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The snow shone black under his eyes
They were blood-red gold and hot as ice
He was a creature made for the night
That was alight around him
The day was dark and dismal to him
The world then would not bend to his every whim
He was a creature made to enchant
All vain maidens of beauty
He was a lover with whom none could compare
The eyes of women shone to him everywhere
But all he longed for was the sweetness of death
Where his true love lay to not meet him yet
Here she lie in pain and wait
Looking at the sores on her lap
There her tears fall to sleep
On the bosom different and bare
Look how her eyes are sad
Filled with sorrow for death
It has parted her
And stabbed her like a sword
On her pedestal
She will lie in wait
For the one she gave life and breath
Is now gone away
She remembers the angel choir
Singing of happiness
A king was born
But kings must rest
For they rest naught in life
But in the Lord’s gracious everlasting sight
This is a mother’s last song
To her first child in death and birth
But this is no comforting lullaby
This is the lamentation
For the last of the greatest kings
No habitation meets the eye
A speck that would have been beneath my sight
Not far, but near, I stood and saw it all
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought
And it seems like time when after doubt
And of course there must be something wrong
That I should have guessed
It is because like men we look too near
And further still at an unearthly height
And lonely as it is, that loneliness
Were not too much to pay for birth
Robert Frost Cento
A green spring day
Its light in my eyes
Warm rays of sun on my skin
The song of birds floating in the air.
There I lay in the orchard
Under the canopy of the branches of trees
Them full of leaves.
In the winter they were and will be so bare
Like black bones above my head.
The garden was known by many
But still known by so few.
Its secrets were deep
As the sea
As the earth.
Lonely trees surrounded me
Lonely flowers shone around me
Lonely fragrances filling the air.
How many had I seen
How many the orchard?
My own secret world:
It’s in the sight of your eyes
But you can’t reach it
Not unless you let yourself in.
I am crazy, I am
I am crippled, I am
I am alone, I am.
But if you join me
I will be crippled, yes
Not at all
For you will be here with me.
And you laughed
You saw it all
You loved my world.
Not only mine
But yours as well.
It all passed quickly
You became serious
Nor a smile
I could hear from your presence.
You were sad
I knew not why.
The colour around me
Until one day
You came and told me:
Grow up, my friend
You blind old fool.
You are not in your orchard
But in the hospital.
You are dying
Colours disappeared in your wake
All of those odours I loved.
Darkness surrounded me
And the first time I realised
I am not only cripple
But also out of sight.
Never have I seen the world
Its true nature revealed itself to me.
I had grown
You had grown.
Take me to the orchard once more!
Let me be fool
Let me be insane
Let me see the world
As I did before.
Let me not see
Let me not be blind
Let me not be crippled
None of the truth in my own mind.
So you got up and took me to my orchard
And the colours
They were gone
In your wake.
Take me to the sea!
I begged you
And you fulfilled my wish.
I heard the waves
The sound of water
Peace and happiness.
Was my weak whisper
The wind blows in the trees.
This is my orchard.
I am happy again
I can see the colours
It is a beautiful spring day
And you are here with me.
Never bring me back to your world
Cruel, dark and true
Let me slip away
And that was my last wish.
Three obscure figures stood on the side of the road. They were all cloaked in black.
The first figure was in a cloak made of sackcloth. The breeze made him shiver, and with one drop of rain it would give him a cold. He was always sneezing and coughing. One day a young man came down the road and was just about to pass the first figure when the figure collapsed of nausea and exhaustion. The young man ran to the figure for the young man was innocent and didn’t know the ways of the world.
“Are you all right?” he exclaimed in an alarmed tone. The figure who was an old man rested on the side of the road coughing hoarsely while keeping the young man away.
The old man started to get up, but stumbled over his long clothes. The young man supported him until he was stable.
“What’s your name, young man?” asked the old man.
“Peregrine”, answered the young man.
“You are Peregrine! I have heard of you! Why do you walk this road?”
“To get to the end”, Peregrine answered.
“Do you know what’s there?”
“No, I do not”, said Peregrine. The old man shook his head.
“You are so naive. What is this road to you, when you could do so much else?”
“This is life to me. I’m curious.”
“You’re curious, aye?” the old man coughed.
“You know… I’m a merchant. I sell stuff.”
“What do you sell then?” Peregrine wondered. The old man opened his cloak and pulled out a cigar. He took it to his nose and smelled its scent sighing with deep gratification.
“I sell these.”
“What are they?” Peregrine wanted to know.
“Cigars”, the old man said in a tone most reverent. He took a lighter out of the cloak. Peregrine looked at the fire mesmerized. The old man took the lighter to the end of the cigar and then put it back into his cloak. He breathed in the smoke of the cigar and blew out happily.
