Saturday, 13 February 2016

Heartbeat

Love is a spiked, slendrous thing,
                             which does but consume its master in a raging
                                                                          torrent of their own design,
                                                                                                                    leaving it...
Meaningless.

A breath of ash!
A flash of fire!
And it burns itself out.
All is consumed under its watchful gaze, 
even as it consumes itself.

Except, when it doesn't.  

For if one should take the flames of their desire,
and treat it carefully.
And in the flurry that is love react neither in foolery
nor release thy caution, but rather...                                                                                Feed the flames.

then your love shall be kept eternal,
as in the stuff of songs and dreams.
An infinite moment...

A heartbeat.

Friday, 12 February 2016

A New School Semester (Chemistry Poetry)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Howdy, all. As you may know (if you live in Canada), a new semester began recently, and with it new courses. I decided, for some strange reason I will never understand, to take two chemistry courses this year (gr.11 and gr. 12), and as such found myself once more in that most hated of courses (which I'm not even remotely good at). After which, I found myself (quite by accident) writing a poem about my AMAZING experience with chemistry while on the bus ride home. I hope you enjoy and, as always, feel free to comment on any questions and/or concerns you may have concerning this. Thanks!


What dark and twisted paths did I take,
which may sets my soul to quake,
that I should stride amongst these bleakened paths,
to reach this place of misery and wrath.
And in my pains once more find me,
in awful, awful, chemistry.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The traveler in P'mar

On August 8th I did return from a camping trip to the east, and, having been out of society for a while or two, I decided to watch the news. And what the news told me, in the wheedling tones of a newsman, went as such:

