Sunday, November 28, 2010

Announcing the release of the new novel, Birthing the Lucifer Star

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://forms.listwire.com/7662/4810.js"></script>
My book "birthing the lucifer star is now on sale."

 

Please visit my website http://hipriestess.com/blog to read scifi sundays with the hipriestess. 

. I am selling the book on kindle, as an ebook, at amazon, lulu
and myebooks.com and you will find my book, hard copy on sale at every major bookstore.

hyperlinks: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/11567
http://www.myebook.com/index.php?option=ebook&id=27255
http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=67957

So buy my book, or promote it through amazon. If you are an amazon affiliate, you can create an amazon widget with my novel, "Birthing the Lucifer star" and post it on your website.

My deal is this, buy the book and get 15 mlm ebooks for free.

 

Birthing the Lucifer star,  Book review

Do We hear the call?? In our everyday reality, the great spirit calls us to redeem ourselves and those around us from the ruler of this world. If you heard the call, what would you choose. For many are called, but few are chosen. Those who hear and answer the call do so to the peril of their very soul. Follow the woman of the wilderness and the hero, a great warrior of the first nation, as they risk life and limb to redeem first themselves then all of turtle island...

A sparse, mythical writing style and complex storytelling ensure the success of D. E. Bartley's portrayal of a celebrated Native American warrior who rediscovers his divinity, and a Brooklyn daughter of Jacob who wanders the wilderness trying to answer the call.
 
EXCERPT:
 
 
 Chapter 15: Secret Bilderberger Meeting
The Lords of Belgium sat in conference, reviewing the current state of the economy around the world. Sir Rothschild was receiving the reports of his lesser chief, the royal crown of England.
"My faithful servant, what is your report?"
"Sire, I bring disturbing news from the American sector. The production targets on the flu vaccine are being met, but industrial progress is slow. Asia, meanwhile-they are much closer to their targets and have been making greater progress."
"What should I see as disturbing in that last report?"
"Sire, if you will recall, the Americans are leaderless, their President, is our puppet, so no one really takes him seriously %u2026 They have been making these improvements on their own initiative. As they clearly are outstripping India and China, where there are strong leaders in place, they are gaining pride in their own progress, their own initiative."
"I see. That could be grave. The dollar has not yet reached its intrinsic value of zero. Confidence in their own capabilities could cause them to resent the taxes and levies they pay to us %u2026 damned Americans refuse to be subservient."
"In fact, sire, there have been inquiries regarding certain levies of ours. Complaints have been made that certain line items are excessive."
"Then we need to take action. Tell me: has their progress been steady?"
"For the most part, sire, yes. However, in the last reporting period, we note a leveling out. Some discontent with this is evident in the tone of the reports; there have even been rumors that certain states want to create their own greenbacks."
"Then we have our window of opportunity."
"Sire? I don't understand."
"My faithful servant," the Lord Rothschild said, a tone of deliberate patience in his voice, "please recite for me the mantra of progressive evolution."
"Evolvement is not a steady upward curve, but is a series of steps punctuated by periods of little or no upward movement, known as plateaus. When a table is reached, it is important not to forsake the methods bringing progress, but to persevere and accumulate the incremental improvements that will finally break out of the plateau and once again bring upward mobilization."
"This is what brings us our opportunity to institute change to our benefit," the Lord Rothschild stated.
The queen was clearly perplexed. "Change, sire? I thought the mantra of progressive evolution dictated steadfastness, patience, and perseverance?"
"Recite for me the mantra of reconstruction."
The queen stood silent, at a loss. Across the table from her, Warren Buffett stood up, smiling smugly. "Reconstruction is good when instituted and controlled from above. Altering the status quo from below becomes good only when it is accepted and taken under direction from above."
"Very good, Warren; you may sit down. Now, explain how this fits the current situation."
Ben Bernanke stood, was recognized, and then spoke. "The current situation allows us to invoke the mantra of reconstruction to our advantage. We can accomplish our objectives by instituting a change of our own that will co-opt their change and bring it completely under our control."
"Most excellent, my loyal servant. I see that you, at least, have been paying attention. Put yourself in for a raise. I will approve it."
"Thank you, sire!" Bernanke wiped a tear of gratitude from the corner of his eye.
Lord Rothschild gestured, and his underlings sat down. "The Americans cannot be allowed to continue to self-govern and question our legitimate rule." He smiled coldly. "Therefore, we need to create a large enough altercation to shake their little world. The silly mass shootings being blamed on Muslims are just not viable; the Americans are seeing through these black ops. However, there will be a new sun in place by the time the current plateau is overcome, and we'll see that the credit for this incredible feat or progress falls to us. Thus, we will reassert our control, and the questioning of our levies will cease. George, when does Cassini II launch?"
"It launches in just 7 days-a most wise plan, sire," said George Herbert Walker Bush. "We will show them our power and confirm our control."
"Thank you, George. The Cassini is equipped with two tons of plutonium; we have directed the ship toward Jupiter, and hopefully the nuclear fission will be enough to create a sustainable blaze, creating a new sun. It is imperative that we get this right. Does anyone have any questions? No? Good. Then this meeting is officially adjourned."
 
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heroe's always remember

 

I was sitting on the porch when I heard the sound of the dove come from the old millpond. The dove's mournful call stopped, and then I heard death coming down the country road that ran passed my grandparent's farm. It broke the Sunday afternoon apart and silenced the dove.

My grandmother’s name was Gloria Roberts. My grandfather was already dead by that fall, finally killed by the gas that began to eat his lungs in the trenches of France in 1918; buried with his Croix de Guerre.

My grandparents lived in the tobacco country of eastern North Carolina, in a place with a name you couldn't find on a map. They lived in the midst of horizon-to-horizon tobacco fields that grew over my head; hid me in forests of green like the jungles of Tarzan, and where I ran wild, invisible to the world, feeling the hot sand of the fields between my bare toes.

I was ten year old, sitting on the porch of my grandparent’s house and dreaming a boy’s dreams, when the call of the dove stopped.

I heard screaming metal, an engine trying to tear itself apart, howling like a tortured animal. I looked toward the road. I could see the small white dot of my grandmother’s mailbox, atop its post and leaning a little to the right, on the other side of the road.

Then I saw it. It came from the left, a flash of blue. And it began to fly. If left the ground and climbed toward the sky over the tobacco fields, trying to fly over the ditch by the side of the road. The sky and the car were almost the same pale-blue color.

Halfway up the arc of its climb, the car rolled, like an airplane doing stunts. I could see the workings beneath it. They were lewd, as if the car was naked. The car seemed to hang at the top of the arc, its black belly exposed, and then it fell.

The car fell into the ditch and kicked up dirt that floated and drifted in the air around it. It landed on its top and the wheels kept spinning. The roaring engine died when the car hit the ditch and I could hear the spinning wheels. They made a rumbling and whirring sound.

I jumped off the porch and ran. I don’t know why I didn’t run to find my grandmother. She was in the garden in the back of the house, bent over her black-eyed Susan’s. But I didn’t run for her, I ran toward the upside down car, its wheels starting to slow down now, but still spinning. I was thirteen years old and I was running toward death. But I didn’t know it.

There was a breeze ruffling something; making something pink move and dance. I kept running. I saw a woman lying on the white line in the middle of the road. The breeze was moving parts of her pink dress.

I stood in the middle of the road, breathing hard from the running, and felt the heat from the asphalt on the soles of my bare feet, like standing in my grandparent’s fields. I looked down at the woman in the road. She was an older woman; she was a thin black woman dressed in her Sunday church best.

I looked both ways down the road. There were no other cars. The whole world was filled up with me and an elderly black woman in a pink dress lying like a rag doll in the middle of a road surrounded by North Carolina tobacco fields.

