Persistence of the unforgetting

Sunken deep like forgotten wrecks.
A hate that broods, contorts and flex.
This grudge is old and just like oil.
Black with time, and within me coils.
Staining my soul with its heartless rind.
Unforgotten, despite the passage of time.
But time has come to break the bond.
That swirling hole, that stagnant pond.
I will no longer give food to the beast.
It is to the wolves I throw this feast.
A stinking blood drool of unwanted flesh.
Cut from my heart, and so refreshed.
Then wrapped in a tourniquet of letting go.
With hope that in that hole, some love will grow.

Smartly Dressed Violence (part xviii)

Click here for previous entries


Jess had a story like many others, a cataloguing of moments in her youth that pushed her to the side of rebellion. She had watched for years how those with and without S.I.N were treated differently. How the great gap between the two seemed to be widening. It was assumed that Jess was a sufferer herself, tainted by the genetic mutation that kept some in the lower bowels of society.

But she was not.

Jess had always had a distaste for discrimination. Her very soul had rejected the nonsense and justification of how and why society behaved as it did now. She felt everyone was equal, despite of where you came from, what your were or how your cells formed and grew. She had be called an idealist with much of her ‘radical’ thoughts put down to her youth. But it was her youth that bred the rebellion within also, the mutinous feelings she had for how she was told to live.

When she discovered there was another way, and others who felt the same as she; Jess poured her effort into undoing the pain that the past had normalised. She craved to know more of the Altered and the magic, to do her part in righting the wrong. Her path had crossed Levon’s, a ghost like being in the revolution. His skills and gifts were well known, but also his allusiveness and reluctance to fully engage in the fight. Now Jess knew a little better the part he played. The veil had been lifted on the The Order and she had gotten what she had wanted, a true part to play in the war against the unjust.

Aiko had long ago become a target for her rage and contempt. She knew all about his upbringing of course, she had done her research well. She knew the secrets he kept and the hypocritical state of his youth. He may be smartly dressed on the outside, but inside he had been just as ‘unclean’ as the many he and his fellow appraisers shamed and kept persecuted.

All her efforts it seemed had come to this, to this tipping point where finally she had a real shot at correcting.

“Jess, are you in?” Nina asked her, tapping her knee slightly as if to rouse her.

“What, oh yes…of course.” Jess replied, her mind turning over the plan that had been hatched.

“Do you have your companions?” Nina asked, holding her own little book before them.

“Always” Levon said, producing his own.

“Yep.” Jess said, reaching inside her jacket and taking out her little black book.

“Good, then we have no time to waste. Levon…” Nina started, but was interrupted by a murmuring sound.

“Answer.” Nina said, turning to face a floating hologram behind her. The Gustave Doré rendering suddenly transformed into the giant head of Dr. Winkoski whom they’d been with not long before.

“Karen, what’s up?” Nina said, she was calm and polite. Karen seemed on edge.

“Ah, good. You are all there. There has been a development.” She said. In the background the lab they had been in earlier was a bustle of activity.

“What’s happened?” Nina asked.

“It’s Aiko, we found him in the altered. He was trying to get through the gates of Asher.” Karen said.

“Found as in apprehended, or found the remains of him?” Nina queried.

“We found him, but he escaped back into the material realm. When he tried to get through the gates, he was stopped. The exchange seems to have banished the darkness too, for it no longer swirls around the Altered. Our members are reporting it is not showing anywhere.” Karen said.

Nina was a quiet for a bit, thinking over what he had heard. She looked to the giant globe that was in the centre of the room, and noticed the blackness had gone.

“Was it he who stopped him?” Nina asked, her voice almost a whisper now.

“Who else.” Karen replied, before continuing. “We know Aiko still has his companion, and we must assume he was able to return on his own. Our disturbance trackers show entry and departure points that match his movements.  We are waiting for word to come from his Atone industries to confirm if they are still on course.”

“We must assume, like you said, he returned. He will follow his plan, he believes in it too much. But we need it confirmed before we act.” Nina said.

“Agreed. We’re trying to get this information now, but I would say we must proceed with our time-frame if we are to stop him.” Karen added.

“And what of his holiness?” Nina asked.

Karen looked away momentarily at this, as if uncomfortable slightly.

“We’ve yet to contact him.” She said, slightly embarrassed.

“Not too surprising. I’m sure he’ll appear just at the right moment, he usually does.” Nina said, looking across to Levon.

“Well, we’ll update you when we know more. I’ll continue to organise the final stages from our side, and transferring of our reversal pathogen. Awaiting confirmation of its success from you still.” Karen said.

“Right, and we are about to start the test so it will be with you shortly.” Nina said to Karen.

“Speak soon.” Karen said and logged off.

“He’s been busy.” Levon said to Nina as the hologram changed back to the Dore prints which spun and moved in classic beauty.

“The Pope has his reasons, I’m sure he’ll appear soon.” Nina said.

