On the Eve: 10

Queen Jocasta – Sovereign Ruler of the West

Lies.

They plague our souls, causing us to act in ways of which we never believed ourselves capable. Yet we often cling to these falsities; desiring the reality we’ve fabricated over the painful truth that is life. Ignorance is bliss, they say. Perhaps there is some validity to the sentiment. But willful ignorance? There is no greater atrocity.

I have been deceived. All these years, lied to. Ulric, who, as Jordain’s Hand, was only charged with protecting the crown, came to me years ago with that crushing dispatch. News that the love of my life had been unfaithful, and intended to replace me as Queen with the Vice-Regent, Elaine. I believed him.

Last night I was greeted by an emissary who represented my former husband and King. Ulric’s journal, cataloguing his sadistic, manipulative thoughts, was presented to me. I was told Jordain has spent all these years tirelessly searching for anything to clear his name and prove his loyalty to me. After all this time, his efforts finally produced this journal. This, evil, disgusting journal that revealed everything he did was a lie.

Jordain’s actions, in light of this, have illustrated precisely the man I so fiercely loved. The sting of the irony is a dagger in my heart. He never shed his honor. He agreed to let me govern the Western lands. He conceded to my terms those many years ago, rather than waging a war that would cost the lives of thousands. And he did so knowing that my revolt was grounded in deceit. Despite his attempts to convince me otherwise, I refused to believe him. I believed Ulric’s fabricated tale of my husband’s infidelity. The enormity of my regret regarding this is inexplicable.

Tomorrow, we shall ride and face Jordain once again. My armies are not aware of the information this emissary has revealed. Tomorrow, all shall be unveiled.

On the eve of what will become a day fabled for ages, my mind is at ease.

There is no provider of solace equal to that of the unabridged truth.

The Revolt Returns: 8

“Hey, what was the name of that new girl again? You know, the brown haired Lenghornian with the exquisite…personality?”

Back in Spam’s newly reconstructed Tower of Management, Will the Wolf ponders the assets of a Lenghornian newcomer with Chilian manservent, Quesadilla.

“I know not, my Lord.” Quesadilla replies. “I am but a lowly Chilian. Our ribs and terrible 2 for 1 specials in those tiny mugs pale in comparison to you Lenghornians. You know I am not savvy to such information. I am nothing if not a loyal subject of my dear, sexy Spam.”

“Ah, valid point, peasant.” Will says. “Perhaps I shall raid their pathetic village and take her for my own. Show her how a real wolf gets down,” he growls with a creepy glint in his eye.

Suddenly, a female voice echos from an adjacent chamber.

“I would find that most unwise, my hairy lover.”

Waltzing out of the nearby walkway, a majestically sexy fox with an inexplicable aura of sophistication joins the pair.

“Assuming, of course, you intend to keep that wonderful wolf manhood of yours attached to your body,” she adds with a wink.

“My love! You know I jest,” Will the Wolf says with a subtle adjustment of his woolly pants, effortlessly concealing his embarrassing blood flow as his gaze glides up and down Celeste the Sultry’s painfully attractive body.

“That’s what I thought,” she says with a smirk and a peck on his wolfly cheek. “Alas, where is our leader? Surely its time to finalize our plans for the assault on the Lenghornian village.”

Interjecting, Quesadilla angrily answers her query.

“Our beloved leader is seeing to her commitments in the North, fox,” he says with an annoyed glance toward Celeste.

As a dedicated Chilian, Quesadilla is fiercely loyal to none but his offensively nasty restaurant. Spam, being the conniving woman she is, wooed the slave and his compatriots through an ingeniously crafted plan to gain Chilian support. Simply put – she informed their corporate management to take the beef bacon ranch quesadilla off of their already disgusting menu. After her suggestion led to quadrupled profits, the Chilian constituents fell right into her perfectly placed trap. As intended, her army swelled and she inherited the mindless servant that is Quesadilla.

“When does she intend to return?” Will the Wolf asks, smoothly deflecting the obvious resentment Quesadilla had directed toward his foxy lover.

“Our liege is scheduled to grace us with her return on the ‘morrow,” the manservant sneers. “Now, you must excuse me. I am required for other, more pressing obligations. Since she has graciously deemed me worthy of such responsibilities,” he adds as a not-so-subtle slight toward Celeste.

Exiting the chamber, Quesadilla hobbles toward whatever tasks he undoubtedly had just made up. Left alone, Celeste grins as she hops into her lover’s hairy arms.

Turning her head toward the sky, she smirks.

“Its time to end this chapter, I think,” she creepily says to me. “I know you didn’t really develop the plot in any meaningful way here, but I’m seriously jonesing for this guy’s…service,” she says with a soft laugh and nod toward the wolf of her dreams.

Wondering how the hell a fantasy character became aware of its omniscient Godly creator, the author types the last few characters of his entry, closing the cover to his laptop with a confused, blank stare on his face.

Reflecting on the Greats: George RR Martin

I’ve decided to start a new blog series to fill idle time when writers block attacks. I plan to write short entries to pay homage to the authors/writers which I look up to and who have influenced me in one way or another. I’d like to focus mainly on particular attributes of each, highlighting the obvious as well as the subtle in an effort to outline why I think they’ve elevated above their peers.

