when the darkness creeps closer
and snuffs out the light,
when everything is black
and nothing feels right,
when there's a haunting in your heart
and a black spot of blight,
when everything feels hopeless...
your eyes adjust to the night.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
"Why are we meeting here?"
"Why not? It's certainly convenient. It's also quiet."
"But it's his brain."
"He doesn't mind."
"But it's his brain."
"Relax. He's not going to butt in, are you?"
"See? Now how awkward would it be to slip up and speak aloud where you are?"
"Uhh, not good."
"Yeah, same for me. But here, no such problem. Now, what was so important that it couldn't wait?"
"What are you doing?"
"But he's recording our conversation!"
"So what? He's got no one to tell, and he's not going to leak it to anybody without risking himself in the process. What's the harm?"
"What's the benefit? Stop it."
"Oh relax. He records everything. That's what he does. Better to do it openly in front of us than to do it after we're gone."
"I don't like it."
"Then I guess whatever you had to say can't be that important."
"No, wait... Dammit. Why did you do that?"
"I collate. That's my thing. Can't collate without data."
"You're an idiot."
"That's not for you to say. Now get out of my head unless you have something productive to tell me."
"Fine. I didn't want to be here anyway."
Yes, cyan is a jerk. That's part of the point. Orange is kind of based on me, if you couldn't guess.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
This piece contains material not suitable for all audiences. Consume at your own risk.
tight band across my chest
because what calms me doesn't make any damn sense
when you get home you take it OFF...
but I wear it to bleed my bleeding cost.
cantilevered til you can't breathe,
little bit-a-padding means nothing to me,
I breathe too much every goddamn day...
it's when I stop. ...I feel more sane.
not for the cd, not for the t,
not for anything reason you accuse of me,
not for any reason I can explain...
I. Just. Like. It. Okay?
it's none of your business anyway,
it's not your money, it's not your body, it's not your play,
it's not hurting you or making you less,
just because of a tight band across my chest.
Punctuation matters. The Brits call a "period" a full stop for a reason. Try reading this with more staccato.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
fall into your arms when I get home,
wrap my heart in your warmth,
give me the promise that I'm not alone,
and lay beneath the hearth.
hold me tight and remind me
how to breathe in and out,
calm my nerves and anoint me
with hope that will out.
Monday, March 8, 2021
"I asked around, and people seem to agree, if you want something done right, talk to Igni."
"I'll take that as agreement. Secondus came to me about your money problem. Do you know about that? I'll take your silence for confirmation, is that okay? No? Yes? Good. So he's offered me a place at the table so to speak if I make you guys some real coins. I can do that. Coins are pretty easy, and apparently that's part of the problem. I'm not quite sure how to make them hard."
I held out my hand, palm up.
"What? You want me to give you something... sorry, I'm not good at charades."
I rolled my eyes, pulled out a pocket-sized notepad and pencil, and drew six circles on it, before offering it to him.
"Oh, you want to see the coins. No, here, I made a couple." Tertius pulled out a small handful of metal discs from a bag in his pocket. "The art isn't finalized yet, I have a classmate who was also in need of their journeyman's piece, and they're making the stamps. She's more artistic than I am anyway; I got the press and the blanks, she makes the... well, it's not an engraving and it's not a mold but it's sort of something in between. You probably don't need to know the deta--"
I nodded vigorously.
"Oh, you do need the details. Umm, it's probably easiest if you just come to the forge. Here, you hold onto these," he counted one of each denomination into my hand, "please don't lose those. But anything you can think of, let me know, and I'll see if I can find some time when you can come in."
"I don't suppose it's too much to ask if you have any clothes that don't involve billowing cloaks and loose sleeves? Yes? Fine. Just don't come crying to me if you find yourself on fire or anything, okay? Come on in."
I uncrossed my arms and entered through the tall barn door Tertius had to throw his shoulder into to open. He closed it most of the way behind us, as a sharp wintry gust slammed into the smouldering heat of the welding-classroom-turned-forge not unlike a cool hammer on a hot piece of metal. My cloak fluttered in the dueling temperatures but stilled when he led me deeper inside.
"This is Ko. She's handling the imprinting and artsy part." The stout gal leaning over her desk lifted a hand in a wave but didn't look up or stray from her work. Tertius waved his hand. "Yeah, she's like that. Speaks a mile a minute, can't make her shut up. Know anybody like that?" He grinned at me.
I rolled my eyes.
"Okay, moving on before this gets any more awkward... You wanted three denominations. We've got iron, brass, and copper." He gestured at the first of three piles of metal. "The majority of the shop's scraps are iron or an iron alloy, so that's what we're using; they should be paying us to take it off their hands. It's ugly, but we've got the most of it, so it's your lowest denomination."
At the second pile, he explained, "This is brass, second most common scrap. I know it's not silvery-looking, but beggars can't be choosers. Well, they can, but it never works out well for anybody.
He moved on to the third pile. "Copper. Heaviest of the three, so it's your gold stand in. We don't have much, but at a hundred-to-one ratio, hopefully you won't need much. If inflation ever becomes a problem, hopefully by then you'll be able to pay me, and I won't have to be so stingy with the stock.
"I've got the base molds over here," Tertius continued, "Still waiting on the designs for the faces, but you can't rush an artist. Well, you can, but I don't recommend it. They're all going to be pretty close to the same size, though iron is going to be thicker with a smaller diameter, copper is going to be thinner with a larger diameter, brass somewhere in the middle on both. Hopefully it's enough of a difference that you can tell the coins by feel as much as anything else." He turned and looked at me. "Any questions so far? No? Okay, then it's Ko's turn."
We turned in her direction and she didn't look up.
I put a hand on his shoulder, and then patted it when he stopped talking. I walked over to her station, alone, and glanced over her work without leering over her shoulders. She had printouts pinned up of ancient coins--mostly Roman, some that might have been Chinese, a few others that I couldn't guess at--alongside modern anti-forgery techniques.
She glanced up at me, met my eyes for a moment, before looking back at her work. Eventually, she pushed back from the desk, rolling her chair several feet away, and stretched.
I took the space she'd vacated, leaning over her station with my hands and the folds of my cloak tucked securely behind my back, eying the designs carefully.
When I turned around again, she was watching me carefully. I nodded. Ko smiled, grabbed a handful of molds and set them on her desk.
"So we're good then?" Tertius approached to the edge of his work area, but came no closer.
Ko flicked him a thumbs up, grabbed a nearby water bottle, and strode to the door, muscling it open with relative ease.