them. Establish a close relationship between the brothers, a good mother/son relationship, though a testy relationship with his father. Strange symbol branded on Lux’s chest, been there since he was a baby, no one is sure what it means- or no one is telling him. This is Lux’s L.S. beginning. Establish also is the world Lux is in, the facts of the ministry and the church, the knights and wars of before.
2-Introduce a festival in town with knights from “The Brotherhood” being present, establish them as knights capable of magic and swordplay, “The Brotherhood” knights are taking new recruits at the festival. Wanting to join, Lux goes through the trials and passes, though after a harsh reaction from his father, Lux does not leave with the knights. With Lux out of scene, a conversation between the mother and father should reveal the man is not in actuality Lux’s father, but his uncle, and his brother had been married to Lux’s mother (now his wife) though died fighting in a war between “The Brotherhood” as a member of their ranks, against a rival faction known as “The Order”  peak lux’s curiosity and focus on the desire to leave as established in the previous chapter. This and the next chapter are Lux’s “Go The Distance”
3-The end of the week long festival nears, and Lux is on a hunting trip with his younger brother, returns and is questioned by his father why he wants to leave so much. The truth of Lux’s true father is revealed, and though Lux’s uncle expected this to convince Lux to stay and not go into danger, Lux is angered rather, and leaves in a hurry to catch “The Brotherhood” knights before they leave. Lux is put under the tutelage of a man who claims to have known Lux’s father, though it is revealed Lux’s little brother followed him, and is taken into the recruit pool as well, despite never going through the testing. Note- perhaps have Lux refuse to go with the knights if his brother is not also offered a spot? Hero’s journey, he needs a moment of hesitation and refusal to go. This should be reflected like Lukes refusal to join ben, or Bilbos refusal of gandalf, but quickly change their minds.
4-Training begins the moment they arrive at a camp. Lux and his brother are immediately outfitted with leather armor, dark and gritty in contrast of the shining metal of the rest of the knights. Lux is doing well in training, sword play coming natural, shakey with a bow, and ofcourse a natural talent at magic, (though make a point that in fire spells Lux only manages to start small flames that he can throw, and struggles with healing magic) though his brother is struggling in all aspects and is beat by his trainer. Lux’s trainer urges Lux to ignore it,though Lux finally snaps and challenges the man. The two enter a circle made in the dirt with training swords, and though Lux appears to have the advantage at first, he is quickly beaten and left gasping and ****** on the floor. The trainer leaves Lux there, and soon a hand reaches down to Lux. A female trainee named Ciara picks up Lux and, joined by his brother, the three wander off for more training for the instructors. Introduce Peter, a man deeply infatuated by Ciara, rather than a knight Peter is a Father to the holy church, unable to fall in love and forbidden to marry. Subtle on Peter’s infatuation with Ciara, should really build Peter as a good friend to Ciara,
5. Lux, his trainer, CIara, and her trainer are all out in the forest doing patrol after reports that remnants of “The Order” have picked up their pace in activity in the surrounding areas, raiding small towns and taking young men and women as recruits. Lux and Ciara are separated for a time and grow closer through talk and laughter when they see two knights in armor that is shining silver on almost the entire body though the right arm and pec are a scarlet red, drinking water from a stream. Confirming with each other that is the description of “The Order” Ciara says they should find their trainers though Lux charges. Ciara is close behind, catching the two off guard. Both are quickly overpowered through the use of advanced magic from “The Order” but Ciara’s trainer jumps in, kills one, but is killed by the second. As he turns, Lux throws his dagger and hits the man in the eye, killing him. Lux and Ciara carry her trainers body back to camp. Ciara refuses to speak and when greeted at the gate by Peter, she embraces him and cries into his shoulder. Have both Lux and Ciara attempt healing magic to no avail. Have Lux grow frustrated at feeling the ABILITY to heal, but unable to do so.
6. Lux is punished for charging, while his trainer is taken to a secret meeting where they discuss what to do with Lux, but out of respect for his father, they keep him in “The Brotherhood”. Lux has not seen Ciara since the incident, though he can see her in the crowd when he is being taken to be whipped, and receives 10 lashes, to Peter’s dismay who recommends either banishment or death. After the punishment, he is cut loose from the posts holding him up and Lux’s brother charges the ground, picking his brother up and taking him to his bed. As they pass Lux manages an apology, but is unsure if she accepts it. Lux is informed she will be trained alongside him. Make Peter do some ******* **** idk. Resenting “The Brotherhood” Lux should vent to his brother about his growing distrust of the situation, asking if his brother has felt the growing gap between what they feel they can do, and what they can do.
7. Show training between Lux, Ciara, and brother, distinguish a growing connection between Lux and Ciara, much to Ciara’s surprise and reluctance. Show Lux go into his trainers room while he is absent, and sees a sword on the wall, bearing a strange symbol. Lux trainer will explain that the sword should belong to Lux as it was his fathers, and when it is time he will inherit the blade but for now he must leave the blade alone. Lux asks about the situation behind his father's death. Explain the following: The Brotherhood were not always the knights guarding the royal family, before his birth the royal family was guarded by The Order, who are the reason The Brotherhood practice both swordplay and magic, as the Order are master swordsman and powerful wizards, prolific in blood magic and necromancy. When one member of The Order desired the throne for himself, he split The Order in 2. The Brotherhood worship the Gods, but in his desire and lust for power, the man struck a deal with the old gods, evil barbaric entities who require blood and death as sacrifices for their eternal power. This is Nero, a man that Lux’s father took in and treated as a brother, both being trained as knights for The Order. During the civil war, Nero attacked the Royal Palace and though he was badly defeated, he did **** Lux’s father in the battle. End chapter on this story. This chapter should be shows as Lux is uncertain of The Brotherhood and his trainer, but with the story of his father, he is conflicted. If it is true, then they are just. If it is wrong, how many more lies has he been told?
8. Show Lux becoming prolific with a blade and very intimidating magically. When he, Ciara, and his brother are sent on a mission with no trainers for the first time, Lux naturally takes charge. They track knights of The Order down to a cave, where they are tested both physically and magically. Ciara and Lux both protect brother as much as they can, though brother is able to hold his own. They manage to corner one who instead of being taken prisoner, stabbed himself in the stomach after giving an ominous warning. As Lux approaches the body, he sees on the cave wall a crude drawing of a man with the same symbol on his chest as Lux’s, holding a sword with the same symbol as Lux’s fathers, a figure resembling a large black and red dragon behind the man. Dismissing it, Lux tells Ciara and brother to not bother approaching, and the last of the knights are dead. The report back to base, and Lux informs trainer of what happened, leaving out the symbol.
9. Word carries out on base that more and more caves are being found with members of The Order, all with strange paintings on the walls. Peter speaks with the knights, explaining he has been praying and granted visions of a large scale battle. Have Ciara grab Lux’s arm at the sound of war, which Peter will notice (important for later) and in a hesitation to prepare for a battle that may or may not come, the commander of the camp demands the trainees be knighted, their proper gear be made, and to meet with the main force.
Cut from Lux to Peter alone in a church, praying to the Holy Mother begging for guidance away from the desires of his heart, and in his prayers Peter slowly realizes that he will not give up his desire for Ciara and decides to betray the Brotherhood in hopes Lux may die and he may be able to gain Ciara’s affection. Peter is seen leaving by Lux, though when questioned says he is going for more Fathers to pray and meditate on the matter.
10. Peter tracks down members of The Order, informing them that he wishes to give them valuable information, surrendering to them. Peter is taken to the leader of the knights operating in the area, and in exchange for one thing, is willing to tell The Order where The Brotherhood is, where they are going, their numbers, and anything else that will be of use. All he wants is them to make Ciara fall in love with him./ While Peter is doing this, Lux is kneeling in front of his trainer who knights him with fathers sword. (maybe do a crusader knight knighting, this is oath/this is how you remember it) When Lux is handed his father's sword, the cold metal instantly feels warm and the grip adjusts to his fingers and though it looks heavy, appears just the right weight to Lux. Lux is given armor, though when he takes his shirt off he sees the symbol on his chest glowing, same as the symbol on the sword. Trainer only says “magic is a strange thing, boy” and Lux is put into armor and finally leaves the shed a knight after only 2 months of training./back to Peter who is given a potion, told to have Ciara drink it and leave with her before they make their move. As Peter leaves, the leader barks orders to men who address him as Nero. Perhaps instead of Peter getting the potion straight from Nero, have him get it on a witch in the woods who is secretly affiliated with Nero, have to work out how she gets the information from Peter, but she could use magic to contact Nero after. Perhaps part of the agreement is Peter must turn his back on his abandoned faith and be her student and as a test of loyalty he must tell her everything he knows.
11. As The Order masses its numbers, knights of the Brotherhood are entering the giant city dedicated to The Brotherhood(Remulus? Romulus?) and Lux is in awe as he sees the a giant palace, and near it a graveyard with tombs. The tombs are the resting place of knights of The Order who gave their lives in service to the royal family, and now knights of The Brotherhood join their numbers. A newly marked grave is standing as a monument to Ciara’s trainer. The day is given to them to explore the city, and Lux/Ciara are alone together. Share a kiss. Witnessing the kiss, Peter comes from the shadows and informs them that curfew is near, and they should be heading back to the castle/as Peter watches the two make way to the castle laughing/holding hands, he heads to a monastery. He kneels before a picture of his god, praying asking to be told what to do. He knows he is a man of faith, so why are lust and desire even capable of entering his heart? He begs for pardon from sin as he sets his heart on giving Ciara the potion.