“Well, he was always an absent father in my life so I’m not surprised he’s doing the same thing to others.” Levon said, his face showing annoyance.

“Your father is the Pope?” Jess asked, this day seeming to offer her a new surprise after the next.

“Yep. And for all his goodness, he never sticks around long enough to be of any real benefit.” Levon snapped.

“He has his calling, he is doing what he knows is right.” Nina interjected.

Levon sat there, thinking on this.

“Maybe, but he’s never there when I need him.” Levon replied.

“I’m sorry for that, but if the world is better for his actions, then you have to deal with your own issues and selfishness. There is more at stake right now.” Nina offered in her quiet calming fashion. This seemed to do the trick as Levon seemed to shrug off his annoyance as he moved on the chair, perhaps seeing the bigger picture.

“So, what do we do first?” Jess asked, trying to get into action.

“We need to test the reversal pathogen. We can only stop Aiko otherwise if we don’t know how it will work.” Nina said.

“But I thought there wasn’t enough time to check its effectiveness.” Jess asked.

“There is a way. There is a place between the Altered and the material realm. A purgatory if you will. It seems to react intensely with anything from the Altered, but also stabilises things from the world below. We believe if we test the pathogen there on a group, we can gauge the potency of the agent and its success.” Nina said.

“So, we need some volunteers?” Levon said.

“Some brave ones I’d say. That is quite a risk.” Jess said.

“All or nothing at this stage. Can you gather some people who suffer with S.I.N to go with you to this place and test it?” Nina asked Jess. Jess looked away, taking in the vast room and all the words that were continued in the books. How many of those books continued stories of hope, of overcoming? She turned to face both Levon and Nina.

“I think I know just the people.” Jess replied.


 

Go slowly

The second guessing, the never knowing;
Framing the mistakes we make.
Blessed with an ability to undo me.
Take me down, feel your way.
Leave nothing on this body to explore.
Don’t sit there motionless because you know the answer.
Discover.
Over and over again.
This skeleton underneath.
This heart that beats.
A sweat that runs for you.
Mind your step as you flee the room.
(Please wait while I undress).
[Re-dress.]
Address your intent.
We all want to play in traffic, but this is serious now.
Break me like a three year old would.
Love me like you were meant to.
Hold it all in your hands like i’ve come from the land of gold.
Such precious illusions as I hold my breath.

Lost in the faraway

The conjuring dreams.
Of moments in time.
Love lost on your lips.
Your hand in mine.
Kicking this cactus heart around.
Fresh like mint on my tongue.
Calling you out of the clouds.
Out of my bones that feel as heavy as China.
One of those falling dreams.
Like you’re here.
But still gone.

Deteriorate

The anatomy of demise.
Threatening to justify and leave all laid bare.
Lain to waste in a landscape that horrifies all who see.
This shame is the itch in my skin.
The twitch in my eye that gives it all away.
I’ve got a pain, it’s the only thing that is mine.
Everything else seems taken away.
Robbed like a tomb, buried in the Egyptian sand.
A failure, a flapping.
The falling of idols and good intentions.
You built me up and placed the pedestal.
Waited for the sound of hairline cracks.
Then like a castle in the sand, you helped me fall apart.

Burning feathers

Taken from Nothing but I am


What scrapes at the inside of this skull?
Trying to break free from mirroring misery.
A bird trapped, or a candle with no flame.
Fighting against something that isn’t there.
Inside these reflections, dwells a silent creature.
Bound in feathers, but fearing flight.
Waiting to breathe, to fly, ignite.


Ignite

Smartly dressed violence (part xviii)

Click here for previous entries


The Altered, the other realm. A place only known by those who had ever been there. It is easy to imagine another fantasy world, one which moves on an axis of magic and mystery. Yet it is a place that defies true understanding. Most technology fails to operate there, simple mechanical devices or computers are redundant in the atmosphere that swells and whispers spirits. This adds to the mystification and fascination of the place; throwing up questions of origins and beginnings as much as endings. Did we crawl out of this land on our bellies? Did we rid ourselves of the magic and lore like flicking away the fins and gills of our ancestors?

The magic has continued though; transported through doorways and openings, brought back by the brave and knowledgeable who understood and hoped to help the world with it. Mystic passages and symbols scrawled out by something that echoes in our own history. It has its own essence, its own living and breathing being that moves to the thoughts and the whims of those in possession. Magic, though dangerous and dazzling, can truly reflect those who wield it. For good or ill. The magic from the altered is a mirror and an enhancer of the one who handles it. The incantations, the essence from the physical place can be used in such wondrous ways. Which is how the Order have been handling it. Respectfully. Treating it as a living entity that, like anything loved, is handled with care.

Aiko stood now in the Altered, himself covered in a black suit as if travelling through space. He wore a helmet which was transparent, giving him a 360 degree view of everything around him. That everything now though was clogged in a thick black fog which was beginning to swirl and descended upon him, blotting him out entirely. Something kept the fog at a distance however, a little green flame in his hand he held before him like an offering. The little fire was a concoction, a breathing into being of the magic that hung in particles all around him.

