One Man’s War

When the blood ran off his hands the war was over, and he turned his eyes to the vast, burning wasteland that marked his wake. He sighed and wiped the dead from his face, the gristle and blood falling inconsequentially onto the crimson soaked earth.

It was time to go home.

He stared at the horizon, a statue slowly sending shadow spreading with the sun’s descent. Then he ran, pounding steadfast past corpses, leaping nimbly across the eviscerated, hurtling on the tips of his toes as an avalanche of putrefying meat and rusting paraphernalia of war filled his field of vision, sending nanotech bullets into the hordes of over-ambitious scavengers tearing at the decay, reeling himself up a sheer cliff face as highly militarised alien technology silvered through the effluvia below, loping through the healing country past the bursts of wildflower and dancing insects that push from the vibrant grass, falling in a dream that shakes him awake on a cold cave floor, brushing his fingers ecstatically on the rippling wheat rolling on to the horizon that flashes as the sun sinks from view.

The thatched cottage, luminous in constellation light, sent out waves of warm heat and scent. He sank to his knees, the long strobe of days heavy on his flesh and soul. His eyes filled with the light. His voice was hoarse as he yelled at the golden vision that seemed magically there, his leaden legs finally propelling him forward to embrace her in a whirling hug sparkling with tears and litanies of love.

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midnight thoughts

a writer’s reality is arbitrary. things gain a life of their own. teeth may speak in mouths. voices may clamor from the surf. dreams are inspirations and the death knell. why the obsession with words? just soundthings given written form. meaning uttered from tremblings of meat. bounces of sound and light; pushings of atoms and photons. what defines importance? the inherent properness of living life? the RIGHT way to live? arbitrary. the consensual song denies arbitrariness and demands a code of rigour, a method to the madness, a conforming charade.

well, i won’t waltz. I’ll tango in the stead.

Blue Dreams

“When I bring up his father, he becomes very upset and says he is nothing like his father and goes home to drink, which makes him very much like his father.”

He snapped awake in the frigid night, chest heaving. Moonlight poured through the window into his small room, splashing silver light on his narrow bed, the bottle of rum on a single chair, jacket on the coat hanger. His breath steamed cold blue picture-scenes and in all of them he died. He shivered. “I’ve been in the reality game too long. I need a vacation,” he muttered and turned in bed, throwing the blanket over his shoulders.

“Poor chap. Got his head in the sand. Liable to rip it out, if he tried, and he’d be running ’round like a headless chicken.”

“He’s been through enough. He’s been—well, is—everybody. I wish we could cut him a break.”

“Discovered morality, haven’t you? You and your fads. Besides, he’s been broken. He can’t change anything.”

“Remember it’s also yourself you’re talking about.”

This time the Time Traveller woke to the sepulchral fog that flooded the countryside to drown the town square, and from his window he watched a cat on a ledge paw the condensation. The fog swirled and eddied: he could empathize. The moon, a grinning half dollar, lay low in the sky. In the silver scene he pulled his jeans on, slipped into a shirt, took his jacket, and went out of the door.

On second thought he came back for the rum.

A Rare Dream

The house looked simple enough. Who knew it sat on top of a gigantic complex that was a zoo in its own right? A group of friends and I navigated its depths, passing through several large chambers. A minimum of details there, but near the end of the entire place we had to traverse a large crocodile pool to reach the elephant cage. It was a dark, wet place, a bit too industrial: concrete, dripping pipes, bar cages. Some of us played with the snaggle toothed animals, prying open their long jaws to watch them snap closed.

At the elephant cage there was a calf. We petted it, but the mother became agitated. She paced the cage and tried to discourage us. Someone, I think myself, tried to stop the others from pawing the baby. Well mama became pissed enough to bust open the cage door. We ran, scrambling across the crocs, up the stairs. The elephant came on. Passing through every room towards the surface, we locked and secured the door.

