Poetry-Thing Thursday: Rise Up and Resist

Dollars and cents,
numbers and sense,
pick up the creature,
that crawls from the tents.
Madness abounds,
chaotic, disordered,
hold onto the rails,
the madman’s unbordered.
Fight for your rights,
or watch ‘em erode
from hatred and ignorance,
the seizuring toad.

We once knew normality
but like a cold poverty,
it turned to disease,
with terrible property.

Yet all the same,
still do we live,
and in night we sing,
solemn,
“Rise up and Resist!
Remember Humanity!”

Praise others compassion,
but raise up your fist,
to defend against fashion–
whether old or new,
they’re odes to few
and we must resist,
or mellow like dew.

Poetry-Thing Thursday: A Mourning Dove

I heard the cry,
of a mourning dove.
It cooed a message,
that it’d been sent,
“from up above.”

Even then,
I did not believe it.
But you can,
if you see fit.
I can’t tell you,
what to do or quit.
Just remember:
it’s your life
and all you’re sure to get.

I heard the song,
of a newfound voice,
it said to believe,
that I’d been given choice.

Even then,
I sensed its deception,
and indeed,
found need for correction,
for there is no-one and nothing,
giving nor taking direction,
but if you believe otherwise,
please consider always your affection.

I saw the rays,
of a freshly-risen sun,
and felt its warmth,
through-out my frigid days.

And I did believe,
for it I could see,
and in it, taste glee,
for it, world, seeks not to deceive.

Short Story: The Purist’s Sins

They sat, entwined, like wound yarn. The brunette’s hand stroked the ginger-girl’s head. A warm aura emitted from them, infected their bench with its glow and heat. Cold autumn didn’t exist within their bubble of love. Anyone looking on would’ve seen, as if removed from time with them, a world zipping and flickering past like film on fast-forward.

But no-one was looking, or rather, one person was, a man and not a man; a monstrous creature in the deceptive form of a human. The creature watching wasn’t seeing what anyone else would, or should. Instead, of two angelic figures, he saw only demons. Their pale skin, concealed beneath pre-winter clothing, told they feared of exposing it for its devilish origins. He watched, seething while somewhere in him, the most vile philosophies resonated with equally demented notions of so-called “proper” human behavior.

Mother had always been very strict about behavior. Father too. She only got stricter when Father died and was no longer the disciplinarian. She took on the dual role. Between it, the insurance money, and his own inheritance, the Purist had more than enough incentives to listen to Mother and emulate her “rightness.”

The Purist wasn’t his name, of course, but that’s what they’d taken to calling him. His name wasn’t important anymore. He’d taken to the persona fully. No-one knew what either looked like, but he preferred The Purist to his “true” self. He was a righteous being; an idea. A symbol. A paragon.

Mother had always been strict: righteousness was God’s way of separating phonies from pious. The only way to distinguish oneself was to become one or the other in extremity.

He still remembered his first taste of righteousness as the Purist, remembered testifying. He remembered the pride, the joy, the closeness to “God.” He especially remembered the taste of satisfaction. That taste was like chasing a dragon nowadays, but he’d become contented by his inner knowledge. The future was his satisfaction. The eternal reward his overall plan. It would be a long road, but he would reach its end, one purified heathen at a time.

The two women’s lips were meeting again. Passion palpitated between them, rippled through the aura. The Purist felt it like an atom bomb’s shock-waves.

The slight tickle of arousal so denied within in convinced himself of his hatred. Could he have even examined anything sanely, he still wouldn’t have been sure of its origins. Whether from taboo, or long-bred repression, he wasn’t sure. Mother had always been very clear; love was not something shown. Father taught her love was silent. Grandmother agreed. Grandfather taught her to.

From the outside, people called them cold, but as he’d been taught, God saw all. Pride was a sin. Excessive love was as akin to pride as anything. Wrath was preferable. Wrath sought to correct the imbalance. That was his family’s philosophy and he adhered to it.

That, and the idea that a “proper” society was the responsibility of all.

The two women parted from the bench, with an obvious pang of longing. It rippled through the aura that then shattered from their separation. It was his time now. The Purist was ready. He could never make a move when that aura existed. It repelled him like a shield. Literal or not didn’t matter. Not in the end. He got what he wanted once the shield failed…

And they got what they deserved.

The ginger girl was the better target; smaller. Weaker. He liked the thrill of the hunt more than the kill nowadays. The satisfaction, dragon-like as it was, wasn’t enough to justify the fight of larger adversaries. He was getting older. Mother had been gone decades now. His righteous fervor could only last another few years before the sloppiness of age set in.

