30 for 30 (She’s going to make me lonesome when she goes)

October 1st

She smokes her cigaret

Stares out the dirty windows

Waiting for someone to come in

She feels paranoid

But when they do come in

She sits with them

Pours them a cup of tea

Makes sarcastic remarks

She gives them books to read

A trail of smoke follows her every where she goes

Her red hair is pulled up under a bandana

Her green eyes carry an age to them …

November 15th

Everyone that comes in leaves

With a story

For the last five years

It’s been me

We all want something

We want to be something

We believe we are making a mark

She has so many opinions

And ideas

She plays the piano

And thinks it’s funny

It being in a library

Dec 12th

I believe she is a muse

Not in the way we use it now

But in the, what is it? The original way

Muses were something that came to an artist

And helped them make art

Dec 24th

I don’t think she knows…

Jan 13th

She’s clouded

And heavy

Maybe she has been around for too long

Or for such a long time

She has forgotten

She is unhappy

Smokes more

Drinks more

Sleeps all day

Doesn’t get up

Or come sit with me like she used to

She just lets me use the library

I cannot write like I used to

I’ve asked her to go away with me

I think she is going away

But alone

she doesn’t laugh

She won’t drink tea anymore

The sunlight doesn’t come in the windows anymore

She’s going to make me lonesome when she goes…

Sept 20th

It’s been a long time since I’ve last written.

But I think I’ve carved out a way.

To just sit and work…

October 31st

I thought I saw her today

In a bookstore

It was just a moment

A flash of red

But

She looked happy .

Who knows what a muse is?

But maybe

Just maybe

They help us find our way

And our voice…

Who is to say anything is really gone?

Maybe they are there

In ordinary places

Doing ordinary things.

waiting for us to be unexpected

And

extraordinary.

Ashes

The piano was more difficult to play now, certain chords would go missing….

The same with photographs. Some faces were familiar…others were blackened with ash and she didn’t know them…

Some days she felt like everything was good. She really had a hold on things.

Other days, she would be given a journal

And expected to write…

But the pages were burning

The words were missing…

The safest place was the window on those days.

To just sit and look outside….

She could remember some things…

But it was all the new faces that frightened her.

The new town….

Other days she would work on her next detective novel…

But she always felt, trapped,inside a burning house

And couldn’t shake the feeling,time was running out.

But then, she had felt like this since her early twenties.

Now she was…she was…

Cold County #1

Somewhere over Lick Skillet

Nine pm

It’s hotter than the drive thru at McDonald’s on Sunday. The Screen door slammed as he was leaving, Everyone saying their second goodbye for the evening.

The older man walking him to his car. Extending the conversation to the front yard.

He smiled again, and said goodbye, backing out of the driveway. Checked his speed as he made his way down the mountain. The road twisting ahead of his vision.

He was thinking of how peaceful it really is, up in the mountains. Just to drive, the trees, the way they change color in the fall. He rolled down his windows, letting his hand ride the night air like he did when he was younger. Reaching for the stars.

His radio went to static, strange, must be the satellites. He glanced again at the sky, this far up you were away from the city and could see just about any constellation if, you know what to look for. Or thought you knew what to look for. Most people just made things up to keep a girl looking at the sky while they were focused on other things.

Odd thing out…

The stars were gone…

A perfect patch cut out

He pulled off the road onto the bluff.

Lights flashed passed his car from off the side of the mountain.

He checked his phone…the signal was gone

It seemed as though this repeated itself three times.

Driving endlessly, yet still under the dark spot. He stopped his car again. Getting out, he held his phone out, hoping for a signal.

That was when he felt it…

First he saw the clock on his phone flash

Nine pm

He had been driving for hours it felt like,

He had even used half a tank of gas….

It happened so fast

It was like a nightmare in his head…

The strings of a piano being plucked

He could feel them closing in all around him…

Coming from out there

From everywhere

He couldn’t see them

But they were there

Moving

Like shadows

Between the trees

And he could feel their long hands

Reaching for him

Grabbing him

Pulling him down…..

Into the blackness….

The patch in the sky.

Haunted October #5

The house was quiet until the painting arrived. 

Just a girl in a chair. 

No one knows why 

But the oldest sister

She cared for the painting 

And she always laughed at the stories people told,when they could hear the girl crying. Or screaming through the house. 

“Don’t pay any attention. It’s just the wind coming in from the ocean. It echoes through these old walls.”

But things started moving. 

They went missing. 

During some parties 

The fire would go out 

Or if out 

It would suddenly burn to life…

The older sister 

she looked after the painting. 

She carried it everywhere she moved.

She never married. 

And sometimes at night she could be heard talking in the halls or the kitchen…and a girl could be heard answering her. 

Cold #4

“Most people never die suddenly. Your body spends years sending you warnings. A man of 55 dies and it’s a tragedy, yes. But not a sudden one. Habits, They can be read like a timeline. We ignore Doctors and keep on with our lifestyles. One day the body just … runs out of road. You want to live healthy? Start talking to your  Doctor when you’re 28, before you start falling apart.” 

