The Deeper You Go

There is a strange interplay to be found

between science and magic,

I could explain intimacy in terms of chemical reactions

Oxytocin is released

when an owner pets his dog,

when a child suckles at her mother’s breast,

when two people make love in the night

This oxytocin is the hormone responsible for bringing us closer together, for creating bonds,

but what service would I do to anyone to just leave it at that

Intimacy is so much more, and yet

still the simple matter of biology remains

Life is both an equation and an occasion,

a formula all people can enjoy.

Does knowing the inner working of a machine make it any less magical,

seeing the backstage of a performance any less engaging?

Indeed, tearing away the curtain, revealing the man at the controls

only makes it more beautiful,

if there is any beauty to be found in the first place.

That is the division between fact and fraud,

the latter can only take your so far

before the thrill expires,

whereas the former only gets more amazing

the deeper you go.

Dark Figures

EXT. DESERT – NIGHT

TWO HOODED FIGURES stare out at the horizon. The sun falls.

FIGURE #1

The dark is coming.

FIGURE #2

We will take him.

FIGURE #1 nods.

EXT. DESERT- NIGHT

FIGURE #1 lights small fires around the campsite.

FIGURE #2

What is it like?

FIGURE #1

The dark? Evil.

FIGURE #2

But what is it like?

The FIGURE #1 does not respond.

EXT. DESERT- NIGHT

FIGURE #1 sits and stares out into the darkness. FIGURE #2 paces.

FIGURE #2

It should be here by now.

FIGURE #1

Patience.

A HISS sounds. FIGURE #1 stands.

FIGURE #2

(excitedly)

Is that him?

FIGURE #1 stretches out his hands. LIGHT sprouts from his palms.

FIGURE #2 (CONT’D)

Yes!

The hiss grows louder and louder. It is almost on top of them when it stops. FIGURE #2 spins about.

FIGURE #2

Where did it go?

With a shriek, the DARK attacks. Strikes FIGURE #1 in the chest, strikes FIGURE #2 in the face.

FIGURE #2 topples back and falls over, cradling his face.

FIGURE #2 (CONT’D)

My eyes! My eyes!

FIGURE #2 strikes the ground. He gropes about wildly.

FIGURE #2

Master, are you there? Master, please. I can’t see. Somebody. Please.

EXT. DESERT- NIGHT

FIGURE #2 weeps over his master’s dead body. The DARK flutters away.

EXT. DESERT- DAY

FIGURE #2 sits cross-legged and breathes. The fires burn around him.

TIME LAPSE: the sun rises, pinnacles, and descends on our hero.

EXT. DESERT- NIGHT

FIGURE #2 remains sitting. The DARK takes on physical form, walks around him.

DARK

Do you give up?

FIGURE #2

Not as long as I have breath.

FIGURE #2 stands. The DARK laughs, grabs FIGURE #2’s throat.

DARK

What can you do? You are powerless.

FIGURE #2

Not as long as I am close enough to touch you.

The DARK looks down. FIGURE #2 places a hand upon his chest. LIGHT beams from FIGURE #2’s hand.

FIGURE #2 (CONT’D)

Goodbye.

The DARK tries to get away. FIGURE #2 grabs him, hugs him tight. Light engulfs them both.

EXT. DESERT- DAY

FIGURE #2 hobbles through the desert, slowly making his way through.

Bbbbbbb book! New Book on Amazon now.

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I am super pumped to announce that my new book is out on Amazon.  Six bucks buys you this super sweet compilation of poetry, short stories, scripts, and songs, and thanks to Prime, it can be at your doorstep in a matter of days. What I am most excited about is the chance to spotlight some pretty cool people I have met during my time on this spinning ball called Earth. THEY are definitely worth getting to know. Please, pick yourself up a copy today. Now, even =)

A Tale from the Hotel Lobby

He was an older man, armed with a laptop and an ill-fitting suit. She was his junior, toting a suitcase and a pair of designer heels.

