Tag Archives: Fiction


The song “Black Sunshine” was apropos as Marissa floored it down the 10. She couldn’t let a freak storm impede the progress of her Shelby Cobra on its way to destiny. This was her date with death, if it came down to it. Traffic had to go. All this weaving was making for an even more miserable experience. Was she trying to stop a catastrophe for these people? Sometimes she wondered its worth, especially with all the persecution.

Being a manipulator of the forces around her was still a problem for those raised on too many fairy tales. Good and evil always begin in a neutral state. Those who use their mystical attributes take them down that road. Her father, Hogan, would often prance into her study with, “Oh-hoo-hoo, are you a good witch or a bad witch?” Such was his nature to be cheeky, and often used common society to irritate her to no end. Teenage angst, being what it was, would always seem to give him the satisfaction of a reaction to his facetiousness.

Those were easier times for the young sorceress, up in the Superstitions. It was a veritable paradise compared to the current state of affairs. Time was endless and there was always a centuries-old book to crack open. Scribbles could dance with the touch of her fingers even when they were much older than the country she called home. “The trade was eternal,” Hogan would say.

He left when she was 20. It may have been just a matter of independence, a going of one’s own way. That was understandable to a certain extent, but to never get back in contact? She couldn’t think of anything she did to turn him away. A second pair of hands would be well received right about now. There were countless, terribly dangerous users on the isolation planes that could peel the crust off this planet as if it were an orange and with little effort.

Signs were everywhere, but usually explained away with science and reason. Two new moons, sinkholes everywhere, the Flight of the Phoenix, and this unending thunderstorm meant something more sinister than mere traditional explanations. A male member of the tribe was resurrecting himself from suspension. This was a serious Council infraction and whoever it was needed to be put down like a rabid dog. She read no one was willing to return to their assigned dimension.

Turning off on a county road, she skidded left of center and back in time to miss a rig driver laying on his horn for all it was worth. Slick as the road was, it wasn’t nearly as perilous as the destination. A steadiness came over her as she pushed the needle past 80 mph. Everyone she knew, including herself, would be shot to Hell without doing all in her power to get there.

The reception square lay in a remote part of Arizona. Inconspicuousness favored sparsely populated areas. Convicted members would have to rest and regain their strength from such a brazen move. More than likely they would hole up in a cave or derelict house for a few days with their thoughts and motives.

Surrounded by sagebrush and sand, the platform disguised itself as slate rock partially buried in the Earth. Saguaro and yucca obscured it further from the road, but the inter-dimensional charge gave it a light white halo for the trained eye. Marissa was in the right spot; she’d soon find out who she risked life and limb to stop.

The Council of the Dogs was completely unaware of the happenings in Arizona. A New York committee spent that time arguing over the regulations of their charter, which have been known to take years on more than one occasion. She was the point of contact for the desert southwest, which meant little to nothing in the eyes of bigger fish. After three ignored missives, she decided to enforce the will of the Council herself.

 A tall cactus made for the best impromptu cover she could afford. Holding on to the relief of arriving early, rain beat down soaking her to the bone. Through stringy pink hair she surveyed the landing site intently, even though she wanted to fly far away from it. It was too late to have a change of heart.

The glow ceased and the rain gave way as a peal of thunder ripped a hole in the desert before her. A white eye with large black pupil shimmered and curls of darkness gracefully slid out into this world as the passenger came close to the exit. Marissa thought of the old 1950s horror films with their excessive use of dry ice and water. Someone’s science fair project won first place.

A sinister sight emerged from the portal and fell to the ground. Such was the way of  forbidden rituals. Even the most powerful of magicians would be weakened by it. Some fare better than others, but there was always a negative impact on the user. This was her best chance to gain the upper hand. Shouts as good as any law enforcement came forth as she charged the spent figure on the ground.

“In the name of Alexia Oroyo and the Council, I am here to enforce the rules set forth in the tribal charter. Your sentence was to be served as promised, and reintroduction is a clear violation of said promise. No exile is to return from their suspension unless granted explicit permission by the Council itself. Under these conditions, I must either escort you back to your imprisonment or destroy you. That choice will rest with your actions.” It sounded authoritative enough, even if she had no experience with either.

“Are you a good witch?” Inquired the fatigued warlock, “or a bad witch?” He couldn’t quite raise himself up off the floor, but was trying regardless.

Marissa knew that voice. So long had it been, the sound of her father moved her to tears. This was the last person she’d expect to meet at a charter breach rendezvous. Why was he in limbo to start? It certainly would explain his disappearance, but the new question was a little harder to answer.

“Dad! Why are you here? Why were you there?! What’s going on? Tell me! I don’t want to kill you, but that’s not saying I won’t.” Patience wasn’t the strongest of her virtues.

Swallowing hard and gaining moisture back in his mouth, Hogan tried to explain. He wanted to lay out the whole story, but could only manage “needed to see you.” With this he took in slow deep breaths and looked at her for a reaction.

No amount of training could prepare a member for this situation. Sifting through her thoughts she lifted her father and supported him on the way to the car. Many people make poor choices; she was willing to gamble this time. The Council certainly wouldn’t approve.

© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Is It Better to Love and Lose?