He’d left a trail across the country of bodies riddled with biblical references and markings; pamphlets about the sin of homosexuality. There was more, but that was just what the media had picked up on. Had been allowed to know. So many other little bits of connecting information about the victims was withheld even he’d had trouble remembering it.

Most creatures of his kind– serial killers, he’d learned through various associations with himself– were the type to track those things. They made self-shrines in their hideaways and homes. Pride. They struck where they’d be most noticed. Greed. Gluttony. They struck in passion, for belonging. Lust. Envy. Most of all, they stopped or were caught from lacking commitment, for laziness. Sloth.

But The Purist struck with a vision. His own wrath was long soothed. The victims knew no better. Just like Ginger. She would get what was coming, like all the others. He’d strangle then carve her. Quietly. That was his way. The markings would be a sign at the gates of heaven and hell that her sins were recognized.

Hers, and all the others. Someone had seen the harsh truth, done their best to save what was left of their so-called immortal souls. Though he doubted such creatures had any.

It was perfect, as if Ginger knew. She led him straight through the park. The brunette was long gone, he could take his time. He let her get distance enough to enjoy the scenery. Chicago was a place where anyone could seem lost but remain a target, especially with such flamboyant hair. It was hard to hide no matter the crowd. Hardest in the lone alley she entered to cut through.

That was his time. He closed the distance as she aimed for it, and struck.

In a flash of speed and strength that could’ve made Mother proud, he was on Ginger. He threw her into an indented bit of building, large enough for a pair of dumpsters. His hands grasped her throat. They clamped down.

Ginger was ready. Had been ready.

A stun gun bit his testicles. Electricity surged up through his groin, loosed his bladder and bowels. He fell back screaming, shaking. Hatred surged through him. Wrath. The small spark he recognized; the hatred for himself he’d never been rid of. It was gone just as fast.

Ginger was near. The brunette too. Stun gun clicking. His body writhed in deserved agony. He spasmed, screaming, too near unconsciousness to know. The world turned black.

Ginger, real name Special Agent Angela Dunne, and the brunette, Skyler Rhein, cuffed the unconscious bastard. The partners in more than law swallowed bile above the so-called Purist. Some purist; covered in shit and piss whose smell tainted their UC-car for weeks. The pair were specifically chosen for their relationship, the dual cause of justice and law.

The FBI’s Anti-Hate-Crime Task Force had been on his trail for months. They’d caught a break in Madison after deducing his next likely target was Chicago. Their hunches were confirmed when he’d hit the city. The first victim there was the last. Enough for agency psychologists to finally find the pattern; gay-rights activists leading otherwise quiet lives.

Most victims were the type to otherwise be seen as perfect human beings. Paragons of the species. Most of all, they looked it. Innocence. That was important. He chose them based mostly on that alone, aware of it or not. They had it all; the looks, background, naivete, their only flaw was the so-called sin of their orientation.

Rhein and Dunne personally shoved the Purist into the UC car while acadre of CPD cars escorted them with lights blaring in triumph. They arrived, then personally shoved his shit-reeking form into a cell to await processing. By then, he was awake.

To add insult to injury, in his last moments, Rhein passionately and deep kissed Dunne. Something inside The Purist– real-name Herman Sanford– shattered. It was, only a dying part of him knew, the effect of that all-powerful repulsive aura. The true revelation and expiration of his only, and real sin; self-hatred.

Short story: Hungry

Lily-white skin glowed beneath blue-white LEDs. Chrome and black inflected their tints from fixtures, furniture, appliances. The soft pin of wrists against ceramic tile floor ensured she’d try to resist. She did. With the smallest force manageable. She tested her strength against his, back arching. It wasn’t enough to break the bind. Good. Strong– strong enough, anyway.

Half-shaved, platinum-blonde hair writhed against tile. Nails tensed at his shoulder. His face sank between milk-white breasts streaked green with veins like streams of fallen water. Pink nipples throbbed, hardened atop perfectly round areola: Olympus-Mons duplicates in pink and white on either breast. His face pushed past them at the behest of her slightest touch. Her wrists stayed pinned, slid along slender curves, and the dusting of white-blonde pubic hair. His face sank between warm pink.

Hips bucked. Pelvis twisted: Back. Forth. Back again. The rhythm repeated. The first gasp escaped. It had been trapped too long. In a tower. It’s vengeance was the simple act of existing. The first moan started with a purr. It growled from silence into the back of her throat. Another gasp. It slipped out: soft, light. Her hands tensed. Nails dug deeper. His tongue worked. Her mouth opened, shoulders twitched, hips rocked back. Back. Forth. Repeating. A breath came. Louder. The purring moan crept in. It grew. Shifted. Twisted. A deep groan.

