A Short Poem

 

What darkness lurks in the hearts of men?

What evils do they do?

What do those who watch above

Think when they see you?

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Fear is an Easy Sell

When I’m not writing, I’m a teacher. You can probably guess what I’m certified in – my specialty – without too much trouble. It doesn’t start with M and doesn’t require a Periodic Table if that helps at all – although I am getting better and better with my Stoichiometry (just ask my students).

I’ve noticed a shift over the last several years, and it is something I am concerned about and that is fear.

You see, I have a daughter who turns three in January and she’s starting to give orders. Not real orders of course, but the ‘this goes here, that is mommy’s, put it down daddy’ kind of orders. The ‘I’m trying to make sense of this world that has more to it than gravity and light’ kind of orders.

This means that, soon, she’ll start asking questions. Both my wife and I have discussed this turn and we’re not sure what to respond as she kicks into trying to understand and comprehend that bigger world. Whose perspective will be better for her.

The reality that I see is a wonderful and amazing place to explore. People are, in general, good folks with interesting stories who merely want an ear to listen or tongue to speak – an opportunity to share. There are fascinating stories out there with most people and, if you listen to them, chances are you can find someone or something to relate to with them.

The world is a similar place. There are wonderful places to explore – mountains to climb, trees to crawl through, parks to visit, etc. It’s an adventure that, if you take the time to examine, will give you something to relate to and remember.

Forest Blog

But…that’s not the attitude that most people have. I remember growing up that most of the attitude wasn’t quite as bright and springy as mine, but there was something still there: hope.

Now, though, I see something different: fear.

Fear has replaced that in many of the students that I interact with. I do have the over-the-top macho kids in my room, but when they get confronted, that attitude dissolves. There’s no guidance. Similarly, when I work with some of my co-workers and talk with some of my friends, fear has become a unifying factor. Rather it’s a worry for the future of the country, a job, or what’s going to happen tomorrow, it’s become an overlying part of things.

Yoda Fear

Even the TV shows have it more now. We call the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles more ‘mature’ and ‘deep’ than their 1980’s counterparts – and that’s true. But at one point our entertainment was meant to entertain the kids and not us.

Don’t take this the wrong way – I love shows like TMNT and Avatar: The Last Airbender. My daughter loves My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Daniel Tiger (and Daniel Tiger is NOT in one of those ‘more mature’ categories in the slightest. It does have a sense of hope and excitement). But at one point the excitement came from wondering how Mikey was going to take down the Shredder this week and not if he was going to.

Our heroes are easily defeated. That only used to happen in the two-part episodes.

The same holds true of entertainment for adults. I’m really enjoying Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Once Upon a Time, and Agents of Shield (my TV shows are a bit limited – I have Netflix and not cable is my excuse).

There isn’t anyone to save us anymore and, while some of the shows do examine a person pulling themselves out of defeat and saving themselves, more often we are faced with a failure that we have to deal with.

And maybe that’s true. There is a lot of truth to the fact that, often, we are going to have to deal with meeting in the middle or the short end of the stick. That is life.

I don’t really have a problem with that. I wish there was more hope and adventure to my entertainment than there is – and I might be missing something (feel free to share). But it doesn’t usually feel particularly hopeful when I am watching.

Except maybe NCIS – because at some point, they have to deal with Gibbs and Gibbs doesn’t mess around.

Gibbs

But now, we’re not even getting the stick. We’re learning to be afraid to even reach for it.

It’s fear we’re being sold.

And it is an easy sell.

Look at Game of Thrones. Nothing against Martin – he’s clearly a writer with talent. I personally don’t particularly like Game of Thrones, but it’s popular and well written. But it boils with two things – sex and fear.

It’s an easy sell.

Even worse is the sudden advertisement of giving in to fear. Back during the first trilogy, I don’t know that there was anyone who was excited to be a member of the Sith (and yes, this is a specific cultural example. Sue me). The villains of the movie and the universe as far as Star Wars is concerned. Now, it pops up everywhere.

keep-calm-and-join-the-dark-side-132

Ignoring the Sith vs Jedi argument (that’s for another day as well), now matter how you look at it, they are the created antagonists of the films. We get strong implications (and sometimes visuals) of them casually murdering people. These are not people that would normally be a group that folks would want to join.

But they have embraced their fear and gained power for it. We’re embracing our fears, but it’s leaving us weaker – at least thus far.