He was not stupid, he knew the construct of this place and how delicate the system could be. He knew how it reacted and contracted to other people’s presence. The Order. He had seen them here many times. Slithers of white and blue light that would transverse the plains; not so much as meddling, but going by their own designs. Aiko had once thought they could work together, their plans not so different. He had come there once too as a student, eager to learn, eager to overcome this place which had at first inspired and frightened him. But as he grew, both here and back home, his mind and resolve became hardened and addled. His thoughts of others evaporated and his intent became clearer.

There was much power here, one he could harness. Not just to rid the city of those who he wished to teach a lesson to, his great flood so to speak. But to capture the essence and magic of this place, to bridge it over to the other world. He would then be able to control more than he could ever imagine.

The fly in the ointment however was the organic nature of this place, this Altered where each action had a seismic reaction. His pillaging and raping of this place had resulted in this darkness, this fog which was withering and unstructering all. He could see it, he knew what was occurring. He wondered if the damage could be undone. He knew the Order were trying to do just that, but each time he came here he seemed to make it worse. He had delved into the books, the lore and the mysticism and to him it spoke in riddles. There was something he didn’t quite understand.

He came now to a place, the one he had been fearful to go to if he were honest with himself. Before him giant metal gates loomed up into the sky. To say it was forbidden to go there was not a true reflection of what the writings said. What they actually told of was a place in the Altered where those with heavy hearts feared to go. Where the gates we closed to hearts and minds that could never be opened. There was always danger in the altered, missteps and mistakes had taken people. Snatched them into a trapped existence tangibly in view but forever lost.

The gates loomed high before him, the blackness covering much of it now above out of sight. A quiet heavy sound of silence was slowly being punctured by a tap-tap, which was beginning to build somewhere off behind the gates. His little green flame flickered, reducing slightly and threatening to go out. A blue light moved beyond the gates. A flash and flicker, the tap became more prominent.

“Who is there?” Aiko demanded, his little green flame growing with his command.

Only silence returned.

He looked above him through his helmet, through the suit that protected him now from the fog that he had found corroded flesh. The fog above the gates was dispersing, blanketing off to the sides as if cleared by a giant hand.

“You cannot enter Aiko, you know this.” A voice came from beyond.

“Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.” Aiko replied, definitely.

“This is nothing your heart isn’t telling you also.” The voice said, seeming to creep about him now like its own miasma of eeriness.

“Be that as it may, I will be entering.” Aiko said. His plan rested on what was beyond the gates, his own bridge to the world below.

“If you do that, there will be no world to bridge to.” The voice came back, almost mockingly. Aiko was not surprised; he knew the nature of the Altered, how it revealed things you may never speak. But it had annoyed him nonetheless.

“That is a chance I’m willing to take. If you take me for a fool, then it is your mistake.” Aiko said, taking out his little book that he always kept on him.

“I do not think you a fool Ai, I know you too well.” The voice said. This did surprise him. No one called him Ai anymore, few even used his first name so casually. Ai was his childhood name.

“Stop it.” Aiko said, yet showing no signs of surprise. He found the page he was looking for and tapped the symbols on the page. His own little green fire died suddenly, but before the darkness descended he muttered an incantation and beneath his feet little green particles began to emerge from the ground. On his left arm he swivelled a dial on his suit and the particles flew towards it like a magnet. They bubbled in place, building to a sphere in a split second before exploding upwards into the darkness above and around him.

The flecks of green light seemed to cling to the darkness, haltering its movement.

“You’re like the little child who dipped his dirty hand in honey to have a taste Ai.” The voice came again, followed by a flash of blue beyond the gates momentarily.

“I warned you.” Aiko said, now angry. He turned the dial on his arm which seemed to energise the particles, he pushed forward with his hand and the darkness contracted around him, beginning to move forward at his command towards the gates. As they touched them they began to steam the metal, hissing the bars like a million serpents escaping a nest.

“I still think you can be saved Aiko, you just keep choosing the hard way.” The voice came, this time from behind him. Aiko turned quickly but the light blinded him. A Blue and white flash engulfed him; swallowing everything, including the darkness. He fell to the floor in a daze as the voice dissipated everywhere, an incantation he had never heard melted everything away.

It was a long time before Aiko awoke. He lay there in his custom made suit as the blue light washed everything it touched, bringing a gleam to the gates and the Altered he found himself in. When he did wake, he could still see the darkness fogging his vision. This was not because it had returned, but because it now resided inside him; forever staining what he saw.