My first tribute is going to be on an individual we all know (unless you’ve lived under a rock or haven’t turned on a television in the past five years): George RR Martin, acclaimed author and creator of the enormously popular series A Song of Ice and Fire. Better known, of course, as Game of Thrones.

As many know, Martin was a lesser known writer until GoT dominate the headlines. This is the first thing I’d like to note which warrants respect. His dedication and love for the craft allowed him to persevere through countless efforts at making himself known, finally paying off at a level very few can ever dream of. This, I believe, is an attribute so few have, and even fewer maintain throughout life. It is one that certainly warrants respect from anyone who knows how difficult it is to stand out in one of the most competitive fields one can aspire to.

The second thing I want to mention, and one which absolutely boggles my mind if I’m being honest, is the sheer complexity of his stories. I’m not talking complex plot lines here, either. This dude has got to have what I can only imagine is one of the most absurd brainstorming sessions imaginable. I don’t think you need to be a writer to understand and appreciate the level of detail he consistently achieves.

Another thing I’d like to commend for Martin actually has nothing to do with writing. As we all know, any time you rise to the apex of your career, people tend to consider more than just your work. When one garners the world’s attention, the individual is taken into account as often as their creations. Martin’s personality, in my opinion, is an appropriate for someone of his stature. He doesn’t have an overly inflated ego, he’s down to Earth, and he’s maintained a playful demeanor. Case in point – just the other day I saw a picture of him wearing a T-Shirt he had made. On it was a quote: “Be nice to me or Tyrion’s next!” Now come on…that’s pretty funny. These kinds of things make me respect him not only for his creative genius, but for his character as well – which I would argue is just as important.

I’ll stop here for now. The only negative thing I can think of in regard to Martin is the freaking wait for the next installments. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware how long these things take to outline, write, and edit – but he’s pushing it in my opinion (and that’s the consensus among his fan-base if you don’t follow him). Its to the point now where its a running joke, in fact. I suppose he’s earned the right to take as much time as he damn well pleases, though, so I digress.

In any case, that’s my general take on someone who will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the greatest writers of our time. I can only aspire to someday obtain a mere fraction of the cultural significance he’s so rightfully earned.

Here’s to you, Mr. Martin. Oh…and please don’t kill Tyrion.

Love & Loss

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Adalasia: First Entry

July, 1943. Sicily.

I hope I see him again.

It’s amazing how different things are, amidst the bombings and the shells and the shouting. A week ago I was making pies. Prepping soups upstairs in my father’s shop. My days were filled with that of cheer and joy. Now I find myself coddled in a corner, hiding in a dusty cellar.Trembling at the sound of footsteps approaching in fear that the invaders will find me.

They say this town is important for the supply lines. It seems to change hands every day, Allies by morning and Axis by night. I don’t know how to keep up.  The only knowledge of whats going on in the world is obtained through my inquiries during the requests handed to me by whoever happens to be occupying us on a given day. Today it is the Germans. They want rations, which we are able to supply as one of the only bakeries on this block. Tomorrow, for all I know it will be another from the US 7th.

There was a man, yesterday, who I truly hope returns. He was unlike the others. Usually the men offer chocolate or some sort of postcard of an American actress. But this one…he approached me directly, took my hand and looked at me straight in my eyes. Without pause, he told me he was sorry for the pain around me. He told me he was sorry that there were people in this world who could cause such atrocities to happen, and that we, at that moment, were stuck in a window of helplessness. He told me that he felt the pain with me. That he understood exactly what struggle I was going through. That he regretted every time he pulled the trigger, because he knew he was taking a life. A life that was raised somewhere else. By someone else. Someone who he would never know. I could see how much it hurt him.

He told me his name was Adam. And that he would find me, if God allowed, when this was over.

Adam: First Entry

July, 1943. Sicily.

I wonder if Father is proud of me.

He always told me I would grow to accomplish great things one day. Yet here I lay, cold and cramped in a cot hardly fit for a prisoner.

When I joined the US 7th, they told us we were undertaking one of the most important missions in history. That we were putting an end to the tyranny and devasting effects of Hitler’s Nazi regime. And while I still stand behind that sentiment, I find myself conflicted.

The things I have witnessed are unimaginable. The harsh realities of war are something one can never fully comprehend until they are experienced first hand. Loving sons stricken from their families. Kind fathers called to duty to fight for a cause with which they may not even agree. Why? Why must we occupy a world which holds such little regard for love and generosity?

It pains me to consider these things. I continue to fight, because the grander cause is one I believe in. Yet a profound agony courses through me every time I take a life. It plagues my mind as I lay here, trying to sleep so I can briefly escape this world of ours. Dreams provide my only solace.

There was one glimmer of happiness today, though, in the midst of this despair. My unit overtook a small portion of Sicily, and I was ordered to obtain food from a local bakery. As I entered, I found myself enamored by the beauty of the shopkeepers daughter. I could sense her pain, as she must have stood helplessly watching as the day’s battle ensued. I held her for a moment as I introduced myself, cherishing her embrace. For a short moment, we were two strangers sharing unspoken feelings of hope and compassion. Her name was Adalasia.