I wonder if that isn’t because fear is so primal to our beings. It’s hard to establish a hopeful attitude – it takes convincing someone that there can be something better over the hilltop or beyond the horizon even though all of their current experience says otherwise.  You have to life yourself up to have hope, to examine the best that could be coming and work for it. It takes a tremendous amount of work.

 

Say what you like about Donald Trump, but he is definitely a Presidential hopeful. He’s putting in that effort and he’s trying to find ways to get to that ‘better’ that he sees. So is Bernie Sanders. And that’s all the politics I will mention for this post because I’m not going to get into the conflict of hope that comes from perspective. I’m sure it is one of the causes, but that’s a post in and of itself. Fear has that as well, but to a lesser extent.

Fear doesn’t. Fear says ‘that’s bigger, be scared’, ‘that’s faster, be scared’, ‘that’s different, be scared.’ It’s unifying and, relatively, universal.  And universal means easier to sell, easier to control. Some of those pundits that claim our new culture of fear is part of a government/corporate/etc conspiracy to control us and I can’t help but wonder in the back of my mind if there isn’t some truth to that claim. Fear does make for easy control and focus – hope, joy, and other ‘working’ emotions are not easy to create and hold in place.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for the day. I will leave you with this one:

desmondtutu454129

Life on Ramen

I have always been about creating. I love to write, to create adventures and characters with my friends through RPGs and LARPs, to produce plays and portrayals through acting on stage. All through my life I have created.

One such creation that I had was called Life on Ramen. It was a sprite comic that I produced while I was in college. Keep in mind – this was during the hay day of sprite comics. We had Bob and George on the one hand and 8-Bit Theater on the other. It was an awesome time. If you had MS Paint and a few sprite sheets, you could make a webcomic.

Mine was about myself and some of my friends and our various insanities. I called it ‘Life on Ramen’ because I was in college and that was pretty much my only non-campus sustenance. I found the comic very funny and I put a lot of work into updating it on GeoCities. You know, back when GeoCities existed.

It was the first piece of something I had created that I shared outside of my personal bubble. I put it up on the internet and I joined some webrings (does anyone remember those? 🙂 ) and I posted it for feedback and fun.

It was something I had never done before – exposed myself like that to a strange audience. I remember being a little scared of it, at least at first, but also excited. I had hoped that I would find some folks who liked it – there were certainly enough 8 and 16 bit Sprite comic lovers out there at the time.

There wasn’t a lot of original content to it, I will admit now. But as I gained new skills and software (thanks Ferris), it improved. I had some fun characters and some, in my opinion, funny humor. There were a lot of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moments – which I still find funny.

Any how, I thought I would share this memory of my first time putting my work out for public critique and see if anyone else wanted to comment. What was your first time sharing something publicly like? What made it exciting or interesting to you?

What Will You Write #2 – Precipice (Entry)

This is part of the ‘What Will You Write’ activity found here. The prompt for this one is in italics below, while my own addition is after it in plain text. I really enjoyed the last one, and this one is a lot of fun for me to.

Here we go! 🙂

Ferd opened his eyes, his head throbbing. Scrambling up to his feet, he remembered the rock slide. That was no accident, he thought. Someone tried to kill us. Us. Where is Cassia? He couldn’t see through the dust, but she had to be there.

“Cassia!” he shouted.

“Ferd?” The faint voice came from the direction of the cliff. “Ferd! I can’t get up!”

Ferd edged his way to the precipice and looked down. Through the dust, he saw Cassia. She held onto a branch over the chasm. He reached for her, but she was too far away.

“Is that you?!” Cassia called again. “FERD!”

This shouldn’t be a problem for her, Ferd thought as he scanned the ledge he was on for anything he could use to help Cassia. Why isn’t she simply using her powers? The few stones that lay scattered around him would be useless in helping her.

“I’m up here, Cassia!” He shouted down to her.

“FERD!” Cassia shouted again, “FERD! I can’t see! Where are you?!” there was sobbing to her voice. “Why won’t you respond?”

“I’m above you, Cassia!” Ferd shouted again. “Don’t you hear me?”

“She can’t hear you, Guardian.” The dust that continued to fall around him formed swirled on to the ledge next to him, quickly forming a creature of stone and flakes. It stood on four legs constructed of dirt and stone. Harsh spikes of mud and pebbles sprouted from its back. The face was vaguely canine with two opals for eyes and rows of hard stone for teeth. “I’ll let her sound reach you, but I’m stopping yours from reaching her. It’s remarkable how well dust can absorb sound.”

