A Place to Write

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Drifting

            It’s going to be a cold one today. That’s what the weather man said. Cold and dark, and the snows will continue all through the day. We won’t get much daylight. In fact, the clouds around here get so thick that it would seem to be the middle of the night to any tourists. That’s not to say that there will be any tourists to wonder about our cloud-related blackout however; no sir, we’re too far into the winter for tourism.

            Still, despite all the dark and the cold, I’m feeling quite blissful this morning. You know, there’s really nothing in the world quite like a dismal, black-as-night snowy day while you’re safe inside your bunker with a hot cup of tea. It’s almost as if this warm cup in my hands could melt away all of the snows and all of life’s problems if only I’d hold onto it and drift for a while.

            That’s exactly what I plan to do today. It’s my day off, and even though my cozy shelter will be buried under a good 30 feet of snow by evening, I’m going to sit here in my kitchen sipping my tea and letting the world drift on by.

            The support teams will likely have dug me out within a day or so after the snows stop, but if I’m truly honest, I’m always a little disappointed when they show up. It means the I’ll have to put my teacup down and pay attention to the world again.

            For now though, I’m serene.

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High-Color-Horse

            Vermilion. What a bullshit color. Seriously, who the fuck thinks they don’t sound like a hipster douche when they say Vermillion?

            It’s red, damnit. Okay, so maybe it’s really brilliant red, fine, but get off your god damn high-color-horse.

            Oh, and don’t think I’m not looking at you too, cerulean, ya dick. 

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All Mixed Up

            I got mixed up. That’s simply the best way to put it. She did it on purpose too, the bitch. I’m not really mad though. It’s not like I didn’t know what would happen; she was a baker after all.

I suppose that’s just life for a bag of flour.

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The reason why I’m avoiding my bedtime today.

            It’s 6:00 in the morning, but I really don’t want to go to bed. You know what I’m talking about, right? You’ve been up all night, like normal, and now the sky is doing that thing where it’s turning that grey-blue color of pre-dawn. It’s not sunrise, but it’s light enough that you know you’re supposed to be in bed.

            Well, I don’t want to. I’m not even tired, just feeling a little… I donno, introspective? I want to write something, but the only things coming to mind are about me and my aforementioned aversion to bedtime.

            I’ve always hated bedtime; I think all kids do. I especially hated it when I had a bedtime set by someone else. When I was little, I had to be in bed by 7:00 or 8:00 in the evening. Hell, it was still light out during the summer. That was a pile of shit. I’ve got nothing to complain about though. My childhood was nothing short of perfect. No abuse, no neglect, no parental divorce. I had video games, and a loving, nurturing environment. Pretty much the best kind of childhood a person can have.

            I still hated bedtime. Now that I’m an adult and I’m setting my own bedtime, I still don’t like it. How spoiled does a person have to be to complain about their own self-inflicted bedtime? Is spoiled even the appropriate word here?

            I’m not sure about all that; I just know that I’m feeling real weird this morning. I shouldn’t have watched all that horror crap earlier, and then followed it up with reading how absolutely nightmarish my best-friend’s childhood was.

            Yep, that’s it. That’s why I’m all weird right now. I’m not gonna get into it here, but seriously, I think I’m actually freaking out over some pale echo of a trauma someone else suffered over 14 years ago.

It’s really scary.

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My Lady Deathknight

            Throughout the ages, stories of bravery and heroism are common. Countless brave warriors face incredible odds and emerge victorious. The lone solider who risks life and limb to save his captured comrades. A lowly thief, spat on by all of society, who ascends to the throne of a nation. The sheltered princess, secluded in a tower until she’s won like a prize, but instead escapes her fate and saves her kingdom from impending darkness.

Among these tales are also great tragedies, examples of honorable sacrifice by good men and women for the greater prosperity of their respective peoples; of star-crossed lovers, willing even to die rather than be apart from one another, and of course the legend of Leila, the warrior maiden who was tragically cut down before she could rescue her prince.

