And I will always wonder why
the table is set in such a particular way
with the knife facing in, back to the spoon,
as if the spoon was caught dipping
into another bowl of soup¬—
a simple tomato. But the knife is upset
because there is no grilled cheese to slice
in half and share, dipping into the red
of the bowl, mirroring the red of the sun
dipping into the blue of the ocean.
But I am alone, like the fork on the left.
The wide divide of the white plate—
yet untouched by crumbs of slightly burned
bread and the dots of red—
dribbled tomato soup. A meal where the fork remains
sterile and able to be placed in the drawer.
But because it is out, the fork will be washed,
and rinsed, and dried before being tossed
to the darkness of the cutlery drawers.
Even with the other forks, it will never
see the other utensils. And while the others remain
content to just be with other forks,
I am aware of the isolation—
the knife and spoon, while in partitions of their own,
will be together on the table.
Across the wide divide of the white plate,
the fork will remain alone—
save the brief slice of the knife between its tines—
a vicious and violent violation before, again, being alone.
The knife, still angry, will turn its back on the spoon.
But they remain together—
in misery and misunderstanding.
For how could a knife ever talk to a spoon?
Maryanne was walking slowly down the stairs into the subway station. She pulled her coat closer around her tiny form to better fight off the cold. It wasn’t very effective. Cold, dreary days like this made her feel frail and frozen. It was dark; only a few of the lights were left on. She was not entirely sure why she was coming down here. It was out of her way going home. She had just finished closing the greenhouse she worked at. Just thinking about the ferns, roses, and evergreens made her feel momentarily better. Plants always did that. And the station was closed. The schedule posted on the street above had informed her that the last tram had left several minutes ago. Still, one foot and then another lead her deeper into the darkness.
It was odd, she thought, that the station would be so dimly lit. It was heavily traveled while it was open, but now it just seemed like it had been separated from the rest of the city. She felt a vague sensation tickle her spine, like she was walking into a nightmare. Her heart started as she reached the bottom of the stairs, causing her to gasp and throw a hand over her chest. Those red eyes… No, it was just marquee stating that the B and B2 trams ran through this station.
That night still haunted her. It had disturbed her, shocking her very core of normalcy. Could it have really happened? A crack in the mirror. That was real. It had only appeared after the cold, after the initial shock of fear, after seeing that white creature with terrible eyes. A part of her had shoved the incident aside. She must have just been tired. It had seemed so real. Could it be? Another part, a deeper and almost mystical part, of her knew the answer. She didn’t like it. The feeling of something brushing past her soul was hard to argue with, and she rubbed her arms trying to get warm. It was cold again.
Continue reading “Rise, Rise – Chapter Nine”
Fin woke to a room dimly lit with red lights. The dull thuds of explosions echoed against the walls, causing them to rattle. He felt a body next to his, and turning his head he saw Grace sleeping next to him. He sat up slowly, careful not to wake her, and his body tensed against the pain from the abuse he had put it through. He had pushed himself to the absolute limit, and the constant concussive forces he had been exposed to had not been kind either. Across the small room, in another bed next to the wall, he saw Xander. Xander stirred, and slowly sat up, looking back at Fin.
“Looks like we’re in a bunker.” Xander glanced around at the concrete walls.
Fin nodded. “Just a question of where.” He stretched, trying to work the kinks out of his back and neck. “Any idea how we got here?”
“No idea. Maybe faeries whisked us away.”
Fin smirked. “I swear I remember a dog,” he muttered.
“Hmm? A dog? I think the faeries are more likely.”
Fin slid to the edge of the bed and let his feet rest on the cold concrete floor. “I think it was a German Shepherd? Someone saved us. Had a dog that attacked a Soulless about to kill me. And then the guy burned the Soulless and killed it. Pushed the rest of them back.”
Continue reading “The Fall of New Brooklyn, Day Three, 7:12am”
When she dances
it’s nothing special.
Her hair willows,
weeping as she dips,
Praying hands knife
to heaven. The prayer
It’s a dance
she performs everyday—
and no one sees.
No one sees her bending
back, muscles taut,
steel cables holding her.
Like a goddess she spans,
dipping to the ocean
but not touching.
I don’t remember his name.
He probably didn’t have one,
but he always had a drink.
He cradled the glass between his fingers,
swirled himself into the amber liquid
before letting it calm
and taking a deliberate sip.
I knew it was deliberate.
He would lift the glass, and pause—
touching his lips to the rim.
His eyes would close
and I could feel the breath he took.