He was seated in the lobby, hacking away at emails and trying to overcome his writer’s block, when she entered, full of confidence, wearing a yellow pencil skirt and a blue blouse, her head up, her gait quick.

He would not have noticed her had he not have cocked his head back to bemoan his lack of inspiration; but, he did and he saw her. She checked in and vanished around the corner.

He saw her again at breakfast, when she came down to grab a bite. She had changed her heels for flats, the pencil skirt for something red and flowy.

There was a newlywed couple sitting at the table between them. When they got up, the man not-so-casually scooted closer to her. They talked for a bit. She got up to take a Segway tour. He returned to his novel.

She did not return until evening. He feared he might not see her again. He wrote himself into exhaustion as the words began flowing through him as if in full depth and color.

He retreated to the reading area with a glass of wine. She entered, this time wearing tan jeans and no shoes.

She picked out a book on American history and started reading. He asked her about it. They talked for a while. He offered her a glass of wine. She said yes.

They returned to the lobby and sat and drank and talked and watched people go by. He put his arm around her shoulder.

 

 

 

Smoggit’s Apprentice: Part 11

They traveled several more days before the sandstorm hit. It came upon them suddenly. They were walking. The day was hotter than normal, but not unseasonably so. The air was still. Then, the sand below their feet began to move. The air around them began to betray them, swirling and whipping about them. Before they knew what hit them, they were caught up in a blazing cyclone. Smoggit’s whole body shook as he summoned all the magic within him to fight it off, but Mother Nature played the cruel mistress that day. She crashed into them like a wave, knocking them to the floor, sucking the wind out of their lungs, and then burying them upon several feet of burning sand.

As the world grew dark around her, Pamela closed her eyes and surrendered to death; but death would not have her. A golden and ethereal hand seized her and Smoggit and yanked them up out of the abyss. Like a geyser, they spit up out of the earth and plummeted back down, vomiting out sand and other desert debris as they went. Her body was weak. Her clothes were torn. She gasped for breath and life-giving water. But, still, she was alive.

It was after seizing upon that reassuring truth that she fainted.

***

She woke on the back of a worronî. She gasped and nearly fell off. However, a reassuring yet unfamiliar hand kept her still. At first, she thought it the same as before, but this one was bandaged and distinctly male. The other was not from this world.

“Rest. Preserve your strength. I can tell you have been through quite an ordeal,” said the man.

Not having her wits and still being quite weak, she did not argue. She did look around though, searching for Smoggit.

“Your friend is fine,” said the man. “He is with the others.”

She saw him, on the back of another. These sand rider had them both in their protective care.

“Who are you?” said Pamela.

“Servants of the desert guardian, Yarí,” he said. “It was she called us to you.”

She nodded and said, “I know.”

This was not a time to make sense of the situation. The situation, in fact, was beyond sense. So Pamela, even in her state of weakness and veiled understanding, understood enough to keep her words few and go with the flow.

Later that day, she, Smoggit, and the sand riders had dinner. It wasn’t much: just a few scraps of capachi root and morning dew with a hint of burrén rat. Still, it was good and much appreciated.

“Thank you for your assistance,” said Smoggit.

The chief sand rider waved off the gesture.

“Think nothing of it,” he said.

“Is there anything we can do to repay you?” said Pamela.

The sand riders glanced at each other, then nodded in consensus. The chief turned to face her again.

“We are sure that the time will come when we will need your help, either in this incarnation or the next,” he said, “we ask that you meet us boldly in our time of need.”

She smiled and bowed.

“We can do that,” she said.

“Yes, we’d be happy to,” Smoggit said.

Her gaze shifted to the worronî.

“Fascinating creatures, aren’t they?” said the chief.

“Yes. Fascinating,” she said absently.

“They mate for life and are faithful caretakers of their young,” he said.

“So I’ve heard,” she said.

He paused until the time was right, then said, “would you like to pet one?”