I hope I see her again.

Adalasia: Second Entry

July, 1943. Sicily.

He was here again today. Adam, the handsome soldier from the US 7th. I can still see his blonde hair, the sparkle, shimmering as the setting sun’s light reflects off his golden locks. He came into the shop today and asked for bread. His unit was most hurried, as there seemed to be another objective that was being sought after. It seems they are advancing further into the city.
But we were able to speak today. He had time to engage me in conversation. At first, he teased me that my English was broken, but he then put his hands on mine and smiled, telling me my words were as beautiful as the glimmer in my eyes. He gave me a bar of chocolate, laughing as he did so, saying it was cliche.

He told me that coming to our shop was the highlight of his day, and that he would do anything he could to be assigned to this particular task. Because he wanted to see me. He wanted to experience the same feeling he had the time before, when he held me and forgot about the terror surrounding him.

It was a powerful feeling, when he stood and grasped me. It was as if he was channeling his pain into our embodiment. I felt his love.

Please return, Adam.

 

Adam: Second Entry

July, 1943. Sicily.

I can’t wait to see her again.

Adalasia. Such a beautiful name. The dry spots on her hands told me that she’s willing to take on the burden of work. The city had a food cart stocked to try and provide help to the needy, and she was the first to volunteer her service. She cares about  people, I can tell. I watch her as her eyes follow the children of her house, playing and having fun. The smile that takes over her face as she sees how happy they truly are, without a care in the world.

And then the siren rings.

The piercing tone changes everything. The kids playing on the floor scatter to the underground cellar door. A door that will lead them underground, into a dark, cramped room where these feelings of love and happiness are absent. A room that houses the same fear, desperation, and hopelessness I’ve seen in the towns before.

These people. They’re innocent. They don’t deserve this.

A day must come that changes things. Good people have no place living like this. I wish there was more I could do.

I long to see her again. Adalasia, I mean. For the first time since landing in this Hell, I have found something which can actually coax a smile out of me.

I believe I shall “accidentally” find myself around the bakery tomorrow.

Adalasia: Third Entry

August, 1943. Sicily.

He might be the greatest man I will ever know.

Adam came by today. It wasn’t to see me, though. Not this time. He said he came because the Germans were expected to attack tonight, and he knew he would be launching artillery in this area. So he came to do everything he could to barricade father’s building. Then he showed us the proper places to hide when the fighting began. We are so very thankful to have someone care for our protection.

Before he left, I walked with him outside for a goodbye kiss. He stopped me at the door, firmly holding my waist as he looked at me with that bright hair and shimmering smile. He said that he would never let harm befall me. He said he would protect me that night, no matter what. That he would make sure the bombs landed far away. He promised to direct them away from us with his shelling.

And he did. He did exactly what he promised he would do. This was the first battle that hasn’t shaken this house.

All because of this Adam…a deeper love I will never find.

Adam: Third Entry

August, 1943. Sicily.

I do not know what to think.

I cannot decide what my disposition is to these Germans. We have been taught that they are all evil. That they are all terrible, horrid people who deserve nothing more than the iron fist of American judgment.

And yet, I am conflicted. Is it true? Is this entire army of Nazis truly evil? Or does good dwell amidst their ranks? Are there good men? Men who would pick up someone when they’re down? Men who love their mothers and children with all their heart, and truly want what’s best for their families?

These questions occupy the empty space in my mind, filling it with wonder and doubt. What is the truth? How can I be expected to blindly take the life of another human being without knowing their character? I cannot find reason to make sense of this.

Adalasia. She is my only release from this madness. Her innocence. Her beauty. Her kindness. It overwhelms me with emotion. She has a hold on my heart which I fear cannot be released. The subconscious, sublime cohesiveness that we share has taught me the true meaning of love. I love her. And I will do anything to shield her from this horrific world we have created.

This war has taught me one vastly important thing. There is no greater calling than to protect the people you love.

Adalasia: Fourth Entry

August, 1943. Sicily.

I know not what to say.

My mind is clouded by constant fears of the atrocities my love is forced to endure. The perpetual horror that he may never return.

I want to join his ranks. I want to fight the Germans with him. It sounds silly for me, a mere baker’s daughter, desiring to join the fight. Yet it is so. The message must be sent, my love. Let me fight with you.

Please, Adam…I can help.

Adam: Fourth Entry

August, 1943. Sicily.

My dearest Adalasia. How I love that girl.

Yesterday, I returned to her shop. She and I have grown quite enamored with each other. It is a deep love that we share. The kind that words struggle to describe. I’ve always wondered if I would ever fall in love, as I have put great thought into the topic. I find that love takes many different forms. There is, of course, the initial, shallow love. That which we feel by instinct. Some might call it simple attraction. And then there is the grander love that most spend their entire lives searching for. The one that causes us to wed, to have children, to enjoy life, and to be happy. The one that gives you meaning.

But then…then there is an even deeper, profoundly unique love. A love found only in times such as these. A love so visceral that it transcends outward description. The only way to comprehend it would be to feel the sensation. The kind of love that manifests when a grenade is thrown into a room, and your first instinct is to jump on it. That’s when you really know you love someone.

