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Duel on Tsymenadae-7Yuri locked his eyes to the creature's sensory bulbs. It couldn't make any facial expressions he could truly comprehend, but the second it scuttled out from behind the chipped shale and into brilliant purple daylight, he knew there was only one way this first contact was going to end. He darted his eyes to the neon map in the corner of his helmet visor: everyone else was backing slowly toward the ship.
This monstrous little alien shimmied its weight a little closer, a little further into the open, and it slid one of its pseudo-pseudopods into the sleeve of what could only be a disintegrator. Yuri's hand hovered over his own, strapped to his leg. What he wouldn't give for a personalized spatial distortion field! If only the new equipment had actually arrived before they were sent to this godforsaken chasm of savage space!
Gradually, the human slowed his breathing. He needed a steady hand; if he drew too quickly he'd miss by a mile, and there was no way of knowing how accurate a bolt fro
Pants Down and Red HandedGrandpa built an owl, with analog clocks for eyes, that smoked a real pipe and hooted when spoken to, and spun its head around entirely to amuse myself and the other grandchildren. At night it would guard the chickens from weasels and the cats from coyotes. A trained owl wouldn't have been as good because real owls don't smoke pipes or tell the time or fire little plastic rockets from under their feathers.
One night, when I was on grandpa's farm and all the adults were asleep, I snuck out to meet a girl. I was fifteen at the time, which I suppose meant the owl had been around for about four years, and something of a trouble maker. For the life of me I can't remember the name of the girl I for whom I risked the next month's privileges. I do recall that she was stunningly beautiful, a short redhead with steel gray eyes and larger breasts than anyone else in our grade--a vital part of the body for the uninitiated sophomore.
Grandpa's owl followed me, though I didn't know it at first. It m
Cashbox-Part OneOn a hot and muggy, gray day, the brutish kings of the docks dragged Murray Fisk from his cell and into the square where all trials and executions took place. Weeks spent in a cellar, flogged periodically by the monstrous mountain of a man who presently shoved him forward, rendered him a gaunt and grimy, bearded figure. His hair was matted, greasy and tangled with dried blood, a far cry from his well-fed, Mohawked guard.
A boot to the back of one knee told him where to kneel and so he did, collapsing onto his knees before a small crowd of raggedy dock-dwellers. Most of them were hardly any better looking than he; only the rich fishermen, who had the few boats seaworthy enough to leave the bay, lived in anything better than squalor. He'd been deafened in the left ear from a heavy blow, but Murray recognized quickly the voice of Luis Dominguez, ruler of the docks, as he approached from behind.
"What you see before you is a dead criminal." He stepped past Murray and turned on his heel to
Unconventional Love StoryA ring of men, women, and children stood around the crater, police officers struggling to keep the order while others could barely push back against the crowd enough to keep themselves from falling in the pit. Burrowed ten feet into the earth beneath Times Square, the softly pulsing blue pod hummed and split, and the folds were pushed back by turquoise hands with four digits each--two fingers, two thumbs.
The creature that emerged stifled all the chatter throughout the square. Thousands of people, from those who stood looking down to those blocks away watching the video feed on their phones and the electronic billboards, all fell absolutely silent. For the thing that emerged was only a few steps removed from a human being: it was a tall, muscular creature, clothed in a loose-fitting white uniform, seemingly made of wool. It, or rather he, gazed up at the open-mouthed civilians above, and rose to his full height of eight feet, six inches.
A police officer drew his pistol but was quickly
First Grave on TerratuWhen he came to Terratu (named after a fictional planet in an old Ted Sturgeon story, meaning "Terra Two" as well as "Terra, Too"), Clancy Konrad was not a young man. He was forty-three, a lean fellow who had only recently swapped his potbelly for some true muscle mass for the mission. His job was chronicler, the modern version of a bard, for he was a writer of science fiction on earth and it seemed fitting that he get a place on the first interstellar voyage.
He was in the first wave of people to populate that primordial world, with its vast, empty oceans and landmasses bereft of life. He lived in Prefab One, which today sits at the center of a small city of prefabricated homes, surrounded on all sides by fields of grass and flowers that took happily to the nitrogen-rich soil and carbon dioxide atmosphere. While now the gilded domes are the norm for the populace, Prefab One was a small trailer he shared with five other men and women.
When the first rotation was switched out, Clancy de
Blessed 454Cold winds blew in from the northwest, stirring up walls of sand across the shrubby foothills. Repentant worshipers carried on, down the fractured and disappearing interstate, forty of them in four rows. Over their shoulders were four thick ropes of hemp, pulled taut and wrapped at the rear terminus to heavy brass rings on a carriage.