Oh? Have you not heard that one? Well rest assured, it’s a riveting tale indeed! She fought man, and beast, and demon alike in her quest to rescue her love, the Prince Yuvon of Illar. Sadly though, it was not enough. When Leila at last stood before the Queen of Night, she was already weakened by the dark matriarch’s hordes. The Queen of Night struck her down with two blows, one across her face to mar her beauty, and another through her heart. Leila died then, but not before she uttered these words.

“Though I fail in this life, I will not stop. I may even fail a thousand times more, but no matter how many lives I must live and die, my soul will not rest until your wickedness is undone.”

And then she was gone. The Queen of Night then smiled her wicked smile and returned to her palace in the Shadowlands, where she supposedly still keeps Prince Yuvon captive to this very day, her ever unwilling concubine.

A sad tale, yes, but is that the end of it? What of our lady Leila’s dying words? Whatever happened to her determined soul? Well, dear reader, to know the answers to these very practical questions, you would have to ask Death, for only she can know for sure what happens to the souls of heroes and heroines. Fortunately for you, I’m a very well connected storyteller.

We’ll begin in the middle of the story, because quite frankly I’ve already spoiled the beginning for you. Trust me though, it only get better from here….

 

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This is normal

             It’s Friday, exactly 3:05 in the afternoon. I’m sitting in Dr. Holtz’s waiting room. I have a 3:15 appointment like I do every Friday afternoon. This is normal.

            My father abused me when I was a boy, quite badly or so I’m told. It’s socially acceptable to see a psychiatrist about childhood abuse. No one will think anything is wrong if I do this.

            At 3:08 an elderly woman enters the waiting room and takes the seat next to mine. I’m fairly sure she’s not real. The receptionist didn’t great her, and no one looked up when she opened the door. Because of that, I cannot react to her in any way. It wouldn’t be normal.

She takes out a pair of knitting needles and begins knitting. The thread is almost surely human hair. It smells burnt. I look up and her features have twisted wildly. Most of her face is melted. She smiles at me warmly.

            I do not react. I become aware that I’m gripping the armrests of my chair a little too tightly. My knuckles will turn white if I keep this up, but that’s still a reasonable level of anxiety when you’re about to see a shrink. I allow myself to keep gripping the armrests. This is still normal.

            “Mr. Wolven? The doctor will see you now.” At the sound of the receptionist’s voice the old woman is gone. I get up from my chair and follow her back to Dr. Holtz’s office.

            “Good afternoon, Dennis. How are you doing today?” Dr. Holtz greets me warmly. His beard has spiders in it. This is normal.

            “Oh, I’m okay. Can’t complain. How are you?” We exchange the usual pleasantries before we settle into the session. He asks me questions about my father, and I answer him truthfully. I don’t tell him about the spiders leaking out of his ear.

            Suddenly I feel a sharp pain on my arm, and I make a fatal mistake. I slapped a spider that had crawled over to me. I can’t take that back now. He saw me strike at nothing. That’s not normal.

            “Goodness! A spider bite! I’m so sorry, Dennis. I don’t know how they get in here. I’m having the office fumigated this weekend. I can’t apologize enough.”

            I breathe a sigh of relief. “It’s fine, Dr. Holtz. It just startled me is all.” I’m saved by reality for a change.

            The rest of the session goes by as it usually does. I tell the doctor things, and he helps me work through problems. I really think the sessions are helping me come to terms with what happened. I can’t ever tell him everything though. When I get back in my car after my appointment is over, a carpet of worms covers the seats. They wriggle all the way home. This is normal.

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The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and You

            The manic pixie dream girl; You know the one. She’s the girl that’s always excited, bubbly, happy, and knows just what to say to cheer up the dreary, ordinary, male protagonist. She gets him out of his rut, loves him even though he’s a mess, and fixes his life up for him.

            She a bad writing trope. Her name is usually something like Crystal, Molly, or Bell, or something equally short and easy to remember. She’s got fiery red hair, maybe a pair of those hipster glasses, the ones with the plain black rims, and she described herself as “quirky.” She has no personality, and wants nothing other than to cheer you up. She’s a tool, a 1 dimensional character used predominately for wish fulfilment fantasy….

