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MWC19 - March - March Forward

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++ ENTRY THREAD ++


DO NOT DISCUSS THE CONTEST IN THIS THREAD. ALL QUESTIONS, CONCERNS AND COMMENTS GO IN THE DISCUSSION THREAD


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Welcome to March 2019's Monthly Writing Contest: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - MWC19 - March Forward - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


The February competition is finishing up and getting judged, but there's never rest for a writer. Here's your March prompt! Let's March forward together. I'm a couple of days late so I'll add 2 days to the due date.


  • THEME:


There's a lot of stuff going on in March. We have Ash Wednesday, Daylight Savings Time, Lent, Saint Patrick's day and Spring.


I think this will be a challenging one, but a fun one! I need you to contain all of the following themes in your entry: Devotion, going forward, giving something up, greed, and new life. (I know the last one is simaliar to our January prompt, but it fits really well)


Remember it's up to you how you represent these themes. I don't want to give any examples. I just want you to be creative and have fun.


  • RESTRICTIONS:


  1. Word Count Minimum: 1000 words
  2. Word Count Maximum: 5000 words
  3. Story must have a strong presence of the monthly themes
  4. Story must be submitted by the deadline below


  • Deadline:


April 4th 2019: Midnight EST (ie midnight between April 4th and April 5th)


  • Prizes:


1st Place: Supporter Status

2nd Place: Supporter Status

3rd Place: Supporter Status


Winners can also help judge with the next competition unless they want to compete again.


  • SUBMITTING


  1. Post your stories in this thread.
  2. Do not post revisions in this thread. They will be deleted.
  3. You may submit one story only, one time.
  4. Only submit stories that you've written for this competition. I don't want stories that you've written in the past. The point is to write something new and to challenge yourself. If your story shows up as plagarized (aka, found anywhere else on the internet, even if written by you) it will be disqualified.


  • Judges:


  1. Fro
  2. (Hidden)
  3. (Hidden)

Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-03-14 02:21:02


Civil War Inside The Mind of A Secondary Consumer [part 1]

- Survesh Jones


I have been growing pretty thin lately and my skin can't be paler. I have become white as milk and I was the color of chocolate malt milk shake. Well I can't blame anything. Times have certainly been harsh for our kind, with the never ending reign of harsh summer, the days have gone longer and the nights shorter. The temperature has been boisterously hot. Even breathing air these days has become hard for me. The air is so hot that the moisture in my nose vaporises and it feels like I am breathing in fire.


I have been having second thoughts of leaving my house these days, owing to the weather. But I planned to go out today no matter what. Ok, let me first take a bath. But before that I have to pick out a pair of clothes to wear outside. Its almost night now. But none the less, I need a full hand shirt and a full pant, both thick and must be cotton. I hate the synthetic sheets of sandpapery horror, I would die wearing those in this heat. Like I am not already. That's why I have to go out tonight. Ok, so I will wear the red and black striped full hand tshirt with wooden buttons and a pair of dark blue jeans. I placed them neatly folded on my bed, which I keep neatly, with the pillow at the head of the bed and my bed sheet on top of it, neatly folded, again. I took my towel and soap and entered the bathroom. I closed the air went, so the passing light may not enter and switched on the electric bulb. These bulbs are coiled and are filled with white gases. They emit white light unlike the bulb that looks like a ball with tungsten in it.


I hate looking at the mirror. It ruins my day. But I have one in my bathroom anyways. So now I am going to bath and am not going to mind the existence of this mirror. I have already forgotten about that mirror, that is left of me, constantly reflecting the white light of the coiled up bulb. Bahh!! I hate the mirrors, always distracting me. May be going out today is a bad idea. I mean with the summer heat and everything. No, stop it, I have to go out today no matter what. I am the best at what I do, once I start doing it, I won't feel like this. Its just starting trouble. Ah, now comes the hard part, washing myself, what if the water is too hot. I hate hot water. I turned the shower on and the water was pouring down from the top like rain. I was just looking as the water poured down from the shower head. I could feel the heat radiating through the room from that water. Gosh, to heaven with it, I just jumped in the water, quickly spreading it across my body with the help of my hands. As soon as I covered up enough ground, I stopped the shover, I took the soap. The soap was dry as the air outside. Aww!!! I started the shover again, wet my soap and stopped the shower.


I always forget to wet that soap. Ok, I started from my shoulders, soaped my arms, legs, then the rear end and front end. Started the shower again. Watched the shower pour water from up above, again. But this time, I wasn't afraid of the water as much, as I had soap on me that will protect me from that hot water for sometime. Or so I thought and jumped into the water that was pouring down. I cleaned myself, stopped the shower, soaped my face and washed it off. I dried myself with the towel, came out of the bathroom, dried my foot on the dirty mat that sits outside the bathroom. I went to my room, picked up my neatly folded clothes. put my boxers on first, then my banian, then my pant and my full hand tshirt. I buclked up my pant with a belt and put on some cologne, on both armpit area to my banian that I wear inside my t-shirt. I made sure all the doors and windows in the apartment were locked. I took the apartment key and locked the door shut. I pushed the door once to check if the door was locked. And I made a mental note that I locked my door. I always worry about my door, and if I didn't do this I can't find a way to ensure that I locked my door. That always drives my anxiety up the mountains.


I started down the stairs and am now facing the big iron front gate. I opened it, there were few people here and there. Standing and talking about something. There was a family coming home from somewhere in their car. Ok now, just breath in the air and continue walking. You don't have to make eye contact with any one, I said to mysef. And I started walking from my house, on the road. I took a left turn, walked though the road with trees on both sides, I always liked this part of the road, feels like an arch made with trees. I walked past them, entered the street with the dogs. I just walked past them, without any fear in my heart with nothing but full respect for them, while breathing in and out steadily. The trick with dogs is that, you don't take notice of them and go on about your life and let them live their lives. If they start barking at you or following you, you must not exhibit any traces of fear and behave like a respectable being and move like a king, filled with pride. Throwing stones and shooing them makes things worse. I passed them and started down the road with the temple.


I feel highly uncomfortable walking down this road, I respect that people are in a place of worship and were doing rituals taught to them by their elders. I am cool with that, I just hate to come in contact with neighbours I know of, there. They will want to stop me and talk to me. I am going out on work, I don't want to talk to my neighbours now. I just kept the whole temple off of my 270 degree peripheral vision by concentrating on the oppsite part of the road and kept on walking. I passed that temple, yes!! No one called out my name, today is going to be a good day after all. I am feeling good already.


I walked to the railway station and got a ticket to the beach, its a long ride from down here, it was the last stop of this train. The train I boarded was pretty much empty. The lights were dim and everyone were almost asleep. I felt the tinge of the smallest bit of excitement somewhere deep in my heart. I have forgotten what it means to feel excited these days. My chidhood was filled with excitement, but as I grew older and my parents got meaner, I left my house, started living on my own. I work part time jobs that I can find on the internet. I code programs, websites, games and make some money that pays for the lodging and clothes. I stood from my seat, swaying with the train, maintaining my equilibrium and stood near the doors of the train. The doors of the trains here do not close as they take off. They remain open, and if you stand near the doors, you can feel the cool breeze of the night flowing through you. It feels like as though you are flying. How much, I want to fly.


The train reached beach station, it was dark already and lonely, with the exception of those people who had come to the wholesale bazars near the beach station. I walked the platform and got out of the railway station and started walking to the beach. I sat on the sands of the beach, once I roamed around and found a peacefull spot, looking at the sky, looking at the stars, the peacefull waves of the sea. It was calming, it soothed my nerves. I saw a couple, sitting under a boat stationed on the beach sand, a few feet from where I was sitting. I can do this, I said to myself. So I ran the steps through my mind and stood and started walking towards them slowly, being one with the night, becoming invisible to the naked eye, becoming a shadow, one with the night I was. The trick to a perfect kill, is to kill without the victim even knowing that they were killed. Doing that with one person is easy but with two is tricky. Like a tough maths calculus problem. I think I can pull it off. These two seem to be distracted by the laws of attraction, I think this won't be that complex.


continued.........


Civil War Inside The Mind of A Secondary Consumer [part 2]

- Survesh Jones


I was close to them, I first put the female in a daze, then the male who was lying on the sand with his head on her lap. Then I had my first meal in weeks. I sucked the blood coursing through their throats. I don't use my fangs, they leave marks and the host gets all scared when they wake up. So I use a disposable syringe, I look for the jugular vein, push the needle into the vein and start sucking. My mom and I used to do this when I was little. I was filled with the atmost excitement the first time I got to put people in daze. The syringe makes getting the blood out of the body super easy and leaves very little marks. Wow, the blood of people in love is the sweetest. Its good tasty blood, filled with heamoglobin and testostorone and estrogen and fat and sucrose. As I am sucking the blood through the end of the syringe, I am thinking about diabetes. Yes blood of humans in love is the sweetest, but I have to start drinking the blood from athletes as well. Their blood has more nutrients. But where am I to find a healthy athlete, with everyone in front of a phone or computer.


As I was sucking in blood, I felt better, I have had an absence of this feeling for quite sometime now. My breathing was coming back to normal, I could see better, I felt energetic. The stinging pain in my stomach was gone. I was feeling full and sleepy. I took the syringe out. I licked the place where I pierced their skin with the syringe. My saliva has coagulant properties after I have drunk blood. It will stop the bleeding off of them. I left the couple lying on the beach sands, sleeping. Come on, I am not a killer, that is just sick. Eww. I know how much blood is in their body and how much I drink. I am a civilized twentieth century blood sucker. Not a savage as they show in the movies and no they won't wake up as vamps going on a feeding frenzy. We don't procreate in that way. We are mammals as well. You know biology, I leave it to you and your imagination to figure out how we procreate.