12. Now that the trainees have been knighted and the generals have been informed of Peter’s vision, prepare for war. The inhabitants of the city and many villages around are all pulled into the Castle’s walls, able bodied men and boys are given swords, women and girls find refuge in the newly emptied dungeons (all criminals hung/drafted?) Lux is witness to a battle plan, and overhears that during the last battle at the capitol city, The Order had used dragons to its aid, and though there were no confirmed sightings of dragons now, The Brotherhood should still set up catapults and bastilles on the off chance. Lux finds his brother and Ciara and informs them of what he has heard, though Peter comes and informs them that Lux must just be tired from nerves, and no one has seen a dragon in a generation. End with Ciara stopping a near brawl between the two, and Lux heading to his bed alone, and Peter now with Ciara, when a sound fills the halls. Scouts are reporting a massive army on the outskirts of the city.
13. Rain. Silence. Lux, Ciara, and his brother are among the numbers at the front gate. Rain hitting the ground. Hitting armor. Men are vomiting. Peter along with other priests are swinging burning incense between the rows of men, chanting prayers and songs of their god. Pounding. Pounding so hard that when it hits the front gate, the rain flies off the door and hits Lux’s face. Lux looks to his brother. The two nod. Lux looks into Ciara’s eyes. The two kiss. Confess love. The gate is broken open and the war begins with a thunderous roar in the sky, a dragon spewing fire on archers perched on castle walls as troops charge. Lux and the other knights hold their positions with a great clash the two armies finally meet. In screaming and fighting, Lux loses his brother, and The Brotherhood are pushed back, further and further. Lux manages to grab Ciara’s arm and the two run to a set of stairs going down to one of the dungeon entrances to warn the others that they are losing, when the dragon knocks over a giant pillar, stones hitting the two. Lux stays conscious from the first hit, and sees Peter approaching an unconscious Ciara with the potion in hand. Stuck beneath rubble, Lux watches as Peter pours it in her mouth and wakes her with a kiss. Begging Ciara for help frantically, she walks away with Peter, and as Lux cries out for his brother, more stones hit, causing him to go unconscious.
14. Lux awakens in an unfamiliar setting, on his knees. His hands shackled to the wall, his armor and sword feet in front of him, a man standing behind them. The man asks if Lux knows who he is. Looking up, Lux can see from the torches a tired face. Shaking his head, the man informs Lux, “I am Nero, commander of The Order, Captain of the Conquered Reaches, and rightful heir to the throne. And you are Lux. My nephew,” Nero smiles, touching Lux’s face. Accusing Nero of killing his father, Nero softens his eyes at Lux and stops moving. A look of sadness. “Your father's mistake is the single most regrettable accident in my life,” tells Lux more and more about his father. Informs Lux why the symbol is on his chest. Its magically bonded to the blade. It makes blood magic more powerful. Nero then informs Lux that his father had found a dragon egg just like Nero did, as Nero pulls the egg from his robes, shiney and black with streaks of scarlet. Nero offers Lux out of this cell, and he will gladly show him the ways of blood magic and make sure that Peter pays for his betrayal of the other knights. “I do not find The Brotherhoods newest members traitors, how can they betray a cause they never were offered? But how do you think we knew you were going to be there when we did? All of this has been for you, Lux.” with a wave of his hand, the shackles fall off Lux’s wrists and he falls forward. Reaching to the egg, Lux hesitates slightly, looking down and seeing his reflection in the water. With a wave of his hand, Nero projects the image of Peter kissing Ciara deeply. “That passion she gives him should be yours. I cannot create love. Only transfer it with a potion. When peter described the man who took his beloved, I should have realized. But together, I can rid the potions course and Peter will pay, Lux,” and as Lux watch Ciara enter Peter’s bed, he firmly grabs the egg, which begins to shake and crack in his hand, emerging a tiny dragon. Nero’s past: Nero will portray his story as such: He discovered that Lux’s mother is the illegitimate daughter of the queen. When Nero went to tell Lux’s father, he was stopped by the queen who attempted to have him killed, for if it was discovered that her late husband had an offspring, she would have a claim to the throne. In the ongoing fight, Nero claims he accidentally killed the queen and was discovered by Lux’s father. The fight was a misunderstanding and he was never able to tell him the truth of his soon to be (pregnant) wife. The split of The Order were those who believed Nero and those horrified at the death of the queen. Nero claims the royals betrayed him and those who followed the truth. Show a refusal to believe at first, though as his imprisonment lasts, and he goes over it again and again in his head, for weeks as Peter gets further away with Ciara, left with visions of Peter and Ciara making love, his Nero pleading with Lux’s father, and the conflict. Ambiguous if this is actually true or just indoctrination.
15. Lux’s training begins immediately. He is placed in the middle of a circle, men attacking from all directions and must fight them off with his blade and newly learned blood magic. Slicing his palm before gripping his blade, the warm metal now burns hot in Lux’s hands, and he drops the blade. Scolded with beatings and lashings, Lux learns how to embrace the pain. Magic flows through him stronger than ever as he adapts. Fire flows from his tips when before he could only manage an ember. He heals fatal wounds when before he could hardly manage a small cuts and broken bones. Lux is routinely beaten and whipped, his dragon growing and watching all the while. Weeks go by. Lux concentrates only on killing Peter and revenge. Pain, anger, and of course blood fuel blood magic to its extremes.
16. Lux’s brother is brought into a small room with other generals who managed to escape the battle of the capitol. He is questioned if he has heard from Lux, Peter, or Ciara as their bodies were never found. All the remaining forces are falling back to the capital, where a final stand will once again be made. Lux’s brother is told he may visit home one last time and must report to the capital in no more than 5 days, and his trainer will accompanying him/Lux is kneeling once again before Nero, though he feels the sword tap either shoulder as he is knighted into the brotherhood. He is given shiney armor and as he puts it on, is instructed to place his sliced palm on the opposite shoulder and watches as his blood flows into the metal, turning that arm and shoulder scarlet red. He is officially in The Order. Lux is tasked with one task to prove his loyalty. **** his stepfather and attempt to convince his mother to come swear loyalty to nero if she refuses, **** her too. If he does that, when he returns his dragon will feed on the personal sacrifice and be ready for battle, and in return Nero will make sure both Peter and Ciara are waiting for him. “It will be done, Lord Nero.” show conflict in Lux if he is truly willing to do all of this, and conflict on loyalty to Nero. The Dragons growth and power is connected to Lux’s ability in blood magic. The more anger, hate, and pain he puts into his abilities, the stronger the dragon will become.
17. Chapter starts with Lux standing outside his old house in the early hours of the morning, the sun peeking out of the mountains but being quickly covered by storm clouds. As darkness settles over the brief light illuminating the house. Lux enters the house. His stepfather enters the room hearing the door open but is grabbed by the throat.during the fighting, Lux manages to strangle his step father and throws his body to the door as his mother is running into the room. As she surveys the situation, there is a cry from the door, and Lux’s brother and trainer are standing in the door, sword in hand. Lux begins to unsheathe his sword but his mother moves between them, talking to the brothers. Lux demands to know from his trainer if what Nero said is true and that his mother is the rightful heir. Confirming Nero’s story partially, though claims that Nero attempted to blackmail the queen with the knowledge of the heir to gain more power. Lux tries to persuade his mother to join him and come be with Nero, that his father would have wanted this. When she refuses, he explains that she would not understand what he HAS to do to end this war, and when he is done the conflict will be resolved and order restored. Argument between lux and brother over oaths broken. Mother approaches Lux, touching his face tenderly speaking softly watching as her son is breaking. She offers him to leave the conflict entirely and to just live home with her, though as she turns to face Lux’s brother, Lux stabs her. Gasping she looks back to Lux, touching his face once more, “You look so much like your father in that armor” Lux , trainer and brother fight, Lux leaves his brother unconscious in the house quickly, though he kills his trainer outside, taking the bodies with him back to Nero.
18.Lux returns to the agreed upon spot to meet Nero, but is instead met by Ciara, who in his confusion and hesitation desperately tries to convince her to leave with him when out steps Peter with a staff in hand, who has now learned the magic of the old gods. When Lux raises his hand, his dragon lands behind him with a mighty roar. With a smirk, peter does the same, and a white and blue dragon lands behind him, a roar just as mighty. The dragons take to the air, circling and roaring, spitting blue and black flames at one another as Lux and Peter fight to the death. Just as Lux manages to defeat Peter after taunting and back and forth, there is a loud crash as Lux’s dragon lands on the other teeth in its neck, ripping its head off entirely. Ciara comes to her senses immediately, seeing Lux in armor of The Order standing over a wounded and ****** Peter, the blood spraying on them. Stepping toward Ciara, Lux is surprised when she steps back in fear. Allowing her to leave, Lux watches as she sprints away. The conversation between Lux and Ciara should be that of both trying to convert the other. When no understanding is made between the two, it is Lux’s love for Ciara that allows her to leave, she sprints to the horses and makes her way back to The Brotherhood. Turning back to a wounded Peter, Lux raises his sword when his eye catches sight of a faint glow on Peter’s chest. Kneeling to rip the man's shirt out of the way, Lux finds the same symbol that is on his sword and own chest. Peter is Lux’s lost twin.
Will add more, unsure how to end the first book. (Have a trilogy in mind)
Enter thy come and take your place
No blade will forsaken your face
When the moon has bled
The sun has fled

