Showing posts from 2016

GenYsiX ---1

The driverless car drives itself to the hosp—to the Medical Facility. Come on, Max.

“You’ve been reading too much.”

Cathy. Cathy is my wife and I love her.


“Hello in there—Max? You. Reading. Too much. Again.”

I put my book down and I look sideways at her. She’s reclining in the passenger seat next to me. She is my wife and I love her.

“I’m reading about Earth.”

She scoffs. “Max. Come on. It’s not real.”

“What do you mean?”

I slide my hand under her hand on her stomach.

“It’s not real, that.” She gestures. “What’s real is this.” She squeezes. “Here. Now. Us.”

Under my palm I feel the material, the cool synth without texture. What she wants me to feel is the warmth of her skin beneath the lifeless synth and also the life we’ve made together. I think. But what I feel is…well, an entirely a different matter.

“You keep reading about the Earth but this isn’t the Earth. It isn’t real. Not to us.”

She is, of course, pushing my buttons. I know this. It is understandable. My hand is on her stomach. U…

The man, the boy, and the flat little girl.

"Daddy I want this one."

His son stands looking up at him with the picture book held above his head like an offering. Earnest little face. Such trusting eyes.

The man knows all about this book. He's read about it, its alleged effect on children. In it are nonsense rhymes and painted images, fantastical creatures worked into everyday scenarios. A surreal cast to it all. Things of shadow behind doors. A lion curled around a little boy's leg under the breakfast table as he eats his eggs. The boy's eyes are glassy, doll-like. A little girl pulled through the slit at the bottom of the door so that she comes out the other side a flat little girl. It's creepy as hell.

He looks down at his son. The boy is mesmerized. What has hooked him? What does he see in this, what is it that calls to him? The man can only think of the dark thoughts to which these images lead (to which he is lead), and how all this fantasy can only muddle a developing mind, confuse what is real and w…


Men like the immediacy of war. There are no maybes here, there is only the truth of steel and strength of arm. Those dry philosophers do not last a minute on the fields of flying rage, nor do their brains look any different from the stableboy's when dashed on iron and stone. If there are or ever were any such things as morals, or gods, they are absent.

Some men swear they see glimmers of the divine during the heat of battle; an act of heroism, an impossible archer's shot - but afterwards, afterwards the flash does not linger. In the aftermath of armed conflict there is no soft angel-song, nor the hiss of demons in the shadows. Good and evil have no meaning to the corpses, nor to those who afterwards walk the red ruin. Good and evil do belong here. They did not make this happen.

Nothing belongs, not here where what it means to be mortal hangs from its own bones. Indifference. The survivors nursing spirits crushed. On their faces writ large and disbelieving the end of all reason.


There is no name


Circumstance //DESPITE

I can’t breathe. How much longer. Do it. Heart slams so hard against my insides surely it hears me. At the dim end of the rotting structure it stands dead still. One leg suspended. Ears twitch, looking right at me. Long eyelashes. Big, animal eye. I’m in it. Mal’s not, and she has the gun. Do it. Shootititdoesn’tknowgodIhavetobrea– The silence explodes. A streak in the dimness. Blink. It’s gone. Just like that. Blink. Head ringing with the report. Behind the shattered glass the rifle barrel angles down and there is her ghost face framed in the window. Dart forward eagerly. Maybe she hit it. Little knot of hope. Hunched over where the animal was. Maybe there’s blood. Back and forth in a grid. End where its horns tore through the tumbled slats. Maybe there’s a drop. “Stop it.” Mal’s behind me. Stiff. Gun barrel across her hips. “What if you wounded it.” Squinting into the shadows and the clutter on the floor. “No." A drop. That’s all. Anything. Nothing. “Stop it. Stop.” I straighten up and sta…

Hellpine //DESPITE

I haven't seen an animal in days. Even the birds are still, and flit from view before I register them. Sometimes a high branch quivers with the ghost of one. What has happened here? What does the forest remember? Some horror, up ahead. Anything. Anything's better than the crushing silence. Bring on the blood rust abattoirs. Bring on the meat eaters. The long empty between rigid pine trunks. Ears prickle at the softest sounds, the rustle of my coat, the hint of footpresses on the needles in thick brown layers. Nothing moves. I cough and I scare myself shitless the sound it's like a gunshot. When my heart settles I find I'm still walking. Still in this eternity. Nothing moves. The wind is dead.
Hell's supposed to be a fiery pit of endless torture. But I read once that hell is nothingness. I remember; a short bark of laughter when I read that. I’ll take numb over pain thank-you-very-much. Didn't understand. Now I understand. Hell. The  forever loneliness. To persist after…

Those left behind, to wander red fields

A woman picked her way across the reeking ruin, gagging, stumbling over flesh and metal, until she sank down beside the armless remains of a young man. His face was somehow spotless amid the filth, and twisted into a rigid degree of agony no poet or painting could ever fully convey. The woman cradled him. She began rocking back and forth, staring transfixed into that death mask. Blood seeped into her robes. The pure horror of his glassy eyes stained her soul more deeply than blood ever could.
He stood apart, looking down on it all from the commander’s hill, and he could so easily tell what her dumbstruck face was speaking: why, why, why...her question came to him clearly, for it echoed the one trapped within himself. For I – I caused her love's death, he knew. Once he could, yet now he could not answer any more the why which made this happen. To what end? he thought. But does it even matter, the ends, can any end stand up to the horror of such means? He wanted to weep, but like her he c…