I moved away from that couple, I didn't want to come out of the darkness yet. I sat on the sands of the beach watching the waves crash on one another, and the starry night sky. Enjoyed the beauty. The blood was digesting and I was feeling sleepy, feeding full after weeks. But the night breeze was too inviting and there was no one else visible on the beach. The few there, were minding their own business. I started running toward the sea and I was hopping thorugh the salty waters of the beach and in the next hop, I was one with the wind, flying, flapping my wings and gliding.


Flying is the one thing that made me feel good about myself. I just floated there for a while gliding here and there, enjoying the sea breeze.


I thought I could live without drinking blood. I thought I could be better. But this is god's design. I am a secondary consumer. I can't make food from sunlight like plants. My stomach can't digest plants or meat or milk. I have to drink the blood of humans in order to survive. Just like cows need grass. At least I am better than the humans, I don't farm animals and plants and kill them afterwards and eat them. Baahhh, so cruel. I have decided, I am not going to kill myself by living with the guilt of drinking blood. I have been depressed for long time now. I want to live and do something with this god given life of mine.


I flew back down to the beach, turning back into a man. Then walked slowly back to the railway station and boarded the train to home. Sleepily thinking, that was a big burden lifted off my chest. I know I am not good, but I am not evil either. I am a living being, a secondary consumer. Just because others make me feel bad about myself, doesn't mean I have to live down. I will live with dignity and pride.


I walked home, the big grill gate was locked up. I inserted my hands through the space in between the grills and tried to unlock the lock while looking at it upside down. Finally got the key in the keyhole, opened the iron gate and locked it up behind me in the darkness. I walked up the stairs and unlocked my apartment door. Kept my shoes in the cupboard with socks inside, went to the bathroom and washed my mouth, removed all the taste of the blood mixed with my saliva being digested by the bacteria in my mouth.


Bahh!! I peeked into the mirror. I hate it. Gosh. Its so distracting. I changed into my PJ's and went to sleep as the sun came along, with all the drapes shut, all the windows shut and all the doors locked.


The End


The Grounds Of New, I offer you a story about a soldier who tells stories of the past whilst contemplating the future. Ulysses King III has a choice between encouraging his son to join the military - just as the Ulysses Kings of the past had done to their youth - or let go of a tradition that’s been in the family since the days of Chaplin.


Foxholes

By HomeOfTheBray


POW Camp Near Hanoi, Vietnam, 1969


“Ulysses King Eye Eye Eye.” My prison guard said.


Just say “The Third”. You don’t pronounce the I’s you fuckin’ gokturk.



Despite his English being that of a two year old, Vin (Yes, that’s his name) was quite nice to me and Private Hughes Jr…before Hughes died, anyway. Poor fella wasn’t a fan of rice. He chose the farm over the food and now he’s nothing but mere fertilizer for the rice patties.


“Lunch.” Vin said.


Through the bars he handed me a bowl of…what do you know…rice! I ate a few spoonfuls before I looked over at the fields and saw Hughes’ decaying corpse. I lost my appetite right then and there. My hands let go of the glass bowl and it smashed right on the dirt before I fell back against the wall and slid down to the floor.


Vin started yelling a bunch of rubbish in Vietnamese. I didn’t respond. I just kept staring at the deceased. I saw one of the farmers harvest that area today, and the thought of what I had just done had made bile rise up my esophagus. Vin turned around and saw what I saw. He turned back to me and saw my skin turn whiter than the horse shit he just gave me for lunch. He put two and two together and it finally hit him: I had, by proxy, just eaten my own comrade.


He was more than that. A family friend. His father fought with my dad in Guadalcanal all those years ago. Now that bloodline’s been killed off. And for what? So that the secretary of defense can get a couple blowjobs to go on his resumé?


Hold on. Am I denouncing the concept of war? No. Just this one. But what if something like this ever happens to-


“What if something like this ever happens to Barry?” Vin said, startling me. So has reading minds still not made it’s way to America or what? I had told him about Barry already. He is my son of four years who doesn’t even know how to pronounce Vietnam and is probably wondering where that big fucker he called Dad is.


Vin brought up a good point. Do I want him to weld a gun in a place like this twenty years from now? Does he need to see a childhood friend slowly perish at the hands of starvation like I did? Should I instill in him what my dad instilled in me? Or should I steer him towards something with a higher survival rate?


Now we’re talking about trashing an occupation that’s been in our family since the Germans wore spikes on their helmets.


The radio started to play music I recognized. The damn thing had been playing the sounds of some monk yelling gibberish into a microphone for about an hour before now. Suddenly, it was playing House Of The Rising Sun. Hilton Valentine played those God-like chords and Eric Burdon sang the old folk tune that made The Animals monarchs of rock while I pondered Vin’s question.


Have my ancestors ever contemplated such a concept? Did the future ever pop into their head?


Seeing as how they all got excited when I announced that I had enlisted, I’m willing to bet not.


“There is a house in New Orleans, They Call The Rising Sun”


Eastern France, 1916


In a foxhole he sits, Private King Sr.


The Germans were within pissing distance of collapsing.


Good


The wind blew, and the sound of a helmet bouncing off of the dirt had made its way towards Ulysses. Before long, a grayish helmet caked with blood with a spike on the top landed in his lap. He examined it’s appearance, questioning the purpose of the spike.


He looked at the seemingly endless field of corpses. There were roughly a hundred people in the area that were alive. And yet, it seemed nobody had a pulse. For every lifeless body, a scene out of a horror novel was present. At one corner of his eye was a man whose arm was missing. His body had emitted this hideous odor that was sure to haunt the senses of those within a 300-meter radius. On another portion of the field, a crimson river of blood had streamed down the face of a man whose left eye was gone.


He looked back at the spike. Was it even suggested that they try not to look like terrorists?


Does it matter? When you’re mowing down hoards of twenty-somethings with tanks, is the appearance of the man responsible — on either side — the first thing that comes into question?


Most likely not, but that spike. It was as if they were warning you they were the villain. It practically screams -


Ulysses saw the fellow with the missing eye flinch a little. Probably just a faint spasm, but somewhat startling nonetheless. He didn’t even take a couple seconds to aim before he shot his pistol right at the guy.


Now, the corpse had two holes in its skull.


Suddenly, in the field — where, as far as Ulysses was concerned, nobody was truly alive — a multitude of people had stood up, staring in his direction.


What the hell did I just do?


Despite the almost insane nature of his decision, Ulysses’s kill went unnoticed after a minute. This was a war, after all, but his mind still lingered on what had occurred. It would forever replay in his mind. It wouldn’t necessarily haunt him, but it never left the corner of his brain for as long as he lived.



A few souls from the U S Of A had flown a plane down to the western front to bless the warriors of Hill Company with the fortune of going home.


Ulysses took one last glance at the battle field. Here he had ended four lives, not including the man whose last movement cost King a bullet and the man another hole in his face.


War is hell. Do I want Junior to go to hell?


Well, when you put it like that, no parent would ever be proud to have their son enlist in the military.


He glanced back at France one last time before the clouds would conquer his vision of the world below. What he saw was surprising just as it was fulfilling: Villagers, hundreds of villagers, waved goodbye to the departing company. Cheering, singing, and dancing had erupted on the ground, and for a minute, all the trauma that Hill Company had endured was momentarily disregarded.


War is hell, yes, but unlike hell, this one had a purpose. They wouldn’t be singing without us Ulysses thought. Just behind him, one comrade said “I made a good choice coming to France.”


It most likely wasn’t really his choice. The star spangled rednecks we all so charmingly refer to as congressmen probably mailed a letter to his residence demanding him to get into uniform and prance his scrawny little rear down to France because the same country that built his car is trying to take over the world.


On the other hand, Ulysses was given a choice. Live out his days on the ranch, or make sure his son doesn’t have to learn German. He chose the latter.


I was given a choice, Ulysses pondered, and so will he.



[Part 2 down below]


LITERALLY ALL THE FORUM THREADS I'VE MADE!!!(last updated December 10th 2017)

Have you ever fallen asleep watching a documentary about insomnia?

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Vietnam


It was raining now. Vin was sipping tea under his tent, enjoying the intermission from listening to the stories of my ancestors.


The intermission had granted me not a cup of indo-Chinese Folgers, but instead time to reflect on Vin’s question: Does Barry truly need to be in the same position me and my ancestors have been in?


Barring my grandfathers story where he had become somewhat of a savior of a french village, the experiences the Ulysses Kings of the past have had are mostly drugged with trauma that erect agonizing — not to mention everlasting — memories that — coupled with my new story of being held prisoner, with my body withering by the day and my diet now consisting of my childhood friend — won’t in any way shape or form spark a desire to join the military, if my son even considers such a path in life.


Again, we’re letting go of something that has been in the family dating back to the beginning of the century.


Clouded by the sound of the rain was the radio, continuing to play the tunes that Barry was likely listening to on the way to preschool. This one was new. The duk on the radio said it was called “Fortunate Son”. One of the last lines seemed to almost come from a future Barry:


It ain’t me

It ain’t me

I ain’t no military son.


How convenient.


How goddamn convenient.


Once the rain began to calm and Vin was done with his tea, he lended me his ears. I gave him another story.


Guadalcanal, 1943


In a foxhole he lay, Private King Jr.


“Tea.” Said an approaching Private Hughes.


“Bless you.” King replied. He sat up to receive the beverage. King began to repeat his morning ritual of drinking the tea, burning his tongue, placing his cup behind him, and forgetting the drink altogether, before he heard a mirage of explosions in the distance.


It wasn’t new, no, not at all, but it was closer this time. Random flashes of light would come and go. Come and go. But the noises would never depart. If anything, they were racing towards him.


He hid under the tarp acting as a makeshift ceiling for the foxhole, and waited for the attack to die down. For a moment, Junior had considered retaliating. A pathetic attempt it would be. He would raise his pistol at the enemy, fire the two remaining bullets left in the barrel at the opposition, all before shrapnel most likely striped him of his life.


On second thought, let’s just hold out for a while.