“That feels so good.”
Peregrine looked at his actions pondering. The old man sucked in more smoke, and then asked:
“Would you like to try?”
At the end of his words he began coughing violently spewing out spit and slime which flew everywhere as the old man doubled over. Peregrine was frightened so he backed away and walked onward.
The next figure down the road was a strong, large man who stood like a rock guarding the road. He didn’t move an inch. His cloak was made out of wool. It was warm in the breeze, and dry in the rain. Peregrine walked by him careful not to disturb the trance the giant was in.
“Hey, boy!” a voice yelled, and Peregrine turned to look at the giant who had barely moved, but who had clearly spoken.
“Yes, sir?” he asked a bit louder then usual not to sound wimpy.
“Been talking to the old man up the road, have you?” the soldier-like man stated.,
“Damn waste of time the old fool”, the giant said harshly.
“Yes, sir”, Peregrine answered not knowing what else to say. His lack of creativity seemed to upset the giant who yelled:
“Don’t you yes sir me! I had to do that in the army, and growing up. I despise yes-siring.”
“Well, what would you have me say then?” Peregrine pondered confusedly.
“Captain Mercer”, Captain Fergus Mercer, the giant introduced himself and extended his giant hand out. Peregrine shook his hand, and was almost crushed in the tight grip of the captain’s.
“Are you a merchant too, Captain?”
“A spokesman am I.”
“A spokesman for what, Captain Mercer?”
The Captain smiled secretively and pushed his hand under his cloak pulling out a gun. He played with it in his hand, juggling it and making it spin. Suddenly he sharpened and shot at a target in the distance. In the distance, they could hear the old man curse at them.
“What is that?”
“Its a 9mm Glock 17”, the captain whispered admiringly.
“Top what?” Peregrine yelled out.
“A top gun”, the giant said frustrated.
Peregrine didn’t understand the fury of the giant who began cursing and pointing at him with the “top gun”, as he had called it. Peregrine barely understood anything he said. The only message that truly transmitted into his feet and brain: Danger! Even though he didn’t really know what the danger was. Something about of the “top gun” made warning bells ring in his head.
Walking onward Peregrine hoped he would not meet any more unpleasant people like the old man and Captain Fergus Mercer.
The third figure on the road was clothed in silk, and satin. She was as beautiful as sunshine, as frail as moon rays, and as elegant as a swan in her black night gown which hugged her generous figure like a glove, and wore a thin cape she shyly tried to hide in. Peregrine, raised to be a pleasant, and helpful young man, turned to her and asked if she was alright.
“No, I’m lost”, she answered with a voice of tiny chiming silver bells, a peaceful brook on a hot summer day, and the harmonious sing song of tropical birds.
“How can I help you? Can I take you home?” Peregrine asked in his gentlemanly way.
“I’m not sure. I was taught not to trust strangers”, the woman answered with a voice so small and fragile that Peregrine’s heart was about to break.
“So was I, but I was also taught to help those in need of some”, Peregrine said kindly.
“What’s your name?”
“Lauralei. What’s yours?”
“What a beautiful name. I’m Peregrine.”
They spoke and sat on a bench on a bridge nearby. The sun began to set. Lauralei seemed more relaxed, but Peregrine asked again:
“How could I help you?”
“Stay with me”, she answered after hesitating for a moment. Peregrine stayed, and when morning came, he was starving.
“Oh, I’m so sorry! I don’t have any food, just this water in the river. But don’t worry, if you drink it at least once a day, you will never feel hungry again”, Lauralei explained. Peregrine thanked her and took her advice. He went down to the river and saw that there was a pitcher full of river water, and cups. He poured water into the cup and drank. It was delicious. He was so hungry, and thirsty he didn’t stop until he was absolutely bloated with the river water. The world seemed to change around him. Demons began creeping up to him. He turned to Lauralei who was smiling cruelly.
“What’s happening to me?” Peregrine asked mumbling. Lauralei laughed like a witch.
“You are dying.”
Peregrine yelled helplessly as the river flooded and drowned him. Lauralei looked up into the distance and smiled, and her friend with red horns smiled back.
And so they continue to stand there, the merchants of death, Old Man Depravity, Captain Violence and Lady Temptation, waiting for the next traveller.
First published in April 24th, 2014.
In the end you will come
On my grave your sorrows hum
I will hear your silent prayers
From under all these earthly layers
Do not kill your hope, my darling
The world can be extremely charming
I will show you all its wonders
It’s not only mighty thunders
Look at all these children playing
In the slums, not a tear they showing
The sun is shining in this place
Their beings filled with sun’s grace
Look at all these people dying
Around them all these people crying
Yet serenity lies in their eyes
As they say their goodbyes
Look at all these beggars begging
Little to nothing they getting
Do you see the kindness there
Tired they are, can you see a tear?