Lou jerked the pull chain and the neon sign for La Chaudron de Sorcière flickered to life. They were already starting to draw an evening crowd, myself included. Being a back-alley bar in New Orleans wasn’t the most accessible location in the world but convenient for other reasons. The trip was unavoidable. We all found our way here no matter how far off it seemed. In little time I recall grabbing the next ticket leaving Chicago and set upon a wild goose to find her. My family hasn’t heard from me since.

Justine sat in her favorite chair. She was as beautiful as I last saw her, always dressed to the nines. Tonight she sported a silk top hat with pheasant plumage and peek-a-boo veil. The slit running up her black pencil skirt meant business. Sidesaddle on the stool, her coattails tapped against the brass foot rest as she giggled and flirted with the crowd around her. Everyone wanted her; no one had a choice.

She was quite the thief, a dealer in hearts of the human variety. They gave her life. Travelling abroad, the world was her garden. She’d harvest the most intense blossoms for her bouquet. In its place, she’d plant a stone. Such an exchange would drive the person mad, and they’d eventually find themselves a slave to her.

This slave couldn’t stand it anymore. The whole experience was walking a fine line between the living and the dead. There needed to be some way out. I had to break free of this curse. So, I decided to meet her head on. As I walked up to her, she smiled with the promises of sweet nothings.

“I can’t go on like this. I feel nothing. I am nothing. I can’t even cry myself to sleep. Please, give me back my heart. It belongs elsewhere.” My pent up thoughts slid out on the floor with as much grace as the average wino.

Taken aback by the unusual statement, Justine leaned upon the railing. She spent a moment studying my face and frowned.

“Oh, I’m sorry, mon cher, but I had that a long time ago.” By now she was touching my cheeks with the tips of her fingers. If I weren’t so anhedonic to it all, it’d be a welcomed gesture.

“That means there’s no way back. I’ll be stuck here forever.”

Pausing a moment, Justine pulled her lapel flower close to her nose for a whiff. It reminded me of the arrogant grace that lured me into this. As she set it upon her ruffled blouse, she smiled.


“Louis,” she purred with predatory satisfaction, “another bloody mary, s’il te plaît.” His bulkiness turned with mechanical compliance as he prepared the drink for madame. In his former state, he was an ill-tempered brute of man. No police docket would be complete without a bar brawl involving him. It wasn’t until Justine pulled his heart strings that he became as docile as a lamb.

There wasn’t much left for me to say. I certainly couldn’t take back what was stolen. It was gone. There was no hope for any of us. I turned to meditate on the conversation and looked up at Lou. We stared at each other for some time, and a common link formed between us. We both knew what we wanted. The marionettes wanted to detach themselves no matter what the cost.

With his back to the madam, Lou pulled out a hidden flask from the bar. Justine was too busy being entertained by her entourage to notice. With a flick of the wrist, a bottle of arsenic was added to the bloody mary. There was no living without her. We’d all be dead by morning.

© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Bless Me, If You Can

Violent rain laid sheets of water on the already weather-beaten facade of St. Francis de Sales. Slick, daggered fingers caressed the building with a day long temptation of eternal ruin. Peering out his office window, Father Molony stared at the smoky tufts creeping off to the east. “Heaven is crying today, Sister Catherine, and it doesn’t look like its showing signs of stopping.”

“It’ll be done when it’s good and ready,” replied the nun as she went about her way to the chancel.

“It certainly will,” Molony muttered with a brief sweep of the grounds. The trees were not yet coming out of Winter hibernation and a figure made itself known in between the barren branches of the oaks. It came closer at a hurried pace, splashing along the sidewalks and roads with little regard to the rest of the world. The long, drawn out complaint of a car horn came through the glass as the person was nearly hit by a Cadillac.

The curtain was dropped, and the priest made his way out into the vestibule. Molony’s face pulled taught as he reached the front door of the church. Cold weather blew in strong gusts, as he and his frantic companion forced the door shut. Letting the man rest a moment, he studied the figure now sopping wet from his journey. He seemed older, but only through stress. His panting gave way to a garbled greeting and gratitude.

“I need to confess, father. I’m torn apart!” Smoothing out his chestnut-colored hair made a few extra puddles on the marble floor. Turning his head to the priest, the pain in his grey eyes could only have come from deep guilt.

“Of course, my son. Right this way.” With an outstretched arm, he lead the stranger to the booths for what he thought was the lesson in adultery or some sort of sexual perversion.

Dark as it was, the booths were warm from the antiquated radiator a few steps away. Stuffy almost, as it seemed Malony needed to open the door a crack to let cooler air in. A step outside in this weather may be beneficial to a man cooped up inside for too long. It might even throw off this sluggishness he had been feeling as of late.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. My greed has lead to the deaths of many. People have died for my comfort, and they will all be waiting in Hell when I die. They’ll be ready to exact their revenge upon my wretched spirit. Oh God, what have I done!”

“Yes, my son, what exactly have you done to believe this?” The priest was waiting for something melodramatic and a molehill rather than a mountain.

“I signed a contract with the Devil. In basic terms, he would teach me the secret of distilling the best whiskey on Earth and I would be rewarded with prosperity, fame, and the finest of women. Being that I was a divorced nobody without a dollar to my name, I didn’t care about my soul. I was in a state of desperation and apathy. By my logic, I was Hell-bound regardless of what I did. The chance to be wealthy for a hot minute was too much to handle.”

