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A blog for poetry, prose, and pop culture.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Poetry: Afterglow

 Hey all,

As you can see I've been posting a bit lately, mostly Flash Fiction as I approach the final chapters of Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins. I haven't mapped out each story individually, but I have the plot set up and we are certainly ramping up in bringing the group together. You can expect a new post of Under a Dead Sun every Sunday, with the exception of the week I'll be at Comic Con in July.

Anyway I still want to post poetry and other bits of fiction and stuff, which brings us to this post. I think the subject matter, and the poem itself for that matter, is pretty self evident. I'm not sure where I really got the subject matter for the poem, I just sat down and wrote it. It took maybe an hour, the actual poem itself was pretty fast, I just used a lot of time to tweak lines and rhymes. The poem is an idealized thought on the after moments of sex, of what two people think after making love. I think anyone who reads my poetry knows that a lot of what my poems are about are idealized loves. Whether loves lost, or unrequited, or of a love captured, I tend to like the idea of pure loss and pure hope. Of what love can be, or could be. I'm not sure this poem actually deals with those topics... but I think there is still a message there. Enjoy.


Softly lit drips candle wax,

As passions throws begets, gone lax.

Sounds of breath and labors love,

Climaxed so hard, crying to Him above.

Intertwined, they writhed and groan,

This expression of the love they've shown.

Without words of praise or scorn,

They feel the bond their souls adorn.

And in the afterglow of candles flame,

Each can feel no guilt or blame.

With fingers clasped, in hearts embrace.

They lock their eyes, now face to face.

The depth of stare, each other eyed,

Their bodies spent from crafts then plied.

But in each they know the others truth,

Spoken in a language known to aged and youth.

But before they turn themselves to sleep,

Cuddled close and nestled deep.

They say those words that meant the most,

I love you spoken in twin riposte.

As the candle light does snuff,

The flame extinguished in a tiny puff.

Our lovers turn and big good night,

Because everything feels just right. 

End of Line.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sin

Chapter 39:

Father Enrico rode slowly next to the two strangers. He wasn't sure what their deal was, the young girl, Ally, walked with a limp and her face was bruised. She stayed close to the big Cavalryman, never far from him, though the girl seemed scared, almost withdrawn. She was the easy one to read. The Cavalryman though, he was another story. He loomed tall and hard, his face a stony mask. The revolver and hatchet on his hip looked well worn, he seemed a hard man. He'd seen men like him before, men born to war and bloodshed. Haunted men. Men he'd once left behind.

When they had ridden up on him by the riverbank, his hand still holding the smoking gun, they'd been wary. After all, you had to wary of everyone in this damned new world, and a preacher with a gun was no exception. He'd told them his story, or a version of it at least. He told them how he had left his parish to seek help from Desperation and that he'd found the old pistol as he fled the monsters. He left out the part about leaving his brothers, and his flock, to die. Lying was the least of the sins he'd committed this day.

The pair had agreed to travel to Desperation with him, the big man, Morgan, saying that they were better sticking together than traveling alone. Since they only had two horses, Morgan had dismounted and lead them by the tether. Enrico felt as if he'd aged a hundred years in the past day, the soreness seeping to his bones. He hadn't felt this old, this tired, since his days in the camp during the war. The only thing that was same though was the pain, the regret....and the failure. The failure was always the same.

Ally rode beside him, half asleep in the saddle. She'd shared a little of her story and the poor thing seemed to be beyond the limit of her endurance. Morgan just moved with a limitless resolve, never faster, never slower, just a steady pace. His eyes always scouting the horizon, always watching the trail for signs of recent travel. He seemed to take in every detail as he moved and Enrico could tell this man had been a scout at some point. Enrico wasn't sure what kind of a man he had been, but he had a feeling he would know before to long.

Morgan called for a stop as the river banked hard to the right. The right shore was mostly rock, a tall cliff overlooked the river. The sandy shoreline had thinned immensely as the river had picked up speed at the bend. They would have to lead the horses around the treacherous footing of the coast, the walls of the cliff to their back and the trail was just too narrow. Just around that corner though was Desperation, laying at the bottom of the cliff face, a grassy peninsula that met as another river flowed into this one. The opposite side of the cliff ran a soft ascent back up to the main road they had left behind earlier in the day and the access of both the road and the river had made Desperation a key stop on the trade route to and from old Mexico. No one was quite sure why the town had been called Desperation, though the name seemed quite appropriate now. It seemed like desperation was all they had left.