Janice was examining a body on the table. All of the lights were off in the room. None of the computers were running in the background.  It was quiet. It had been swept clean from budget cuts. Making it easier to hear her through the phone call. 

” So when I tell you, this body. These bodies. They shouldn’t be here. I mean it. These cells. Agent, They’re billions of years old.” 

She stood up straight. 

“Infected with Virus. They’re reproducing through bacteria from the site. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

– what do you mean from the site? He could feel the pressure in his gut. He was suddenly aware of the limited space of his Bronco. Driving back to the site where they found the hunters and the Coyote. 

“I mean,” Janice was saying…

“- I don’t know how, maybe it was dormant deep in the earth. Somehow, through rising tempatures. These cells, they’re awake. Infecting the water. All of the wildlife in areas red and yellow? Infected. Our hunter had a good hunting day. And was infected as well. Passing it to others. And then you have the water and the town.”

– so this is a virus? 

“Unlike we’ve ever known. This is older than anything we’ve ever seen.” 

He pulled to a stop. Hanging up the phone. The area was on fire. As men were putting up road blocks. 

“What’s going on here? We need to close this area and quarantine these people…”

“Baldwin, I can’t just quarantine an entire area like this. The paper work alone- listen, It’s State Property. Slotted for fracking next year. It’s already in the budget. And you know just like anybody else… that money is already spent. No refunds.  We’ll torch it. And restrict the area. That’s the most we can do.” 

“People have died. And will cont-”

“Hey, we’ve already sent in the report to the Feds. It was imported food and big pharma.” Nothing else. You did a good job. Let it go. 

He couldn’t believe it…

And thought again of Janice’s words…

No one just dies suddenly. It builds up slowly overtime. We just ignore the warnings. 

Cold #2

The bell jingled for the third time. Elisabeth sat up in bed.

 “Lou Lou?” 

It was a little girl’s  voice.  

She fumbled in the darkness to check her phone. 3am …

The hallway was pitch black and felt longer and colder…

The bell jingled again. 

“Lou Lou.” 

There in the darkness at the end of the hall. Was a little girl …

She tried to breathe…she didn’t have children… and she didn’t babysit…

The girl just stood there

That’s when elisabeth saw the dark figure behind the girl. It’s big eyes 

And smiling face. 

The clown holding a bell and a knife 

“Lou Lou” It said. 

The girl laughed

Elisabeth grabbed the wall looking behind her. 

“Lou Lou.” 

The little girl laughed again.

And the bell rang one last time.

Cold 

The River was still. Bugs swarmed the area. Agent Baldwin slowed his Bronco to a stop. Looking the area over. The dead coyote laying still beside the bank. 

– What’ve we got? 

– Another animal gone rogue. Jumps a local while he’s fishing, in broad daylight. Crashed into his driver’s side window. Lucky it was up. First thing he noticed was all the bugs. 

He shrugged his shoulders and swatted the flies away. Looking over the dead coyote. 

– Strange behaviour. Especially for this time of year. 

He sighed. Checked his phone. Another call. Another local. 

– Bag it up and bring him in. I’ll have Janice look him over. Thanks for calling me, Darryl. 

– Don’t mention it. 

Darryl shook hands and climbed back into his car. 

Baldwin looked over the area one more time before starting his old Bronco and heading to town. 

Gold City 

The debate for literature is universal and exponential. The debate for libraries. That’s another matter altogether. If a stranger comes to town, no one gathers at the library to gossip about him. 

And so it was, during the age of science, understanding and exploration, there was also superstition and mysticism. When a stranger came to our country. 

No one particularly noticed him though. 

The Headlines were championing another tale. God wanted a tower.  A golden tower to assure  his legacy. It would stand in the middle of the largest city and it would be the tallest structure in the world. 

The news was, God needed an architect. 

Three weeks to the day, The stranger approached God and his Court. 

– I can build your tower. I can build it so it’s reflective surface lights half your country. And it eclipses the sun by day and your moon by night, it will give you light from the oldest stars in the universe. Everyone will know your name. 

God thought for a moment. 

-Name your price, he said, rubbing the rings on his fingers. Everyone has a price. What gold, what firm, what women, do you want?

– The Library  of Archives. That is my price. I want it. I want it moved to the great halls on the coast of your country. And I want the land it sits on there. 

God stared for a moment. 

– Surely this architect is joking. You can have anything in the kingdom and you want the oldest books in the world? And a bunch of land? For what? Books? Fine. You must be poorer than I thought. Let’s hope you build better than you bargain. You have insulted my name and my court. I am God. No one was before me and there is no one to match me and my glory. You have six months. 

The architect left. Feeling accomplished. He really thought it would be more difficult. He couldn’t believe his fortune. 

The months passed. While he and his crew raised the golden tower. On the fourth month they cut the ribbon. There was no other structure like it past or present. 

God, true to his contract, paid with the Library of Archives. It was moved from the Capitol to the Coast inside two great halls. Beside the shore. 

No one thought about it again. 

No one missed it. It was the age of fast information, and fast pleasure. Space, fortune,  no one read for pleasure or for anything more than a certificate of career. 

