Saturday, December 14, 2013


I am her Prince born with the name of kings given. My Father Wralston. And my Grandfather Bolivar. They are Banton men. Our lives. Our loves to Providence owed. My Mother is Marguerite. My Grandmother is Sinhue, wife of Bolivar.
There is my Marla from Nashua town. They won’t give her back to me. The Gods in Heaven and the Goddesses. Senn the most omniscient. Helena his wife Goddess of the earth. Fife the Goddess of the weather. Sofia the Goddess of love and fertility. Cordell the God of peace and the leader of Heavens army. Dartanian the God of life protector of the inhabitants of the earth. Godfrey the God of mischief. He is the one responsible for the interesting creatures that inhabiting the island of Providence. Idris the God of the dead.

Senn wanted to punish Godfrey for what he done to one of Senns prized creations. The island of Providence but the others had come to Godfrey’s aid as they felt he had taken his eyes off of the rest of the world and his previous creations and he tends to have a one track mind.
Lost in the beauty of what had become his prized creation this Caribbean gem. The grandest of any island and most lush of any place on earth. At least any so far discovered by man.
It must be what brought the British to her shores besides the slave trade by way of Jamaica. Using the Grand Islands for staging. Albany for intake. Trancoso for exhibition and sales. Patagonia previously uninhabited the furthest to the west. The “Grand,” the furthest out into the sea with the other three stretched out west to east from the view on “the Grand” the grandest of them all. Where the property will be neglected once the British have left. Left in ruins a manor built for the big spenders to indulge their sickness. Where the favored are sent to work or mate. By the time the British have left the Banton reign will already be over. My Mother Marguerite will not live to see the end of the British presence in the kingdom.
The story goes, with the others already making waves with Senn for his special treatment of Providence he instructs Dartanian not to let the British get past the Grand Islands no matter how hard they try. Enlisting the aid of Taio the God of the sea to protect the slaves who jump into the water with bullets flying by as they swim for the mainland. The Brits wonder why they cannot strike their targets. It must be the tides rocking the boats. Or the tides had turned against the enslavement of man. As well they are unawares what they are pulling from the sea. A nest has been disturbed.

City Of Vincennes, Providence. Early Sixteenth Century

Two men walk into an establishment, a days work done. They are fortunate to miss the onslaught of hail and rain. Once they have bought their drinks it seems every time his friend picks up his glass and put it down the thunder gets louder and stronger. Enough to shake the place. An old woman limps into the place. He never believed in the walking dead before what he will see will change that. The old woman comes over to their table to address his friend. They seem to know one another but he barely acknowledges her. “Your brothers and sisters want you to come back.” There was no response to that. He could tell the old woman is not well. A fate he does not want for himself. They are brought another round of drinks. Again with the thunder when the fellow put his glass down. By now he’s had enough. “We don’t like your kind around here. It is a big island. Go elsewhere.” This time lightning strikes. The lights go out. When they come on again, the man and old woman have disappeared.

It must be the Jamaicans. The once thriving island nation had tried to colonize the island of Providence in the decade long Greater Antilles war in the year 1400. Back there they were scavengers. Poor. Squatters. They do all of their bloodletting in the Carroll street house in Port Royal. Abandoned and boarded up. The merchants in the area close up early so as not to be bewitched into the madness.