Then, a car came. I didn’t know it was there until I heard the door slam and a man came toward me.

“Son?” the man said. “Better get out of the road, boy. I’ll go on down to Pappy yoke’s Store and call an ambulance. You’d better get out of the road, son.”

“I know,” I said.
“You Van Robert's grandson?” the man said.

“Yessir,” I said. Now, I wanted to cry. As long as it was just me and the woman lying in the road, as long we were all there was in the world, I didn’t think about crying. But now, I wanted to cry.

“"You’d better get out of the road, son,” the man said again. “You come on with me; there ain’t nothin’ you can do for her."

“No,”" I said. “"Somebody’s got to keep the cars from running over her."

"You reckon you can handle that, boy?”"

"Yessir,"” I said.

The man looked at me and said, “I reckon you are Van Robert's grandson. You just stand on the side of the road and wave ‘’em down. There ain’t likely to be any on this road on a Sunday, and I’ll be right back."

“The store ain’t open on Sunday,” I said.

“"I know, son, but they live in back and I know your gramma ain’t got a telephone."

The man got into his car and drove toward Pappy "yoke ’s Store, but I didn’t watch him go. I didn’t watch him drive around the woman lying in the road.

Because I saw the woman’s eyes. Maybe they were closed before; maybe that’s why I didn’t see them sooner.

Her eyes were open and she was staring at me like I was the only thing in the world. Her mouth began to move, too, like she was talking. She was staring at me, her eyes wide-open and not blinking – staring at me and her mouth opening and closing. She was talking to me, but she couldn’t make the words come out.

I looked up and down the empty Sunday road; I don’t know what I was looking for. Maybe just for someone to come and take this woman away, to rescue me from her staring eyes and her silent moving lips.

But, I had to look at her, to look straight back into her eyes – I had to – because I knew that if I looked away it would be like I just left her to die. So I looked back into her eyes, trembling and wanting to cry again. And her mouth kept moving. Talking to me. Telling me not to leave her. I felt that inside. I didn’t have to hear it. I knelt beside her and held her hand and would not leave her.

When I heard my grandmother holler, I jumped. For a second I guess I thought the sound came from the woman on the road. But it was my grandmother.

She was waddling down the dirt road from the house as fast as she could go. She hollered again; “”Lawd God a-mighty!” as she came, trailing little clouds of dust at her feet. My grandmother was a great fat woman with huge all-encompassing breasts and upper arms as big as a pro-wrestler’s. She could envelope the whole world, hold it all tight against those huge bosoms. “”Lawd God a-mighty!”” she yelled again, even though her mouth was bulging with snuff.

Then my grandmother stood next to me on the road, breathing hard. She put her hand on my shoulder. “”Charlie?”” she said, and I started to cry. If she hadn’t put her hand on my shoulder and called my name I would have been all right. But now I was crying.

The woman lying in the road kept looking at me, her eyes never leaving my face.

“”We got to get out of the road,”” my grandmother said.

“”No,”” I said, and my grandmother kept standing in the road beside me until the man came back from Pappy Yoke’s store. The ambulance was right behind him. The highway patrol came too and the road was full of cars, blue and red lights flashing; all gathered around the old black woman lying broken in the road in her pink dress.

They put the woman on a stretcher. She didn’t move until they rolled her into the ambulance and she turned her head a little so she could keep looking at me. I heard one of the ambulance attendants say; “Nice Chevy. Too bad she tore it up like that.” Then they were all gone. All the cars drove away and the flashing lights were gone and silence fell again, like a blanket, over the tobacco fields. Not even the sound of the dove over at the old millpond. The woman couldn’t look at me anymore.

Nobody ever taught me how to pray. But I tried to learn that night. My grandparent’s farm was nine miles from Snow Hill and at night it was swallowed in darkness. I could lie at night and hold my hand to my face, almost touching my nose, and not see it.

That night, in my feather-bed, I looked at the blackness over my head and tried to pray. “Dear God, please help that poor old negro woman,” I said. But my prayer didn’t seem to go anywhere; it just went up into the darkness over my head and disappeared.

I don’t remember how long I prayed like that. But I do remember why I stopped.
I stopped when I saw the woman’s eyes, shinning in the dark above my bed. Luminous, and staring at me. The woman’s eyes stayed in the darkness above my bed until morning; they melted away with the first dim light that seeped into my room.

I watched them all night. I could have reached up and touched them. But, I just lay there and looked back at them until morning came.

It was when the first filmy rays of light broke into my room, when things were just beginning to turn into clumps of gray, that the woman spoke to me. “”My name is Marlie Robinson,”” she said. “”You remember my name,”” she said. I said I would remember. Then the eyes and the voice were gone and the day had come.

I told my grandmother the woman’s name.

“”She tell you while she was layin' in the road?”” my grandmother said.
“”She told me,”” I said.

My grandmother didn’t know any Robinsons. She said they must be from over in Yellow Springs, or maybe Greenville.

After a while, I quit thinking about the woman. Sometimes, in high school, when I talked about her my friends laughed, punched me in the arm, and said; “”bullshit!”

But, I could close my eyes anytime I wanted to and see that pale-blue Chevrolet on its top, its wheels spinning like the legs of a bug on its back moving and trying to find the ground. I could close my eyes anytime and see the woman’s pink dress blowing in the breeze that came softly down the road that Sunday afternoon. It was a memory I would always have. And I would always have the woman’s name too. And every time I heard a dove’s cry, I remembered.

Even though I never once doubted the eyes and the woman’s voice that night were real, they never came back again. Many times I wondered why I wasn’t afraid that night. The woman’s eyes were soft and brown, with the whites of her eyes shinning bright, and her voice was soft too. – “You remember my name.” Other than that, I don’t know why I wasn’t afraid. In 2001, I went to the woman’s grave. It wasn’t hard to find, there was only one black cemetery in Yellow Springs. I took some flowers and laid them on her grave, in front of the stone that had her name carved on it.

I was wearing my uniform. I was in the Army and on my way to Iraq. I knew I would run toward death again; toward bodies tossed like rag dolls and lying broken on the ground.....I knew I was looking down at my own broken body. I looked up to see Marlie Robinson standing above me looking down at my broken body, I asked her not to leave me. I asked her to remember my name. Marlie Robinson held my hand, she never left my side.

 

Announcing the release of the new novel, Birthing the Lucifer Star

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://forms.listwire.com/7662/4810.js"></script>
My book "birthing the lucifer star is now on sale."

 

Please visit my website http://hipriestess.com/blog to read scifi sundays with the hipriestess. 

. I am selling the book on kindle, as an ebook, at amazon, lulu
and myebooks.com and you will find my book, hard copy on sale at every major bookstore.

hyperlinks: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/11567
http://www.myebook.com/index.php?option=ebook&id=27255
http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=67957

So buy my book, or promote it through amazon. If you are an amazon affiliate, you can create an amazon widget with my novel, "Birthing the Lucifer star" and post it on your website.

My deal is this, buy the book and get 15 mlm ebooks for free.

 

Birthing the Lucifer star,  Book review

Do We hear the call?? In our everyday reality, the great spirit calls us to redeem ourselves and those around us from the ruler of this world. If you heard the call, what would you choose. For many are called, but few are chosen. Those who hear and answer the call do so to the peril of their very soul. Follow the woman of the wilderness and the hero, a great warrior of the first nation, as they risk life and limb to redeem first themselves then all of turtle island...

A sparse, mythical writing style and complex storytelling ensure the success of D. E. Bartley's portrayal of a celebrated Native American warrior who rediscovers his divinity, and a Brooklyn daughter of Jacob who wanders the wilderness trying to answer the call.
 