Look around this place, my darling
Isn’t it alone quite charming
Much death and sorrow seen
And how has it always been
Can’t you see the trees
The flowers, the shining leaves?
All bad can turn to good
I hope now this understood
For even all the darkness in a graveyard
Is a beginning, though it is hard
In the end you will go
And to you the world will show
All my love will follow you
May it always in your heart lay true
And after many years go by
You will lie here by my side
There’ll be others to mourn our passing
They will learn love’s all encompassing
Live in peace now all your days
In the world you must stay
All my love with you, my darling
Share it all, you my charming
The laws of this world are made by the actions of those who live in it, even more so by those who have the loudest voice and can gather others around them to grow their voice. This way the laws are always governed by a dictator, the leader of the majority, or the strongest few.
Alquww of Thym was such a man.
In the house of Thym he was the loudest voice, the leader of the warriors, the many in his race who were Naqy. He was a Jizam’Atym, a son of the Atnan and the Thym Chimera, a powerful mix. As stronng as the Thym were in body, the Atnan were exceedingly so in mind, specifically those of the main branch, the Naqy of Atnan.
He gazed, bored, from his throne as two of his warriors, a seasoned gorilla-like Chimera who had served the leading family of Thym for half of his two century long life and a newcomer, a young brave creature from the purest cadet branch of Thym, the Rhwarari, were fighting out their personal grievances with each other. That was their way. Marabi, Alwuww’s right hand, entered the throne room in a booming stride. He stopped in front of his Siad and bowed deeply from his waist. He was allowed this liberty if dignity as he was second to only Alquww in the house of Thym.
“Siad”, he intoned with respect glowing from his yellow eyes.
“Speak, Mazim Marabi, Siad listens”, Alquww answered revelling in the male’s devotion.
“It has been located. Reports from our spies are coming in.”
Alquww stood up abruptly. His two warriors paused in their fight at his sudden movement. Their Siad (lord) was a man to fear. Alquww descended the staris to stop in front of Marabi.
“This is great news. We must act swiftly”. he said and began a fast pace out of the throne room. Without needing a signal, Marabi followed taking care to stay slightly behind his master. He was well trained from infancy to obey Alquww’s every whim.
And Alquww wished to reward him for his great service.
The steps neared. She stayed still barely daring to breathe. Her heart was pounding in her throat as her ears twitched and her feathers ruffled in anticipation of flight or fight. Then suddenly, silence. She did not move. As a predator herself, it was sometimes beneficial to wait, to lull your prey into a false sense of security.
Time passed. She did not know how much. It was always grey in their world so even hoping for a dawn was useless. In the end she decided to get up. She could starve where she was as her stalker did not seem to be in any kind of hurry.
She relaxed her crouch rolling to the left to catch of the alley entrance. A shadow darkened the entrance. The shadow wasn’t big enough to be a full-blood Thym Chimera, but she did not want to make assumptions. She considered her options.
The shadow moved forward and a large figure came hurtling out of it towards her. Alktyra dodged to the side, but the figure was a ble toget a hold of her right leg stopping her from escaping. Her wings thrashed against the containers as she tried to kick the figure, but it was holding her with an iron grip. Her frustrated roar echoed on the walls. After some struggling she was finally able to kick the creature’s grip from her leg and take a new position farther down the passageway. She extended her wings and hissed at the figure.
The shadow laughed deeply and a sinister shine came from its dark eyes as it flashed its teeth. the shadow seemed to grow to block the whole lane. Her ears moved instinctively to listen as she weighed the odds of getting out of this alive or uninjured. She knew her body was seriously weakened from the several weeks of malnutrition as the scarcity of food in the Chimera world had been worse than ever.
The shadow begain encroaching at her, inching closer every moment. In a flash of action Alktyra spread her death dark wings to their full width and launched herself with the power of her hindlegs and a strong flap of her wings. She moved upwards and glided over the shadow until she was free of the narrow passage. As soon as her clawed feed touched the ground, she ran.
Alquww was busy rewarding his Mazim in his sacred abode when a Tah Mazim, one of Marabi’s several underlings, burst into the bedroom of the Siad. Alquww paused his strokes to turn his black eyes to the young Chimera who appeared alarmed. No other show was needed to convey the Siad’s displeasure with being interrupted. Marabi, who had been on the verge of falling asleep when the Siad’s hands had stopped moving in his mane, opened one of his eyes to observe the shaking Tah-Mazim, who seemed to be unable to form words.
“What is it, Qalihid?” Marabi intoned patiently.
