Plugged In

I’m plugged in to the vast Wonderland that is modern technology. It’s just something I have allowed to pull me away from the world. As a result, my mind is more sluggish. I read less. I can’t write. When I do have ideas, they are for YouTube videos, not fleshed out scripts. I want to achieve greatness, yet I’m holding myself back. I must unplug, I must reconnect with the world. How can I unplug when the constant chatter of mobile phones surrounds me? How can I focus when escape is in my hands, or charging downstairs? It’s a cycle I don’t know how to break. If I were stronger, perhaps I could. If I were more self disciplined, if I could just pull away from the phone, the computer, all of it. If I had the willpower to force myself to change, I know I could achieve wonders.

Since I have become plugged in, I’ve found myself hating all of my creative endeavours. My film scripts that I thought were brilliant an hour ago quickly become trash. My ideas for stories to write are worthless moments after they are born. Even this essay on my entrapment seems idiotic. Of course, this can’t only be technology’s doing. I think that, now that I have a tool to distract me, the lazy side of my personality has become dominant.

So, how will I break the cycle? How will I escape this endless loop of self destruction? It sounds foolish, I know, for technology to be so addictive, but it is ruining me. I know I can be better than this. And, to break free of my technological prison, I have a plan. I will devote at least twenty minutes a day to writing and brainstorming. I will ensure that I exercise for half an hour. Furthermore, I will make my new phone (which is even more addictive than my previous one) work for me, instead of against. I intend to film my progress and share it on YouTube. This way, I will satisfy the addiction by using the device, while being productive. I want people to know that technology is an addiction. I want support. I’m going to be posting these videos on my channel, ZookZack. I am sorry to be advertising here, but it felt right. Also, I should be posting more on Worst Ending. Thank you for understanding.

 

*Please note: I wrote this near midnight, so it might not be of the greatest quality.*

Migration

they fly through hot wind

like birds of ice

feathers melting

from wings and tails to fall

in a swirl like snow

 

inside their hollow bones

the sounds of shattering chime

in time with the fluting wind

 

and so too must ice hearts melt

in the spring

melt into rain and steam

which amount to nothing at all

Sci Fi Children’s Story

 First glance at my newly attempted children’s story. 

Julia pressed Bluebell, her stuffed bear, to the window of the spaceship. “Look and look,” she told Bluebell. “It’s better for you because you don’t have to blink.” Bluebell’s marble eyes clicked against the glass. The universe was so big that it made Julia want to shut her eyes, like so much sky would fill her until she burst.

“The final frontier,” her father said, standing beside her. “I feel like a cowboy. Of course, our covered wagons have improved.” Her father was very proud of being a passenger on this spaceship.

“We don’t have any cows,” Julia said, but he had already disappeared back down the hallway. “We’ll probably never see a cow again,” she said, and laughed. “We’ll probably never see a parrot, or a penguin, or an alligator – ” suddenly it wasn’t funny anymore. She left the Living Room and went to the lab to find her brother, Andrew, who was hunched over a tiny bean sprout, his eyebrows bunched into knots. He was twelve years old and the second smartest biologist in the world. The first smartest biologist had chosen to stay on earth with the alligators.

“I will never see an alligator ever in my life,” she informed him.

“Look up a picture on the computer,” he said without looking up.

“Some people eat fried alligator. I will never eat fried alligator.”

He glanced at her. “There is plenty of food on this ship.”

“But no fried alligator.”

“You refused to eat the macaroni and cheese last night because it had a different kind of cheese than we had at home.”

“But if I wanted alligator, I couldn’t have it.”

He sighed and put down his tools. “What is this about, Jules?”

She looked through the small window on the other end of the room. “There’s too much empty.”

They both stared at the space between the stars. It was then that Julia noticed two lights that were not stars. They were too large, too round, too yellow, too still. There were no stars around these two lights, just shadow. She took a step closer to the window to see better. Yes, there it was, two lights glinting at her like the eyes of a great cat, and a black shape hooding the stars, just as if this was earth and a panther was standing against the night sky.

She shuddered.

“Don’t think of it as empty,” he said gently. “Think of it as full of things we don’t understand yet. Things better than fried alligator.”

But nobody had gone past the moon before, and nobody had tried to live on Mars or any other planet before. Nobody knew if there were better things than fried alligator. Nobody knew if there were any things at all. Julia squeezed Bluebell tighter.

Andrew strode across the room and took a leather book off the shelf.

“I have a task for you, Julia.”

Julia took the book and opened it. It’s pages were blank, as empty as space.

“Now listen closely, because this is important. I need you to fill these pages with all the life we discover. Plants, animals, bugs, or even interesting rocks. Draw the best pictures you can, and make sure to be detailed. I’m entrusting the whole project of documenting Mars to you.”

Julia’s hands closed over the book. “But Andrew! I’m not even the second best artist on earth!”

“We’re not on earth anymore, Sis. You may be the best artist on this ship. Anyway, you’re the best seven year old artist I know. I wouldn’t give you this project if I didn’t think you could do it.”

She opened the book again, ran her fingers over the creamy-white paper. “Okay.”

“Okay. Now I have to work, Julia.” He turned around and bent over the bean sprout again.

She sighed and sat on the shelf beneath the lab window, trying to imagine what she would find on Mars to draw. Andrew frowned – he hated when she crowded into his workspace – but said nothing. “I’m a scientist,” she whispered to Bluebell. She was really too old for a stuffed animal, but she had screamed at her father to let her take Bluebell to Mars. She might to too old to play with him, but she was not too old to hate the idea of Bluebell sitting alone on earth, growing musty in the storage boxes. Even though they were flying to Mars and would never be able to come back, their father had boxed up all their things in two storage garages, neatly labeled and stacked alphabetically. It was no place for a wild-hearted bear, not even a stuffed one.

Something caught her eye out the window. She looked out and saw – gleaming with phosphorescent light, moving with slow, heavy grace – a whale. A great whale, a whale that would have swallowed an earth whale as if it were krill. It was larger than their ship, with eyes the size of her head.

“Andrew, look!” she shouted.

The second smartest biologist from earth dropped the tray of vegetable sprouts to the floor, dirt scattering across the tile.

He dashed out of the room to check the other windows, as if the whale could be a movie someone had left on. She followed him, rushing down the hall, turning into the Living Room, and falling utterly still before the magnificent window-wall.

The whale pressed its body through the nothingness. The muscles of its great body rippled, and its great tail worked back and forth. The stars passed quietly around it, looking dim and shy.

Then one great eye met Julia’s, and the whale looked through her, through all of her thoughts and memories and bones and blood, and he knew her beingness, the ness that made her Juliet Barnes and not the whale, not Andrew, and not anyone else but herself. Tears stung her eyes, although she did not know why. And suddenly she knew the whale – she saw the weight of all the people and animals and things he had known and a great, heavy sorrow she could not understand. She saw his name – Wanderer – and was enveloped by his large-kind-earthy-wrinkled beingness. Then his eye slipped past the edge of the window, and as she watched his magnificent tail sway back and forth, she began to laugh.

The Myopic Life

quiet

very quiet inside my head

still

static

static strands all connected

one leading to another

my world

carefully arranged and maintained

shifting imperceptibly with each moment

stop animation style

suddenly it has rearranged

 

I can afford to live myopically

coiled about myself

like a snake in a basket

as an artist

anything that produces results

can be excused

there’s something wrong though

a broken connection

I don’t live in the world anymore

 

I’m drifting wildly

toying with subjectivity

manipulating my own mind

I assign meaning as I please

and what if I tire of

the coils and strands?