Ferd glared at the creature. The Cryx were known for two things: their ability to control the earth and their malevolence. The pebbled face shifted into a vicious grin, “You’ve failed and she will die.”

“You’re blocking her power somehow, aren’t you?” Ferd reached to his hip for his sword only to find it missing. It must have fallen out when they had tumbled from above. “Let her go.”

“Oh, it’s not my power,” the Cryx’s voice was a gravelly, grating sound. “She’s just…afraid.”

“Of falling? She can’t be. She knows her power can save her easily.” Flight was one of the first powers that a Wordsmith mastered. “You lie!”

“And you assume.” The creature roared. “Your arrogance is HER undoing! Watch!” The creature raised one of its paws and slammed it in to the ledge that it and Ferd stood upon. Below, a tunnel opened in the cloud of dust to show the branch that Cassia held wobbled as the tree it was attached to began to pull loose of the earth that held it. Cassia screamed as the dust cloud resumed its natural shape, obscuring the roots and a clear view of the Wordsmith.

Fear twisted Ferd’s stomach,“You monster!” he lunged for the creature. The dust and stone separated and he tumbled through harmlessly. “Stop this game!”

“Return what you stole!” the beast growled back. “Or watch your Wordsmith die!”

Fury mixed with confusion as Ferd regained his feet, “I don’t know what you are talking about!” he found his voice even as his eyes searched the ground for a weapon.

“Return them to me or I will recover them from your broken corpse.” Stone re-arranged themselves, making the beast’s fangs elongate out of the constructed muzzle, “Or the corpse of your Wordsmith!”

“FERD!”

The desperation in her voice called to him. He had no idea what the Cryx was talking about – they hadn’t taken anything from the mountain. The beast was clearly mad. His inaction was going to lead to her death – something he would not be party to.

And so he took action.

A few steps helped him forward, past the Cryx and to the edge. He pushed against the ground and launched himself down, tucking his arms to his sides, he began to freefall toward the dust cloud containing Cassia. The wind whipped around him as he sped toward her – if she could not hear him, then she would see him descend.

He realized his mistake only moments before reaching her. The cloud of dust was of Cryx origin which meant that the beast still had control. An immense pain tore at him as the dust ripped at his flesh, tore through his tunic. A sharp stake of earth stabbed in to his side as he exited the cloud above Cassia. The Cryx wasn’t going to let him escape.

Drops of his blood fell on her golden curls as he fell past her. He saw her emerald eyes widen in surprise and fear. “FERD!”

He rolled in the air so that he was facing Cassia in his descent, his arms spreading as if he would embrace her one final time. He would not see his end coming, only the new beginning he had desired for so long painted against a blue sky and the golden light bouncing off the mountain. If he was going to die, at least the Wordsmith would have a chance at living.

The pain in his side became more intense as the stake drove itself further in to him. The light above him colored itself with that pain, and then darkness as he lost consciousness.

What Will You Write Challenge #1 – Neptune

For details on the contest, see here. The prompt provided comes from this post. I thought I’d give it a shot.

Here we go – the prompt is in italics:

Conrad opened his eyes to a view of a massive blue globe. He jerked back and twisted around in the microgravity. He touched something solid in front of him. A window.

He pushed against the window and turned around. Conrad scanned the small room, no larger than a public bathroom stall, and empty except for an EV spacesuit and door. He studied the view through the window. Neptune, he thought. How did I get here?
“You were brought here to facilitate understanding,” A sultry voice filled the air around him. “This habitat should be suitable to our needs.”

Conrad liked the emphasis the voice placed on needs – but who was speaking?

“I am Translocation Initiation Neurointerface Automaton. You, handsome, may call me Tina.”

“Neuro-wha?” Conrad questioned. As nice as it was to be called handsome, the familiarity, and mind reading, was a bit disconcerting . “There’s nothing like that…”

“On earth,” the voice corrected soothingly. “I know. But this isn’t Earth.”
“How do you speak English then?”

“I don’t. I’m speaking my native tongue. I’m very talented with it,” the voice replied,”I’ve just put the ability to translate it in to your mind.”

“Huh?”

“I’ve almost got my interface ready. Then there won’t be any barriers between us.”
The emphasis on barrier removal gave Conrad more images to go with the voice, “Not that I don’t appreciate the offer, Tina, but I’m a little confused. How did I get to…Neptune. And what’s with all the compliments? And the suit.”

“Translocation. A simple procedure your people haven’t figured out yet,” Tina replied. “The compliments are here to help you relax. And the suit? Well, that’s for protection.”