He never swallowed immediately.
It would sit in his mouth,
the corners of his eyes tired
When I went to talk,
he didn’t speak a word.
Perhaps he couldn’t, or wouldn’t.
He would only point
with his eyes into the bottom
of the glass.
Drive away from broken plates
and broken words. Away from angry
hands fueled by god knows what.
Rubber burns, brakes and voices
scream as hands crank the wheel
to avoid the deer. Hidden by weather—
not quite snow, but not quite real.
Headlights dance, crack and splinter
into tiny fractals that litter the road
with diamonds and blood.
Blood and fur and antlers.
Air bag pillows, the first
explosion that’s good.
Bruised, but walk away.
Avert eyes from the dark
and glinting road.
He stands alone on the corner.
Shaggy brown hair hangs
and tangles with the tatters of his clothes.
The colors have left him, so he blends
with the fog that has its fingers
wrapped in everything.
I barely see him, a ghost
in front of a window. But our
eyes meet. His eyes pierce the fog
and burrow into mine—
time slows, my speedometer
needle stuck on thirty-seven.
He glows, like St. Elmo’s fire,
I blink and it’s broken.
Those eyes held mine
for a fraction of eternity.
Something unsaid stuck
in my throat. Look back—
lost in the fog and the traffic.
But there, a glimmer.
He sat by himself. The bench was faded, only a part of the Subway ad clung to it. People bustled around him, waiting for the tram. Some people stopped and stared at him; he was a peculiar sight, a man sitting alone in a black cloak with the hood pulled low over his eyes. He was lost in thought and didn’t notice them. A loud grating of steel on tracks announced the arrival of the final tram. The lights dimmed, and the last of the people waiting for the tram got on. It left, screeching and shooting sparks as it disappeared into the open mouth of the tunnel. Xan was really alone now. The station was empty. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it, now that no one could tell him wasn’t allowed to smoke here.
They had never really fought before. He didn’t know how to handle his feelings of loneliness. Saleena had been acting strange. She was high strung, irritable, and much quicker to lash out in anger than usual. He took a slow drag, and held it in his lungs for a while, before slowly exhaling. His head was still clouded by what Saleena had said. He took another drag and cradled his head in his palm.
“Smoking isn’t allowed here, you know.”
Continue reading “Rise, Rise – Chapter Eight”
Three silver smears appeared on an empty street strewn with rubble. Fin drew his sword, and the other two followed suit. They walked silently across the broken street, alert.
Fin touched the diamond in the hilt of his sword. <Times Square is just past that building.>
What was left of the building. It was half collapsed, and littered the street with broken bricks, wires, couches, office desks, chairs, beds… Fin’s boot stepped on something crunching and he almost slipped. Looking down, he saw a hand. Just a hand. The skin was charred and crisp, and it had slid off of the ragged muscle and bone. He froze. Looking closer, he saw that burned and bloody corpses littered the debris, intertwined with broken beds and sheets torn apart. He retched as the smell finally registered. Cooked meat and the rancid, almost sweet, smell of death. He closed his eyes, trying to keep his head from reeling out of control. He felt hands grab a hold of him and steady him. He opened his eyes and saw violet. Grace’s face was smooth. Her lips were pale and tight, almost like they were drawn on.
Her lips moved, mouthing words he almost didn’t catch. We’ll get the bastards.
Fin nodded, and followed Grace across the rest of the debris, trying his best not to look at what was crunching and snapping under his feet. Xander had gone ahead, and was crouched near the wall that was left, facing Times Square. As Fin knelt down next to them, he remembered what Matthias had said. There had been no evacuations. Not even any attempts. They…no, we, didn’t do anything to save anyone, he thought. He didn’t have long to dwell on that thought. A distant rumble, like thunder, echoed from the distance. The jets were getting close.
Continue reading “The Fall of New Brooklyn, Day Two, 6:36pm”
Sleeping, must you lie that way?
Stiff and sweating?
The living trope.
It’s rather unnerving.
Are you supposed to resemble
the body’s starched suit?
You swish like a striding
business man’s slacks,
like the sheets of a hospital.
You’ve become even more
inanimate in life,
exuding the whiff of formaldehyde jars
with your exit,
or of dusty chapels.
You will never be satisfying
while you remain alive.
Only that one night,
the knife trembling against your wrist,
tasting blood, did you tease me,
and then, typically,
you stopped short.
(I sigh angrily.)
I was throwing knives in your
kitchen for months. To remind you.
The smell of flowing blood
still clings to you:
stinking odor of breath