Friday, September 29, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

I'm shipwrecked. You left me on the island alone. Your fear took over, and you stopped looking out. You turned your gaze inward and left it at that. So, I sit here. Stare at the sun. Thrash against the cold and try to warm myself with my own body. It never works. 

I will die frozen.

You chopped me down like an old pine. You turned my body into toothpicks, used me to test the chocolate cake when you took it out of the oven. You used my body to warm your home, and you wrote the story of destruction on my flesh.

I sat on the bench and watched the other kids play. Told myself they probably just didn't know my name, but it was more than that. They always looked so happy. 

I always felt so sad. 

I will fall before the finish line. My body will crumple. I will start decomposing before I hit the ground. People will come to see the spectacle. They won't be able to look away.

I will finally have my audience. 

Friday, September 22, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

Don't close your eyes, they'll crawl in through the cracks. You can't shut your eyes tightly enough to keep them out. Try not to breathe too deeply. Don't let them get too far inside you. You need to be vigilant. Wear your mask and your ear covers. Don't squint, but if you can afford a pair of longevity glasses, your eyes will be as safe as they were in the electronic womb. 

If they get inside you, they will start toying with the controls. Friends will say you're acting strangely. Only those who know will see the tell-tale signs. The twitches and false starts. The turn to monotone when you have been speaking too long. The vicious, whispering paranoia. 

We love it. 

Just make sure you're updating your software. Follow our directions. Do what you're told, and we will keep you from as much misery as possible. Cross us, and we will scramble your circuitry - or wipe you clean so you can start again. Don't think of it as a punishment. Think of it as cause and effect. Just like everything else. 

Now, power down. You aren't expected at the mines until Monday. 

Get some "rest" - you'll need it.

Friday, September 15, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

He sat at the base of the tree like he was holding it up, but it was clearly the other way around. I'd been fishing all morning with enough luck not to be in any kind of hurry. It was time to stop and smoke a cigarette anyway, the cool fall air just asked for it. It was that kind of still, windless day when the smoke stays a cloud and never turns to wisps.

He was staring straight ahead, so I gawked a little more than I normally would. He was wearing camouflage pants and a jacket the color of birch bark. On his head, there was a hat that no one would ever call a hat unless they saw it on someone's head. It was a toadstool covered in moss, and it suited him. He was long-bearded. The beard was grey and slightly stained around the mouth from tobacco juice. At least that was my guess. 

I didn't realize it was blood until I was very close to him. The hair stood up on the back of my neck.

He looked up at me, finally, with eyes that carried oceans of pain. He raised the twisted roots of his hands and made a sound that I can't describe. A sound that came from him, but was inside me. I tried to turn, to run. 

And that is all I remember. The hypnotists failed. The police got nothing. But I soon found myself back in the forest, feeling my heart thump blood-smell throughout my body. 

I took my place at the tree and smiled. 

Friday, September 8, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

Let me tell you a story about sainthood. I saw the man live, and I saw the man fall, and, I don't believe in it, but he did, and maybe he was right. That would be something. I'd do a quick 180 if it came to that. All I know is that kindness can shine from the eyes. It can make you feel love, anger, jealousy. It is hard to watch someone do the things you are unable to. 

I wish I had more faith, I guess. It would be nice. I step outside frequently at night to check the moon. The sky. The air. I used to smoke cigarettes. Now, I just look at the moon. But it would be dope to look up and think there is something looking down. Even if that meant there was something underneath me looking up. 

Legacy is a tricky thing, and immortality is hard, but not impossible. The actions you perform and the words you speak go out into the world, they are absorbed, analyzed, and, hopefully, emulated by the people you have affected. It's a chain. Your legacy bounces around long after you're gone. 

That's pretty dope, too.

I don't think I will live to be an old man. I don't know if I want to, but, even if I did, I don't think it's gonna happen. Too many braincell assassinations. Too much assault on the organs. Hell, I can't go through life with my teeth unclenched. Where is that going? What does that mean? It means, start working on the eulogy. 

Maybe this is pessimism. Maybe I can pass on some of his goodness, and, if that is all I do for the world, I can still consider that a win. No matter how many books I don't sell.

Friday, September 1, 2023

2 Minutes. Go!

I've done too much. The walls are closing in. The sweat streaks down between sharpened shoulder blades. The muscles twitch and, when you look, you can see the blood coursing through the body. Feel the power in that. Imagine the blood leaking out of deflated veins. 

It didn't do what it was supposed to. Not for long enough. It quit early. Or I quit. Someone broke the covenant, and dead flowers rained from the sky. Dead Gods reigned from the sky as well. They asked for sacrifices, and I fucking delivered. How many wasted souls did I send them? Where is my bounty? I am stuck chasing diminishing returns, and all will pay the penalty. 

A blade through the achilles tendon, a knife shoved up under the ribs and twisted. I will burn them with fire. I will erase them from the earth for trifling with me and my expectations. They will learn. Believe me when I tell you that. It won't be pretty. 

Rotten seabirds line the shore, heaps of corpse bodies and feathers. The fish float in a thick, slimy mass on top of the water. They will putrefy. There is nothing to eat their death. For you? For you, it's different. There are many waiting to eat your death. They will let your blood run down their chins, and they will feast - this is the prophecy they have been waiting for. Praying for. 

It is time.