The carriage was immense. It was nearly the entire road wide and it traveled on six wheels, the steel hubs torn from an earth-mover that sat derelict near their tribe's settlement. Inside, clinking and thumping about, were the ten offerings to be sacrificed.
Weary, the worshipers concealed their elation upon sighting, at the base of a small valley past a rusting billboard, their settlement and the sacrificial vat around which it was erected. They had to take a long, winding route into the valley, off the road and over a rough trail, for a direct descent would send the carriage tumbling over them. Even the youngest of the forty could recall the day a hasty
E is for EsotericIn the first few hours of daylight Matteo wandered the fields looking for something to eat while the great sweeper bugs graced the horizon, turning the surface to fire and glass beneath their feelers. He didn't think deeply about how much time remained. The dread would catch him later, as he sat down to eat a rabbit or prairie dog caught in one of his many traps. It would make his stomach turn and he would consider putting a bullet in his skull.
He would never pull the trigger. He knew that. One day the bugs would come and burn the last shred of verdant land on earth and they would burn him with it. Only then would he die. Not before.
Every now and then he would gaze over the living landscape behind him, two miles before it dropped off to sea, looking for another survivor eeking life out of some hovel or another. Nothing. The bugs carried on, giant unfeeling blue beetles without legs, just tendrils that turned water to fire, earth to dust. When he caught his quarry, he headed back to t
An EveningOh, Christ, not this again.
I'm narrating a story. Once again some sick, twisted human behind a pen or a keyboard is going to put me through some awful adventure. He or she is going to scare the shit out of me, or send me tumbling down a well, or kill one of my loved ones, or--God forbid--send me on a journey of self-discovery across the country. I'm quite comfortable in my apartment, with my parents, siblings, girlfriend, dog, cat, and friends alive and well, I'll have you know. Please, leave me alone.
Not going to, eh? All right, on with the show, then. Let's go.
The afternoon was warm and pleasant, and I sat in the back of a Cavalier rolling a joint while my friends Remo and Farrah picked up tickets at the box office for Obliterator: the Obliterationing. Not quite high-brow entertainment, I'm aware, but really it was just an excuse to get high and have some tongue-in-cheek violence to laugh at. My girl, Naomi, sat in the front seat, keeping an eye out for mall cops before I l
Windy City Odyssey, Part OneThe great mountain of garbage bags was blanketed in a two-inch layer of snow which had half-melted and frozen again throughout the day. Fritz crawled through the trash, shaking the ice off bags that looked promising and tearing through the cold plastic. His brother, Timo, kept watch from atop a garbage truck, a derelict victim of the gas shortages which paralyzed more and more of Chicago every day.
They were in over their heads today, far from their territory by the docks. It was just Timo and Fritz and Christina, Timo's girl. They were all armed with lead pipes, and Fritz's had half a dozen heavy nails sticking from the business end, but if the Cicero rich kids materialized looking for a fight they would just have to run. They'd be outnumbered and the cops wouldn't protect three dirty teenagers rooting through their trash for food.
Fritz found some cloth and twine to wrap around his torn and decaying right shoe. Christina located an apple core and then a pair of pants with three
It's NotIt's not the lipstick gloss
that makes a kiss
the warm pulse beating through
It's not their size
but the words they whisper,
It's not the color
nor the length
nor the glint
of her hair
that makes her special
it is her smile
in the falling rain
reflecting the joy
of yet another Spring,
It's not the time
she spent getting beautiful
that makes her so
but in fact
it is the hours
she was besides my bed
when I was sick
and in fact
it is the minutes
I could hear her breathe
in my embrace
AND in fact
it is the seconds
I saw her cry
(out of happiness)
Because she's beautiful.
It's not the clothes,
nor the jewellery,
nor the colored nails,
nor the drawn-in brows,
nor the words she says
to other people,
and neither it is
It is her mind
that entertains my poems,
it is her charm
that paints my cheeks
and averts my shy eyes from her
It is her soul,
that I love.
You Were Not An Aquarium BoySea-glass became your bones,
brine your blood, and seashells
melded into your skin.
You were not quite an ocean
when you said "This is your sign to love me."
My body was like a building;
tall, cold, almost unbreakable.
I was metallic and sharp,
towering over your waters.
I remember taking your hand in mine,
conch and coral shells scrubbing
my skyscraper wrists, and laughing
about how one day you would
submerge every last bit of me.
Your lips, riddled with argonauts,
found my cheek and I cringed
at the coarseness.
You asked if they bothered me
and I finally told you "I
think I love you."