  • Famous physicist Dr. Theodore Martense disappears, police say no foul play is expected, but believe fowl play to be at work.
  • Mounds of dead cats found at sacrificial altar; 9 arrested for animal cruelty, police still searching for four suspects.
  • Strange cloud formations sighted above city of P'mar, several desiccated corpses discovered in side streets.
Now this last article was of much interest to me, as my cousin, Artimaeus Jy, was a Graphologist in P'mar. And so, after three failed calls to him, I hurriedly re-packed my bags and set off with grim intent and a sick sense of dread toward the train which would take me to P'mar. Upon my arrival in the city, my senses were violently overwhelmed. Such a foul stench I doubt I'll ever smell again, for it was quite singular in its nauseating effect and abnormality. A total cacophony met my ears as I descended to retrieve my luggage, for there was a rain storm going on at the time and the sounds of people rambling and scrambling were barely eclipsed by the hammering of the thunder. The city itself was something of a disturbing peculiarity. Squat, rotund buildings huddled densely without rhyme or reason. The buildings were made of a repulsive, scratchy form of cement, which was quite disgusting to look upon. Some of the buildings were connected by bridges on their upper floors. And some, the most abhorrent, had strange stone beings squatting on their roofs, from whose misshapen heads a-writhing in tentacles and frog-like bodies I could not discern their doubtlessly malignant purpose. Their excessively wide bug eyes seemed to stare down at me as I shrugged on a duffel coat to ward off the chill. There were no roads in P'mar. Instead, weird clay-like sidewalks surrounded the huddled buildings, only two-three men abreast. Very little light got through the canopy of buildings, and most of that shone on leering statues or strangely verticed benches. And everywhere there seemed to grow a thick, slimy variety of dark green moss. I tied a handkerchief around my face to ward myself against the stench, making me look like a victim of the plague, and set off to where I thought my cousin lived. A monumental task, as there were no road names. Eventually I located Artimaeus' house, which was a rickety structure leaning over a brackish, dirty yellow river. As I was heading towards the door, I got my first up close look at a citizen of P'mar. Bulging, red rimmed eyes sat in a heavily pockmarked face. The mouth and nose were extensively flabby. High cheekbones and large, out-turned ears added to the grotesque effect. The pale hair was lank and sparse, but had clearly been meticulously cleaned. The man walked by with a wary glance at me. Shivering, I knocked on the door. The door swung open slowly. I looked inside, my worst fears confirmed. The house had been trashed. Desks, tables, and chairs had been overturned. His numerous papers were scattered across the floor in a variety of patterns, as if by some strange design. It was then that I noted the body in the corner. I walked towards it in a terror, but was relieved to discover it wasn't him, but some man in a trench coat. He wasn't local, as was obvious by his appearance.
Someone coughed behind me, and I wheeled about. "Oh, cousin. It's you." I said in relief. Artimaeus stared at me in interest for a moment, as if considering something. The tattoos covering his body seemed to move in the faint lights. He was holding a flashlight, in such a way that it made his black coat and hair glisten. "Good to see you too... cousin."
I motioned to the dead man. "How'd he die?"
Artimaeus thought about it. "I shot him." He waved off my oncoming complaint. "It was self-defense. Which reminds me, we should get going. That man you passed is likely coming back, with his friends, and I would prefer to be far away from here when that happens." Then he turned and walked out the door. Scared about what I'd just stumbled upon, I followed.
We walked for a bit, down what I assumed to be side streets, though it was hard to tell. "Do you know why there are those odd cloud formations? And the strange killings nearby?" I asked him as we went.
When he didn't answer, I pressed on; "I mean, what's going on in this strange town? Why are the buildings so odd? And the moss is..." SHH! He suddenly cut me off. He dragged me towards the wall, then motioned down the street. I looked to see the man I'd met on the way here, alongside two other people, all of local appearance, and armed with some weapons they kept hidden in their pockets.
I tracked their progress mentally and realized that, no matter what, they would find us. I went to tell Artimaeus (quietly), but discovered him on the ground. He had a set of dice in his hands, and was rolling them on the ground (without making a noise, somehow). He totaled them up, searching for some sign. Then he stood up happily, pocketing the dice. Then he pulled out a pistol from his pant pocket. He cocked the gun confidently, the noise instantly alerting the men. They drew an assortment of makeshift weaponry from their pockets.
One of them spotted my cousin striding confidently towards them, and rushed him. He moved, though, suddenly and in a direction which I wouldn't have expected... He rushed towards the others. Or, at least where the others would have been had they not already been moving. It was as if he had anticipated their movements. One of them swung for him moments after he had begun to duck, shooting the man in the groin. I was glad to observe he had a silencer on, else we were both dead. He spun about, avoiding a blade which should have beheaded him, shooting another.
The last man saw his two companions dismantled before him, and turned to run, making it three steps before he too, was shot. Artimaeus blew the smoke away, putting the gun back where he'd gotten it. He turned to me, observed the way I was looking at the three corpses before me, then commented "I suppose I owe you an explanation."
I almost lost it. "Gee, you think?! Four people are dead, you're skilled with a gun, and you seem to be able to predict the future. An explanation is not only owed, it's required."
He whirled about, heading down the street to some important direction only he was aware of. "Astragalomancy. The art of divination with dice. Very handy, for those with the gift. I think someday I'll write a book about it. Then it'll probably be read by some journalist in another story." He looked at my confused expression, sighed. "If only everyone could break the fourth wall." Then he went on; "As to why so many are dead, that is not my fault. I arrived here a few nights back to answer a call for my assistance, only to discover that it was a trap laid by enemies of mine, who had bribed the local townspeople. By the time I realized it, I was trapped, and was stuck hoping someone... close to me would come help. Thanks for that by that, by the way."
"You're welcome." I replied automatically. Then a thought occurred to me. "Say, I thought you'd been here for years?" He regarded me in a strange, disturbing manner. "Oh yes, I suppose I have. How time flies."
"So how do you intend to get out?"
"I have a plan, which will take but a little while now that you're here."
As I was wondering how I could help him complete this plan of his, we reached a dump. And by that, I don't mean a dumpy building. I mean a literal dump. No need for a description. Artimaeus glanced warily inside, then walked in, ignoring the corpse draped over the security station. I could guess who made it. He slowed down, however, as we entered the garbage-filled wasteland, probably in response to the voices approaching us. He motioned for me to back into a nearby loose pile, but I was already there, my breath coming in gasps. He was beside me in moments. "Can you do your trick with the dice again?" I asked, slightly petrified.
"It won't work on these people." I was about to ask him what 'these people' meant, when I saw them. They were a pair of figures in trench-coats, identical in manner to the corpse on Artimaeus' floor. They had a pair of six-holsters out in their hands, and by their demeanor they could probably use them. "And who are these enemies of yours, again? The king, his army, and half the realm?" I whispered to him sardonically. He ignored me. I glanced at him, and saw that he had his gun clenched tightly in his fist.
The men passed us, however, commenting to themselves that 'he' must be nearby. Artimaeus motioned to me, then ran out, me in close pursuit. I heard shouting behind us. We ducked into a shelter I hadn't noticed before, so well hidden was it, then Artimaeus closed and locked it. I heard pounding on the door. "There's nowhere to run, Jy! Surrender and we'll make it quick!" Artimaeus ignored them. "So, is this all part of your 'plan'?"
"Indeed." He motioned behind him, and I turned to look, only slightly observing what appeared to be a pentagon with a table upon it, cuffs laid bare upon the table, before I felt a blow to the back of my head. Then the lights went out.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *   The man awoke upon the table before Artimaeus, staring about him groggily. Artimaeus felt slightly guilty for what he was about to do, but it had to be done. He had to guarantee his survival. It was too important. Afterwards, he promised himself, he would pay for his crimes, knowing in his heart that the human survival instinct wouldn't let him. The man before him appeared to be fully awake, and horrified. "Cousin, what is this? Why?..." The man tried to get up, falling back to the table before him as the cuffs dragged him back. Artimaeus sighed.
"Please stop with the cousin nonsense. It is getting tiresome, particularly as the spell should have worn off long ago." The man looked confused, so Artimaeus continued. "Have you ever heard of subliminal advertising? No? It's a form of advertising where a message is flashed by quickly, and it encourages you to do what the message says. Consider this subliminal spell-casting. I made the clouds, and left the corpses about, having imbued a series of magical codes directing the first person to see the pictures that he/she was, in fact, some relative of mine, and that they should come check on me. It was all an extraordinarily complex piece of spellwork."
The man looked as if he was about to argue, then searched his memory, the horror on his face rising as he realized just how thoroughly he'd been duped. Artimaeus was about to explain further when there was a massive 'thud' as something heavy hit the door. The small building he'd created shook, and Artimaeus realized he had to hurry. He drew the ceremonial dagger from his belt. The man saw it, and struggled harder.
"Why me?" He cried. "Why not a P'maran or one of those men outside?" Artimaeus set to work with the preliminary movements of the summoning ceremony, but answered anyway. "It needed to be someone who wasn't a magic user. I've used it, the Quae Innominandum (those guys outside) use it so often that it's positively hypocritical, and as for the P'marans... Well, how do you think they ended up working for the Quae Innominandum? They used a lot, and bluntly too, which is why they have those corrupted appearances. Their assisting in my capture was viewed as their... clemency. A person will do a lot of things to save their lives, you know."
The man began to sob. Artimaeus began chanting the oaths and hymns needed.

