Friday, August 10, 2018

Satis - Season 2, Part Two: Self-Interest Orientation

Previous | Index | Next
--

"So what can I interest you in today?"

"I'm just looking."

"Come now, nobody's 'just looking.' You came here because you want something, and we've got the best selection in town."

"You mean the only selection in town. Dropped all your prices to rock bottom to drive out the competition and then jacked them back up once everybody else was gone."

"You say po-TAY-to, I say po-TAH-to. How can I help you today?"

"What can I say that will get rid of you fastest?"

The salesman babied down his voice. "Just tell me what you want." He booped Satis's nose, condescendingly, wearing a smile dripping of saccharine.

"Kitchenwares. And if you touch me again..."

"Ixnay on the uching-tay. Got it. This way please."

Satis hated the Weapons Emporium. In that, he was not alone. But their business practices were sufficiently immoral that the competition had indeed been driven out, or escorted out at swordpoint, whichever had been more efficient at the time. So in lieu of a needlessly long journey, his options were barren. At least they did carry literally everything you could hurt someone with, which Satis knew even before this blithering smear opted for the scenic route.

From truncheons and tanks to candlesticks and capes (with optional simulated sentience for those who could afford to pay extra for gear with snark). And Satis refused to look at any of it. Kitchenwares and nothing less.

It certainly took long enough, but when they finally arrived, Satis bee-lined toward exactly what he was looking for.

"Hold up there, young sir. If you just tell me your pleasure, I'll be sure to show you the finest we ha--"

Satis pulled the third sai from the back of his belt. "No."

"You--you can't use weapons in here. You shouldn't even be able to draw that. Wha-what are you doing?"

"I got special dispensation to carry this, and it seems to come with a few unpatched loopholes. Go find someone else you can pander."

The salesman scampered backwards, dabbing at the prick of blood with a perfectly white handkerchief that he produced with excess flourish.

--

Interjer stepped out of the fresh sun and into a massive building blazing with unnecessary artificial light.

"Good day, good sir! What can we interest you in today?"

He peered at the salesman, squinting though still-adjusting eyes. "Are you alright? You seem to be bleeding a little."

"Oh dear, did I miss a spot? Dreadful customer. Not a care in the world for another person besides himself."

"Oh, let me have that." Int snatched the red-spotted kerchief out of the salesman's shaking hand and blotted the injuring properly.

"Thank you so very much. Sir is too kind."

"Not at all. Now, I'm looking for something different..."

The salesman's eyes lit up with the hope of a challenge. They didn't come nearly often enough. He rubbed his hands together. "Pray tell."

"I'm looking for a person. Came in here a few minutes ago."

"What do you want with that heathen? He's the one who..."

"Ouch. I won't ask you to approach him. Just, tell me what he was looking for."

"Something in kitchenware, that's all I know."

"And kitchenware is?"

"That way."

"Thank you very much."

"No, thank you! Gentleman and scholar indeed!" The salesman swooned as Intejer headed deeper into the store.

--

Shopping for cookware was difficult in a weapons shop, but everything was still designed to be functional, if for no other reason than to embarrass your enemies by literally frying an egg on their shame.

Unfortunately, most of the descriptions were couched in terms of combat, so Satis had to make due with what he could.

He was peering disgustedly at a wok that claimed to have boomerang-like abilities when he felt someone jostle his elbow.

"Come back to escort me out, have you?" Satis fingered the third sai in its sheath as he turned. "Oh. Int. Figures. Go away."

"No. You're up to something. I can almost taste it."

"Har har," Satis laughed sarcastically. "Go shop somewhere else."

"I don't think so." Intejer snatched the boomerwok and hefted it. "This looks like fun."

"Then go play with your new toy and leave me in peace."

"I'd rather leave you in pieces, but you know that's not my taste."

It wasn't. Intejer was a strange case. For all intents and purposes he presented as a pacifist, but didn't let that stop him from attempting to master every weapon. He'd chop you to bits, figuratively, in a side-by-side comparison of skill, out at the range, but you'd never find him in a PvP zone.

He butchered the translation too, which rankled Satis more than the obsessive competitiveness. It was supposed to be Integer for "entire" but he pronounced the g like an h and spelled it with a j.

And he saw Satis as a challenge. Int lacked the creativity to go do his own thing, so he hounded others for the inspiration that he couldn't generate for himself. And he'd never thought of using cookware as a weapon.