EXCERPT:
 
 
 Chapter 15: Secret Bilderberger Meeting
The Lords of Belgium sat in conference, reviewing the current state of the economy around the world. Sir Rothschild was receiving the reports of his lesser chief, the royal crown of England.
"My faithful servant, what is your report?"
"Sire, I bring disturbing news from the American sector. The production targets on the flu vaccine are being met, but industrial progress is slow. Asia, meanwhile-they are much closer to their targets and have been making greater progress."
"What should I see as disturbing in that last report?"
"Sire, if you will recall, the Americans are leaderless, their President, is our puppet, so no one really takes him seriously %u2026 They have been making these improvements on their own initiative. As they clearly are outstripping India and China, where there are strong leaders in place, they are gaining pride in their own progress, their own initiative."
"I see. That could be grave. The dollar has not yet reached its intrinsic value of zero. Confidence in their own capabilities could cause them to resent the taxes and levies they pay to us %u2026 damned Americans refuse to be subservient."
"In fact, sire, there have been inquiries regarding certain levies of ours. Complaints have been made that certain line items are excessive."
"Then we need to take action. Tell me: has their progress been steady?"
"For the most part, sire, yes. However, in the last reporting period, we note a leveling out. Some discontent with this is evident in the tone of the reports; there have even been rumors that certain states want to create their own greenbacks."
"Then we have our window of opportunity."
"Sire? I don't understand."
"My faithful servant," the Lord Rothschild said, a tone of deliberate patience in his voice, "please recite for me the mantra of progressive evolution."
"Evolvement is not a steady upward curve, but is a series of steps punctuated by periods of little or no upward movement, known as plateaus. When a table is reached, it is important not to forsake the methods bringing progress, but to persevere and accumulate the incremental improvements that will finally break out of the plateau and once again bring upward mobilization."
"This is what brings us our opportunity to institute change to our benefit," the Lord Rothschild stated.
The queen was clearly perplexed. "Change, sire? I thought the mantra of progressive evolution dictated steadfastness, patience, and perseverance?"
"Recite for me the mantra of reconstruction."
The queen stood silent, at a loss. Across the table from her, Warren Buffett stood up, smiling smugly. "Reconstruction is good when instituted and controlled from above. Altering the status quo from below becomes good only when it is accepted and taken under direction from above."
"Very good, Warren; you may sit down. Now, explain how this fits the current situation."
Ben Bernanke stood, was recognized, and then spoke. "The current situation allows us to invoke the mantra of reconstruction to our advantage. We can accomplish our objectives by instituting a change of our own that will co-opt their change and bring it completely under our control."
"Most excellent, my loyal servant. I see that you, at least, have been paying attention. Put yourself in for a raise. I will approve it."
"Thank you, sire!" Bernanke wiped a tear of gratitude from the corner of his eye.
Lord Rothschild gestured, and his underlings sat down. "The Americans cannot be allowed to continue to self-govern and question our legitimate rule." He smiled coldly. "Therefore, we need to create a large enough altercation to shake their little world. The silly mass shootings being blamed on Muslims are just not viable; the Americans are seeing through these black ops. However, there will be a new sun in place by the time the current plateau is overcome, and we'll see that the credit for this incredible feat or progress falls to us. Thus, we will reassert our control, and the questioning of our levies will cease. George, when does Cassini II launch?"
"It launches in just 7 days-a most wise plan, sire," said George Herbert Walker Bush. "We will show them our power and confirm our control."
"Thank you, George. The Cassini is equipped with two tons of plutonium; we have directed the ship toward Jupiter, and hopefully the nuclear fission will be enough to create a sustainable blaze, creating a new sun. It is imperative that we get this right. Does anyone have any questions? No? Good. Then this meeting is officially adjourned."
 
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heroe's always remember

 

I was sitting on the porch when I heard the sound of the dove come from the old millpond. The dove's mournful call stopped, and then I heard death coming down the country road that ran passed my grandparent's farm. It broke the Sunday afternoon apart and silenced the dove.

My grandmother’s name was Gloria Roberts. My grandfather was already dead by that fall, finally killed by the gas that began to eat his lungs in the trenches of France in 1918; buried with his Croix de Guerre.

My grandparents lived in the tobacco country of eastern North Carolina, in a place with a name you couldn't find on a map. They lived in the midst of horizon-to-horizon tobacco fields that grew over my head; hid me in forests of green like the jungles of Tarzan, and where I ran wild, invisible to the world, feeling the hot sand of the fields between my bare toes.

I was ten year old, sitting on the porch of my grandparent’s house and dreaming a boy’s dreams, when the call of the dove stopped.

I heard screaming metal, an engine trying to tear itself apart, howling like a tortured animal. I looked toward the road. I could see the small white dot of my grandmother’s mailbox, atop its post and leaning a little to the right, on the other side of the road.

Then I saw it. It came from the left, a flash of blue. And it began to fly. If left the ground and climbed toward the sky over the tobacco fields, trying to fly over the ditch by the side of the road. The sky and the car were almost the same pale-blue color.

Halfway up the arc of its climb, the car rolled, like an airplane doing stunts. I could see the workings beneath it. They were lewd, as if the car was naked. The car seemed to hang at the top of the arc, its black belly exposed, and then it fell.

The car fell into the ditch and kicked up dirt that floated and drifted in the air around it. It landed on its top and the wheels kept spinning. The roaring engine died when the car hit the ditch and I could hear the spinning wheels. They made a rumbling and whirring sound.

I jumped off the porch and ran. I don’t know why I didn’t run to find my grandmother. She was in the garden in the back of the house, bent over her black-eyed Susan’s. But I didn’t run for her, I ran toward the upside down car, its wheels starting to slow down now, but still spinning. I was thirteen years old and I was running toward death. But I didn’t know it.

There was a breeze ruffling something; making something pink move and dance. I kept running. I saw a woman lying on the white line in the middle of the road. The breeze was moving parts of her pink dress.

I stood in the middle of the road, breathing hard from the running, and felt the heat from the asphalt on the soles of my bare feet, like standing in my grandparent’s fields. I looked down at the woman in the road. She was an older woman; she was a thin black woman dressed in her Sunday church best.

I looked both ways down the road. There were no other cars. The whole world was filled up with me and an elderly black woman in a pink dress lying like a rag doll in the middle of a road surrounded by North Carolina tobacco fields.

Then, a car came. I didn’t know it was there until I heard the door slam and a man came toward me.

“Son?” the man said. “Better get out of the road, boy. I’ll go on down to Pappy yoke’s Store and call an ambulance. You’d better get out of the road, son.”

“I know,” I said.
“You Van Robert's grandson?” the man said.

“Yessir,” I said. Now, I wanted to cry. As long as it was just me and the woman lying in the road, as long we were all there was in the world, I didn’t think about crying. But now, I wanted to cry.

“"You’d better get out of the road, son,” the man said again. “You come on with me; there ain’t nothin’ you can do for her."

“No,”" I said. “"Somebody’s got to keep the cars from running over her."

"You reckon you can handle that, boy?”"

"Yessir,"” I said.

The man looked at me and said, “I reckon you are Van Robert's grandson. You just stand on the side of the road and wave ‘’em down. There ain’t likely to be any on this road on a Sunday, and I’ll be right back."

“The store ain’t open on Sunday,” I said.

“"I know, son, but they live in back and I know your gramma ain’t got a telephone."

The man got into his car and drove toward Pappy "yoke ’s Store, but I didn’t watch him go. I didn’t watch him drive around the woman lying in the road.

Because I saw the woman’s eyes. Maybe they were closed before; maybe that’s why I didn’t see them sooner.

Her eyes were open and she was staring at me like I was the only thing in the world. Her mouth began to move, too, like she was talking. She was staring at me, her eyes wide-open and not blinking – staring at me and her mouth opening and closing. She was talking to me, but she couldn’t make the words come out.