The father shall bleed
While the son shall flee
Stand on and keep thy paste
Stop moving and thoust be erased

Steel, Fire, Ice, Thunder
This sword been built for smoulder
Hands crumble of blisters
Soul full of cleansers

Thy crafted blade made whole
Thy blade legend be in scroll
Blade coated within strychnine
Behold thy master design  

This blade crafted for revenge
Thy uses it for only purifying
No need for revenge
For karma has been healing!
A hero once of no reknown, a man of name unknown,
did seek to win a might prize of treasures yet unseen.
He girded up himself to go and no one cheered his way,
he travelled out against the cold and journeyed through the day.
And no one wondered why he did and no one saw his path,
alone as none had been before he faced the winter's storms.
He was a man with youthful face yet laughter he knew not,
there was a kindness in his ways and depth to all he thought.
As he walked out along a trail he heard the erie howl
of wolves as they track down their prey and he went to look about.

A cottage neat was in the woods, nearby a forge it stood,
and hungry wolves were all about the cottage in the wood.
And by the forge a man lay dead, his body torn and burned,
for when the wolves they had attacked upon his forge he fell.
The grizzly scene struck terror in the heart of the young man,
but then he heard a child call to her father as she ran.
Without a thought of self he went quick down from where he stood,
and grabbed a sword from out the forge and ran to aid the child.
The blade it burned deep into his hand but he dare not let it go,
and with the burning blade he fought and he dispatched the foe.
Then taking up the frightened child he took her to her home,
and first he tended to her fears before he did his hands.

The sword which came out of the forge and cooled in the fight
he kept there at his side as he sat waiting out the night.
And when the morning light it came a woman's wails he heard,
and stepping out he saw her kneel there at the dead man's side.
She was the mother of the child returning back from town,
to find the horror of the sight, her world had been torn down.
The hero stayed with her a while and helped her with the child,
and in return she gave the sword with which he'd saved the girl.

And on he went to seek that prize he knew to be so grand,
not realizing all the while he held it in his hand.
Alone once more and still unknown the hero walked the road,
his every action noble and his every thought was good.
And many times he used the blade to fight for what was right,
and never was a finer blade e'er seen in human sight.
One day he stopped a while to drink at an inn along the way,
and a woman saw his still scarred hand and asked if she might sit.
She said she had a tale to tell of a man who had been brave,
and who had found her as a child and who her life did save.
She said she knew that man by sight for his hands were deeply scarred,
by the burning blade which he had used to protect her from the wolves.
Kind sir, she said, why do you search for the thing already found?
You have the Burning Blade of Truth, the treasure most renowned.
My mother often speaks of you in words of glowing praise,
and it would be an honor if you came and lived with us.
At last he knew that she was right and that his search was over,
and so he came to settle down and married the girl's mother.
This is an excerpt from a manuscript I wrote some years ago but, for various reasons, never published - it's an philosphic work on Truth and Madness and Reality called Drinking the Rainbow Fire and it contains a number of poetic portions interwoven with the text and so I thought that since some of them can stand alone without the surounding text I could share them here.

copyright July 19, 1996 by Timothy Emil Birch
An evil vampire named Blacula wants to turn the coronavirus patients into vampires, as you can see;
When Blade finds out what Blacula wants to do, he searches for the villain immediately.

When Blade finds Blacula and the villain sees him, he tries to attack the hero;
Blacula is also known as Prince Mamuwalde, in case you didn't know.

Blade fights and beats Blacula with his martial art techniques;
After that, Blade uses his sword to **** the evil freak.

The coronavirus patients thank Blade for stopping Blacula, which is polite;
Blacula couldn't beat Blade in a fight.

Now that the coronavirus patients are safe, Blade goes away;
Blade has saved the day.
Lexie Jan 2014
Dipped in a cold icy bath
Made to hold, made to last
Strengthen by fire
And worn by tire
A knife so sharp to cut the skin
Bind the Blade

Forged in the mountains
Cooled by fountains
Hardened by wear
And worn by tear
A blade to ****
Bind the Blade

Brought forth in sunshine
And marked with lines
Pillaging places
Extinguishing faces
A sword to teach
Bind the Blade

A death bringer a hilt bearer
Bring eternal silence nearer and nearer
One last word and one last breath
And cold and silent bringer of death
A blade with stories and untold glories
But mostly painful untold gories
Bind the blade
The evil Dracula is going to bite the coronavirus patients and I'll tell you why;
When the patients become vampires, they'll be under his control and that's no lie.

When Blade and his girlfriend named Nina Price find out what Dracula is going to do, they team up to stop their foe;
Nina morphs into a vampiress called the Vampire by Night and she's a superhero.

Blade and the Vampire by Night search for Dracula, as you can see;
When Blade and the Vampire by Night find Dracula and the villain sees them, he tries to slay the heroes immediately.

Blade and the Vampire by Night fight and defeat Dracula, which is cool;
Blade and the Vampire by Night use their swords to slay the evil fool.

When Dracula is slain, the coronavirus patients thank the superheroes, which is polite;
Dracula was no match for Blade and the Vampire by Night.

Blade and the Vampire by Night go away;
A few weeks later, they got married and that's all I have to say.
Amanda Mahsill Apr 2014
This blade is my friend this blade never let me down this blade always been on my side this blade will never ask me why this blade cuts threw the pain this blade knows how to make it all go away
Nigel Obiya Apr 2013
PLANET NAIROBI (When the sun goes down)
Nur…
They were on the verge of losing this battle… it was only a matter of time, and he knew that. Through the window, he saw them advance, with a fierce swiftness that would have put anyone opposed to them at unease. Trembling uncontrollably, he reached for his weapon and held it firmly, ready to martyr himself for his family’s honour and legacy if need be. For they were not, and never would be known as a family of cowards, they were royalty... and he would rather go down fighting than cowering, that was the bottom line. But he knew that his sword, as well forged as it was, would be no match for Rath and his five hundred man strong battalion. So, biting his lower lip he waited for the pounding footsteps to reach the top of the stairs where he stood, the one solitary guardian to the throne. Martyrdom was his destiny.
“Let he that stands between Rath and the throne fall like the city walls!” Rath’s dominant voice bellowed as it got closer, too close for comfort.
He braced himself.
Suddenly, the doors burst open. And Nur... Prince Nur, finally got to come face to face with the scourge that had terrorised the lands of the sea for so long. A man of whom he had heard about from stories as a child growing up. A man that had haunted his dreams for as long as he could remember. Nur realised that he had always been afraid of Rath, long before this moment, how was he supposed to fight this man when he was clearly at a disadvantage? For it was common knowledge that to go into battle afraid, was to go into battle prepared to lose.
Rath was a gigantic figure, and exuded the air of one who was accustomed to crushing his opponents and hadn’t experienced defeat in a while... if not ever. This man stood at almost eight feet tall, with rock hard muscles that seemed to pile on top of more muscle, threatening to tear through his dark skin. His long locks of unkempt hair fell over a face that could only be described as menacing. He had a permanent scowl that was complimented by his black, soulless eyes. And as they stared each other down, Nur couldn’t ignore the presence of sheer evil he saw in those eyes, a shiver of dread ran down his spine. He raised his blade.
“A child?” Rath barked, “A petulant child? Is that what this Kingdom’s defences have come down to? An infant?” He waved a dismissive hand at Nur.
“A prince!” Nur responded defiantly, raising his blade even higher and more confidently. This man may have been the epitome of terror, but Nur would be ****** if he was going to be talked down to in this manner, this was his palace.
“A prince huh? Prince Nur I presume? Your father was a brave man, I respected him. Even if I met his acquaintance only for a couple of minutes, before I slaughtered him. But I do respect a king that fights alongside his men, as opposed to other cowards I’ve had the pleasure of killing that had barricaded themselves in their chambers and let others fight their battles for them. King Thur was a rare breed... but a dead one all the same.” He laughed remorselessly as he said this. “And soon you will get to join your warrior father foolish one.”
Nur lost all sense of fear. Infuriated, his nostrils flared as he swung the blade with all the ferocity he could muster, slicing deep into Rath’s right forearm. Time slowed to syrup as he saw his adversary’s blood stain the sword, but realising that it wasn’t a fatal strike, he turned around swiftly, switching his stance just in time to see Rath’s massive blade come down on his head. Then there was a deathly silence.
The afterlife was nothing like he had pictured. It smelt of... he couldn’t quite place that peculiar smell. It wasn’t pleasant, but neither was it unpleasant, just unfamiliar. Then he turned around and saw her. He deduced that she was probably the source of the smell. He noticed that smoke came out of her nostrils and mouth every few seconds after lifting a sticklike object to her lips. Nur mused at how wrong the high priest in their kingdom had been when he spoke about the place in the sun... the afterlife. It wasn’t anything like he had described.
But wait a minute! He realised that the sun was still above him, in the sky. He could see it. He could feel it on his skin. So WHERE WAS HE? He felt dizzy, unable to comprehend. Only a minute ago he was in the royal palace, facing certain death. And now he was... he didn’t know where he was, or even what he was. Was he dead? Transcended? Was this just his soul? If so, then how come he still had his senses? All these questions raced through his mind at the same time. He turned toward the lady, who seemed unaware of his presence. She was tall and very light skinned compared to him and her hair was tied in ponytail at the back of her head. He couldn’t make sense of her attire though, she seemed to wear a lot of clothing, garment over garment that covered her arms and legs. She was also extremely beautiful and had a slim womanly body most warriors would **** for, he noted, and felt himself flush. He tried to see what she was squinting so intently at and concluded that she was just staring into space as she drew, he realised now, on the tiny stick and blew out more smoke. That was when he noticed how high up they were, this palace stood almost five times as high as theirs. It was overwhelming to say the least.  He got up and walked over to her, deciding to leave his blade behind so as not to come off as a threat.
“Greetings?” He said politely. She jumped as if she had just seen a ghost, dropping the stick she was holding. He had clearly startled her, so he took a step back lifting his hands in the air to signify that he meant her no harm. She breathed rapidly and began to speak just as rapidly in a foreign tongue. Nur couldn’t understand what she was saying, but the hostility in her tone and her demeanour was hard to miss. He took another step back, ready to defend himself from an attack if need be. He had heard tales of an island with warrior women who could match, and beat, even the strongest male adversary in combat. He decided to tread cautiously.