Morgan told them to make a small camp, warning them against starting a fire as it might bring unwanted attention. Enrico and Ally unsaddled the horses as Morgan scouted the bend on foot. A chill had fallen as Enrico looked to the sky. The dead sun had long since settled in the west and the moon was full and bright, though you could still feel the unrest in the air. He wasn't gone long before coming back. He placed a saddle blanket around Ally shoulders and offered the other to Enrico, who gladly took it. They settled down and broke out their meager rations before Enrico finally broke the silence.

"How does Desperation look?"

Morgan didn't say anything for a long while, instead taking a short pull from his water skin as he studied the dirt at his feet intently. When he finally looked up and spoke his eyes were hard, glinting with such intensity that they seemed to spark.

"The towns there all right, with the gate up. I can see lanterns and torches lighting the city. But the valley floor is covered in those things. Hundreds of undead monsters roaming outside, blocking our way."

Ally gasped and bundled herself under the blanket as Enrico looked down. He softly caressed his old rosary beads in one free hand and wondered what fresh hell awaited him now. He thought about turning and running right there, but where would he go, alone, low on ammo. With no friends, no faith. It wasn't just him that God had forsaken, it was the whole damn world. Like it or not, his lot was with these two strangers for now. Enrico took his own swallow off the water skin, before speaking again.

"Then what do we do now?"

"Simple, for now we rest. In the morning we ride."

Enrico took one last look at the moon and let go of the rosary beads, his hand moving towards the pistol, rubbing the butt of the gun softly. Moving from his old faith, towards the only one he had left.

End of Line.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 38

Eva watched the man she knew as Beau Johnson walk back to his saddlebags, her face still locked in an expression of mixed hatred and disgust. She felt her father grab her hand and pull her into the cabin of the stage as she reluctantly looked away from him. Her father tried to catch her eye as she settled into the cab, but she pointedly ignored him, trying to get a tether on the seething rage she felt as she grabbed one of the sets of clean linen they had brought with them. She was unfolding the sheet when her father finally spoke, breaking the thick silence that hung in the cabin.

"Eva...sweetheart. I'm sorry. He was my friend too, Rex helped raised you, he's been a member of this family since you were a little girl. But as much as you hate that man, hell, as much as I hate that man, part of you has to know he was right. Rex was going to turn, like little Evan had. We were to late."

Eva listened to her father's words, but she couldn't bring herself to really hear them. Rex had been like a second father to her. He'd taught her how to ride, how to rope, how to shoot. He'd never tried to force her into a dress, he'd always said she was to much like her real father. There was no changing that man's mind, and there was certainly no changing hers when she set to it. She bit her lip, hard enough to draw blood, as she choked back a sob. She felt the brush of her father's hand, his gnarled, weathered fingers wiping away the lone tear that trickled down her cheek as her body let out a small shudder. So much death. So many friends.

"Remember him as the man he was Eva. Remember him as I will."

Her father pulled her into a tight hug and held her for a long time, the kind of hug they hadn't shared since her mother's death. She stayed in his arms, trying to remember Rex's face, and not the look on that man's. Not his damnable smile. Eventually she found her breath and her composure, and sat back up. Caleb gently released her as she used the edge of her sleeve to wipe her face. The two of them then dressed Rex's body in the new linen, covering his ravaged face. The red of his blood had already turned a ripe, greenish black and Eva tried to ignore the truth in what Beau had said. She knew his reasoning had been a lie, coated in a measure of truth yes, but a lie none the less. That man killed because he liked it, not because he had to. She knew not to ignore her instincts when they flared like this. That fore sight, her trail sense as Rex had called it, had never steered her wrong. Her emotions might be frayed after what she'd seen this day, but that tell tale flair around that man was the one thing she knew was true. Beau Johnson was not a man to be trusted.

"Eva, as soon as we reach Desperation, we'll dispense with the man. Until then, out here, with all those ...creatures out there we need to stay in a group. Just a little longer my dear."

" I know father, I know. Just don't judge me harshly if I keep my gun handy."

He smiled sadly as she let herself out of the cab. She straightened her clothes out as she touched down, seeing Thomas and Bartley standing at the edge of the bluff. To her left, Beau Johnson sat, his saddle bags slung across his legs as he idly rolled the chamber of one of his Colts across his wrist. He had a small smile, which unnerved her. She fought back another shudder threatening to slip down her spine as she walked over to Moore and Bartley. As she neared she knew they were talking about Beau and the incident with Rex in hushed tones. They stopped in silence as she drew beside Bartley.