For that is what happened today. The Germans launched a small counter-attack this afternoon to take a portion of the city, the bastards. As Adalasia and I were having lunch in the apartment above her father’s bakery, I found myself caught at the front end of their assault. Captain said no one saw it coming. None of us did.

A pair of them came into the bakery. They must have seen my helmet on the post outside and decided they would take me by surprise. I would have never seen them had she not been standing by the window. Upon hearing them ascending the stairs, I fired a few shots through the wall. I missed. The cowards threw the blasted potato masher into the room close to Adalasia as they hid behind the stairwell. The two of us looked to her feet in horror, locking eyes in a brief moment that seems now like a blur. I don’t remember what went through my head, if anything. I jumped to cover it after shoving her onto the nearby mattress, and for my eternal gratitude to God it didn’t detonate. It was as if my body wasn’t under my own control, and some mysterious force had compelled me to sacrifice myself to spare her life. We were saved by some of my squad, who were having coffee across the street. It was the most horrifying twenty-three seconds I’ve ever experienced.

I did not realize until this evening the magnitude of what that action meant. We all say we would die for love. Now, I know. My deepest consciousness sought first to protect her.

The truest, most genuine love there can be. That’s the energy I share with Adalasia.

We share an iron love forged on the anvils of war.

Adalasia: Fifth Entry

September, 1943. Sicily.

My attempts to join the fray went unheeded. Father said I was crazy for suggesting such a thing. He says the passions of a baker’s daughter aren’t strong enough for war.

Adam makes it a point to make sure the bakery is well-guarded and equipped for whatever may come through. Or whoever, I should say. The chocolate he brings is always fresh. I adore him for the little things he does for me. We took a walk yesterday, through the market square and over to the theater.There was a play taking place about the American soldiers leaving their homes to come fight the war. Adam and I stood there, motionless, watching the actors and actresses pretend to feel the pain of loss. We did not condemn them. Instead, we applauded their efforts, because we knew that they were going through the very same struggle as we. They have lost loved ones, as we all have.

The pain of losing friends. The pain of losing family. The impact of which I cannot convey. Not through mere words. It must be felt to truly understand. Why must we continue to battle? Why? Will a day without hatred, without malice, without violence ever dawn? I so deeply long for peace, and happiness.

Happiness more so than anything. Oh Adam, how much I love you.

Adam: Fifth Entry

September, 1943. Sicily.

They’re coming.

We don’t know when, but we know. The Germans are launching a massive counter offensive. We’ve been expecting this for weeks, as it’s crucial that we maintain control of the supply lines. Sicily is too valuable a target, and we should have known they would defend it to the very last man.

Our intelligence officer has intercepted a telegram that we are to be assaulted in the coming days.

My time in this war has given me so much perspective. Some of the things I’ve seen are nightmarishly horrific. Seeing the atrocious ways a human being can treat another human being when under the guise of war is the most terrifying observation I’ve had. This isn’t a world that anyone deserves. I feel the heaviest weight on my heart when I see a little girl be saved from debris, only to find her parents dead from shelling. I feel the weight of the farmers who are being forced to provide rations to the Nazis against their will.

It hurts to think about these things. I must protect Adalasia. That’s the only thing I can hold on to in this world of chaos. She gives me purpose. I love her for that. And for so much more.

Why am I fighting this war? That was a question searing in my head for the longest time. But now I know. I’m fighting this war to preserve the short glimmers of happiness that my Adalasia provides. It’s what were all fighting for.To be happy. Life…the battle that shall never end until it ends.

I love her so much.

Adalasia: Last Entry

September, 1943. Sicily.

I cannot do this.

I can’t. I’m so afraid. They’re here. The Germans. They’re retaking the city. They’ve launched an overwhelming counter offensive to regain control of Sicily. I’m so scared. I don’t know what to do. My God please help me. Please, I’m begging you. I can hear the gunshots outside. I can hear the footsteps of the German soldiers. Oh my God please don’t let them find me. God, if you’re there, please, don’t let them find me. I do not want to die. I cannot fathom parting from this world without him.

Underneath the register. Hiding. That’s where I am. Please find me Adam. Please. Make them go away. I can’t do this. This cannot be the last night I see. Adam, please help me. Where are you? Please help me. I love you, Adam. I love you more than anything.

Oh my God. They’re coming in.

Adam: Last Entry

My dearest Adalasia.

You changed the world for me. There are so many things I want to write to adequately explain how important you are. But my words would never do it justice. I found myself when I met you. You were the most important piece of my life. I love you. More than anything in this God Forsaken world, I love you.

I’m bleeding, my love. There isn’t much pain. I was shot running toward the bakery when I heard the German attack. I fear I won’t survive, Adalasia. My body rests upon a small hill of broken cobblestone. You know the hill I speak of. The one where we chased the rabbit that day, until it slyly hopped under the cover of these stones. These very stones. I suppose this is a fitting place to die, as I am reliving that day right now as I write this.

I’m dying, my love. This I know.