I looked up and down the empty Sunday road; I don’t know what I was looking for. Maybe just for someone to come and take this woman away, to rescue me from her staring eyes and her silent moving lips.

But, I had to look at her, to look straight back into her eyes – I had to – because I knew that if I looked away it would be like I just left her to die. So I looked back into her eyes, trembling and wanting to cry again. And her mouth kept moving. Talking to me. Telling me not to leave her. I felt that inside. I didn’t have to hear it. I knelt beside her and held her hand and would not leave her.

When I heard my grandmother holler, I jumped. For a second I guess I thought the sound came from the woman on the road. But it was my grandmother.

She was waddling down the dirt road from the house as fast as she could go. She hollered again; “”Lawd God a-mighty!” as she came, trailing little clouds of dust at her feet. My grandmother was a great fat woman with huge all-encompassing breasts and upper arms as big as a pro-wrestler’s. She could envelope the whole world, hold it all tight against those huge bosoms. “”Lawd God a-mighty!”” she yelled again, even though her mouth was bulging with snuff.

Then my grandmother stood next to me on the road, breathing hard. She put her hand on my shoulder. “”Charlie?”” she said, and I started to cry. If she hadn’t put her hand on my shoulder and called my name I would have been all right. But now I was crying.

The woman lying in the road kept looking at me, her eyes never leaving my face.

“”We got to get out of the road,”” my grandmother said.

“”No,”” I said, and my grandmother kept standing in the road beside me until the man came back from Pappy Yoke’s store. The ambulance was right behind him. The highway patrol came too and the road was full of cars, blue and red lights flashing; all gathered around the old black woman lying broken in the road in her pink dress.

They put the woman on a stretcher. She didn’t move until they rolled her into the ambulance and she turned her head a little so she could keep looking at me. I heard one of the ambulance attendants say; “Nice Chevy. Too bad she tore it up like that.” Then they were all gone. All the cars drove away and the flashing lights were gone and silence fell again, like a blanket, over the tobacco fields. Not even the sound of the dove over at the old millpond. The woman couldn’t look at me anymore.

Nobody ever taught me how to pray. But I tried to learn that night. My grandparent’s farm was nine miles from Snow Hill and at night it was swallowed in darkness. I could lie at night and hold my hand to my face, almost touching my nose, and not see it.

That night, in my feather-bed, I looked at the blackness over my head and tried to pray. “Dear God, please help that poor old negro woman,” I said. But my prayer didn’t seem to go anywhere; it just went up into the darkness over my head and disappeared.

I don’t remember how long I prayed like that. But I do remember why I stopped.
I stopped when I saw the woman’s eyes, shinning in the dark above my bed. Luminous, and staring at me. The woman’s eyes stayed in the darkness above my bed until morning; they melted away with the first dim light that seeped into my room.

I watched them all night. I could have reached up and touched them. But, I just lay there and looked back at them until morning came.

It was when the first filmy rays of light broke into my room, when things were just beginning to turn into clumps of gray, that the woman spoke to me. “”My name is Marlie Robinson,”” she said. “”You remember my name,”” she said. I said I would remember. Then the eyes and the voice were gone and the day had come.

I told my grandmother the woman’s name.

“”She tell you while she was layin' in the road?”” my grandmother said.
“”She told me,”” I said.

My grandmother didn’t know any Robinsons. She said they must be from over in Yellow Springs, or maybe Greenville.

After a while, I quit thinking about the woman. Sometimes, in high school, when I talked about her my friends laughed, punched me in the arm, and said; “”bullshit!”

But, I could close my eyes anytime I wanted to and see that pale-blue Chevrolet on its top, its wheels spinning like the legs of a bug on its back moving and trying to find the ground. I could close my eyes anytime and see the woman’s pink dress blowing in the breeze that came softly down the road that Sunday afternoon. It was a memory I would always have. And I would always have the woman’s name too. And every time I heard a dove’s cry, I remembered.

Even though I never once doubted the eyes and the woman’s voice that night were real, they never came back again. Many times I wondered why I wasn’t afraid that night. The woman’s eyes were soft and brown, with the whites of her eyes shinning bright, and her voice was soft too. – “You remember my name.” Other than that, I don’t know why I wasn’t afraid. In 2001, I went to the woman’s grave. It wasn’t hard to find, there was only one black cemetery in Yellow Springs. I took some flowers and laid them on her grave, in front of the stone that had her name carved on it.

I was wearing my uniform. I was in the Army and on my way to Iraq. I knew I would run toward death again; toward bodies tossed like rag dolls and lying broken on the ground.....I knew I was looking down at my own broken body. I looked up to see Marlie Robinson standing above me looking down at my broken body, I asked her not to leave me. I asked her to remember my name. Marlie Robinson held my hand, she never left my side.

 

Scifi sundays presents "Maiden Voyage"

Maiden Voyage



 

Nicco was nervous coming to New York City” rel=”geolocation”>New York for the first time. The club was packed,
Kings, queens, fags and hags, wall to wall gayness. Nicco was excited, this was
His maiden voyage to a Gay club in the heart of the big Apple. Dressed up, for
The very first time, Nicco headed for the ‘ladie’s room to make sure his makeup
Hadn’t run, and that he still looked the femme fatale. He strolled into the bathroom
And spotted Adrian. He was much older than Nicco, but he was breathtakingly
Beautiful.

Not pretty. Not lovely. Gorgeous. Glamour, mystererious, the whole nine yards. Stately, stunning—all the sexy things a woman wantsed to be…and Adrian was a guy, which almost made Nicico hate “her” more. Nicco was taken by her stunning beauty, and knew that’s what he wanted to be too. Thrash was a gay bar—and there was something great about the place—tribal. Ecstatic. It was a converted church in the middle of the city—he felt reverence— he worshipped the fact that he was smack dab in the middle of wonderland—MEN everywhere—beautiful men—and it didn’t matter that they were there for each other. He was in on a pass—his friends were happy to dance with him, talk, whatever.

Thrash was safe. No rapists, no weirdos. Just Nicco and 500 he-shes. The she-hes had their own enclave there—but he didn’t dress right, didn’t give off the vibe—to them he was invisible—or maybe a fag hag—but in any event—they kept away. He didn’t see Adrian
again till the third rum and coke hit. So He left to drain the dragon.
Off to the ladies room, which wasn’t for women only—at the Gay clubs that was never a given.

And there she sat—–before the vanity mirror.
PERFECT. Raven hair, pouty red mouth just waiting to be kissed, dark eyes that whispered secrets of sin—and doing things in a red satin dress that would have gotten “her” arrested in Utah. Oh man…blow to his fragile 20 year old ego. How could a man be more beautiful than a woman? But he-she was.

There was the barest flicker of eye contact…a polite nod, and he was back out again. The party was just beginning…Cher’s…’gypsies tramps and thieves’…it was safe sex for him—dancing with those writhing men, reveling in their macho postures, presented with grace and pure rut. He loved men—and it did not matter that he was not looking for a lover. Here he could just enjoy the raw male power of the place. But there was Adrian…making him feel perfectly shoddy. Like an imposter. It had taken three looks to know her for what she was. No hiding the wrist structure—or the ankles…but all the rest…a perfect ten, drag queen extraordinaire.

And he knew she hadn’t gone for the surgery either. It takes a lot of balls to have your Johnson removed….This one was fully equipped—and still managed to pull off the female thing better than Nicco could with his flimsy first attempt. But what was she doing in the ladies room? There was a club full of guys who would have squired her as readily as they did him—a fact that remained a mystery, but a happy one. In the straight world, Nicco was always second choice—or even third. Here he was the belle of the ball…his choice of dance partners. Here his every word was a witty gem, and the circle of laughter followed him like a halo. he loved these men—for making him feel more gloriously like a woman then any “normal” man ever had.