Satis grumbled to himself, gathered what tools he thought he needed, watched Intejer duplicate his collection, completed his purchase and didn't look back.

When he returned to his hovel, Satis could help but grin to himself. "Int has no idea," he whispered under his breath, before settling in and getting to work.

--
Previous | Index | Next

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Satis - Season 2, Part One: Obedience and Punishment

Index | Next
--

Satis sat in his hovel and thought. The game, the grind, they were growing weary. Too many cliched quests and too much competition. He needed a new lease, on life, not on his hovel, which banks would have laughed in his face if he'd tried asking for a mortgage.

But the point of the hovel was wealth in non-material gains, and he had those in spades: friends, freedom, and...

Scratching at the door interrupted his reverie, and he walked up to it, trying to remember what that last F that he was rich in was. When he opened the door, there was no one there. Satis scowled, shut it again, and returned to his internal musement.

Where was I... oh, yes, something new.

One of the problems with being Satis the Good Enough is that if there was ever something worth doing, by the time he got to it, someone else had already done it, and done it better. Even in a world of infinite possibilities, everything was already taken.

How about I do something for someone else, instead of just me?

The scratching came at the door again, and Satis ignored it. That question changed his entire thought process, because he already knew who the someone else would be.

-

Outside, Intejer scowled. The silly lad wasn't taking the bait. It was hard training your deception and prankster abilities when your mark didn't want to play along.

He threw another stone. It wobbled through the air, bounched off the wall next to the door, skittered across the door itself, and came to rest next to the others. It was a nearly perfect toss, but instead of making Intejer proud, he scowled.

The next rock, instead of following the carefully crafted path, cracked against the door, hard. The fourth one hit in the same spot, widening the dent. The fifth pierced the dent and lodged in the hole.

Satis opened his door, inspected the new addition, shrugged his shoulders and went back inside.

-

There was one thing. One little mote of an idea, that came piercing in and lodged in his brain. It would take a fair amount of time and effort, but it was something that those who had come before would have long grown tired of and moved on to greater and grander, and certainly more lucrative, things.

He pulled on his ragged travelling cloak, his mostly empty satchel, and headed in to town.

There were a few things he would need before he could get started.

--
Index | Next

Friday, July 27, 2018

Circles

Mature Content
--

"Okay, Romance. Now that you've brought us all here, why don't you tell us what this is about."

"Please don't call me that."

"Why not? It makes things easier." Philosophy looked around the circle. Mostly women and a couple of men nodded in agreement. They were more somber than an AA meeting; they knew what was coming.

"Fine. Whatever. Look, I want to take on more roles."

"You want him all to yourself, you mean."

"So what if I do? I think he might be the one."

Philosopy shook her head, glancing at Politics. "Why is it always Romance that falls in love, huh? Why can't it be one of us for a change?"

"You know why, sugar," Politics replied. "We're not here for our hearts."

"What do you two mean, 'always Romance'?"

"Hon, we've seen it before. You're not the first Ro' to grace our circle. I'm sorry dear, but you're not gonna last too much longer," Politics replied.

Philosophy scooted her chair forward, out of the circle and more up in Romance's face. "Do you now what he thinks about traditional marriage?"

"He told me he wants to settle down!"

"Unless he said it was with you and you alone, it's not what you think. Listen to me, if no-one else. He doesn't believe in unending, death do us part commitment. He wants a term marriage."

"There's no such thing!"

"I know that, he knows that, we all here know that. Except possibly you. You don't seem to know. Do you remember what we told you when we brought you here the first time?"

Romance shook her head.

"We told you he doesn't believe that one person can satisfy all his relationship needs. He used to hope there was one person, but years of searching led him to conclude the truth. That truth is that we're all too complex to match perfectly with one person. So we are faced with a choice: settle for less or defy tradition."

Cuddle crossed the circle and wrapped his arms around Romance. "I know you've fallen in love. We've all fallen in love, and not just with him, but with other people too. He didn't make us choose to call each other these names, we chose. We chose to remind us our roles in his life, and his role in each of ours."

Sub walked up to Romance and knelt at her feet. "Yes, he does want to settle down. But not to raise a family. He wants to raise a community of people to share the openness and the love we all feel. For him, for each other, and for our own circles as well. We can show you a greater love together, than you feel for him alone."

Exhib crawled into her lap, stroking her face. "He doesn't want to hold any of us back, not even himself. He wants the freedom of choice for us too. Will you stay?"

