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Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Scarecrow

He crept to the window in the darkness of his room and peered out reluctantly.
It stood there like it had during the day, and the day before that. He searched desperately with his eyes in the moonlight for something to confirm his fears, but he was too afraid that it would see him.

Dressed in his late fathers clothes it was a haunting sight out in the field and the crows felt it too, they kept their distance for the fear of his father had been greater than their need to eat. He thought it odd that they did not fear him the same way, even when he chased them waving his pitch-fork, they just moved away and he heard the laughter ring from their beaks as if they were mocking him being half the man his father ever was.

The scarecrow was something else, it watched him work in the day and he sensed the disappointment in its look every time he stopped to rest. He felt the burden of its judgement on him and the weight of that pending failure churned a loathing within his soul that burned with a furious passion, and he feared for where this may eventually lead him.

He looked at his sleeping wife and knew that she worried, that this concern was affecting her mental state and it was all the fault of that monster out there and the hold it had on him. As the anger grew, he faced the window again with confidence, ready to put aside his deepest fears and challenge the beast whom he had lacked the courage to face his whole life.

He crept out of the room and into the outside porch where he slipped on his boots and moved like a thief to the barn. He grabbed the pitch fork and clutching it tightly he made his way back outside and faced the field.

It knew he was coming. It always knew because it had found a way into his mind, had played games with his emotions, toyed with his ability to relate to people and forced him into breaking down. The hate was rising within him like a cobra ready to strike, he felt the venom build and his thoughts became clouded with the evils he suffered in childhood.

The scarecrow watched him approach.
Locusts chirped like the roaring crowd of a gladiatorial arena.
He held the weapon before him and moved through the corn, then stopped to look up at the moon and then back towards the house.
He knew that it ended here, that he would either fail or destroy the waiting demon.

It stood before him a towering silhouette against the glaring moon, its dominant presence hammering blows at his ego, and torturing his emotions with frightening feelings that tore at old wounds. He took a deep breath and stepped forward, it took all the courage he had to look the beast in the face and say that he was not afraid, but he was.

The scarecrow was defiant, it looked down at him and its laughter shrieked in his ears until he thought he would become deaf from the agony.
He muscled his strength and charged with his weapon, and just for a moment he thought he saw fear in its black eyes, fear because the creature could not physically fight back, for all its power, and might and cruelty, in the end it was just a sack of hay dressed as a dead man.

The knives of the pitchfork penetrated deep into the monsters heart, and the farmer felt a powerful force be released from its depths. Light flooded all around, and the cries of loved ones now filled his deafened ears.
He pulled out the fork and began to unleash years of pent up anger by embarking on a frenzy of savage attacks in a bid to destroy everything in that scarecrow that embodied the villain that was his father.
Tears rolled down his eyes, and in his screaming aggression, he became in just that instant the very portrayal of the monster he set out to destroy.

When it was done, he fell to his knees sobbing and yelling in anguish as his wife stood behind him holding a lamp, calling out to him. He looked at her face and then down at the face of the beheaded monster and he knew that it was done.
She came and put her arms around him, and slowly they walked back to the house.

The scarecrow lay as it was, its one remaining eye as black as the night that shielded its disembodied carcass from the glare of the house, still laughing for when the crows returned, they would now fear a new monster, and they would see the evil in his eye, and they will know of the child in the woman's womb.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Aliens verses Predator

(Prologue - Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have been an obsessive fan of the AVP series since the first hint of it in Predator2, the comics, the books, the movies, the games, the toys, I can go on, but this is just a snippet of a book that I have been working on for years but never finished, enjoy...)


The fight for survival

Deep in the jungles of Africa, the heat was intense. High up from the trees at a point close to the river Nile, Hakimu watched the surface intensely. There were hidden caves buried amongst the growth everywhere in this part of the Jungle. Caves in which the Oomaans (humans) had hidden the Akunde Amide (xenomorph). As an experienced hunter he would eventually seek them out.

Others of his kind lurked behind shielded by their invisibility and equally eager to pursue a hunt

Hakimu was a good hunter, a wise hunter. He had fought and killed many things in his prime years. His collection of trophies was highly impressive, and equally hard earned. He had hunted on this planet many times.

The Oomaans were challenging prey. Physically they were easy to kill, but they had intelligence on their side. They were constantly developing weapons and technology, and had an interest in hunting others of their own species. Hakimu had participated in many of these; he had taken youngsters into these battles to practice their skills.

Oomaans were always impressive as trophies, but they did not earn you the same respect as of an Akunde Amide.