The Origins Of The Ice Queen (Story)
As the Duke slammed into the cold, hard ground, Elsa knew that she had only made the accusations worse. As the fear began to consume her she ran out of the castle's huge, wooden gates, her breath increasing in speed and intensity the whole time. She heard a familiar voice shout after her. "Elsa! Wait!" It was her sister Anna. She was 2 years younger than Elsa and had a beautiful young face with a rosy complexion and had strawberry blonde hair with a white highlight in it. She wore a green and black royal gown with a flowery pattern over the torso. It was perfect for the coronation that had taken place that day. However, it was not so perfect for chasing the new Queen. "Elsa please! Stop!" Anna shouted at her terrified sister. Elsa started to sprint even faster now, she flicked her wrist and created an icy path in an attempt to slow down her ever worrying sister. Anna slipped and fell onto her behind. She let out a small yelp as she sat, stunned for a moment. She looked up and saw Elsa
SIRENNeath the woe of Ulysses' blood and toil,
A sea of heavenly-fury once awaken'd
Her gaze clad in honey’d delirium ablaze
Of such beauteous prize, he shall yield;
For her tongue hath seized mortal desire
And lo the Moons’ glory shall weep in vain!
Journey’s of madness sung with promise;
— A rising tempest hurl'd to Hades reign
Oceanic rhythms untwine love forbidden,
Breaking the mists of insatiable dreams
The Sirens call ebbed like darkness falling;
Her lust bleeding into the mythic abyss ..
His anguish bestow'd the folding tides,
Unto their lips would perish in mystery
Deeper jewel'd the haunting of his soul,
Forsaken to the ink of Orpheus' muse.
And ghostly twilight shone low and pale,
O’er the hum of those ethereal seas
Long wherest his heart shall forever sail
— Arthur Crow © 2014
SevenEach day is a new struggle.
Each day is an uphill fight.
I go out, and I wage war against them,
And I lose.
Then I come home,
Beaten and bruised,
They won the last one,
They'll win the next.
They'l win all the rest,
Until I'm finally dead.
But I am a warrior,
And one who will protect,
One who will serve,
Until his dying breath.
And why do I go out each day?
Why dawn my dented armor?
Because I know what I'm fighting for.
And though they may have victory,
And the sparkling spoils of war...
I have you,
And that is enough
To make me get out of bed each day,
To walk out the door,
To draw my sword and fight them,
To come home beaten yet once more;
But then I see your face
And I know I'd go through it all again
If it meant I won your love,
If it meant your affection.
For you I would fight this many battles:
Seven times seven times seven.
Sexual TensionI see the lust in his eyes,
a whirlwind of locked desire,
looking for a way to be unleashed
There's hidden intentions in all he does
He's always finding an opportunity
for our skins to touch
I want him to cross the line
I want to feel what he feels
I don't want to be forbidden anymore
I want to be his sweet meal
To feel different hands on my body
would awaken what I've been trying to hide
The fact that I want him to take me
I can no longer deny
I wish I could touch his body,
feel him up with my hands;
rub myself against him,
do his every command
Songs“Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?”
Those aren't my words, what can I say?
Your laugh, your smile, your way with words,
Your song is borrowed by the birds…
The Voice of HeavenThe sweetest music fills the atmosphere
The voice of heaven itself
Surfing on waves of air
Sound so pleasant, beyond orgasmic
Listen to the subtle facets of its audible splendor
Every measure, every crescendo, every lick
Everyone is savored
Never have ears been so graced
Graced by such a precious lullaby
Transcendent silvery tones caress the soul
Knees begin to buckle
Everything fades in haunting mist
Oh, harmonious ballad!
The notes sparkle along their silky path
So smooth, so lovely
Sing them forever
Sing sweet love,
Your beautiful heart let shine!
Light up the darkness
Play your songs again and again
Play your songs in my heart
In the heart you've captured and chained to yours
If only everyone could know their magick
Those notes will resonate in me til I die and ever after
I love you, voice of heaven
RadianceHer hair is like gold
Framing a radiant face
That makes the sun jealous
Her eyes are pools of mercury
Deep and entrancing
Giving everyone pause
Her smile shines like the stars
Brightening any dark day
With a laugh clean as crystal
How proud I am to call her mine
As she calls me hers
From here on and ever
Bo.When Lindsay was born, Bo was there. Standing beside her mother, he was the first thing she ever saw. But he was not her father; her father stood on the other side.
Bo was there until the very moment she died.
The sun shone bright through the windows of her pink-laden room. She loved pink. And black.
“Because Bo is black,” she’d told her parents.
Her imaginary friend, they soon concluded.
“Bo is all black,” she described one night as her father tucked her in, “His skin and his hair and everything. He doesn’t talk a lot.”
Her father frowned.
“He sounds scary.”
“He’s not,” she insisted.
Bo sat on the bed and said nothing.
Her father kissed her good night and turned out the light.
“Why can’t Dad see you?” she asked.
“Are you real?”
“Are you real?” he replied.
“How do you know?”
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