Romance shot to her feet, overwhelmed and not a little claustrophobic. "I... I need to think about it. I need some fresh air." She strode from the room.

"Since we're all here, who wants to 'pile," Cuddle asked hopefully.

Wit chuckled, Dom groaned, and Politics and Philosophy shook their heads, as Sub and Exhib jumped up in excitement. Voy offerred to go grab some bedding and asked if anyone would help her. Groom took her arm, and he whispered something in her ear as they wandered out.

"What do you think, Pol?"

"I think I could use some quality cuddle time too, if you're interested Phil."

She punched his arm. "You know what I mean."

"Ro'? If she's not the one, he's going to have to do without for a little while. Candidates for him are running a little thin."

"Sad could step in."

"That's a conversation you need to have with Sad, not with me. Speaking of which..."

"No, I didn't see them. They skipped out on us again. If I didn't think they'd enjoy it, I'd say our little non-binary sadist deserved a beating for all the meetings they've missed."

The pile started growing rowdy, as they saw Voy and Groom wrestle a worn mattress into the room.

"You want to go somewhere a little quieter, Phil?"

"You read my mind, Pol. I don't think Ro' is coming back tonight."

"As long as she comes back eventually, I think we'll be alright."

Friday, July 13, 2018

resist

Mature Content
--

it starts in my legs
my thighs tingling with locationless feeling

it grows slowly
night after night after night
in intensity, in coverage

blissful tingling
amazing feeling
night after night after night

it affects my sleep
it affects my mood
it affects my mind
night after night after night

until I can't
resist

Sunday, June 10, 2018

dine and dash

let someone in and don't think twice
get good referrals that he'll play nice
take out the trash, watch the pups for a turn
leave things looking nice on return

give him the keys to the castle and code to the door
introduce him to family and neighbor
fail his paperwork and simple rules
and decide when it's done not to pay the dues

let someone in and then lock him out
fail to see what it's about
you used a service and skipped on the bill...
...but he knows where to find the till.

Monday, June 4, 2018

specifically me

I go out and find
games you like to play,
even when my interests
don't quite run that way.

I don't mind being rubbish,
I don't mind feeling lost,
I don't mind being carried,
I don't mind paying the cost.

I just want to stop
playing all alone,
a voice in my ears
other than my own.

but no matter how I try,
it never seems to be;
it's not that you dislike multiplayer,
it's just...

Saturday, June 2, 2018

i tried

to wait for you
until you were ready,
to let you tell me
when it was time

and you'd do this
by speaking up,
you'd do this
by sending a line.

it didn't have to be pretty,
melodius or smooth
it didn't have to be apologetic,
hopeful, or kind.

it just had to be something
you said to me,
like, for example,
"hi."

Friday, June 1, 2018

a relationship in three parts

one to be with
to talk and try
to be the victim
to play the game
to dance and fly

two to be held
to hold and warm
to faith and friend
to green and camp
through pain and mend
to hope not harm

three to ravage
to make what is wanted
to take what is due
to love when the lust
fades when it's time
to be forever
to me.

1 to have
2 to hold
3 to hurt

Thursday, May 31, 2018

my face

everybody such and such getting married,
everyone such and such gettin hitched,
every person kneelin and proposin;
Iceland and Texas and then some...

every trial dashed and harried,
every hope swing and miss,
every time falling and losing;
and camping I don't feel so undone...

with trees I'm not so alone,
with green I'm not so barren,
with nature I'm not so empty,
... and no one to rub it in

exceptions can be made

if it wasn't about the closeness
the physical affirmation that I seek,
are there other reasons you say no,
but dare not choose to speak?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

exhale

and when the music pauses
like a long held breath
and you wonder
if it will begin again

the silence ticks
like an echoing second hand
loud in your thoughts
counting the moments

you realize
you've forgotten to exhale
when the band starts packing
leaving, and going home.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

GDPR

I don't take what you don't give me,
and you give me nothing new,
no comments, no questions, no answers,
so I save nothing from you.

I have cookies and scripts in the background,
all from third part parties,
Google and Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter,
but they don't share any of it with me.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

ghosts

when conversation fades
and hope runs dry,
when someone decides something
and doesn't say why,
when the horse stops breathing
and you start swinging your bat,
I know I've wasted ten long weeks
messaging you back.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

From the Memories of Callidus Igni

The first time he donned the cloak and picked up the lantern, he knew it was the one. Not writing up the character sheet, not bickering with the DM about his character's abilities or growth potential, not the DM's attempt at punishment when insisting he had to make his own gear--that was a laugh.