Signal

A signal came, deep and low.
It really came aeons ago.
But only dinosaurs ever heard the sound.
As they fell and fossilised into the ground.
And in parts, turned to oil.
All beneath this earthen soil.
But that sound now comes and hearkens all.
A subtle warning, an eerie call.
And reverberates deep in your soul.
This brand new sign, this totem pole.
Which climbs beyond what we think we know.
For as above, then so below.
And with its promise of great revelation.
Also threatens mass devastation.
So cherish now each and every moment.
For tomorrow won’t promise more time bestowments.
Be scared, be happy; but please be smart.
For every end, always has a start.

Hentan House – Heat & Ice

HARLEY HOLLAND

‘How is your foot holding up?’Cora asked me as the cleansing mists filled the stone room. The pills Rosemary had handed me must have kicked in as I barely felt the open wound anymore.

‘Can’t complain.’ I said, turning to catch a smirk on her face. ‘What? You know I can’t get it wet.’

‘Did you have to use a trash bag though? It’s bright orange. You look like a hobo.’

‘It’ll be even easier to see me swanning it up in the sauna then.’

‘Cora won’t be joining you in the sauna.’ Mum said as she finally opened her eyes after five minutes of sitting in the corner silent.

‘Why not?’ I asked.

‘Because she’s pregnant. It’s a risk for her to be doing anything that could harm the baby.’

‘So what will you be doing instead?’

‘A milk and honey massage followed by a facial.’ Cora chimed in…

View original post 1,516 more words

The Empress

Though she sank into that crystal gloom.
Where memories dwell and history hangs.
She smiled, not to the departure.
Or the trauma she would never know.
But to herself.
For though her life was diminishing.
Fogging up her eyes and silently singing lullabies.
She had chosen the means, the time and the space.
She was the ruler of this small endeavour.
All on her own terms.
Absent of the eyes, or the tongues that criticised.
Or the tiny push.
She controlled the moment that quivered in her soft small hands.
Only she knew how it was to end.
An Empress of her own demise.

Smartly Dressed Violence (Part xvii)

Click here for previous entries


The world had changed, and not for the better. As the years tumbled into the next, different generations had accepted the disparity between those with and those without S.I.N. They had grown accustomed to the hierarchy, where those smartly dressed betters were financially, intelligently and genetically superior. S.I.N produced no outwardly physical difference, yet it left a lasting trace over the lives of those with it. The change was swift and brutal. Humanity was put up on the shelf for later while this new world grappled with the gulf of difference, allowing it to be filled with years of pent up racism, discrimination and an endless lists of phobias which were now all legitimised. A caste system emerged that everyone now subscribed to, for God had made it all this way. Supposedly.

People now accepted how things were, and those at the top gave no thought to changing things. Why would they, they were supreme. Shuffling to and fro in their lives with all the abundance at their disposal.

The three of them watched them now, the inhabitants of the city, rushing about in the streets below from the vantage point of the library. A huge glass wall jutted out on one side of the room, scrapping its glassy finger into the city air beyond the walls; giving a balcony view down into the city. Jess watched the people in their finery, hopping aboard Tsutsumi transportation and disappearing off around the city streets or into tunnels which lead to other caves of wonders beneath the pavement.

Levon and Jess had followed Nina into the huge library, its feel quite different from the almost tropical room before. It was a library in the sense of books stacked high in huge bookshelves, some of which curved over at the top, transporting their precious contents over in gravity defying suspension above their heads. In the centre of the room a huge glass orb seemed to drip upwards from the glass floor, a perfect sphere which hummed and glowed with a translucent blue and green light. Jess at first thought it was just a globe of the world, but looking at it further she realised it was more than that. At the centre there was indeed the world, as she knew it, surrounding it however were layers of dimensions, each were encapsulating a new landscape which flowed and moved like bits on a chess board. Swathes of mist and vapour moved around these other levels, and Jess knew then what she was looking out. It was the Altered, a dimensional representation of the other world which, according to the moving diorama before her, surrounded the world.

Nina offered them a seat on the half-moon chairs that surrounded the globe and went to a small drinks trolley that stood by a huge hologram that displayed famous images from literature, changing every few seconds. She returned with some drinks for them and sat down next to Jess.

“Please forgive the somewhat half-baked reception, ideally I would show you around more Jess and be more forthcoming about this place and what we do. I no doubt presume you’ve been told most things by Karen and Levon here, but there are many levels to the order and many many things regarding the Altered and the magic which, I’d wager, you’d be keen to know.” Nina said. She spoke quietly, yet firmly. An underlying strength concealed in her soft quiet words.

“Jess knows enough I’d say. The best knowledge is practice and she’s already been baptised now. She’s been to the Altered already, and if I may speak for her; she’s keen to get to work.” Levon said, looking surprisingly timidly from Jess to Nina.

Jess nodded in agreement. Something about Nina made her crave her good approval or good graces.

“Well, to work then we must get. For there is much to do.” Nina replied, taking a sip from her own glass. The pink liquid within stained the rim before melting back down into a diamond pink glow in the bottom.