Her gaze shifted to the floor.

“I really don’t know if that’s a good idea,” she said.

The chief didn’t miss a beat before responding that time.

“Maybe not, but I feel it’s something that needs to happen,” he said. “Will you trust me enough to try?”

Well, you did save my life and all, she thought and gave him her hand.

The chief led her over to the creature. Her heart beat quicker the closer she came. When she reached the beast, she felt as if her heart were about to jump right out of her chest. He waited a beat and then set her hand upon the worronî. It twitched. She flinched.

“Give it a minute,” he said. “Bonds do not form instantaneously.”

She forsook her own desires and reservations and calmed her breathing. The tension in her hand diminished and her fingers came to rest gently upon the beast. She swore she heard it exhale as well. Sooner than she thought possible, she began patting her “enemy.” The worronî bubbled in approval.

Later that night, as they headed out, she hugged the chief sand rider.

“Thank you,” she said. “Two times over.”

He bowed to her.

“Thank you for letting kindness take its course,” he said, then waved her “farewell.”

She waved back, then they departed. The worronî she had bonded with lifted its head towards her as she went. She waved it “farewell” too.

Smoggit’s Apprentice: Part 10

In a few weeks’ time, they reached the edge of the hills, and touched down on the desert of Mordøn. At that point, Pamela dismounted from the uba’ku, patted it tenderly, and sent it back to its herd. Smoggit bit his lip as he surveyed the desert.

“We should wait here until dark,” he said. “The traveling will be more forgiving at night.”

Pamela removed her robe and began loading up rocks into it.

“Sounds good to me. I ran into some worronî on the way here. Mean creatures. Caught me totally unawares. That won’t happen this time,” she replied.

Smoggit caught her hand.

“As your mentor and friend, I would advise against that,” he said.

She fought his grasp.

“But those things are dangerous. I’m all for harmonious traveling, making buddy-buddy and such, but we can’t afford any injury out there,” she said. “We’d never make it through, otherwise.”

“Your answer is logical but not completely true,” he said. “Yes, those stones would help safeguard our safety for a time, but you cannot run your life on them. Those that anticipate violence will find it. The same goes for peace.”

She paused.

“Drop the rocks. Please,” he added.

She dropped the rocks. There was, however, one left in the hood of her robe. He allowed her it and released his grasp.

“Thank you,” he said.

She wagged a finger at him.

“If we get hurt, this is on you, though I’ll take no satisfaction in being right,” she said.

“I’ll accept that responsibility,” he said. “Thank you for your cooperation.”

She plopped herself down at the edge of the desert and, together, they waited until nightfall.

***

As the sun dissolved into the land, casting an orange-red glow upon the world, they rose from their repose and started on the move. With the fledgling moon as their guide, they made their way through the desert. It was cold, but otherwise peaceful. Pamela was definitely grateful for her robe. About halfway through the night, she was about ready to suck down her pride when the hissing began.

Like a cyclone, it swirled around her. She clutched her robe- an automatic, protective response. That is when she felt the stone inside it. Up until then, she had forgot; now, it was all she was thinking about. Her fingers rapped around the stone. That was when the worronî lurched out of concealment.

The next few moments moved very quickly, without any thought. The worronî burst out into open. She grabbed the stone. Smoggit shouted something, but she didn’t hear. He extended his hand, sending a wave of magic at her, knocking her to the floor, but not before she sent the stone flying. It struck the worronî in the head. It wobbled and fell, then shook the earth as its bulk came to rest upon the cold, desert sand.

“I did it,” said Pamela said with mouth slightly agape.

Smoggit rushed to the worronî’s side and put hands upon it. Immediately, a blue glow exuded from him and began soaking into it. Pamela stood back and watched in horror as the worronî began to twitch, then rose and slunk away. When it was gone, Pamela charged at him.

“How could you?” she said while gesturing at him, then vanished animal, and all existence simultaneous. “That thing was trying to kill us, and you had the nerve to bring it back to life.”