Callidus was no shy hand at making clothing. He'd won adoration if not awards at conventions for the work he'd done, not just the "sewmanship," but also the design. He was no stranger to devaluing his own work, and so declined from competing; it didn't help that he had no desire to participate in the parading and acting on stage.

No, the woods were his stage, and the only spotlight he needed was tucked under his cloak. That's something that you wouldn't find in a standard cloak: utility pockets. When it had been inspected by his DM, that was a point of contention. Just wear a utility vest, he's said. And Callidus did, wear a vest, that is, but one could never have enough pockets.

And a cloak weighed down by nothing but itself didn't flow right, gusting about too freely with the wind like some silly superhero. Callidus wasn't a superhero, or a regular hero, or even an anti-hero. He was a bug in the code, a fly in the soup. His role in the game was to ruin everyone else's plans.

He was Callidus Igni, the Cunning Fire, and anybody who got too close would get burned.

--
Index

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Monday, April 30, 2018

30

thirty days hath April,
but why stop it there,
a poem a day
keeps low stats at bay...
do you want me to keep going here?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

29

when comes the fall,
trees too cry,
kingdoms tumble,
and what can, flies.

when comes the close,
green turns to ash,
lakes dry up,
and procrasts crash.

when comes the turn,
gear left behind,
bare handed we stand...
unarmed, not I.

Network Risk Management essay

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” - Hanlon’s Razor

Network security is an inherent problem to any connected web of computers, and recent developments have shown that even truly isolated computers—those not present on any network—can still be compromised. It is therefor vital that any and all electronic devices, isolated or networked, be subject to some degree of risk management.

Risk management in itself is a straightforward concept. All actions performed will result in an outcome; the likelihood of that outcome having negative consequences is the risk one takes performing such an action. As risk increases, the likelihood of malicious activity also increases. It’s almost inevitable for some risk to exist when working with and around computers, but steps can be taken to mitigate both risk and malicious fallout.

Isolated or air-gapped devices are of little use to most of the world. While “air gapping,” or removing all external inputs and outputs to the device is almost an impenetrable defense, the system can still be compromised. As documented by Mr Greenburg, “If an attacker can plant malware on one of those [air-gapped] systems… every blink of its hard drive LED indicator can spill sensitive information to any spy with a line of sight to the target computer[.]” The methodology uses a fast-blinking LED indicator light, that is often found to be blinking in normal computer usage as the device reads and writes memory, to transmit data. This technique has one simple flaw: the attackers must first initiate a toe-hold in the device.

Phishing and other scams are another key vulnerability to any system or network. These prey on a different aspect of the same vulnerability as the one Mr Greenburg documents: fallibility of humans. A simple header on an email that looks like it comes from someone in a position of power, their bank or a government agency, something that evokes an emotional response, and that changes how the person subjected to the attack responds. As Hitler knew well, “It is always more difficult to fight against faith than knowledge.”

Aside from isolation, Education is really the only defense against attacks that play on the emotions of someone who has access to your network.

These are just a couple reason why personnel management is a primary factor in risk management. Education and documentation is key to loss prevention. Users, meaning anyone who has access to or interacts with the system, including technicians and loss prevention personnel, need to be aware of the risks their actions pose and the costs of fixing the problems that arise from irresponsible or unintentional choices.

There will always be the malicious flaws in any system or network. People will always try to circumvent rules, fall prey to scams, and/or try to scam others. There will always be a better virus designed to latch into unpatched weaknesses in firewalls and operating systems. But all of these things need one thing to get started: someone on the inside who behaves less like a respectful guest who is “borrowing” access and more like someone who feels like they deserve what they can take.

--

Sources:

Greenberg, Andy. “Malware Lets a Drone Steal Data by Watching a Computer's Blinking LED.” Wired, Conde Nast, 1 Feb. 2018, www.wired.com/2017/02/malware-sends-stolen-data-drone-just-pcs-blinking-led/.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

28

if I err as human,
the fault falls on me,
but you've made reckless choices:
vaulting over the party

and knocked someone
else down a ravine.
I refuse to disarm,
and only do I bleed.

before you get upset
that I'm backed into a wall,
remember you attacked.
I just refused to fall.

