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“Wait for it,” he said, his arm around my shoulder, holding me close. I looked straight ahead, not sure what I was waiting for. The sun was setting, and the breeze carried the smell of spring grass on it. I waited. His grip tightened. Then I heard it. I heard it a moment before I realized that the East Village was on fire.

It lit up the early evening sky.

“Annnnnnd” he sang in my ear as he spun me around, “Voila!”

He pulled out two apples from his backpack.

I was giddy.

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– Include a car with a broken tail light, a cigarette machine filled with something other than cigarettes, a mysterious coin –

A wrong turn… all of life is turns and the right ones and the wrong ones and the left ones. A wrong turn at night in a city that is ever-shifting, where one street is full of quiet boutiques once day, and broken windows the next.

Hennely lived in The City most of her life, and was familiar with every square inch of the five blocks around her apartment, the bar where she worked, and the path she took every day to go between the two.

But the city drifted, and the snow started falling, gentle lace drifting down as it pleased, but soon then came down faster, less a dance of lace and more of the aggressive frozen rain it always was. People left the bar, and by the time it was empty, and Hennely had put away the last bottle of smooth green liquor, cleaned the class fluted glass, and turned off the last gaslight, it was barely visible outside.

She considered it might be best, logical even, to ride out the storm in the bar. But the Tenets she chose to abide by would not allow it, and so she walked the way she always walked until she couldn’t.

It wasn’t that she couldn’t see through the snow – as furious as the snow fell, it was never hard to see past the flurry and to the horizon, and even if she couldn’t, the path was muscle memory to her: she didn’t need to see it to get home – but it was impossible because of the hill that had a slight slope down into a small valley in one of the green areas, but then rose sharply – the valley was nothing but snow, the cobblestone path obscured, and everything was icy.

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(This is a piece I wrote for class, and have updated since, it’s about my favorite childhood toy).

I’m no scientist… never had the mind for it really, but I always liked the idea of Schrödinger’s Cat at its most basic interpretation: A cat, placed in a box with a vial of acid. The acid has as much of a chance to eat through the vial and kill the cat as it does to remain stable. After a given amount of time, you open the box to discover whether the cat is alive or dead. The point of this isn’t to actually perform the experiment but think about the outcome: what happens to the cat? Is it alive or dead? We can’t possibly know without in some way observing the cat. Therefore, until we observe the results, the cat is both alive and dead: it both does and does exist.*

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This was a beginning/rough draft of a piece I never went back to.

We were all going to go – my handful of friends and myself. The plans were made and I was already enroute when my cell phone rang. He was sick, so she was going to take of him. Since she wasn’t going, he wasn’t going to go, and her back hurt again, now that he wasn’t going.In a matter of 3 sentances, less than 1 minute, my night went up in flames. Though I don’t know why I was so surprised – some form of this always happens when we all try and plan a weekend weeks in advance.Still, Ihad already paid 2 bucks for the bus, and was about to get on the ferry. I would have hated to waste that half hour.So, I decided to go anyway. The party promised good music, free booze, and free food. It would have been silly to pass that up just because I’d be going alone.

I walked down the street. Two blocks past my comfort zone in the city, I began to wonder where I was.

I’m no stranger to the city, but that doesn’t mean I know every square inch. In all of Manhatten, I’d say there are maybe 10 blocks I can navigate, plus about a 15 block comfort zone.

I had passed the porn shops and strip clubs, avoiding the glances and come-ons from various middle aged men, probably single and wondering why. Of course none of them realize that standing outside a shop that promises “XXX All Night Long”, and asking someone innocently passing by if they have any plans tonight, is a little bit creepy. Actually… it’s a lot bit creepy.

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On the ferry, there is a man. People may toss coins at him, but he never asks for them. He sits in the same spot, between the doors that open to the landing on the north side of the boat; he will be heard, whether you are coming or going.
His voice carries through the din of commuters, from the early morning gray suits, to the late night hung-overs… and he has seen them all come and go, and has watched the hung-overs become gray suits.
His voice was the type of voice you’d expect a great general to have; a bard like Homer; it was not intimidating, though it was commanding, and if you stopped to listen even for a minute, you stopped and listened for the rest of the story.

After a while you begin to know the words, like a child reciting a favorite bed-time story. Time has no meaning, as you’ve fallen in love with the scent of nostalgia, for a story you’ve never heard, but one you can tell.

And, as it ends, the old man grunts to get up, and you offer a hand. He walks off the boat, and you sit down, between the doors that open onto the landing, and tell your story to whoever will listen. And maybe it will be a hundred years before someone helps you up.

