The tribe gathered at the foot of the monolith. The silence of the night was matched, and only softly interrupted by their nervous breathing. The elders were preparing their totems and other vestiges of the last ceremony.
(more) The last ceremony. It was thought to be a myth. It was assumed that it was indeed the last ceremony. The scribes had foretold of an era when there would be another. But no one had ever believed that it was real. A real thing. Something that they should have paid more attention to, something that they should have tried to learn and understand.
The maps to the stonehome and the tribal artifacts were mostly intact. The locations were cryptic and some of the landmarks had been moved, removed, and replaced. The modern had stamped it's gaudy, soulless presence over everything that was held dear to the ancients.
They stood around looking and feeling self conscious. They learned the incantations but were unsure of the correct pronunciations. They practised the dances but their stiff modern bodies found it difficult to gyrate and curl into the awkward flow of the movements.
But they tried.
They owed it to the generations that had been before. The ancients who had suffered and toiled to maintain their sense of self. They fought nature in it's many forms. They warred with their rivals, they tamed the beasts, and they married themselves to the elementals.
They began again. They fought back the urge to give in, give up. They tensed and twisted into a final attempt, and threw themselves into it. Having nothing left to fear they shed all self awareness and became one with the ritual.
The sound grew from deep inside the earth and brightness shone from the sun, but from the stone that began to speak.(less)
Channeling the gods of gibberish he barked and sputtered pronouncements for the congregation encircling their divine conduit with hands fluttering overhead and soft praises issuing from their lips. Speaking in the tongues of man he had little to say, but with the power of the eternal puppeteering his larynx he(more) was a bodhisattva. The instructions worked his legs as well, bending his knees and stomping his feet. His eyes rolled back and his head ticked side to side at odd intervals like a broken metronome. But somewhere between the disjointed syllables, the beats of his tattered shoes, and his twitching neck a rhythm developed. Before long the congregation was clapping along and singing a wordless chorus. They danced around him as one, drawing the divine energy from his spastic body, and joined the mindless choreography of existence. (less)
She ran her hands over the strings lightly. A soft squeak escaped as she placed her fingers against them. This simple wooden structure held melodies left uncreated, anthems that would fill the room. Lark smiled as she placed the violin beneath her chin and played her songs wild and(more) free fill the room. (less)
I know I will be on the path you walk ever forward and never back;
I know you need water
(I learn fast as a rattlesnake).
In the dirt where I grow and yield to the love you have;
where sand and quartz shift light
and everywhere tiny fragment(more)s are lost
I rattle and sparkle,
cinder and shake.
Evolving without trying
I can flip under to top up
and reach a place where no man or woman is defined,
where the dead read faster than our morality ascends.
So steal me away
and drop me in a well.
I will desire nothing but brick and water
until I fall up
and into you.
sometimes at night (maybe 2:00 - 3:45 in the dark hours) i get these severe hunger attacks that scare me into believing and imagining that there is some particular resource that my body demands in order to continue functioning, and that resource is currently close to the dreaded 0%(more) mark. little 8-bit meters and gauges appear in the hard to reach hard to see corners of my head and icons pop up with snippets of notifications and shorthanded warnings along with low frequency sirens and a softly rising sense of panic. the hunt for red october kind of shit but less water and less military and more hunger, specifically for red meat and junk foods.
next comes the debate. do i get up from the darkness of my room and my mind and my body in order to close the door to hell that seems to be opening up inside of me? or can i lie here and wait it out and maybe the stasis chamber of sleep will protect me from sinking into my bed and out of existence in the still of the night when all you can hear are bugs youll never see and distant cars and the humming lights of the very important places they need to be.
a rotating pantry of spices and dried herbs all with that obnoxious cadmium red flip top with the tiny little lip thats so hard to push open, varying heights but none sensible, like some stunted community of hill people who stand in a line at the top of their highest hill to watch you approach, as thirsty and lost as you are.
twice i ate every bit of shit in our dorm room, cleaning it entirely out. once i cooked a new york strip at 4 am alone. (less)
Yosuke didn't know what he'd done wrong. He knew it had to be him, because that was how it always went. It had happened with his friends back in the city, and now it was happening here; the common thread was him, so it seemed like the logical conclusion. To be honest,(more) he'd been expecting it to happen in March, when distance would make it natural to lose touch. He hadn't expected it now, in December, with the case still unsolved.
The worst part was that it seemed like it was just him. Souji still smiled warmly at Yukiko, still laughed at Chie's jokes, still encouraged Kanji, still amiably endured Rise's flirting. Yosuke would be walking through town and see Souji with people just the same way as he always had. It was Yosuke who was different, and he spent most of his idle moments struggling to figure out why.