Rising with the sound of exploding terrain was the terrible, heart wrenching shrieks of comrades. far and near. Chunks of debris rained on the tarp until it practically buried Junior. In the midst of his gasps for air, he noticed some of the debris wasn’t just debris. They were body parts.


Eventually, the storm had settled. In the distance, the Japs side of the Ferry had grown loud with triumphant cheers, while on the Allies half of the battle field, a river system of blood had been plastered on the dirt.


Junior lifted himself above the lot of blood and rocks that was now his foxhole. He scanned the Forrest of trees and shrapnel and brain matter until he gazed upon a one-armed Hughes. They both stared at each other for a few seconds before Hughes clumsily hobbled his way over to what was left of Junior’s hole.


Junior watched, without speaking, as Hughes knelt down beside him, picked up his half empty metal cup of tea, flashed a toothy grin, and said, ”Tea?”


Vietnam


Like Ulysses King Jr. before him, Vin was giggling like a school girl. He was curled up in a ball against my cell, laughing his ass off. Exactly where I wanted him to be. I snatched the pistol from his rear pocket and put a bullet in his head before he knew what hit ‘em.


He died with a smile.


I then shot the padlock on the cage-like door before leaping out of my cell. The sprinkling rain hitting my face was the stuff of dreams. I looked back at Vin’s corpse, with its grin sure to bring a slight ounce of comical relief to passerby in the near future.


I dwelled on the question he asked a half hour before I ended his life: What if something like this happened to Barry?


I looked down at my pale, thinning body, and then glanced at the rotting Hughes Jr. in the fields.


I stood up, brushed myself off, and ventured into the ever ending Forrests of North Vietnam, uncertain as to what my goal was or where my final destination would be. Just before I made way onto an old, muddy trail — that, if the map in Vin’s tent was right, led all the way down to Pleiku (A Village just an estimated 200 miles north of Saigon) — I looked back at the camp I had stayed in for four months. I stared at the lifeless set of eyes that belonged to Vin.


Will a King ever kill another soul again? Under these circumstances?


I let the last lyric of a Jimi Hendrix tune playing on the radio afar answer that question.


“No, This Will Be The Last”


~Braydog


LITERALLY ALL THE FORUM THREADS I'VE MADE!!!(last updated December 10th 2017)

Have you ever fallen asleep watching a documentary about insomnia?

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Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-03-27 21:12:23


בראשית (Beginning)

א

At the beginning there was naught. And El hath made Shamayim and the land. And the land was in chaos, and darkness upon Mot. And El hath said, let there be the greater light, Shapash, to govern the day, and let there be the lesser light, Yarikh, to govern the night. And Shapash and Yarikh were. And El saw that they were good. And El had named the rising of Shapash, Shachar, and the falling of Shamash, Shalim. And El hath made the firmament, and separated the waters. And the waters below he called Yam, and the waters above he called Shamayim. And El said, the waters pooled beneath the Shamayim, and so it was. And the land was seen, and El had named it Eretz. And the lakes he called Yama, for they were the children of Yam. And El hath made Dagon, and Dagon hath fertilized the earth and called it Dagan. And El made Nikkal, to bring forth fruit of the earth. And El said, let the waters swarm with life. And Dagan created Daga to swim within them. And Yam made Lotan and Taninim, to swim in the waters and serve him. And El said, let the fowl fly upon the firmament, and so it was. And El hath blessed them to breed and fill both sky and water. And El said, let the earth bring forth her animals, and her beasts, and her vermin, and so it was. And the gods lived in Eden, their garden. And the gods made cities, full of trees and ripe with fruit and grown with wheat.

ב

And the gods were saddened, for the beast could not serve them, and the fowl could not tend to their gardens, and the fish could not prostrate and pray to them. And the gods turned to El, and beseeched him. And El was angered at their displeasure, carried a god, and slaughtered him, and put him to Eretz, and mixed his blood with the clay, and he had made Adam in the plain Eden, the garden of the gods. And Adam was separate from all beasts for he was lonely. And Asherah had made Havah out of Adam, and together they were humans. And Adam and Havah lived in Eden, and were gladdened, and tended to the garden of the gods and were immortal. And El had made for them the waters of life, and nourished them. And Havah had warned Adam, eat not of the bread of death, for it contains the knowledge of the gods. Eat of it and you had died. And El said to Adam, eat of the bread and know the knowledge of the gods and wisen. And Adam had refused to eat the bread, and knew not the knowledge of the gods because Havah had warned him. And El raged, and said to Adam, leave my garden and know death, for in your folly you rejected the knowledge which I resolved to gift you. Go now, and live as all creatures do, and know Mot, and die, and toil for the land, for it will not grow for you as in Eden. Dust you are, and to dust you shall return. And Adam and Havah were harried by the Cherubim outside the gates of Eden.

ג

And Adam knew Havah, and she bore him Seth. And Seth bore Enosh. And Enosh bore Kenan. And Kenan bore Mehalel-El. And Mehalel-El bore Yared. And Yared bore Hanokh. And Hanokh bore Metuselah. And Metuselah bore Lamech. And Lamech bore Noah. And Noah bore Shem, Ham and Yaphet. And in the days of Noah, the land was full and the people were many and the air was clamorous. And the gods in their halls heard the noise, and El had decided to flood the world. And the dead god from which man was created spoken to Noah and his dream. And the dead god said, the end of all flesh hath come, as El decreed. Abandon your house and tear it. And you shall make a great boat, of wood. And the boat shall rise an eighty and a hundred feet, and it shall have six decks, and it shall host the seed of every living being. And Noah agreed but asked, what shall I tell my populace and the elders, when they ask me of my doings. And the dead god answered. Tell them that El rejected you in his land and forbade you to set food in his earth. And tell them you will descend to me and upon the city El will rain down fowl and fish, the harvest of toil. With Shachar loaves of bread will rain, and with Shalim a rain of wheat. And Noah awakened and commenced the task. And Noah and his sons butchered bulls and sheep, and gave wine to craftsmen, and they had made the boat. And in seven days the boat was made. And Noah put their silver and gold on it. And all the living things he had and all the craftsmen he had climbed. And it was launched in the Euphrates. And in the morning Shapash, light of the gods, set the hour to rain the flood. And the rain poured for forty days and forty nights. And no land was to seen and all the mountains were flooded. And Noah cried for his people. And on the one and forty day, Noah released a dove. And it returned. And on the two and forty day, Noah released a swallow, and it returned. And on the three and forty he released a raven, and it did not return. And Noah knew a land was found. And he sailed until he reached a shore. And on shore Noah made a sacrifice to the gods, and Ashtoret gave him a necklace of lapis lazuli and Ashtoret said, the deeds of El will not be forgiven for it was his own hands that poured it and he had not consulted the other gods. Our tongues did not curse you so. And El had seen the escape of Noah and asked of his escaped. And Noah told him of the dead god’s warning. And El placated, for he remembered the dead god. And El resolved never to flood the land again, and he will send plagues and wolves and famine that they will ravage, but not all.

ד

And El, the supreme, hath blessed the children of Noah to propagate and fill the barren earth. And Ham bore Kush, and Mitsrayim, and Put and Canaan. And Canaan bore Sidon, and Heth and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite and the Hamathite. And Ashtoret blessed Sidon and he built the city of Sidon, and she was her goddess. And Shalim blessed Heth, and he lived in the northern mountains. And Shalim blessed the Jebusite as well, and he built Ur-Shalim, and Shalim was her god. And Sin blessed the Amorite and he built the city of Isin, and he was her god. And Yam blessed the Girgashite and he built the city of Dor, and he was her god. And not one god blessed the Hivite, and he wandered the land. And Dagan blessed the Arkite and he built the city of Arakat, and he was her god. And Shapash blessed the Sinite and he built the city of Sena, and she was her goddes. And Dagon blessed the Arvadite as well and he built the city of Arvad, and he was her god. And Shachar blessed the Zemarite and he built Zumur, and she was her goddes. And El blessed the Hamathite and he built the city of Hamath, and he was her god.


"Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world."

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Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-03-27 21:12:41


ה

And no snake was made, and no hyena was made, dog and wolf were not made, dread and horror were not made and no enemies were to rival mankind. And all the land was of one tongue and one speech. Under El, father of the gods. And it came to pass, that in Uruk, the temple of Annat, foremother of nations, rose high, and was brilliant. And in Babel, the people did not build such temple. And Annat was displeased. And the king Enmerkar, son of Utu, of Uruk, the chosen of Annat, plead her. Let Babel procure silver and gold for Uruk, let them cut the lapis lazuli, let its translucence be in Uruk and build you a temple, that will touch the heavens. Let Babel submit to me, in your worship. Let the people build a great tower for me, a great abode, that will make me prosper and succeed. And Annat agreed. And Enmerkar hath sent a messenger to to Babel. And the lord of Babel said, how shall I submit to Uruk when myself hath been chosen by Annat, the virgin. And the messenger said, Annat, the pleasant, hath been made the queen of the temple in Uruk, and she promised to make Babel bow to Uruk. And the lord of Babel said, your king rushes to test my swords and spears, and I am as keen as he is. But if Enmerkar sent grain upon donkeys, and heaped it in the courtyard of Babel, and Annat, the gracious, spoke I have abandoned Babel, I will have submitted myself and my city. And the messenger returned to Enmerkar, and told. And Enmerkar extracted the grain from his storage, and measured them, and loaded them on donkeys and sent them to Babel. And told he to the messenger, demanded are more gems for the new temple of Annat, and sent the messenger to run. And the lord of Babel angered at his request and fury rose in him and he said to the messenger, let Enmerkar bring the gems to me and I built the temple in my own name. And the messenger returned to Enmerkar and told him. And Enmerkar hath made an ornate scepter of lapis and sent it to the lord of Babel. And the lord of Babel knew that Annat hath forsaken him insooth and held Enmerkar under her shield, for a godless king could not have crafted the scepter. And he said to the messenger. Deliver this to Enmerkar. Choose a champion of Uruk, and I have chosen a champion of Babel, and they fought, and Annat, goddess of war, will have blessed the victor. And the messenger told this to Enmerkar, and he agreed for he knew Annat hath blessed him. And Enki, lord of the underground, who tired of this tirade, and despised the lords’ contention, hath changed the speech in the mouths of nations, for the speech hath been one until then. And all knew to fear the gods, and the temple stood as a cut down soldier, and the messenger could not run and deliver his messages and Uruk and Babel were parted.