Nasim...
Nasim Naikuni was beyond peeved. Who was this ******?  He had scared her half to death and almost made her fall off the roof, not to mention burn her favourite grey, three thousand shilling trouser suite when she dropped the cigarette. And what annoyed her even more was that he didn’t seem to register how ******* she was. He just stood there with a blank expression on his face, like a schoolboy waiting for his mistake to be explained to him. Nasim couldn’t stand slow people, they got under her skin. She was yelling at the top of her lungs, which was taxing to say the least, seeing as she had been smoking just seconds ago.
“Are you slow?” She shouted, tapping at her temple repeatedly. “What makes you think you can sneak up on me like that you fool? You almost killed me. Do you realise that?” Then she stopped and studied him, out of breath. She noticed that he seemed unable to understand English and so she switched to Swahili, “Nini mbaya na wewe?” What’s wrong with you? Still there was no response.
She gave him a once over. He dressed strangely. His large, golden brown pants that fluttered in the wind seemed to have been made from an expensive material, though it was like no material she’d laid eyes on before. It bordered somewhere between silk and suede. His shirt was also made of a similar material, but leather brown in colour, matching his leather boots that were laced and reached just under the knee. He stood an inch or two shorter than she did, but she guessed that was probably because she was in heels. He had long hair that seemed to fall halfway down his back in one long braid. He looked almost exotic as he tried to communicate, but she couldn’t place the language or his ethnicity, for his skin-tone was chocolate brown but his hair looked almost like an Asian’s, dark and straight. He spoke in a tongue she had never heard before. There was also something really classy about this boy, whom she guessed to be around eighteen years of age or so. It was like looking at a darker, more pampered version of Sinbad the sailor.
Nasim relaxed a little and decided to give the fellow a chance to introduce himself, in whatever way he intended to do so. He seemed to pick up on this and started explaining something to her, making a couple of gestures, and at some point she thought she saw him mimic a fight, and then  point to the sky. Nasim still didn’t know what he was talking about, but felt a semblance of communication begin to take form. He directed her attention to another part of the roof, probably where he had approached her from. And she saw the blade! With catlike agility she swung her purse at him, the blow caught him square on the jaw with a thud! The bottle of perfume she religiously carried around in it serving a different purpose on this day. He hadn’t seen it coming and so had no chance of stopping it. He staggered backwards as she made a run for it toward the staircase but felt a hand grab her ankle causing her to tumble onto the hot cement floor. At that moment her heart sank, for she knew that she was done for.


Nur...
Nur was perplexed, he didn’t know what he’d done to deserve the assault. The lady had seemed to be calming down, but all of a sudden she had lunged at him with a weapon he had first assumed to be a bag. Though, she didn’t strike with the strength that a warrior would have, and also had made an attempt to flee. This told him two things. One, she wasn’t accustomed to combat... and two, she had attacked more out of fear than strife. Which meant that she posed no immediate threat to him. Also, she was the only person he had met so far and his only hope of figuring out where he was. He couldn’t afford to lose her, not just yet, so he decided to try something he was ashamed he hadn’t thought of sooner. Nur spoke into her head.
‘I mean you no harm.’  He said, and waited. No response. He tried again, concentrating harder this time. ‘Can you hear me? I mean you no harm’
‘LET ME GOOO!’  Her thoughts screamed.
He could understand her, they had made a connection. Progress...

One year later. Nasim...
“Good afternoon people? You’re hangin’ out with me Nasim Naikuni on your favourite show Voices, where you can throw any question you have regarding life... and living it, at me and the voices in my head will answer them for you... yeah, you heard right, the voices in my head. I’ll be takin’ your calls for the next hour. Let’s begin shall we?” Nasim spoke into the microphone just before a voice-over added...
“NASIM NAIKUNI, THE ONLY RADIO PRESENTER THAT’S LITERALLY GONE BONKERS!” And then was followed by some rock music. ‘So what?... I’m still a rock star... ’ Pink’s lyrics belted out as Nasim removed her headphones to take a breather before she talked to her first caller. A breather... and also to have a bit of a chat with the voice in her head. She walked out of the studio into a corridor where she was out of sight, and concentrated, her eyes crinkling from the effort.
‘Hey, are you there?’
‘Uh huh.’ The prince replied.
‘Okay, we’re on in roughly three minutes. Make me look good babes’
‘Don’t I always?’
‘True dat. What are you doing?’
‘Breakfast.’
‘It’s one in the afternoon... ’
‘This is not my planet, therefore I’m not obliged to follow its rules. I can have a one o’clock breakfast if I want to.’
‘Brunch.’
‘What?’
‘Brunch, what your having would be brunch. Breakfast... aaand lunch?’
‘You see? You get all high and mighty on me about this and you even have a name for it? If it is so wrong to have breakfast at this time, then why would your people give the meal a name? I’m just saying.’ Nur said mockingly.
‘I give up’ She replied with a sigh.
‘Nas... Nas?’
Silence.
She walked back into the studio.
“Caller... you’re on air. Shoot.” Nasim said softly, leaning into the microphone.
“Hey Nasim, lovely job you’re doing by the way.”
“Why thank you dear, but I don’t deserve all the credit you know?”
“Yeah I know... you and the voices in your head... ha-ha! Anyway my name is George, and I’m kinda’ in a predicament at the moment. You see, I have a wife and a family... two kids, but I kinda’ got into this relationship outta’... obligation as opposed to real love...”
“Obligation?”
“Yes. I met my wife five years ago in uni’ and we dated. But looking back, I only got into the relationship because I felt I’d led her on and she loved me soo much, I just couldn’t disappoint her. So I got stuck in a phony relationship, at least on my part. Next thing I know, we are pregnant and... It’s been we ever since.”
“So you want to what? Get out of your marriage?”
“I want to be with the person I truly love...”
“Hooo... **! Scoreboard! Now we have lift off. And how long have you known this person that you truly love George?” She said this with a tinge of amusement in her voice.
“Six years... and we’ve been going out for the past two.” He sounded ashamed.
‘He sounds ashamed.’ She heard Nur say observationally.
‘No kidding.’ She retorted.
(In the past year or so, Nasim and Nur had come to an understanding somewhat. After she had struck him with her purse and the little scuffle they’d had on the rooftop, and after convincing herself that she wasn’t going crazy... or that the cigarette she had been smoking wasn’t laced with marijuana or some other hallucinogen, she finally gave in and listened to the voice speaking to her in her thoughts.
‘Please, just give me a chance to explain. I need your help lady!’ He sounded desperate.
She felt sorry for him, but still suspected she could be going nuts.
He continued. ‘I don’t know where I am. My father is dead and I don’t know where I am or how I arrived here, and you’re the only one that can help me right now...’
Nasim, touched now, replied. “How am I supposed to do that? And how are you doing this telepathy thing? Are you really doing this?” She shook her head violently, like a wet dog trying to dry itself, “I’m very confused right now.”
He looked even more confused. ‘Talk to me in my head, I think it is the only way we can communicate with each other.’
She didn’t know how to.
‘It’s simple, concentrate.’ He said reassuringly.
She tried. Still nothing.
‘I could hear you a moment ago, I don’t understand. Let’s try this slowly, repeat after me... Nur.’ He told her.
She heard him, and was thinking what?
He repeated, ‘Nur.’
She tried thinking the word he’d asked her to repeat as hard as she could but he didn’t seem to be getting anything. She decided that the cigarette must have been laced with something. Here she was, on the roof top of her work building trying to master telepathy, with a stranger who just happened to own a sword. This had to be a dream, a nightmare.
‘I must be high.’
‘Yes! Yes! You’re high!’ She heard the excited reply.
‘What?’
‘You did it!’ Nur said happily, ‘you figured it out. And yes, I was also meaning to ask you about how high we are.’
She had done it. Nasim could hear him and answer back, she felt oddly proud of this accomplishment. Then she asked puzzled. ‘High? You get high?’
‘I am high.’ Came the naive reply.
‘Oh...’
‘Why are we so high up? The palaces on our island are half the size of yours, are you that many in your palace that you need to build it so tall?’
Then she understood. And laughed... ‘Who are you? And how did you get here?’
‘My name is Nur... Prince Nur... how I got here? That’s what I’m trying to find out.’ He was being honest.
And thus begun an adventurous relationship between the two. Nasim took him to her apartment that day, passing curious and disapproving looks all the way. The most difficult part being trying to explain to her boss why she was coming from the roof in the company of someone who dressed like a ******, as he put it. She made up something. And he gave her one of those I’ll accept your story just because... looks. Nasim found that hilarious. But she was glad she had asked Nur to leave the sword behind to be recovered later. That would have been a tad difficult to explain. They got to her apartment block and were met by more disapproving looks from a group of nosey old women, the type that love to mind everyone else’s business but their own, as they walked to the lift. And when they got into apartment F6 on the second floor, she introduced Nu
Planet Nairobi… wrote this a couple of months ago, it was turned down by one publisher and awaiting other publisher’s feedback. However, it’s been a minute so I decided to share it with my peoples… if you like my work, this one will get you going… it may have it’s flaws, but hey… I never said I’m perfect, I’m just a writer.
Andrew Rueter Jan 2018
You undersell me
And overwhelm me
Your lovely tidal wave
Cuts like a bridal blade
Your knife slices so deep
It drags on my bone
Your knife must meet sheath
For me to find home

Your blade
Is high grade
So sharply acute
It cuts all roots
I didn't realize emotions went this deep
You use your blade to slaughter sheep
If they don't survive your brain surgery
Or your engrained perjury

You're the blade
But you don't hunt vampires
I want you to stay
And light my heart's fire
Don't Wesley snipe at me
Or point your knife at me
Just hold me
So I forget the old me
Cut out what you don't like
Until I made only of light
The process is painful
But you change me
Cut from every angle
You rearrange me
You make improvements
By cutting grooves in