But there was Adrian…on his second visit to the ladies room, he found she still sat, gazing in the vanity mirror, searching for some flaw—one small line marring the forehead—Nicco touched up his make up—which was running to ruin because he was dancing like he always had wanted to—and never had. Sweat was making it run off, and while he wasn’t hunting, looking good was a simple matter of pride , he didn’t just want to play the part, he wanted to feel the part.

Gary and Allan had warned him about bitch queens—and he had met a few…but Adrian seemed a perfectly harmless drag queen. The guys told him, Adrian was a house boy . Was he supposed to speak to her or not? If he did, was he crashing a fantasy? Hard to tell. He went back out to the boys—more dancing—more laughter as they spun the kid like a disco princess, and fought over who would partner him next…and strangely—He found his eyes going back again to that ladies room door. Surely she did not mean to stay there all night?

Miguel spun Nicco wild—-a mistake on such a crowded dance floor—and sent him careening into a man—he was dressed in a suit—unusual for that place. He smiled into Nicco’s eyes, nodded, and asked him to dance. Miguel and Allan danced together for a slow number—so there seemed no good reason not to…and all around him men danced slowly in each others arms…teasing each other—even kissing…a sight Nicco found profoundly erotic. he darted his eyes away, feeling like he intruded with his glance—but could not help but stare. It was sweet, sexy sensual, but with raw male power.

He did not know the gentleman’s name, and when he bent close, Nicco thought he meant to tell him—but instead his mouth came down hard on his mouth, and he could taste scotch on his tongue. He proceeded to bite Nicco’s lip, not quite unwelcome, it was still unexpected. He was still quite naive, and might have drawn back—but his hands shot down Nicco’s pants holding him, there….. as he kissed deeper—finally sucking in the lip and holding it between his teeth.

Nicco was completely unnerved. This was something that he never experienced, He did not want the boys to think he was poaching…and it was three minutes before the guy released his penis…grabbing Nicco’s nail polished hand instead.

“You are mine tonight.” he whispered, the accent faint—perhaps Russian…and Nicco’s throat went dry—not with excitement, but fear. His lip throbbed, and whatever this guy’s thing was, he was pretty certain he was not near experienced, nor exotic enough for his taste.

“Ladies room.” Nicco whispered …and he held his hand right to the door. He got inside, then leaned against it, feeling faintly sick. Trapped? In a gay bar? How the hell had that happened?

He looked up, and saw Adrian studying him in the glass. She spoke low—

“Hey kid—you’re being chased huh? He’s a beast that one, you won’t walk for a week.”

Nicco nodded, shaken.

“Well girl—there’s no back door here. You’re gonna have to leave sometime—we can’t talk panty hose and popping cherries until 4:30 a.m ….”she said calmly.

“No. Guess we can’t.” Nicco said, crestfallen. His posture was sagging, he felt he was a pretty poor excuse for a woman—no wiles, no gumption, just an 18 year old kid trying on a skirt, blouse makeup and some ikipedia.org/wiki/Pantyhose” title=”Pantyhose” rel=”wikipedia”>pantyhose.

“Tell you what little girl…” she said, not unkindly. “I’ll help you out. You’ll only have a minute…find your friends and run. The one who’s waiting for you—he’s a mean bastard. He likes it hard. He’s a top, and he knows you’re a bottom, he’ll take more than your
cherry, look! your lip is turning purple, so I know you already had a taste. And it doesn’t much look like you enjoyed it.”

She stood—breathtaking—tossed her hair over her shoulder, shook the mane of curls—and started moving for the door in a haze of Opium fumes.
Nicco needed to say something—anything less lame than thank you—-

“You are beautiful.” Nicco stammered, and looked down. Adrian froze—one elegant hand reaching for the door handle. Those dark eyes sized him up—looking for something nasty—sarcasm? But he wasn’t lying. She was…but somehow just didn’t know it. It took him years to realize how he almost ruined that beautiful makeup—but then he did not understand the tears that suddenly flooded her eyes. She fought them back, reached out, and hugged him…

“Be careful Little sister,” she whispered. “Look out for the sado masochists, they bite hard.”

A moment later, she walked out…and sure enough, the sensation she caused gave Nicco a chance to run. He found Gary, dragged Allan away, and we headed back toward Jersey.. They told had that Adrian had done something very special—she spent the whole night in that ladies room every time—emerging just before the closing to pick a lover for the night. Her early arrival had given me a chance to bolt—now she would be pestered by every man in the place until closing.

Miguel looked at him a moment, when Nicco told him what he said.

“Well, she hates you—but she loves you too. NO matter how good she looks, she knows she’s only a queen—small “Q”. She can fool the boys—but you’re a wannabe. You gave her validation. Tonight she was a Queen—large Q. Good job girl—or man—look at your lip!”

And so ended Nicco’s maiden voyage in to the belly of the beast. His fat lip, proof that he had the courage to go through with his fantasy. They Drove over the Pulaski bridge and stopped at the Skyway diner, they were starving, Nicco no longer cared about his make-up and had cleaned most of the makeup off and put on a dingy pair of blue jeans, and a t-shirt. They walked into the Diner and took a booth in the back, ordering who knows what, they were all pretty inebriated. Nicco got up to use the little boy’s room, back in the real world, he entered the stall, and was immediately grabbed and thrown to the floor…..Nicco couldn’t see, whoever it was, had pulled the t shirt over his head, he felt his pants being torn open….

“No one leaves me in the lurch, queenie…..”
 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A royal welcome for a Hero

Early. A sound in the distance, different to the ever present cannon-fire and musket, but familiar. She wondered if it could be morning birdsong, but upon the war-ravaged wasteland of this battlefield, she wondered if there were any birds left here.

Knocking. Staccato, almost frenzied in its intensity. What could be so important to be delivered to her personally, instead of her generals? She had been up late discussing matters of state with her advisors, possible trade alliances with neutral countries and would-be allies. She was ill-equipped to deal with some unexpected dignitary, at some ungodly hour before she had a chance to bathe and prepare for their visit.

But if such urgency was any guide, perhaps it would not matter her somewhat less than regal appearance. There was a war going on, of course.

Her servant appeared by her bedside like a puppet in a shadow-play, suddenly sliding into her vision. "Your Highness, someone stands without, seeking to speak with you directly. Shall I send him away?"

"No. It may be important. I should probably speak with him, but he should not mind my unprepared state."

Candice, her servant released a slow smirk."

"It is a common soldier, my Queen. Of no rank to speak of, yet he seeks to speak to you directly. Let me dispose of him with haste."

She wondered what it all meant. Why would a common soldier wish to speak with her? Didn't he know that his chances of seeing her were remote at his rank?

"Why does he wish to talk to me? Perhaps I can spare him a moment if the issue is relevant?"

"He refuses to speak of it, your Highness. He just keeps repeating that he wants to talk to you. Nothing more, nothing less. He is not some gentleman playing at being a soldier either, he is low born, that is plain enough. His manners are brusque and blunt."

She was at a loss. Things like this just didn't happen. People knew their place. In the social order of things, this soldier just didn't exist in her world of courtly intrigue and global state-craft. It was -- inconceivable.

Everything within her told her that she should leave things as they lay, to ignore this visitor and get back to her duties, as laborious as they could be. But her curiosity was not sated, it burned within her to learn why this man had done this unusual thing.

"I will meet him at the door, guarded of course. I will ask him his purpose in coming here, and I will see what is going on." She half said this to herself, and half to Candice, but her servant reacted and quickly dressed her and applied a modicum of powder and rouge appropriately, yet hurriedly.

Soon she was striding stately towards the front door of headquarters. The door was flung open at her approach, she looking somehow still regal without her accoutrements and fanfare.