This snapped the young male from his stupor to stand to attention and to deliver his report:
“The Patron of Thym, his great majesty of the overworld is here.”
Alquww cursed loudly and flung himself passed the shaken underling pulling with him his cape as he rapidly exited the room. Marabi was soon after him only to stop to gaze tenderly at Qalihid and lick his forehead as was the custom amongst their kind. Then the Mazim followed with a calm stance, yet eqalling the speed of his Siad, to meet with their visitor from the overworld.
All men are self-governing. What is right and wrong is determined by the actions of the people. There is no such thing as destiny. All men make their own path. There is only the survival of life and the struggle not to die, for what else is there. Noble ideas and people are dead and gone. What can be done with nobility when you starve? What worth is an idea of peace and equality when the strongest prevail? There is no yesterday, nor tomorrow. The sky is always grey and the streets always dark. The Shadows are alive and creep. If someone has a roof over their heads, they are lucky. If someone has a jb, they are part of the elite few. If someone has food, they are emperors of the underworld. Crime is rampant. There is no hope.
That is what she had believed her whole life. She was one of the street rats, a creature that had no place in the technologically advanced overworld where hunger was a myth and the suffering of the underworld a well-kept secret. Part-animal, part-human, she was a descendant of the Chimera.
The Chimera had been the result of a long and exhausting scientificc research that had had the goal of improving the human genome. The team of scientists, a culmination of several generations of work, had used the dna of several animals sequenced together with that of two human embryos, the children of the future, Alwal and Thania. Yet instead of a genetically engineered superhuman, the Chimera race was born.
She, like many of her kin, had the mane of a lion and the great cat-king’s strength. Her mane was black as pitch and flowed down her back in a velvety waterfall of curls framing her face. She had the nose of a snake and scales covered her from head to toe. They were a deep purple with blue, slitted eyes. The wings on her back surged upwards handsomely covered in dark, black eagle feathers. Her toes and fingers had retractable claws like those of a cat.
In her heritage, she was indeed one of the lucky ones. Though she yawned like a lion, roared when she was mad and had a liking for meat on the rare side, she was intelligent, more than an average human and definitely more than the greatest minds of the overworld.
There were several types of Chimera. Three, in fact, from the three human enchancing projects. The descendants of the latter undertakings weren’t as fortunate as the descendants of Alwal and Thania. From the second, came four Chimera who were quite normal, as far as the race went, but those of the last project were notorious. The purpose had been to infuse the power of the gorilla into the human race. Instead, it had made new Chimera, the six. They had been beasts consumed with rage towards those who had created them. They were monsters of pure instinct and raw power. An ideal weapon if harnessed properly.
The Thnashar, first twelve, they were called by the Chimera race. The first two, Alwal and Thania and their descendants of the Great House of Atnan were considered the most powerful and were respecte by all Chimera. The second four and their descendants of the Great House of Arbe were considered valuable for their loyalty. The last six and their descendants, the beasts of the Great House of Thym, were thought to be raging brutes though a few of them that had mated with those of the other two houses were loyal, kind and strong, gentle giants.
Alktyra was what the Chimera called Naqy, the pure. Being a Naqy of Atnan gave her power had she wanted it, but things had changed in the Chimera world.
Those who had raised her had told her several times that they could pinpoint the exact moment everything had changed. It was the death, massacre, of Alktyra’s parents. They had been Alwara’a and Alwakarh, first female and male, essentially the empress and emperor of the Chimera. Theere had been no others to take their place as she had been too young to inherit the throne. She was also the only Naqy of Atnan left.
It had been drafted into Chimera law that no other than a Naqy of Atnan could rule the Chimera.
Everything had darkened. The Chimera world had been taken over by the lower houses of Atnan and Thym. They ruled over the weaker and kinder of Arbe with force and cruelty. These lower houses were supported by factions of the overworld as a form of entertainment and proxy war to drive their own political agenda.
Alktyra Naqy had been raised by her parents advisors, the Thannaqya or the second pure, an elite of Atnan Chimera who were nearly pure in their bloodlines descending from the first Alwara’a and Alwakarh. But the Thannaqya had been decimated when she had been eight, all but Almustashar who had disappeared long before to the overworld.
Alktyra scavenged the garbage dump turning her lion-ears nervously as her tail twitched. She had not eaten in days as there had been nothing even resembling edible to find. Food was scarce and she suspected that the oppressed Arbe used all they could of the food they did have.
As she searched, she heard heavy footsteps nearing from the opening of the back alley that contained nothing but grey, decaying backs of buildings, rotting garbage and a few filthy containers, one of which she was currently rummaging through. She stilled her movements and listened. She knew she was not directly visible from the alleyway opening. Many lessons in her twenty years had taught her to never have her back facing a potential enemy.