Smoggit exhaled, then gestured her forward.

“Follow me,” he said

She stomped her foot, but did as he requested.

They walked a ways, eventually finding themselves in the center of a set of worronî tracks. She had questions, reservations, about this, but kept them in. The questions only grew as they continued on. Finally, she couldn’t hold them in as they continued on. Tired and confused, she finally gave herself permission to voice her concerns.

“Okay, where are we going?!” she said.

Smoggit put a finger to his lips and led her to the edge of a hole. Though turning a pinkish shade of red, she came up beside him and looked into the hole. In the hole, the worronî circled itself around a brood of miniature worronî: a mother and her offspring.

“To an untrained eye, it is hard to discern between the ugly and the beautiful. Often, what we interpret as vile is in fact loving, and the opposite is also true,” he said. “When we are quick to judge, we misdiagnose. You are a most excellent student, Pamela, but you are still a student.”

She stared at the mother and her brood, long after Smoggit had moved on. She stayed long enough for it to notice her. It just flared its nostrils at her and went back to nursing its young.

She moseyed on, venturing into the night, with that image emblazoned onto her mind.

The Monster Who Believed Itself to Be Human

MonsterThere once was a monster who believed itself to be human. It lived in the mountains high above a human village. Often, it would look down from its rocky perch and gander down at the villagers milling about below. It would feel inextricably and undeniably connected to them.

Sometimes, it would venture close enough to get a good look at the village, but always it would get run off as soon as the villagers spotted it.

One evening, kneeled down and cried. It wanted to be a human so badly.

Just then, a witch appeared.

“Hello,” she said, “I am the wish witch. Give me your wish and I will grant it.”

The monster dried its big, monster eyes.

“Oh please, dear witch,” said the monster, “if you would make me a human, I would be ever so grateful.”

The witch nodded.

“Human? Certainly!” she said.

With a wave of her wand, the witch transformed the monster into a handsome young man.

“Thank you!” said the monster.

The monster kissed the witch and scurried down to village before she could get another word in.

***

The night the monster arrived, the village was deep in celebration for harvest-time. Cakes, pies, roast beast: all were cooking over fires and in ovens and making the most delightful smells.

The monster burst with excitement taking it all in.

Wasting no time, it joined a group of humans dancing to a fiddler’s tune. It danced until its legs grew weary. At that point, it retired to a nearby pub and drank and laughed until morning light.

As dawn broke on the village, the monster turned man wandered outside. Little did it know that the magic had rubbed off. It found out soon enough when a young, orphan girl, whose family had been eaten by monsters, saw the creature and screamed.

The monster then realized it was not flesh and blood, but scales and ooze. This realization came too late. By the time it headed for the mountains, the humans were already in hot pursuit.

They chased him up and over the mountain to the edge of a cliff. Having no other choice, the monster turned to face its pursuers.

“Please, friends. Can’t you see I’m one of you,” it said.

The villagers all shook there heads.

“No, a monster is a monster is a monster,” said the villager, “that’s just how it is.”

The villagers took another step further. The monster stepped back, but too far. It slipped on a pebble and tumbled over the cliff, into the ravine below. In shock, the villagers gather ’round the precipice and looked down.

“Just as well,” said a villager.

“Serves it right, ” said another.

Then, they went home and finished up their party.

***

A year passed and the strangest thing happened: on the day of the harvest, the little girl who had sounded the alarm went alone to cliff from which the monster had fallen. She was armed only with a single daisy.

“Sorry I screamed,” said the girl.

She bent over and tossed the daisy into the ravine, then she turned to go home.

“It’s okay,” said the monster. “I’m sorry I startled you.”

She turned again. The monster’s ghost materialized in front of her. She did not scream that time, but rather simply extended her hand out to it.

“Want to go home with me?” she said.

The monster reached out and took her hand.

“I would love that,” said the monster.

And they went back to the village together.