I remember meeting the Architect for the first time. His eyes were steel blue and he asked me who I was. 

– I’m the librarian. I come with the books. I said. And continued sorting the shelves. You must be the Architect. Congratulations are in order. I have champagne and donuts and coffee for you and yours in the reading room. 

He walked through the rows staring like a child when they first notice the stars at night. 

– I don’t understand. Why would anyone give this up. 

– Well, I am thankful, you would be the first to read one of these books, other than myself of course. In sometime, we’ll just say that. No one reads anymore. They have it all. They are ignorant and they live forever to prove it. 

– My name is Owen. 

– I’m Montague. You can call me Monte. 

In all of my time with The Archives. I’ve never seen anyone so hungry for information as Owen. If he wanted to know something, I would take him to the book. There was a lot he wanted to know, and there was a lot of books. 

– How long have you been here, Monte? 

– Oh, as long as the books. We’ve always been together. It’s in the contract. 

– I never mentioned you Monte.

– The Founders contract. I’ve been here since the first page was ever written and bound. I had to be. Someone has to put it on the shelf. 

The years passed and Owen, opened the library to the people of the low lands. His countrymen, he resurfaced, a new stranger, with a new suit, repairing not only structures and homes, but finance, healthcare and agriculture. 

With the knowledge he gleaned from the library he started building a community, a place where people were free to read and create. More and more the poor moved to the coast and built close to the library. Some studied medicine, and some studied engineering, more and more retired there as well. His community grew into a kingdom. He studied the art of war and law. The books held all there was to know from history. 

So there was a reform. And a declaration  was made. An election and a government was in place. Reforming old opinions. And religions. If you came here you could study and learn from the library. You could join the community. Your religion was welcome but you had to reform it to the values of the community. Everyone was equal. Everyone had the same opportunity. But this was secular not spiritual. There was no place for religion in government. There would be no gold towers reaching the sun. Only men reaching the moon and exploring the far corners of space. And potential. 

God, you can imagine. Was shocked to discover that a new kingdom had erected over night. 

– Who is this Prime Minister? I am God. The strongest in the world. The greatest. 

– It’s the architect. The library of archives are open to the people and they’ve built a new nation, sir. He lives in a house beside the library sir. Both are protected by Ushers. And a Declaration of Independence. 

And so it was. 

That a stranger came to the country and built The Gold Tower. And a new Country was formed. 

Because of Books. 

The content of the archive was recirculated with libraries in every community. 

You can still visit the Archives but you will always- like any good thing- have to seek it out. 

Loving Rachael

Monday 

He pays for his coffee looking at the girl at the counter 

She hands him his Change 

Her hand folds over his – holding – and then she walks away

He knows her , but he doesn’t know where

He grabs his pack and slips out into the street 

He sees her at all the stops 

Her face in the crowd 

He sees her shoes 

He knows them 

But from where 

Heels with galaxies on them 

Riding the commute 

On the railway 

Her familiar hand squeezes his 

He looks over his shoulder 

But she isn’t there 

She’s walking away through the crowd 

He puts his ear buds in 

Starts Beck’s Dreams 

And walks into his apartment 
He turns on the light 

it’s a hospital lamp over his bed 

Tuesday  

Rachael stood waiting 

Watching over her husband 

She takes his hand and squeezes 

He is in a coma 

She doesn’t know if he knows she is here 

But she visits 

Every day at noon 

She wears his favorite high heels 

With the galaxies 

Wednesday 

He’s holding a ring in his pocket 

He’s nervous 

He checks the flowers 

And then his watch 

There she is 

Right on time 

He is going to propose 

Sunday 

It’s their wedding day 

There’s a church 

An aisle 

A kiss 

He sees her eyes 

Her galaxies 

Her lips 

Her smile 

Monday 

Rachael is crying today 

“Do you think he knows I’m here?”

“There’s not a lot that we can know for sure …this is fairly uncharted territory. I’m sorry. Take all the time you need.”

Today Rachael is taking him off life support. She takes his hand 

Kisses his lips 

One year 

A hundred thousand visits

Uncharted memories …

Monday 

He is old 

Tired 

He comes in 

Sees her lying in bed 

Laying down beside her 

He holds her 

And they fall asleep together 

And he thinks of all the times he saw her 

Her face in the crowd

Their life together 

He is thankful 

He loves her

They sleep 

Fox and Lola #3

Lola was running. She didn’t know how long she had been running. Her feet was numb. She wasn’t even sure if she was breathing at this point but she kept running. One foot after the other. 

Lola could see Fox just ahead. A flash of orange dipping over the hill. He was leading the way. The way to a new town. 

She could still see it. The lab. The rows of labels. Blood. Her blood. Children’s blood.  “No one ever grows old here. The great experiment.” Her doctor had said. “Your blood keeps me young. Your parents young. Healthy. Unfortunately. You’re sick. You don’t have much time left. I’m very sorry. ” 

Lola could see the tops of buildings. She didn’t care that she was in a gown. She didn’t care how long she had been running. She could hear something. Something new. The sound of laughing. Running. It was a park. It was the sound of children playing. And she ran to it. . . 

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