“Is this a mirage?” The words are stillborn, incapable of squeezing past the cracked, water-starved lips.
It must be.
Continue reading “Desert Rose”
It must be.
Continue reading “Desert Rose”
Yet another sunset crawls by. It’s a striking sight, straight out of some mad 19th-century painter’s imagination while he attempts to render how the end of the world will look like, in an aquarelle of yellows, oranges, and reds. Looks like someone set off fireworks across the entire line of the horizon. The picture belongs in a museum, or at the least on someone’s social media feed. That’s where these things go now, don’t they? Into someone’s Saved images collection. Do people ever go back and flick through those, I wonder? Do they just swipe onto the next picture or stop to drink in the details? Like the person, me, sitting – no, slumped on the bench. Probably not. I’d crop myself out of the picture if I was the photographer. Like I cropped myself out of life.
Just a touch of joy I feel, looking down upon the sea of sleepers. It is pitch black, except for the few lightbulb islands I spy strewn across the horizon while I idly hover above. The sleepers did good work today and now they rest. They did my work. Some of them, anyway.
There is magic in the air.
Our naked feet dance, carrying us round and round in a circle, our steps deliberate, their pattern pre-meditated, their motion meaningful.
The music we make is an echo of a time long gone by, the song the gods of olden days breathed into this world when it was naught but an infant, the lullaby a mother would sing when putting her child to sleep, the verses a shepherd would hum under his breath to ward his flock. Healing. Protective. It is unending. It dwells under the surface, deep within. One can still hear it when shutting off the noise and opening the senses to the unexplainable.
There is something else about having a smoke all the way up here, amid the stars. A special kind of enjoyment. A treat for the senses right at the edge of words properly making it justice. I watch the nebula we’re sailing by eyes wide open. You’ve maybe seen a thousand different nebulae of unimaginable colors and shapes, but the thousand-and-first is no less jaw-dropping. With my butt comfortably seated in my commander’s chair and legs kicked out in front of me, a tumbler of scotch lodged in the other hand, this is my own personal theatre. Living the life. Inhaling death one short, slow lungful at a time to the backdrop of Guns n’ Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine braying in the loudspeakers, while watching a big-ass asteroid sail within a hairbreadth of the cruiser.
There’s something wrong with what I’m hearing, the same few syllables on repeat now, for the umpteenth time. Like listening to a broken record. Not sure whether the problem is the loudspeaker or if it’s you. Tell me something I haven’t heard before. No?
“Don’t take it personally, friend. It has never been about you. Fate conspired for you to meet me here today, in the middle of muddy fucking nowhere. That’s all there is to it,” the mercenary pats the shoulder of the dying enemy soldier propped against the crumbling wall. Continue reading “The Mercenary”
Through the night, she dreams dainty dreams. She dreams of some other, not the one next to her. Such is the fate of her choosing, yet she does not have a say in who will own her night, tonight. Eyes wide shut, the mind sheds inhibitions, dreams betraying secrets too shameful to admit to in broad daylight. Conventions unbound, possibilities endless, she dreams of other faces, in familiar/new places, exploring the hidden spaces where iron will and desire so often tangle under the bedsheets.
Why is resistance always so conspicuous by its absence?
Now you see me. Now you don’t. You know I’m here. You hear me buzz. I am the Annoyer. The All-Seeing. You would swat me to oblivion if I sat in one place for too long. Good for me I don’t.
I am a fly on the wall. And your secrets are all mine.
The peculiar nature of the human condition is that their hearts can break, heal, and break all over again. It makes me pause. I oft wonder at it but still, I find it all so very amusing. Humans weep, cracked asunder, and their tears become just another element that enters and erodes the edifices they erected, not unlike the wind or the rain. It is their frailty that defines them, it molds who they are and who they aspire to be, in their short lifespans. It spurs them on to do great things, each a small attempt at erasing insignificance. And then it conspires to turn them and forces them to tear all their accomplishments down. With time they feel they do not have, their hearts heal. Then, they repeat it once more.
They call me Blackheart, and they mean it as an insult. Blackheart in his black obsidian tower. Stoneheart, unfeeling. A heart black as sin. I embrace it, truly. I do not have a heart, at least not how humans define it.