“We know what Aiko has planned, and the two points in the city in which he intends to unleash the virus. Now it’s easy enough, relatively speaking, to stop him. We have the agents and means to do so. We also know his plan and timeline, so we can orchestrate our own in which to combat his. I see two problems right now. ” Nina said.

“Just two?” Levon asked.

“Come now Levon, as your teacher I know your abilities. Stopping a crazed super-villain would be a walk in the park for you.” Nina replied.

“Well, now that I have my trusty sidekick too.” Levon said, cheekily.

“I don’t think so.” Jess added tautly.

From a bookcase on the far side, a seismic shudder seemed to reverberate from the selves. Jess looked over to the case. Old books were stacked upon it, but there was something different about them.

“It seems the Altered is becoming impatient.” Nina said, referring to the books which now began to ooze a vapour. Dark spots also appeared on the globe in front of them, small patches of shadow like a bruise on a peach seemed to swell and dissipate around the sphere.

“This is one of the problems. The Altered has been infected too much by Aiko’s presence. It has unbalanced the very fabric there, and it too must be cleansed. Now, if we can stop Aiko; we assume that the darkness won’t grow any further. We need to cleanse it, and restore it to what it was. That’s where you come in Levon.” Nina said, looking at Levon earnestly.

“Yep, one step ahead of you. I figured that’s what I would be called upon to do.” Levon said.

“It’s your abilities that we need to stop the corruption in the Altered, but we need to make sure Aiko’s access and interference has stopped. We need to revoke the magic he has tainted.” She added.

“So we need to intercept him and his plan, replace the agent with our own and then cleanse the Altered?” Levon asked.

“Yes. That’s the long and short of it.” Nina replied.

“So what’s the second problem?” Jess asked, her own drink now empty. She put the glass down on a small glass table at her side.

“The second problem is, as Karen no doubt told you, that our own pathogen is not yet ready. If we swap it with Aiko’s then we risk doing similar damage to his own.”

“Then why don’t we just wait? Stop him releasing his and wait until the cure is fully ready? What’s the rush?” Jess asked.

Levon turned to Nina also, curious to hear her answer.

“I agree we should, and would if we things weren’t so unpredictable. But this might be our only chance to release our cure, as you put it, on a mass scale with the aid of Aiko’s technology.” Nina replied.

“What do you mean? Once we have it, we can use it at our own conveyance.” Levon said.

Nina shook her head.

“As dangerous and deranged as Aiko is, and as extensive as our own enterprises is, we don’t have his resources or indeed technology. We’ve tried with our own trials and transmutation machines. They just don’t cut.” Nina said.

Levon looked angry, his brow furrowed and he looked at the floor as if some answer lay there. He went on.

“But why the rush, can’t we just keep the technology once we acquire it?” Levon said.

“Ideally yes, but our sources indicate that Aiko has systems in place that suggest that once compromised they will become inoperable.” Nina said with a sigh.

“A self-destruct. We are in a movie aren’t we?” Levon said with frustration.

“I understand your reasoning though. I agree that we do things on our own time-frame. But it has been escalated and this may be our only chance. If the Altered can’t be cleansed, and the damage done by Aiko is irreparably, then we won’t have more chances. It’s now or never.” Nina said.

“So that is quite a problem. What’s the solution?” Jess asked.

Nina took a moment, looking into both their eyes, almost scanning for understanding.

“Well Jess, the solution hopefully resides with you on this one.” Nina replied.


 

Sending myself flowers

From ‘Alchemy’


When the universe rests, and slumbers in my mind.
And all around me is still.
I take this chance to apologise.
For who I have become. For who I wanted to be.
An apology for me.
Within these cracks and slithers of my soul.
That remain unfettered to moral decay.
I brush the hurt away.
And send myself flowers.
Hoping to turn over those leaves, and find you there.

Caged Bird

S. K. Nicholas

jens-johnsson-qFYBki6u3Ik-unsplash

The smoke on her breath is heavy. Like a mushroom cloud, it hangs above her sullen head in the most heavenly of ways. The motel has a neon sign above it. Although it doesn’t work, strangely enough, the cold, morning sunlight bouncing off the cracked tubing momentarily brings it back to life. She hasn’t washed in days, but in this weather, she gets away with it. Her smell is frozen, the same as her love. The last guy she fucked had gotten rough. Left her belly covered in bruises. He’d had no discernible personality—didn’t even have much of a dick. She just needed contact, and for an empty vessel such as her, the more it hurt, the less she cared about the world inside of her. The sky is blue and clear, like a glacier mint. She coughs and grimaces. Inside her pocket is a cigarette. In her hand, she…

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You

No more sadness behind these abandoned eyes.
You licked them away in the night.
Banishing the shadows of things.
Hunted them down like game.
You love me all the same.
Your lips encapsulate and intensify.
Securing me like an air lock.
Breathing life into my world.
And now I see inside.
A million stars like a sea of diamonds.
Traveling their way to your titanium heart.
A place and space that I’m welcomed inside.
On my boat made of promises.
Thick like reeds and just as sturdy.
You.
You are the one. The one I call home.
A mirror image of all I wish to be.
Strung out and hung up within me.
Then your kiss will pull me under.
Down, covered in mother of pearl and oceanic sounds.
To lie with you on the star strewn ocean floor of eternity.
Covered in diamond shells.
You.
Forever you.