Molony tried very hard to weigh the truth in the man’s words. The whole thing sounded absurd, but he was in the business of believing all sorts of spiritual activity. His guest was not guileful; his words were as grave and sober as a judge. The energy from his visitor reeled him in like a fish.

“It was later revealed to me the whiskey was enchanted to drain the life out of all who drank it. This was a highly addictive concoction. It was slow enough to go unnoticed, but the person would eventually lose all will and become the property of Satan. His minions would be in charge of shipping the victims back to Hell for consumption as the Dark Lord sees fit.” The voice was now down to a whisper, as if he were trying to avoid sharing the secret with someone else occupying his seat. He shuffled closer to the window.

“The lackeys transport the souls back to Hell through water. Baths, sinks, pools… this rain! As we speak people are riding the downpour to the entrance of Hell! Their bodies are so weak in spirit, they dissolve and spend days seeping into the dirt. I’ve watched good customers melt like wax in front of me. It’s terrifying, and it’s all my fault, father! It’s all… all my fault.” Leaning up against the wall, he began to cry quietly. He’d committed a terrible evil among humanity and could only hope his repentance would do something to ease the pain.

The clergyman removed the hand from his mouth. “You have sinned quite deeply, my son. While Heaven forgives those for the sins of the past, no one can guarantee forgiveness in perpetuity. God may be merciful, but He isn’t blind. Your inability to prevent further mayhem will fall upon your shoulders, and you will have to face His decision on Judgment Day.” Without a sound, Father Molony found his pocket flask and rubbed it between his forefinger and thumb. He, too, had been drinking whiskey that day.

© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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By A Hair

“We were supposed to be past this!” Jonathan Quinn battered his statement across the servant’s face, wrought iron gate, and brick wall that outlined the Lieutenant Governor’s mansion. “How are we supposed to have a better life if we can’t even be a community?! Ya can’t do this simply because we’re Gingers!”

Unapologetic, the butler restated his comment which provoked the outburst. “I’m dreadfully sorry, my good man, but the council has once again denied a hearing. They further state city ordinances are in clear compliance with the regulations set forth in the National Contract. We simply cannot hold a gala in any venue within Harpshire for the Red Class.” A snuff followed the cold delivery of news, which made the oily, inky black hair of the butler’s head shift to the front. The man had finally gotten a whiff of a paver’s world. His only recourse was to slam the gate shut and retreat from the foulness of grunt work.

Roiled, Jonathan twisted his wiry head to the house. “Ya can’t stop us from dancin’. Ya hear me, Madam Guv’ner! Ya can’t arrest us all! We have the right to live just as much as any of ya towheads! Ya can keep us out of your city, but ya can’t keep us from our happiness!” Growing hoarse from shouting, Jon took a look back at his sons who came along after work for moral support. “Boys, let’s go home,” he sighed with disappointment heavy on his brow. The cap with which he held in his calloused hands was wrung in fierce anxiety. The freckles on the back of his paws twitched in excitement as he thought of the deeds he’d do if he were to ever set his hands upon a member of the Flaxen Class.

The Flaxen Class, it was even unconventionally named in the National Contract! It couldn’t have been “Yellow,” or “Gold,” or “Blonde.” No! It had to be “Flaxen” to set themselves a great distance apart from the rest of society. A wedge throughout the land was made when that wretched document was signed. None of this could be changed at the moment, though, and evening was fast approaching. The long walk to Ruster’s Point had to commence quickly.

High above the three-story mansion, a pale face observed the entire exchange. Lacy Alderwell’s keen hazel eyes scrutinized the commotion below for lip reading. Judging from the reaction of the Red Class’s councilman, he had been denied event permits for the third time. He was a Ginger, and there was no guile needed in applying “influence” upon their caste. They had to do what they were told, much like the Black Class, yet they were on the manufacturing side of the economic equation.

As she watched the sullen procession head away from the building, she caught the likeness of a young man staring back at her. Lanky, yet fresh and spirited, Connor Quinn’s face locked upon the figure Lacy made in the window. Bright blue button eyes could still be seen through the veil of dusk setting upon Harpshire, while his fiery bangs danced upon his head with fight.

Lacy shrank from the leaded glass startled. What raw emotion the boy had! She could feel his anger, though yards away, and was rendered speechless from the encounter. She had never considered herself a “root lover,” but she could not deny the presence of some inexplicable attraction held in that moment. She looked again, but he had started off with the rest by that time.

In a moment of spontaneity, Lacy decided to seek her parents. Attempts to appeal for a lower social class were absurd for many at the top, but she was to be groomed for her mother’s position when the time came. This could simply be a lesson on refining her skills of parlay. As so often it happens, the Lieutenant Governor wasn’t at home, but she easily came by her father. The city judge was a caricature of comfortable living. An ample wallet and ample chin left for a sense of self-satisfaction.

A little too lacking in political tact, she approach the topic head on. “Dad, why won’t anyone let the Gingers hold a social event in the city? They’re human are they not? We have them all the time, and no one thinks a thing of it. This does not make sense.”

“Why, it’s simple my dear,” began the Judge who obviously had the decision set in stone. “If we were to allow them permission to host a ‘social event’ in Harpshire, they’d burn the place down. They’re like children, you see. We’d have to supervise them, and our jail cells would be filled by morning. It’s just common sense.”

“Where would you be without gatherings like this, father? As I seem to recall you met mother at one. You both seem happy together. Is it correct to deny others that same right? To be happy?” Lacy laid her conviction on a little too strong, which instantly sent the judge in a rage.