I’ll turn myself inside out again

and weave the threads

into the fabric of the world

 

I made myself the world

I can make the world myself

I can live myopically or expansively

whatever produces results is justified

no matter what connections snap

whatever produces results

whatever

Three Short Poems

Chairman Meow

Belly up on the chair’s bright cushions

Flash of white paws

Extended transparent claws

Pink vampire mouth gaping

Bared teeth in pleasure

A cat’s casual sadism

 

February

Left shoe worn through

at the heel

 

Walking in the rain again

after a dry winter

 

Shoe soaked through

moisture pooling on hat brim

 

Fine grey rain splashes again

annoyance and gratitude

 

Snow White

Thin skin like dark red silk

Sensuous, enticing

Begging to be interrupted

With a tear

 

Bite and white flesh shows

Translucent, yellowed white

Like the teeth that snap into it

Bone white, sweet as death

 

Red silk; pale bone

Pink mouth; white fruit

And oh is it any wonder

That foolish princess in the fairy tale

Couldn’t resist a poison apple?

Growing Pains

I have grown too large for myself,

gray skins split and bleed.

I have sown a forest inside my skull,

branches crack the bone.

I am weeping tears of willow,

my face is overgrown;

I am keeping nothing but the selves

the roots choose to consume.

Verse Before Breakfast

He sits on his bed

cross-legged, straight backed

 

Of course the room is in cheerful shambles

the bedcovers an unmade tangle

over which books and clothes are strewn

signaling both the haphazard rush of life and youth

and something darker

a disordered, preoccupied mind

 

Ready to go out

an hour premature

He sits on his bed with his hat on

shoes and backpack

at his feet

 

clothes crumpled on the floor

papers and folders piled on the bureau

lopsided pictures thumbtacked to the walls

 

and in the middle of it all

a freshly dressed boy

scribbling with a dying pen

a red callous marking his right middle finger

from where past pens have chaffed and chaffed

 

the heating if Off in his room

he never turns it on

it’s February now and he’s sitting

in his cold room in short sleeves

as rain drips from the eaves

outside the window

 

called down to eat he drops his pen

patting frantically around for his glasses

black framed and crooked from the time

he accidentally stepped on them

 

spectacles located

he finishes his line

rolls the pen between his fingers a final time

and leaves it to mark the spot in his notebook

for when he returns

Hitchhiker

IMG_5294 - Copy

 

Don’t know where I’m going

Don’t really know why

Listening to my heart?
Not really.

Just wandering

wondering.

Searching.

Seeking.

Desperately looking for something.

What?

Not even sure if I’ll know when I find it.

Still, there’s a voice that’s guiding me

Forward

Moving me along.

I’ll know why someday

Maybe…

Never?

American Gypsy

gypsy

I’m a refugee from childhood, my heart is a wandering heart,

I’m a nomad in a foreign land, new spices in my mouth.

I’ll pitch tent in the desert, I’ll pitch tent in your heart,

We’ll walk a hundred miles north, I’ll run a hundred south.

I’m a refugee from childhood, my heart is a wandering heart.

Psychiatric Unit

“Do you remember rain before you understood it?” she asked.

The doctor followed her glance to the rain-wet window. “No.”

“Well, I do. And I’m feeling that feeling again now.” Her brown eyes were hard and shiny.

“What feeling, Jennifer?”

The chair squeaked as she fidgeted.  “Well, you know. You’re a child. You walk outside and wet falls from the sky. It drips down your eyes, you pretend you’re crying. It slicks your hair, you pretend you’re taking a shower. You’re trying to make it fit the pictures you already understand, but it won’t, not exactly, so you just run in circles with your tongue out. The dirt melts into mud, the trees smell strong. The next day, worms are dead on the sidewalks. It’s insane. You ask questions and are told about clouds, but there are deeper wonderings that you can’t even begin to share. You have a taste for magic now. You start to learn science, and you’re told you’re hurtling through space with billions of other universes. That the world is lit by a blazing sphere of fire. That gravity sticks you to the ground, and that on the other side of the world people are walking upside down, their feet to yours, stuck just like you are. Anything seems possible.”

“What are you saying?”

“Well, maybe anything is possible.” She searched the doctor’s white office with her eyes again, the black and white poster of Maslow’s pyramid above his desk, the latest DSM manual on his bookshelf, his bone-white fingers that signed endless prescriptions. “Why is the cure so cold when the world is so beautiful?”

The doctor nodded. “You’re right, Jennifer. Listen to yourself, you’re talking like a healthy person.”

She was grave. “I think I need to go. I think I need to live now. To touch things. Touch people.”

“I think you’re right.”

She was surprised. “You’ll let me go?”

“Yes. The cure is cold because you’re not supposed to stay here. It’s safe, but it’s not home.”

She stood to leave, but paused. “What is it like out there? I mean, what will happen to me now?”

He smiled. “Anything is possible.”

Feeling Nothing

People say that emptiness is a curse, that being lonely is wrong

I say that they are cathartic

That, after so much pain, feeling empty is a blessing

That, after strife, being lonely is a gift

That, after sadness, the only reconciliation is to not feel at all

For happiness is the creator of all sorrow

My story that has no name. by Rugby

“Not again! No no. Please no! not again!!” The city was once again plunged into darkness, black smoke rose, we came for the third time, “hide the children!” someone whispered hoarsely, it didn’t matter, we could still hunt. We could always hunt. We, who could the whispers and see through all lies, who were always feared, who were fear, we were fear, we were death, and we were hopelessness, we were the nightmares. An iron door was shut and locked, we came. Bolted shut. We went through. The children! We moved forward in delight ready for are beloved fear, to feel their fear, we came. Came, coming, death came. Forward, forward We could see them, they were there and suddenly, a light in the darkness, a light, a child, one of the fearing, one of the weaklings, from him. We waited for the shriek, and it never came. “Stop!” he said. We stepped back, needing are fear we went forward again. We tried to feed on the fear of the others, we started to become strong again, stronger stronger. Then, a light, another and another now we were the ones shrieking, dying, dying. More light, more, more! We ran back out the door and the darkness was gone. Gone. Light was all that remained, we yelled, shrieked. We were fear, we were death, and we were hopelessness, we were the nightmares. He is hope.

Darvaza Scenes 6-8

Scene Six

The palace. A judoish room (yes, you saw that, judoish!). The Hatter stands with a sword at her belt, pacing anxiously.

Snow enters. She’s about fifteen.

Snow: Where’s the Hatter?

Hatter: He died. I’m the new hatter.

Snow: I liked the old Hatter.

Hatter: Well the new Hatter isn’t liking you very much. I must say, you aren’t living up to Red’s glowing description.

Snow: Are you Aife? Red’s courter?

Hatter: The same. You talk very posh, you know that?

Snow: Well I am royalty.

Hatter: Well in here you’re my pupil. Now get ready.

Snow draws a sword from her belt. Hatter mirrors her.

Begin.

The two fence. In the end, Hatter disarms Snow.

Hatter: That was pitiful. Again!

Again, the two duel, and again, Snow is beaten.

You’re not even trying! Again.

Another beating. After this, a glint of anger and humiliation enters Snow’s eyes.