“Protection? From what?”

“Every girl should have protection when she meets a guy. Speaking of, my interface is ready. The question is – are you?” The challenge in that tone helped Conrad recognize what he was ready for. “One moment.”

Conrad watched in astonishment as the window began to peel itself away, a layer of the thick glass melting in to a pool on the floor. As he continued to watch, the glass began to re-shape itself. In less than five minutes a beautiful woman crafted of crystal was standing before him. He watched, stunned, as the glass took on the colors of the planet – a shifting sea of blues with lighter highlights. The occasional trace of white accented her, emphasizing her eyes and shapely form, “Does this please you?” the voice that had filled his mind now spoke from the construct.

Conrad could not deny how beautiful the woman looked. Her colors made her exotic and her shape made her desirable, yet he could not entirely admit to it being pleasant, “You’re made of glass…I can’t touch you.”

“Touch me, Conrad. I insist.” Tina held out an arm.

Conrad touched it and was shocked to discover that, despite the appearance of glass, Tina felt as if she were made of flesh. She was warm and soft to his touch. She leaned over and whispered in to his ear, “I’m real everywhere.

Conrad didn’t need to hear that twice. Tina’s lips were real, her legs were real, her warmth was real, her promises of pleasure were real. It did not take them long, and the suit went unused. In the end, though, as they lay on the floor, Conrad finally gathered enough of his wits to probe with questions rather than other bits of him, “What was that about?”

“Protection,” Tina replied, “Now that I have a sample of human DNA, my people can be immune to your diseases and poisons. We don’t really want to die to bacterium and other microorganisms.”

“YWait…what? You’re coming to our planet? What are you doing, invading?” None of the movies he had watched mentioned beautiful crystal women taking over.

“Peacekeeping, actually,” Tina continued, her voice still causing all kinds of stirring in Conrad. “We’re making sure that you’ll be safe and so will we. We’re very protective of our possessions.” Tina smiled, “You’ll be my favorite. You’re very good at pleasing me. Would you like to go for a walk now?” The crystal clear woman stood up and gestured to the EV suit, “I’ve got something your familiar with for now. Until we can adopt something better for you.”

Conrad peered at the suit and considered his options. Given what Tina had been capable of so far, being with her didn’t seem so bad. He smiled, “All right. Give me a few minutes.” Then a thought occurred to him, “Say, Tina? What about those that don’t want to be peacekept?”

“Oh, they will, Conrad. We can be very persuasive.” Tina’s hips wiggled as she came to stand next to him, “Very.”

A Practice Solicit for My Book

A century has passed since the War of the Three Kingdoms was fought. A century since the arcane and the divine crossed blade leaving the world in the hands of the Gods. Born at the end of the conflict, Alista Traakard has been lead to ancient, arcane secrets by her Goddess. Standing against the changes to her church, Alista flees with only her sword and a tome.

Hard work and smart business are the trademarks of the Carlyle family and separate them from the other noble houses of Darien. As eldest son, Deacon Carlyle stands to inherit his father’s business empire. Princess Serena, however, appears to have other plans for the kingdom – plans which don’t include the Carlyles.

Vicor Traven is more like his elven bodyguard than any half-orc should be. His desire to see the world conflicts with the rigid structure and discipline his father, and people, demand. Trusting to fate, he and his bodyguard have escaped Vicor’s rigid life to experience more of the world than Traven’s father would ever allow.

When the three come together in one of Darien’s seaports, it appears to be coincidence, but is it? Or is someone seeking to alter the balance of the world as it stands and cause the pendulum to swing freely once more? “

Future’s End – Prediction and Challenge

I love me some Free Comic Book Day. Despite the long wait, and the fact that I am in my Local Comic Book Store pretty much every week buying stuff (gaming stuff, usually), it is a lot of fun to show up and support them. Not only that, but it gives my daughter a chance to be seen there and she LOVES the attention. She also got a Green Lantern Power Ring. It was win-win for everyone.

For my part, I always grab up a couple of issues. SPOILER: I’m not generally a big comic book fan. I find them expensive and when I read a story, I want the whole thing. Those of you who have read my book reviews KNOW that I hate major unresolved plots. Comic books do this perpetually so that you will buy the next issue in the series. I’m much more likely to buy a Trade Paper Back than an issue by issue for that very reason.