I'm so afraid I may disappoint you
Because I have already anointed you
My king
I wear your ring
That severs my fingers
Making me useless
When so much love lingers
But I can't prove this
There is a ****** blade at my throat
While our love precariously floats
ConstantEscape Feb 2016
THE BOY IN THE TOILET HOLDS A BLADE TO HIS WRIST.
YOU AREN’T IN LOVE WITH HIM. AT LEAST, NOT YET.
NOW, HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO HOLD YOU
WHEN YOU BREAK APART OF WHEN YOU FALL ASLEEP
RIGHT NOW, ALL HIS HANDS KNOW ARE THE WAYS
TO MAKE SELF DESTRUCTION FEEL A LOT LIKE SELF INDULGENCE.
HE LOOKS AT THE MIRROR AND INSIDE HIS EYES
YOU CAN SEE THE WAY HIS UNDECIDED WHITES MIX WITH HIS BLUES
PREPARING FOR A WAR IN HIS MIND
TO GIVE UP ON ALL THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER.
HE DOESN’T SEE THE WAY HIS BLUE-GREEN ORBS SWIRL,
LIKE THE WAVES OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN CRASHING ONTO THE SHORE.
HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THAT BLUE IS NOT ONLY THE COLOUR
OF THE SUIT HIS FATHER WORE IN HIS COFFIN BECAUSE
THE SHADE ONLY SEEMS TO REMIND HIM OF THE WAY
HIS FATHER USE TO TELL HIM THAT HE WAS DISAPPOINTED.
HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THAT BLUE IS ALSO THE COLOUR
OF FREEDOM AND IF HE WENT OUT OF THE HOUSE ENOUGH
HE WOULD HAVE SEEN IT IN THE CLOUDS AND THE BIRDS
BUT NOW ALL HE CAN DO IS STARE AT HIS REFLECTION
IN THE TOILET OF THE FLESH AND BONES THAT CARVE HIS DEMEANOUR AND SOMEONE NEEDS TO TELL HIM
THAT HIS EYES REPRESENT THE OCEAN
AND THE WAY IT IS RELUCTANT TO GIVE UP KISSING THE SHORE
NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES IT HAS BEEN SENT BACK.
DO NOT GIVE UP.
SOMEONE NEEDS TO TELL HIM THAT HIS EYES
ARE MORE THAN JUST BLUE AND HIS SKIN
IS MORE THAN JUST SCARS BECAUSE IF WHAT HE WANTS
TO CARVE OFF IS NOT JUST SKIN AND BLOOD
BUT THE PAIN FROM THE BEATING PULSE BENEATH IT
TELL HIM TO MOVE ON FROM HIS FATHER’S DEATH
BECAUSE THAT WOULD HURT A LOT MORE
THAN JUST STOPPING THE PULSE.
DO NOT GIVE UP.
SOMEONE NEEDS TO TEACH HIM THAT THE BLADE
IS NOT THE ANSWERS OF ALL HIS PROBLEMS
BECAUSE EVEN IF SCARS HEAL, LIFE MAY NOT BE ABLE
TO FORGIVE YOU FOR THE TIME YOU SPENT MOURNING IN GUILT.
DO NOT GIVE UP.

THE BOY IN THE TOILET HOLDS A BLADE TO HIS WRIST.
YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH HIM. AT LEAST, YOU THINK YOU DO
BUT YOU STILL CAN’T QUITE UNDERSTAND WHY THE DEMONS
CHOOSE HIM AND WHY HE REFUSES TO LET GO BUT TONIGHT
HE PUTS DOWN THE BLADE AND THE BLAME
BECAUSE HE HAS YOU.

YOUR TOUCH BURNS HIM MORE THAN THE BLADES EVER HAVE
AND HE THINKS THAT THE SCARS ARE HEALING
BUT HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THAT PEOPLE LEAVE SCARS TOO
SO HE HOLDS YOU AT NIGHT
AS YOU WHISPER EMPTY PROMISES IN HIS EAR.
DO NOT GIVE UP.
HE LISTENS AS YOU TELL HIM THAT HIS EYES
REMIND YOU OF THE GALAXIES
AND EVERY TIME THAT YOU ARE WITH HIM
YOU CAN FEEL THE STARS BURNING IN YOUR STOMACH.
DO NOT GIVE UP.
YOU TEACH HIM THAT GRIEF HAS TO BE LET FREE
AND YOU WATCH AS HE TURNS INTO SOMEONE
YOU NO LONGER RECOGNISE,
HAPPIER, LIGHTER, SO FULL OF LIFE.
DO NOT GIVE UP.
THE BLADES ARE NO LONGER IN THE CABINET UNDER THE SINK
BUT AT THE DRUGSTORE IN PERFECT LITTLE PACKAGES WAITING TO BE BOUGHT.
HE DID NOT GIVE UP.

THE BOY IN THE TOILET HOLDS A BLADE TO HIS WRIST.
YOU ARE NOT IN LOVE WITH HIM. AT LEAST, YOU WERE ONCE.
HIS EYES SLOWLY GATHER MORE BAGGAGES AND
HE DOESN’T EVEN RECOGNISE HIMSELF
WHEN HE LOOKS AT THE MIRROR
BECAUSE ALL THAT STARES BACK IS AN EMPTY SHELL.
HE FINALLY UNDERSTANDS WHAT YOU MEANT
WHEN YOU TOLD HIM THAT PEOPLE COULD LEAVE SCARS TOO
BECAUSE THERE IS ONE, KNUCKLE DEEP, IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS HEART
AND HE URGES HIS EYES TO START THE ENDLESS WAR
BUT INSTEAD HE STARTS TO SEE THE GALAXIES
AND THE STARS IN HIS EYES THAT YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH
SO TONIGHT HE PUTS DOWN THE BLADE.
HE STARTS TO UNDERSTAND
THAT EVEN THOUGH OTHER PEOPLE CAN SHOW HIM
THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS,
IT ONLY DEPENDS ON HIM TO PICK UP THE BROKEN PIECES.
Lilly Jun 2018
An addiction
A release
You love the pain
You deserve the pain
You're not worth the love
Yet you're given love
He loves you
They love you
Put down the blade silly girl
Open your eyes
Look at all of them
They love you
Set the blade down
You will pick it up again
And again
But you will slow your habit
The love will shine through
Pick up the blade
Look at what once hurt you
Look at it with pain
And feel it in your heart
This still brings you marks upon your skin
This blade left scars
Curious marks
It will get better
You just have to open your eyes
Goodbye blade
I may see you soon
But you won't take me over anymore
Not tonight
Not tomorrow
He loves you
They love you
Open your eyes
Embrace the love
Not the pain
Goodbye blade

--StoryMakerInProgress
The evil vampire named Deacon Frost is going to bite the coronavirus patients, as you can see;
If Frost bites the patients, they'll morph into vampires and be under his control and I'm sure you'll agree.

When Blade finds out what Frost is going to do, he searches for his foe;
When Blade finds Frost and the villain sees him, he tries to attack the hero.

Blade fights and defeats Frost with his martial art techniques;
After that, Blade shoots and kills the evil freak.

The coronavirus patients thank Blade for saving them from Frost, which is polite;
Frost couldn't defeat Blade in a fight.

Now that the coronavirus patients are safe, Blade goes away;
Blade will continue to **** vampires and that's all I have to say.
Blade meets skin, Blade is drowned in blood
Wielder looks at blade, tears running down the face of the wielder of the blade
Wielder looks up at the ceiling "I'm leaving, I'm leaving" she says.

Keep writing that stuff and surely...

Blade will win.
Chalsey Wilder Mar 2014
Blade at my neck
Lips have never touched this neck
The blade has never touched my neck or my wrists
It has never pierced my skin
It hasn't cut the veins in my wrists
It's been hovering over my wrists and my neck for years
Always waiting till I was weak enough to let it do it's job
To cut through my skin and ******* blood
And to feel the warmth of it flowing out of my veins
And to cover itself in sate
I've been weak enough to almost nick my skin
But I never let it slice me
Or dice me
Or slit my skin
Only a few finger ****** have happened
And that's it
Blade at my neck
The flat of it on my side
And blade at my heart to **** my emotions
And blade at my wrists to help my mental pain or to let me bleed out
But they're just hovering
right above my skin
Just waiting
Until I'm weak enough *to let them do their job
I don't cut. Never have. But I've imagined this many times anytime I think long enough. I'm sorry if this poem scared you!
zebra Mar 2017
she viewed the sword blade
coming out of the floor      
and whispered      
i need this            
pulling her ******* down      
    
watch me drill my self to death
for you my beloved      
her ***** swollen      
drooling      
******* and eyes radiant      
as she sauntered to the upright blade      
carefully placing her **** over it      
looking at me sweetly      
saying      
i should do my ***      
don't you think      
smiling      
yes please do it slow my love      
i want to savor you my darling      
          
at first she stood over it      
on flexed tippy toes      
careful to position herself just so      
running her soft fingers over the blade      
willfully cutting them      
and slowly bringing her slender slit hand      
to her lips          
with pink tongue licks    
like blood diamonds      
in cherry red saliva      
swallowing          
and then smiling      
standing over the tip of the blade      
          
she said      
holding my self up is such a bother      
im sure if i let go      
gravity will help      
this blade  
slide right through      
tender little me      
ooooooooow      
          
i asked      
do you want drugs for pain      
no she  protested      
i need to feel  
every stitch      
every tearing inch          
    
she lifted her arms      
like a ballerina      
forming a rainbow arch      
looked straight ahead      
unflinching      
and descended slowly upon the blade      
our eyes transfixed upon each other      
her face resolute      
perspiring      
giving way to a hideous twist        
she a contorted kabuki      
a raging storm    
languishing    
in hooked embrace    
of Eros and Thanatos    
a charmed grotesque        
          
trussed in a gauze wrap      
****      
**** the little *****      
she called to hell      
blood and a little excrement      
slid down her milky thighs      
a helpless resignation          
          
am i pretty yet      
she quivered      
as she released her stance        
and let gravity      
do its ghastly work      
    
shall i finish this she asked      
for dark thrills embrace          
yes do it i called out          
tears falling like sapphire mist    
undo yourself with grace    
          
she extended her arm towards me        
with her sweet blood drenched hands      
and then in slow motion      
she fell through the blade      
up her center      
like she was      
buttery gruyere      
blood gushed      
face ivory white      
twisted      
the floor washed    
in pomegranate and rust      
puddling at her feet      
          
she whispered      
im dead soon      
let me have      
jelly ****      
i slipped in her mouth        
she looked up tenderly
aglow like      
midnight on fire          
          
i grabbed her drooping  head,
forcing her downwards      
impaling tremulous mouth and throat      
her eyes fluttered      
and blinked      
as she drank me      
    
and then a long stare      
eyes wide    
a grateful gaping horror  
before leaning into the blood stained floor      
a slumping spire  
dissolute        
thumping like an echo      
          
im hypnotized      
as she looks on blink-less  
a mesmerizing shell        
as if to say        
ohhh my darling      
am i not your sweet clamoring      
***** of death          
still loving you  
in my reckless way      
use me my love            
devour me          
          
she dissolved      
like white sugar    
in the heat of summer balm      
uttering          
her last words      
as if pure spirit      
        
there are those who dare      
to give themselves permission    
to entwine      
desire and death    
an eroticism rooted      
in the irreducible discontinuity of life..      
          