ו

And it came to pass, in the days of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, that he had made war with Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboiim, and Zoar. And came Amraphel, and came Arioch, and came Tid’al and they were the war ministers of Assyria. And they joined Elam. And warred they did in the Siddim. And he had enslaved them. For twelve years have they served the king, and in the thirteenth year they had rebelled. And in the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer came, and smote peoples in the Horns of Ashtoret, and in Ham, and in Kritim. And the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah beseeched Molech, the great king, and said, help us in battle. Help us and strengthen our arm, and we outsmarted Elam, and we did not bow to him but to you, and we were as slaves to you. And Molech said, so be it, and you came at night, near Dan, and ambushed them, and you were victorious. And the kings of Sodom, and of Gomorrah, and of Admah, and of Zeboiim, and of Zoar came near Dan at the rose of Yarikh, lord of the starry host. And they smote the ministers of Assyria and Chedorlaomer and were free. And in fifteenth Molech, the devourer in fire, spoke to the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, and demanded that each man of their cities will burn a fowl for him. And burned each man in Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboiim, and Zoar a fowl, for they promised to be his slaves, and no poultry was left in the cities. And in the sixteenth year Molech spoke to them, and demanded that each man of their cities will burn a goat for him. And burned each man in his city a goat, and no goat was left in Sodom and Gomorrah. And in the seventeenth year Molech spoke to them, and he demanded a lamb of each man in their cities. And taken the men of the cities all of their lambs, and burnt them. And in the eighteenth year Molech spoke to them, and demanded calves. And the men of the cities had took all of their calves, and burn them, for Molech. And in the nineteenth year Molech spoke to them, and demanded that each man of the cities burnt a bull for him. And the men of the cities had to buy bulls from neighboring cities, for they had no calves that would grow to bulls. And they burnt them for Molech. And the people of the cities were very poor, and they had no livestock, and they lived on bread alone. And on the twentieth year, Molech said to them, let each man of your cities burn an ox for me. And the men of the cities had no calves, and no bulls, and they sold their houses to buy oxen from the neighboring cities. And they burnt the oxen. And on the twenty first year Molech spoke to the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, and he said, sacrifice your sons to me. Let each man in the cities bring his son to my idol on the stage of Tophet, and you burnt him. And the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah said, Molech, our king to which we are bound. Your slaves have sold their beasts and fowls and they are very poor. And the people hunger, and they live in squalor, and they howl in the streets and cry in the homes. Spare us the sacrifice of the sons for we brought you so much. And Molech said, I, who delivered you from Chedorlaomer and the ministers of Assyria, smite you, for you refused. And Molech showered fire and brimstone upon the cities of Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboiim, and Zoar. And he overthrew them, and the plains on which they stood and all their dwellers. And all was burnt for the Molech, and he was content, and in his hall were all the fowls, and all the goats, and all the lambs, and all the calves, and all the bulls and all the oxen and all the children of the cities.

ז

And Shem begat Arphakhshad. And Arphakhshad begat Salah. And Salah begat Ever. And Ever begat Peleg. And Peleg begat Reu. And Reu begat Sherug. And Sherug begat Nahor. And Nahor begat Terah. And Terah begat Harran. And Harran begat Lot. And Lot was saved from Molech’s fury for he hath left the city. And Lot begat two daughters and a son. And Molech said to Lot, sacrifice your only son to me, and be my slave, and you were prosperous. Go to the land of Moriah, and slaughter him on one of the mountains which I shall tell you of. And Lot took the wood and gave his son to carry. And he took the slaughtering knife and the fire in his hands. And together they walked. And the son of Lot asked, where is the lamb for slaughter. And Lot answered, Molech will provide. And they reached the site of the offering. And Lot built an Altar, and laid the wood, and bound his son and stretched his hand. And slayed his son and burnt him. And his son rose to Molech. And Molech blessed his seed, to multiply as the stars of Shamayim and the sand upon Yam’s shore and they conquer their enemies. And Lot laid with his daughters and they begat him Ammon and Moab. And Moab worshipped Chemosh, who was Molech. And Ammon worshipped Milkom, who was Molech.


"Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world."

BBS Signature

Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-03-27 21:12:57


ח

And in the land of Canaan, there was famine and drought. No rain showered, and no dew dewed. And Mot dominated the land. And the kings of Canaan spoke to their priests and said. Mot has killed our crops, and the beasts of the field hunger and die, and like them we hunger and will die. And the priests prayed to Ba’al, the bringer of rain. And Ba’al replied. Gather the warriors of the tribes of Sidon, and of the Jebusite, and of the Amorite, and of the Girgashite, and of the Hivite, and of the Arkite, and of the Sinite and of the Arvadite and they crowded their swords and spears, and they shed blood for the land. And the priests told the kings. And the kings have gathered their warriors in the fields and the plains, and they shed blood. And Ba’al rained down rain and crops grew as tall as a man. And Mot was angered, so he cursed the women of Canaan to bear dead children. And the kings of Canaan spoke to the priests and said. While infants should wail and babies laugh our homes are quiet and the wombs of our women are empty. And the priests prayed to Asherah, the mother of man. And Asherah replied. Of Ba’al’s rain, I sprouted my trees. And you send women to sit under the trees. And on the hills they shall burn incense, and on the mountains you shall make offerings beneath my trees. And your men laid with my priestesses under the trees, and they begat them strong children. And a priestess will have no husband and know all husbandmen. And the trees were called Asherah trees, and women served her under the trees. And where women served and no trees sprouted, poles were raised. And they were Asherah poles. And the land of Canaan prospered.

ט

And the tribes of Canaan were helpless and confused under Shapash. And Kothar wa Khasis, the skillful and wise, had mercy for the creations of El and Asherah. And he said. I teach you divination, and to observe the skies and times, to enchant and to bewitch, and to charm and ask the familiars, and to raise in Ov. And you divined with the serpents, as the priests of Egypt, and by them you will whisper. And you will observe the skies and times, and they will bespeak of the rain of Ba’al or of the clearness of Shamayim. And you will enchant with the herbs which Asherah, the strider on the waters, grew for you. And you will make poisons and they will harm you and they will cure you. And you will be the master of spirits, and they will go in your belly and speak. And you will know the ghosts, and you dug holes, which are Ov, and the ghosts they will rise. And you will cast lots with the stones and sticks which I will show you. And so they did.


"Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world."

BBS Signature

Career Girls: Ivy


“How could you be so careless with something as important as this!?” shouts Lily over the phone. “You are going to be without a business and job on account of this mess.”


“You speak as if the details aren’t known,” responds Ivy. “It was an honest miscalculation on the chess board.”


Honest miscalculation on the chess board? You don’t even know how to play chess Ivy!”


“Well there you go,” says Ivy. “I’m so terrible at it that planning has fallen short of perfection. What more can be said?”


“You’re an arrogant fool without a clue and you better show up at Rose’s tomorrow ON TIME,” Lily hangs up.


You’re an arrogant fool without a clue. The phrase itself repeated ad nauseam in Ivy’s head like nails on a chalkboard. Never in their years growing up has the term been used so detestably.


She felt a bit portrayed though she’ll let it slide for the time being. Ivy was after all a proud business owner making six figures on a monthly basis. Just thinking about the nightmare to come made her blood boil.


Ivy wasn’t one to give up without a fight and she was determined to let this fact be known to her sisters the following morning. The following day Ivy pulls into the driveway of Rose’s house and makes her way to the front door. Before she could even ring the door opens and she’s greeted by Rose herself.


Coffees are poured and a light breakfast of sorts is served. Afterwards discussions began about the potential loss soon to come.


“Stop talking as if it’s already gone! I’m still here aren’t I?”


“Ivy, dear, we have gone through every single piece of paper that you’ve forwarded and the outcome is inevitable,” states Rose. “The least you can do is own up to your mistakes and permit the transition.”


“It sounds as if you don’t care about me or my business. Typical jealous behavior as I suspected.”


“Pipe down and take a seat,” demands Lily. “No one is jealous of anything pertaining to you. We are here in hopes of opening your eyes to the reality to be which is the potential loss of everything relating to your business venture.”


“Applaud you we have in building a business from the ground up; however, we must scold you for not taking care in the fine details department,” states Rose. “Based on the paper work that was delivered it would appear that you made a deal some years ago with a client which had a clause of becoming your business’ new owner should you fail to deliver on a guarantee.”


“A guarantee that was delivered successfully within the requested time,” states Ivy. “Still don’t know what all this is about considering my end of the deal upheld itself.”


“So you say.”


The day waned as talks continued about Ivy’s predicament. Ivy isn’t the easiest person to talk to about serious matters especially when they revolved around her. The client she made a deal with was serious and they went as far as getting the paperwork notarized and signed by eyewitnesses with Ivy being there in the room.


The fight was futile as Ivy did in fact fail to deliver what was guaranteed. The client was willing to compromise if she agreed to a refund agreement but she simply stated that all sales were final whether the clients liked it or not. Based on that practice alone a slew of complaints were uncovered if not improperly concealed.


She tried to fight but lost as soon as it started. Not wanting her to walk away empty handed, arrangements were made to cut her a check to cover three months’ worth of expenses; nothing more and nothing less. Ivy was going to demand more but her sisters stopped her in her tracks.