You say you’ve been studying for years? You fight as though you’ve never held a sword before and you’re clumsier than your father when he’s drunk.

Snow (angrily): AAARGH!

The two fight and Snow disarms the Hatter. After this, Snow flings aside her foil and begins pumbling the Hatter with her fists. She beats the Hatter to the ground. When the Hatter begins crying out in pain, Snow stops.

Snow: I’m sorry. She keeps him drunk you know. His new wife. The queen.

Hatter (wiping a bloody nose with the back of her hand): I’ve heard. Word with the servants is that Queen Cassandra is keeping King Aleck so sozzled that he can’t see straight. Rather like me now. You throw a mean punch, princess.

Snow: Sorry.

Hatter: Nah, I’ve seen worse. Anyways, now that the king is drunk to the point of obliviousness, Cassandra can rule the kingdom as she sees fit. Are you in agreement?

Snow: Yes and how she sees fit is to allow the peasants to live in disgusting conditions. My mother would never have allowed it. No wonder the land has been so pro rebel lately.

Hatter: Yes well, that concludes your training. As I understand it, you have a certain prince to entertain this evening. Good bye.

Snow and the Hatter exit on opposite sides of the dojo. Snow exits into a courtyard. There is a fountain and statues line it. Belle, Briar Rose Cinderella, and Red all await her.

Belle: Thank god you’re away from that obnoxious Hatter!

Red: Said obnoxious Hatter happens to be my love! Really, shut it, Belle.

Belle: Yes, sorry…But, really! You could have picked a better match. I mean, think about it. They call her ‘the Mad Hatter’.

Red: Yes, yes, I know. But, it’s not my romance we need to worry about today. It’s Snow’s!

Snow: Oh, you guys, really. Stop it.

Cinderella: He could propose! Think about it. You’d be married to Prince Gideon!

Snow: Oh, come on Ella, leave me alone. I still feel too young to-

Briar: Oh, posh! Your parents and mine were married around our age. Fourteen, fifteen, sixteen are all appropriate ages for a lady of the court to wed at.

Cinderella: You’re right, Briar. And think about it. Prince Gideon. You’re so lucky, Snow. You know what they call him, don’t you?

Snow: Yes, yes, I do.

Cinderella and Briar: Prince Charming!

Red: I personally think that nickname is ridiculous. Sure, Gideon is great and all, but ‘Prince Charming’ makes him sound like a prat.

Belle begins to say something when Queen Cassandra arrives. Immediately, the girls fall silent.

Cassandra: Hello, girls. If you’ll excuse me, I must talk to Snow.

Red (with obvious dislike): Of course, Cassandra. (In a gentler tone) Come on Belle. Ella.  Bye Snow.

Cassandra: Queen Cassandra, Miss Red.

Red glares at Cassandra before exiting with Belle and Cinderella at her heel.

Cassandra: I’ll never understand why you hang around with such riff raff. Briar is an acceptable lady but Ella’s mother, a friend of mine, doesn’t think much of her. She calls her Ella of the cinders, or Cinderella on account that she does all of the housework like a servant! Speaking of servants, your friends Belle and Red are actually servants!

Snow: Ella doesn’t think much of your friend; her step-mother. That woman is a sadistic crone who beats her daily.

Cassandra: I will not allow you to talk that way about a distinguished lady of the court. I understand you wouldn’t be talking this way if your mother hadn’t let you spend time with servants like that ‘Red’ gi-

Snow(flying into a rage similar to when she beat the Hatter): DON’T YOU EVER CRITICISE MY MOTHER AGAIN! OR RED! OR ANYONE I KNOW! EVEN THE PERSON WHO TOOK MY MOTHER’S LIFE IS BETTER THAN YOU, YOU SNEAKING, CONIVING explative! I WOULD SAY THAT YOU HAVE A BLACKENED HEART, IF YOU HAD A HEART AT ALL! Thy vile canker-blossom’d countenance curdles milk and sours beer! IF YOU HAD A SHRED OF DECENCY WITHIN YOU, YOU WOULD LEAVE THIS CASTLE AND NEVER RETURN!

Snow runs away from Cassandra in a rage, leaving the Queen looking shocked.

 

Scene Seven

Sarah Ballow stands in the center of a military camp. Akuma walks out of a tent and she approaches him.

Sarah: Akuma!

Akuma: Oh, hello Sarah.

Sarah: I’ve been meaning to talk to you for quite some time now.

Akuma: I’ve been busy leading an army for quite some time now.

He sees her hurt expression.

Sorry, Sarah. I’ve been preoccupied. Please, speak your mind.

Sarah: Right. What I came here to say is that…that…

She pauses, clearly anxious about what she’s going to say next

I lo-

A general walks in.

General: Commander Akuma! Great news! Our contact in the castle has found a way to smuggle someone in.

Akuma (in a pleased tone): Really!

To Sarah.

Sorry, we’re going to have to continue this some other time.

Sarah: Please, Akuma! I’m never sure if you’re going to be alive at the end of a day, what with all of the dark magic and dangerous missions you go on. At least let me tell you that-

She notices that he is gone.

-that I love you.

Sarah notices Akuma and the general enter a tent to her far left. She goes and listens at the flap. The camera gets a shot of Sarah’s face on one side, and the people in the tent on the other. Through the conversation, Sarah begins to form a plan.

Contact: Anyone you want in, I can smuggle through.

General: And this route, you say. You’re positive it will work.

Akuma: I sense no lies. And believe me; I’d be able to tell.

Contact: I really wish you wouldn’t enter my mind like that, Akuma. No offense, no offense!

A tense pause in which the contact looks terrified.

Akuma: Good. I’m sure I can find someone to smuggle in with you. Their mission will be to kill Snow White. She’s the last of the monarchy the people have any respect for. Now good day. I have lessons with Grimm this afternoon.

In a flash of black smoke, Akuma vanishes.

General: That whole vanishing act can get quite annoying.

To the contact.
Good bye, Christian.

Christian: Good bye.

The general exits the tent, not noticing Sarah Ballow at all. When the contact exits, Sarah presses a dagger to his neck.

Christian: Oi!

Sarah: Ssh. Now, you said you could smuggle someone into the castle.

Christian: Yeah, yeah, and, if you’re a spy for the royalty, I won’t rat on ya’. I don’t wanna die!

Sarah: I’m not a spy, you coward. I want you to smuggle me in.

Christian: Oh, sure. I’ll just get ready and-

Sarah: You’re ready. We’re going. I have a sword and a dagger. It’s all I need.

Muttering.

Maybe this is what it’ll take to get Akuma to notice me.

Christian: What was that?

Sarah: Nothing. Now, come on. We’re going to kill the princess.

Scene Eight

Night in the palace. Snow White stands in the courtyard with Prince Gideon. He seems nervous.

Snow: What is it, Gideon?

Gideon: Well, I, I have to ask you something.

Snow: And this something is…?

Gideon: OH, um, well, I was going to ask you…if…you’d

He mumbles something. Snow giggles.

Gideon: What?

Snow: Well, they all call you ‘Prince Charming’. You have a reputation of being suave and smooth. Now, you’re acting jumpy and awkward.

Gideon: Oh! Yes that’s…funny.

Snow: Besides, I know what you were going to ask me.

Gideon: Really?

Snow: Yes. You were going to ask for…

Her voice trails off. When she speaks again, her voice is colder.

…for my hand in marriage.