i consumed her entrails      
i licked the blood and excrement from her tender feet      
i ate her tongue and eyes      
i pulled her off the sword      
dragged her leaking corpse    
over my naked  body      
like a blanket          
to drown my self      
in her death      
caressing her till darkness came over me      
          
let them find us i whispered      
in her sloping      
hollow mouth      
our bodies fused in each others      
her corpse melted over mine      
like blood butter      
          
dread on dread      
o so dead      
princess perfect and i in bed
My poems remain explorations of the subconscious ******
If i where a film maker or a novelist  you  would see me telling a story, although i admit to my paraphilias
These poems  are lunar anamorphic streams of consciousness from the deep chaotic subterranean glitz of transgressive  impulses we all share
Read them if you dare...You might find that part of yourself that you don't want you to know about and then again  you may feel more complete some how if you do....I always loved that dark thing that sleeps with in me
#death  #***  #adult  #explicit  © zebra    love poems • death poems • sadomasochism poems • ****** poems • explicit poems
frankie crognale Dec 2013
she was in love.
she was in love with a boy.
she was in love with a boy who didn’t love her back.
she was a beautiful girl when she was sixteen.  she was the most insecure girl you’d ever meet, but you’d never know because her award winning smile hid all of the insecurities. black curly hair, olive skin, beautiful big brown eyes, cherry lips, and naturally aligned perfect teeth.  she knew she was beautiful deep down, although she hated to admit it, because of an unfortunate series of events that occurred in the past.  she was the happiest girl you could ever meet, or at least that’s how she came across.  she acted as though nothing was wrong, when in reality, a lot was wrong.  she knew her peers thought of her as a person who tried too hard to be different, but that’s who she was.  she was different, and she knew it.  
he was a breathtaking boy when he was 16.  he was just as insecure as she was, but you'd find it hard to believe, since he was so picturesque. blonde hair, pale skin, pacific ocean eyes, bright pink lips, and very white teeth.  he didn’t know he was breathtaking, because of an unfortunate series of events that occurred in the past.  he always thought of himself as a person without a place, even though he believed everyone had a place in the world, he just hadn’t found his yet.  he bottled things up inside until they sunk low enough to go out of view, until he forgot about them.  he knew he had a place, he just didn’t know where.  he was different, too.  just as different from everyone else as the girl was.
she told him everything.  more than she told her other friends. more than she told her best friend of fourteen years. she didn’t know it at first, but she would fall hard for him, harder than when she fell off her longboard the first time.  just like that first fall, it would hurt.  it would make her bleed, and it would transform her.  from it, she would become a better person, and definitely a more cautious one.  she wasn’t aware of it yet, but he would change her in two ways.  for the better, and for the worse.
the background knowledge of this tale isn’t important.  all that needs to be known is how she has now fallen in love with him, harder than she’s ever fallen for someone.  however, he’s since moved away.  how far, you ask?  3,000 miles across the ocean.  her love for him has grown dramatically since this, and she’s told him, but he doesn’t feel the same way.  he’s said it straight to her face, on multiple occasions.  to directly quote it, “the feeling is there, but it just isn’t prominent.”  naturally, this kills her inside. the hardest thing to endure is watching the one you love, love someone else. in fact, this makes her want to curl up in her comforter and cry, and hopefully never come out.  she loved this boy, and she loved him completely unconditionally.  no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t get him to see her that way.  the only time he ever takes any interest in her is when she’s undressed. she would use her body for love, and he used love for her body. she was blinded, and she didn’t want to see him using her, so she refused to believe it.  she’s confronted him about it, and he’s said he isn’t using her, so she was convinced he wasn't, mostly because she could never make herself believe he was lying to her.  
he knew everything about her.  he knew her full name, which not a lot of people did.  he knew about her past; the past that involved a small wrist and a large blade.  he knew about her future; the future that involved a small apartment in new york and a job at vogue. he knew about the husband, or wife, she wanted, since she was bisexual.  only he knew that. he knew how much she loved him, as well. he was well aware of that, but obviously he didn't know how much it would **** her inside to know he didn't think the same of her. he didn't think it through. if he did, he would have saved her a lot of pain.
she was sitting in her bedroom one day. she was thinking mostly about him. she kept playing the sweet things he'd said to her in the past back in her mind, and suddenly she found herself smiling and feeling warm inside. she loved him. she loved him more than anyone she'd ever loved before. just as she was thinking, he messaged her on facebook. her heart fluttered, she couldn't wait to see what he said.
"i have to talk to you" his tone was stern, which somewhat scared her, since he was never sincere like this.
"okay sure, what's up, deary?" she always called him deary, it was the most natural response for her.  she was trying to lighten the mood a bit, as well.
"as you know since i've moved here, my feelings for you have somewhat gone away. and with that being said, i've found somebody."
she could've sworn she heard her heart fall down to her feet and break into one million tiny pieces.
"you have a girlfriend now?"
"yes."
she logged off of facebook without answering his message, and went to the corner of her room where a tiny piece of her carpet was cut into a square and ripped off the floor so it could be lifted up. she lifted the piece of carpet up to reveal a bag and a blade. a tiny plastic bag, and a tiny metal blade. a tiny plastic bag that had an assortment of different pills in it, and a tiny metal blade with dried blood tracing the edges of it from her past. the pills were things such as ibuprofen or acetometaphine, and the blade was a replacement blade from her dad's razor, since his was sharper than hers.
her past wasn't particularly something she liked to remember. she had once been suicidal. she had cut herself. she had intentionally burned herself. she had snapped a hair tie against her wrist during school. she's tried ending her life with those same pills. she kept them there if she needed them.
as of right now, she needed them more than ever.
she opened the bag, got two bottles of water, and began to swallow the pills. one by one.  as she swallowed them, she found herself taking the sharp piece of metal to her wrist.  she caressed it gently before dragging it across the noticeable scars, going deeper and deeper with each ****.
after about thirty five pills and twelve lacerations, she began to get terrible stomach pain, and her blood wasn’t clotting any longer.  she strayed away from her wrist and moved down to her hips, her v-line, and upper thighs. she could feel her demise coming, but she wanted it right then.  she didn't cry as she threw the pills down, her heart was too heavy, her body too frail, that she couldn't produce the tears, even though she wanted to.
twenty more pills.
three more cuts.
five more pills.
two more cuts.
one more pill.
and just like that, she was gone.
about an hour or so later, her mother knocked on her door. she made sure to leave the door unlocked so her mother wouldn't find her and be angry. her mother hated when she locked her door. she walked in, and once she saw her daughter laying on the floor near the piece of torn up carpet, she collapsed to her knees over her top of her. she noticed a small paper laying next to her body. she unfolded it. on it was this:
"you know, it’s funny. now everyone will care. now he’ll love me. if you all had felt this way when i was alive, i wouldn’t be dead."
it’s almost like she knew her death would be one of the biggest news highlights of the year in her small town.  it’s almost like she knew photos of her would be everywhere.  it’s almost like she knew her suicide note was going to become the most viral thing to hit the nation in four years.
her mother had no idea what that meant. she couldn't think anyway, for her teenage daughter had just mutilated her insides with common household drugs.
with the little energy she had left in her body, she stumbled downstairs to where the telephone was. she dialed her husband's work number, and was completely hysteric when he answered the phone. he told her to calm down, so she tried to. when she finally stopped crying long enough to get words out, she told him.  he said he was about to leave his office. he didn't care about anything else in the day, he just had to get home. he had to get home to see his little girl for the last time.
her mother told her friends, and the entire town was a complete wreck. memorials were hung everywhere. pictures of her death note were posted in newspapers and on street corners. a segment was even on the news about her. she had never felt loved in her life, but when she died, everyone turned into her friend. girls who called her fat and ugly in middle school said she was beautiful.  boys that called her obnoxious and annoying said she was fun to be around.  teachers who told her she would never get into college and didn’t have a future said she had her entire life ahead of her.  just as her suicide note said, if they had all acted this way when she was still here, she wouldn’t have left.
the boy messaged her one day, wanting to tell her something again. when she didn't answer, he sent her another message. he obviously hadn't looked at his facebook news feed in a few days, considering everyone's status was about her, and there were pictures of her everywhere; pictures of her and her friends, her and her beloved cats, or her alone.  looking at the pictures was painful for everyone, since her beautiful smile was only lived on in the pictures now.  her eyes sparkled in the photos, but not as much as they did in real life.  now, the photos were all that was left.
he sent her another message, saying this:
"well if you aren't going to answer me then i guess i'll just tell you. i broke up with my girlfriend already. i realized a few things when i was with her. she isn't you. i love you, i really do. i hope you can forgive me and i hope we'll talk soon.  bye babe."
he only called her babe when he felt closest to her.  some days, where they would flirt a lot, they would both feel warm and fuzzy inside and completely loved.  neither ever admitted it, but they both knew exactly how the other felt.  among the pet names and multiple kissy faces, they had great conversations.  they were so open around each other, neither of them had ever been like that with anyone else.  she knew she was made for him, although he didn’t realize it until after it was too late.
after he sent it, he decided to check his news feed. he saw the pictures and status messages. he couldn't believe it. he didn't know how much he hurt her. he killed her inside so much that she actually killed herself. he was the one that always made her feel better when she was feeling down. he's the one that got her to stop hurting herself. she told him once that she was going to stop for herself, when subliminally she stopped for him, because she knew he didn't like it. she didn't think he could ever love her with the cuts up and down her arms, so she stopped making them. she was alive because of him, but now, she was dead because of him.  he gave her a reason to want to live, and a reason to want to die.
life was still odd for him after her passing. he'd think about her often. she would come to him in dreams. he’d listen to her favorite song, which was one of his favorite songs as well, called “i wanna be yours” by the arctic monkeys.  he introduced her to the arctic monkeys, actually.  he never realized how much the lyrics meant to her, the more he listened to them he recognized the relevance of them.  he's sworn he’s seen her on street corners in his city. he knew it couldn't be, but every time he thought he saw her, tears would well up in his eyes and he'd have to turn around and go home. he didn't speak to anyone, nor did he tell anyone about her, especially not what he felt for her. everyone would think it was out of pity, pity for her and her death. he regretted making her feel worthless when he told her he didn't love her, because he did, and they both knew that.  she always knew deep down there was more feeling to it than he said, but she couldn't get past him saying those things. and that's why she killed herself.
years passed. he never found anyone, and she decayed in the beautiful tiffany blue dress she wears for eternity. it would've been her 25th birthday when he first went to see her at her final resting place. there was a photo of her on her stone, one of the last pictures ever taken of her. his breath was taken away by her beauty, she had the same warm smile he remembered when he saw her the last time. her eyes bright with playfulness, and her cheeks round and rosy. he could still hear her laugh. it was almost contagious. he was in love with her all over again, and she wasn't there to tell.
although, she was there. she heard every thought inside her head and saw every emotion he was feeling. she regretted her decision. she hated herself for not being patient and not going with her instinct. now, they could never be together. they were made for each other, and they both knew it.
he flung himself onto her burial site, weak at the knees and tears down his face. he missed her just as much as she missed him. he regretted never kissing her when he had the chance. he wanted to take back every time he ever told her he didn't love her. she took her life because of those things, and he was too pessimistic with the thought of "i'll never see her again" stuck in his head that he couldn't hear what his heart was saying.
he never married. he continued to visit her, almost every day. he couldn't stand to not see her, even if she wasn't there. she visited him every night as well, just to watch him sleep. she still thought he was the most breathtaking boy she'd ever seen. and she was just as beautiful as she was before. just as beautiful, and just as breathtaking. just like when they were 16.
Lilly May 2018
I tried
Tried so hard
I love you
So I tried
I went so long
My feelings poured into you
But they couldn't tonight
Why couldn't they come out
Was it because we had a good day
Or did the voices take control
I'm weak