Don’t look them in the eyes. Do not accept their offer of wine. They go home and hug their wives and their children, hearing the screams coming from Carroll street. Even more so since the old woman found out what her children have been doing in the house. Others coming around looking for a place to spend the night. There is a good time to be had. They find undergarments lying about.
Christopher Columbus had landed in Jamaica and disturbed the nest. It is said that from that nest came the vampire scourge that made its presence felt from the moment the first ship landed in Vincennes with all of the crew dead and only two stowaways left alive. One man and one woman. They are arrested but they escape and disappear into the nearby woods. The man had killed their captors but they would never make it out of the woods. Word had spread quickly about the interlopers and the army rushes in. By then their fate had already been decided before the army could do anything. They only had to survive long enough for others to arrive.
There is talk of beasts that move about in the trees. The people have no fear of what they hear about invaders. Things have a way of working out in their favor. They do however hate the presence of the state in their affairs. The north coasters will let them know they don’t want them there.
No one knows what happened to the original owners of the Carroll street house. It is the lone house on that street. You hear others in the neighborhood tell it they left in a hurry or they were killed. They had a couple of dogs and no one knows what happened to them either but there is dog shit on the walls. Carroll street is intersected at a dead end by surf street. There are four houses on Surf street facing an old factory on the other side of the street. Those houses are now run down and where the old woman and her children lived. What is called “the nest.”
Much of the people of the island are struggling to survive after the war. They must make amends financially for the attempted invasion of Providence. By the end of the century Jamaica will have been visited by the Spanish and later colonized by the British. The two islands will have been touched by the trade of slaves though none of the citizens of Providence will be sold into the great evil.
The old house not having been lived in for several years has become a gathering place for the poorest of their kind including those of the nest that live in the rundown houses on Surf street. 
Those houses are all attached to one another. They are all disheveled and dirty. They will soon be evicted from their dwellings if anyone from the government is bold enough to come into the area and do just that. They would have to come with force behind them because the members of the nest has grown in number since the end of the war. Their mother has no idea what her children have been up to and what they’ve been planning in that house. She being too old to try to scold the brood which has grown too hard to control. She spends her time in one of the houses on surf street feeding on what the children bring her each night.
In the night time between the blood and their wine they opine that somewhere some of their kind has to be doing well. They cannot all be so destitute. Some of them had fought proudly in the war against Providence when Jamaica was feeling itself. Full of confidence to be the power in the Caribbean. Wave after wave of armed men in transports. Unfortunately parts of the northern side of the country are cliffs and dangerous rocks beyond the beach at Vincennes and further west to the city of Evanstown. The beach ends at Nashua Point going east and pick back up again past the inlet of the Marguerite river at Canberra. They face a barrage of arrows and cannon fire which decimated much of their force. Those who are able to make it to land get lost in the heavily wooded areas of the northwest.
The King Kalil Banton in the end is very merciful to the invaders. There is no need to bleed the opponent for they know they have awakened a sleeping giant with the Gods on their side. But he is sure they have not heard the last of the Jamaicans. Surely their hatred will only grow but they will never return in such force again. The people of Providence will have to remain vigilant.
For the rest of the nest is talk of a dark presence to come their way. A large presence. Large enough to cover the entire Caribbean. Jamaica will never be the same. There is also talk of sending one of their kind to set up a settlement and the others will follow south to Providence. The old woman isn’t happy about such talk. She has spent her entire existence in Jamaica. She would rather be killed than set one foot in Providence.
Not all of them indulge in the ways of “the nest.” There is one that they have tried to keep away the ugliness of their pitiful lives. They’d make sure he was educated so that one of them would have a decent life. He’d built up disgust for their ways and escaped to Providence on his own. He found work in Vincennes as a logger. The old woman cried for many nights when she’d found out the boy was gone. As much as she’d said she would never set foot she wanted the boy back. He was the purest thing she had ever known and she wants him to come back even if she has to go to that dreaded country and bring him back herself.*
Prologue: She awakens. To him. Grecca with her onyx skin. “Be not afraid. Of me. Fear not.”She will swear to it. Straight spine backbone She doesn’t encourage him. Or keep him away. The nature of him is never sinister. No Frankenstein’s monster. What freedom to let him come. “To you.” The night has eyes and he can see right through. The season comes. Winter and his company is providence. Put aside craving when at last he comes. “Be not afraid. Of me,” he says. She will swear to it.”

Barrington Woods, Providence

The house in Barrington Woods. The house keeper comes to her frantically. Grecca is asleep. Grecca on holiday from the capital. The housekeeper is pounding on her bedroom door. Past midnight frightened. There is a creature in the house. It’s nothing new for rogue creatures to be on the grounds. There is a turning of the door handle. She grabs the Senators gun to shoot. Grecca tells her not to. There is a man where they are expecting a beast. She does not consent to letting him in. She does nothing to forward their companionship. Nor does she deny him.

He’s managed to keep out of sight of the housekeeper. She’s put her ear to the Senator’s door and she’s heard and laughter before. Grecca would say she was hearing things. When her breaks are over she’d be gone again. There are plenty of gentlemen who have shown in her genuine interest. But she is happy to wait until winter. It’s easy to get lost in the woods. Besides being the site of a beautiful old house there isn’t much that comes and goes this way unless you’re hiding out. She’s content with the way they’ve spent their time. She’s had to do some mending of wounds when his pack realizes he’s gone rogue. They surround him and they throw blows. This particular night Grecca was not at home when the housekeeper comes because she is tied to a tree while once again he is surrounded. Ready to pounce and he must fight back. The hissing and the fits. The biting. Fighting. The realization there is a woman with a gun. She takes one shot meant to disperse the lot of them. Even if he is one of them she hits. “They’re just animals,” she says. Grecca leaves Barrington Woods after the next winter when he doesn’t come. *

She wasn’t thrilled taking up a union so soon. Being in a new town. But there is civil war and strife. She don’t see it right away. She sees a man wanting. Haunting until she tires of the game. She had picked up with the second son. Him and his strange ways of showing affection. She don’t see it right away. She’s too busy with the boy. The women say “it must be nice. You come right in like you behave like you’ve got him by your apron strings.” In front of the towns people and anyone who would listen to it. Whatever side you’re on. Let them tell it the man can’t even focus his gun. “Oh he can focus his gun but he would point it at his father or you chatty woman. While his brother, he hides out because you can’t get him from the house. They’re too big to put fist to. And you’re worried about where he trains his eyes when there is discourse and strife.” It isn’t anything new. People taking up sides when town elders get worked up if things between the territories aren’t being divided up right. They don’t want no strangers around no matter where she comes from. Distractions when it’s time to go to the gun. It’s the smaller towns that take action like this before the King’s men arrive and put an end to it. Suddenly she is heroine to ancients who know nothing but conflict and generations of men who don’t know who they’re shooting at. They know the other side is shooting back.*

