Thursday, March 24, 2011


Gathka said she wanted a normal daughter-one who was without physical perfection. A scientist would call it a genetic mutation; the regular population called it something else, they called it Normal. The word itself has been around for more than two thousand years; it was only in the last five hundred years that the definition changed. Gathka supposed aliens had something to do with it. Aliens had been visiting the Earth for hundreds of years, even before the birth of Jesus; they’d made claims of the cavemen, the dinosaurs, the wooly mammoth. They even admitted having something to do with global warming. Their ships ran on fossil fuel. Gathka supposed other races lived in the universe, but the kind they met were intelligent, smart, fast, their minds were faster than any computer. It was amazing to watch. Gathka sat behind the desk, nervously stroking her fingers. She always did that when she was nervous. She was a tall, blonde woman and had large, blue, cat-like eyes. The human race mutated after seven thousand years; the only things that changed were the length of their earlobes, and their eyes, which was more cat-like in appearance. Gathka was an anthropologist major in college, and had studied ancient humans-humans from the Electric Age; the Golden Age; etc. 10,000 years before that, the saber tooth tiger and other animals roamed the earth. Gathka highly suspected a meteorite did not kill the dinosaurs after all, but it was simply a genetic mutation that span over time.
She turned. A whisper of sound. The doctor entered the room. He was tall, muscular built, and had broad shoulders and thick, brown hair. Gathka couldn’t help but stare. He looked almost identical to her husband, except he had blonde hair and was much taller. He ran a business in New Jersey. They were from New Jersey. She smiled thinly and rose to her feet. She straightened her dress nervously. “Hello,” she said. “It’s nice to meet you, doctor.”
“You’re one of the few,” he began.
“One of the few, what?” She raised her eyebrows questionably.
“One of the few who aren’t going to go by Artificial Insemination. We have a huge sperm bank. We even have some celebrities, some politicians. Quite a few writers. Still no?” he asked.
“I promised my grandparents,” she explained. She hesitated. She thought it was silly explaining this to a doctor. She didn’t have to explain anything to a doctor! It was her body! It was her decision-and her husband’s, who was eagerly awaiting their first child.
“You promised your grandparents what?” he asked. He wasn’t being impatient or condescending. He was being kind, generous, and offered input on the best way to take. She had made up her mind. She was firm in her revolution, in her decision.
“I promised I would be a Norm,” she replied. It was a strange thing, to be a Norm when everyone else wanted to be Abnormal. It was weird. It was ludicrous. It was hard to imagine, but it happened, very rarely, every so often. In society, being different was wrong. She knew that now. She suspected it for a long time, but humans were conditioned to think and feel a certain way, and everyone went with what everyone else was doing. If someone did it differently, they were considered a Normal-or, a Norm, for those who wanted to know. It was something that happened, changed over time. It was ridiculous. It was absurd. But, it was how society had changed. They were different. They were a lot worse. The crime rate, especially, was ridiculous. A few murders among the Abnormals; the Norms had good behavior, but there were few of them left in the world. Few and far between.
“I want to have my baby the normal way,” she told her husband the next day, over tea. He had come home, and he stroked her shoulder. He was home after a dozen meetings at the office. He was a lawyer, one of the best in the state.
“I know, dear,” he answered. “I do, too. I’ve been doing research. Many couples gave birth in hospitals. Can you imagine such a thing? That’s where they performed surgeries on people! Can you imagine!”
Gathka could. “What about their genetics?” she asked. “Their genetics just appeared out of nowhere, like magic.” She shook her head. “I can’t believe people lived like that. It’s so funny, seeing how they dress, and what they wore-”
“How they made their food,” he finished, giggling.
She nodded. The Norms ate food, still; the Abnormals lived off of energy from the sun. The sun was a large thing, and radiation was recycled. Always recycled.
Gathka gave birth to her daughter on September 8th, 3443. It was midnight. She decided to give birth at a hospital. The building was virtually empty, save for a few Abnormals who were having their regular check-ups. Some Abnormals liked to act out their lives, and pretend they were something they were not-many Abnormals begged to have a disease, even though disease was wiped out 900 years ago. She sighed. Being human was very difficult work. A lot of thought went into every day activities. Her thoughts were slow, muddied. She had trouble breathing. She brought home her daughter after being three weeks in the hospital. The doctor was puzzled because the baby had come out of the womb. Most mothers who were brought in to the hospital born babies in a test tube. It was how it was, how it shall be-she suspected he thought she was slow, numb, dumb. Maybe all three.
Her husband was gone again; gone to a business meeting. They decided to revive businesses after the last of the wars, due to the wishes of the government. Her husband laughed every time he heard the word, government, like it was some kind of great, colossal joke. One of his ancestors had died in Vietnam. That could be the reason for his case of the giggles. Maybe it was genetic.
“Hello, sweetie.” Gathka sat on the floor next to her daughter. She was broad, bold, insidious. She was eager to learn more about her Norm daughter. She would take it one at a time, however.
“Hello, Mom,” she said, smiling broadly. “Look what I’m doing.” She pointed to the toy animals spread out on the floor. “It’s Noah’s Ark, Mom. But, I don’t have a boat for them. Can we buy a toy boat next time?”
Mom was an old-fashioned word. The Abnormals called their parents “rent” or “rents.” It was an old trend that span generations. She smiled at her daughter and watched her play.
“Sure, honey,” she said, smiling down at her. “We’ll see.”