Argued she tried but they simply stated that she focus on the essentials and not the luxuries. Lily and Rose saw to it that Ivy focused on the bare essentials by taking charge of her assets and doing the reductions for her; especially since she refused to do anything herself. They raided her house and sold: excess clothing, shoes, bags and jewelry, non-essential furniture and appliances, all but one of her vehicles, all recreational vehicles along with the house itself after all was said and done.


Ivy was livid but had no room to complain as she gave up having a say during her tantrum. To make matters worse Rose made Ivy move in with her as she couldn’t be trusted to go solo; plus Rose wanted to make sure Ivy got back on her feet securely. As an added torture device, Lily became her bookkeeper so that meant she couldn’t splurge as she wanted.

Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-03-31 16:58:12


Months passed and Ivy was still without stable work. She was earning a little here and there from some investments but other than that it was slow moving. Ivy’s sisters often inquired about how she got started with her first venture and was wondering why she didn’t utilize the same strategy to start up a new one but they never got a meaningful reply.


Eventually she fessed up to just starting the venture so she could earn lots of money to spend as she pleased. It wasn’t the best of responses but seeing how it came from Ivy they didn’t expect it to be sugar coated. After a while it was suggested that she take up a hobby in hopes of sparking something to get her going again.


Ivy tried to propose an idea of shopping as a hobby but it was shot down immediately. After some careful thinking, Ivy settled on the idea of crafting. Her top choices were yarn work, sewing and flower arranging.


There were ideas but they were a start. She started things off by visiting the library and bookstore that were within walking distance of Rose’s place. Every other day, she would pick up books to learn as much as she could about her new hobbies and would attend classes once a week to reinforce her studies.


After some months Ivy felt confident enough to engage in her hobbies. She started off with some yarn work which consisted of crocheting coasters, table mats and napkins followed by knitting two lace table runners. Next, she played around with making flower arrangements for the mini tea party Lily had planned for just the three of them.


After making the flower arrangements, Ivy realized she didn’t have anything suitable to wear. What garments she did have were close to being worn thin. Once her workspace was tidied up, Ivy made her way back to the bookstore in hopes of getting some ideas for what to wear.


While browsing the racks she bumps into her instructor from the classes she was taking. The instructor suggested that she make something using the lessons she learned from the books and classes she took. Uncertain of where to start Ivy asks for a little guidance in the matter to which the instructor directed her to some sewing publications.


Once she finished her selections, the instructor then took her to a shop next door that specialized in sewing. From there she selected some fabrics, threads and picked up some additional sewing supplies. The shop owner was kind enough to allow them to do a trial run in the teaching room till Ivy was comfortable enough to try it on her own.


Ivy sets to work making an outfit for the mini tea party. In addition to the outfit, Ivy makes some accessories to bring everything together along with two fashionable gifts for her sisters. It’s been a while since Ivy has gifted her sisters anything and even longer since she’s done something enjoyable.


The following afternoon, Ivy takes the lead and sets the table for the tea party using the items she made including the flower arrangements. When her sisters arrived with the tea and treats they were taken aback by Ivy’s show of courtesy and kind hearted gestures. They were even bewildered by the gifts she presented.


“What’s the occasion?” asks Lily.


“Just cause,” says Ivy.


“Just cause,” starts Rose. “This seems a bit out of character for you. Where did they come from?”


“Nowhere,” she starts. “I made them for the both of you. Hope you like.”


Made? That’s not something you hear far too often from Miss That Is Beneath Me. After opening the gifts the sisters are shocked at the beauty of the items and even more so after recalling the notion of them being made by Ivy. Then they took note of her outfit.


The sisters enjoyed their mini tea party all while discussing Ivy’s new found hobbies. They complimented her on the beautiful pieces along with her outfit and their gifts of which they wore gleefully throughout the day. Ivy continued with her hobbies and after a while someone from town took note of her works.


Though small, they put in a request for her to create some table decorations for an upcoming reception. From there, she started receiving requests two to three times a week. With help from her sisters, Ivy was able to set up a functional workspace in Rose’s garden shed in the backyard.


It took a little over three months to complete upgrades on top of filling orders for local clientele. A month after that, Ivy expanded her workspace to include a mini boutique for displaying finished pieces. Within two years Ivy’s new business was blooming into something special if not unique.


This time around Ivy’s clients were pleased with her work and she even worked out kinks to her customer service skills. As an unexpected bonus, she offered up her wares to local non-profits and schools to assist with fund raising efforts. There were some concerns about her reverting to her past self but those concerns quickly became null and void.

Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-03-31 18:30:36


Pastures New

         

Smaru was hungry. She had not eaten for two whole days. She had grubbed around at the base of hundreds of hairs in that time, but not found any snat to eat at all.  She and her tribe had been living on this Leg many, many months now and there were just too many people living here and not enough snat to go round. Usually, the gorvol, the great creature they lived on, would walk around, scratch, come in contact with things that killed people and generally the population would be kept in check, but not lately.  He had been asleep, ill, for many days and things had got bad. The Kordoi, the people of the Upper Thigh, were well known for being greedy at the best of times, raiding other parts of the Leg and stealing food, then having SO many children it was just not natural. Smaru’s people, the Elder Tanu, here in the Lower Thigh, were more restrained. The hair was more exposed, the skin not as warm and not that many snat lived there, so their home was not favoured terrain on which to live and they were usually left alone. Lately, though the pressure of population had led to incursions from above and below and had left the Lower Thigh empty and barren.

            What made matters worse was the gorvol on which they lived had started scratching in their area while he slept, which was terrifying the tribe and had killed or injured a number of people yesterday and today, including Smaru’s little brother, Cryve, who was now struggling to walk with only four legs, after the other four had all been crushed and ripped from his young body this morning.

Smaru’s tribe, what was left of it, had been talking about moving across to the Right Leg whenever their gorvol brought it next to them, but Smaru wouldn’t think of moving until Cryve was up and walking again.

“I’m not leaving Cryve and that is the end of it!” She had declared. “He can barely take a step without falling over. Give him another day and he will get used to walking with just four legs, then he will stand a fighting chance of making the trek across; even then with only one leg on his left side we will have to help him.”

“But Smaru,” their chief replied, “we are starving; we must do something! We might not live another day here.”

“What about your party that was going round to the Back of Knee? Is there news of them?”

“Sorry, Smaru, there is no real hope of their return. The kritnots are fierce creatures and jealously guard their warm, comfortable homes. I fear the worst for our brave warriors; I think my young son was brave but foolish to insist on going that way and his little party of people have probably become food for them. No, you have until the next time the two Legs come together and we will make the journey, with or without you and your brother.  Now, I need to go and shed a skin; the Itch is upon me and I can’t stay and talk. Sneff and Snaff,” he addressed his twin older daughters. “You are in charge here. Watch the border; those Kordoi will be back, even though there is no food left here, just to harass us. They probably don’t even need our food, the snat grow in such profusion there, especially right up at the End of Leg, in the warm Crease.” He started to walk off, but Snaff delayed him a second.

“Have you actually been there, in the Crease?” the youngster spoke in awe.

“Oh, a long time ago, when your grandfather was alive and things were different. We are the Elder Tanu, we go back to before those greedy Kordoi came down from the Belly. I will tell you all about it when I get back.” The chief was hardly likely to stop any longer. He could feel not only the Itch, which was increasing by the second between the old skin and the new skin underneath, but also the vibration behind his head, which told him that any moment the old skin might split down his back. Of course, nobody wants to be near even their closest family when their skin is splitting and they feel naked and vulnerable, but the humiliation of this being observed by anyone for a chief, well, it didn’t bear thinking about.  The only place in their tribal lands that would have nobody in it was the very height of the knee cap, where not a person, nor a kritnot normally goes. “Observed” is a metaphorical term amongst people, whose eyes are limited and only see light and dark blurs anyway. Their ears, touch and sense of smell more than made up for it, though, able to feel the tiniest tremors on the Skin of an approaching Kordoi or kritnot; or make out which person they were talking to, along with their mood and details of where that person had been in the last day or so- all obvious in the subtleties of odour.  As for the sounds they could hear- there was the incessant surging of a heartbeat from below their feet- the great soundtrack of their lives. Had their gorvol only asked the tiny people living on him, they could have told him his circulation was getting bad before he even knew there was a problem.

After she knew by the patter of many slightly scraping older feet in that direction, that her chief was off towards the knee cap, Smaru headed off back to her brother, whom she found leaning against a long hair swaying from side to side, trying to get used to tilting his whole body onto the spread legs of his right side, so that he could walk with only one left leg.

               “Sister-of-mine!” He perked up out of his miserable struggle at the smell and sound of her approach and spoke with a cracked, struggling voice. “Hello! What’s news?”

“The Chief wants to leave and try living on the Right Leg as soon as possible. There is no food here anywhere. I really think the snat are dead and gone from here. Probably taken on the last Kordoi raid.”

“But what if there are people living on the Right Leg?”

“I know, but there is no hope here. I’m sorry but you are probably never going to see your young friends that went off down Behind the Knee again. Come on, I will help you to walk; let me get beside you.” She moved in next to him and they struggled off together, with her propping up his left side as the one leg moved and lifted off the ground.

“You know I have half a left foreleg still hanging off? He asked, rather breathlessly as he struggled.

She had, in fact, felt it swinging in useless automatic motion as he hobbled along.

“You could eat it, if you want,” he offered. “It’s no use to me.”

“That’s very kind of you, but you need your strength more than I do. I can pull it off for you when we get to the Tribe just over the hill.” Her antennae were linked with his and she pointed the way they were going.

When their Chief returned they could smell the scent of newly formed skin, but still on an ancient, three-and-a-half year old body. He had heard the sounds of Smaru and Cryve hobbling into the Centre Circle of their home territory and investigated with his antennae the strange grating sound of their body-armour edges scraping together as they walked.

“Very noble, Smaru, but if Cryve cannot keep up when we are ready to go, we will eat him; it is the Ancient Way.”