Smartly Dressed Violence (Part xvi)

Click here for previous entries


Jess watched as the blur of the tunnel rushed by. Dark earthy stones like the walls of the church snaked away before and after them as they sped deep under the city. The tunnel was lit by the same blue lights that she had come to recognise both the Order and the Altered with.

It took nearly no time for them to reach their destination, the automatic controls of their little mobile clinking in and slowing them to a stop beneath a square hatch above them. The lifted upwards, the hatch opening to allow them inside like a strange spaceship docking bay. She looked at Levon who, as always, expressed little surprise to his surroundings. This must all be old news to him she thought.

They rose up into a space which was very much removed from the old stone walled confines of the crypt. The room was open and airy, with high ceilings and huge windows which reached up beyond the ceiling line. The walls were dusted in a smooth red copper, and plants and foliage hung and crept from all manner of nooks and crannies. It smelt lush, fragrant; as if they had entered a small snatched part of the jungle somewhere.

“Are we at the Zoo?” Jess asked, stepping out of the mobile and onto a glass floor. A few steps away from her she could see water flowing beneath, eventually cascading out into a small waterfall towards the edge of the room.

“A personal zoo of sorts, yeah. My teacher likes animals and living things.” Levon said.

“And they got stuck with you, shame.” Jess joked.

“It’s an appreciation for life, the thing that is most important I suppose.” Levon said, clearly understanding it better than he made out.

They stood there momentarily, a few parrots rustling above their heads and fluttering down to a lower roost in a palm across the room. The huge Bali styled doors opened on the far side, dispelling the mist that was gathering at the bottom of the door. I little figure stood there for a moment, silhouetted in the light that equally poured in from the other room.

“It seems I was the one in need of help, not you Levon.” The little voice said, fading away quickly under the sounds of the waterfall which sploshed the water down the artificial glass rocks.

“This is the teacher.” Levon said to Jess, casting his hand in the direction of the small woman who had begun to make her way across the room now. She was tiny, barely five foot. She moved gracefully though, almost floating across the glass floor towards them. Her silken clothes and coiffed hair gave Jess a regal impression and contradicted both her own and Levon’s rough and ready outwear.

She came over to them and outstretched her hand, offering it to Jess.

“Nice to meet you Jess, my name is Nina.” The woman said. Jess shook her hand which felt oddly soft, almost too velvety; as if she was a collection of the vapour she had just walked through.

“Good to meet you.” Jess replied, still taking both the woman and the room in.

“Levon here likes to make out he’s never phased by anything, but I do believe that he is very put out sharing this all with you.” Nina said, eyeing Levon wickedly.

“Uh, I wouldn’t say put out.” Levon replied, but Nina went on.

“It’s a very personal relationship to have with a teacher, and this very space here is a sanctum for us. Not many have passed up through the floor there that you just have. And never with company.” Nina added. She stood there now with her arms tucked away in her long silks. Jess was unsure if she was being chastised, reprimanded or cautioned. Nina’s expression did not lend to any interpretation, her features stood like a carved stature, trapped in beauty.

“I, uhhh.” Jess began but Nina smiled, sensing her nervousness.

“Please, do not feel alarmed. All this is pretty intense I imagine. You are safe, and most welcome; indeed I think you are exactly what we need right now.” Nina said, resting a light touch on her shoulder tenderly.

Jess was relieved, and smiled in reply.

“Looks like you’ve added some more parrots since I was here last.” Levon said, motioning towards two parakeets which were chirping noisily above them. Nina looked above, smiling still.

“The more the merrier I find.” Nina said, extending her arm out. The two birds suddenly flew down and rested on her outstretched arm, their noisy chirping now changed to a sweet birdsong.

“Amazing.” Jess said, watching the little birds.

“They are a delight. But come, you must need refreshing and a good sit down I imagine.” Nina said, turning towards the door she had entered through. She began to walk away and Levon and Jess followed, their shoes echoing over the glass floor.

“Just mind your step.” Nina said, motioning to a large dollop of bird crap on the shiny glass floor. “A delight, but a messy one.” She added.

The birds then took off as they made their way into the other room, leaving the humid nature of the tiny rain-forest behind and entering what Jess could only call a library. The likes of which she had never seen before in her life.