Gideon: Yes! That’s exactly what I was going to ask you.

Snow: Well, I truly love you, Gideon, but-

Gideon: But what?!?

Snow: I don’t feel ready. Ready to get married. I’m barely fifteen! I mean, really.

Gideon: But, but, if you don’t marry me, who will you marry?

Snow: Were you even listening?!? I won’t marry right now. But, there’s no one I’d rather become betrothed to then you!

Gideon: Not if your mother has anything to-

Snow: HOW DARE YOU CALL HER MY MOTHER!

Gideon (backing up and speaking in an apologetic tone): Sorry! I didn’t mean anything by it!

Snow: Of course not. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. You’re like all of the other princes who courted me before. You just want to marry me to become King!

Gideon: It’s not like-

Snow is gone.

-that.

Snow walks out of the courtyard when Sarah Ballow springs at her with a knife. Snow rolls away and draws Alovgeto. Sarah eyes the blade warily before drawing her sword.

Snow: A rebel! What rat got you in here?

Sarah: What rat put your sot of a father and explative of a mother in power, princess?

The camera follows the fighters. Snow lets out a guttural yell and charges Sarah. The two duel until Snow drives Alovgeto through Sarah Ballow’s heart. Christian sees this and slinks away, unnoticed.

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Darvaza Scenes 1-5

Hi guys. I’ve been gone for a year or two, and now I’ve written a script for a movie a friend of mine is planning to make and which I may act in. Enjoy!

-Skullduggery

 

 

Scene 1

Darkness

Narrator: Not long ago, two worlds collided. A dark force from a different point in space and time seeped into a world very different from its point of origin. However, every catastrophic event is caused by beings, in this instance, human beings. This story will begin at a stage of life all humans go through: childhood. These two humans around whom our tale circles are a girl named Snow White and a boy named Akuma.

Enter Title Credits

Scene 2

Bird’s eye view. Snow White at the age of five or six sits in a garden of flowers. Camera angle then changes to Snow’s face. A shadow passes over her.

 

Mother: Snow, I need you to go inside. There are bad people coming to the castle.

Snow: Why are they coming mother?

Mother: Because some people want to take your father’s power, as well as mine. They are coming now. So please, get inside.

Snow: Yes mother.

Snow sits in a well furnished bedroom. The sky outside the window is black. The sounds of a battle are heard raging outside. Time passes, then cheers of victory are heard. Her father rushes into the room. He wears battle armor and has a sheathed sword at his belt.

Father: Snow, I’m very glad you are safe. After all, you are the key.

Snow: What key?

Father: Never mind that now. We have won the war. The rebels are crushed. Your mother dealt a killing blow to their leader.

Snow: Am I safe now? May I leave the castle as I please?

Father: No Snow. You are not only the key, but you are also the princess. You must be trained in combat to protect yourself. Over these next years, the Hatter will teach you.

Snow: Yes Father.

Scene 3

Again, a bird’s eye view. Akuma sits on the dirt floor of a tent. He is a young boy, no more than seven or eight. Far off, the same battle can be heard. Suddenly, a cry of victory is heard. Akuma looks up.

Akuma: What?

A woman in rags enters.

Ms. Ballow!

Ms. Ballow: Akuma! Oh thank god! I thought they would have come to your father’s tent for sure.

Akuma: What’s going on, Ms. Ballow?

Ballow: The monarchs won. Queen …

She suddenly bursts into tears

Akuma: What is it?

Ballow: She killed your father.

Akuma: Father is…dead? NO! That can’t be!

Ballow pulls herself together.

Ballow: It is. You are our revolution’s greatest hope. Iblis Thios’s son will be the best rallying point for our forces. Come, I will take you. Sarah!

A girl around Akuma’s age enters.

Sarah: Yes mama?

Ballow: Come along. We’re fleeing to the dark forest. We have allies there.

She grabs Sarah by the hand and lifts the still sobbing Akuma under her arm.

Sarah: I’m so sorry, Akuma.

Akuma (sniffing): Thank you, Sarah.

Ms. Ballow runs out of the tent, along with the children.

Scene 4

Snow White is older, maybe ten or eleven. She stands beside her mother’s sickbed. Her mother is paper white, and her face is clenched in pain.

A doctor enters

Snow: How is she?

Doctor: Not well. The arrow was cursed. Why she went out to speak to the people, I don’t know.

Snow: My mother. She always said that to rule, you must never think yourself above those you rule. That is why the people loved her. Will she recover?

Doctor: I’m afraid not. The curse is a tricky one. Had she come sooner, maybe she could have been saved. As it is, all our magicians will be able to do is alleviate her pain in her remaining time.

Snow: Her remaining time? What is that supposed to mean?

The doctor puts a consoling arm around Snow’s shoulder. She shrugs it off.

Doctor: I’m so sorry Snow. But, your mother is going to die.

A magician enters. He places his hands on Snow’s mother’s stomach. He mutters a few words, and she relaxes. Snow is holding back tears. The magician and doctor exit, leaving Snow alone with her mother.

Mother: I know. They can’t heal me. That’s alright.

Snow: It’s just…it’s just not fair!

A couple of tears get by her.

Mother: Snow, come here. I need you to promise me something.

Snow sits down at the end of the bed, sniffing.

Snow: Anything, mother.

Mother: When I die, you must ensure that your father is good to his subjects, or they will turn on him. You have always valued the people’s freedom, and that is why the rebels will come after you. You will be the monarchy’s last rallying point.

Snow: I thought the rebels were crushed.

Mother: No, they weren’t. A rebellion can never be fully crushed until the people are content once again. You must make your father be a good and just king.

Snow: Yes mother.

Mother: For your protection, you may take my sword.

Snow: Alovgeto? But, why?

Mother: Because Alovgeto not only kills a foe’s body, but his soul as well. This is vital when you must kill an enemy. Otherwise, their allies could speak to them from beyond the veil, and learn more and more about you until you are eventually finished.

Snow: Yes mother.

Mother: Now, go. Play with your friends. I have other people I need to talk to as well before I die, you know.

Snow begins to cry.

Snow: I love you, mother.

Mother pulls Snow into a hug.

Mother: I love you too dearest.

Snow pulls herself together and exits the room. Her father, looking stricken, enters past her. Snow continues walking until she reaches the garden. There, Cinderella, Belle, and Red Riding Hood sit, looking anxious. Cinderella and Alice are about Snow’s age and Red is one or two  years older.

Red: How is she?

Snow: She’s….

Seeing the look on Snow’s face, Red understands.

Red: Oh god. Snow, that’s horrible.

Snow starts to cry again, and Red hugs her.

Snow: Red, why did they do this? Why would one of the people kill someone as good as my mother?

Scene Five

A bird’s eye shot of a military camp. The camera zooms in on a tent, then cuts to inside it, where Akuma stands alone, looking pleased. He is older, maybe two years older than Snow.

Ballow and General Uther enter.

 

General Uther: What were you thinking, killing the queen? You’ve become reckless. She was much loved amongst the people, and now you have martyred her!

Akuma: I will not be questioned by the likes of you, Uther.

Uther: The likes of me? You may be Thios’s son, but I am in command of-

Akuma raises his hand and Uther’s veins become black. He gasps and suddenly falls silent.

Akuma: Were in command of, General Uther. Were.

Ballow: You’ve been spending time with Grimm, haven’t you? He’s dangerous, Akuma, as are those spells taught you.