“He will come with us and you will not touch him.” All present could hear the faint but distinctive sound of all her legs stiffening as Smaru rose up onto her four hind legs in a defensive gesture.   “We need every one of us to live. Can you not hear the faint stirring of the Body? Our gorvol will move soon. You have just shed a skin; we need you to prosper too, to lead us. You can eat Cryve’s spare half-a-front-leg, Our Chief.” 

“I will be fine, noble Smaru. I have eaten my old skin, remember. Not much energy in it, but still I will manage a while yet. YOU, a female, should eat it. As soon as we find food you must lay eggs.” There was much tapping of hind legs from the silent people around them- nobody interrupted the Chief and whoever he was talking to, but they chose this way of signalling their agreement.


We are the Dragons & Spirits. We are friendly people. Best Wishes, Ice!

BBS Signature

Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-03-31 18:32:54


Pastures New - Pt TWO


Suddenly, the Skin beneath them vibrated; there was a great rumbling sound and movement as their Leg slid across the ground, far beneath their feet and a momentary upwelling of the flesh as it collided with the Right Leg. 

“Now!” Cried out the chief. “Follow me!” He strode off down towards the crease between the two. The gorvol is a vast monster compared to even the largest of people. They are just tiny dots he could barely see if he looked, hidden down amongst the hairs and flakes of his skin, so it would take long time for them to traverse all that way. He strode off in front, with his antennae held up high, sensing everything around him and his second pincers tapping away rhythmically to guide his people forward. Sneff and Snaff fell in just behind him and the tapping of their pincers together, in time with his, amplified the sound of the Elder Tanu on the move for the first time in a generation.  It was dark and getting late, but this made little difference to the motley collection of people, all marching onward behind their leaders in a broad mass across the leg. Some were bold and determined; some were tired through a lack of food. All were also thirsty, since normally all their liquid came from the snat they ate. One or two of them had licked at a moist patch of sweat on the skin, tempted by the smell of water despite knowing that almost dried sweat was too salty for them; those people were struggling with their thirst all the more. 

Smaru and Cryve were at the back of the marchers and were just clambering over the scab and young scar tissue of a tiny scratch on the skin when their chief cried out.

“I can smell it!” Came the cry from ahead of them. “The Right Leg. We are close, I’m sure!” This was premature; he may have had a waft of the subtly different odour of the other lower limb and Smaru could hear a change in the sound of the many feet around her as there was a slight surge of speed and the scent of hope in the people, but there was still a long trudging march ahead of them. Some of the older and weaker were getting behind the rest. Cryve was getting into the rhythm of walking with his reduced number of legs, so he and his loyal sister were no longer at the back of the marching tribe, but still Smaru was wondering how much further they could all go before some actually gave up the ghost and stopped marching forward. As they walked on, now definitely downward onto softer, less hairy skin between the legs, the going was easier and it wasn’t too long before they could all smell the Right Leg they were approaching. There was a chattering whisper of conversation as people could smell the unmistakable smell of other people ahead, on the other Leg. Would they find themselves in a harmonious crowd? Would they be welcomed? It seemed unlikely; much depended of the density of population on that leg, but one thing they could all definitely also smell was the distinctive, slightly acid smell of snat and quite a lot of them, so the sound of their many legs tapping on the surface of the great Leg they walked on grew faster and the people bolder and more determined.

It was not long before the vanguard of the Elder Tanu arrived at the meeting point of the skin. Actually crossing was not that easy, turning their bodies almost upside down was not really a manoeuvre that people were made for, especially poor Cryve, who, even with his sister’s help would barely be able to make the crossing at all. One or two people crossed quickly by climbing the hairs and dropping in. Whilst others made their way, those that had already got across were milling around at the juncture, smelling the surface of their new home. Looking for any traces of rival tribes, and of course snat-food they were craving so much their antennae were all vibrating with the highest pitch sounds to communicate their frenzy. Perhaps this was their undoing. As the youngest people were running off to find snat and explore the new territory, and the Chief was urging everyone to hurry up and cross, something had caught the sensitivities of the kritnot far away and brought them out of their warm under-knee crease. Out and along the valley between the two legs, ravenously hunting for more of the people they had eaten earlier that day.

A great cry went up among the people of the Elder Tanu as the kritnot rushed out and set upon them, but most were trapped down the crack between the two legs and despite being hunters themselves, they were powerless against the fearsome might of the ravaging kritnot. Worse, as the kritnot, themselves still tiny creatures on the surface of the Skin, were writhing around among the Body hairs, in their numbers, they set up the tinniest of itches. The next thing either creature knew, the two vast Legs were moving apart and that terrifying monster the Great Hand swept down from above and scratched the surface, not momentarily, but up and down both legs, methodically attempting to eradicate the unknown cause of the itch, still in its controller’s sleep.

This attempt was all too successful. The people were scattered, some on the Right Leg, where their pathetic numbers would face the jealous wrath of a prosperous tribe already there; Some, like Cryve would starve to death on the Left Leg in the following days. The elderly Chief was amongst the many who were totally crushed by a dirty fingernail. Sneff and Snaff were helping others cross when the catastrophe began and both fell off the Body altogether, to perish amongst the ravenous creatures on the bed far below.

 Cryve had stepped in front of his sister and reared up as best he could, as a monstrous kritnot approached and loomed over them, its double jaws open wide. Cryve fell backwards, his four legs waving in the face of the kritnot; an unexpected gesture that caused it to stop a moment, it’s outer pincers waving in the air, before being swept away by the Great Hand. 

“It’s no good, I can’t get up, or turn over, just bite off some of my legs for food and get out of here.”  Smaru wanted to tell him it would be all right; she wanted to try and help him turn over, but she could smell the utter defeat in him; he had been desperately struggling all day- and after all, what were they to do? Where could they possibly go together? Fortunately it barely hurts at all for people to lose their legs, just a moment; no lasting agony. Much as it pained her; he persuaded her that she must escape and lay eggs somewhere with snat.

 Smaru found a welcome and at last, her fill of snat, in the Upper Thigh, with the greedy Kordoi, after offering one of her brother’s legs to their chief. She was, in fact, the only member of the tribe to reluctantly, but successfully leave their home and pass on her genes in pastures new. Her children, all thirty-three of them, are a mix of the Kordoi ravenous greed and the Tanu honour and loyalty.



We are the Dragons & Spirits. We are friendly people. Best Wishes, Ice!

BBS Signature

Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-04-02 20:14:41


A story between holidays and how things became the way they are.


St. Patrick sits with Easter


The grass is a blush glistfully on the top of a gnoll visible through the frosted layer of ice encasing each blade. The grass is seemingly brought to life by a gnarled stick that gingerly strikes the ground. The closer blades of grass seem to hug the stick that has brought real color and life back into their frozen and dull existence. All other leaflets gave an impression of a jig for joy in the wind. The gnarled stick groans and aches as it is lifted back into the air to take another step closer to the cliff side.


An old man lays the stick down beside him as he is sitting perched on the edge of a cliff, feet  dangling over the edge. Eyes with a dull gaze toward the horizon. Experience is rutted deep in each crease of his face and hands. The man pulls a pipe from within his robe.


After filling his pipe with tobacco he brings the dried leaves life inducing fire. He takes a long drag to keep the embers warm and lets the pipe rest in his mouth. The old man loves the smell from this burning weed. Relaxing.


The sun is setting and the old man stays on his perch gazing seemingly blankly at the horizon. It isn’t what is before him that intrigues him, it is what is going on in his head. The worlds that collide between his ears are what drives him to move forward with everyday. His thoughts only disturbed by the arrival of a small white rabbit filled with fluff and energy. The rabbit is standing on the old man’s walking stick and staring up at him.


“That's a very peculiar smell you have going on there mister,” says the rabbit, ”I’m the Hare. What’s your name?” The Easter Bunny stares at this old man full of wonder and childish glee in his eyes. His ears are perked up intent on catching every word.


The old man turns the pipe over letting the contents spill out over the impending ocean. A small smile begins to illuminate his aged face. “You can call me Patrick little rabbit.” Patrick is slowly putting his things away, preparing himself for a long conversation.


“That’s a nice name mister,” the rabbit started. “What are you doing here?”


“What I always do,” Patrick started in, “finishing my rounds driving away the snake of winter.”


“Snake!” with fear in the rabbits eyes, “Where?”


Patrick chuckled, “You don’t have to worry about them for a while now little guy. I do this every year. Rising out of my bed to scare the biting winds away so little boys and girls like you can go out and play.”


The rabbit returns his attention to Patrick. “Wow! How did you come to be the guy that had to do that?” The rabbit has more wonder in his eyes then a newborn. “Do you like what you do?”


Patrick started to lay back more settling in to tell a long story. “It can be a long story little guy. You up for it?”


The rabbit transfixed on Patrick leans in more showing just how excited he is. “I would love to hear the story mister.”


Patrick produced a carrot from within his robes. Patrick waved the carrot around a bit before he handed it to the rabbit. Hare, though not taking his eyes off Patrick, took it happily but still waiting for the old man’s story. “It was years ago,” Patrick began with a serious tone, “when there were many other just like me. Seasons we were called by the natives of this land...”


Patrick goes on to tell the young rabbit of how there were others just like him but different in their own rite. There starts with him. A man dressed in green and brings life into the world. He gives it a chance to grow and blossom into something new and exciting. Then there is a man who wears nearly nothing at all. His job is to give these new lives time to flourish and prepare for what is to come. The third man leaves warning of a greater danger to the living creatures with the deaths of plants and disappearances of all the little creepy crawlies. And the last man sweeps in on a horde of hissing, biting winds that terrorize all those that didn’t prepare for his arrival. Many families don’t survive his visits.


The old man goes on to tell the rabbit how some years the others would try to overstay their welcome. While others would try to come early. This made it harder and harder for all the innocent little things on this land to get ready for the winter man’s wrath.


“So what did you do?” Hare asked engorged in the experience of the verbal literature.


