The pressure continues to build. It is escalated by every look and sound and lingering scent. It fills my mind, dictates my mood and influences my motions.
Then, she whispers. Her voice vibrates with electricity and pushes my pulse. Beginning coyly, her words slowly become more pointed with truth and more carried by desire. She ignores her inhibitions. I reciprocate her attitudes.
Apparent, always, is the risk. We feed from it until we are filled and empty, though insatiable. Every scheme is sketched beneath a vale with the care of a tenured tutor. We step quietly, then quickly. We dance until our breath is chaotic amid the sweat and sound and struggle.
She begs for more and I acquiesce to her demands. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow we continue, as if it is all we need: without thought for food, or rest, or feeling. Time allows our indulgences, and she consumes me. Then, we begin anew.
Two men are talking on the sidewalk. They are speaking in a language that I don’t understand. They are different than me.
I stand beside them and everything is calm. The breeze blowing by reminds me that this place is strange, new. Traffic flows steadily on the street.
Suddenly I feel a chill. My nerves tingle and my bones ache. My knees are weak and they collapse downward. I lay on the ground and feel the cold of the cement. Then, a liquid warms my face, but my vision goes before I can determine its color. I wheeze out air and struggle to refill my lungs against the weight of my body. The air won’t come.
A woman screams. Why is she so upset? What happened to the calm? Someone is running! The sounds, they mesh and muddle into a melancholy metronome. Its vibrations provide the last music I hear. Good Lord! I’m freezing!
As I watch the television, I’m wishing I could sprout a fire. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not speaking in metaphor. A flame is what I desire, surrounded by rock and burning dry, fallen wood. I can smell the smoke. Together with the fresh air, it fills my lungs. The television is disappearing now. The florescent lights dim. The characters portrayed are melting. It’s just a fire, it seems–in the middle of my living room.
Then, the walls begin to dissipate. In fact, the roof goes first. It’s not destructive, but rather a peaceful fading. The paint goes from white to black, yes, but it’s quicker than that. It’s almost as if a fog is clearing. The ceiling clears away as a haze in the sun, giving way to a night sky and stars above. Smoke curls up from the fire to meet the starry gaze.
Now it’s the walls. Yes, they’re descending, shrinking, lowering even. I know the bushes and homes and grasses that are outside, but none of them appear. No, there are trees and forest and dirt. It’s moving quickly. My possessions are nothing. It’s me, the carpet, the fire and the forest.
Moss grows toward my feet. Through the carpet comes splotches of green and brown, tinted with the shadows that dance across the atmosphere from the flickering flame. I’m consumed by the wilderness–entrenched. A song, a tune plays in my ear like a whistle and a hum, giving way to the crackle of the fire. I breathe in the scents that surround me: the evergreens, the burning and the dirt, and am lifted to the stars upon the plume of smoke that rises before me.
I’m a radio clown
On the air and at sea–
A lecherous leper
Who’s grasping at teeth.
I’m an integrity salesman
Who’s clipping his wings,
And we’re all just beggars
Wanting shiny things.
We’d talk of religion
If it made any sense,
Sell our souls if we had them
For liquor and rent.
Know it’s not God that binds us,
Rather sorrow and shame
And a love which we strive for
To better our names.
So put it behind you.
I’ll try to forget,
And deceive the spirits
That spin in our heads.
We’ll quell the anger
Together as one
And bury the bodies
Killed in view of the sun.
No more talk of religion,
Or souls of lost men.
We’ll reason the world
With glass beakers and gin.
No ethereal emperor,
Just flesh and bone,
And the craziest world
That we know as our home.
Life falls quickly before slowing to a stop. It turns and flies on wings of hope. It rises high and will drop just as low. It is a series of hopes and dreams, excitement and disappointment, broken aspirations, only to return once more to hope. It will be perfect in love, and nothing again in heart-break. Accomplishment is followed on at times, yet regretted at other times. Moments can mean the difference between all things–between a broken heart and a mended one, between a fallen star and a rising one. To cherish every moment is wisdom and is pertinent to using each wisely. After all, life can only be lived one moment at a time–one moment always leading to hope.
It’s perhaps the only sacred cow in America. To touch it is taboo, rendering any speaker against it a social pariah, an anathema, an outcast. Further still, we celebrate it yearly—with no outlet given to voices that would qualm with its holiness. We praise it daily as the one thing that keeps the United States alive and well—the one thing that keeps us safe. Though we may be referred to as the world’s “melting pot,” there is no mistake that one deity is universally worshipped within every territory and state of our great nation. America’s God is Annan, Anhur and Laran, Ares, Kū and Belus, Bellona, Anat and Bugid Y Aiba; America’s god is War.
In an advanced—some would even say civilized—society, we continue to make violence our number one export. It is the way we deal with dissent. It is the way we deal with misunderstanding. It is our only foreign policy. Perhaps I am alone in asking why—ashamed that after hundreds of years as an established nation and decades as a world super-power, not only have we not found peaceful ways to thwart conflict, but we celebrate that fact.
There is almost nothing as exciting as finishing the final touches for a novel. After hours and hours of typing and editing and staring at a black and white screen, it’s finally ready. It’s finally time. Today, I finished the final edit for “Ecce Signum.” I am extremely excited to be releasing it this Friday and am currently in the process of going through the publishing checks.
This will be my second published novel. As I wait for the publication day to come, I wanted to make a couple of exciting announcements:
First, with “Ecce Signum” now under my belt, I will begin work on “Shadow of Freedom,” the much anticipated sequel to “Shadow of Truth,” on November 1st.
Second, I am working to be able to publish one or two novelettes/novellas between November 1st and the expected publication date of “Shadow of Freedom” (Christmas, 2014), and will be expanding on this in future posts.
I am eagerly anticipating this Halloween and am preparing for the next big novel. Saludos!