It is about the witching hour and unless we were undercover of the trees or brush that provided the only source of darkness on the beach. She and I have no intention to remain beneath its cover once our drink within our satchels, of which the last drops have passed between our mouths. We march out from our hiding place with confidence. The moon as bright as daylight. Our eyes adjust and between the tree line and the water’s edge we look to express our affection. Perhaps to be sighted from the sea. A short walk from South Boulevard. Our last dollars spent on spirits. The night spent riding the waves without need for craft. No fear of drowning. Holding hands we dive in. Become legend for the few who witness it. The consummation of the affair on the beach. On the sand. There is nothing on land for us. To stand for us. At the very least aware, with the light brightest at the witching hour. The shadows belong to us. Together we are dangerous. Together. My Patriarch would like to see an end to us. Beyond his allotted years live to see that there is no friend to us. He cares not about the woman but to see my light extinguished. It would take an army to accomplish it. An independent streak which leads from the tree line to the sea to sure my demise is left up to me. Beneath the brightest sky, where in the daytime it could be obscured by cloud cover. At the witching hour; Perhaps it is just for one night. Our love to be sighted on the sea. Freedom and yet infamy.*
Mystery Man

She likes a mystery and she likes noir. She’s never had both of them in one man before. What mystery could be in him? So upfront with things. Hasn’t always been gentle. He’s never been a proud. Never one to hold his tongue. He says his twenties were wild. Suppose there’s a story behind that. Nothing sinister she hopes. And yet a story compelling enough to be worth its weight in gold. What makes a fellow push towards the edge as if there is some elasticity at the fringe to back from it and to his senses. Perhaps someone told him once there are places for that and he never intended to come back. Perhaps he had a reason to go there, and education of sorts. He blew through town like some destructive force. Not much detail or clues to a trigger which adds to the mystique and mystery. Like the letters in his Mother’s house. They’d been typed and left where they could be found. Like they were written by an outsider. Threatening in their tone. There will be consequences if the boy is not left alone. Consider that the stranger is in the home. She likes a mystery. And she likes noir. She’s never had both of them in one man before. Well spoken like he is scholarly with an eye towards politics. Imagine that for a man who’d never finished college. He can talk like he had. Either a certified liar or a gift for gab. Says he’s learned more as a dropout than when he hit the books. For ways to feed his proclivities he looks. The answer isn’t always in the books. But in the company he seeks with similar proclivities. The mystery then is in its origin. Where do you learn such things? Or to kiss like that? He’ll never tell but it was quite a ways back. He’d never kissed the stubble covered face of his Father, a giant of a man. Signs of kindness, lapses the Matriarch would snap him from. If he had not known himself he may have gone to the gun.*

Vincennes, Providence

All the while they feared there was evil on board the vessel when it left Jamaica. They are heading due south when the waters get choppy. The creature comes out. They are a couple of stowaways and they are poor. They cannot afford the cost of the ride. He sees the men picking on the girl. One by one he will slaughter them. When the boat pulls into port, Vincennes, Providence on board is just the two of them. The authorities are called but they escape. They wont make it to the city. First they must work their way through the heavily wooded areas of the north. For sure there are creatures in the trees. It’s likely they have already been seen and these beings are biding their time. The trees look like they scrape the sky. A world of wildlife malignant and benign. Matters not the time of day there are eyes on the prize. Whether they get lost at play or some beast of unknown species takes a liking. They wont get beyond the tree line. They hadn’t known each other long. They hail from the same parish. She’d hear him talk of moving on. There is such suffering. People do what they have to. She doesn’t go to the Shaman. That wont help you against the sea. He only kills when he has to. The men with their wayward hands. The ship rocks to and fro. Some of them go overboard. As much to get away because the sea will be more merciful. It is out of his chivalrous acts that she could love him. Look for his protection again in the woods. There are beasts who hunt with their fists. Others with their teeth. They cast great shadows. Nymphs with their kiss. It’s in their nature. They sound the alarm for strangers. Do away with them before the army comes. It is when they come to occupy the towns to flush the culprits out when they are cut down. *

I started out soon after I discovered this power. Need only opportunity. Didn’t know my own strength. Big city or interstate. Rural locations or towns with population less dense. Son of a man. Heavy hands. His brand on me. My hide is thick. Wisdom passed with fist. Distinction of passion. Violence. My independence as he treat his wife. Powerful affect barely a kiss between them.

My confidence sometimes this power, the strength of it is the core. Before she’s soured on it and she doesn’t want to be seen with me anymore. Between extended stretches of waiting. Make good use of the time loneliness plays its tricks with the mind. What I’m talking about is love. “What is it with you and that?” She says. Is it why they don’t come back?