I beg this: whatever unfortunate soldier finds my body; please deliver this parchment to my Adalasia. She lives at the bakery, just East down the road. Please. Axis, or ally. I beg you from the depths of my soul. Give this letter to my love so she knows how much she meant to me.

She changed my life. She breathed meaning into the emptiness that for so long defined me.

Adalasia. I love you so, so much. Please don’t forget me. You are my everything, and if there is another side to this life, I will turn this universe upside down until I find you.

Remember me, my love…and find happiness. For us.

Love & Loss: 12

My dearest Adalasia.

You changed the world for me. There are so many things I want to write to you that explain how important you are. But my words would never do it justice. I found myself when I met you. You were the most important piece of my life. I love you. More than anything in this God Forsaken world, I love you. 

I’m bleeding, my love. I was shot as I ran toward the bakery when I heard the Germans were launching their attack. I’m not going to survive. My body is resting upon a small hill of broken cobblestone. I am going to die. This I know.

I beg you, whoever finds my body, deliver this parchment to my Adalasia. Please. Axis, or ally. Please. Give this letter to my love so she knows how much she meant to me.  

She changed my life. 

Adalasia. I love you so, so much. Please don’t forget me. You are my everything, and if there is another side to this life, I will do everything in my power to find you. 

Please, my love. Remember me.

The Revolt Returns: 7

shhhhhhh letusoutofthisstupidjaryouslickhairedmaniac shhhhhhh

Back in the Lenghornian village, Dustin the Determined is carrying around his jar of wisps like a trophy. Easily entertained, he looks at them with the grin of a school boy looking at his first bowl of sea monkeys.

“Ha!” He laughs. “Stupid wisps. Bet you wish you hadn’t made fun of my hair now, huh?”

shhhhhhh pleaseletusoutforreal shhhhhh ithinkcarljustfartedanditsmells shhhhhhh

“Nope.” Dustin says, setting the jar down on the windowsill of his plastic straw hut.

Chopping lettuce in an attempt to help the brainless cooks keep the salad window stocked, Dustin hears a knock on the door.

“Dustin, we have news from the East!” A soothing female voice shouts. “Come, join us in the square!”

Pointing his knife and squinting at the wisps as to say “behave while I’m gone”, he sets the blade down and joins Stephanie the Sweet outside. His curiosity stirring, the pair hurriedly make their way to the center town square. Finally reaching the rest of the villagers, they settle into the crowd. Standing center stage behind a podium, Connee, The Fairy Queen of the House of Front, announces the grave news.

“Lenghornians! I come to you with news of utmost treachery! Our Barfly Gnat scouts have caught wind that Spam intends to overrun us with an army of Chilians from the East!”

GASP!

“This cannot be!” Jade, a girl that everyone obviously wants to “get to know” says.”I thought our Eastern Border was protected by the Calver army!”

“Alas, my dear,” Connee begins,”just because they are next door does not mean they have the capabilities to protect our lands. In fact their burger patties are far too thin to shield any of the Chilian siege weapons. We cannot count on them.”

“She speaks the truth.” A soft, reserved voice says from the back of the crowd. Stepping forward, Johnny the Gentleman offers his services. “Dear Fairy, allow me to raise a regiment of Lenghornian Revolters. We shall defend the realm until our dying breath.”

“Huzzah!” The Lenghornians cheer, patting Johnny on his firm buttocks.

Nodding her head and waving her tong wand, Connee manifests a leather tunic and suit of armor for Johnny, which he assertively grabs and straps on.

“You will need this as well, my Knight.” Connee says, handing Johnny a gleaming silver serrated steak knife.

“Steakscalibur!” Johnny says in astonishment. “Where did you obtain such a legendary relic?”

“Alas, my dear, twas easy for a Fairy of my level.” Connee says with a snide grin. “Come! Accept that which I bestow!” She shouts as she hands Johnny the beautiful blade. “You will lead your fellow Lenghornians, along with Dustin the Determined, to victory! I have read the prophecies. They tell a tale of a massive battle to come! We must prepare!”

“Huzzah!” The crowd shouts. “To war!”

 

 

 

The Revolt Returns: 6

“Quesadilla! Why is there no salt on my swine?!”

Far to the East, the realm’s new manager Spam shouts at her brainless Chilian manservant. Despite her managerial commitment to Lenghorn, she has diabolically crafted an alter-ego which, in her spare time, she utilizes to control the activities of the Lenghornian’s rivals.

“Apologies, my liege,” the Chilian manservant says, tilting a salt shaker above the steaming boar’s head which Spam is ironically about to consume. Ironically, of course, because pork is in fact an ingredient of actual spam. 

“Hmmph. That is quite enough.” Spam asserts with a dismissive wave of her hand. “Off you go.”

Sneering at his salty contribution to his masters meal, Quesadilla slowly waddles his way out of the massive dining hall, leaving Spam to her own devices.

Mmmm grumble chew chomp pghlegm swallow

Having her fill with the remainder of the swine, Spam stands up and waltzes to the tower’s open balcony, looking out on the lands below. 

Ha! These stupid Lenghornians shall never know what hit them. She thinks to herself, creepily rubbing her hands together. They think they’re the only restaurant in town? Please. My Chilians will make mince meat of these weaklings.

