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Fiction

Aboard the Revenge

Wherein past and future arrive at the present. Masks are exchanged and brothers are reunited.

The Revenge made way quickly. The eerie wailing fading behind them did not fade quickly enough. For days, the men aboard would have an echo of it seize them. Only one serious injury resulted when a sailor fell from the rigging trying to cover his ears even though there was nothing but silence and sea on the wind. Mostly it would raise goose flesh and cause an involuntary shudder. At least there would be no positive gossip to lead others to One Tree.

Categories
Fiction

Letting go and Holding on

The sea was calm but the ship was heavy and it’s passage threw waves and spray with exceptional force. There was a shadow behind it, but it was not the ship’s own. It was not yet dawn and the moon was new. There was no light to cast the ship’s shadow, but there was a shadow none the less. It kept pace with the vessel, occasionally causing a whitecap of it’s own. A lithe creature moved through the rigging. Barely visible. A liquid drop of ink hiding behind letters. It glided over masts, slipped down ropes, through partially filled sails. In the pre-dawn mist, it tricked the eye into doubting. Was it there? Liquid black dropped to the rail of the ship, silent and smooth, then it was gone. Over the edge to towards the shadow in the water.

Categories
Fiction

House Rules & Chaos

Season 11, Episode 10, Part 1: Shoes

In the Family Justice System there are two separate yet equally frustrating principles; the House Rules established by parents, and the Chaos of childhood attempting to get around them. These are their stories…

DUN-DUN!

7:30pm Thursday April 26- Back room of the Ducharme house; Escondido, Ca.

Paul Ducharme trips over a pair of Sunday Shoes. It is the same pair of Sunday Shoes that have been by the back door all week. He kicks them towards the pile by the door. They catch some air and make contact with a pair of tap shoes near the top. Several toddler shoes dislodge and roll into the doorway. He curses louder than intended. “Son of a bitch! How are there so many shoes? All the damn time!?” He is exasperated and rhetorical.

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Fiction

For the Horde: Last Days

For the Horde 04: Last Days

I kept the random notes from my desk. And the page from a copy of Medusa and the Snail that Elevator A had caught between its teeth. “This book is about life and death. This is a book of treasures.” Our carts remain as we do, isolated islands of unfinished chaos, hibernating dragons waiting for a spring. It was spring when I was here last. I didn’t know it would be my last day. I have no regrets. By the time you get to a last day, it is already too late. Events are in motion, they will stay in motion.

Categories
Fiction

Auberon the Cloak of Shadows

The Cloak of Shadows

Of the great relics, few are as sought after as Auberon, the Cloak of Shadows. Even among the Fae-Kin, it is unknown if this relic still exists or what it actually looks like. Research into the nature of the cloak is largely discouraged. According to legend, Auberon contains Mother Blood and all the protections and power that comes with it. Auberon is impervious to light, impenetrable, filled with pockets, answers to the Language of the Shadows. It was a favorite item of the Sister Between and chose to accompany her when she was exiled. Auberon has links to several human and fae myths under various names. Most notably, the Shirt of Nessus, Coat of Many Colors, Daniel, the Shroud of Turin, Nabrok, Gwenn (Mantel of Arthur), Tarnakappe, Palangineh, and Robe of the Fire Rat. It is generally accepted that the First Fae used Auberon to explain death to the Sisters by animating the cloak with help from the Shadows. It is also generally accepted that the cloak itself was lost to the Fae at the Fall of Arden Keep. There is no evidentiary support for either of these accepted beliefs. The last confirmed sighting of Auberon by the Fae is recorded in the obscenely redacted Alexandria Report.

Categories
Fiction

For the Horde: Law & Order

03: Law&Order

I have watched all 456 episodes of Law&Order several times. Most of them while working out or cooking. From “these are their stories” to arraignment is on average 22 minutes, the perfect amount of time to spend on an elliptical machine. Arraignment to post-trail re-cap is another 22 minutes or three sets of body weight exercises. If you’re motivated, you power through a fourth set as Jack gets on the elevator. (Or is forced to ride alone because the ADA is pissed.) You can prep and rest a full recipe of pita bread from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Diana Shaw (New York, Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1997) during a Law&Order episode. If you’re watching it on TV with commercials, you will over-proof the loaves but they cook perfectly between commercial breaks.

Categories
Fiction

For the Horde: End Times

02: End Times

I wish I could remember what I did that caused my Nana to smerk and pronounce, “You’ll be the cause of the End Times, child.” What ever it was, she enjoyed it. Perhaps this is why I have never feared the End Times. Maybe it is why I am determined to laugh through them. Anything to make Nana smile. Nana was not the only person to predict my dark destiny. I was told so often that my actions would bring about the apocalypse it became inevitable. You know when you say a word over and over until it loses all meaning? You wear out the concept of it in your mind. I took the stretched out, shapeless concept and wrapped it around me like a comfortable hug from my Nana.

Categories
Fiction

For the Horde: An End in the Beginning

O1 An End in the Beginning

Mar 12, 1945- France

Hello John:

 I just received two letters from you dated Feb 8 & Jan 10 and am always glad to hear from you. I’m glad that you enjoyed the magazines & Mien Kampf. I thought that you’d get a kick out of them. It isn’t very hard to get hold of a Nazi Bible, most every family was almost forced to purchase a copy. The one I sent was taken from a school house. We set up a C.P. in a small town and took over. There were many books and about ninety percent were recent publications in the true Nazi fashion- each pertaining to the manufacture of some product vital to the war machine.

 The people are like the weather- just as soon as they know the Germans are out they start to defame them to us. What a business!!

 I received several news paper clippings about the Fitzpatrick case but haven’t heard anything since. I was surprised to hear that you had to close the bath. I think that’s the first- at least in my time. Well the winter is over and lets hope the war will finish in the same manner.

 Well John that’s about all there is for today but don’t worry I’ll write again soon.

 Always,

 Tommy

We found the letter inside the 1938 Volksausgabe (People’s Edition) of Mein Kampf. There are three reasons books end up in a locked case or the Rare Book Room: price point, rarity, and size. The unofficial reason is booksellers cannot find a shelf on which it is appropriate to display a book. Not for personal reasons, but logistical ones. Shelving is not just about the alphabet, it’s about what a reader is searching for. This is why even the Great-and-Mighty Amazon opened brick and mortar stores. It’s about the search and those who are searching. It’s why Amazon is unsatisfying for booklovers. Don’t hate the truth, Bezos. (Bezos doesn’t care. He was never in it for the books, he was in it for the business. He is a successful business man. He’s a shit dragon.) Dragons are in it for the books, for the hoard, for their horde (if they have one). Hoards are organized for seekers. That’s how you know it’s a proper hoard.

Categories
Fiction

The Grumpy Mermaid

Fae-Kin Legends: The Grumpy Mermaid

Origin: Sunflower Court during the third reign of Titania VI. The great bard Robin and his troupe included a legend titled ‘Unsatisfied Underfish’ in their Summer Solstice program as early as Titania VI’s first reign, however the records were destroyed in the Great Fire at Alexandria and the back-up files during the burning flood at the Arden Forest Archives later that year. The oral tradition was passed through the Fae-Kin tribes of Atlantis, and nearly all the Maui-sects of the Pacific region. A version of this legend can be found in human fairy tale collections generally titled ‘The Little Mermaid.’