“Yes! A thousand times, yes! I will not have a group of mongrels tear up my city on the mere chance they could meet and make more! I do not care about their happiness! They will not make us all miserable because of it!” With that the portly gentleman stood up from his chair and headed toward the dining room. After a pause, he softened and turned to Lacy.

“Let them have their ball in their Ginger-bred houses!” The jape gave way to fits of laughter. So violent were his giggles and jerks from his new-found cleverness, he clutched the railing tightly as he went downstairs for he feared tumbling down a flight in carelessness.

Walking about snowdrifts in the dead of Winter seemed a lesser task compared the days spent thinking about Connor. Often Lucy would sit in her bedroom staring out at the trees, and wondering why she felt this way. Many meals were passed up for the chance to be alone. It wasn’t until the maid, Angelina, came to her door to determine if young Lucy needed the care of a physician.

“Lucy! I have breakfast for you. You haven’t eaten in too long. What’s the matter with you girl? Are you sick?” A clink of the service tray added to the suggestion that she eat something.

“No.” The long drawn out denial brought Angelina closer to the bed.

“You’re still hung up over the Gingers are you? Why in the world would you do such a thing like that? They’re holding a makeshift gathering in a barn near Ruster’s Point. They’ll be fine. Besides, you haven’t any reason to pay attention to those hoodlums! Why…”

“STOP! STOP IT I SAY! DAMN YOU AND YOUR THOUGHTS!” Lacy was prone to passionate talk, but this was out of character even for her. “You don’t know anything about them, do you? You say those things because you’re not one of them! What if you’re wrong? What if they are better people than you even? Why they could be the most beautiful people anywhere and you won’t know it!”

Angelina took a step back at this reproach. She often considered herself a motherly figure, as Madame Governor was often elsewhere. The scalding tongue took her back to a place she had not been in a long time. Intuitive and sharp, her eyes narrowed at the set upon Lacy.

“You’re in love. Aren’t you, Miss Lacy? You’re in love with a Ginger boy! Oh me, it’s true! This is dreadful news! I’d never thought I’d see the day. A daughter of the Governor a root-lover!” Her legs almost gave out on her and she took a chair close to the service tray. Frantic, Lacy rushed to her side and knelt at her feet. Burying her head and hands into the old maid, she began to sob.

“Oh, Angelina,” she choked, “I can’t stop thinking about him. He’s haunting me and my thoughts! Why can’t I get him out of my head, Angela?! I must see him! I must find out what it was I saw in him that afternoon.”

A world-wizened woman Angelina was. Age painted streaks of grey in her raven hair resembling that of a river, the river that time carved into her existence. The story whimpered though Lacy’s tears was highly obscene, yet rang as true as a clock chime. There once was a time in her life where she was that folded mess before her. It may have not been cross-caste like this, but very similar nonetheless. She once cared deeply for a man long ago. He captivated the very life, and she could not think of anything else. As history would have it, it was never meant to be. The love of her life was inevitably beaten to death by his Flaxen master because the eggs were cold, one crisp Autumn morning. She would do anything to spend one more moment with that man. Anything. Lacy would obviously do the same.

“My child,” Angelina spoke after clearing her throat, “if I do a favor for you, you must promise me never to tell you parents. I could very well lose my life over it.”

“Yes! Oh, yes, Angela. You’ve known me to be an honest girl. I’d never betray you. I swear.” Her eyes looked up to the maid with red-rimmed hope.

“We’re going to make you a Ginger for the ball. There are some dying chemicals in the utility wing of the house, and an old friend of mine could see to it you have the work clothes from their laundromat. You need to understand what you’re about to commit. This is treachery, my dear. Many people could get hurt over this, if you were found out.” The seriousness of her plan stared at Lacy like a black cat.

“I… I’ll do it. I want to see him. I need to see him. I need to know if I’m right about this. I can’t go through life without knowing.”

…and so they set to work. A call was sent out to the supervisor at the Ruster’s Point community laundromat, who agreed to “misplace” an order of clothing. It would be stowed in the cook of mansion’s purchases for the week. The red dye from the fabric center took to Lacy’s hair beautifully. Being that most of the community would be at the council meeting that night, she was left with a little breathing room being a Ginger in the mansion of a Lieutenant Governor. Quietly she moved just after dark. Ruster’s Point was set apart from Harpshire by a wooded area. She advanced quickly on the barn, as the event could be heard for miles. Emerging from the thicket she quickly melted into the crowd. She had never seen so many red-headed people in one place! The workers we up to all sorts of activities: dancing, drinking, storytelling, playing music, gambling. and maybe even more private affairs upstairs in the hay loft. Such means didn’t afford much, but they certainly bought euphoria that night. Madame Governor could not crush the will of the Red Class!

Poking in and out of stalls, Lacy had a terrible feeling she was being watched. Observed. Studied as one would document a science experiment. She had to push past her paranoia and seek the boy she saw days ago. She would never forget his face, and there was no face like that here! She felt her chest tighten as she considered her stunt may have been all for nothing. As she sat, she watched the Gingers interact with each other. There was laughter. A sea of sound came from all corners of the place. They were happy. These people didn’t remotely resemble the beasts painted by the Flax class. Not in the slightest. She may have been so bold as to say this was a better ball than the black-tie gatherings held by her parents.