Akuma: Thank you Miss Ballow, but I will live how I see fit.

Ballow(in a disquieted tone): Very well. By the way, Sarah wanted to spend some time with you.

Akuma: Later. I’m busy. I have to find a new general.

Ballow: Akuma, please, stop visiting Grimm. He’s changing you for the worse.

Akuma: We’re finished here.

He exits the tent, leaving Ballow looking concerned.

“Nothing At All” (a short story by Jules)

Why, yes, I am back! I recently have returned to my love of writing. I hope to stay in this inspired state for a while.
Jules
____

In terms of conversation, her words were simply words that flew from a well-learned mouth. She spoke countless ribbons of circuitous and roundabout entrances and exits through doors in an endless hallway. Exquisite vocabulary gave an eloquence that I have heard nowhere else but in my thoughts. She gave those phrases an obvious meaning, and I took them a different way.
When she left me hanging after an observation that the sky was bluer than it had been in weeks, and the clouds had clearly chosen to migrate to the east, my mind raced to an interpretation of what she must have been attempting to say through a red herring of sorts. In other words, I always assumed she was being cryptic when she talked to me, for she used such luscious detail and commented on the things in which I saw the brightest and deepest symbols. Because of this assumption, I was also led to believe that there was no necessity tell her what I read through my ears, if she was the one who released the masqueraded philosophy into the quick traveling air.
But her face never was pensive the way that one would expect from a girl who was thought to be so profound. Her eyes never reached the intensity that says a machine is working inside that skull. In fact, aside from her erudite word choice, there was nothing but statement, even if it did beat around the bush endlessly. Looking back on it now, I realize that she did not mean for her words to be anything more than what entered the atmosphere as it left her lips.
I grew to love her in ways that consumed the innermost tissues of my brain. Every sound that she made only added kindling to the slow-burning fire which steadily charred my hesitation. And then one day I wanted to kiss her.
“I am inspired by each syllable that you form,” I told her, “and each time you speak I am blown away by your insite. Your way of comprehending that which I have never considered– it is far beyond what any other human has uttered in the history of our impossibly convenient universe. Yesterday I was walking for leisure, and saw among the branches a bird with plumage bright and patterned, staring lovestruck ahead of him at the beauty that was his idol, a bird whose feathers were a solid gray but whose song was of a thousand melodies combined. There was not a movement he could accomplish until long after she had shut her beak and the voice had ceased. He was decoding the intricate whirlwind of sound that had reached his eardrums and sent vibrations into his brain, striking him dumb and incapable of responding. He was rendered paralyzed by the enticing vocalizing of her thoughts, which needed attention to be truly read.”
At this time, she made the most straightforward sentences I have ever heard from her:
“You don’t get it at all– You are not in love with me but rather the image set into your mind by your unfounded interpretations. Have you any idea who I truly am? You have invented a fantastical goddess out of a young girl who narrates the world around her. All this time, I thought you were listening to me.”
All that time, I thought I knew her, but I did not know her at all. In actuality, I knew nothing of the girl whom I listened to more than my favorite record; and all that time spent decoding her, was spent decoding nothing at all.

“My First Words” by Sandy

by Sandy

My first words were never heard,
For when I was a child
This untrained, shaking pen was stirred
To speak in colors wild.

It showed me everything I was:
The dreams I used to know,
The trembling anger, gentle love,
Stories of long ago.

We painted secrets till I found
My heart upon the page,
Beating softly through the sound
Of every cherished phrase.

And so we danced, the pen and I,
Through diaries and thoughts,
Through gates that guarded every sigh—
The gates that we unlocked.

Yet as my murky mind matured,
My trembling hands grew steady;
My dreams were dreams, my words were words,
My pens were old and heavy.

Some fire nearly dried to ash,
Yet something saved the flame:
It caught the tears and dreams and laughs,
So every spark remains.

It was my pen that carried me
From ignorance to bliss,
From dreams I dream to dreams I see,
From childhood to this.

And when I long for anything
My fire burned away,
I find my footprints in the ink—
My hardened, timeless clay.

These scribbled tears and blurry scenes
Are always mine to hold,
For when I see my ancient dreams,
I am seven years old.

My pen whispered the secret words
That no one else could see.
So my first words were never heard
By anyone but me.

—————————————-

I totally thought I posted this months ago… it’s only been, I don’t know, WAY TO STINKING LONG since I last did anything on this precious website!!! :P

NEW STORY!!! Still no title tho…

Its amazing what good friends and a good book can do for your writing. Here goes…

IN our world, those fit to survive do. And those who aren’t die. The Leaders don’t kill them. We never kill. But it is survival of the fitest. The unfit, the Lessers, are cast out. They live alone and if they do survive, they will die alone. And only those fit to reproduce will. Those like my parents have offspring. And some have offspring like me.
~
I am perfect. I am one of the Prime. There are 12 of us in existence. We are the strongest, fastest, smartest, fittest, most visually appealing. We are the elite, the most aptly equipped to survive. That is valued here. A genius named Darwin once wrote that those with the best chances of survival will survive. That is how we function. That is what we do. That is… it.
In our community, there are the Complete. Citizens who are of average and acceptable intelligence. Then there are the Leaders of society. They make the decisions and control the last faction of sociey, the Lessers. They are the ones un-fit to survive in our community. The blind, the deff, the mute, the disabled, both physically and mentally. They are sent to live in the wild Outer Regions. This is what is best for the survival of our species. Once, back in pre-society times, there were humans who tried to change this. Who tried to “fix” nature, to “cure” it. This almost lead to their destruction. they allowed the mentally disabled to run free until another functioning human was harmed or killed. They did not prevent those who were less from mating with with those who were not. The race as a whole was becoming weaker and weaker. So weak that the Leaders had to step in to save the humans. If not for the Intervention, we would not have the near-flawless society that we have here.
The Prime are the children of a few Complete. We live in the Center For Prime Intelligence Advancement, or just the Center. Our ages range from 15 to 26, the youngest being a boy named Tam, the oldest, a woman named Borrah, I, Kayhln, am 17. We all move here when we turn 15. After our 15th birthday, we leave our parents in the Inner Regions, and move to the Center, where we will live until we die.
~
Tam walks into dining pod carrying his supper tray. He takes his seat beside Lori and every one of us in the pod stares in silence.
“Geometry and engineering,” he says quietly. There are a few murmurs of approval, Lori pats him on the back, telling Tam that those should be good subjects to study, and we all go back to our meals. Everyone, while we are all gifted in every area, has a Specialty. When we come to the Center , we are put through a series of various tests to determine out Specialty. Lori’s is plants and animals. Borrah’s is decoding. Marq’s is combat. My Specialty is human to human interaction. I observe people. I learn everything I need to know about a person simply by speaking to and watching them.
The Bell chimes once, a low note. We all stand, return our trays to the bot, and head to our dormitories, the boys branching to the left, the girls to the left.

The Dove’s Song

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful maiden named Amadea. She had long, flowing hair that glinted and shimmered like gold, and the loveliest voice in the whole kingdom. When she sang even the birds and the flowers strained to listen.