If I had known a mother, I expect the advice she would have given would have been words, full of the wisdom of forgotten dreams and lost ambition, that should stay with me until it became necessary, in my age, to pass on those words to her grandchildren. Having grown up with no mother, however, I find I lack the necessary words, and history in them, to pass on. Were I to possess such words, I imagine they would be something along the lines of:


“The world knows who you are, and forces you to come into yourself.”


Well, I admit, those aren’t very cheery words. I would like to say the sum of my experiences could be broken down to “Live life, and life lets you be happy”, as I’ve known some people to tell their progeny, but uttering such lies would break my poor mother’s heart… if I had one.


After the event at the Old City, I realized that, indeed, the world did know who I was, and it was I who was ignorant of it, and the world seemed to not appreciate my complacency.



It was a fair day, as I strolled down the cobbled street of the Old City, as I, and those who saw the Great Age of Invention, knew it then. Helzog’s dirigibles were no longer the dreams of one lonely man, shunned from society by those of a wiser age, and inter-continental travel was finally a reality once again; the glorious forms would shimmer against the sun, and cast glittering shadows on he streets so that they looked like rivers paved with silver and gold.


Riding on one was still a dream far off for myself, though I always took umbrage that Helzog didn’t afford me one free ride after all I had done for him, though that is a story for another time.


As I have said, I had no knowledge of my mother. My father, however, was a well respected chef at The Gyser in Villa. I was given the luxury of feasting on some of rarest of foods when I lived with him; reflecting upon it, though, I realize that perhaps we, as humans, should have been more conscious of those things we ate so willingly. Had we been more careful, I feel certain I’d be able to eat that succulent Dodo meat once again.


I digress.


Back when I was a child, living with my father meant, not only a stable home, but the chance to explore the world, always in search of new ingredients, new cities to open a new restaurant, yet, never settling.


It was upon the occasion of my 16th birthday, when my father threw me out into the world to find my own path. Of course, by today’s standards, this seems cruel, but it was nothing more than tradition back then. I had no talent or the gastronomical arts, and an apprenticeship, it was felt by not only my father, but the chefs that I would have trained under, and myself, would only lead to an eventual, accidental death.


With money enough to live by, given to me by my father, I traveled to the Old City for the first time. In need of a place to live, I quickly found a boarding house. I didn’t “shop around” as had been suggested by the Tourist Board, but instead settled on the first boarding house I visited. The room I would occupy had a northern exposure, and a view of the forest just outside the city’s wall. A basic bed, a bed table, and a broken mirror. I obtained wax candles for myself, and would procure a few more necessities a lady needs. Food was included in the price, and the landlady did laundry for everyone. I’m certain there are those who sought boarding and found a larger room with a balcony, a whole mirror, and candles included, but after living there a few days, I realized that the price I paid, which was marginally less than I had expected to pay, also paid for the pleasant company of the Dawson family: Mr. and Mrs. and son, Joshua, who was my elder by a few years, and was therefore considered an oddity.


I still needed a profession, and so, for months on end, I would disappear: searching the continent for the path hat life had waiting for me. I would come back none the wiser, with money I had earned from various odd jobs.


I would watch as the world slowly changed; carriages were the domain of the poor, while the rich began driving automobiles. Some cities grew larger, and new ones were sprouting up all the time. Through the radio-waves we learned of expansion projects, and politics.


At the Dawson Boarding House though, it seems that time managed to stand still.


As much as life with my father had been like a home, I knew it wasn’t, not really. A father and daughter, in those days, were no family, and, especially with my lack of culinary prowess, there was nothing I could talk to my father about. His attitude toward me was more of a responsibility than love, though I expect that that had to do with whatever had happened with my mother.


Walking down the cobbled streets, however, on what was roughly my fifth return to the Dawson Boarding House, I had felt, more than anything, that I was coming home. I had been away from the Mr. and Mrs. for well over a year by that point, and I had just turned 23.


The Mr. and Mrs. were a peculiarity to the city: people couldn’t’ quite grasp how a woman was able to help her husband run a business, and let their now 27 year old son still live at home with them. Businesses were to be run by the bachelor or spinster; this was so that their businesses would not suffer from their personal lives.


I expect, though, that I was also an oddity to the people in Old City. I first felt the stares when I had come there seven years prior, though those were stares of curiosity, ones I had shared whenever someone new would move to Villa. As I left and came back, I could still feel the eyes. I imagine it must have been my frequent returns to a place known as “odd”, with dress and mannerisms from distance places.