I’d gone into it for the blessing of the spirits but all they’ve done is keep the secrets to themselves leaving the pieces that don’t fit. Undeniable is the strength of it. I am amazed by the focus. I’ve become a sycophant. I used to have many friends. If I feasted on them just once I’d still be feeding. Make it twice and it would take me another lifetime. For tonight we bathe in the resin. The black of the room. The wash of the day. You lie down beside me and I count the hours you stay. I’ll make you breakfast in the morning if you don’t have to get away. “Why do you have to talk about that?” I guess that’s why they don’t come back. For the moment however she engages herself by grace. Even to suggest, put forward how to dress. I prefer to keep things haphazard. Random. Catch her off guard where deniability is hard. She won’t deny herself. Even if she came for a different thing. Concern for my health. After the fire. I didn’t start it. I know who did. We set our alibis so they point the finger at some other kid. I didn’t know she is coming but the conditions were ripe for it. Perhaps from the movement of furniture from one side of a room to the other. Because of it there are pockets of clutter. The blinds are closed. The word gets around. I was at the flashpoint when the paper caught and the alarm went out to evacuate. There were but a few people who had seen our faces. Coupled with the fact they knew our names. He could be anywhere in the city. She finds it in her heart to see me. See where the furniture used to be. I manifest itself at the university. I was shown the way by a shrew. She was someone with whom I became comfortable. That is to say she out herself into my life. She would come striding in as unrepentant as she like. Take me by the organs, the course is reversed. Being the type for declarations to say who got it first. Without opportunity to rehearse. Improvisation can make a legend out of you. So I go out and do what she taught me to. Since the days at the university, city life; the pace and paying attention to each face. At this rate I can differentiate between the hundreds that pass. I portray a man of class. So like the pages of a man in a black jacket, of a flip book when she allows herself to look. He’s tall and everything used to describe him is accurate. When he put himself together, dress for the weather, there are restaurants and diners on the side streets. Meet for a meal and discuss what we would like to be. More than anything I would like to see a return to prosperity. Prosperity means likely company. I act like I’ve got something coming to me. Since the fire I cannot say that I am desirable. Besides the authorities everyone stays away from me. Luckily she stays calm with the constant ringing. The telephone. She has even relinquished her keys. There are people who are looking for her. I made sure I locked the door. The dopamine has kicked in and I am at the flashpoint again. It was a cold night. I could see my breath. It was at the apartment of a socialite. Guests with overnight bags. The place is dark enough that I am the one to see him light the material. How quickly it spread. No casualties but the aggravation. The tenants they are well off but the authorities are at this location far too often. We run with the rest of the herd and I kept running. To be sure no one is behind me. Still I enter the one story red brick building facing questioning. The precinct. “I tell you I was miles away.”My guilt had been decided before I walked into the place. So I gave him up. I left the neighborhood. Moved closer to downtown. I consider settling down. Bettering my work ethic. My social circle. What I was doing the night of the fire and decided to bring along my friend. They can search all they like but they won’t lay eyes on him. She won’t talk to me. We cannot talk about love after that. Nothing good can happen when there is coitus at the onset. The lights of commerce. Industry. Casinos. Airplanes. Jonsburg. I rarely spoke of my family before if only for an idea of origin. So we go for it and she begins to kick like she’s swimming for shore. I can fettle all I like. Truth is she owns the night. When it comes to a return invite this time I don’t mention. It was my family name. Apparently one to fear. But I was in Chicago for a number of years. Shipped off to live with cousins. Inclinations had already shown that love is not my size. I didn’t have the stomach for the family business nor did I care for it. My Mother had hoped I’d stay where I was. I got my education. I hated my work. The last day of which I ditched all convention and sent out emails with unsavory details. Company wide. Then I had to get away with my life. Manny the head man getting wind of what I’d done and he’d gotten a message of his own. The chase is on. Down seventeen floors to the street into a restaurant where I fainted. The glower on his face as he chased me what seemed miles worth of stairs I’d never forget his breathing like a title bout. His face puffy and red. He didn’t beat me bloody when I pass out.*
I’d gone to south Village southwest off the main land. Caught a boat that took me to the resort island. I’d come as many have done to write the next great epic. Of Gods and goddesses. Creatures and beast. Heroines in the midst of them. I’d taken a room in a house in the northern part of town. I didn’t need much space. The wind rushes through flush in the face. The village. Most are inspired by the mountains. Others like me like the sea. I take my meals in my room. Simple faire. Instead of in the dining room. I must take care. The wind blows my papers everywhere. I spend long hours in my room. I prefer the quiet of the house. The man and woman of the house. Carlos and Claudette. I am thrilled to be their guest. I realized the more I wrote the woman, Claudette has become the love interest. I can’t say that’s what she wanted but she planted it in my head. When she would stare out the windows into the garden. It was something she said, “he seems to love it more.” They live on the ground floor. Employ a small staff to see to the indoors and outdoors. I walk the grounds lost in my thoughts and notes. I will spend six months here then head back home.
