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The Beard of intrigueHis beard was fascinating.
It was a loom, woven with intricate detail and so long it would put any wizard to shame. Each pattern in the coarse mound of hair seemed to share a secret. Perhaps they were memories- I’d heard others collect memories in such ways- etchings on their bodies, collecting objects and even journal writing. Maybe this man was his own journal.
The rest of him seemed positively ordinary. He rested in his chair in a blue business suit- albeit a little outdated for fashion, but suited the character I had begun to form in my head for him. His sorrowful eyes narrowed on a frustrated brow of greying features, illuminating a sense of tiredness. Perhaps the beard in all its might was weighting down. His skin was as rough as sandpaper, blotches and scars etching his hands and face with no revelation to the puzzle of his beard.
I wanted to move closer, debating whether it was rude to ask. The very notion excited me as I built up theories as to why his beard had the
Shopping and Wizards.A thousand bags
shuffle down the high street between
clasped hands, scrunched with new purchase.
They’re buggy-dodging the determined mothers,
the rushed businessmen-- a pinball
machine shopping centre.
A green-robed man, tall with wand and hood
must be a wizard. He’s happily
procuring sushi and sparkling water
whilst his companion;
short with her piercings and jeans treats him
as if he wore the same.
Down the high street,
two track-suited parents
zoom past on their children’s scooters—
half-smoked fags between fingers yell
how fucking amazing this is.
spotted teen raps
his love for Jesus on a muffled
He raps for the Father,
He raps for the Son
and Holy Spirit.
He raps for peace, for hope, for you.
In a corner,
Brown eyes, hefty tears,
a snot-ridden face--
four years old.
A train runs through the mall toot-tooting
as grumpy shoppers move out of the way.
Napo 8- SusanWhy did you lock her out of heaven
and throw the key
into the lions land?
A beautiful girl enjoying
a new fantasy to live.
She'd stopped believing, but
faith stays in a heart longer
than a head.
"She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now,
and she'll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age"
Napo 7- Teen of the 90'sI wanted to be Posh Spice because my
hair was brown bobbed and she dated David
Beckham; I wanted to marry him. I
had no internet and recorded songs
on the radio to tape, daring to
pause and knock out the DJ’s droll. I sang
to S Club and thought I was the coolest
in my smiley faced top and my yingyang
friendship necklaces. You had to know the
Macarena not just for weddings but
school discos too and then every steps routine
to fit in. Slow dances with boys made me
wish again that they were David Beckham
and not greasy teens with bad curtains for
hair. They pressed themselves against you before
travelling to the next girl in leopard
print skirt. Viva forever was merely
a fantasy ; one I’d dream the whole of
the nineties, hoping my teenage self could
find her inner strength, her true girl power.
Napo 6- IreneShe left you a letter
outwitting at last the greatest.
A photograph, filched;
a King’s humiliation.
In your eyes she
holds the highest.
Napo 4- Warrior with painted faceThere’s a warrior with a painted face
and streaks of black across his chest; he stands
wild with pride. His merciless eyes ignited by the
echoes of fallen enemies. He slew
two hundred men and just scars mark their defence.
There’s a warrior with a painted face
who prays to gods mightier than he; he kneels
arms open to implore. He calls upon his army
to pray with him; equals once more. He watches
embers burn before retiring to his tent.
There’s a warrior with a painted face
and inside his heart rests a son and daughter
sleeping. There is a reason he is
Napo 3- Leaving the Train Station
Leaving the train station
alone I watch strangers head home.
The waves for yellow cabs and
stench of fresh-lit cigarettes, I let
the cold cloud white breath.
Even at midnight, a long-coated businessman
hurries past with laptop bag bulging and blackberry to ear. Behind me,
a clip-clack of heels and giggles-
their night hasn’t ended.
Across the road, three youths in hooded
tops kick a can whilst eating chips only stopping
as clip-clacks pass them and swoon
immaturity. Swear words exchange.
In the ice-wind rubbish travels as if taking
a commute, tapa-tapping the concrete.
Exhausted I can only wait with
white breath etching blue hands desperate to be
warmed. Eyes fight; tired and
Napo 2- Zombie ApocolypseTurn, turn, slow turn. Twist bones
broke but drag drag behind, pull
tug flesh ripped. Shuffle, groan desire
only for blood brains.
Undead, unliving, unknown.
To survive a zombie apocalypse don’t be
a hero. Do not fight marauders without
necessity. Attrition; gnawing for bare
minimal (lest you be gnawed upon!). To
survive ravenous army equip your
your wits and an axe.
Moan as much as they moan- both sides are hungry.
Everything is RedNo.
How could this have happened!?
We were laughing and drinking lemonade on the front porch.
I told a joke and she started laughing loudly, her golden mane swishing in the summer air. She clutched her sides and fell back into the blue and white beach chair. I stared laughing with her because she had one of those laughs that was contagious. I don't even remember what the joke was or why it was so funny. Then she was staring at me, tears of amusement coming out the corners of her blueberry eyes. Her lips parted into a wide smile, pearly white teeth beaming at me.
But then she turned her head to look behind her.
The laughter stopped.
My eyes shifted to where her gaze was, only to see red.
I could have sworn I was looking at hell itself.
And it was coming for us.