So long
I went so long without you
My precious blade
I tossed you away
I'm sorry
I thought I could get rid of you
My beautiful addiction
I love him
So I tried to be better
Don't you understand
I'm weak

I tried
My arms bleed
Bleed as I struggle for a better blade
A knife
So dull
I needed better
A sharpener
My arms bleed
I don't know what to say
I'm sorry
I'm weak

Sorry isn't enough for what I've done
I love you
You are my world
The blade gave me a call
Did I hurt you
Did I cut you deeper
Did I betray you
I'm weak

I tried to be strong
I wanted to tell you why I hurt
Why I was in pain
How people have hurt me before
I'm weak

The call was too strong
I tried
I'm crying now
Crying because I failed
Crying because hurt
Crying because of my mistakes
I'm weak

I'm sorry
I'm so **** sorry
I need you
I'm sorry, I'm weak
But sorry doesn't mean much if you keep repeating your mistakes
I love you
I'm weak

I hate you blade
I love you blade
I hate you blade
I wish you would go away
I need him
Don't let me hurt him
I hurt him
Because you hurt me
**** you blade
Cut me till I bleed
I deserve it
I betrayed everyone for you
Cut me till I bleed
I'm weak

I'm weak
I'm weak
I'm weak
I'm weak
I'm weak
I am weak, and I gave in to the pain
Rose Jul 2012
Razor blade lullaby,
Come kiss my pain Good-Bye,
You're my only friend on this cold dark night.

Razor blade lullaby,
I listen to you when I can't sleep at night,
You take away all my fright.

Razor blade lullaby,
I always keep you by my side,
Just incase I start to feel like suicide.

Razor blade lullaby,
Darken those thoughs I think inside,
Numb the pain that I can't hide.
Jordan Hudson Jul 2019
Hold back my cry grab a knife
Can I stab my heart and die
Take the blade and end my life
End it all say goodbye
Take the blade and stab myself
End it all and leave this hell
Take away the pain I felt
Only time can tell
Leave this hell
Can I leave
Can I breathe
I will plead guilty
Of my sins, you win
I will pray
I will say
Admit, I'm afraid
I will break
I hate my face
My life my past
I come last
Goes by too fast
Hold back my cry grab a knife
Can I stab my heart and die
Take the blade and end my life
End it all say goodbye
Take the blade and stab myself
End it all and leave this hell
Take away the pain I felt
Only time can tell
Trapped in a cell
I wanna **** myself
Every night
I fight and cope with dreams
Things I see happening
I can read my life will lead
Me to the streets
Keeping heat
By a fire in a barrel
My life is terrible
No future
No dreams
Will come true
What did I do
I wanna chance
I'm in a trance
As I glance
Ahead in time
I rhyme I'm alive
I say I'm fine
But truth is I wanna die
Wake me up
Rise above
And take me
My life is already crushed
Hold back my cry grab a knife
Can I stab my heart and die
Take the blade and end my life
End it all say goodbye
Take the blade and stab myself
End it all and leave this hell
Take away the pain I felt
Only time can tell
When can I leave this hell
I hate this place
I hate my face
I hate my ways
The words that I say
I cannot escape
I cannot sleep
Cannot leave
Can't be free
On my knees
Stuck trapped
I try to rap
Empty my chest
Not the best
Life is a test
And I've failed
Let me rest dead
I filled my head
I wanna lay
Dead burned up in a grave
I cannot be saved
I hate to say
Choices I made
I hoped for better days
I prayed
To God
That my life would upgrade
But I just stayed
And I'm afraid
Hold back my cry grab a knife
Can I stab my heart and die
Take the blade and end my life
End it all say goodbye
Take the blade and stab myself
End it all and leave this hell
Take away the pain I felt
Only time can tell
But I'm stuck in hell
YOU SEE DAD AND STAN BURNS AND STAN NIEMIC DESPITE WHAT THEY BELIEVED IN ON EARTH

FIXED A SATLLITE PLACED BY NASA, WHERE THE WA FIRES WERE PLAIN TO SEE FROM UP THERE

YOU SEE, DAD GOT HELP FROM SCIENTISTS AND PEOPLE INTERESTED IN BUILDING THE WORLD

AND I START TO FIGURE, IF WE CAN SEE THE FIRE FROM UP THERE, WHY CAN’T THE ALIEN FORCES

FORM A REALLY HEAVY RAINSTORM TO ERUPT IN WA, TO PUT THE FIRE OUT, MIND YOU

DAD, WAS HAVING A FIELD DAY, WITH THIS TELESCOPIC LENS, MAKING IT EASY FOR SCIENTISTS

TO TRACK DOWN WHEN EARTH IS IS UNDER ATTACK FROM RAGING FLOODS OR BUSHFIRES

AND, IF MORE SCIENTISTS AND ASTRONAUGHTS HAD MY BELIEF, THEY WOULD WORK WITH MY DAD

AND FORCE A BIG RAINSTORM, TO PUT OUT FIRES EVERYWHERE, YOU SEE DAD MIGHT BE DEAD

BUT HIS SPIRIT, CAN SLOWLY SAVE THE EARTH AND THE UNVERSE, EVERY BLADE OF GRASS

AND SCIENTISTS HAVE SILLY INVENTIONS SOMETIMES, BUT, MY DAD IS IMPLYING, THAT, THERE

MAYBE A WAY TO FORCE RAIN, FROMM UP ABOVE, I THINK MAYBE THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DO

AND DAD AND THE TWO STAN’S DECIDED TO SEE, MMMMMM HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET RID OF THESE FIRES

YOU SEE, THERE IS WATER UP IN OUTER SPACE, WE JUST NEED TO FIND IT, DAD IS TELLING ME, TO TELL YOU

NOW, YEAH, I KNOW THERE IS WATER UP THERE, BECAUSE CLOUDS ARE FORMING LIKE A DISH IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM

AND IF WE CAN FIND OUT WHERE THIS WATER IS, IT COULD PUT THE FIRE OUT, BUT, WE NEED TO CONTROL IT

CAUSE IT COULD CAUSE FLOODS, SO JUST ENOUGH WATER TO DROWN THE FIRE, YOU SEE DADS MAN, WAS HE WAS INTERESTED IN

HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT, WE THREW HIS ASHES IN COPPINS CROSSING AND I RECYCLED HIS ASHES TIN

SO DAD CAN HELP IN THE FUTURE, AND, DAD HAS STARTED, WITH ALLOWING NASA, TO BE ABLE TO VIEW

FIRES FROM WHERE HE IS, AND I AM SURE DAD WILL BE GLAD TO HELP BRING RAIN TO THE APPROPIATE PLACES THAT NEEDS RAIN

EVEN IF IT MAKES LUCKY CRANKY, BECAUSE LUCKY BLAMED DAD FOR THE RAIN, AND NOW HE’S DEAD, DAD CAN

WORK ON CREATING RAIN ONLY IN PLACES THAT NEED IT, WHILEST LIKE EVERYONE HAS EARTH BODIES TO LOOK AFTER

NOW I AM INTRIGUED, IN HOW DAD CAN RALLY PEOPLE TOGETHER, TO BEAT THESE TERRORISTS, WHO THREATEN THE LIVES

OF PAUL BERENYI AND OTHER MEMBERS OF MY PREVIOUS LIFE, AS WELL, AS MY KIDNAPPER OF THE PAST

DAD FLEW OFF AND GOT PAUL BERENYI TO HELP HIM, FIGURE OUT A WAY TO FIND A WAY TO SEND RAIN DOWN TO

RID THE DREADED FIRES, I CAN GO UMMMMMMMM  GET RID OF THESE FIRES  UMMMMMMMM GET RID OF THEM NOW

UMMMMMMMMM SEND RAIN MR BARRY ALLAN, UMMMMMMM WHEN YA CAN, UMMMMMMMM GET RID OF THESE BLASTED FIRES, RIGHT NOW

YOU SEE DAD KNOWS IT WILL BE HARD WORK, BUT  IT CAN BE DONE

UMMMMMMMM GET RID OF THESE FIRES   UMMMMMMMMM  SEND RAIN MR BARRY ALLAN, UMMMMMMM TO RID THE FIRES FOREVER AND EVER

UMMMMMMMM I WANT DAD TO GUIDE SCIENTISTS TO FIND A WAY TO MAKE RAIN, BECAUSE MY RAIN DANCE OVER SOUTH AUSTRALIA WORKED

UMMMMMMMM   COME ON SCIENTISTS, LET DAD GUIDE YOU  WHERE THE RAIN REALLY IS

SO NOBODY LOSES THEIR PROPERTIES, UMMMMMMMMM I KNOW IT’S HARD WORK, BUT WE MUST MEND EVERY BLADE OF GRASS

UMMMMMMMMM  WE MUST MEND EVERY BLADE OF GRASS, UMMMMMMM WE MUST MEND EVERY BLADE OF GRASS

IF WE GET THE RAIN TO COME, DAD NEEDS SCIENTISTS TO HELP, UMMMMMMMM UMMMMMMMM UMMMMMMMM I AM A BUDDHIST HEALER

UMMMMMMMMMM  DAD STAN BURNS AND STAN NIEMIC AND PAUL BERENYI  ARE TRYING TO HELP SCIENTISTS BRING RAIN WHERE IT NEEDS RAIN