Spam’s rise to power was no accident. After having Netflixed and chilled on many occasions, she has heard the Star Wars plot line play out on far too many occasions. She now knows all too well how Senator Palpatine disguised himself as the leader of the Republic, yet simultaneously led the Empire in the shadows as Darth Sidious, unbeknownst to all. She intends to use the very same tactics against the Lenghornians, cultivating a massive army within the Chilian empire to overtake the pathetic Lenghornian villagers. 

They’ll never know what hit them. 

Suddenly, a deep voice bellows from within the Tower stairwell.

“Spam! Our army is nearing completion. The Lenghornians shall all die!” The voice  shouts.

Swiveling to face the stairwell, Spam holds her hand out, beckoning the voice to present itself.

“Show yourself, General! You know I detest that which I cannot see!”

“Yes, my liege.” The deep voice says as a clicking sound manifests in the stairwell. Seconds later, a jacked hairy werewolf emerges, ducking under the stone doorway leading into Spam’s chamber.

“Ah, there you are.” Spam says, attempting to discern whether he should button one more button on his shirt or if she actually likes the small amount of chest hair that is revealed. 

“Tell me more of my army!” She demands.

“Yes, my liege.” Will the Wolf says. “The Chilians are coming along splendidly. They are as brainless and obedient as the Lenghornian cooks! Muahahaha!” He cackles. 

“Excellent.” Spam says as she adjusts the Lenghornian floor plan into a chaotic calamity of confusion. “Soon we will launch our offensive. No longer will we have to tell customers we don’t have chips and salsa. Muahahaha!”

“You are so wise, my liege.” Will says, bowing his hairy wolf head in respect as he subtly checks her out because he cannot resist a hot manager. “I shall ascertain that our forces are well prepared to destroy the weak Lenghornians.”

“See that you do.” Spam says, dismissing him.

Leaning over the balcony, Spam peers over her lands in anticipation of the battle to come. 

Time for your annual review, Lenghornians. Muahahahaha!!

Good & Evil: Chapter 14

Well well well, what have we here? Does he love her? What do you think? She’s going to be mine. Sort of an odd term to use, right? Almost sounds like he views her as property. Property he doesn’t want to share, as it seems.

So, here’s what I wonder: does Mikal love Estella? How does he even define it? If Estella’s future was brighter, hypothetically, with someone else, shouldn’t that be a good thing? Because when you love someone, its unconditional. You want them to be happy don’t you? Or is love only present when it serves our own ends?

Its a question that could persist forever. And truthfully one for which I doubt we will ever have a really good answer. Because no one wants to admit these things, for some reason, but they’re true. I think its safe to say that Mikal is only going to “love” Estella if she loves him back. Which clearly she does, based on previous readings.

Either way, he’s a sneaky little bugger isn’t he? Manipulating the manipulators.

Good for him.

Good & Evil: Chapter 11

A curious thing happened today.

I was visited by a Younger who had just completed his Filing. He has graduated from his childish status and was Filed Left to become a Contributor. I recall him approaching me this morning, slowly opening the door to my office as he peered inside with a strange glint in his eye. It was most odd. But he excitedly sat down and actually thanked me for my duties of being an Overseer. He told me he appreciated the Filing and that he now understood why he was Filed Left. He told me our process has opened his eyes, and made him realize what true “purity” is.

It is strange. I cannot recall a time before when a child who was filed Left showed such gratitude. Without fail, my experience with those who are Left has been one of contempt. After all, the process is designed precisely for that very reason. They are bad people, therefore their response when being Filed Left is that of contempt and resentment. Those who instead appreciate our process, and are good, would see their Filing as a lesson, and would respond positively – which is precisely why they are Filed Right to begin with. Isn’t it clear that one’s internal thought process and response to adversity defines one’s true moral value?

The Bad deserve to be Contributors. This is known. They should produce consumables and services for the Good, until it is they who grow to be Good. But it is for this that I am at an impasse. This newly Filed Contributor has shown the trait of one that is good. Has our process failed? Have we condemned someone who is Good? He is the only positive thinker in a group that has never failed to foster anger, remorse, and contempt.

What can I do with this Mikal?

 

Good & Evil: Chapter 10

Almost makes you feel sorry for the girl, huh?

Funny thing, love. It’s different in everyone’s eyes, wouldn’t you say? After all, are we sure our good friend Mikal here was intent on the benevolence of his little fling with Estella? Or did he just play the game the right way so he could land the beautiful girl? Is that love? Surely something sinister had to be going on under the hood for him to be Filed left, right? If the higher ups had all that science stuff going on, isolating all those “good” and “bad” chemicals, could one really argue the result?

That’s a load of questions, I know. I just can’t help but find myself asking them as I read through these diaries. I often ask myself where the line should be drawn, in fact. 

Who’s to say what’s good and bad anyway?

The Revolt Returns: Ep 1

“It cannot be so!”

High atop the hills overlooking the Lenghornian Village of Servers, Cedric the Everhigh gasps as he hears news that Xavier the Unicorn’s coat has lost it’s color.