It wasn’t until she took notice of a dice game that she spied the bright blue eyes of Connor Quinn. Without another second she was upon him laying a hand on the shoulder of the boy who was her phantom-made-flesh. Caught off guard, he shot straight up. After catching his breath Lacy smiled slightly at him. “Pardon me, miss!” He wasn’t expecting to see much of the womenfolk that night.

“I caught you from across the way. Would you care to dance with me… ?” Lacy tilted her head and moved her ear forward in a backwards attempt at an introduction.

“Uh, Connor. Connor Quinn. Uh, yes! Yes, miss…” Reciprocity has its charm.


“Well, lead the way Miss Lacy. Lads, I’m out for now.” Connor wasn’t completely convinced this was even happening.

The band prepared for their next song. Slowly and carefully, the fiddler set his jaw on his instrument and was off in a flash. The tempo hit fast and hard with no sign of slowing down. Couples all about the dance floor bounced and swung in tempo of the music, but no one was keeping score on form. That was for a Flaxen event.

The energetic movements of the newly met team swirled with the spirit of youth. They were connected at last and in unison. The rush of twirling finally wore off and Connor spoke first.

“I’ve never seen you before. Where are you from?” It was a legitimate question. Everyone knew everyone else in Ruster’s Point.

“I’m from out-of-town. I’m visiting the area in hopes for find what I’m looking for.” She said with her mouth pushed into a huge smile.

“What’s that? What are you looking for?” Connor wasn’t good with code. He never had to used double-speak before.

“A feeling.” She wasn’t going to tip her hand so soon.

Puzzled, Connor, began to search her eyes for clues. His father always said that the eyes were the window to the soul, but he never told the boy what he’d find. In doing so, Connor realized he had limited function over his body. This state of semi-paralysis frightened him. He was not able to command himself in the way he always could. It was new; it was terrifying. It was only then was he introduced to Lacy’s influence. It wasn’t mistake. Her intuition had found something on the street that evening a few days ago. She took him by his collar and kissed him. There was no penalty of law that would dissuade her from recreating that moment again.

As if on cue, the local constabulary hollered at the mouth of the barn. “Hold up! HOLD UP! We have reason to believe there is an imposter among us.” The news sent waves of chatter throughout the building. “Calm down. Calm down folks. Harpshire’s sheriff has told me that we wouldn’t have any trouble if we brought back the suspect ourselves. She’s 5′ 5″ and has dyed her hair to look like us.” The band put up a horse laugh with the retort, “why the Hell would she do that? Is she paying penance for murder?” The house shook at the jest, which wasn’t taken very kindly to the police captain. “Dammit, Bill,” he barked, “this is a Flaxen Class refugee. If they don’t have her back, they will tear every last board off our town looking for her!” The joke was over, and the Gingers could only murmur as to the danger of the situation.

Panic took over Lacy as she started to take flight only to realize her grip on Connor was so strong it made her come to a dead stop.

“What are you doing?” He was still trying to comprehend the situation as she was scurrying away.

“We have to go. Now!” Lacy nearly ripped his arm out of his socket as she dug the heels of her work boots into the mud.

The police captain caught on to the commotion in the back. That was the girl. He knew it. No one else would dare think they were Flaxen class, and feel right about it. “That’s her! Over there!” He raised his baton and pointed squarely at the two making for the back gate. The barn became a free-for-all as the screams and shout bounced from person to person. The whole town needed to purge itself of the foreigner.

Pumping her left arm, Lacy held tightly to Connor’s hand. “Where are you taking me? They’re after you. Not me. You are who they’re looking for, aren’t you?” He stopped at attention, breaking the link between them.

Cupping her knees, Lacy finally came to grips with the situation. “Yes,” she said panting, “after I saw you in the street with your father looking for an event permit. I needed to meet you. I couldn’t explain much of it at the time, but I knew I needed to see you. There was something there that I needed to find out for myself. I felt a connection, and I couldn’t live my whole life without knowing if I was right.”

“Well?” Connor started to get upset at the stunt, “you risked the lives of my family and townsfolk to do it. Were you right or was this all for nothing? How did your little experiment turn out?” Locking up his body, he clenched his jaw. What kind of game was this? What a reckless stunt to pull under the circumstances. This was insane!

A hurtful pang wrapped around Lacy’s stomach which made her grit her teeth. “What?” she uttered under her breath. “You tell me, Connor. Tell me you didn’t find anything back there that you couldn’t explain. You tell me you could let me go so easily. Did you find someone in me that allowed you to come this far? Tell me!” Her fists balled up in frustration at the interrogation. With little provocation she launched her fist into his shoulder and pushed him back a foot.

With quiet contemplation Connor stared once again at her face. He couldn’t find any words to articulate what transpired that evening. His breath slowed and he began to speak, but the only word that came out was “yes” softly and quietly. Brevity is the soul of wit, but the tongue of love. Their tête-à-tête soon broke with the shouts of the pursuers.

Connor looked in the distance, then back to Lacy. He only had one more word to give: “go”. She could not stay any longer. Their paths had to diverge again. All she could do was nod when she made a skip backward and took off for the forest. A new phantom was born, and Connor watched as the slight figure disappear among the branches and twigs. This would be unbelievable, if it had not happened to him. He sat down to relive the minutes that recently passed him as quickly as they came. Why did it have to happen like this? Many a man would kill to meet their match. Love isn’t always kind. Love isn’t always convenient either.