I turned the brass knob on the old re-painted oak door at number 58 Ivy Lane, and expected, and was comforted, by the smell of stew cooking on the stove in the kitchen. A mechanized hand, as I have come to expect, attached to the wall, and connected to the door via a system akin to scissors, grabbed my top hat – a well-worn garment that I always felt made me appear rather dapper, though the material had lost its sheen months ago.


If there was ever a place time forgot, it was surely the Dawson’s house: it never changed, the paint never chipped, the floors never began to squeak with age. the Mr. and Mrs. of course, got older. The Mister once had hair as black as a winter’s night, but now white hair had begun to find its way through. The Missus’ hair had gone white at an early age, according to her, and now the only way to tell she had been aging was by her eve declining height. Joshua hadn’t changed much ever. His blue eyes always seemed to be looking off in the distance, beyond where you were, into the ether. His ginger hair had become wilder since I had left. From a woman’s perspective, I considered it lucky on his part that he was blessed with a light beard. Beards need maintenance to look good on a face, and Joshua’s lack of maintenance on his hair led me to suspect that, were he to have a beard, it would not be an unusual sight to see bits of last week’s dinner in it.


My room was the same as it had always been, though the view had changed. The forest was no longer the only sight outside my window. The Wall, the previous border, was now being used as a place to walk on top of, a place to sit and relax, a place to take your lunch. The city had grew beyond the wall, and the forest had a few less trees.


The broken mirror was neither more nor less broken than when I first claimed that room as mine all those years prior.


“Dinner in 20!” I heard the Missus shout. Her voice carried as well as it always had, the slightly nasal intonation giving it a shrill quality, though it was quite comforting.


Things had changed at the boarding house of course. Boarders move all the time, I’m told. Few ever return. The men and women I had called friends before leaving on my journeys were only ever rarely there when I returned. Some men went onto to run businesses, others to the Church. The women often settled down and had children, a few went on to businesses. I don’t believe any woman who passed through that boarding house had anything to do with the matriarchal spiritual worships, though I have known a few girls from Villa who offered spiritual counsel to those who followed their family’s own branch of the divine. I had only ever dabbled in the affairs of the heart, and by 23 I was certain that, were I to settle down, it would be with a man, and it would be with Sebastian, a boarder around Joshua’s age. A quiet man, with a book in hand, and a high collar, Sebastian seemed to make no friends while I stayed at the house, though always took time to indulge me in his company and his smile. Time came that I had to leave again, the news-radio spoke of a new settlement to the east, over the mountains, and I found a new chance to find my place. Sebastian, by the time I had returned, was gone, and I tried hard not regretting being more aggresive in my pursuit of him, or actually pursuing him, the world knows what you are.


Now with Sebastian gone, I had no late night disucssions on the stars to look forwad to, and, sullen, went to dinner where I met the new Boarders.


She was a petite blonde, a group of people who always made me quake ith embarassment inside: a majority of my life spent in idulging, what I could tell of my family’s very brunette blood line through the few pictures my father kept, has made sure that a petite blond is something I’d never be. Magda, as she allowed me to call her, was a very nice person. She was also around my age, but had a son, Travis. Travis was no more than six, by my guess, and had that same far away look that Joshua had.


“Winnie, dear, good to see you back!” the Missus said, as she poured stew into a cracked brown bowl, and passed it down the table.


“Happy to be back” I replied, as I usually did. I always meant it too. Here were people who had become a surrogate family, and it was comfortable being there.


The Mister tapped on his mahogany pipe after udoing his tie, and nodded casually in my direction. Joshua focused solely on his bowl of stew, as did Travis, and the conversation, as always, was left up to the ladies.


I spoke of the new fashion trends up in Villa, of the upcoming music scene in Bandmar, and the town of Hasfar – a new settlement of destitute people who fled from the class consious cities in the north, and were living solely off the land, and bartering goods and services, instead of relying on old coins and paper money.


“And what do you think of that?” the Mister asked, rather unexpectedly.


This was the first time, in the years I had been there, that he had asked my opinion on anything.


“Well, they all seem to have a lot of hope. I expect that they’ll end up manufacturing something useful, and rejoin classed society.”


He nodded again, mumbled a “well said” and turned his attention to his paper bulletin.


A good, smart answer, though not my real one. I didn’t enjoy practiing deceit, but in this case an answer of “Their lives don’t really matter, it’s not where I’m meant to be” was too cold for the Dawsons. A man named Bejamine once strayed into the house, and spent about a month here before being kicked out by the Mister for his opinions on the troubles over the Barrow Mountains, which, roughly, were “Not my problem”. For the Mister and the Missus, it was believed that everyone had to share everyone else’s suffering, even if no one took action to help. If you couldn’t feel the people’s pain, it was important, then, that you acknowledge their situation, even if you’ll have nothing to do with it. I learned this quickly, and found that adding a hopeful sentance about their future was enough to keep them happy, and keep me ldoging there.