“Its true!” Wails Rachel, the Host Who Must Not Be Flirted With For Fear of Boyfriendly Retribution. “I just saw him gulping water by the oasis, his coat was completely gray!” She cries.

“This is unacceptable!” Cedric shouts as he exhales a cloud of Keep Kush, stimulating the olfactory senses of his counterpart. “Without his colors, Xavier’s urine will no longer be able to resurrect our fallen heroes! We must commission a team of scouts to regain our rainbow unicorn’s color!”

“Yes, we must!” Rachel says, nodding in agreement.

“Come, we must make the announcement.” Cedric asserts, beckoning Rachel to follow.

As the pair descend the hill and make their way into the center of the Village, Rachel begins to bang on the doors of her co-workers.

“Guys! Town Meeting! We have something we need to tell everyone!”

Wiping their eyes as they emerge from their plastic straw huts, the servers congregate in the center of the Village. Unsure of what’s going on, they group around the recently erected statue commemorating the Battle for Free Servitude – when the District Manager was sprinkled with Prairie Dust and transformed into a chocolate dessert, ushering the dawn of the New Age.

Nudging him to the front of the group, Rachel tells Cedric to share the news.

“What up folks? Big deal here.” Cedric begins. “Listen, we got a problem. Our boy has lost his colors.” He says, pointing across the grassy meadow at the plain gray unicorn peacefully sipping the water cascading from the oasis’ small waterfall. “Ain’t no idea how this shit happened, but it happened. And we need to get them back. Cause you all know what dude’s wiener water can do to those who get themselves kilt. Plus, he’s done a lot for us, so we owe it to him.”

“How could this be?!” Asks Connee the Fairy. “Xavier’s flow is the only way to bring back our departed from beyond the Veil!”

“That’s right!” Cedric exclaims. “So we need to get the colors back. Who’s down to go?” He asks, panning the group.

*Blank stares and blinking eyes as heads slowly turn toward Dustin*

“Ugh, seriously guys? Why does everyone always make me do the stuff no one else wants to do?” Asks Dustin the Frequently Undermined, as he looks at his fellow servers with disdain. “Whatever. I’ll freakin’ do it. But someone else is doing my side work tonight.”

“Great!” Brittany the Buff cheers. “But where will you begin your search?”

“I don’t know.” Dustin says. “You know, maybe I’ll start by the oak trees. Or maybe not. I don’t know. But maybe I will. You know, the oak trees probably have colors somewhere, cause like, the leaves are green, right? Green’s a color. And that’s what we need. Colors. Like the ones on the rainbow. Rainbows have all the colors. Sometimes I think it’d be cool to ski on a rainbow. And then”

“DUSTIN!” Rachel shouts.

“What?” He responds.

“Find Xavier’s colors.”

“On it.” Dustin says.

Off he rides, saddling Norman, the ever faithful steed as they gallop toward the oak trees to begin their quest. Uncertainty hovers over the horizon, for there have been whispers of a new village uprising far to the North. One thing is for sure, however: fate has much planned for our hero, Dustin the Determined.

Continuity – The Most Complex Simple Question I’ve Been Asked

So this morning I spoke to a screenwriter about my story. In my quest to eventually have an adaptation created for viewers (since who reads evidently) these conversations, I hope, will happen more frequently in the near future. After today, though, I realize how much that even I don’t know about my own narrative.

This became evident to me after one of the first questions I was asked – “what is your story about?”

Its perhaps the most fundamental, simple question one should ask. Yet, simple as it may be, becomes so complex the more I think about it. What is my book about? When I wrote it, my head was an absolute tornado in the wake of my mom’s passing. I poured my thoughts on existentialism, religion, society, and morality into the manuscript. So many strong, deep convictions exist in me in regard to these topics. But there are more down to Earth themes in the book as well. Take my protagonist, for example. I wanted to tell a story of his progression in regard to his character – how he, over time, slowly transforms from a somewhat shallow, surface-encounter person into a strongly sentimental, sensitive and compassionate human.

Its also a love story. Not in the traditional sense, mind you. I wanted to use the romance arch to illustrate the finite nature of our existence. Throughout the story, there is a sort of impending doom in the near future for the characters. My goal was to use this to create an elevated sense of urgency, leading to them squeezing as much out of life as possible – which I hope explains how quickly Carson and Jennifer fall for each other. The Catalyst, the rock set to end humanity, creates hysteria – but ironically provides a certain degree of liberation at the same time. Emotions become elevated with the knowledge that tomorrow may never come. More importantly, all of the day to day fuss that we get so caught up on completely vanish, as the focus turns to making the most of the time we have.

I wanted to use this “end-of-world” scenario to provide a reason why the characters experience such vast shifts in their priorities and values. After all, how often do people truly think and put time into what really, really matters in life? Aren’t we all guilty of going through the motions more often than not? More importantly: why? Why do so many people so easily lose sight of the things in their lives that are most vital for a purposeful existence?

I can admit that I often overthink things. Its something that has both helped and hindered me throughout life. In hindsight, if that screenwriter were to ask me that very same question right now, my answer would be simple and concise.