Patrick finally looked at the rabbit to make sure he could convey the seriousness in his glance. “I fought and slew Jack Frost. I squashed his horde, too. For I have gone where angels fear to go. I sent them far away. I then talked to the other seasons. Told them that we couldn’t live life like this.”


Patrick started to stand up. Through some groans he got out, “we grew too greedy… we were too powerful. We needed to give that up.” Now at a hunched stand holding his stick. “We leave the seasons in charge of the holidays now like you.” Patrick leans in for a wink. “But I still get to keep bringing in the beauty of spring. Something I always loved doing.” Patrick waves his hand forward motioning for the rabbit to avert his gaze.


As Patrick disappeared behind Hare the rabbit flowers bloomed of all colors spanning the meadow. The rabbit after short quick darts looking for the old man and soon gave up. Hare was soon also lost in the growing beauty of spring. Filled with the story from the old man he felt resilient to the days to come. Determined though still anxious Hare moved forward cherishing every spec of life he now noticed. Knowing the work and sacrifice that went into the creation and protection.


After a trek across the island Hare saw birds flying gracefully through the air. Most of the birds were  singing songs giving praise to the new life that was to be had. It was in this moment that Hare took some time to lay by a large tree. He soaked in the vibrant colors still coming to life before him as if nature was waking up after a long slumber. The tree  cradles him perfectly in its exposed roots. Hare took this beautiful and somber moment to sleep and wait for his time to rise again.


Hope everyone reading this enjoys the story I have told.

Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-04-03 17:39:24


The Ballad of the Rat King


“Adventurer,


You have served the high priest well. He has requested that following on from our last meeting, you undertake a reconnaissance quest to the previously specified location and report back. Successful completion of this task will be considered strongly in your acceptance as a knight of his excellency's church”


The letter was tucked in the breast pocket of the adventurer's tunic. He had kept it with him as a reminder that there was an end in sight. An end to countless quests to dangerous places, to sleeping on the roadside, to scraping funds together for a hot meal. A final quest to secure his future.


Unfortunately, that quest involved scouring the abandoned tunnels underneath a mountain. A rumoured to be cursed mountain, upon which no plants grow and no animals live. Finding the mountain, and the entrance to the tunnels had been quite simple. It was only after hours of aimless wandering through subterranean tunnels, that the adventurer understood the magnitude of his task.


It was as he entered a small chamber that something caught his eye. In the darkness ahead, he saw a figure crouched down. As he moved towards it he saw a flurry of movement. The light from his torch didn’t reach where the man had moved. Instinctively, he raised his sword in front of him.


“Who goes there?”


There was no answer.


“I was sent under the orders of high priest Phiron to investigate these tunnels. You will answer my questions, or die for defying his holy will.”


The tunnels remained silent. The adventurer wondered if he'd imagined the figure. After a few moments, he felt awkward brandishing his sword at the darkness. As he lowered it, a quiet voice answered him.


“What does he want with these tunnels?”


The adventurer took a step forward, lifting the lantern in a vain attempt to illuminate the figure.


“The king of Thuria hasn't paid his tithes to the church in months. The last two messengers sent to demand payment never returned. The high priest has questions”


The adventurer pressed forward. “There have been rumours that the King's gold is being moved into the mountain in secret. I've been sent to verify these rumours. If you're involved in this, speak now. I will consider sparing your life, in exchange for your help.”


There was no response. Instead, the sound of a soft footstep alerted him to his targets location. Maneuvering around a crumbling pillar, the figure came into view. To the adventurer's surprise however, he had not been conversing with a man.


The lantern illuminated the creature in front of him. It was huddled against an ornately decorated wall, dressed in filthy rags. Smaller than a man, it’s hands and feet were bent into sharp claws and it's shoulders were heavily hunched. Most striking was the beast's face, which had the grotesque likeness of a rat, in everything but it’s eyes. These which shone with an eerie human like intelligence. In all his travels, the adventurer had never seen anything like this.


“What are you?” said the adventurer, lowering his sword. “How did you end up in this place?”


“Shhh!” the creature hissed back. “Please be quiet, and lower your lantern. If we’re too loud, we'll be found”.


“By who?”


The creature turned to look the adventurer directly in the eye. “The Rat King will find us”


The adventurer was unsettled by the creature. He had expected to find smugglers and bandits, but nothing like this creature. Furthermore, why were these tunnels so ornate? He had expected mine shafts, or smugglers runs. Who could have built all this?


“You need to explain to me what's going on here” the adventurer said, as he covered the lantern with his cloak.


“I can tell you what I know of this mountain story of the Rat King, but you must promise to let me go.” After a moment, the adventurer nodded his agreement. “Then please, listen carefully”.


“I don't know the whole history of the scorched mountain. But what I do know begins with the Rat King. Remember these words, so you can bring the story to the realm of men.”


“This story does not begin with a rat, nor a king. No, to understand how the Rat King came to be and to understand the creatures of the mountain, we must start with a man known as Suggs Malacas.”


“He was born in the Thurian region, in a small coastal town. His father had been the local lord, a very respectable title. This title, as well as large swathes of land and a small castle would someday serve as Sugg’s inheritance. But this was not enough to satisfy him”


The adventurer wondered what this had to do with his quest. Given that the alternative was to kill the creature and return to wandering the tunnels aimlessly, he reluctantly opted to hear the creature out.


“Sugg devoted his teenage years to learning the craft of a court wizard. By his earlier manhood, he had gained a reputation among the higher nobility for his willingness to perform  dangerous and unethical experiments. There were even rumours that he had created the plague that ravaged the western plains.”


“Eventually, the King of Thuria requested that he join his court in Caspria. At that time, tribes from the Red Valley mountains had begun to attack the city and surrounding farmland. The king, feeling desperate, needed an advisor who would ensure the city's survival, no matter what. Suggs accepted the advancement in position, with the provisions that he needed as many lab rats as could be fit in the courts basement and access to the mountain just West of the city, known locally as the Scorched Mountain”.


A low grumbling from behind the adventurer startled him. He turned to gaze back into the tunnels he had come through. The rat creature didn’t miss a beat however, and kept moving on with the story.


“It’s hard to tell if Sugg’s had planned the experiment, or if his original plan was more scientific in nature. In some ways, scientific experimentation and dissection would have been a kinder fate for those rats. However, the questions that Sugg’s really wanted to answer concerned the hearts and minds of men, and he saw great parallels with rats in this matter. He believed all men craved domination, either to dominate or be dominated. The rats held in that basement lab were his key to understanding this. So began the rat society experiments”


“The first experiments involved putting all the rats into a single cage, and pouring enough feed in for roughly half the rats, once per day. Some rats fought to the top to be fed first, while others huddled at the bottom, hoping to get the scraps. Then, there was him. He did not have a name at this time, yet we all knew him. He was ruthless in his pursuits of food, ripping the throats out of any rat who got in his way. It was here he established the rank and order of our society.”


Beads of cold sweat had formed on the back of the adventurer’s neck. Where was this going?


“In later experiments, the rats were placed in wide interconnected cages, with small labour exercises connected to the food dispensers. Here the rats would push wheels or pull ropes, which would activate the dispensers for food. He wasted no time in reminding the other rats of his place in the hierarchy. On that first day, he forced a small rat to push the wheel to feed him. Whenever the rat stopped, he would nip at them, biting chunks of flesh off. This continued until that rat died of exhaustion. From then on it was accepted that a portion of our food would serve as an offering to our nameless ruler. Sugg’s was elated - his experiments were proving his theory.”


Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-04-03 17:41:06


“The king however was less impressed by Sugg’s personal project’s success. He had enlisted him to combat the threat from the mountains, but there were now even greater problems at home. As many farms had been ransacked, his army were surviving on rations and no pay. Rumours were circulating of a possible coup or even a mass desertion. Another attack from the tribes was imminent. Things looked desperate.”


“Sugg’s had made preparations for averting a crisis. Rumours had long circulated among the local people of a dark creature that lived beneath the Scorched Mountain. Sugg's had considered capturing the beast, and using it against the tribes. On an early expedition into the mountain he encountered the wizard of the mountain, Avirice. The wizard wasted no time in marking the mountain as his territory. However, upon hearing of the plight of the city, he agreed that if the situation became sufficiently dire he would help.”


“What dark thing lives in the mountain?” the adventurer interjected. For a moment the rat creature was silent. “I have kept a history of all I know, but I have never encountered that… thing. I hope I never do”


“Even Sugg’s found Avirice’s proposal unsettling, but as his position in the court and his experiments were in danger, the proposal was brought before the King. It is not known among rat folk what Avarice said to the king, save that it was asserted that the only way his kingdom would survive would be to cast away human weakness.”


“In that dark moment, the King agreed to trade the humanity of his kingdom for their survival. Who knows if he really knew what that meant. At this point, I doubt it even matters.”


“Avarice began preparations for the ritual immediately. Some among us believe he didn't want to give anyone, including the royal family, a chance to escape.”


The creature paused for a moment, it's eyes scanning the ruined walls around them. Then, with a slight nod, it moved to a particularly worn part of the room. The creature tapped on the wall, low down. As the adventurer moved closer, he could see intricate carvings running along the walls edge.


“These are the symbols he used for his ritual. I've always believed he learned them from studying these walls, but other say he's one of the old mountain people who built these tunnels. Either way, his ritual worked. The men and women of the city were separated from whatever it is that made them men and women.”


“You have to remember that at this time the rats knew nothing of this. Some of them had been born in that deep cavernous lab, and could scarcely believe that a world existed beyond those walls. So when a liquid sustenance dripped from the ceiling  into our cages, none questioned it. Just rats after all. We devoured it all.”


The adventurer voice came out as a quiet croak. “What was it?”


“The thing that made those people… alive” the creature said simply. “It was their… humanity”.