The author debated writing them down, but they were so horrible and dark that they would probably give the reader nightmares just to read them, and those who didn't would probably be ninnies and try the spell, so the author skipped that bit.

Artimaeus bent down and slashed the man's wrists, and the blood began flowing onto the pentagon, which promptly began glowing. He finished the last chant just as the door was knocked down and the two agents rushed in. A few others could be seen farther off, approaching.
A being materialized then, before the man, on the tip of the pentagon. A daemon with eyes of orange and volcanic skin, it had four horns and three tongues. These tongues flicked out as it watched the men come in, then it charged.
There were a multitude of shots as it approached, but they all missed. The creature was moving in a strange pattern, flickering as if it wasn't wholly part of this universe. It slashed the first man's throat as it passed, even as his bullet was a hair's breath away from the daemon's arms. The other man followed shortly after. The daemon looked back to Artimaeus, for a moment, as he motioned it out the door. Then it set off.
"Laplace's Demon. It was theorized that if someone, say his demon, knew the location of every atom and particle in the universe, and their precise paths, then the location and movement of every individual can be guessed. The theory was, of course, correct." Artimaeus remarked to the dying man on the table.
"Just thought you might like to know why you were being sacrificed before, you know," the man died. "Yeah. That." Artimaeus brushed some of the dirt off of his arms, as the screams began to emerge from the town. He went to grab something off the floor, but was confused to see it wasn't there.
"Looking for this?" A boy in a hitherto unforeseen corner asked. Artimaeus snorted in derision. "Took you long enough to get here. What'd you do, decide to write a book?" The boy, who's hair was clearly pink as he entered the room proper, chuckled. "Had to wait for that magical barrier they put up to get knocked down, you know. Here, catch. I will never understand your obsession with this stuff."
He tossed a jar towards Artimaeus, who caught it, opened it, and took out a piece of ginger. "It's delicious." He remarked defensively as he took a bite.
The boy strode towards the door, glancing out, the smile still on his face. "How long do you think before your pursuers are all gone?" Artimaeus walked out to meet him. "A couple hours, four at the outside."
The boy whistled appreciatively. "Four hours for sixty-two thousand people? You have to teach me this spell."
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to put into place? And all for what, so thousands of people can die? I feel guilty enough about this blasted city as it is."
The boy coughed lightly into his palm. "They chose their fate. They could have died in glorious combat, fighting for what they believed in. But instead they will die like the cowards they lived as, like sheep in the corners."
"Your lack of appreciation for human life has always concerned me, you know."
"And your joy in it positively disturbs me. I hear no immediate noises, shall we go? Perhaps to some now-deserted bar for a couple of drinks?"
Artimaeus looked down at the cooling man on his table. "Yeah, sure. I could use a vodka. I never even knew his name, you know?"
"You don't know mine, and that doesn't seem to bother you.
Artimaeus chuckled. "Because the author hasn't deigned to give you one, boy."
Then they left, the morning sky above a luminescent red.

Author's Note: So, this was the last of the drafts I've had kicking about my files (save for a couple of Christmas ones I can't do anything about, yet). I loved writing this one, and hope you equally love reading it. Now I can truly set to work on the Transmutation and one or two other ideas I have kicking about. On a side note, Laplace's Demon is a real-life philosophical concept, concerning determinism. Look it up. As always, your friend, Jordan.