            But she is real. She’s a bad stereotype, a caricature of a person, and she suffers from an exotic cocktail of mental illnesses. That doesn’t stop her from bumping into you as you’re leaving the coffee shop like some cliché romantic comedy. It doesn’t stop her from falling in love with you instantly, and doing everything in her power to ensnare you.

            She planned this all out, you see. She’s a self-styled dream girl; living out a fantasy of modern media’s creation. She doesn’t know it’s a sickness, and you don’t know what’s wrong with her yet. That comes later. She’s very good at hiding all of her neurosis. She’s a perfectly crafted collection of porcelain masks, each one, immaculately suited to a particular task.

            There is no person under those masks, just a monster. It’s not her fault though, it’s yours. Did you really think that a proper lady would be interested in you as you are? Don’t kid yourself. What are you, 27 years old now? And what have you accomplished? Still working on that book, are you? And how many query letters have you sent out this week? None?

            She doesn’t want you because you’re desirable. She wants you because she knows she can’t do any better. You’ll love her. You’ll accept her no matter how horrible she is. Even when all her masks crack and you see the beast within, you’ll keep her because you don’t want to be alone anymore. She knows all of this ahead of time. That’s why she chose you. You never had a choice to begin with.

            You deserve each other.

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Shadowlands History 1: The Birth of Saz-Thronar

            I’ll beg your pardon in advance; I’m about to prattle on about infinity and the universe. It’s a bit cliché, but I do have a point, I promise.

            In the vastness of all existence, as you might well know, there are many different universes. Some are very similar, some are quite different. I’m told your universe is balanced; part light, part dark. One cannot exist without the other, or so they say. It’s an old tale, one you’ve surely heard repeated time and again in varying different forms. Sometimes the light and the dark do battle against one another. More often than not, the light wins these altercations, which in and of itself casts doubt on the balanced nature of your universe. It seems quite clear to me, as an outside observer, that your universe is quite clearly skewed toward the light.

            My universe is different. In a grand majority of your tales, some great evil threatens to “cover all the lands in darkness,’ or “shift the balance to darkness for the next 10,000 years.” Invariably though, the protagonist of these stories saves the day in the last possible moment and averts that darkness.

Such is not the case in my universe. Rather, there was no great evil, no heroic savior, and no grant battle. Instead there was darkness. Darkness was the natural state of things; it was what we were accustomed to. It’s true; there were many terrors in the dark, but none as frightening as the light and what it brought.

The light of the Bot-Shahar first shined upon my world some 60,000 years ago, and with it came only one thing… war. Light and dark did indeed do battle. It was terrible to behold. The grand clashing of forces described in your stories was there for us to see, and it did decimate the land. For 10,000 years the light and the dark did wage their war, and all the while the land itself suffered.

My universe is unbalanced. Darkness was made to rule here, and the presence of light causes only suffering for those who dwell here. Now the lands are scarred, crater-blasted wastelands; casualties of the endless battle between light and dark.  I can no longer stand to sit back and watch this pointless war tear my world asunder. My rage burns within me at both the light and the dark. I have slept soundly for the entirety of my world’s existence, and now I must finally wake. The fury of the land drives me to madness. It cannot remain silent any longer.

My name is Saz-Thronar, and I am the Rage of the World.

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Fragile Regrets

            Yesterday I broke a woman made of glass. The memory of it is still so surreal; bits of her falling to the ground in slow motion and then shattering into a thousand glittering fragments.

            Am I a murderer? I know she wasn’t a real woman, but she was so pretty, so serene. I’ve tried to imagine what she might have been thinking at that last moment, just before I hit her with the pipe.

            Was she afraid? Was she hoping someone would save her? Does she hate me?  It was an accident, I swear. I was just so angry. I didn’t mean to break her, it all happened so fast. I can’t take back what I did; I know that.

            Even though I regret it, I can’t promise I won’t do it again. I don’t know if I’m a murderer, but I know I’m not a liar.

            I just get angry sometimes, and women made of glass are very fragile.

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