“He’s out there hour upon hour in the day. It’s nice to see a new face. In the garden. He’s figured out the best plants to stand against the wind. She’s overseeing the work within. Constantly looking at him. I can’t say why I should care but for my work and take leave from here. Get on the boat with what I’d come for. An ending not unlike this. Aristotle would have been proud. To leave this couple to figure things out. The man Carlos wants to be the royalty. But it don’t make for epics. Besides. They all leave in the end. I guess if you read it backwards you don’t get your hopes up. If there was anything that makes the least amount of sense, this misplaced emotion. Once again it don’t make for epics. Fate vs. destiny. That choice made. On the day of my departure she came into my room. I’d packed my things and await a taxi. “He’s out there again. He’s out there like he’s burying something. Could be a body for all I know. Do me a favor before you go. I want you to see something and let me know what you think. But you mustn’t touch. One of the rooms on the upper floor. One step at a time. No more than one step. Then away with the dress. Through the door and onto the bed. “Do you find me attractive? Your body of work says you do. Take it all in and the send my husband behind you.”One moment you dare say “love” to someone. I say take it back. If one has to go as far as that. A beautiful woman she is, Claudette. In the middle of all the class and royalty, lovely as any that set foot in the village. But I know my place. Thankful for such a blessing as restraint. The rules written long before my day. My steps are deliberate. A message sent. I am the messenger. Bigger than me. Beauty at its best. Why must its measures be so drastic? I got to Carlos the message and he went. He will find her beautiful as when they met and they went in on the house. I can hear it in their laughter. They behave like runabouts. The staff has been instructed not to interrupt. Look in on them from time to time. I’ll find a place downtown. I’ve got another story to write. It isn’t hard finding somewhere else to work but it is chaotic with all of the drinking and the music meant to inspire the muse. No garden to disappear into. It would take me months to complete another epic. I don’t have the money to stay that long. She came walking out of the fog, Sabine. Fresh off a boat that brought her in from Nicaragua. At first glance no claim to fame but about the village she is infamous. She has a look like she’s not looking for a friend. I told her about the house on the north end. I told her about the garden. She knew of it beforehand but she’d pretends. “A perfect place for a noir,” she says. Keep an eye around every corner. “I’d bet that garden has few bones buried in it.” If that’s true it is Sabine who put them there. I don’t know why I should care. About the chaos. About the fights. They seem to ramp up when she alights from whatever craft she comes in on. She says all she comes for is relaxation but every scribe there is looking for a heroine and the right to portray her how he wants. So they say before a punch is thrown. Before guns are drawn and the rules of the duel are made up as they go along. Sabine walks the village streets at night after the establishments let out. Less than a half hour walk to the north end. She could be back at the house in no time. Don’t know why I should care but I’m tired of the constables running everywhere. The ending of careers before they start. The phenomena of Sabine threatens to tear the village apart. “A perfect place for a noir,” she says. Where the light falls on her expressions when she gets the news. Another fool is dead. She needs protection from these men. I realize that Sabine is the reason Claudette would stop in her tracks looking out the window. “That man loves that garden more than me.” Carlos is adding another body. The garden is legendary. The Sheriff means to dig it up but with the fights downtown they’ve kept him from his rounds. No starving artist, who survives a fight wants to press charges. Over time they find out about the house. Looking for notoriety like famous houses in the states. They try breaking into the place. Break in on a woman they think is defenseless. Until they reach the bottom of the stairs and she’s pulling pistols. If there isn’t a festival to Sabine I wonder what the Gods are thinking. South Village’s very own. The bright light in the Miasma. She watches the constable boys run around for whatever she’s caused now. Where the people fear her arrival. No law against it however. The Crown and the High Court would strike it down. A woman of notoriety no matter the size of the nook. Hemisphere. Land or sea. She picks a place the spooks haven gotten to yet. When the one facing down the barrel of her gun is me. Finding a vantage point to shoot from. Perfect place for a noir, whether I am the lucky shot and she comes tumbling down. Or she wings me and we feel each other out all night because I shoot out the lights. First light come there will be breakfast in the dining room. After assuming the position of the night before, torpor will brings us to eat. She will be my heroine.*

