Listening to the Trains at Night – A poem.

Sometimes, it sounds like
they are singing—

like willow trees, fingers plucking,
pulling steel harp strings,

miles and miles long,
stapled to the countryside

by iron fingernails.


Meliae – A poem.

The tree flies away,
leaving a skeleton

white against
grey. Surrounded by snow,
maybe ash.

Her hair makes death look bright.
She wishes she could fly,
but her feet sink into the white.

She throws her arms,
but the wind only carries
her hair.


Rise, Rise – Chapter Four

By JKolasch

Xanthiilus was sitting by Saleena’s tree, trying to read a book.  It was one of those vampire books that the people of this era loved.  He never understood them.  These people simply did not know anything about the other world, the one he lived in.  Honestly, garlic?  He took a deep breath, relaxing.  The Soulthief was still fresh on his mind, and he enjoyed the limited amount of leisure time he had.  The warehouse they lived in was large, and half of it was dedicated to Saleena’s forest, dominated by her large oak in the center.  The other half was Xan’s living area, although he and Saleena slept in both areas equally.  Sometimes they liked the bed, and other times the soft forest floor was pleasant.  He tried to get back into the book again, but he was distracted by the frolicking Saleena.  She was beautiful, as always.  Her almond colored skin was smooth, almost creamy looking.  She was radiant this close to her tree.  He enjoyed her like this, naked and free in her nature.  Xan smiled, remembering their awkward meeting.

It had been several thousand years ago at this very spot.  The War of Darkness had ended.  Xanthiilus had just joined the order, but had already proven to be one of the most powerful members.  So, he had been one of several chosen to guard one of the seals.  The seals were scattered throughout the world, to better ensure that they wouldn’t be breached.  Each seal served as a lock to a prison of sorts.  The strongest of the order were chosen to guard the seals, with the aid of a dryad.  Xanthiilus had been nervous, stories of dryads filling his head.  He had heard they could be cruel, cold, aloof, and demanding.  His heart was racing when she walked in.  The others that were there to seal the ritual had told him nothing, save that a dryad was required to finish the binding magic.  And he was to guard them both.  Xan had accepted.  It was his duty to protect.  His heart stopped when he saw her.  She was all the beauty of nature concentrated into that single, nude female form.  His heart skipped into beating when she spoke.

“Hello, Xanthiilus.  I’m Saleena.  Looks like we’re getting married!” Her voice was full of laughter and the sound of wind singing through autumn leaves.  Her eyes gleamed with an alluring playfulness.

Continue reading “Rise, Rise – Chapter Four”

The Fall of New Brooklyn, Day Two, 7:42am

By JKolasch

Fin woke to silence.  He lay in bed, staring at the white ceiling.  It was a small room, white walls and white carpet.  His blankets and sheets were white.  In the corner was a small black marble desk next to a black dresser.  There were no windows in the Conduits rooms; the quarters were located within the command building, using the surrounding building as protection against outside attacks.  His alarm clock told him it was morning.  He stretched, his body tensing against the strain of yesterday.  A thin, pale scar crossed him, a reminder of his fight against the Thief.  A soft knock at the door startled him, and he sat up.

“Fin?  Are you awake?” Grace’s voice drifted through the door.

“Yeah, what’s up, Grace?”

The door opened, allowing Grace to slip inside, and it shut again.  “How are you feeling?”

“Sore.  But alive.  Trying to wrap my head around what all happened yesterday.  And what today will bring.”

Grace was dressed in the black of the Conduits, the silver crossed sword and lightning bolt embroidered across her breast.  Her blonde hair half hid her face, leaving a violet eye to peer at Fin.  “There were a few more skirmishes last night.  The Damp Fields over Central Park and Queens fell.”

“We’re not going to be able to hold the city are we?”

Continue reading “The Fall of New Brooklyn, Day Two, 7:42am”

Liquefaction – A poem.

There are moments when
words fail. And all you can do
is be silent.

Leaning into the storm
no one else can feel.
But it whispers in your ears—

teasing your hair
like he used to,
in the second grade.

You sit straight. Stoic.
Only as a second grader
could, holding

it together.


Dust – A poem.

It bleeds through wicker—
dust in the sunbeams of windows.
It has devoured half the world
and I can only watch
from the patio where it has invaded
and swirls, eating through the furniture.

Beyond the hissing wall,
I catch glimpses of the naked earth—
stripped bare of green and sun.
everything is brown.

I am a speck.