Hakimu Had that respect, but he had further ambitions, he was after the ultimate prize, the queen. It would be his final trophy hunt.

Very few had fought a queen and survived, and an even fewer number had earned the legendary honour of having defeated one. The queen stood at almost three times the height of the hunters. She was heavily protected by her guardian drones and controlled her offspring through some form of telepathic communication. The guardian drones would die to protect her. She was their mother, their leader, and their god. The queen would never break from her nest until close to defeat, and once free she would attack to survive with the wrath of a dozen drones combined.

Hakimu stroked his face and ran his fingers over his tusks, stopping to feel his broken one. He snarled as an old lingering memory passed through him. He pictured himself as a youth, the elder at his side, glorious in their hunt. Wrist blades extracted, spears held in position, and shoulder cannon all fired up and ready. Dead and severed Akunde Amide scattered around them. Hakimu was the best hunter of his group. The elder had taken him under his wing, taught him to be wise, to harness his skills and ruthlessness, and to succeed where others of his kind had failed.

Then he pictured the image of the elders face as he stroked the huge tail that the fearsome queen had pierced through his chest. Blood spurt over his tusks.

He had told Hakimu to be wise, escape and save himself, but that was not the hunter way. Infuriated at the loss of his mentor, he had lunged at the queen, fought like the true young warrior that he was. His speed, his skill, and his agility were tremendously challenging for her, until the moment that he had felt the choking grasp of her claws around his throat, realised his feet were no longer touching the ground, and he could smell the acidic stench of drool as it dripped from her jaws just inches from his face. Her eyeless long crowned head watched him from a face that had no eyes to stare back into. He sensed her inner jaws at the point of lunging out of her great skull, and at that moment he had pictured not an image of death, but the magnificence of that huge trophy, so close within his reach, and yet so unattainable.

He lived to tell the tale, tossed aside as the great beast faced off an onslaught by the Oomaans.

He owed them nothing, this was his fight, they did not interfere to save him, but to protect her, and now the Oomaans were themselves responsible for the infestation of the Akunde Amide on their planet.

Robotic Lives

One day we will open our eyes and realise that we have been living in a repetitive mindless world that f***ked with our emotions and made us slaves to materialism, self fulfilment and endless search for pleasure. Then when we look around with our newly opened eyes and regain consciousness, we will realise that being a prisoner of the old system was not so bad after all and we will close our eyes again promptly, and fall back in line.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

That place in my brain that lurks and prowls

There is a place in my brain called boredom; it surfaces every now and then. Lurking and brooding, trying to drain my motivation dry. It's like a demon from within who prowls my subconscious mind. I'm not sure what tempts it to emerge, but when it does there is no controlling it. It hides like a predator stalking its prey, slithering and hissing in the background until it feels the moment is right, and then it unleashes a deadly fury, its lethal coil strangling the very breath from my soul, the poison seeping through me, numbing my reflexes, contaminating my thought processes, killing my productivity.

I submit to it, submerged in its dominance. Powerless, weak, and frail in my rationale to resist and overcome its tightening grip, I become a shadow within a shadow, a victim to this hungry beast that will stop at nothing to engulf my waking mind, to bite chunks out of my sanity and paralyse me to a state of vegetation. I sit twitching, my focus on the clock, that slow turning wheel that will eventually become my saviour and draw the beast back to the abyss of its lair.

As I cowl under the might of this beast, my brain; now a soiled sponge, drips away my thoughts like raindrops on a sunny day, they gather in a collective pool, magically bright and building in strength, and the beast of boredom recoils and snarls, it hisses and slithers and puts up a fight, but the thoughts rise up, they spin and they brew into the storm of storms, and from within that madness emerges a new creature, mightier and bolder, unstoppable in its quest to imagine and create a world within worlds. It towers over the beast of boredom; it’s menacing presence forcing it to retreat and drain back into the deepest depths of my mind.

Now that I have surpassed this boredom, I write to my hearts content, words that flow like never-ending steams which burst over the rocks and merge to embrace into a powerful waterfall that runs deep into the sea of creativity. The more that I write, the greater it flows, and all the while the beast of boredom lays quiet in its place, just waiting, the hunger expanding.