Friday, April 27, 2018

27

hidden in the lines
a secret kept so well,
a secret never found
because it's hidden so well.

so many unseen references,
so many unheard tales,
so many silent promises,
unbroken without fail.

but they're still on the stage,
not completely gone from view,
turn on the spotlight
and learn something you never knew.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

26

six little chickies all in a row,
one steps up to say hello,
kindness pools at its feet,
turning gibberish into poetry.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

25

maybe the reason
I feel like I've left something behind,
misplaced part of my kit,
forgotten to bring along,
something... something...

maybe the reason
I feel like I don't have everything that I need,
everything to survive the day,
everything... everything...

maybe the reason
I feel like something is missing...



is because
somewhere else
someone else
has forgotten
me.

Monday, April 23, 2018

23

take me outside and ask if I'm in,
in for the run and in for the win,
in for the disentanglement of the flow,
in for rebuilding all that I know.

take me outside and ask for my aid,
aid to the build and aid to the play,
aid for the picture, big and small,
aid for the vision that he's trying to install.

take me outside and offer his trust,
trust in my duties and trust in my plus,
trust in my give and trust in my take,
and trust in the differences I can make.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

22

easy instructions:
put your name on the line,
sign it and date it,
and show you read fine,

check the boxes
that do--not don't--apply,
type all instructions,
print or send to my

email address written
clearly on the card...
you're grown up adults;
it shouldn't be so hard.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

21

. ███ ███ ██ █    ████  █.
. ██ ███  ██ ████ ███ █ .
.  ██████.

Friday, April 20, 2018

20

when the going gets tough,
and the pay gets rough,
and the miles start counting,
and the checks start bouncing,

the tough get going,
get moving or get losing,
get leaving or get failing,
get swimming or get bailing,

know your options and follow the through,
not tied down is a blessing in truth.

you've got a starring business,
untapped market down south,
in a region where the off season
camps without crowds.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

19

a smile and a wave,
for that cute guy out for a walk,
strangely casual, strangely confident,
bounce in his step.

forget the dogs on the leash,
forget the bud in his ear,
see the grace in his stride,
and dream about being near.

but they never cross the street,
never climb out from the car,
never actually approach,
just keep watching from afar.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

18

11.
either
make obscure references to popular fandoms
or
make popular references to obscure fandoms

12.
if you mix those up, either
nobody will catch the reference
or it's already a meme

13.
don't try to be first

14.
stealth edit when possible

15.
if it happens on reddit,
it stays on reddit

16.
if it happens on reddit,
it stays on buzzfeed

17.
autocorrect is funny

18.
nobody cares about grammar

19.
unless you're a nazi

20.
all arguments dissolve
into memes

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

17

because I was too nice,
because I was too kind,
because I wasn't honest enough,
because I spoke my mind,

because I messaged first,
because I took too long to reply,
because I was introverted,
because I wasn't shy,

because our zodiacs conflicted,
because they matched too well,
because I didn't wait,
because you couldn't tell,

because I was too open,
because I was too closed,
bcuz I used txt spk,
because I was too composed,

because I have a ponytail,
because I have facial hair,
because I didn't tell you,
because I did share,

because I'm not "career driven,"
because I have expensive taste,
because you hated my top five,
because I'm a cheap date,

because I recommend a book,
because I liked the movie better,
because I work two jobs,
because I'm a pet sitter,

because I'll never know the reasons
that you decide I'm not worth your time,
because the dating world sucks
my only company is mine.

Monday, April 16, 2018

16

every number on every line,
made to dance and move in time,
made to submit to my flow,
my ebb, my magic, my woe.

every word on every line,
given by all, made to be mine,
every verdict, every choice,
all crying together with one voice.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

15

career and driven
two words I don't like,
to see together,
to hyphenate.

clean-driven, life-driven,
and true to happiness-
but moeny only buys
things I don't feel inside;
I just need to be self-sufficient.

working to the bone,
only true to my dice,
or when I'm sewing
and get my finger sliced.

but I'm not working for the ladder,
not working to upwards climb,
not working for pretentious titles,
not where I want to spend my time.

I want to live comfortably,
and it don't take money for me,
just time well-spent,
friends well-kept,
expenses and rent,
and my hobbies set me free.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

14

first cause to blame for me,
second for they'll never see,
third a whisper in the dark,
fourth and final lost my spark.

bring in help and what I see,
date change and last tell me,
but blame follows if I'm late,
as if it were my fault and fate.

keep copies of every little thing,
protected from blame you bring,
it's not just what you say to me,
but every piece of paper see.