Now it happened that when Amadea went to take a stroll out in the forest one day, the Prince of the country was riding nearby. As soon as he heard her beautiful singing voice (for she had not yet seen him), he thought to himself, I must be in love! The Prince quickly found her and announced his love to her. Although startled, Amadea was very flattered and decided that she must love him too; After all,  she told herself, it is impossible for a prince to fall in love with one who does not love him back, as any sensible person knows. They talked for a long time, and parted just after noon, when the sun shone high above, brightening the whole world with its beams. The prince promised to return once he had informed the king and made everything ready, while Amadea promised to meet him in the clearing where they had first met in a week’s time, after informing her own family, of course.

 

Amadea rushed home, very excited. She at once told her mother, who was just as excited as she and very happy for her. Then she rushed out of the little cottage to tell her friend, David. They had been good friends since childhood, and with no siblings she found it fitting that he be the first of any non-relation to know. She found him near the river, fishing, and she told him eagerly. He smiled and encouraged her.

“But . . . Prince Meridian!” she exclaimed. “Coming to our little village, way out here? Who would think it?”

“It is certainly incredible,” agreed David.

“And yet it is credible – completely!” They’d all seen him at one festival or other at the capital, and she knew she had not mistaken him. She paused. “What was he doing, all the way out here?”

“Just chance, I suppose,” David sighed.

“What?”

“Huh?” he asked, starting, not realizing he had sighed. “Oh, um, nothing. I guess the fish just aren’t biting today.”

“Oh? Perhaps further downst – ”

“Yes, wonderful idea.” David broke in, getting up and gathering his fishing gear. He looked up. “Care to join me?” he asked, when Amadea remained seated, staring at the river.

“Hm?” she looked up at him. “Oh, sorry! I guess I was somewhere else.”

He grinned, then repeated, “Well? Coming?”

Amadea nodded and hurried after him around the river bend.

 

“Only two more days!” Amadea exclaimed to David one morning. Already the fifth day, she was bursting with excitement. She paused as David started humming. “What?”

“You just made me think of this song I know,” he answered.

“Oh? Could you sing it to me?”

He considered.

“Please?”

“Alright, I suppose I could sing you the first verse,”

“Only the first?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll tell you the rest someday,”

Amadea was growing very excited, for surely this must be a very special song. “Well what’s the first?”

David sang;

 

“Can you hear the birds above?

Can you see each little dove?

See how each shines as white as the moon?

Happy fortune is their tune,”

 

David finished singing. He also had a beautiful singing voice, Amadea couldn’t help but think. “I like that song,” she decided. “But why can’t I hear the rest?”

“I can’t tell you that,” he said secretively. “But, when you hear the last verse, you’ll know.”

“And when will that be?”

“After you hear the third verse,” he said nonchalantly.

“David!”

David laughed. “Well, you have to hear it one verse at a time, that’s how it works.” He paused. “Tell you what. I’ll sing you the second verse while you wait for your prince to come get you.”

She grinned. “Can’t wait,”

 

“Can you hear the birds above,

Can you see each little dove

They’ve all come to wish you well

They wish we didn’t have to say farewell”

 

They sat in the little clearing waiting for Amadea’s mother, who was to accompany her. The rest of the village (for they all knew each other) would be coming the next day.

“Well you know,” Amadea argued, “We’ll see each other tomorrow,”

“Yes,” David agreed, “But then it will be different.”

“What will?” she asked, confused.

He shrugged. “Everything.”

“I won’t be,” she assured him.

“But you wi– look, here’s your mother.”

Amadea, although confused, was quickly distracted and rose to greet her mother. David rose, too, wanting to say something to Amadea before they weren’t alone anymore.

“Amadea, ”

“Yes,” she turned to face him.

“Amadea, I –” he was interrupted by the sound of a procession riding nearby.

“Oh, they’re nearly here! Come on, you have to meet him,” she said excitedly, grabbing David’s arm and bringing him along with her. She stopped short. “What was it you were going to say?”

“Oh nothing,” she examined his expression, incredulous. They’d known each other for too long. “No, really,” he said, “It wasn’t important.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes.”

“Well . . . alright. Come on, then –”

“Amadea, I’d better go home, I have some work to do.

“Why?” she asked. “Don’t you want to see him? It’ll only take a moment.”

“Well, you said yourself, I’ll see you both tomorrow. Besides,” he added, “your prince might take me the wrong way.”

“Take you the wrong – Oh! Oh, no, I don’t think he will, David.”

“Just the same.” Her face fell a little. “Don’t worry, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“. . . Alright.” He started to turn away. “David?”

“Yes?”

“Goodbye,” she said, hugging him.

He paused, surprised. Then he hugged her back. “Goodbye,”

 

Altogether, the journey had been very exciting for Amadea. David had left just moments before the first horse came into view. She had been a little surprised after she’d hugged him also, but a sudden uncertainty had come over her. After all, she was going to a new place, with new people – people, who, save one, she had never met before. Of course, she had her mother, and for that she was glad, but she thought it might have been almost childish to hug her mother, who would be coming with her, anyway. Prince Meridian had galloped over and leapt off his horse, eager to greet his bride. He’d picked her up and swung her around, making her feel as though she was lighter than air. Then he’d put her down, bowed like the price he was, and formally kissed her hand. He then greeted her mother, who was delighted by the fine young man who was to be her son-in-law. The two, mother and daughter, had ridden in a fine carriage, the prince riding back to come alongside to check on them every once in a while. When they’d finally gotten to the palace, he had helped them out, just before they were whisked away to their rooms with their bags. He apologized, saying that his father insisted that he meet with him today. True, she’d been disappointed, but then, they needed to unpack, so she and her mother followed the servants to where their room was to be till the wedding.

 

By dinner time, Amadea had not seen the prince again. He made it in time for dinner, and for that she was glad. There had been a grand feast for the Prince’s new bride, with more food than Amadea had ever seen in her life. But soon dinner was over. Meridian barely had time to apologize again and kiss her hand before he was whisked off to another meeting. He had to help his father, again. So Amadea was left to wander the castle. Soon, she came to the garden. It was beautiful and quiet. She meandered down cobblestone paths, winding through rose gardens and around fountains, thinking. One couldn’t imagine a garden more lovely.

One fountain in particular caught Amadea’s eye. Resting on top where two delicate doves, spreading their wings, sculpted as though about to take flight. David’s song instantly flashed into her mind, and she started humming it. She wondered what it meant. Before he’d left the clearing, he had promised to tell her the next verse when he saw her again. That would be only tomorrow! She couldn’t wait for the third verse. She already knew half the song.

 

“Can you hear the birds above?

Can you see each little dove?

See how each shines as white as the moon?

Happy fortune is their tune,”

 

She’d certainly had great fortune. The prince had fallen in love with her. And her with him, of course. So she’d found her true love, and he was a prince. How much happier luck could one wish for?

 

“Can you hear the birds above?

Can you see each little dove?

They’ve all come to wish you well,

They wish we didn’t have to say farewell,”

 

Of course, she didn’t want to leave everyone behind, especially David. Am I really leaving them all for one familiar person among scores of strangers? But then she still had her mother. And everyone would be coming tomorrow. This farewell would not be permanent.

 

In the morning, Amadea rose excitedly. She was still a stranger to palace life, and found it very strange and hard to manage when the servants tried to help her dress and fix her hair. Finally, she allowed them to do whatever they wished with her hair after she had gotten dressed herself, as a compromise.