I lit a candle, though now the electric light was gaining prevalence. It felt very fashionable to look at the six faces of my reflection in that old broken mirror with only the soft glow of the candle, though I admit the electric light would have made this slighlty narcissistic ritual of staring at myself in the mirror, easier and brighter viewing, it would have lost its appeal. In the shdows of the candlelight, there were echoes of things that had been, and whispers of things that would be. In the shadows cast by the electric light, it was all too plain that my face was just a heart shaped face, and that my bedside table would never be anything but.


I had managed, over my years of travelling, to amass a small collection of objects from the places I had been. I hung some cerimoiously on the walls and door. A carpet that was hand made for me laid beside the bed, and a blanket that I never allowed the Missus to wash, which smelt of berries, and summer, and the ocean, was now the only one I would ever use, unless the winter hit hard with endless snow.


The pants were tossed in a basket along with the linene shirt, and I put on my night clothes, when there came a knock at the door.


I folded my arms over my chest when Joshua burst in before I could answer. It was wrong, and odd for him to have left his room in the basement at all, let alone to come into my room, and I admit I should have been more shocked than I was.

Just a few smaller, unconnected pieces.

The group traveled from across the globe to the not desolagte land. Years before they were even born, the land had been green, and fertile; animals frolicked, people lived.

Then the rock fell, much of it burned up in the atmosphere, but what was left was significant enough to have crystallized itself, burn the land around it, kill half of the world, and change the landscape significantly from the lushflatlands tht it had once been.

Hiking over the crater, Alain called to his friends – archaeologists who had only ever learned about the Rock from books, newsreels, pictures and stories. Now that they were adults, now that they made their own choices, they chose to research the only thing that made the most significant impact on the world since its creation.

The Rock was grey and cold to the touch, craggy and dusty. Allain had tried to mentall prepare for what he was going to see, but to be in its prescense was somehing he couldn’t have imagined.

“Lexical translation: Take a poem in a foreign language that you can pronounce but not necessarily understand and translate it word for word with the help of a bilingual dictionary. (Rewrite to suit?) 1-3a. Try a variant of these three translation exercises using the “Lost in Translation” “Babel” engine, or other web-based translations engines, such as Babelfish and Free

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This is a piece of writing I found on an old blog.

“…and so their souls went to the great wheel; life began to flourish again, and the world entered its 2nd Golden Age.”

The bar was loud, with tankards clanking in toasts, friends laughing in revelry, and was as busy as any bar is when the sun sets.

The sun was shining brightly this particular afternoon.

Standing on her tip-toes, pulling herself above the level of the bar to look at the barkeeper, who bent over to meet her in the eye, a short-statured woman argued for her drink.

“Now there’s an old tale that any bard wouldn’t give away for free,” she smirked at the barkeeper, who gave a quick glance to his other patrons, and spoke secretly to the girl.

“And I told you that in this bar stories are passed around for free, whereas alcohol costs three silver,” he held the pint of ale on the counter; the head spilling onto the wood, giving off a bitter aroma, enticing the girl who had a fondness for all things alcoholic.

She licked her lips at the full, frothy mug, and reached into her coin pouch. She placed three gold coins on the bar, “I intend on drinking a lot today… this should cover me,” grabbed her pint and went to the one unoccupied table by the window: it was a small square table with one uncomfortable stool: partners’ laps were preferable to a stool too short for an adult, but perfect for someone her size. She kicked back, balancing the stool on its back two legs, and watched as 4 people fought a giant rocky monster outside.

It wasn’t that the villagers were unaware of the monsters, they just learned to not care: the village of Crest-Haven was positioned in the Borderland, which was comprised almost entirely of The Deep Forest, which was the home of the Beast-kin. Occasionally people would blunder their way into The Deeps, make some enemies and the fight would spill out to the town. The Rock Monster would have been unexpected had anyone been paying attention, but they weren’t.


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1000 words maybe never...

( ..Ok, not really, I have been working on this one, but it’s a mess and I haven’t given it as much attention as I want, so if I don’t update it by November 1st, I won’tbe writing it until December.

No, not quitting, it’s just that November is NaNoWriMo, and I’ve been competing in it for years, though this will be my second year officially competing (long story). I hope to win (aka: write more that 50,000 words) this year… so November will be a month full of crazy.)

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