Providence City, Providence. He was the last Banton to have an heir on the throne. The country constantly at war. Warring tribes. The seventeenth century. Tensions with Jamaica. Tussles with the scourge of . These are particularly bothersome. It would see no end until the end of the trading of slaves. There has always been a Banton at the helm since the island took on the system of kings and queens. It is the king and his men who kept the northern pestilence from meeting up with the southeast sect, if they reach the Camelot, the island might be lost. Bolivar has his older son leading the charge. His younger boy has no heart for it. He is left with the Queen Mother. But he beats the boy. Public or private audience. When it seems the Gods have no desire to offer the means to defeat the enemy but our bare hands.” The madness is taking up with the servant girl Marguerite. The Queen Mother is filled with derision. He leaves the girl tending his wounds. He is called to the girls’ room. The King holding a piece of clothing. He puts it into his pocket. He threatens the boy. Says he’s loved the girl since she set foot in the palace. The royal family lived on the mainland. The British owned the Grand Islands. There are four of them the southeast coast. Soldiers don’t see their wives for months at a time. There are towns to find creature comforts. The north woods are vast and the territory diverse. Back from the northern front Bolivar again summons his son. Another beating. He plays the only card he has left. With his elder patrols the kingdom. He takes up with his wife. It is a country at war. ---- and Marguerite slipped a sedative in his drink. He woke the next morning looking for recompense. He charges the boy with his sword . Uses his father’s momentum to direct him towards the window from which he falls to his death. There he lies where he had raised his hand to his son many times. He refused to defend himself. He knew things would turn out in his favor in the end. It isn’t long before the good feelings end. The people remember he is a Banton. His brother hears of his father’s death and returns home. He is the rightful heir to the throne. It is true but having been responsible for this situation and after all of the brutality he has suffered at the hands of his old man, he isn’t giving up his place. “Go back to your war. With all of the honors you’ve earned. However when you come back finding parades and of your exploits they sing. But do not expect you will ever be king.” He is quickly coronated. He marries Marguerite. Soon after they have a son. He does little to honor his father. He figures giving him his name is enough. Of all the Bantons to reign his was the shortest. He will die with no better a reputation of his father before him. Marguerite will find him dead in their quarters most likely from his excesses. They quietly bury him with visible change in sweet Marguerite which becomes very disquieting. The accord was signed in 1865 ending several centuries of warfare. Between the state and the interlopers. Doctors say they’d found a way that they could walk in the daylight. Imagine that. You couldn’t tell the difference from them and us. Which is what has been so vexing. People get testy when a comrade is molested by the crown. Instead of pushing them to the outskirts to be taken in by the authorities, they rally the townspeople. The accord says no one can be fed upon against their will. It is murder. Unless you get them to the nearest shaman. There’s always one on the road. It is worthy of a hanging by the crown. The people cannot standby while the government shoots a man down. Besides they have ways of their own for handling foreign elements. If they make it out of the woods they have a right to do as they like. We settle for the most part in the southeast. The accord is shaky but it will hold. Dartanyan created the siren to make sure it does. The siren with their song and their song can cause your ears to bleed or free you from the clutches of a being trying to do you in. There are no provisions in the accord for dealing with shaman or witch doctors. Oracles and the like. The crown doesn’t dare go into to put hands on them. There are members of past administrations who have tried and were never seen again. So they line up for the scientists and they can walk in the sun. To live life like how the common man lives. How he struggles through the days with the weight of the world on his shoulders, for the night to hide his discomfort. There are vampires in the daytime like the vamps in the night, they hunt. Except they have unsightly monuments to their greed. I’m just a man looking out the window making judgments on what I see. No one is happy. I go out once the sun is down. I see the people with their heads down and in a hurry. I see the ones that do smile because they can afford the price and much more. The others wait for it to fall from the skies or squeeze out every ounce of it from their lives. And the ones who get to smile I can go right up to them and see right through them. Sometimes they’re too good to say hello. So high above rain or snow. They’ve all got something to let go of. I’ve got no gripe with the state or its scientists. This is no way to live.*