She looked down at the scattered masses of undead that ringed the valley floor, stretching across the grassland to the softly lit walls of Desperation at the edge of the peninsula.  It would be a difficult stretch, but if they rode hard, really pushed the horses and watched each others backs, they just might make it. She glanced back at Johnson, her lip curling, and wondered just when he'd make his move. She already knew when she was gonna make hers.

"We ride at dawn."

End of Line.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 37


Cody felt the woman fly into him, throwing her weight against his body and driving the two of them out the door of the stage. Cody landed hard on his back, the air momentarily driven from his lungs. The impact had knocked his precious Colt from his hand when the woman, Eva, landed on top of him. She was not a large woman, but she was strong. He felt her shapely curves as she writhed for position, never belittling the hardened muscle underneath her the form fitting clothes. He tasted blood as she smashed her fist into his jaw, screaming at him. If this old maid didn't have such a stick up her ass, he might even have enjoyed this.


The momentary impact passed and Cody managed to find a small measure of breath. He grinned, blood trickling from the cut on his lip as he used his now free right hand to force it into Eva's face. His left hand grabbed at her right, blocking it from landing another free blow as he brought his knee up between her legs. He bucked his knee twice in fast succession between her legs, admittedly not as effective a move against a girl than some other bastard, but he outweighed her by a good hundred pounds and the sheer force behind it helped to dislodge her from his chest. He could hear her grunt in pain as the impact of his knee reverberated up her spine.

With her weight shifted, Cody moved his right hand away from her face, where he had been pushing her away, and brought a hard slap across her face. His first instinct had been to hit her, and hard, for laying her hands on him, but his peripheral senses had kicked in and he'd noticed the other members of her group joining the fray. That fat stage driver had pulled his rifle and the old man had his pistol out as well. Even that foppish dandy that fancied himself a gunman had his gleaming sidearm out. Despite his natural instinct, Cody knew that if he really hurt this bitch there was no way he'd get out of this alive. Still, the slap had felt good and he made a mental note to continue this line of action later. No one treated Cody Jarrett this way, especially not some uppity bitch.

The slap had jogged Eva to the side and with his leg free he used his boot to kick her off of him. He rolled to his right, coming up by his gun, which his hand hovered over quickly, before coming to his feet, his arms raised in submission. Eva, her face red from the slap, roared to life and tried to take another swing at him until the dandy, Thomas, pulled her back, away from him. Her arms and legs flew out as she screamed obscenities at him.


Cody wiped the blood from his lip and looked at it briefly, before sliding an oily smile across his face. His eyes never left the rifle trained on him by the stage driver, nor the pistol from the old cripple in the stage door as he spoke.

'Listen...listen... I acted rashly, I see that now. It's just that your friend was infected. I've seen that kinda wound before, the pus, the black seepage, it's the sign that he's about to turn into one of those fuckin' creatures. I watched two of my best friends succumb to that fate, if he'd have turned in that cart then he'd have infected all of you. I didn't want that to happen. So I acted. I realize now I should have said something, but I didn't want to take the chance. I'm...I'm sorry."

He noticed the fat driver, Bartley, lower his rifle and the old man's gun started to waver, and he knew he was nearly in the clear. He turned his attention to Eva, who was still fuming with anger, trails of tears running down the dirt on her  face as she sneered at him. He hated biting his tongue, especially to this cow, but this wasn't the time or the place, not with Desperation so close, not with freedom at hand. Besides, he could see that Bartley and the old man could see his line of thinking, hell even that fop Moore had holstered his gun.

"Eva... my dear, I acted rashly. I left my fear govern my thoughts. I didn't think about what this man must have meant to you. I only feared that he would turn. that what had happened to me would happen to you."

Eva sneered at him as she shucked off Moore, throwing him to the side. Her face was mixed with disgust and anger as she glared at him. It was the old man who spoke first though, breaking the tension.

"Listen...Mr. Johnson, you an travel with us until we reach town. Then I think its best for all of us... if you made your own way. I'm sure you understand."

He nodded to Eva, who climbed into the cab with him with Moore, but not before giving him a final look of derision. Moore followed them and the three started to wrap Rex in a blanket. Bartley gave him a final look and started to haul his fat ass up to the drivers seat and Cody turned his back, walking over to where he'd left his saddle bags. He checked the load on his scatter gun again and shouldered it as he patted down the prized contents of his bags. Cody cast a last look over the cliff ledge, down into the valley of death, at the grim lights of Desperation in the distance. The valley teamed with undead, getting across the flats wouldn't be easy, even with the extra guns these damnable fools offered. He shouldered his gear and turned his eyes back to the. A slow smile crept to his bloody lip and suddenly he knew just what to do. He just figured out the perfect distraction.

End of Line.