Monday, March 21, 2011



Anwon Price, magister
King Wandron, ruler
Delila, troll
Egg, male troll
Anwon Price was a great magister and used magic to heal others. He was not well himself. He had large eyes and a beaked nose. His mouth was long and thin and frowned a lot. He walked down a dark, shadowed road. The moon was out. It was night. The wind moaned softly. A creature darted up to him, and grabbed his hand. “Sir,” he said, breathing heavily. “Sir, may I request your service?” he asked quickly. He was trembling.
“What?” he said, with a start. “What’s the matter?”
Anwon peered closer and realized he was talking to a troll. Trolls were strange creatures. They had wide foreheads; dark, parched skin; and eyes as black as the midnight forged from darkness. They were strange, idiotic creatures, and Anwon wanted to avoid them at all cost. Tonight was no such luck. “What do you want?” he demanded. “Money, time, playing cards?” He was impatient. He wanted to get back to his job of buying and selling brooms. But his conscious refused to let him.
The troll thought about the last gift. He shook his head. “No,” he spluttered. “My friend stuck his head in a tree-”
“You want me to get him out,” he finished, nodding his head. He rubbed his hands together eagerly. He was greedy, greedy about the money he was going to make. “I would like seventy shillings, please.”
“We don’t have any money, but, hurry, he can’t breathe!” He threw back his head and howled. A long, emerald tear squeezed out of the corner of his eye. He sniffed. He was about to throw a tantrum.
Anwon Price nodded his head. “Okay,” he said. “I guess you’ll want me to be a hero, then, huh?” He didn’t like it. He didn’t like it at all.
“Yes,” he said. “Please.”
Anwon looked into the troll’s eyes and saw what he saw in them. He picked up his bag and hurried down the path towards the darkness that swallowed them. They were in the darkness for awhile; it was almost black around him. Dirt crunched under his feet. He was not wearing any shoes, he had sold it for a broom back in Oddscreak. He shook his head. No one wanted to pay him for his services. He was worried about food, because he was getting low on funds. He had a magic bag and he could pull a seven-tenths shilling out of it every few weeks. It worked, but it would not do to sustain his current need of food. An apple cost almost a whole shilling. “Where is this troll?” he asked him. “Where is this dummy?”
“Over there.” The troll pointed to the edge of the woods, and tugged at his hand. He had claimed he was a teenager. “He’s stuck in there.”
Anwon couldn’t help it. He burst into peals of laughter and shook his head back and forth. He hadn’t realized how much he liked trolls until now. He slapped the troll on the back. “Okay, runt,” he guffawed. “We’ll get him out.”
And Egg couldn’t understand why he was laughing.
He slapped the troll on the back. “Let’s get this show on the road,” he exclaimed. He rubbed his hands together gleefully. “Okay, first thing’s first, how did he get his head stuck in the tree? Were you playing a game, or did you put him in there?”
“We found some honey in it and he was trying to get the beehive,” Egg explained.
He nodded. “I see, I see. Well, stand back, and let me do my work.” He pulled a long stick out of his robe. Anwon wore a robe because he thought it made him look cool. The other kids thought he was cool. They asked him to perform at birthday parties sometimes; he hadn’t done it in at least four months. He tapped the tree. Nothing happened. The wind still cried; darkness swirled around them. He tried again. Still nothing. The branches of the tree shuddered. He decided a better tactic was at hand. He banged the troll on the side of the head. He howled and the tree bulked but did not release the troll. Egg was getting impatient. He hopped from one foot to another.
“Hurry!” he complained. “We need to be home by sundown.”
Anwon was confused. “Why?” he asked.
Egg shrugged his shoulders. “Because,” he answered. “It’s when we eat.”
Anwon thought he understood. He took hold of the troll’s legs, and pulled. The troll fell back on top of him. His breath was nearly knocked out of him. The troll stumbled to his feet, gasping and clawing for air. “Thank you!” he exclaimed.
“What’s your name?” Anwon asked him.
“My name is Delila.”
Anwon raised an eyebrow. A female troll. It was almost unheard of, especially in this part of the country, which was called Graywhereland. Anwon thought the name should be changed. He didn’t understand why the king allowed such a beautiful place to have such a terrible name.
“Thank you,” the trolls exclaimed. “Thank you, very much. Would you like to join us for a feast?”
Anwon’s stomach rumbled with hunger. He rubbed his stomach. “Okay,” he agreed. “Okay, I will go to your feast. Where is it?”
“At Captpot Hall,” Egg explained. “In the Rion Forest.”
Delila took his hand and tugged him deeper into the forest of trees. The stars appeared in the sky above them; it must be well past midnight. Delila was skipping. She wasn’t bothered by the fact they were in a magical forest. It was a magical forest and many creatures lived in it. Including the Waggabeast; the Biggabeast; and the Trilyabyte, they are kind of like lizards without a tail.