Free Comic Book Day, however, is my exception to the rule. I generally rely on the store employees for reccomendations and I have subscribed to a few things for storylines – I did the D+D comic when it was about a group of heroes who weren’t Drizz’t. I also did Marvel’s Civil War event and, with War of Light coming to Heroclix, I’ll probably pick up some of that as well to read so that I know a bit more about it than “Saint Walker is awesome.” I’m a fairly simple guy and I don’t have a lot of spending money, so I’m choosy when it comes to subscriptions. I loved the Avatar: The Last Airbender stuff and pick that up regularly. It’s in my pull box and everything!

Free Comic Book Day is all about me. The goal, as I understand it, is to get guys like me to subscribe by teasing stories. It’s what got me to grab up Avatar: The Last Airbender and the D+D comic. I grabbed up the Avatar Comic and then I saw DC’s cover.

It’s Terry.
Terry McGinnis.
You know, from Batman Beyond – one of the most amazing animated series’ of all time! And he’s on the cover of their FCBD merchandise. My daughter, who is only 15 months, wonders why I have stopped. I’m wondering if I am hallucinating. I loved Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League: Unlimited, and Batman Beyond. Ask my wife – she’ll confirm my obsession. And here’s Terry and…..

The-New-52-Futures-End-full

….and a grotesquely illustrated Justice League with weird eye things on them. I run through my Heroclix knowledge and realize I recognize the O.M.A.C. bits and pieces and the Brother Eye sign. So, Brother Eye does exist in New 52 AND he’s out of control and making Justice League robots (I can see Superman and Wonder Woman and a…Gold Batman? Don’t know who that is. And what looks like a cyborg version of John Stewart) to take over the Future of New 52. Go time for the Justice League and Terry.

All right, FCBD, your goal is accomplished. I am intrigued. Slightly grossed out, but intrigued. I grab that one and put it in my bag as my daughter starts to struggle against me. That means it is time to go, so I thanked everyone in the shop and beat a hasty retreat home and put my daughter down for her nap and settled in to read my comic.

Please Note: I knew this was not going to be a whole story. It’s a teaser to get me to buy a series. Apparently a weekly series. That’s going to take a lot of convincing – comics are expensive and I have a toddler and a mortgage. I was not expecting the whole story and I knew the game going in.

Anyhow, I open up to Captain Cold trying to get some folks to keep a door open from some ‘bugs.’ We don’t know who he’s holding the door for, but they are coming from Budapest. Bugs are, apparantly, bad, as they’ll kill everyone. Anyway, they start to close the door and BAM! Really Old Flash makes it in. That is one HECK of a Beard there, Barry. Anyway, he’s exhausted, but he made it and scanned the area – only some small bugs. And then BANG!

Wonder Woman

Cyborg Wonder Woman. Complete with O.M.A.C. makeover and tentacle legs. Brother Eye has, apparantly, been busy since she speaks with Brother Eye’s vocal patters. The attack commences and now Captain Cold is working with Flash to fight them off.

Oh. These aren’t cyborg clones or robots. These are assimilated members of the Justice League.

Brother Eye appears to have learned something: cutting off a metahuman’s arms is a great way to disable them.

Anyway, Flash is killed by an unassimilated Frankenstein (some of the former heroes are working with Brother Eye) who has grafted Black Canary on to his chest.

Seriously.

We finally get to Terry and Bruce (after two more gruesome deaths) who are working out Time Travel to go back and stop this from happening. Terry is supposed to be the distraction so Bruce can time jump and go back to kill someone. Yup, this is serious enough for Bruce to break his no killing rule. He points out that, if they succeed, this horrible future will never happen. There is a fight in the Batcave (they had to lower shields to power the Time Travel device) and Bruce is killed, but not before handing off the time jumper to Terry so that Terry can carry out the mission.

They miss, and that’s supposed to draw me in. What is?

A) Can Terry pull of them mission to murder someone?
B) Who is the someone Terry has to murder?
C) How did things get to where they are?

The problem is: I don’t care.

See, I’m tired DC.

Death 2Death 3

I’m tired of you murdering the Justice League (or whoever is handy) to make your point. We get it – you’re ‘realistic’ and ‘gritty’ and ‘down to earth.’ You have complex stories with complicated characters and consequence to action, unlike those other guys at Marvel.

The problem is, you’re not. This isn’t realistic. You already killed the Justice League when you did Flashpoint to launch New 52. You did it prior to that in Blackest Night (sort of). You did it in Final Crisis.