Not long after, Jonathan and the police caught up to Connor. He was alone. Still as the night air with no sign of the Flaxen charlatan.

“Where’s the girl, boy? She’s in a heap of trouble.” The anger in his voice came from a place of deep-seated fear.

“I broke loose and she kept running.”

“What did she want with you?” The question had to come up sooner or later.

The moments that passed between Connor and his father sharpened the anxiety of the people behind them. “I don’t know, father.”

“Where did she go?”

Connor pointed his thumb towards a corn field  off to his left and simply said, “that way.”

The posse rallied around councilman Quinn and tore off in that direction. Maybe they knew he was lying? It didn’t matter at that point. All he could think about was giving Lacy a few more minutes on the run, and more importantly, in his head.

Lacy crumpled her porcelain body upon a park bench well outside of Ruster’s Point. It wouldn’t take long before word reached the Lieutenant Governor’s mansion, which would lead to nothing fortunate. “Home” as she knew it stretch out around her. She then thought of Connor and his face looking at her while they were together. That was supposed to be the solution to her problems, but she hurt more now than ever. How could being right hurt so much? After a moment of nursing a sore mental state, a fire flickered inside her. A red fire, pushing her off her perch. It wasn’t going to die here. No, not after that. She needed to see him again!

© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Today will not be about me, as much as WordPress is my way of quickly, comfortably, and freely documenting my life. No, today will be about someone else. This post goes out to a writer trying to find herself in her craft from what I sense. There is a book on my freecycled desk of which I’m currently reading:


Copyright 2010 – 2014 Andra L Watkins

To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis

She also has her work published in Echoes in DarknessAs of right now, Andra is taking a 444-mile walk on walking the Natchez Trace and discussing her journey on her own blog. I invite those who are unfamiliar with her to visit her page here.  It includes a daily question and answer section along with photos from her trip. She is a fantastic person, and I wish her the best in her career.

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Over the Moon

Life on the up and up, a condition thought impossible for humanity, was finally sinking in on the once-improbable station circling Chang’e. So named to commemorate the multi-national effort to create a viable location outside of the planet, it was a goodwill gesture by the mostly European congress. Sigma Platform, christened Hecate’s Hold before its launch, spun concentric circles around the Earth’s largest satellite in an attempt to push the boundaries of life further away from the home planet.

Inhabitants of Earth would get a sporadic glimpse of the diamonine solitaire upon a lunar setting. Dazzling riches only the cosmos could afford. While wrapped in carbon fiber, there was truth in the native’s description. It’s solar power was continuously trapped by large industrial-grade jewels called “homunculi.” These massive gems would mimic geothermal rhythms and scattered a brilliant, aesthetic light around the base. Such synergy allowed for the viability of Sigma Platform. 100ha is all the space it would take up, and even boasted a fair-sized metropolis complete with an independent governing body. New laws for a new land. The residents were over the moon!

Albeit her farmland borrowed from the home world, much effort was put into sustainability and discovery. There was the idea of finding new ways to feed people, which in turn could be imported back to the world. Such discoveries were yet to be had, but it was tangible progress. The tongues of the cynical were silenced for now.

For what ever reason, either sensor misbehavior or human error, an unexpected tremor gripped the ship and its contents. From behind the moon came such a magnificent specimen of iron, magnesium and silicon that terrified patrons dove under their tables at several metropolitan restaurants or into reinforced corridors along the Greenway. Such mass was to be feared as it blotted out the sun for a hot minute.

Fortune was with the crew that day as evasive magnetic repelling pushed the imperiled hold underneath and away from the space stone, missing the starboard sections by a few kilometers. Hecate had beaten the joker in the deck, the sling bullet to shatter the fragile peace laid over the fledgling community. The base was not meant to be a sepulchre of dreams that day. They were over the moon!

Every action has a reaction and celebration ceased, for the people knew soon what events they had set in motion. The desperate measures caused not only the station to change position, but also the path of the asteroid. Throngs gathered upon observation decks to the observe the hulking beast galloping home. Helpless masks cried for absolution of a world in judgment.

Communiqués were immediately sent to Houston, London, Cairo, and Beijing in futile hopes that the Earth could prevent a head on collision with utter destruction. Any attempts to delay the inevitable were encouraged, until Chang’e began to shield the eyes of an infant’s future. Interstellar messaging came to a halt as the Hecate found difficultly in piercing the planetoid with its instruments. The ill silence brought forth nausea to the crew, which resigned many to the bathroom. Those that could keep it together joined the masses on bay view sections.

The last sliver of blue, along with the stone sent to destroy it, was covered by milky moon rock. Lunauts eased themselves into a depression reserved for the lonely and desperate. Time would tell if they had wasted worry on this event, and the agony was ever-lasting. Much to their displeasure, they were blinded with a flash of light as the Earth was struck with tremendous force. Once sight was restored they watched what little they could on the destruction of their home planet. All they could see was corona, for they were over the moon.

© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Coming up with topics for journal entries are a challenge I’d like to think I’ve won more often than not. On occasion, I look for help. Seeking help from other sources isn’t a shameful practice; only when people are being used does it become a problem.