The light was dazzling from without the headquarters, shining into her eyes, making her visitor a mere silhouette. Surrounded by that shining dawn, like some angelic messenger from the higher realms.

But no, he was just a soldier. Ragged yet repaired fatigues, he'd obviously shown her some respect by keeping himself clean and tidy to meet with her, as she had extended a similar courtesy, yet in her case, it was more in keeping up appearances.

For a moment his rough features stayed frozen, as if he was shocked to actually get his audience with his Queen. But then he got to his reason for being here, direct and to the point, he said, "I am not fighting for you any more."

Such a damning statement. To refuse to fight in your country's army was treason. They had enough soldiers running away in panic and hiding away somewhere behind enemy lines, a dangerous and often short existence. The enemy hunted them for their former allegiances, and her forces hunted them because they had deserted her cause. In both cases, the result of capture was death.

He'd just admitted his treason, to his own Queen no less. Such openness unnerved her, and it seemed as if he had a death wish, to tell her of this treason in her house. But why? Why did he feel the need to admit his desire to desert? Knowing that a traitor's death awaited him?

Did she know him? Irrespective of Candice's comments, she studied his features and demeanour, searching that perhaps he was some sort of unlanded gentry, a noble son from the ashes of a once-proud family. He looked familiar, somehow, something nagged her about his face, and especially his eyes, looking directly at her. Impolite to say the least, but there was no fear of what would happen to him in those eyes, nor any fear of her.

She quailed inside to be so confronted. But it could not be seen, she was the Queen, not just some girl, barely out of maturity. Born to rule, born to command. She felt new strength enter her, as she recited her bloodline back within her mind.

This is just a man, just a soldier. Just like every other soldier under my command.

"Come in, and we will discuss your decision." To her guards she nodded slightly, and approached the soldier, patting him down for weapons or anything suspicious. For a man with an obvious death wish, he could have some suicidal agenda of killing his Queen before being killed in turn.

The door shut behind him, he was as he seemed, unarmed. They slowly went down the long narrow hall, her guards falling in step behind him as Candice went ahead opening the doors for her.

"I've wondered who's the woman for whom we all commit such wonton murder."

His carelessly thrown comment stopped her, stopped the whole assemblage in its tracks. She tried not to show how hard the comment had struck her. He did not understand the war, the reasons behind it. The big picture. She wasn't responsible for anyone dying, war was war. Soldiers died on both sides, it was acceptable.

People died.

She deigned not to respond to this blunt statement, carrying onto her sitting rooms to receive her strange visitor.

They sat down within the sitting room, with the fierce and bright red tapestries draping the walls against the grey, utilitarian walls.

She was composed, but within her sanctum, he somehow lost some of his power, his strength that he showed in the hall. His eyes searched right and left, not staying upon her for more than a heartbeat as his vision searched for something he could not find within the fiery-hued tapestries, confusing him as the flame confuses a beast.

This was her territory now, and he was starting to realize the folly of his visit perhaps? With a word, nay, not even that, a gesture, he would die.

He found his voice again. "I cannot do this any more. I am sick of killing, and for what purpose, I do not know. I am told to kill these people whom I have never met, never held a grudge, and I do not wish to be here. I feel I lose something of myself with every life I take, with every life I see passing."

He looked directly at her now, and she could see the pain in his eyes, he was a strong man, a brave man, but he was filled with such sorrow ... no more did she see the arrogance and impertinence within him that he showed at the doorstep.

His resolve firmed in his eyes again, again masking his emotions. Hard and cold, he looked at her again, and spoke again, just as hard and cold: "I am leaving tomorrow and you can do what you will. No more will I be a killer. If you want to have people killed, you can do it yourself. Not make others to bloody their hands on your behalf!"

"Why have you even come here? What you speak of is desertion, and you know the penalty. You come to me, admit that you will refuse your duty to your country, and that you will leave tomorrow. Surely you know that I cannot allow this to happen?"

"It doesn't matter any more." His eyes changed again, and there was a brooding loss reflected now within. "I don't care anymore, I just want it to stop. I look down and I see that blood on my hands. Only first I am asking you why. That is why I came. I wanted to know why before I left. Why do we kill? What purpose is there in it? Thousands are dead, and I am no general, but I see no point in it. I just see people dying. Too many people."

"I see you now, and you are so very young. You do not look like that when we had parades, before the fighting was so fierce. You seemed so much older back then, all far away. I expected some bitter crone with no love of life, feeling the touch of death upon her to be so cruel with human lives. Not a young woman as yourself."

"I know I am not some ancient veteran in this war, but I've seen too much. Right there, up close, and I've lived through it. But I've seen more battles lost than I have battles won. I've been a survivor, and it's been painful. To know that you were the only one of your friends to survive, your fellows, people just like you, and to know that they are dead and you are alive. It makes me feel guilty sometimes, since what right do I have to cheat Death while it claims them?"

He gulped, and his body shook slightly. "You don't know what it's like to have to loot the friend you had for food and gunpowder, knowing just a few minutes ago he was alive. One minute you are talking with him, the next minute he?s just some thing that you steal from to keep yourself alive. I've lost count of how many times I've had to do that ... and that shames me. That now I cannot even remember the dead, people I knew and talked with that are now feeding the crows."

She was still the Queen. There was more at stake here than this soldier knew. War was Hell, but she knew that it was needed, even if he could not. But some small part of her cried to hear of the casualties in her war, not just the dead, but the horrors that had been inflicted upon this soldier. Were they all like this?

But she never once took the crown from her head. She had to be strong. Sacrifices had to be made for the greater good. There was more at stake here than human life.

His demeanour shifted, looking at her, her eyes as implacable as cold diamond. "Do you even know what it's like to witness someone dying in front of you? Have you ever even SEEN any of your dead soldiers, doomed by some military planning mistake? Do you realize how many have died for you, for this stupid war you've started? I've got this intuition, says it's all for your fun. If we were defending our country from some invaders, I would be proud to die for my country. We are here, strangers in a strange land, waging war, invading another country, and for what point? They defend themselves as we would defend ourselves."

He shook his head, as if he was clearing some bewildering thought from his mind. "Will you tell me why?" he asked her, impassioned and angry.

She fixed him with an arrogant eye, her Queen faade unbreakable, strong. "You won't understand, and you may as well not try. This is beyond your comprehension. You are just a soldier, and you do not see the big picture. If you did, you would understand why these men need to die."

Briefly her mind flashed with visions of dead soldiers, scavenged by humans and carrion eaters alike, abandoned in overrun trenches, unburied and forgotten, and not knowing why they fought. Why they had to die.

Not as unbreakable a faade as she thought. Her lips began to quiver, her eyes kept their imperiousness, but she started to shake, imagining the dead spirits of the soldiers just asking her "Why?" as this soldier did now. A question which she could give no answer.

He looked at her, and within his eyes, some of his anger and hate had receded. There was a sympathy, a pity for her and the weight of her crown. He saw that she was a young woman, of whatever birth, forced into a terrible position.

He saw her nakedness, he saw before him a sinful creature, a weak kneed slip of a woman, not courageous to stop war and suffering and death, he saw a coward

God in Heaven. That was the point. The point of this long, bloody war. After the King and Queen had died to the foul disease that had torn a swathe through the country, she was abruptly left with an entire country to run, just barely out of girlhood. She had to deal with responsibility of the crown and the grief of losing her parents all at once.

Her advisors said that the country was in a dangerous position. That foreign eyes would see her as weak and vulnerable, and the country in turn as ripe for occupation. So, she had struck first against the country that had the greatest threat, bringing the war to them before they could strike. Her savage assault had been bloody and victorious in the beginning, but now it had become a siege, waiting out and small skirmishes lowering both sides' numbers with gradual attrition.