Another slight touch. His body moved automatically. In a moment, he was inside her. He threw his head back. Sucked at the taste of her in his mouth. He pressed against her. A flinch. Resistance faltered. She writhed and twitched. The silken warmth was surpassed only by the ambrosia lingering on his tongue. He was drunk on it. Stupid. She was shuddering, body heaving pleasure.

He managed to open an eye: she was glowing. The lights made her look as he felt. The tile floor stole what it could but couldn’t take enough to remove it. He pumped in rhythm. Her hips guided him. Nothingness enveloped his closed eyes. His strength waned: wanting to cum, incapable of it. On the verge. Ready to. Unable. His breaths shortened. Body shuddered. Part of him wanted to scream joy. Another terror. Something was wrong.

He opened his eyes. Confusion. He was inside her. She was writhing. Cumming. She was warm silk, wet, inviting, making him throb. Beneath was pain. How? It was like surfing waves of euphoria. Cocaine-ecstasy sprays inhaled with each breath. She was glowing. He probably was too.

No. She was glowing. He saw it. It tore his mind apart to look. An eagle-eye view of their sex: She was glowing. He was translucent. Pain pulled at him. Pulled him into her. He screamed. She screamed louder. Hers engulfed his. Darkness ebbed in. His eyes were heavy. His gut light. His head spun. The moans grew. The glow brightened.

She turned bright-white. Shining, like a beacon. It pulsed. Everything glowed. Tints inflected infinitesimally on it: Chrome. Black. Pink– slicked wet or swollen. He began to fade. Little-by-little, he disappeared. His screams were quieter. Hers weren’t. They remained level and loud, piercing the growing emptiness in him. He felt himself disintegrating, swallowed by them. Piece-by-piece, his mind shattered. His body flickered. Flash-bulb strobes emitted from her torso. Streams of light snaked from her mouth, throat, nipples, groin, feeding the glow in her torso.

It strobed. He flickered. Alternating blinks: he was gone. There. Gone. Then, gone for good. She still writhed. Her screams echoed along the walls. The whole kitchen breathed. Out, bowing. In, constricting. In its center, she was a beacon of agonized pleasure. He was gone. Dissolved inside her. It didn’t matter. Her hips thrust. Back arched. One last scream. Body rigid. Tense. It pressed up, out. Something inside the light shifted.

All at once the moment passed. Her body collapsed. Twitches fluttered through limp limbs. The light was gone too, her breath trembling. She inhaled sharply. The room breathed a last time, then settled. Then, nothing. All was still.

She came-to in the middle of the floor. Right where she’d been left. Right where she’d left herself. He was good. Strong. He’d had something of the Nords in him. Good, pure blood. It wasn’t enough. Already the hunger was returning. Soon enough, she’d need another. It was becoming as difficult to maintain her appetite as the deceptions. The bartenders all knew her. They’d all seen her leave with the men. The women before that. Soon enough, she’d have to leave again. Sell her place. Shred her identity. She’d done it before.

The next city would need to be far. She could turn to women again. The cravings would go away for a while. The hunger would be sated. For a while. She’d have to go back to men, eventually. Then, it would return; like always, she’ll have gone through all the women, brought on too much suspicion. She’ll have to resort to men again for a while, until they weren’t enough.

Men were easier: they didn’t think about their comrades disappearing with a beautiful woman then never reappearing again. Even if the woman reappeared, the man didn’t have to. He’d fulfilled his conquest. It was never really them conquering. Not when she was involved. Problem for her was, women were the real source: Love. Innocence. Praying off those was power. Even the other women knew it. But women tracked other women. They worried for them. Cared for them. Chasing the real power meant jumping from city to city, always moving. It was difficult.

Then again, maybe she’d finally set down somewhere for good. Plant roots. Find a way to become obscure enough not to stand out. Somewhere it wasn’t as obvious– where people were as much commodities as anything. Parasite-colonies. That’s what they were, what she needed. Places like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Chicago, Berlin, London. She loved them, but stood out too much.

Trends and fashions would change. One day. She’d become as much a background beauty as any could. Then, she’d make her move. Now, she was too in-style. Too noticeable. It would change. It always had. She’d made it through a thousand years of Human existence. Feeding. Fucking. One in the same for her, for all of them. There were worse ways to go, no doubt. Feeding something like her was an honor by comparison.