It was still yet early, so she waited in the garden by Dove’s Fountain, as she called it, until she could hear the sound of galloping hooves. She hurried to the front gates to greet them. She quickly found David, but then stopped short, feeling awkward and embarrassed over the last time they’d seen each other, when she’d hugged him. Oh for goodness sake, Amadea!  She said to herself. It’s David. Stop being silly. She rushed up to him. She tried to ask how the ride was, and other things she figured that it was polite and right to ask. Finally, once she could think of nothing else to say, she asked David about what she really wanted to know. His song.

“Wait a little,” he said, which she took as a promise. She figured there’d be no arguing with him, so she agreed to talk about other things. Soon, though, the servants came to show the guests to their rooms, and she was left alone again.

 

“Can you hear the birds above?

Can you see each little dove?

No, you can’t, your eyes are blind,

Someday they will open your mind.”

 

That night’s dinner was less grand than the last, but magnificent nonetheless. She sat with the prince again, and once again he was gone almost before the servants started clearing the table. Amadea went out into the gardens with David, and persuaded him to sing her the third verse.

“Well, what do you mean my eyes remind you of a blind person’s?” she asked.

He winced, as though he’d expected a question of that type. “It’s just an expression –”

“But you do mean that there’s something I’m not understanding.”

“Well,” he couldn’t decide just how to answer. “Yes…”

“Then what is it?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“What do you mean you can’t tell me? Don’t you want me to understand you?”

“Yes, but, well, I just can’t. You’ll understand when you he –”

“I know, I know, when I hear the last verse. Well, how about now?”

“Um, now?”

“There’s no time like the present.”

“I can’t.”

“Yes you can.”

“Well, I won’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because I ca – I won’t now. Later, I will. I promise.”

“When? The wedding’s tomorrow at sunrise, and then you’ll all be leaving for home without me! We won’t even be able to talk alone again!”

“I know that!” he said, keeping his voice low. Somehow, though, Amadea could tell that if they’d been back at home, by the river, he might have been yelling, or near to it. “Don’t you see I’ve been trying to figure this whole thing out?”

“It’s just a song. You needn’t to get so excited about it.”

“No, it’s not. You’ll see when – ”

“I know, I know, the last – wait, did you say, ‘this whole thing,’? What whole thing?”

David’s eyes widened, as though he hadn’t realized what he’d said. “I, uh, I – ” he paused, trying to collect his thoughts. He looked about to say something, but then  he only took a breath and said, “Nothing.” He stood up to leave, but then turned.

“Amadea, can I ask you something?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Do you love him?”

She blinked. “What?”

“Do you love him?”

“He loves me . . .”

“That’s not what I asked,” he said. He turned and left, not giving her a chance to give him a real answer.

She sat there, stunned. She hadn’t been expecting that question.

 

After all, it is impossible for a prince to fall in love with one who does not love him back, as any sensible person knows.

Her own thoughts from nearly a week ago came back at her. Is it really true? She wondered. She couldn’t be sure.

She could hear some servants or workers a little way off. She didn’t want to be in their way. Is it even proper for me to be out here this late? She didn’t know what was proper here from what was proper if she were a soldier going to war. She stood up, unsure. The men seemed a little louder now, perhaps they were closer? She couldn’t imagine what work they might be doing, other than last minute preparations for the wedding, possibly. It was a terribly dark, though. Her curiosity got the best of her and she turned to look. Suddenly she was grabbed from behind. She tried to scream, but a cloth was stuffed into her mouth. Her hands were pinned behind her, and she tried to struggle. She couldn’t tell how many there were, but she realized that these must have been the men she assumed were servants. Her thoughts were cut short as she tasted something strange on the cloth and her world began to fade.

 

The castle was frantic when it was discovered that the princess-to-be was missing. Everyone searched high and low, but she was nowhere to be found.

Meridian knew that his father would probably end up blaming one of the enemy kingdoms nearby for her kidnapping, and also probably accuse them of killing her also. But there was only one kingdom that could have done it, and they both knew it. Gadiam. Of course, it could have been only a team of bandits seeking a ransom, but it would have been impossible for such a group to slip onto the castle grounds unnoticed. No, the only nation that could have gotten in was Gadiam, ruled by the evil wizard, Gadus. He had used his magic to keep him alive for many centuries, and could have easily used it to get into the castle and take the prince’s bride. It was the only way anyone could have gotten past their defenses, the king was sure.

At first, Meridian had been all for galloping straight for Gadiam, not stopping until he had found the wizard and saved Amadea. After all, that’s what princes do, isn’t it? He asked himself. Of course, his father had disagreed, affirming that he’d never be able to cross the border into the kingdom without being caught, let alone rescue his bride, due to the powerful spells. What could he do? She was lost. And, really, he figured, she must not have been his true love. A prince’s true love wouldn’t be lost so easily. It is a good thing I did not marry her before I realized this, he decided. Perhaps it’s all for the best.

 

David was furious. They weren’t even trying to find her? And the prince claimed to love her only yesterday, he thought. He wished the prince was with him right now so he could knock some sense into him. Didn’t they realize that anything could be happening to her while they delayed and tried to figure out what was the diplomatically correct way to go about this? She could be hurt, injured, starving, or even dying. And the prince, who claimed to care about her, was sitting back and doing nothing? Probably looking for a new “true love,” David thought bitterly.

He couldn’t just sit here. He had to find her before it was too late.

 

David was able to track them to the forest. He was a day behind them, but he’d make up for it, he was sure. At first, he had to remind himself that he had no way of knowing whether it was them or just some harmless peasants, but at their forest camp he found ropes left behind at the base of a tree, and a girl’s footprints. He was certain that Amadea had been there.

He traveled as fast as he could, and tried not to sleep too long. He had to catch up. He couldn’t let anything happen to her.

Finally, he came to an old, crumbling castle that must have been used for a king many generations ago. He could see the faint outline of smoke from a campfire rising into the air and could hear horses whinnying distantly, probably from around back. He’d found them, he was sure of it.

“I’m coming, Amadea,” he whispered. “Hold on.”

 

Amadea was scared. The wedding should have been two or three days ago. She wasn’t sure how long she’d been out. Surely they’d noticed she was gone. Of course they would have! How can you have a wedding without the bride? she asked herself. The prince would be coming for her. Soon. But why hasn’t he found me yet? The group that had kidnapped her had camped at the first site for almost a day. If Meridian had left as soon as she was discovered missing, he would have found her by now. Did that mean that something had happened to him? She hoped not. Which again drudged up the question; Why hasn’t he found me yet?

She sat in a small room at the top of a tower, in the very middle of the crumbling structure. Even if Meridian did find her, she wasn’t sure how he would ever get her out. The men that had kidnapped her had all been dressed as guards, which she figured was the way they had gotten in. They were all camped out in the entry hall of the castle, guarding the stairway. And climbing the outside of the tower would be suicide. She was afraid to just touch the walls, lest they might come tumbling down around her.

I mustn’t give up hope, she told herself. I’m sure Meridian will come for me.

The tower had one window, and she looked out of it now. It was better than staring at the wall all day. Two doves flitted past, gliding along in the breeze, chirping happily.

 

Can you hear the birds above?

Can you see each little dove?

See how each shines as white as the moon?

Happy fortune is their tune,

 

Can you hear the birds above,

Can you see each little dove

They’ve all come to wish you well

They wish we didn’t have to say farewell

 

Can you hear the birds above?

Can you see each little dove?

No, you can’t, your eyes are blind

Someday they will open your mind,”

 

The song came unbidden into her mind. She sunk to the floor crying. Meridian doesn’t care about me. His father could easily tell him that the wedding is next month, and he would never notice I was gone. Who talked to me, who was with me all day when the prince should have been?