Leaning against the cedar siding,
I watch as the vortex creeps.
It advances with a hunger
I once felt. Trapped.
Unable to push beyond
my current existence.
And the dust must feel the same.

That will never change.

But I know that it can.
So I remove my halo,
and walk into the storm
as it rips away everything
that I knew, that I was,
that I am.

As it devours me,
I can feel the slightest shift—
the gentle laughter
of a breeze.


Fury – A poem.

Waves try to steal her.
Crash into rocks and spray,
blue fingers twist and knurl.
Try to catch red hair.

Her skin is crisp—
salt baked by the sun.
But her eyes do not look
at Poseidon’s rage.
She drops her robe and steps,
naked, into the sea.

the ocean cradles


Mother – A poem.

What is love

Five years old and making
macaroni and cheese for herself
and her stuffed bear, Molly.
She sits alone in the middle—
laminate spirals of printed cedar
fracture around her,
like a crater from her depression.
A forkful goes to her mouth,
and as she chews, she lifts the fork
to Molly’s single-stitched mouth.

Baby don’t hurt me

The surrounding furniture
was nice once. Cared for and clean.
But now it’s worn—
the leather couch scuffed and blurry,
distorting her reflection.

A reflection that watches
as she eats and feeds her bear—
cartoon bears dancing on the TV,
speaking of picnics and forests,
but the image is fuzzy with dust.

Don’t hurt me no more—

Dinner done, and dishes clean,
she takes Molly to bed, taking care
to read a pleasant bedtime story
and tucks the tired bear in. Her dry lips
catch on the ratted fur for a goodnight kiss.

She closes her eyes and pretends
to sleep when the front door opens.
Footsteps stiletto across the laminate,
and she turns her back
to the shadows underneath the door.

Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more.


Rise, Rise – Chapter Three

By JKolasch

Maryanne lived alone in an old rundown apartment building.  The bricks were faded, and the fire escapes were almost a certain death if one tried to actually use them.  Her apartment was cozy enough, though.  She took joy in the simple decorations she had.  Plants abounded in the apartment, as did pictures of cute animals and stuffed bears.  She lived alone, but she never felt like it.  Her pictures and stuffed animals were company enough for her.  She stood in the bathroom, in front of the mirror, adding the finishing touches to her burgundy hair before she went out tonight.  She didn’t have a date, but there was a bar she enjoyed going to; they always played good music.  Maryanne was adjusting a bobby pin, making sure it was in the right place when a flash of white streaked down the mirror behind her.  She spun around, her heart racing, and she looked around frantically.  Nothing was there, save the doorway leading into her sparsely furnished living room.  There was the sofa, coffee table, and television that almost never saw use.

“Hello?” she whispered to the empty room.

Hearing nothing, she turned back to the mirror to finish her hair.  With a chilling scream, she spun around, her eyes wide and the blood draining from her face.

“Hello?” Her voice could barely be heard and her rapid breathing misted out in front of her face.  She had been so certain of what she saw.

Continue reading “Rise, Rise – Chapter Three”

The Fall of New Brooklyn, Day One, 3:24pm

By JKolasch

Fin sat in a plush, overstuffed leather chair, waiting outside of Magister Rochester’s office.  The reception room was fairly large, filled with twenty or so of the same chairs.  There were several paintings on the walls, abstract pieces that mainly consisted of splashes of red and black paint.  In the center of the wooden floor was a large circle of dark marble, inlaid with the silver insignia of the Conduits.  The large, double oak doors to the Magister’s office clicked open, and Xander and Grace walked out.  Their faces were taut, lips thin and straight, and their eyes were distant.

“How’d it go? Fin asked.

Xander shook his head, and he and Grace left the room.

“Conduit Grayson Fin, please, come in.”  Magister Rochester’s voice was flat, neutral.

Fin stood and walked through the double doors.  They closed silently, except for the soft click of the latch.  The Magister’s office was just as impressive as the reception room, only slightly larger.  Bookshelves lined the wall, filled with books of all sorts.  There were books on old wars, books on the theory and practice of magic and science.  There were even recreational books, like the popular series Moonlight.

“Have a seat, Fin.”  The magister motioned to more of the overstuffed leather chairs.  They were arranged in a half circle, facing the immense, car-sized, black marble desk.  It had the Conduits insignia inlaid in silver in the front.

Fin shifted his sword, and sat down.  “Sir.”

“Do you know why you’re here?”

Fin leveled his grey eyes at the Magister.  “I disobeyed you.  And insulted you in front of the mundane forces and the other Conduits.”

Continue reading “The Fall of New Brooklyn, Day One, 3:24pm”