He would not understand this. He only saw the small problems, the lower levels. Not the two countries facing off like dogs in a street, seeking to cow the other into submission. War was Hell, and soldiers died in it. She knew what she was doing, even if he could not understand.

She raised her defences again, closed. She could not be seen as weak, to this simple soldier or her enemies. If she was vulnerable, not only would she die, but so would her country. She had to remain strong.

He wasn't fooled. Damn him . She'd shown him the cracks, and something between them had changed. She felt that she had lost the upper hand for good. But, curiously he did not lord his victory, or gloat how he had seen his enemy humbled.

"My Queen ..." he said it with respect, almost with reverence. She thought he could not see her with the same eyes as the angry young man that had entered just a short time ago. In showing her weakness he no longer felt the need to be strong either.

"My Queen, . I am just a simple soldier. But I see the pain your position brings you, the seriousness which you take things. I can see that you suffer."

He gulped once, his eyes bright. "I came in expecting someone very different. I came in expecting someone that would not care. I came in," he smiled wryly, yet somehow bittersweet, "expecting a fight. And it started as such, I guess. But now, I cannot feel that you are my enemy. I thought you were inhuman, callous. But I won't march again on your battlefield. I may respect your humanity, but I do not understand why you do what you do. I cannot be party to it. I am leaving and taking my division with me."

As he had plainly spoken his feelings of her, she felt her own thoughts come up and betray her. She could not help but respect this man, his belief and his empathy. She shuddered inside to feel what this empathic man would have felt and thought each time someone had died from his own hand. To feel the blood splash upon his clothes, to see a man die, watch his death throes slow and painful and to feel that connection. He was no soldier, even if he wore the uniform, even if he had been conscripted into service, her service. He did not wish to leave because he was a coward, he had shown courage coming and speaking of his treasonous desires to her, in full earshot of her staff. He didn't even see the men he had to kill as his enemies, that's how he could walk away with no regrets. No bad blood.

"If you were not a soldier, what would you be? What do you want out of your life?" she asked, meek and curious, her walls breaking down, unable to keep up the act as she spoke to him, as he could not keep up his own, almost in tears.

"I want to live as an honest man. I want to follow some trade perhaps back home. I don't mind working for someone else, I was a good worker back home, hard worker, I didn't complain, I just did it as long as I was treated right. I didn't want much. 'To get all I deserve and to give all I can.' was our family's unofficial motto, you could say. We put all of ourselves in our work and people respected it. I guess, my soldier days are not quite that. I haven't been able to put my heart into this work. I just keep on imagining that the other fellow is just like me. They look different a bit, but we are all of the same sort of age." He held his head in his hands. "I don't want much out of life. If you promised me the world to kill another man, I don't think it would be a fair trade. I don't want much." He repeated.

He slipped into some sort of reverie, somehow forgetting he was in the presence of his Queen. "I always miss that I never got to get to fall in love. A lot of the other men have women waiting for them back home." He smiled self-consciously. "I've never really had the knack I suppose. I'm sometimes a little shy, and I do not know what a woman wants from a man. I try, but maybe I'm not doing it right." The faint trace of a blush suffused his cheeks, she could see now that they were not far apart in age, his eyes had seen too much, but he was still a young man, just out of boyhood.

She sighed deep within her soul, he wanted such simple things, his world was simple. Little goals, and little trouble achieving them. While she wore the weight of nations upon her shoulders, and yet, she could still not achieve what he sought either. And she'd only managed to stop him from achieving it in turn. Not deliberately, of course. But she had, he'd never known any woman back home. No one to return to, triumphant and glorious, no hero's welcome to reward him as he set foot on those far off shores.

She envied his simple dreams, and she wished that she could have her world miraculously change so that she could have them, some easy life with honest toil, with a wonderful man that would make her heart rise and fly with joy. But it was not to be. She was alone, and destined to marry some ally country to cement their partnership. Her advisors gave her advice, but she could not talk to them about anything beyond rulership and the war. It would not be seemly. Candice gave her the responses which she had coached to say by her teachers from her finishing school, not from her heart.

He sighed. "Why can't my life be simple like that, like I wanted it to be? Why can't your life be the same? Wouldn't it be easier to stop all this and just be happy? That's all I've ever wanted, and I'm sure that this war has made no one happy. Not even you." Pointed observation.

"Your Highness, your ways are very strange."

Not my ways, she thought, just what I am forced to do. She had as much control over her life as he did. Maybe even less, since he was determined to leave this situation he did not believe in. There was no one to take her place, an only child, and her country would suffer if she abdicated now in the middle of a war.

At that moment, she wanted to toss her crown, throw it away far from her, to hear it shatter and smash upon some unseen stone. It was too much to bear, she wondered how many other young men had thought this way, wanting a simple life, and she had stolen their destinies to die in a far off land, unmourned and unnoticed. The casualties of war. She couldn't think of them just as numbers on a report, they were living, breathing and real. She'd met one now, and seen his depth, his essence, as simple as it was.

But what could she do? Stop this war, even though her enemy would continue it in retaliation? It was too late. Too many had died. The only thing she could do was to win, to show to herself that it hadn't been a waste of those men. That the killing had a purpose. That the death had a purpose. That the war was not in vain. Even if it claimed thousands more.

She breathed heavily. The crown was so heavy on her brow. But she had to keep it upon her, to make everything worthwhile. There was no choosing, it was her fate. No choice at all for her to make. Inexorable. There could be no changes.

"What do you think so sadly about, my Queen?" His voice broke her musings.

"I was just ... thinking, how complicated things are. That simple life you describe seems so wonderful, I wish it was mine also ..."

"Why cannot it be? Why can you not just set aside the war and marry someone that you love, and rule your kingdom with a fair and just hand?"

"There are no choices I fear. But I will do something to help me understand your words. I will talk to the other soldiers when you have gone." The lie caught in her throat, but it came out smoothly nonetheless, just an ever so slight pause. "If you can escort me to your fellows now, with my guard and servants? You have opened my eyes to the common soldier. Before you go ?"

"Of course, my Queen. Nothing more would give me pleasure. Maybe something can be done, that we can all go home." His eyes sought out her face, but she could not meet his gaze. "Even yourself, and perhaps you can have that simple life that I seek also."

Her heart leapt uncontrollably, but she forced it down. She was still Queen, she never took the crown off, it was with her even as she slept. "I will be back soon, I will only be a moment inside."

She left him out there, on the doorstep of the headquarters. She looked to her guard, the regal composure once again, and made a short, sharp gesture. The shot rang out, and the door shook with a thump. She didn't want the door to be opened, to see his heart's blood staining the door and stoop, to see his shocked expression on his frozen-dead face.

He would not be looted, not have the crows eat his flesh. He would be buried with honours. It was the least she owed him. Forgive me.

She retired alone to the crimson tapestried room again, sitting down slowly, as if she would break like glass. He was just a soldier. Just one man. Thousands have already died, what is one more? The war must be won, no matter the cost. There is more at stake here than human life. She rocked slowly backwards and forwards as she sat, telling herself that over and over until his words stopped echoing within her mind.

The young soldier's battalion watched the guards gun down their Commander, they in turn one by one committed suicide with his name upon their lips at their last breath.

The Royal Guard informed the young princess that hundreds of her loyal soldiers had just committed suicide.

"It's time for peace"

PS: for all the men who took their own lives in this unjust war.



PS:                              "It's time for peace."



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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Prisoner Hicks of Guantanamo


I leave this testament as a warning to the future, if there is a future. The infection spreads across the world, corrupting all that it touches. I do not have the power or courage to stop it, I do not know if anyone does. I have seen it claim my friends and family. I shall not let it claim me. Death shall claim me: unsullied, strong, pure. The poison that I have administered is quick and painless - death before dishonour, you could say.