I turned to look back at her. She was staring at me wide eyed, her once blueberry eyes now red. The tears of amusement washed away by the tears of fear that started dripping down her cheeks, falling on t
Ama shelnev, Hemlekh shelnevYou were once a Queen.
It is a reminder that Corydon gives her often. A reminder that she did not begin as they did. Hers was a different beginning, a different birth, a different origin. She has always been set apart and he reminds her often that she is not from the same place as the rest of them.
The reminder comes most often when she lowers herself to dirty her hands for them, when she takes the blame for something she need not, and most especially when she bows the whim or pressure of one he deems to be beneath her. Mostly, the reminder comes when he is insulted on her behalf for how they treat her.
I was so stunned by who you were, that I think I gave away more of myself than I meant to....
The memory of his admission made her smile. Then again, so much of what he had said made her smile to remember it. He spoke of how he was taught that it is his responsibility to care for those who were his. He spoke of serfs and servants without the lowering of his voice that so m
The NewbornThe Newborn
Christy Waters was only 19 years old when she learned that she was pregnant. Moreover, she could not know certainly who gave her the cells. Her mother and father felt puzzled as well. Christy was a good girl and never considered being a whore. So nobody knew whose cells had mixed with her eggs.
When the nine months passed and she was due to deliver, more people than her and her parents wondered about the fetus. Furthermore, Christy had no physical signs of pregnancy as would manifest with normal cases. Her weight and shape remained normal. But she lost much blood and felt debilitated. The hospital suggested a diet to help her recover. However, the delivery cost her and the emerging fetus was very peculiar. It had only a few basic humanoid features. It had a face, neck and shoulders of a male child but from the shoulders down to the feet, the appearance was neither human nor other primate. The abdomen sported a mass of inky tentacles and the arms were long and sinewy.
Cry of the JackalsCry of the Jackals
Those who have traversed the Sahara along the Egyptian stretch and wandered through the Valley of Kings might have chanced to hear the occasional cries of jackals. They sometimes hang out near the doors of the tombs. When this writer was at the nearest resort, a traveler such as I mentioned arrived and told me and a few others that he had seen or heard a clutch of jackals at a particular tomb. Naturally, someone inquired,
"Which tomb was it? Akhenaten? Ramses?"
"I am not really sure," he replied, nervously. "Neither did I see a marking nor did my guide know."
An unmarked tomb. An unknown mummy. Something very strange was going on out there. However, I was still on holiday and had no intention to investigate. So the inquirer, Edmond Tulley, an amateur investigator who occasionally worked with Scotland Yard, felt it was incumbent to go. The journey was about two days by rover.
When Tulley arrived, he and his guide, a native Egyptian, camped and checked provisions. Cert
NEC 202: Black DogAidan sat alone in the necromancy building, only candlelight and a single tome to keep him company. The small handful of first years had already left, no doubt not needing to do any research in after course hours. He himself had rarely seen the other necromancy students, and wondered if they even bothered to attend. It wasn't really his business, of course, but it would have been nice to have an upperclass student to research with, as the library felt so hollow, devoid of happy feelings.
The book he'd fetched was called Sacrificed Beasts in Magic, a catalog of assorted creatures that had been used in accomplice with spells. When he'd been looking it up, he'd noticed that a copy of the book existed in the Magic Languages library as well, bringing about the thought that department used animals in sacrifice. His goal was more to find out what happened to them after they'd been sacrificed.
He flipped through the pages, and they turned with little noise. The book must hav
SnipedThe assassin stared down his scope at the politician he was about to eliminate. He wasn't sure who this man was or why the contractor wanted him killed. It didn't matter. Only the job mattered. And, of course, the payment.
Just for a moment he watched as the politician's lips moved, delivering what was no doubt a very stirring speech. Perhaps he'd have to catch a news clip of it later, or maybe some overzealous kid would have the whole thing posted on Youtube, grisly death included.
The assassin smiled at the thought. It might be a nice change to view one of his jobs from a closer angle for once. Yes, he would definitely try to find this on Youtube later, play it over a few dozen times and savor the thing.
But for now there was still the job to do. He pulled the trigger.
Nothing happened. Or almost nothing. Something was wrong.
The politician's head should've burst like a water balloon, or some reasonable facsimile. Instead nothing much had happened.
The politician had wince, put a han
Shudder: A Quivering of Dreams XVIIA strange dust permeates the Sanctum Santorium of the Hell Mouth. SHE and Dissonant Child discuss pictures of dead children from the 1920’s. Dull Couple star as the incorrigible romantic duet in a twisted true sitcom. Black Witch is nowhere in sight, Visible Boy is lost in his last whereabouts. A strange house in a more than strange town
The People Life is thought fleeting by those stupid enough to die. They see a bird devour a fish, a wolf rip apart a rabbit, and they sigh and swoon and beautify the passing of time. Alas, they think – if only I had more time, I would become a better person. I would improve the world. Looming death is an excuse for greed and ineptitude. Death is a thoughtless act of forgetfulness.
The People do not forget.
Their land is a patchwork of grandeur and squalor. Marble columns hold roofs of cardboard and tin. Grand ballrooms overgrown with vines have become hanging gardens of dust. They live on floating piles of paper and granite, alabaster and plastic. Crates tumble when wayward ships loose their bowels in fear, but nothing floats for long. Perhaps there are bones.
These creatures were banished to their floating sanctuary before time had thought to begin, because it’s dangerous to keep around People who have lived too long.
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