Friday, April 13, 2018

From the Memories of Callidus Igni

You never forget your first.

I liked it when it was just me against the world. That was my favorite way to play.

Callidus stood warily among the trees. He thought quietly to himself, as if he were concerned even his innermost thoughts could disturb the world around him. He pulled the hood of his cloak higher over his head, pulled his head deeper into the shadows of the hood, and waited.

His task was simple: none shall pass.

Footsteps drew nearer to his position, and he closed his eyes. He separated the sounds of the wind through the branches, the rodents scurrying about, and the passage of those who didn't know these woods.

Callidus didn't know these woods himself, either, but he knew of woods. He knew of the peace and serenity they offered if you knew just how to ask. He knew of the ways to find passage through the underbrush when it seemed the most impassible. He knew that if he listened and were patient, he would come to know these woods too, just as he had the one back home, so many miles and memories distant.

But these approaching footsteps knew none of that. They broke their own trail, and in doing so, gave away their position to those who knew how to listen.

Callidus knew how to listen.

Even with his eyes closed, he knew when they spotted him, standing with his back to a tree, still and quiet. They crept closer, curious. That was a mistake, but hardly their first.

Callidus smiled and opened his eyes.

--
Index

13

when the darkness tumbles
and shadows fall,
fear is rising,
and thunder calls,

creaking, moaning,
directionless sounds,
moving, sneaking,
by leaps and bounds.

it's always hiding,
just around the bend,
it's always lurking,
inside your head,

it's always watching,
where you haven't glanced
it's always there,
and it isn't chance.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

12

antagonizing teasing trouble,
trying to joke of what I do,
giving me a hard time for my hard work,
but I know they know:
there's value in what I do.

they give me rough because they know
I give it back just the same,
match them jib for jibe,
and never mind winning the game.

but if they knew how much I'd been hurting,
if they knew how much I try,
if they knew what a climb it's been,
they'd still be standing by my side.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

11

sixty and not a pallet more
and nary a pallet less,
and when you think they're square,
don't feel you need to guess.

they're labeled, marked, and weighed,
dimensionalized to the bone,
and when you think it's not precise,
I might just send you home.

From the Internal Narrative of Callidus Igni

The fights began once more, and I stepped into the light.

I slipped behind the caster and pulled out my own lantern, its ruddy light casting spare shadows around her. I nudged her original light-bearer, waving my hands dramatically, and he obediently shook the "wytchlight" a few times, then flicked it off.

Her voice grew wary as the light above her grew murky, and it quaked when I started to circle her. I stopped in front of her, and she lifted her eyes to the glow of the friar's lantern. Her voice continued rambling through the repetitive cast, but once she looked into the light, she was mine.

I glanced around furtively, and saw everyone else engaged. The two dryads countering our two satyrs seemed to be the only cards they'd held in reserve, which left me free to handle to caster and the pinnacle, unless... no, Umbo and Succus had their hands full. It was up to me.

My smile grew. I liked when it was just me against the world. That was my favorite way to play.

I took a step back, gesturing to the caster to keep pace with me, and after a look to and a nod from her storyteller, she stood up and followed me. I walked a half-circle around her and moved forward, so she was moving backward, and kept her moving backward until she collided with the pinnacle, who was kneeling on the ground, still focused on holding the spell.

They went down in a flail of limbs.

The caster stopped reciting, which was rather the point. The pinnacle dropped her focus too, and the circle was as good as fallen, all that remained was the matter of keeping it that way, keeping them from starting it back up again.


--
Previous chapter | Index | Next chapter

Monday, April 9, 2018

09

and when it comes down to it,
the synopses of the extra wording
are moot. they don't matter.
nothing matters. nothing
continues to matter. the world
and the word as we once knew
is worthless. the effort we
engaged in to create something
worthwhile is wasted. and
the end arrives. there is nothing
left to do. nothing left to
regret. nothing left to hope
for. at that point, when we
have surpassed the timeline,
when the end of the world
exists in the past instead of
the future, nobody cares
that we built any of this.
and nobody notices
that instead of writing
something yesterday,
i redesigned a website.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