 

Jesus jam

That Octopus, that alligator.
On heaven’s brow, god’s travelator.
Tipping the scales, licking honey.
Bring too all such milk and money.
Sipping on sweet lemonade.
Cherry wine and razor blades.
Who’s in danger?
Who’s in hell?
Count those cell phones with tortoise shells.
This computer says we are many things.
In need of love or diamond rings.
Error. Escape, with all the wrong friends.
Beatnik bars and downward trends.
Smile if you think we’re happy.
Laugh if you think we’re trending.
Certain grams, work alarms, good times never ending.
Pack your life now into a suitcase.
Sadness in a sardonic typeface.
Wash away those bruises with beer.
Turpentine and celebrity gear.
A neon fog to dull the senses.
Lowered expectations and all defences.
Forget that talk of Satan’s lamb.
The bits in-between, is Jesus jam.

Grace & Josh

It had rained all morning and a small stream of water now ran down the slope of the playground outside. Miss Carbine stole a look out of the darkened window from the warm classroom she inhabited, seeing the water hammering down the pane. She sighed to herself knowing they would have to have the lunch break inside today. Her class were currently in pairs, going through the text books that she had put out that morning, hopping the eager minds would devour them greedily.

It wasn’t too big a class, and she found she was able to manage the five and six year olds reasonably well with her wispy ways and mild manners. They hadn’t yet lost the awe of having a teacher, that special entity that was there to bestow wonders upon them. Indeed, many still seemed to want to impress, which she cherished as all too soon this seemed to fade.

Grace had been reading her book with Josh, going through the story of Finders the dog and his adventure in the supermarket. She was a good reader and was able to point out to Josh where she felt he was going wrong. Josh was slow and he didn’t much care for the stupid dog or why it was even in a supermarket. He’d only ever see one dog in a shop before himself, guiding a man around who his mum told him couldn’t see…..

Continue reading….

Assuming such regret

Shaking while the structures fell.
Watching as the house burns.
Departure seemed the only possibility.
But what caused us to remain.
Clearing up the wreckage, counting the shards of the moon we forget we stole.
Little parts of yourself that clung with the moon dust.
What ambivalence we had for time.
Laughing in the face of it while the world spun.
Now a suitcase filled with memories aches to be moved.
And all talk of solo flying ruffles these steel feathers.
How can I remain while you plan on deserting me?
The orchids weep in the face of such kinetic air.
A tolerance, only from afar.
Little familiar fingers bring words to mind.
Dramatic embarrassments in the downturn of something hopefully.
A future love, packaged and boxed; sent out into the world.
We wear the familiar on our sleeve, little desperations join the others that weight into the world.
A first white flag raises with the new dawn.
And our name-tags turn to you and I.
Strangers wishing to join the others, and the multitudes of our successors.
Blaming the past for never finding god in the like-minded sorrow.
Who promised the world, and only received tomorrow.

Hentan House – Welcome

HARLEY HOLLAND

Sunlight rippled overhead in long shimmering streaks as my head bobbed up. No. It was not my head. I was tethered to a weighted body. We floated in the warming water until inky blotches of blood spurted out from between our legs. Clouding the sunlight I felt the water breach. Wrenching inward it gripped my feet and sucked me out. Out into the murky waters where cannonballs of people splashed deep to join me. Scrambling in their dozens they all reached out as if to catch me. Claim me for themselves. But I floated on simply watching. Waiting for the large eye permeating through the deep to see me. It wriggled for a moment, irked by my discovery of it. Were you happy to see me? Very soon I would have to breathe. Breathe and drink deep.

A mix of vinegar and bleach tickled my nose before wrenching me up…

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Smartly dressed violence (part xv)

Click here for previous entries


The city sprawled out across the bay which curved round like a crab. The huge gleaming skyscrapers rose high, dotted across the expanse looking like giant teeth from out to sea. The city was indebted to the ocean, growing out of its natural harbour and becoming a gateway to this part of the country. In recent years the city had begun to creep out ever further into the bay, huge complexes which dug down deep into the shaky sandy ground under the waves.

Atone industries was no different, with facilities on the west side and also underneath the central CBD; leaving their development centres to be on the coastline, a hybrid of industry and futuristic posturing with their sleek designs and innovative constructions. For Aiko, size was everything, and his properties were known to be the tallest points in the city. He would boast some of the best views of the ocean from atop his giant towers, the looming monoliths sporting his name for all to see.

It was these towering structures that Aiko hoped would be the key to his planned ‘modification’ for the city. The height and change in pressure allowed the magical elements to react better in the thinner atmosphere. This gave him the opportunity to hide in plain sight, stationing his machines at the summit of these towers that lay in the heart of the city.

The Order had known what Aiko was planning for some time. That change in the Altered had begun some time ago, the fabric shifting and fraying the further along he seemed to be going. They also knew from their sources inside Atone industries and the hidden world of magic that something was being prepared. In many ways it was a battle of good versus evil, but at the root of the war; they shared the same goal. They both wanted to use the magic and essence of the Altered as a great equaliser, to eradicate the level of us and them from society. Too long had there been a great discrepancy between those with and without S.I.N.