Life on a Sinking boat

I feel as though the whole world is being snatched away from my grasp and yet it was never mine to be taken

I feel the weight on my shoulders but never prepared myself for the impact

There is so much to lose and yet I cry over things never gained, I am a poor beggar in a rich mans society

The things I crave are the needs of many at a time when dreams are crumbling and hope fading

I am not selfish, I care only that my boat does not sink in an ocean that is riding the storms, that the people I carry do not sink beneath the waves of uncertainty and loss

I yearn for something hopeful to emerge from the depths of this chaos and carry us to safety, yet I understand how utterly unlikely this is to happen, and as the distant horizon disappears within the dark growling storm clouds,

I paddle on regardless, blind and helpless to what lies ahead.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Misguided Soul

It is hurtful to be told that you are a lesser man. To feel her blows chomp with great force at my ego, whilst her anger driven words, strike at me, again and again like an axe to a tree. I am helpless in my defence, speechless and totally absorbent.

We see our buried treasure at opposing ends of the rainbow, yet I find that she does not value my gold; she does not believe that it is a path worth pursuing.

The path that she follows is not the wrong path. Our goal is the same, the mission affects us both. She is not wrong that I should realign my goals to hers, walk the journey with her and mostly lead the way. We would both reap the benefits of this.

Yet my focus is magnetised to the path that I leave behind. It is a sacrifice that I have to make for the greater good, but it tempts me so. I feel the pressure of it’s presence behind me like a burden I cannot shed. Leaving it behind is like suppressing an element of my true self, of shielding me from the fruits that define my character and give depth to my true inner self.

The real me does not touch her soul. It is not a wavelength she can tune into, and it does not play the kind of music she would listen to. If she looked deep into my mind she would probably scream and run away.

Yet this is precisely the anchor I cannot raise, its weight bearing me down, sinking me and everything that is important to me into unforeseeable depths. How can I wrestle this monster that is selfishness? How do I shake off this snake that is arrogance and blinding me with its poison?

Sunday, 26 December 2010

LAND OF JUNK

A Man came into the room of junk. He looked; Amazed, he continued to stare until it dazzled his brain. He scratched his head.

This was insane.

He opened the door and dived into the pool; he swam to the bottom and balanced himself on the floor. He looked up and watched the ducks float past above him.

Around him half floating half sunk, lay junk. Huge amounts of junk. He scratched his head. A small shark came up and circled around him, tasting the water for signs of food. He asked the shark what it thought about the junk. The shark scratched its head, and then swam away. He made his way to the surface, and climbed out.

He stood in the office, soaking wet and dripping. The others watched him for a moment and then continued their work. He walked across the hall leaving a trail of water, his shoes squelched as he passed the quiet workers, but they noticed him no more. He walked around the junk that was piled on the floor, and had to climb over other parts. He made his way to the door, but it was barricaded with the junk. He stood there scratching his head. He looked back and watched the madness. A window was open. He climbed his way to it and jumped out.

He was lucky that the sand broke his fall. He gathered himself and looked around. Seagulls screamed up above. The ocean was calm and the tide was in. Dark clouds loomed overhead and the beach was deserted. He walked out towards the water making sure to avoid the junk that was strewn all over the rusty sand. He had to walk in zigzags to get around the masses of it randomly placed all the way up to the ocean and further still. He walked until he was knee deep into the water. The waves splashed against him forcing him to sway and rock as he walked. He could feel the junk around his legs, and so he followed the trail until he was submerged fully in the water.

He swam in the deep dark water searching for peace. The junk floated all around him. He dived deeper until the light faded completely. He stopped and looked around. He could not see very far and he risked getting lost in the maze of junk that was now swallowing him in. He panicked slightly, and looked for a way out. The shark came back. It had been chewing on the bits of various junk. It watched him floating in the dark cold water scratching his head. The shark offered him a ride to the surface and so he held its fin whilst it speedily swam to the top.

A boat was sailing above. The crew noticed him floating and picked him up. By now it was raining heavily. He shivered with cold. The captain wrapped a towel around him and placed a hot mug of cocoa in his hands. He looked at the junk on the ship. It was some what different to most of the other junk he had seen but the captain explained that they had travelled far and wide. He drank his cocoa whilst the captain stood near scratching his head and gleaming at his huge collection of exotic junk. “All over the world” the captain was saying “They have so many different kinds all over the world, what is in the oceans is different to what is on the land”.

“Did you encounter any free land or clean ocean?” the man asked the captain. The captain looked at this bizarre man and laughed hysterically. “Are you serious?” he asked when he had caught his breath. “Free land, and clean ocean?” he repeated.
Then he seemed to stare blankly out into the far horizon and drift away in his thoughts. “…..free land…clean ocean….” He murmured.

The man stood up and put his head up into the rain letting the cold water soak into his skin. He watched the sky. It was never without dark clouds. He looked at the vast amount of space in between and closed his eyes in despair. Then he made his way to the cabin and walked in.