Continuity is about having a purpose in life. Its about happiness, love, morality, and meaning. Its about being good.

Nothing more.

Currency: Chapter 2

I’ve decided to post the Chapters to Currency, my three-part historical fiction tale of the inception/evolution/elimination of fiat money, one at a time as I write them. Basically the story will be posted in an episodic format one chapter at a time. I’m going to consolidate them as I post them in its own page, which will be linked in the dropdown menu of my site. So if you’re joining us at any point mind-story, you’ll want to refer to that to read what’s come before.

With no further adieu, below is the second chapter of the story, which picks up after Rickar’s monumental return after making the world’s very first “trade”. I hope you enjoy!

The Beginning

Chapter 2

The feast is tonight. My return was a late one, as I reached my village just as the night sky’s glow-orb was being overtaken by its bright, yellow ruler. My trip was not without peril. The orb’s light illuminated my path ahead, and helped me narrowly avoid a group of fanged ones. I can only imagine what fate would have befallen the goats and I had they seen us. Upon my return, I hid the goats in my small abode. I do not want the others to know that I have disobeyed the will of the elders. Not yet, at least. I must first speak to the eldest in solitude, away from the others. The feast shall be my most opportune time to approach him. I am confident I will be able to convince him that this “trade” with Barbado was not ill-advised. It was for the good of our people, and I must assure that it is viewed as such. I am not worried that the goats will be discovered prior to my addressing the eldest. The section of our village reserved for the mid-tenders is not frequently visited, and it is well-known among my peers that we do not enter each other’s abodes.

The others, those who fill roles other than mine, will not strand into the area in which my abode lies. Those in my village are separated into groups. We all have jobs for which as are assigned. The elders are in charge of choosing our roles upon our tenth birth ceremony. Every child born during each span of the four seasons is put in a group with one another. As each group turns ten, we have the Assignment Feast, where we learn what work we will do and where we will live. There are three classes which the elders use for all jobs – low, mid, and high. The low-cleaners are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the elders’ abodes. Low-growers raise the crops which we use to feed our village. My role, mid-tender, is in charge of caring for our beasts and animals. We use the beasts for our work, and use the animals for nourishment, along with our crops. High-breeders are the ones who lay with our women to produce the young ones. I have always wondered how young ones are created, but this knowledge is not passed down to anyone until they become a high-breeder, a role that most of us never achieve. Many of the elders were high-breeders before they became elders. There many other roles in our village, these are but a few. There have been times when the elders have granted one of us a new role, but this is uncommon. This seems to happen only as a reward when someone contributes significantly to the village or does something that greatly pleases the elders. It is understood that the lows must obey the wishes of the mids and highs. It is also known that the mids must obey the commands of the highs. All of us, no matter our role, must obey the elders, who in turn obey the eldest. If members of our village ever reach disagreement, the judgment of the elders is called upon for resolution. There have been times when the elders have difficulty agreeing, and if necessary, the eldest shall render final judgment. It is a good system, I believe. Yet I ask myself on occasion what the rules of other villages might be. Sometimes, most often during the times I lay in my abode unable to slumber, I wonder about many things. I question much of what I am told, but I know I cannot voice my questions. The others would surely tell the elders, and I fear what punishment may be rendered as a result of my doubts.

There have been times when members of our village have violated the rules which we have abided by for generations. These members, without question, are sent to what the elders call an abyss, after a shaming ceremony. They are bound to a stake in the center of our hall of ceremonies, and are openly shamed and beaten by the rest of the village. Then, the high-banisher uses a spear to penetrate both eyes, sending their spirit to the abyss.

We are taught from our early years of being a young one that the afterlife is something we should gleefully await. Yet many of us do not fully understand it. Our high-learners, those who pass along knowledge to the young ones, have given lessons in the importance of the afterlife, and have attempted to describe what it is like. I find it difficult to understand how they know such things, though. How can the elders claim to have spoken with the gods if they are unable to do so in front of us? How have they learned of the afterlife? This puzzles me, as I know they have never been there themselves. I often find myself questioning other lessons of the high-learners, as much of what they say has never been shown to us. Rather, we are simply expected to believe their lessons without question. I attempted, many seasons ago, to describe my doubts to others in my birth group, but was only met by fear of punishment of speaking such things. This is why I remain silent on such matters.

Yes, the afterlife is what awaits us after we depart this world. We are told that those who disobey, however, are stricken from the reward those who obey will enjoy and instead are cast into the abyss. They tell us that this abyss is filled with those who disobey, and that their spirits are eternally at war with each other. They have described the agony and sadness that the abyss makes its spirits feel, and I cannot ignore the terror I feel when considering such things. If the high-learners and elders speak the truth, I shall be careful to earn my place in the afterlife, for I shudder to think of the alternative.

The beginning ceremonies of the feast begin soon. I must make my way to attend now. I can only hope to find opportunity to speak with the eldest. Despite my fears of what will surely happen if the tale of my actions invokes his wrath, I am convinced the good that may come is worth the risk. This “trade” will surely change the way we view our neighboring villages if we are able to consider even more transactions with them in the future.

I shall pray for my spirit now, as it is time to begin my approach.