At least that’s what she’d convinced herself of. In the end all that mattered was her hunger. Hunger: for flesh. Blood. Heat. Already clawing at her. She pushed up off the floor to redress and head to the bar, hungry.

Short Story: The Worst in Us

She was fifteen; old enough to know right from wrong. What she aimed to do was wrong. Even in the withered husk of society, it was wrong. She couldn’t help it now. Not even if she’d wanted to. She’d made a deal. Maybe afterward she’d care about right and wrong again. Find herself at peace with things. Maybe not.

Allison Hartley was about to murder someone. The teenager’s time and place were decidedly amoral. It wasn’t merely a place of warped morals, but one sans them. Simultaneously, and paradoxically, they were the only thing keeping the world from going to more shit than it had. It wasn’t the whole of society preventing it though. Rather, it was the few that managed to hold themselves to a code, a set of rules. Allison had always been one. That was different now. Would be forever.

Thus her premeditated violation felt a depraved kind of original sin. Whatever the repercussions, it had to been done. No-one would’ve disagreed with that. That is, if she ever planned to tell anyone. That had been part of the deal too: do what needed to be done, keep her mouth shut, and she learned the truth.

Nora had made the deal. Since the world went to hell, Allie had been watching over her. Their parents had been at the refugee camp. They and thousands of others were bombed by “the enemy,” whoever they might’ve been. All Allison knew was she and her little sister were suddenly alone in a burning world. Allison would’ve been better prepared if they’d been honest. Love brings out the worst in us, she knew. Their parents’ lies about reality had eventually forced her into fighting fire with fire.

Three years of utter hell had taught of nothing in life as absolute. That much should’ve been made clear the day they were sent to the refugee camp. Instead, Mom and Dad were quiet. They were quiet through school closing, and the imposed curfews. Twelve-year old Allie was completely oblivious to the world. Fifteen year old Allie was still traumatized by it, daily. She’d had no idea the real extent of damage being done to the world.

Radio and television had become spin machines. She didn’t know it, but she learned it later. They’d turned ongoing narratives from truth into what bolstered wartime support. The family reached the camp, and a matter of hours later the illusions shattered around Allie and Nora. Though the latter was still lost then, she sensed the beginning of realities eventually forced on them. The most prevalent, of course, was Humanity’s depravity– which she was once again a victim of.

A fiery sunset had bled from a dusty horizon as Nora limped up the mound of rubble. It marked the entrance to their home and hide-out. It wasn’t much more than a corner room in a bombed-out building, but a thick, steel door made it impenetrable for anyone hoping to get in. Solid, concrete walls kept them from the elements too, only a small, barred window at its high-ceiling to vent fires for cooking or heating. Allie knew the place was a police station’s set of cells, but the rest of the world was a prison enough that it didn’t bother her.

She’d left the door open to listen to the rare, slap of rain, and keep her ears peeled for the crunch of glass or gravel on their sound-traps. The tell-tale scatter of gravel said someone was sliding down into the bombed-out building. She shouldered her ancient rifle, threw open the door, ready to kill.

Nora was lying face down in glass and gravel, back laden with a pack of supplies. At only twelve, she could already hump the weight of a soldier three times her size for twice as long. That perseverance was the only way either of them had survived.

Allie scrambled for her side, helped her up, neck whipping to eye their surroundings. She fitted Nora’s then heaved them both toward the door. She laid her sister on the makeshift bed of sleeping bags and star, then dropped the back to bolt the door.

It was hours before Nora awoke. She pled for water. Her whole body shook with fresh pain. Something had happened, but Nora’s pistol was still full, her pack too. No raider did this: their ilk struck on the roads, took what they could, then killed their victims in fear of retribution. Nora was still alive, her supplies untouched. Whatever had happened was quick, without obvious resistance.

She finally began to speak, her eyes distant. It was the same stare Allie had seen after they’d watched their parents swallowed by bomb-fire. “I’ve done it a million times. Never like this.” Her bottom lip trembled. “I… I didn’t even know he was there.”

“Who, Nora?”

She teared up with a fierce refusal. “I can’t. I can’t tell you. If I tell you’ll want to tell someone else. You have to kill him.”

Allie’s eyes sparked with sibling guardianship, “Then I will, Nora.”

She refused to speak further, sobbed. A small, dirty hand, lifted the edge of her frayed t-shirt: her dirt-covered navel glistened with “Whore” carved in drying blood by a shaking, old blade. Each letter was torn fabric, the flesh only just coagulated.