In those few moments, she realized why she missed David so much, why, if she thought about it, she trusted David more than Meridian, and why every time she tried to picture herself being rescued, she saw David’s face, and not her fiancé’s. How must it have felt, she realized, for her to go on and on about the wedding in front of him?

Surely David, if anyone, noticed I was gone. Surely he’ll come for me. But what if he already left, before the wedding? What if he didn’t want to stick around to see me marry someone else?

I love him.

She stopped, suddenly terrified. What if he doesn’t love me? She’d been mistaken in the case of true love before. But somehow this was different. She couldn’t explain it, but it was. She was more sure of it. She knew she loved him. But, now she figured it was quite possible that he didn’t love her. Everything she’d thought about love had been turned on its end. She suddenly found herself wishing she knew that last verse. Why, she didn’t know. But she needed to know it. David had told her it was important, so it was.

I might never see David again, she reminded herself, hugging her knees to her chest in the cold. She knew very well that there was a good chance that the men might kill David before she even got to see him, if he did find them. She couldn’t bear to see him dead.

If I hadn’t been stupid enough to agree to marry someone who I did not love and who did not love me, then I’d be with David right now, and we’d both be safe.

 

That night, Amadea sat in the middle of the stairwell of the tower, near a hole in the wall, trying to get any amount of warmth from the fire the men were sleeping around. Two of the men were still awake, talking.

“You’re sure they won’t find us?” said the one in a gruff voice.

“Of course,” the other answered. “They’re all too proud to even suspect any of their own might be fakes and traitors. The king will assume it’s one of the other nations. And of course, they’re too proud to think that anything short of a master sorcerer would be able to get past their soldiers. He and his son will go down to their graves still thinking that this whole thing was all because of that old wizard.”

“But mightn’t they track us still, thinking we’re the wizard?”

“No! They’re too afraid of the man to do anything about him kidnapping their precious princess. And they’ll never think of double-crossing him while handing over the ransom, or chasing after him when he kills the girl. We’re as good as gold.” If they hadn’t left the gag on over her mouth, she was sure she would have gasped and been taken back to the cold tower room where they thought she was now.

Soon the first one was off to sleep. The second seemed to be keeping watch, despite his own self-assurance. At least I know something now, she thought grimly. Even if they are going to kill me, at least I know that I need to get away. They won’t kill me until they get their ransom. But how will I get out? Her hands were still bound behind her back, so she’d never be able to climb down the outside of the tower, even if she’d been stupid enough to want to. And there was no way she’d make it past all of the fake soldiers, let alone get the door at the bottom of the stairwell unlocked.

Suddenly there was a sound at the door. The man standing guard slowly got up, drew his sword, crossed to the other side of the room and cracked the door open. He looked confused and lowered his sword, saying something that Amadea couldn’t catch to whoever was outside the door, who made a barely audible reply. Suddenly, she saw a blur above the man’s head and he crumpled to the floor. Amadea looked around quickly. No one had yet noticed, but she still had yet to decide whether what had happened was good or bad.

The door started to creak further open. Amadea pressed herself closer to the wall, hoping she wouldn’t be visible to the newcomer. A form closed the door shut. Amadea squinted. It looked like another man, but she couldn’t tell much else in the dark. He started moving around, looking as though he was trying to find something.

Then he whispered, “Amadea?” Amadea’s eyes widened. She knew that voice! “Amadea?” he whispered again, a little louder.

She started to whisper, “David!” back to him, almost forgetting that she still had the gag in her mouth. She tried to bang on the staircase to make noise, but when that didn’t work tried to get whatever sound she could through the cloth, hoping it wouldn’t be loud enough to wake the men. It came out more as mumbling, but David heard her and quickly rushed over to the door to the stairwell. It was still locked. He turned around and went back to the man he had knocked out and found the keys tucked on to his belt. David quickly grabbed them, then, as an afterthought, took the man’s sword out of its sheath. He hurried back over to the door, unlocked it, and quietly opened it. Amadea prayed the whole time that it did not creak.

Finally, he got inside, and Amadea almost cried with relief. He quickly crept up the stairs and found her sitting in the moonlight that barely lit the area in front of the hole in the wall. He quickly removed her gag and untied her bonds, and she threw her arms around his neck. This time he hugged her back without hesitation. You know, it’s not so awkward this time, she thought to herself with a smile.

He helped her down the stairs, as her legs were a little shaky from not walking for a couple days, and they slipped out the door. They ran all the way past the edge of the forest, not risking talking until they had made it into the relative safety and stopped underneath a spreading chestnut tree. Then he finally sang her that last verse:

 

“Can you hear the birds above?

Can you see each little dove?

Know you the secret of the dove?

You alone are the one I love.”

 

They safely got away,  later went on to get married, and lived happily ever after.

The End.

 

 

 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

National Poetry Month (NaPoWriMo!)

National Poetry Month is a good excuse for people across America to embrace their creepy poem-obsession. You can read the official description on http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41 . Every April, participants celebrate by writing, reading and sharing poetry—through public events like open-mic nights, and even quirky little idea like the poem-in-your-pocket day on April 26th.

Some people choose to do the 30-day poetry challenge of NaPoWriMo (like NaNoWriMo, only less work ;) ). http://www.napowrimo.net/ This event is not run by the Office of Letters and Lights—OLL is busy running Screnzy in April—but it’s just as rewarding and interactive.

*cough* Okay, fine. I’ve never done it. But for the past few years I’ve been meaning to, so I think it’s time :D WHO’S WITH ME???

~Sandy

Random Story

Once, there was a loaf of bread. It was dropped in a city park. It lay there for many years, gazing up at the limitless sky. As the years passed, it morphed. It began to lengthen and widen, and black mold covered its surface. Then, two decades later, the bread turned into a successful, middle aged man. He became a lawyer, married, and had two children. They were named Spearmint and Evergreen.

One day, when the middle-aged lawyer was driving his Ford Taurus, Spearmint and Evergreen turned into peanut butter and got his seats dirty. So, he hired a cleaning person to fix the mess. Then, he realized his life’s calling was to move to the Arctic and become a stock trader. So he did, and he lived until the end of time.

The End

Revulsion

By Hades

The crossroads of memory and

imagination a dusty location

history- the children’s propaganda version;

 

that unattractive moral hypocrisy (we are all a part) of broken

truth that extends only so far then shies away:

the event horizon of a half-lie;

 

a broken truth less telling than falsehood for

an outright inversion reveals

as much as it conceals-

 

every action shows a little more; you wake up feeling

like a chipped mirror or

something more organic…

 

…but decayed.

 

Because you can’t defy observation

there’s no escaping speculation (about insignificant

daily habits, or perhaps something perverse

 

and mildly disgusting) unlike electrons

people can’t perplex all the instruments of science

only hide in the anonymity of the crowd where

 

we think ugly thoughts about one another

but no one is anybody special.

 

Sometimes I picture myself as a character in a history book-

for characters they are, as one does not see them

with their naked/tear-streaked faces

 

turned skyward in despair and confusion-and picture pretentious  discussions

of what I wrought occurring hundreds of years later

and wonder

 

and wonder if it is worth it to strive for change

when thoughts seem static

ideals unaltered

 

I feel almost vindicated in my…

 

revulsion.

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design