UMMMMMMMMM EVERY BLADE OF GRASS  UMMMMMMMMM EVERY BLADE OF GRASS  UMMMMMMMM EVERY BLADE OF GRASS
Hal Loyd Denton Jan 2012
By This Sword 911 Is Avenged
This was written right after 911 now I’m rewriting it from the time that has passed a cooling a distancing has occurred in us not in our
Enemies I will write the first paragraph basically as it was written then go from there. They have cells; we have wells and mines, Wells
Of emotion for God, flag and country the mines are far flung and close at hand. From these mines, the blacksmith is hammering out a New sword of liberty the material comes from all of our battle fields in our national history. These make up the strong wide back
part Of the sword the sharp keen edge that is terrifying to behold this material from the Pentagon, Trade Towers, and from our four
American commercial airliners filled with Americans. The dross of the terrorists have been skimmed off and purified by our national prayers
And solemn vows for justice now stands one giant the sum of us all. The sword has just been placed in his hand. Let’s talk about the
Sword it cuts both ways-coming and going. The giant holds it flat, moves it back and forth in front of him underneath the land is
Pictured perfectly back up on the blade it hums like a dynamo let’s start it from the place the atrocity and carnage occurred I wrote
More about Miss Liberty in Imposter you ought to read it one of our greatest minds for freedom and liberty Lincoln said these should
Be taught to every child and from every pulpit and school house and every public arena should resound with the truth about this
Great enterprise and experiment in human government. I also wrote Freedoms Citadel and Fertile ground about Jefferson and the
Constitution the reading of them was tepid they mean little in today’s conscious mind but in these very matters freedom live or dies
The blade appears out of the black smoke that stunted and muted Miss Liberty and her awesome record and history here is where
Hell left its signature. I will after all add a part of what I wrote in Imposter America proud land of liberty; too long it’s been just a
Veneer, freedom you espouse, to have this you must clean prejudice from your house. True greatness finally you will know, when it
Shines through all colors, to do this you must rediscover the bedrock of your heritage. Truly believe the words that say "We the
People words that shook the elements, only being surpassed at creations stage. To long our apathy has been collaborating with our
Enemy’s no more, this challenge is given to restore. Opportunity’s open door let us our energy out pour. That freedoms passion soars,
As in the past ******* it tore. Land of light continue, Miss Liberty your lamp burning bright. Oh great nation receive your benediction
And knighthood from her continuous burning flame now advance our freedom and liberty through the bright rays of truth that founded
This nation the blade shines and burns away all deceit it tells truth and shows our mistakes and so when it passes the white house one
Who comes from the fount and central place where Lincoln’s Shadow is so pronounced if Lincoln could rise he would make short order
Of the junior senator from Illinois he would Exposé his political views as not true American but a hybrid who speaks a world view not
A Central American one his history makes him Espouse thoughts and ideas that are not held by most Americans they are contraire to
What the founders envisioned but with Personality and ability to speak well he has made inroads especially in a liberal setting the voters
Will realign this error the blade passes on inland it moves across the coal mines of Pennsylvania it stops and hums with a drowning
Sound at the site where brave Americans Fought in the sky and died saving many others here is a great place to show the difference in
The two different swords battling for Rule in our world today yes they have a sword it is one that beheads their own people or at
Times the lives of the innocents must perish to it savagery forged in hell it gleams but with every conceivable power of evil the more
They use it the more they destroy they burry themselves in the tangled web that no man can escape from a recent telling of Liberia’s
Civil war will cast true light on the sword they wield with such relish one of the Generals in this conflict and let me add here the same is
Going to happen in to the drug lords in Mexico in one form or another salvation or destruction from Him who is really in charge so this
So called General in Liberia was doing what he did best slaughtering the innocent and helpless two of the nuns ***** and killed with
Their three companions had just attended our worship service two days before their deaths. But into this evil spectacle He who is all
power and holy spoke general you are nothing more than someone who is being used by the devil and the devil had one other to ****
Three hundred people a day add that up to three hundred and sixty five days he did it to keep empowered by the devil but our general
Couldn’t get away from those simple but true words he came to the united Pentecostal mission church went to the altar first he lay
Down the defiled sword went to a church that preached baptism in the titles instead of Jesus name the bible says if you desire truth on
The inward parts you will be led to all truth he argued for six months saying he saw no difference but he called from Nigeria all excited
There was a difference God gave him the revelation the bible says Christ is the beginner and finisher of our faith he starts and finishes
What he starts this former butcher went to the altar in the mission mentioned repented was rebaptized in Jesus name filled with the
Holy Ghost spoke in tongues as the bible said this is the only way to remove the sword from a deceived and dying race born to blood
And cruelty because the master liar entered the world as a false religion in the desert an unexplained terrifying light is gleaming
As a mirror but this one is shaped as an eagle with its talons inches from the back of a unholy fiend his life is an insult to all eastern people
That love their country as we love ours pray that we honor our dead by not making widows and orphans of the innocent. Bin Laden
Stand if you can we did not desire blood but you cut open our veins made us replace our loved ones with marble stone we hear a new
Sound in the desert, groans of death, and your fixed lot by our God who is true and holy.

The lion mentioned is not the man but the
hate and the source of all hate is Satan “Bread corn is bruised” Isa 28:28 Ignatius
Martyred in Rome after being taken from Antioch, who is better to speak to our recently martyred people He said God has made me
Bread for his elect, and if it be needful that the bread must be ground in the teeth of the lion to feed his children, blessed is the name
of The lord a new Christian foundation is being laid and within the walls of this our national home. There is a sacred field with deep
Furrows the victims and future military dead the precious seed. Our tears and their sacrifice will water this future harvest, from this
Rich grain the baskets of spiritual bread will overflow, we presume not to feed ourselves but our enemies also the Arab world cries
from Hunger and evil agents of Satan feed them poison. However we know the great physician who will heal us from this blight.
The blade has passed to the end of our land and back prayer alone can keep it pure and sharp and it will devour the enemy of us all the sword
Satan wields an ineffective beaten sword if we but pray for truth and light for all.
Hannah Field Sep 2018
Razor Blade, Razor Blade
Let's Sing A Song
Let's Erase The Pain
Even Though It's Wrong
I'll Press You Against My Skin
And Wait For The Blood To Come
My Eyes Full With Tears
The ***** Deed Is Done
The Pain Is Gone
Even If It's Only For Now
As I Smile To Myself
And I Take A Little Bow
Razor Blade, Razor Blade
We Sang Our Little Song
And Now Your Time Is Done
Was It Really That Wrong
Umi Mar 2018
Cutting through the darkness with a blade burning in an ominous yet in scarlet reddish tone, roaring as if it had the strengh of thunder.
The wielder in pure fury, swinging, swaying it around to pierce through the sinning gaze of the inhabitants of that place.
It is a true blade of banishment, viscious, without mercy or kindness,
raging evermore in an unending, continous rampage, gaining stengh.
Of course, one wouldn't expect any mercy but purgatory on this cruel and also blood drenched battlefield in which only sorrow is reaped.
But whereabouts of the heart already have been burnt away,
As the warped moon embraces the shadows of the fools,
The end had been brought near on that day which mortals fear,
Heat being spread with each slash, likely to set the soil ablaze,
Thus is the strengh of a sword which holds in a world of nightmares, likely to never desired to be ever seen before


~ Umi
Aladdin Aures H Jul 2019
Stages Of Feelings Goes Like Ice
To Drop The Tears And Marrow
Highly Supports My Own Vice
At Very Last "A Word" To Swallow
And Here Goes The Cycles Nice
Then A Clip Drags My Faded morrow
Stops The Ticks And Hide The Voice
Digging Holes And Sparked Fallow
Dark Goes And Dark Owns My face
The Life Through An Eye Of A Crow
Wild And Reckless Goes Your Dice
Pull It Slow, Near The Fifth Toe
Till Then Starts Your ***** Chase
Still Death Goes In Me So Slow

Here We Are, And Here We Go
In Another Lie, Another Sorrow
Here You Sell, And Someone Buys
So Keep The Change With Thousad Lies

****** Bad In A Brutal Bridal Blade
Mauling Her Metal In Such Daily Fail
Does Flames Flesh's The Coupled Bud
Take It Easy!, As Long You'll Sell It All
Naive!, Cuts Her Finger In Every Raid
To Skip But Delay The Inversed Sail
That Way You Think It'll Make Me Sad
It Will Sink Your Ship In Doors Of Hell
Rain And Hail Goes Upon Your Head
Mark My Words With One Last Smile
Remember Them In Your Stupid Mood
So You Save Your Self From These All

Here We Are, And Here We Go
In Another Lie, Another Sorrow
Here You Sell, And Someone Buys
So Keep The Change With Thousad Lies

Author : Aladdin AURES H.

— The End —