But Nora’s hands continued to her pants, slid them down. Allison’s hate-filled eyes went blank, unable to muster even fury at the senselessness inflicted. Etched across her groin, the letters more jagged than before– from Nora struggling– were the words “use me.” The letters extended across her whole groin area, the vulva beneath swollen, bloody, bruised.

The atrocity didn’t need to be named. Neither did the punishment.

She managed to coax Nora into letting her further examine her. She helped her back into her clothes, and medicated her with old, bitter pain-pills. Allie coddled her into sleep, deducing what had been left out. She’d sent Nora to a nearby settlement to procure supplies. They’d done it a million times before. On the way back, she’d been grabbed, assaulted. Again, it clearly wasn’t bandits. That left only a traveler or an inhabitant between the two places.

She scrawled a note to Nora, left quietly; I will.

Half-way to the village, it dawned on her. The small, rocky hill was a hovel: an old manlived there. He’d seemed harmless enough, if slightly insane from time’s rigors. He’d only ever interacted with the sisters once. Hardly enough to kill him over, but enough to sneak in and interrogate him over.

The small hovel glowed from a fire-pit in its center. Flames spit and nipped at the air, cast grotesque shadows across the walls. Allie sneaked into a darkened corner, able to see him across the low-light of the room. He slept like a child might after a long day of play– how they had before. Children didn’t do that anymore. Now Nora never’d sleep without the terrible memories of what someone had done. It gave her fuel to move on.

Allie crept past the fire-pit. The old man grunted in his sleep. He rolled toward her. She dodged behind a makeshift table of half-rotten cardboard. Then, she saw it: a deluded shrine of drawings and black and white Polaroids of Nora and Allie, both clothed and nude. Allie’s face was cut or crossed out, but the old creep had managed to find or repair an old camera. He’d stalked them more than a few times, evidently following them to the nearby river where they bathed.

Her teeth clamped down, eyes took in the few valuables stolen from the girls. Presumably, he’d taken them at the river, when they weren’t watching. Allie and Nora thought they’d lost them. Evidently not.

Atop the pile of underwear, trinkets, and god-awful smelling things, was an old knife. Its cracked, dull edge still bore Nora’s dried blood. The clothing beneath it was as stained as Nora’s innocence. Allie nearly chipped teeth. Her hand clasped the knife, obscene atavism in her eyes. She sneaked toward the bastard…

She returned home to find Nora still asleep. The deal had been held to. When morning came, all that passed would see him crucified, castrated, genitals hanging from his mouth, and “rapist” carved into his groin above mangled flesh. If he wasn’t dead by then, someone would gladly spend a bullet.

Allie rinsed the last of the blood from her hands with a water-bottle, then settled into bed beside Nora. She held her tight, silent tears running down her face. Love brings out the worst in us, she knew, but that wasn’t always a bad thing.

Poetry-Thing Thursday: Of That Which I Speak

Teeth gnawing bone to marrow.
Blood red spatters along a predator’s mouth.
Death taints the air with sickening sorrow.
But is it beast or man,
of that which I speak?

Cold and harsh with icy wind.
Needles stinging lungs with each breath.
Nipping frost along dew-moist eyes.
But is it love or hate,
of that which I speak?

Perspective.
Infective.
Detective.
Corrective.

Flowing outward in diverging currents.
Sounds both entrancing and distracting.
While in the middle of it all drifts dead-wood.
But is it a river or a crowd,
of that which I speak?

A million more ways it could be put.
Perhaps infinite more than that.
Going round and round in circles.
But is it life or death,
of that which I speak?

Bonus Poem: We Are All Mutants

A hundred million years,
or more of evolution,
has made us all mutants.
From dull, single-celled organisms,
to complex universes of life and intelligence.

We came from the sea,
after a bubbling froth,
formed us in its foam,
and boiled over,
spilling us out,
into the Earth.

People,
hung up on monkeys,
so narrow-minded,
and refusing to realize,
how powerful is nature,
that it can outlast us so greatly,
and yet attune us so perfectly.

Science is no myth.
Evolution only a theory in name.
One is the process of confirming,
what the eyes see.
The other,
is the process of how they came to be.

So black, white,
red, brown,
or a color we’ve yet to meet,
We’re all the same,
in a way;
the universe forming itself,
through forge and fusion,
reaction and fission,
and chemical concoctions.

The end result?
No creature could imagine,
nor form in mind,
without prior observation.

All the things of life,
existence;
love, hate,
joy and pain,
everything in between
is the reaction of life,
greeting itself–
of the universe,
creating itself.