Thursday, March 10, 2011



The night is full of stars.
What I see, is what I see-
In it is what darkness brings.
The highway is full of cars.
And the night is full of stars,
The wind constantly sings-
Silver things are lined with trains.
The sun is dry when it rains.
I’m all for money, when I got a honey,
And it is what night will bring.

There are lines in the broken road,
That goes on forever-
All the things we remember,
And sand through hands that are poured.
Like dreams and shadows, moving on
Night beams,
And sorrows are woken in a dream.
There are lines in the broken road,
And it goes faster and faster,
Like a shadow in the night.
The sun is filled to brim with light.

All the sadness in the stones,
Are broken, at last, and we go home-
We see the tides that are coming in
The ocean.
They are broken, and the lines go on forever.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What the Boy Knew.

The boy did not understand the importance of books. His mouth turned downward in a slight grimace, and he looked at Teacher. Teacher had gray hair and green eyes, they seemed to stare at nothing, a lot of times. Brian wondered if he was well. He did not look well. He looked very sick. He climbed off the stool, and looked at him. “What are you doing here?” he demanded. “I thought I sent you home. I told you not to come back. I dismissed you!” He clenched his fists. It was not a good idea to anger the Prince of the Emperor of Jennsen, but it was important. The Emperor had taken him aside, and told him to tutor his son. He was bound to obey. Obeying was what Teachers did; that was how they survived in the universe that was harsh and cold and cruel.
Teacher waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “I understand you do not take things seriously, my boy,” he chirped. “I have come to help you.”
“Help me with what?” he asked. His voice trembled like the Western Winds that rose from the South, and settled in the East, and everywhere in between. He owned everything on this planet, from the vast forests of Straighte, to the Inland of Eucalydies. The planet was monstrous, far larger than anything the Settlers had ever found. They settled on the planet thousands of years ago. The oceans were large-there were only two, but the water was angry, choppy, epic. Yes, the word would work. His father was gone most of the time. He wanted his father to be at home, so he could play with him. The maids and servants and the neighbor boys were not fun to play with, they made fun of him because he was rich, and he did not have shabby clothing. His clothes were made from the finest tailors in all of Jennsen. It was ideal for the prince of an Emperor to wear such fine clothes, and he definitely was made of money.
“You are the son of an Emperor,” he said in a thick voice. “You are supposed to be educated, elegant, endearing-you are none of these things! Look at how you walk! You walk like a duck! A duck!”
He looked around in abashment, and a sword hung on the wall. He grabbed the sword, and started swinging it in a clockwise position. “This is what you are supposed to learn, young student!” he cried. “You are supposed to learn how to duel!”
Brian shook his head. “I do not understand,” he said. “I am supposed to be married, and breed-that is what is in my Histories.”
Teacher stopped cold. He put down the sword, and stared at him, his face bold. Brian thought Teacher looked a lot like a duck. His hair was long and gray; his face was long; even his hands were like webbed feet, they stuck out tremendously. “How do you know about them, boy?” he demanded. “How do you know about the Histories? Only adults know about them, not children!”
“I followed my father.”
Teacher nodded thoughtfully. He saw it now. Brian was one of the Oddities, they were the ones who always had to make trouble, who didn’t appreciate Order, or anyone who could lead. Teacher cocked his head to look at him. He had to help him, before the Empire fell around his ears-or, his throat, for people who did what he did usually had their heads cut off. Brian was not like the Others. He was special. He was the son of an Emperor, and his life was spared. “Listen carefully, boy,” he said. “I know you see things, you think things that are different. I want you to listen to me. Do not tell anyone what you think. Ever. If you want to live.”
Brian’s eyes widened in fear. “If?” he echoed. His voice sounded loud to his own ears.
Teacher nodded. “We are at war. We have been at war for a long time. Real war stopped a long time ago, when the Emperor’s son, Temptess, discovered Magic. Not the real magic, but…close enough.”
Brian wished he would elaborate. He did not. He continued, “I am your Teacher. I will teach you how to read.”
An hour passed, and Brian still did not understand books.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Bitter Salt.

There was a three-story window that looked out
At an abandoned parking lot, and the faces looked in

At a crowd of spectators, all mouths open, all smiling.
The people were like rounded things, and the noise of the party
Was loud and translucent, and the Shadows of stone
Moved and no one could move.

The speeding train on the subway, was like the wind,
And it moaned like the wind, and the sound was awful-

And the teacher threw his temper out the window,
At the running cars, and the sound of the night was like
A whisper of trees that pounded on the forbidden grass of
And the silence was like a firecracker in the night,

And all reasons were not like shadows in the grass,
On the edge of things.
Some people are born bitter; and die a bitter death,
And people are too demanding, and bitter.

This salt is like the ocean, and the ocean is bitter because it
Holds all the fish, and sometimes, the fish die,
And the Gulf of Mexico is like a round circle in the middle of
The ocean.
Everything is treated with respect, and respect is in anything,
And all we have is our bitter bread, and the salt it came from-