07

a smile that reassures,
a grin that teases,
a laugh that never feels at,
and eyes that light up,

a lip prone to biting,
a tongue as sharp as wit,
a thirst to know the reasons,
and hows and whys, why nots,

long hair for covering your face,
hair for brushing off your neck,
long hair there to play with,
and tickles when we spoon,

a sharp nose for finding trouble,
a chin that points the way,
a neck made for kissing,
and a head with sense and play,

a mind that wonders why not,
a mind that always dreams,
a mind that's still growing,
and can patch my rougher seams,

eyes that like the dark,
eyes unhampered by the fog,
eyes with their own light
and keep me fighting on,

fingers good at knots,
arms that carry me home,
not afraid to have a crutch,
and leave me hanging alone,

limbs that hold on tight,
legs that can keep up,
hips that can slow down,
and meander round your...

but most of all you're there,
not a ghost in my sleep,
you're real and alive and here,
and I'm yours to keep.

Friday, April 6, 2018

06

when you've got nothing better
and the pay is scraping by
boredom to sit and play,
entertainment hard to try

when your battery is winding down
and backups overheat,
nothing left to say,
and starting to fall asleep.

when you dream all of work,
while sitting in the chair,
paranoia setting in,
and it's feeling like a 'mare

when silence overcoming
because clock-out coming due,
but timeclock running backwards
...and you're eaten by a grue.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

05

lean back and listen,
crawl into the warm,
the warn, the earning,
the yearning, the tears,
the years, they glisten.

I don't remember
the sound of your voice,
the feeling of your smile,
the comfort of your touch.
only the smell of your hair,
purple and grape.

swing swing from the candelabra,
my heart caught in the tangles of...
find a way to carry on again.

I don't remember
why I didn't want to spend gas that day,
why I didn't bicycle,
why I didn't drive,
why I forgot the hill and the valley,
why I forgot the time.

swing swing from the candelabra,
my heart caught in the tangles of...
find a way to carry on again.

I don't remember
my depression before you,
my sorrow before you,
my pain before you.
I only remember
my ignorance of my loneliness.

swing swing from the candelabra,
my heart caught in the tangles of...
find a way to carry on again.

this sick strange darkness,
this inability to love someone else
with a whole heart,
because you...
because I can't stop missing you...
because I can't stop loving you...

--
Borrowed lines from "Swing Swing" by All American Rejects and "I Miss You" by Blink-182

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

04

1.
stop trying to care.

2.
be funny

3.
don't be political

4.
find your niche
or steal someone else's

5.
don't commit

6.
know where to farm

7.
bury negative comments
or delete them
or both

8.
don't let them know
your true self

9.
don't share anything personal

10.
don't be afraid
to abandon your account,
all your hard work,
all your perfect saves,
all your well-timed puns
for no other reason than
you thought up a better
username

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

03

Mature Content
--

how much would I have
to pay you to see you wear
this?

that? yes. you're kidding.
no. how much?

how much you got?
how much you want?

one hundred.
done. fine but--

and photograph it. double,
andpromiseme,
you'dbetterswear
Imeanseriouslyswear
it doesn't get online.

done.



why do you want pictures anyway?


Monday, April 2, 2018

02

my friends told me
one day I'll feel it too,
but till then I
feel broken in two:
my heart of logic
which knows we're through,
my of emotion
pressing the undo.

and then there's me.
alone and no prospects,
and friends' broken promises.
happiness mine alone to pursue,
but nobody lookin' helpin' me through,
shovin' in my face
"accidental mistake"
of the fortune for you.

short on friends and no one lookin'
to increase our for hookin'
up in the heart
or up in the trees
or up in just part
in shootin' the breeze.

my friends told me
they'd help see it through,
set me up with singles
that they know too.
if I had a dolla'
for every who said and didn't,
I'd afford the nicest restaurant I knew.

--
Italicized text credit: Happier by Ed Sheeran

Sunday, April 1, 2018

01

sitting quietly unseen,
interrupted rarely,
rarely excited,
lackadaisical

then,
attention paid.

not the vultures in the sky,
nor the tracks trampling below,
neither the beings in the darkness,
sneaking, scheming, seething.

merely a suspicious



squirrel.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Untitled (17 March 2018)

distant wonder
'neath shadowed trees,
branches dancing in the wind,

set rocking,
'coon trundling to den,
nary a chatter, nary complaint,

a nose,
cold in my ear,
head on my shoulder,
huff, sniff, and sneeze...