I have seen what the scourge has done to the world and I do not wish to become a part of it. It is no longer my world, but a mockery of all we held dear.

It started so very innocuously, as such world-altering events often do. A military raid in a little place called Ghazni, you've probably never heard of it.

OFFICER'S REPORT: August 17th. Vagrant; male, Moslem. No ID at time of arrest, no name given or forthcoming from questioning. Ragged clothes, no shoes, no money at time of arrest. Vagrant was very happy, however, and very co-operative in nature. Believed to be intoxicated: at least we can't see why he would be so damned happy, considering his circumstances; perhaps deranged? He was found wandering in a poppie field. (cf. psych report) When questioned about his incongruously happy state (i.e. what drug he had taken), vagrant laughed; stated "I got the TRUTH! You want some, man?" Vagrant was subsequently searched again for drugs; none found. Tests were inconclusive, seemed to be clean.

How wrong they were. They just couldn't detect it, that's all. If they would have gotten rid of that vagrant then, they would have saved the world.

OFFICIAL MEMO, August 21st, from the desk of Sergeant Murphy.

Re: Gitmo Protocol. No officer is allowed within 3 feet of Prisoner Hicks. After the severe attitude change of Officers Sanchez, Williams and Carpenter, we believe that Hicks still has a quantity of Truth and is disseminating it - his continued state of happiness testifies he has enough to feed his own addiction as well as spreading it to others. If you are exposed to his preaching, you shall be dismissed as have Sanchez, Williams and Carprenter. This is a message for your OWN PROTECTION. Prisoner Hicks, a converted Christian is dangerous and his religious beliefs are dangerous.

You see, it started to spread, like some inexorable cancer. Just as hard to stop - no cure; a suppression; a remission. But it still lay there, like a silent serpent, to lunge when defenses were lowered. They tried, as I tried, but they failed, as I failed.

OFFICIAL MEMO, August 25th, from the desk of Sergeant Murphy.

I have interviewed Prisoner Hicks and after careful deliberation I have violated my own orders. Prisoner Hicks has shared his incredible insights with me, it has made me so happy, it has made my life complete. All the officers whom I have dismissed I welcome back with open arms; I apologize, please forgive me. All of you, please visit Prisoner Hicks yourselves but be quick; since he will be released on the 28th. Join me in happiness!

Thankfully, Sergeant Murphy was quickly relieved of command by Internal Security. Some noble individual obviously reported his treasonous activities to the proper authorities. Prisoner Hicks was not released as promised. When Internal Security stepped in and saw the threat to our great nation, they locked down Gitmo and had their top scientists work on the nature of his contagious truth. Believing his words to be some lethal edict against This great country, Prisoner Hicks was declared a Terrorist and was sequestered away in a hermetically sealed cell. None of this took his euphoria away. This proved how dangerous his truth was. Hicks was put through extreme torture. Water boarding, sleep deprivation, hours of exercise that would have weakened any 'normal' man.

PROGRESS REPORT: Special Agent Beck.

We have been compromised. The hermetic seals have been sabotaged, we have infiltrators within our ranks. Guantanamo is psychically affecting our black ops officers. Too many of our agents have gone rogue; colleagues whom I have depended on for years suddenly have changed their ways. A break-out by key infiltrators was attempted last night and almost succeeded. Hicks-afflicted rogue agents seem to be particularly peaceful and non-confrontational. If they weren't I believe we would all be dead by now. It's like we've been invaded by flower children! More on this as it breaks.

(This, however, is Special Agent Beck's last report. He is believed to have gone rogue also. Within the month all agents at the facility became afflicted, inexplicably listening to the Imam who was preaching to the prisoners at Gitmo. All agents were removed for detoxification and rehabilitation; a new squad of Internal Security was deployed to secure Prisoner Hicks.)

Something had to be done. Euphoria was spreading all over the country; no one could stop its relentless advance. Everyone forgot about the depression. Entire groups of people, everywhere, without any definable connection with one another were being addicted; calling themselves "Seekers of TRUTH". They networked; they grew in strength, an insidious infection upon our country. Fortunately wiser, rational people held the reins of power and sought to behead this Moslem viper before it could strike.

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: March 22,.

Due to his treasonous activities threatening the social fabric of our fine nation, Prisoner Hicks is sentenced for execution by lethal injection on July 4. His beliefs have become a scourge upon our streets - everywhere can be seen the happy, smiling face of the Seeker. Removing the leader of this corruptive, criminal syndicate that promotes widespread and frequent use of Moslem propaganda should halt this terrible plague which he has unleashed upon us. Ladies and gentlemen; I promise I shall stop the spread of Moslem conversion that is corrupting our youth and destroying the fabric of our society. Our Truth shall march on, by any means necessary. My government and I shall save you, loyal patriotic citizens that you are, from exposure to the religious fanatics who call themselves 'truth seekers.' . And I say to you; truth has no place in this great country of ours or anywhere else in the world.

A voice of sanity against the tide of madness.

The frequency of break-out attempts by the Seekers intensified a hundredfold, they did not succeed in Prisoner Hick's release at Gitmo. Political groups argued in court long and hard for his sentence to be revoked, but a presidential decree has too much weight for such insignificant attacks to make any difference. Prisoner Hicks was executed at his appointed time. However the Seekers of Truth had gained in Hick's sacrifice the very model of a modern martyr - he went to his death with joy suffusing his features - we couldn't take that away from him, no matter how hard we tried. I'm afraid that his rapture did make me somewhat wistful, I hoped someday I would experience such bliss, even for just a moment. But that would mean accepting his beliefs, his religion, his god awful truth - and I did not want such taint upon my soul. I could not relate it to anything I already knew, it was so different to the established order. Perhaps I was just content with what I had, unwilling to risk my worldview by exposing myself to the possibility of Euphoria without monetary means.

THE TIMES, July 7,
Although the President expected the death of Prisoner Hicks to paralyze the Seekers of truth it seems that membership of this strange group is steadily increasing. Whole towns have joined this seemingly tranquil movement. Peaceful demonstrations have been held; BRING "Allah" TO THE PEOPLE, one of their more popular slogans. It seems the death of Prisoner Hicks, while meant to stop the Seekers of truth has actually accelerated their cause.

It was true. We cut the head off the snake, not knowing it was the Hydra of legend. A multitude of heads appeared; too many cells of resistance to be put down. Racing across the country like raging wildfire; spread to all nations. We were the best hope of the world, perhaps the biggest lie, but we could not stop the power of free will, which is the basis for the Moslem religion..They say it is the will of Allah. But we knew better, it was personal free will.

Too little, too late.

What is the truth? Is mine the same as yours? It must be very addictive, beyond the siren's call of heroin or cocaine, the stuff the government has been feeding the sheeple to keep them subservient. It must be very powerful, leading these addicts to fight, maim and die for their belief in it. However, some have resisted its enticing seduction, they speak of such terror and agony that it has brought them, haunted night after night by tortured dreams. Free will seems to be a paradox, pleasure and pain hopelessly combined together.

My children, my spouse, my friends. All joined the burgeoning tide - all Seekers of truth. This leap of faith has taken all I held dear away from me by their willing surrender to what has possessed their souls.

I know they feel pity and sorrow for me because I have not joined them; I feel pity and sorrow for them because they have been warped and twisted to unrecognizability by their faith. They are no longer what they were before, they are no longer patriotic,they are no longer willing to pick up arms and kill.

The thing that pains me is that they are so happy. They cry "the truth shall set you free!" and perhaps, for them, it has. I can feel myself dying as I write this, mercifully the torment will end soon.

Gentle reader, you have read my account. I chose to refuse the offer of this truth, Suspicious of what it would do to my ego, to my way of life...seeing it as the total demise of our great nation, how can we truly say "In God we trust," if we allow this nonsense to continue?


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