My decision today was to visit a conversation starter website to simply provide a question for me to answer.  This is like an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares where he gave the cooks a handful of ingredients and asked them to make a dish. Without further ado, the question is:

“What is your favorite season?”

What is my favorite season? Do I have a favorite season? Are the seasons all that important to me? It’s sophomoric, but it’s still thinking. Thought is always appreciated over spectating. A non-thinking person is merely a vessel for rhetoric.

It just so happens I do have a favorite season. My thoughts on the matter were made known on April 6th of last year with “Winter of the Mind.” I think it’s one of my better pieces. The work is more descriptive of the mental anguish I feel while wading through the snow-bound months.

Fun fact: that flash was written in a Waffle House at 2:30 in the morning while intoxicated people gossiped about me from ten feet off. Drunk bumpkins are quaint. It reminds me of Bill Hicks screaming “well, looks like we got ahselves a readah!”

Spring is coming… someday, and I’ll be ready for it. Even the buds littering the property are given a free pass for the warmth of the wind and color of grass. No amount of lawn mowing will bring me down. I may have to do things I wouldn’t normally do, like sharpen a mower blade, but it’s nothing compared to irritation of putting in storm windows.

The upcoming season is, by far, the most pleasing of palettes: the rich greens, blues, yellows, and reds. It’s all full and succulent. Life just oozes from the tips of leaves and brings forth a supple vivacity I relish in nature. Seasonal areas around here also open up, and people come back from their Winter retreats. Life begins again in Ohio. Everything moves once more.

Everyone is different, and I understand this is a matter of personal taste. That’s to be understood. We can’t all like the same thing, and I wouldn’t want it either. To say it makes for a boring existence is trite, but I’d love for people to have their own preferences. For those Winter fanatics, I hope they enjoy the rest of it. It’s certainly driving me up a wall! 

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Another Law, Moore or Less

“Barkeep, another whiskey,” coarsely ran over a coated tongue. The scent of bar and barf could not compete with the stench of alcohol on the cyborg’s being. He was the first of his kind, the best at one time. As with all technology, he was obsolete. It wasn’t necessarily his hardware, but his software. Any further operations would endanger vital life support systems which would make it a futile effort. He was in a state of decline.

Coughing lubricant, he swallowed hard then slid booze down after it. Albeit approaching the recycling center, it had been a long time coming… 164 years. Had it been that long? 143 years ago he competed to be the first “technologically enhanced” male. All of his competition was now cold and spread on the ground. Some of them two or three lifetimes over. The world had shed his generation like a dirty shirt. He was a pill of lint on the lapel of a different humanity. As with all governments, they left him when he was no longer of any use to them. Bigger and better things caught their attention.

His female counterpart was shipped to China for counterintelligence missions. Very few people would have the recollection, or security clearance, to tell him if 37H3L was still alive or dispensing beverages in a Beijing office complex. What would he say after all these years, if he did see her again? Would it be like old times, training underneath the Pentagon? Would it simply be awkward and depressing? That’s a tough call.

All he had were his memories. The data storage center in his brain flicked on the old footage of her doing calisthenics, cyphering, weapons training, hand-to-hand exercises among other activities. She was something else. He knew she had ability, or she would have never won the competition but she was beautiful. He’d sit and watch her work out. It was problematic to do his sets at the same time. A dropped weight, a barbell slip, an unfortunate fall off the treadmill could have sent him home 4F. She was distracting, but that was his problem. He could handle it though.

All of his inner world was rattled by the outer with, “move over, you sorry piece of scrap.” A stiff left arm pushed him off his stool and onto the melted mess on the floor. Surprised, he took a moment to collect himself and rose from the bottom. Four others decided to have a late night drink as well. They weren’t too interested in making friends, either.

“Hey! Stop harassing the other patrons, asshole. Your body still doesn’t react well to buckshot.” The bartender growled at the rowdy cluster of freshly-minted cyborgs, or “mints” for short. “There’s the man responsible for you being here today. That there is 54MU3L, the first of your kind. If you can’t show him one ounce of respect, then you can get the Hell out of my bar!”

A woman spoke up, “is that so? Well, stick around grandpa. We may need someone to throw our bail!” A chorus of laugher punctuated the moment and painted their attitudes the size of murals. The Earth wasn’t for him anymore. He was just along for the ride.

The bartender leaned over to the old man. “Hey, Sam, do you want me to throw these kids out? I could call the department and have them in a detention cell rather quickly.” The eyebrow arched over his face meant he wanted an excuse to avoid property damage.

“No, Jack, I’m just on my way out. I was them once. Age makes you understand the things you try to dismiss. They’ll figure this out sooner or later.” With that the man propped himself up against the door jam and hobbled out into the night.

Winter proved much more than arduous for travel than most thought. Hoverunners ground to a halt and stuck in the thick frozen film provided by Earth’s landscape. In minutes, the owners would amble out of their now flash-frozen vehicles to call a repair service. Sam’s visibility was next to nothing when he came upon a seized up four-way stop. The last thing he saw was the figure of a young girl, standing in the snow and waiting for a ride. Nature was one to trump his machinery as he overcorrected the craft and ramped off the side of the hazard. The runner wrapped itself around a traffic signal and shoved the steering column into his chest. With the variety of fluids pooling in the Winter’s night, it was his curtain call or so he thought.