It was mid-January when he saw Naoto waiting in front of the shoe lockers. "Senpai," she said furtively, tugging on the brim of her cap, "there is a matter I wish to discuss with you."
They sat on the roof of the school for an hour, huddling close together in the fog and snow as Naoto shared all of her theories about Souji's recent behavior. She'd noticed the subtle ways he'd withdrawn since December; Yosuke should have known nothing would escape Naoto's careful scrutiny. "My theory," she said finally, her breath visible in the cold air, "is that Souji-senpai harbors feelings of guilt. The fact that he has exhibited this behavior mainly towards you and, to a lesser extent, myself leads me to believe we are the primary catalysts for these feelings."
"So what are we supposed to do about it?" Yosuke asked, staring at his gloved hands.(less)
He had had enough. Mom was nowhere near getting off the phone with "Aunt" Suzy, and it was time for a snack. The little boy tottered up to the big white doors that blocked him from the land of Oreo's and Pop Tarts. He licked his lips as he thought of all(more) the beautifully colored boxes of junk food that were about to be all his.
There was just a few problems; the door handles were out of his reach, and his mom had anticipated his trail blazing spirit and put two thick purplish colored rubber bands around the two knobs. It was going to be a tough job.
He thought quick and went for his trikey. After retrieving it from across the room, he put it just below the knobs, and began to climb the trike as if he were one of those cool first graders on their jungle-gym.
He was so close, he could taste the cream filled Zingers. He could hear the crinkling of all the plastic wrappers of his favorite foods. He closed his eyes, basking in the glory of his moment.
"Oh, I don't think so little mister."
He opened his eyes as his mom scoped him up off his trike and takes him away from his treasure room. He looked back with a stupefied expression. Mom would pay for this. Soon enough. (less)
“I bet that old mouse, Marcus, got snuffed,” Gregory's friend, Russell, mumbled through a mouthful of acorn. The chipmunk's fat cheeks wobbled as a bit of nut flew from his mouth to land on Mr. Barnaby's arm. “What's he think'n anyway? Everybody knows you can't trust a cat.”
(more) The bartender looked down with disdain and brushed the crumb from his fur. His large pink ears twitched when he spoke and his whiskers even more so. “My dear boy, Marcus and the others were only due back four days ago. Don't go assuming their demise just yet.”
“You mice are too trusting," Russell said, "That cat, Tobias, ate 'em. I know it.” He dug his grubby fingers into the nut bowl, searching for a choice piece while Mr. Barnaby crinkled his nose in disgust.
“But Marcus saved Tobias from the fox trap,” Gregory interjected. “The two have been fast friends ever since. Why would he kill him now?”
“Well, you can't expect the cat to allow his pantry to get raided year after year. It's poor job performance. Besides, Marcus is never late. Something's amiss."
Gregory sipped at his cider, contemplating. It was unlike Marcus to come back late from a raid and not send word. His friend was right, something was amiss. “I suppose we'll have to go find them,” he sighed.
Russell grabbed once more for the bowl, seized an acorn, and stuffed it into his mouth. “If there's anything to find.” More nut sprayed from his mouth, hitting Mr. Barnaby's cheek.
The offended bartender hid the bowl behind the counter and ran a paw over his face, glaring at Russell. "Maybe you should go check out that pantry before the owls wake. I hear cats don't eat fat chipmunks."
"No," Russell agreed. "Just old mice."(less)
Mary rested her hands on her head and looked at the ceiling of her pantry, heaving a loud sigh.
Cooking for cooks was a nightmare for Mary. Mary didn't even like to cook for herself, much less people who didn't like her.
God. They were coming here. People i(more)n her house, her private space, was worse. Clenching her fist, Mary looked around at the empty shelves and knew no matter how long she stood here nothing was going to just appear. Lighting wouldn't strike and bring a delicious meal that everyone would like. The door wouldn't open, her husband hurrying in arms full of dinner and treats to satisfy his demanding family. Nope. He was upstairs, fingers flying across a keyboard as he attempted to finish a program before everyone arrived.
The raspy voice echoed in her too-full head, "we don't have the money to have a party and the house is a mess. I just have too much to do to clean. Can you just do the birthday the girls?It won't big, just make dinner and dessert. Make sure to each one a gift, they don't do shared gifts. There will be ten of us, the grandparents included."
The boys. Mary's sort-of nieces whom she'd met twice. Who didn't like anything she liked, who ate nothing but meat and cheese. Who doesn't eat kale?
Mary's heart hurt. Her in-laws, the whole fucking crew. In her house. Making faces at her books. Drinking from her glasses. Bile rose up, riding the rage that had followed shock two days ago when she got the call.
Mary picked up the phone. "Hello, Papa John's?"