“This didn't happen immediately” the creature said, gesturing around itself. “No one's sure how long the change took. But at some point, we grew too big for the cages, and realised that we could now understand how the lock mechanisms worked. We emerged to a city of empty people. Savage monsters in human skin, who didn't take too kindly to our presence. So we fled under the mountain, led by the most powerful among us, theRat King. And that's where we've stayed.”


“He’s the only one among us who has return to the city. The Rat King that is. At some point, has desire for food was replaced by a greed for gold. Now he sneaks into the city, under the cover of night, to steal gold for his keep. He must have been seen, beginning the rumours that brought you here”


The adventurer remained silent while he considered what he heard. He still had questions. “ What happened to Caspria? And the messengers sent there?”


The creature shrugged. “The Casprians are still in the city. Well, what's left of them”


“They're just… empty now. Mindless creature's, focussed purely on their own survival. They probably killed and ate the messengers. That's what happened to the tribes.”


The adventurer felt sick. He hadn't come here for this. Could he really believe this story? Even if he could, it was unlikely anyone would believe his report. He looked back into the tunnels, wondering if he'd bitten off more than he could chew.


As he turned back, he caught a glimpse of the creature slipping into a crack in the far wall, before disappearing completely. From where he stood, he knew couldn't fit through to pursue. The creature, in hushed tones, left him with these words.


“Forget about the gold in these tunnels, you'll trade your life for it”


“If you escape these tunnels, tell our story”


And with that, the adventurer was alone.


The noise coming from the tunnel behind had quietened, but he couldn't bring himself to turn back. Even if he did back track, he wasn't sure he could find the tunnels entrance anyway. Worse still, he now realised his torch had burned out during the creatures story. He would have to proceed into darkness.


The adventurer pressed on, finding another passage on the far side of the room, past the crack the creature had used. His only hope now was to find something to prove the tunnels were dangerous. That, or the location of the king's gold.


He moved quickly, unable to shake the feeling that in the darkness behind him something followed. In the darkness of the tunnels time seemed to lose its meaning. When the adventurer eventually took a moment to rest, he wasn't sure if he'd been walking for an hour or all night. He slumped against the rusted bars of what appeared to be an old cell. He rested his sword beside him, and closed his eyes just for a moment.

Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-04-03 17:41:59


---------


And then from down the tunnel. Footsteps. Unmistakable, and coming closer. Still in the grips of sleep, the adventurer was sure the Rat King was nearly upon him. He scrambled to his feet to find there was no monster before him, but a man.


“Oh I'm...eh... I thought you were the Rat King…” the adventurer stuttered, lost for words. “Are you lost? Do you know the way out of these tunnels?”.


The man's dark eye seemed to be studying him intently. “How do you know about the Rat King?” he said, ignoring the adventurer's questions.


“Oh… a creature told me the story… I'm quite desperate to get out from under this mountain, could you give me directions?”


The man smirked. “Those rat folk do love to tell stories. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of the one you were told. Doesn’t paint me in the best light. How rude of them really - they stole my offering to the Ancient One. It’s terrible to see how they waste their humanity. All the same, as a trespasser, I can’t let you leave with that information.”


“You see, that rat may call himself a king, but this is my mountain. Nothing leaves this place against my will and I have no interest in men coming her to investigate talking rats, or the wizard that laid waste to Caspria. So I think you’ll be staying.”


The adventurer tried to back away, but his legs kept buckling beneath him. He reached out to steady himself, but his arms were stiff and leaden. Eventually, he collapsed against the wall, unable to move.


When the adventurer came to, he was splayed out on an altar. His mind was swimming, and he couldn’t move. He could barely focus his eyes. He could hea


“Don't view this as an ending. You will shortly join a long line of esteemed individuals who are honoured by their offering to the ancient creature beneath the mountain. Their names aren’t recorded but their contribution to the study of the Ancient One.”


---------


A rat slinks through an abandoned church, deep within a mountain. Not an ordinary rat though - far too large. It scavenges around the ruined altar looking for food. Nothing to eat. But a scrap of paper has been tucked into a crevice of the altar. It seems to have been pushed in purposefully. The rat meticulously reads it. No name. Unfortunate. No record of who he was beyond an adventurer.


The rat tucks the note into his bag. The archivist would want to see. They might be able to find a rat folk who had met him. Piece together the story. Leave a record. A final kindness for the mountain’s victims.

Response to MWC19 - March - March Forward 2019-04-04 15:40:13


THE PERFECT SUICIDE- A DARK HUMOR TALE ON THE CYCLE OF TRAGIC MENTAL HEALTH


The year has been unfed and still. The silence is startling and any further noise would be a fit of terror. My exhaustion is baseless and my life shrieks in its own vanity. I railed another prescription off a hardcover book as I sprang up from my mattress. Alert without a quest I gazed at my surroundings. My spacious apartment remains cramped due to masses of clutter. The lighting is dim, the garbage is mountainous, and the aroma is as unpleasant as its aesthetic. My mattress occupies a corner on the hardwood floor, dishes clutter the sink, and mold, is growing in a location I haven’t located precisely. Between the mold and my poor diet my body is irritated and nauseous. I believe this mold is inhabiting an old smoothie cup I left out when I attempted to detox in order to ‘flush my toxins.’ It took me a week of consuming nothing but repulsive juice remedies to conclude that I was indeed the toxin that was in need of cleansing. Anyways, I don’t have time for cleaning now, I am busy at the moment. I drunkenly misplaced my suicide note. I wrote it the night before, several times, because I had to make sure it was perfect. I wrote of convictions, puppies, pop culture, and politics! This was the perfect suicide note but it appears I drank myself stupid enough to misplace it. I suppose it is lost in the chaos. I will have to find it, this will be the perfect suicide.  

               Thus far, I have lived the life of a filthy man. I have been consumed by my desires, temptations, and senselessness. For years I worked as an entertainer and I grew powerful as people applauded. I treasured knowing people respected me, even before we encountered. The children loved me, their mothers made love to me, and I laughed all the way to the bank. At the end of it all I couldn’t stomach these people. For a while, I casted blame onto others until I grew aware my agony was self-induced. My smile grew into a nervous tick and somewhere down the line I acquired the face of a clown. Everywhere I went I let my humor trick people into thinking I was good. My intentions were never good. I only made women laugh in desperate hopes they would sleep with me so I didn’t partake another lonely night. I only made men laugh because I would do anything as long as I didn’t have to talk about myself. Men always ask questions about, “what do you do for a living” so they can compare themselves and feel better that they have an ‘real job.’   About two years ago I retired as an entertainer and as a human, like an old carton of milk, I began to expire. I spend months at a time locked in my bedroom, and most days bedridden. But at last, I will be reborn! I will no longer be a slave to this chaotic universe, and. My spirit will fly free!

                Moments after digging through the trash that layered the apartment I began nodding out. Unable to find the note I decided to give up. As my black cat, Lloyd, crawled out of old clothes that were piled on the floor as I started nodding out. At the edge of my bed, at war with the drugs, I noticed Lloyd staring at me looking cold as ice. What.. What is it? What do you want? His eyes were glaring into my soul only to judge it. You’re a fucking cat! Who are you to judge me? You don’t even care about me. “Yeah, that’s what you’ve been reading online.” A voice echoing through the apartment. My eyes starting to give up. “You really don’t think I care? Yeah, I may be an independent creature, but inside this apartment? I need you.” Lloyd!? Am I tripping balls hallucinating or are you speaking? The room is spinning. “You are human error. Correct yourself.” I can’t even make sense of this. The voice is cold and deep. The same as the cat’s eyes. “Whatever, if you decide to kill yourself. At least leave some food in my bowl before you do it.” The voice reverberated as I fainted.

               I woke up, uncertainty ripping through my thoughts. My body is weak from the drugs and lack of nutrition. Unable to eat anything substantial, I attempted to eat a slice of toast with grape jelly. A coffee to cure the shakes. The drugs may have sought to destroy me last night but, whatever the cat did, or didn’t, say was the truth. Lloyd needs me! Can I abandon him so easily? Is this my conscious telling me to live? My human nature clinging to survive? Or am I perhaps the most shameful and pathetic little person to ever exist? Whatever it is, I’m uncertain I understood so again I pursued the note. I must find the note and execute my plan, and myself.

               I spent the night sorting through trash and dishes only to put them into garbage bags. I searched through my dust coated bookshelf and went through my self helps. “How to Love Yourself in 30 days!” “You Are Special ;)!” “An ALL NATURAL Self Help Guide!” and my personal favorite “Don’t be a Cunt.”   Obviously the books never worked. After I pursued my perfect suicide, I ended up in the same exact position. On my bed, with a hardcover book, prepared to inhale multiple lines of prescription medicine. This has been my routine for about two years now. Think of suicide, seek a lost note of perfection, and get high until I passed out. Am I sick? Absolutely. Did my doctor give me the medicine because I had the money to pay for it? Indeed. My doctor is as greedy as me, and at the end I never received the help I need. I can only continue this cycle of anguish and torture. Of course, that’s myself throwing a personal pity-party. I can’t provide all the credit to my doctor for my depression and insanity. Of course, I would love to get better. If it was all so simple...

               The self-help guides, and realization I have been abusing my medicine led me into a state of panic. I had the same visions of Lloyd as the night before. Only this time the cat said more cruel things. “There is no perfect suicide note…You’re a drug addicted chump who is frightened by life, and death!.. Don’t be a cunt!... Only you can ask for help! I’m a damn cat!”

I woke up, what felt like the next day, in an unusual room. A beautiful nurse opened the door and entered the area. She said. “I’ll be back to check up on you. Get some rest… Don’t worry, you’ll be okay.” and quick left. I must have overdosed and admitted myself into a psychiatric ward. Alright! I can be good! I can do the right things! I can change! I must trust them! All this time I thought the perfect suicide would be my escape to freedom and resurrection. Now, I will truly set myself free! I will fall in love! I will make a friend! Even if it is pure suffering I will attempt to live, for myself, my cat, and because I don't want to be a cunt.