Little did he realize the technology within him would never leave without him. His appearance, memories, personality, and preferences… his whole identity, was preserved in the grey matter agar stored away in a secret location inside his brain. It was the one thing they never told him about. They knew it would make him an incinerator risk. It was like grief of no other to find himself conscious, trapped on a government hard drive in Washington. The death he so desired would never come to pass.

© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Of Schneemenschen and Solís

Want. A desire older than time identified and humanity gentrified. Folly be it to humans that it is theirs alone to possess. The quality of want is ubiquitous in every last morsel of the universe. Quite a delicacy, and delicate it is, as it presents a tug of war in a congress of existence with frayed rope. All pull to their side of want, gain as much as possible and gamble against possibility of breakage. Anger. Destruction.

As it so happens, the frigid community of Schneemenschen was in no short supply of want, as their huts lay deep in snow’s company. Their trees crackled to the force of Boreas bloviating on the virtues of Winter. Their furnaces became hungrier with every degree closer to zero. Their hours drug out mercilessly as the landscape became unfit for life. Their igloos were their world, and within such casing does a beast wait for a time of mildness and the taste of freedom.

In another corner of the world lay the República del Sol, sweltering under Summer’s heat. Exhausted, with little relief, the Solís huffed in thick atmosphere. Their eyes stung with sweat as the orbs spun incessantly hither and thither in their watery sockets. Fruitless endeavors would make up most of the days, while lethargy occupied most nights. No spot seemed sweeter than that which boasts a shade-free existence.

Trying to please their people the Kühlenkönigin and Presidente Calor sent scouts to all ends of the Earth looking for the prime place of relocation. Within the year, their parties returned most excited and spoke of land green with life and water neither steamy nor frozen. Balmy were the days and gentle the nights as it was beyond even the reach of the gods. Truly a paradise fit for either tribe.

Enthusiasm was felt in both communities that night as celebrations of new land filled their hearts with joy. It was time for a change, and for the better! As soon as they could, Solís and Schneemenchen alike packed their belongings and headed in the direction of prosperity. It wasn’t long before they found the very place of which their tribesmen spoke. Trees with leaves! Grass that’s green! Rivers that flow and pleasing to the palate. No book or poet could ever capture the true happiness contained within the hearts of these desperate people.

Often it said, and often it correct, that things too good to be true are. Soon both people found themselves in the company of one another. Neither tribe wanted a neighbor, and even less a polar opposite. These were their trees, their streams, and their grass. This was their land! How dare someone else try to take it away so quickly. If we can’t have it, then no one can!

With that, a war raged to destroy paradise. The Schneemenchen brought their Wintery wrath, plucked tree leaves, froze rivers, and blanketed grass. The Solís browned the Earth with Summer’s ire, and brought drought to nature’s creation. The only problem was in the personality of the embattled nations. So different, yet so alike, neither one could convince the other to leave for good. Instead, periods of victory were followed by periods of defeat and such outcomes forged an endless loop of hot and cold for all to observe.   

Humans have lived with “seasons” for so long, they do not realize what they witness. No scholar, historian, or sage can ever recall the lore behind the phenomenon and come up with other reasons meteorological to soothe the curiosity of Man. This does not stop our two tribes from fighting and the Schneemenchen and República del Sol will engage in a fierce struggle leaving such no-man’s-land scorched, parched, and blistered, or iced, frozen, and frostbitten in a cycle of want. Unfortunately to all matter involved, this want will never be satisfied. The lust for more is a candle never consumed, and such a dance is two steps forward with two steps back.

© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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The Etherway

“Where shall you head this time?” The supervisor smiled genuinely at the recycling shade mounting the sweep leading to the Etherway, a stream of energy which swaddled the planet like transparent gauze. “Do I have any options?” The dust condensed in small areas to create speech. Its formless presence emitted a soft glow in an array of misty colors on the platform. The administrator opened his photfolio and examined its contents closely. A light sigh brought forth, “OK, there’s Calgary, Mexico City, Brussels, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Cairo, Chengdhu, Bucharest, and St. Petersburg.”

The satin-like fog sat in suspended animation, almost an attempt to convey consideration. Flowing free, its cosmic dust mustered “Brussels, please” before it continued its way to the induction platform. “Very good. The Brussels stream will arrive in forty-five seconds. Remember, time is the essence of the Etherway. Introduce yourself into the flow precisely when I tell you.”

“I understand, Administrator General.” A dip over the cloud emulated a bow, and the specter readied itself for another trip to Earth. “Excellent. Starting induction in forty, thirty-nine, thirty-eight…” thus began the rhythmic sequence announced by management.

As time does, it began to lengthen the more attention it is paid. Self-conscious, it stops its fleet movement to reflect upon its trail. The shade began to do the same, recounting the path it had made along side the Etherway, the lives it had lived, the death it saw, the moments it witnessed, all a testament to its longevity. The majesty of this massive construct which fed life upon ash and clay filled its void with astonishment and muse.

“Attention! Three, two, one! Now!” The administrator grew overwhelmingly anxious at the looming mishap. Maybe the spirit became aware too late. Maybe the booming voice of the controller was a bit more frightening than intended, but for whatever reason it hesitated. A split second, that’s all it took. The massive current changed direction and made the Lebengeist crash-land in a Kyrgyzstani yurt. “Great,” thought the ghost, “I’ve got to get out of here, if it’s the last thing this kid does. This is going to get interesting.”

© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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