I'm not going to get any sleep.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Everything is Nothing

it takes two to tango--
--but you're not trying to find tango, are ya
 - Joshamee Gibbs

falling on times of thought,
when the wrold's broken more than it's not,
when the walls fall and shatter and mold
and wonder when you got so old

when the politicians never yelled so loud,
and they stopped obeying the crowd;
take the pedal off of the brakes
and wonder why it feels so fake.

love songs mushing on the radio,
youtube spilling songs I know,
silence filling my bed at night
personal rainstorm to feel alright

and dreams that bring comfort,
and dreams that bring arms
and dreams that bring belonging
and bring back hearts and stars

and work tumbling down the stairs,
holding patience in humming lairs,
brain tick tick ticking to sort it best
until my finger need a rest...

but still that silence,
still that hole,
still that wish
that takes its toll.

still the pain pulling me deep,
wanting someone to guard the keep,
wanting dragons to stop my fall
and hold me when I'm feeling small.

Friday, January 26, 2018

no one looks at me

Mature Content
--

and all the pretty people,
in the pictures and magazines,
get all the pretty people
to dance between the scenes

and all the pretty people,
like looking pretty all the same,
with all the pretty people
making everybody insane.

and all the ugly people
want to be the pretty ones,
or have the pretty ones,
or worship the pretty ones,

or fuck the pretty ones,
or kill the pretty ones,

and all the pretty people
laugh at all the rest,
while all the pretty people,
think that they're all the best.

and all the pretty people,
in the movies and on the screens
capture pretty much every attention,
so

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Protector of Osku Skoger

Tolf pulled me back into his arms. ~Not that way!~

My feet waved out over a hidden gorge at the edge of the forest, and my head spun at the ground falling away beneath my feet. Brown rocks that I couldn't see before I'd sprinted towards the edge glinted up from the riverbed far below, glistening with a sharpness that yearned to feel my fragile flesh,

It was my twelfth birthday

Last year, we were playing in the forest, hide and seek, not tag, and it was Ellefu who saved me from hunters who were patrolling deeper than ever before, a side effect of deforestation and coyote overpopulation.

Tolf and Ellefu are two of my monsters, the only family I've ever known, and every year, we come to Osku Skogur to play a game. The outcome of the game always brings the birth or discovery of a new monster.

Tolf was big and furry. His brown fur blended in with the trees of the forest, and his arms were long enough to wrap fully around me and hold me tight.

Ellefu was small and green, and light on her feet. She looked like a cross between and parrot and a badger.

It was Fimm who told me of the magic of Osku Skogur, the first time. He looked like an old man, and he spoke softly, his voice like the evening breeze through rain-laden leaves. Danger was doomed to befall me, every year, and every year, a new monster would save me and guide me through the coming year. He said it was the trees that found me, the wild green that watched over me, and in the deepest grove in the darkest green stood the oldest ash, and it was responsible for the magic.

And it would be my job to guard and protect it when I was old enough. In the meantime, it would see to my growth and education.

Fimm said only one knew where exactly the grove lay, and I would have to wait for Sextan and four more years to be shown. Until then, the trees would lead me astray from the grove. He told me the story every year, as we sat around the fire that kept us warm on the coldest and longest night of the year, the only fire that would burn in the whole of the Osku Skogur.

And at the end of the story, he whispered to me my name.

Allt.

Monday, January 8, 2018

At What Price

dip in your little toe,
to test the water's mete,
or dive in reckless
and find darkness deep?

what stirs 'round the bend,
what lingers beyond your sight,
what raises hairs on end
and sends shudders in the night,...

what boneless wonders
wander through the field?
how harsh the truth becomes
when bidden unconcealed.

do you sneak up behind it,
while sneaking up on you?
do you confront it boldly,
shine light on secrets true?

do you jump in head first,
nary a fear it eats you whole?
or hide from the fear,
lest it take your soul?

--
Written for Succus, who hates mystery with a passion so reckless that she lets nothing stop her from discovering the truth, not even the fear of discovering her own mortality.

Not Easy

it's hard to be, to see, to know,
it's hard to have, to hold, to show,
it's hard to want, to love, to keep,
it's hard to be two holes deep.

it's hard to stay as mystery,
stay sane, stay lone, and bleed...
it's hard to be more than one,
one mind, one name, one blood...

it's hard to be, to see, to know,
it's hard to have, to hold, to show,
it's hard to want, to love, to keep,
it's hard to be two souls deep.

--
Written for Callidus Igni, for a man who doesn't pretend to be anything that he's not, and lives one identity in both fiction and real life.