With the help of their sources, The Order had been able to monitor Aiko’s plans for the city. His ‘alteration’ machines had been developed to be placed at the top of two towers, for maximum coverage. With his accumulated maligned source of essence, he planned to release this over the city where it would converge with the particles in the air and be drawn into each person’s cells. Those below who lived in the city. No one was safe as these particle attractions had been manipulated to be drawn to human tissue. It did not discriminate. Upon release, with the correct incantation, which would be broadcast throughout the cities C&M (Chipped and marker) system, which all citizen by law were made to have; the essence would begin its evolutional thrust.

What Aiko failed to know, was that the magic of the essence would not follow his planned selection process. The Order had learned that on the levels in use for the whole city, they would change the mutation of essence, as the incantation they knew he planned to use had a sub-verse within the text. In simple terms, it operated on a ‘one for all’ method, in that, it would power the essence to the overall rate of change. Aiko wanted to select a middle range of survivors, an age group outside himself that he believed were the best and fitting for his new utopia. His plans would not follow this rule and would override to modify everyone at the same rate. Like Pandora, what he would release could not be controlled.

Fortunately, The Order had been working on their own variant form of essence. They had developed something which worked in-tune with the Altered, on the same principles that Aiko had in mind. The difference being that theirs had to work from the Altered, through a conduit that could control and defuse the rate of power being unleashed.

Jess looked at Levon as Karen finished talking. She cocked her head to the side.

“So, you are our saviour then I’m guessing Mr Messiah?” Jess said, understanding now what was planned. Levon grinned and extended his hand, king like; jokingly suggesting she kiss it.

“I prefer the term superhero.” Levon replied, grinning.

“Come on, be serious both of you. This is important, and we have no time to loose. Aiko has already re-located his staff to his Het and Bet facilities under the city. That means they have entered the final phase.” Karen said. She handed Jess a small glass bottle in the shape of a cross that she had taken from the cabinet.

“How long do you think?” Jess asked.

“The intelligence suggest tomorrow night is when he plans to turn on the machines.” Levon said.

“Wow. Then, we need to get moving. What’s this for?” Jess asked, holding the bottle.

“This is a sample of what Aiko has developed, the maligned essence. You’ll need this to open up the Pandora machines, their elemental readers will only operate if its sequence is detected.” Karen said.

“Will one be enough?” Jess asked.

“I’ve got the other.” Levon said, shaking a little bottle also.

“So how are you going to be in the Altered also?” Jess asked, not quite clear on the plan.

“You will be meeting someone who will help you, Levon will take you there. All will be explained. I will handle things from here, this place is more than just a church or science lab you know” Karen said.

“Okay, so let’s go.” Jess said, making her way back towards the door they came through.

“There’s a quicker way, follow me.” Levon said, making his way around the corner of the room where a huge glass box stood, touching the roof of the tomb. Jess followed him and watched as he scanned his arm across a reader by the glass. It changed colour to green and the stones behind it moved backwards. Beneath the floor a small hover cart moved upwards until it was docked in place. The glass slid down, the cart hovered there at knee height.

“Jump in.” Levon said.

“Transport too?” Jess said, hopping into one of the seats.

“Of course, the popemobile silly.” Levon replied, jumping in next to her. He swiped the dashboard and the glass returned to the room and they were lowered down onto magnetic tracks. A casing came up over their heads, making it indeed look like the popemobile from days of old.

“Hold tight.” Levon said as they were suddenly propelled off into the tunnel before them.


 

Nous savions toujours

Peel away this faded grey.
The looming nightmare that hovers on my lips.
Like a poisoned kiss.
These eyes will open, and will always remember.
Screaming gravities that moved through us.
You wanted to see it all for yourself.
The dawning, a reforming of what was left to offer.
A thing moulded deep in the stomach of god.
Once called love.
Now twinkling like a Christmas star above us.
Stripped and salvaged from its tattered abandonment.
Where we found it, flat on the ground.
Walked over and left for dead.
Keep it now, safe and captured.
Like a flightless bird on the verge of extinction.
It fell from grace, our love; but now moves into place.
Filling the gaps that understanding failed to fill.
No dream.
Just the darkness caving in.

Howling sound of sorrow

When you painted the last sky of our year.
It wept in place.
Dirty Maybelline rain that stained the silence.
Your hands feel like ribs, keeping me safe.
Around my heart that thundered like the storm.
A promise of goodbye, felt fragile in the conditions.
To be blown away and forgotten.
Now the fear creeps in with the fog.
Of getting older.
Of you no longer, staying with me.
Elemental, torn from god’s fabric.
Fallen and shook.
Would you remain to taste the rain?
Or let us hide together from the howling wind.
Our love, created by lines and burnt ash.
Caught now in your mouth.
That dream killer, beautiful and nocuous.
Unleashing words that sting.
Caving my world in, in this moment in time.
Danger now looms over here, and in your night;
I see my soulmate disappear.