Monday, March 4, 2013

Confronting The Demon
Ron Koppelberger
Bawd Beam stood his ground in the face of the screaming man. He held onto the wooden branch he had grabbed from the sidewalk with an embracing gambol , it had fallen from one of the old oaks that lined the street. The man screamed, “YOURRRRRRRR CRAPPPPPP, YouRRRRR a friGGGGEEEENNN piece of GARbage……YOU, YOU, YOU are A DEMOOONNNNNN!” his screams reverberated off of Beam in waves of sound.
Beam tensed and gripped the branch tighter. Ravaging the resistance, the man attached a short blade he had been hiding in his long waistcoat to the narrow end of a broomstick he had been waving. The knife clicked perfectly into the tip and he spun the stick in a slow whooshing arc. The setting sun didn’t shed any light on the situation and it was senseless in that place and moment of time. Beam had experienced the greater portion of what most considered life and he knew these occurrences would happen every now and again as they had in the past. He thought back to the self-satisfied man who had undressed and donned a black robe in the center of Safety Supermarket last month. He had approached Beam with wild eyes as all of the others had. He had thrown a punch at Beam, in perfect condition for the fight, beam had punched him square in the nose. The robed man had fallen to the floor of the supermarket in a bleeding heap. The police arrived a few moments later. It had been a close call. A 38. Cal pistol fell from the left front pocket of the robe as the police escorted him to their cruiser.
He thought back again to the Wayward Home for the Unsheltered. He had been on his way to his apartment when the homeless man had thrown a clod of dirt at his back, “You sonofabitch!” he had screamed as he stomped and fussed on the crumbling sidewalk. Beam had turned and he had come running full force. Beam stepped aside and the man had tripped falling into the street knocking himself out as he banged his head on the unyielding pavement. Beam had shrugged and moved on. There had been dozens and it seemed as if the madness would continue eternally, maybe it would he thought as the crazed man jabbed at him with the sharp end of the stick, maybe it would.
Beam sidestepped the jab and grabbed the attackers arm twisting it and causing him to scream in panic. The knife wielding man jerked his arm free and ran to the other side of the street. The sun bled spears of red light against the buildings behind the man, outlining the sky in an eerie aura. He was a screaming shadow and a mad happenstance as a few cars rolled between them. He finished yelling and ran around the corner of one of the buildings. Beam didn’t wait he simply headed back up the street.
If he thought about his circumstance for more than an instant he might come to the conclusion that a percentage of the world had gone insane, off the wall and rocker both. He knew it didn’t make sense yet here he was in that situation over and over again. The repetition was perpetual and the attackers were getting more violent as time went forward. The whisper of an ancient voice filled his head for a moment and he listened to the inner voice cautiously. “You will be tested and the sun shall shine in the way of the inquisitor, the accuser, the aggressor and the thief!” he listened and the whisper became louder until it filled his consciousness. “You will be tested Beam, tested for the strength of the gods and the sake of mankind, tested Beam, Tested.” Maybe he was crazy, maybe the voice he was hearing wasn’t real, of ethereal smoke and crazed illusion, Maybe it just wasn’t.
Beam rubbed his forehead as he walked and it came away sandy, gritty with the sweat of a thousand battles fought and won, “…a test…” the voice continued, “…a test.”
Beam moved to the far end of the block and neon lit the sidewalks in an evanescent glow. The signs on main street lit the night and he felt their warmth, their invitation to distraction. The sky was a haze above part smoke and part foggy illusion. Twinkling stars where are you he thought as he starred up into the night.
He paused for a moment and read the sign “HOODAAS GOODS!” it was a convenience store and like the other signs this one glowed a neon welcome. Welcome to the other side, welcome to the Hotel California, Welcome to closed doors and crazed killers welcome, welcome, welcome. He looked inside the front entrance and all seemed calm. There was a clerk behind the counter counting lottery tickets and drinking a Gatorade. A fan blew cold air from the open door into the street and it smelled like hot dogs and potato wedges. Seems safe he said to himself as he walked through the front door.
What looks and what is he thought as he saw the woman in the floor. She was waving her arms back and forth as she lay in the floor almost as if making snow angels. “Hello baby.” she said looking up at him from the dirty tiled floor.
She looked familiar, his wife……his girlfriend he wasn’t sure. She blew him a kiss and he almost grinned when he saw the clerk. He was a greenish cast and his nose was bleeding profusely. The droplets of blood were pouring from his nose and down his chin. “SONOFABITCH!” he screamed in some unidentifiable accent. Beam took in a deep breath, grabbed a Twinkie from one of the display racks and hurried back out the door.
As he made his way back to his apartment he thought for a moment. Maybe the book had been real, the one he had used months ago, eons ago………he had believed that it was foolishness but nevertheless things had changed after he read the spell from the book of incantations. Maybe it had been real, maybe a gate had opened somewhere…he wasn’t sure but the solution wasn’t apparent. Maybe he could find the spell, the book again and work it out, maybe he had changed things permanently, he still wasn’t sure.
The night wore on and Beam made it back to his little apartment in one piece. He found the book of Black Magic Spells in the back of a kitchen cupboard. He had placed it there after smashing a cockroach with it, in fact the cockroach was still dead and still beneath the book. Grabbing the book he leafed through the pages.
The next day came and Beam ventured out into the world again. People passed him on the sidewalk and the blur of busy cars raced by him. Maybe he had done it, maybe the world was as it should be again.
There was a commotion in front of him something big moving down the street. As it became clearer he realized he hadn’t improved the situation he had made it worse.
There was a giant man in red flannel stomping up the sidewalk. Each footfall broke the concrete path and amazingly the people around him didn’t seem to notice. He passed a policeman who patted the man on the arm and said, “Hey Skip.” Skip grunted and a belch of fire issued from his mouth. Beam paused for a moment and crossed the street away from the giant and the prospect of dieing.