I’ve seen the characters I enjoy murdered so many times in the last ten years that I am numb to it.
Booster Gold

You don’t need to kill everyone to have a dramatic story or an impactful one. You proved that in your Animated Series. You can have something fun, but still complex and interesting without spattering arms and body pieces everywhere. I know that Grant Morrison and The Killing Joke are some of your most iconic names and faces, but that was because they were unique. And different. And a change of pace from what we had. Now, everything is a Morrison Murder and it’s lost that impact.

When someone dies in DC (or Marvel for that matter), we know its a selling point. It’s a point I don’t want to support. I want a cohesive, fun, universe with dynamic characters and good storytelling. I can get that from your back issue catalog for $.25 a pop. Or the library and its trade paperbacks. I’d rather support you and my Local Comic Book Store, but I’m not going to pay money just for those things. I can support the store by buying other merchandise – games, Marvel comics, Munchkin, etc.

You’re unnecessary.

Now, I know what you are thinking – there’s no way to make that kind of story work with what we have set up? Wanna bet? Tune in on Wednesday, May 7th and I’ll have an outline of a story that would sell through the roof using your Batman Beyond characters and the premise of Brother Eye assimilating everyone that doesn’t require murder but will still be fun and, I can bet, would sell a lot of copies.

Short Scene – Lost in Starlight

The blade lay shattered, the silvered slivers shone in the clear, starlit night as if they could somehow imitate the glow of the stars above. All around it lay darkened husks of armor, lifeless corpses that reflected no light back to the heavens. The light of their lives was gone, their spirits passed on to whatever world they were destined to.

A silent form passed among the dead, her pale hair reflected the starlight just as the blades pieces did. She moved listlessly, her eyes searching desperately among the bodies that lay scattered among the patches of tall grass. She spotted the glowing points of the shattered blade and somehow put them together in her mind. With a quiet scream she rushed over the well trodden ground to the body nearest the blade’s shattered remains.

She knelt into the cold moisture that had settled on the grass of the field, the chill of the water nothing compared the frost that was settling over her heart. Her body bent to place her ear next to his mouth. A soft warmth broke the cold night. He was still breathing. “Justin. . .can you hear me, love?”

The man’s eyes opened, the jagged gash on his brow being accented as his face contorted in focus, “Sierra? Is that you Sierra?”

She reached out and stroked his cheek, “Yes, I’m here. I’m here.” she repeated the phrase with each stroke.

“I can see you…” he coughed, a spray of blood stained the pristine white of her dress, “the stars are in your eyes, my love, just as when we first met.” the gash became a hidious contrast to his soft smile.

Sierra looked up and saw that the stars were indeed shining behind her, but how they could be reflected she did not know, “I’m going to take you home, love. . .”

“I’m not going home.” Justin replied, “The battle is not yet won and Death comes for me. Already only you and the starlight remain.”

A tear fell from her cheek as she knelt over the spent form. It rested on his cheek, his eyes staring up at her, pulling the starlight to hold her features as the wash of death came to him. Sierra held his hand as the cold of the dew took the warmth from his empty husk.

The fragments of his sword glittered spitefully at her, as if celebrating his death in battle.

In a fury she snatched up several of the bits and clenched them in her fist. She felt the still sharp steel cut into the tender flesh as she threw them, pouring her hatred and her loss into the action. The glittering piece flashed through the air to land with a dead thump in a pile of rushes where still it reflected the light.

Sierra tore a piece from her sleeve and wrapped her hand to stop the bleeding. Her tears joined the remaining fragments on the ground in their starry reflection as she stood. A numbness was coming to her now chilled hand- the sword fragments had been wet. She did not care, she welcomed the cold. It was something to feel.

And as the starlight began to clear she could see across the field. Women were standing in the field dressed in many different colors, all with the same expression of loss and pain that she knew she too was wearing. It did not matter who’s side they had fallen for, they stood in mourning. The battle had both divided and united in its grief.

Silently Sierra made her way to the rushes and retrieved the red stained sword piece. As she held it, her tears washed away the blood allowing the dawning sun to blind her with its brilliance. She wrapped it carefully in the bandage she had created, the cool of the metal a strange comfort to the wound in her hand and in her heart.

We Are More…

We Are More…

We are more than the simple sum of our parts

The slippery, slimey bits that bulge and pulse

The brittle, breakable bones that shift and shatter

The holes,heads, and hearts that beat in sync

With those above

And allow the more of us to be shared
examined, celebrated, cared

debated, processed, compared

and finally released to grow again

We are more than the simple sum of our parts.