We didn’t take the threat too seriously at first. Angry, inexorable pachyderm! She broke through every barrier we threw up and paced in every room before puzzling the way out. By the time we reached the ground floor and escaped outside, she was on the same level, except this time she was stuck inside the house, apparently still trying to figure things out. We could see her through the windows.

We ran for our cars. Panic sang in our heads, but we knew we would be safe once we hit the road.

Gesundheit!

Approaching the dream busker, owl-eyed thanks to the John Lennon shades perched on hooked beak, he opened his clammy, beard-rimmed mouth. Pearly in their moist chamber hedged by unruly strands, delicate considering their owner’s standards, incisively enameling the issue in regards, debriding breath: ‘Instant zen, to go. I would get some cartoons in my head.’

Sugar-tongued with enough grape parfait to last a year, having dubbed himself the reigning charolastro and the logical successor to the moniker moonbeam mayor, he spent the next month prowling the docks, paying careful, time-invested attention towards rectifying minor civil issues ranging from the unwanted attachment of an obstinate plastic sack to an irate twig (he gave the lone breath of an errant zephyr the sack’s company and smiled indulgently at the twig’s wooden wave of appreciation) to domestic disputes between two competing brands of colas he found crushing caps. On that occasion, he delivered a tinny monologue with a such a crackling conclusion that he, satisfied that the colas’ argument had fizzled flat, sat beside a bar-breath derelict of the street and negotiated taxation, in the name of moonlighting municipal authority, expecting a rousing succession of success. Although he made a splash, the tense and jarring deliberation did not end well for himself; he withdrew his tariff and settled for licking cheap wine from his cheek.  

One day, he stood watching the wharf from coming sun up to sun down going and found a profound truth steeped in the stippled scene: God was a pointillist. As the sun rucked in its rays of light to tuck itself under the blanket of stars, he found with his eyes a rose recalcitrantly rising through a section of cracked pavement.  During the day the place was a crush of commerce, of crashing boot-strapped feet and yawing rubber wheels, of falling steel, tumbling plastic, sliding lumber, buzzing machinery.

‘Bodaciously tenacious…’ It was a small bloom, and it he smelled, bending over, his smiling earthworm lips squirmurmuring fondly between fertile russet cheeks. ‘Ewige Blumenkraft!’

From behind, in the shadows, slurring past the flash of winedark flask: ‘Gesundheit!’

Dream Time

In the shrunken hours of night the phone rang off its hook and with sopping lips I answered, “Yes?” I wiped the juices that ran down my jowls with the back of my hand and cradled the receiver against my shoulder, murmuring the squirming form next to me with my other hand. Like thin syrup the voice at the end of line sluiced, “Is it a bad time?”

The ninth played in the background and there was a sucking sound sloo sloo sloo. Splooo. My hand masticating still I said, “Worshipping at the base of mount Mons as the hours grow larger.”

“Ahh,” the voice sloshed. “I’m experiencing Fellini myself.” I nodded, understanding. “Tasting the papaya,” the voice continued. “Worthwhile endeavour. Soft distraction. Onto bigger things now. The dream’s hallucination has spoken.”

I tensed. The bedsheets wrothe and my lungs courted prana. Smoothness returned its limn onto the world once again. The bed flowed with luxuriant ripples. With shakingly steady breath I said, “It’s time?”

Sloo.

Sloo.

Splooo!

A jangle discordant leaked through the receiver, chased by a sibilant yessss… click. The bed shook and a rough soft form fell onto me, pasting my face wetly with saliva. A bark.

“Yes, boss,” I chuckled, picked up the papaya I had been attacking with relish before the rude interruption, and led the way to the back door. Like flame, thoughts of dreams flickered scattered through axons and dendrites as Dog darkled into the night.

Maya, insubstantial as it is, is no easy task, I reflected somberly. I chewed at my fruit and watched Dog caper through the moon silvered hillyards, knowing it would be last I knew such simple pleasures.