The sky was a brilliant blue nearly cloudless and the dawn sang her rhythm with the horizon. Beam paused hearing the ancient voice again, “Prepare for the first test of will Beam, Prepare.” Beam sighed and resigned himself to the idea that this set of circumstances was not going to abate.
He went back to his apartment and grabbed the book again, the next spell read,
“Misstep mistake of this I partake,
Let it be true to the wind and
The sky, I’ll do it or try, by the saints
We sigh, by tears and by seams and everything in
Shadow, by all in dark, this weave like the bark
Of a dog in hunt and a flicker of hope,
Let the sun be seen by the souls that seem
To be haunting the world in song
And spite to win the fight, the door saith the light and the
Best of what might!”
Beam lay down on the gray worn sofa, there were bare patches where the cloth had worn through but it was still comfortable. He slept and he dreamed.
He was in the desert searching for something elusive, unbidden and magic. The sky was burnt orange and amber as he walked across the dry desert floor. The air was hot and motionless as secret waves of whispering rite coursed through him. Beam yielded to the heat and took out his canteen. He unscrewed the cap and tilted the bottle to his parched lips. The liquid was warm and coppery, suddenly he realized what it was…blood, thick and viscous. He spit and a gob of red splattered against the dry sand in a tiny plume of dust. He wiped his lips vigorously and the side of his palm came away crimson stained. In the distance a coyote howled and barked at the approaching storm clouds that had mysteriously appeared on the horizon. Beam listened and the coyote quit howling instead there was a sound like rolling thunder and explosive plodding reverberations moving closer to him from the distant hills of sand. The horizon grew dark and a few lightening bolts lit the sky as a figure appeared. It was huge, as large as a ten story building. Beam hid behind a nearby boulder and waited with express terror as the giant approached.
It had several clumps of long black hair hanging from around it’s waist, he could see what the hair was attached to…heads, giant heads three or four of them hanging from its belt. The black hair from the severed heads waved and floated across the sky casting a flittering shadow across the sand like dancing snakes. The figure suddenly turned and looked to the western horizon. It hesitated for a moment and moved in that direction as Beam awoke to the sound of crashing thunder and raindrops pounding against the living room window.
The book lay in a puddle of Chocolate milk he had spilled while thrashing in his sleep. “Dammit!” he said as he grabbed the book and wiped it on the couch. The last few pages were saturated with the chocolate and some of the ink was smeared. He looked out the window as flashes of bright headlights moved up and down the street beneath. It was getting dark out and it was raining in a miserable drizzle. He thought the likelihood that the new spell had worked was in dissent with reality and what it was at this point.
Beam changed cloths and threw an overcoat on as he prepared to go out into the night toward the unknown. He was on the sidewalk outside of the apartment building a few moments later. He looked up into the dimming sky and saw streaks of indigo and the soft glow of the surrounding city lights. Warm droplets of rain beaded against his skin and rolled across his checks; he wiped his brow and ran his fingers through his hair. The rain felt good and it reminded him that he was still with the world, hoping for a second he thought about the spell book, maybe the new spell had worked.
He began to walk toward the business district with the intention of stopping by a shopping court to pick up a few things when the sound of screaming filled the air in bellowing belches. The air around Office Depot turned scarlet and emerald for a moment as the shadow of a tall man appeared in the doorway. He was screaming and throwing bundles of paper into the street, next came an office chair and finally a filing cabinet. Beam approached the scene cautiously. He left muddy footprints on the blank sheets of typing paper that littered the sidewalk.
“YOUUUUUUUUUU……..” the man screamed pointing at him. Beam tried to figure out what was wrong with the man, something about his face didn’t seem right. He moved into the soft sodium glow of the streetlights and in a moment of shocked realization Beam understood what was wrong with the crazed man. He screamed again, “YYYYOOOOUUUUUU WILL PAYYYYYYY!” Beam watched as the tiny pair of lips rolled and shouted from the center of the man’s forehead, he had paused for a moment to brush the hair away from his mouth, it was hanging in stringy clumps across what should have been his forehead. His eyes were tiny black orbs on either side of his head, close to his ears like an insect a grasshopper or a praying mantis. Giant brown wings opened on his back and they flapped making a buzzing sound for a moment. He screamed again, “YOOOUUUUUU will pay!” his voice trailed off to a whisper as he cocked his head seeming to listen to something in the distance. A car honked in the street and the exhaust from a passing truck filled the air with the smell of diesel. Suddenly he rose in the air as his wings gave him flight. His mouth opened and a long sharp stem pushed from between his lips almost like a bees stinger or maybe a mosquito. He flew at Beam fast and he only had a second to respond. Grabbing the stinger he swung with full force. The man was impossibly light in the air and flew in a smooth arc toward an oncoming car.
The car screeched to a halt but the car had done its duty smashing the maniac to a pulp against the silver front grill of the car. Obviously the confrontations hadn’t ended and they were still after him in the form of monsters and crazed monsters at that. Why were they angry he asked himself in confusion, why were they attacking him? Were they afraid, was it a case of mistaken identity or was it just the Damn book, the incantation that had started it all.
His pupils dilated and hunger aspired to move him away from the accident toward equilibrium, sustenance and a full stomach. Clarity explained the threadbare existence he was shouldering with a perpetual quest for reassuring bondage, slavery to the dollar, the next buck in his wallet. He had .53 cents in his wallet. Dank air drifted in waves from the sewer grate he was standing on. Tapping his pocket he clicked of the amount , “Fiftythree Cents.” he said aloud to himself. Dreadful waves of fear overwhelmed him in a veil of silent darkness.

Ron Koppelberger (Writer, Poet, Artist, Musician and Editor for Static Movement)

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* Koppelberger

Unto The
The House Of The Rising
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