Two crumbing fortreses and a razed village.
Sacked, pillaged, ground back into their very foundation.
Little more than five years ago, I broke under beleagured war.
I was nothing more than a simple boy clutching the sands of time in his fist
Hot tears streaming down my face, wailing and bawling at the grains
As they escaped my strongest grasp, my straining grip, and riding the winds to everywhere The devastation of a siege is inevitable, and soul shattering.
And our engagement was no different.
I promised the gods that if I let myself live, I'd dismantle you.
Even as the fires raged, and catapults lobbed conflagration of your contention
The contention that I no longer had claim to this land, my home, our kingdom.
Betrayed by a union I never agreed to.
It was my only thought as the foundation gave way around me,
Bulwark and bastion wall collapsed in on themselves
I could see the pain in your eyes as you launched that payload.
Miles away in the same room, the most calculated strike you had
The only one you needed, calling my bluff, daring me to end myself.
I promised the walls of our castle that if I let myself live, I'd destory you.
Consumed and tortured by your victory I planned your individual torment.
Freefalling into an abyss of loathing, as I planned my climb out
With a ladder made from the bones and viscera of your moribund prosperity.
From the moment you admitted that no fight was over until you'd won it.
I realized the times I promised I would die for you:
I never thought I would die because of you.
It was just supposed to be simple
Carefree, dalliances of intriguing trifles
Like a redletter day an amusement park we built
With only the thrills we wanted
Invitation stamped with dripping red wax.
After a little too much strawberry truffle
And the whiskey we slipped in to our drinks
Buzzed, arm in arm, clumsy embrace
Giggling at the exhibition of ourselves in our playground
Intoxicated on more than the fuzzy Jack
Woozy from the adult jungle gym
Eager, yet pensive about the next thrill.
We both said we didn't want to spend too much time here.
But we flowed from ride to ride to ride smoothly
Bound by our silken diversion,
Blinded with delight, and sampling each new experience
Luxuriating in the delectation of our fervent blindfold
Stacking electric thrills with fervid acceleration.
Delicious Irony that onlookers would deem us in need of authority
But our thrill seeking was very much in my control
Bare soul, locked eyes, brushing noses as the world spun with entranced delirium
And we held still while the stars painted angels halos in the sky.
Somewhere between the free fall of drop tower
And the carnival games that aren't much more than a cheap trick.
We found ourself in the mad house
"I think we could live here together" she purred
I had been thinking the same thing, but it was supposed to be simple.
Not sure if it was the waxy diversion, or the silky jack, or even the drunken control
But I consented, and pressed pleading lips to her audacious mouth.
Then like the scribbles of some psychotic screenwriter of the most vile anime
The script flipped the moment I succumbed.
Like spun sugar under running water, the latticework of our world
Formed chasm, and melted as we stood on either side.
Her: Clutching a carnival prize won with 5 bucks and a couple of well intentioned pitches. With a laconic, yet somehow melancholy smile, at memories we'd just made.
Me: Grasping for truth.
How could we incinerate this attraction so much faster than it took us to build it?
Madmen break the wings of angels to see their humanity
If only for a moment to feel power over the divinity they loathe
"Destroying beauty may bring peace to my own turmoil" they reason
Commiting treason on the nation of promises and lust once erected solid
After all this, there's no god in which to trust.
Currency of apologies fail, and banks of good faith shutter doors
Riots of emotion surge around buildings with white picket fence
Crushing the gardens tended by 2am discussion, and shy smiles.
Demanding satisfaction for the crimes of lunacy, and atrocities against innocence
Diamond tears clink and tinkle on the ground,
Her most valuable currency, but he won't accept payment.
She'll fly again, evenutally, but never with the grace of an eagle.
Happiness will be melancholy and vibrant colors dimmed
Trappings of fear skulking in the darkness around the streetlights of hope
Rampage of riots demanding justice, faded to upheaval, then to tumult, and eventually just a fracas.
With spraypainted reminders of what we once fought for etched on brick wall
"She's still perfect" was the battlecry that we all believed and she couldn't see.
Humans break the wings of angels to see madness.
She'll fly again
Because she's held aloft at her hips by somone who remembers how it felt...
...How it felt to fly once too.
Demure Dancing Daggers.
"You're dangerous," she daunted daringly.
Deftly dancing balanced daggers on her own demure digits.
Delighted smile displayed for a delayed split-second.
Drunk on desperacy I dallied in dissecting her authentic intention
Dissappearing, after display of dark dress, and domineering double D's
I drank in the distortion of her demonstration and dialated on the dissonance
Even delving now, through our discussion as I diffuse our dangerous dance
into ideas and denotive designs on digitial device.
Her demons dance in my abdomen, and I deeply breathe to disguise my throbbing tremble.
Upon overdue return, she drew me to the dark void of her design
Rubicund red pursed lips blew adorable kisses from dimpled cheek and dipped hand.
"Into the hole you go" She nudged ever so slightly,
And I dove with ardor.
Deepening, vast, and unbridaled I deemed I had willfully dropped
Dropped into a demonstration of our desire
Delightfully mingling her lust, with my daydreaming
The next Day, I convulsed in her depths.
Begging for disorder and disobedient rendezvous.
She endorced my spasm and wordlessly demanded my dick.
I have given her the dongle to my desire.
and after my first detonation deemed decent to her.
5 minutes later on, my devior demanded replay
And I realized.
I am doomed.
She Forgot how to Talk Once Recording
For the prose.
For my personal reading of the script.
Just having a little fun, it was well recieved within another community.
Let me know what you think.
Fuzzy memories embrace me
Like an old pair of flannel pajama pants that I hate to wear anymore.
But on the days when the chill of fall, and the snap of twigs underfoot
Threaten to break me under the weight of regret
I still grasp, and search for them.
Threadbare, holes in the crotch, and the full left seam ripped out
It disgusts me that I still find comfort in them
But as they slide on over bare knobby knees, and goosepimpled thigh
They calm the caucophony of my mind.
Thoughts of my old love warm me.
Like a cozy cup of cocoa, that bores me with every passing sip.
But on the lonely evenings, in front of a movie in my flannels
As the pangs of lonliness, and dread of another winter spent alone
Puts tension on my shoulders like an overtuned guitar, threatning to shatter the neck
I still shuffle, dim eyed, and teeth chattering
To the stove to warm the kettle,
And even though the milk is sour, and the water flat
I sip between grimaces,
as liquid heat cuts through the chill of my core.
Cogitations of my youth overwhelm me
Like a roaring conflaguration that threatens to lick the heavens
But given that, lately, my deepest thought is a constant stream of what if's
And a dull headhche
Perhaps evaporating my glacial armor to expose the iceburned soul
Can help me shed the weight of my polar shell, and motivate me to find new lands
I love my tundra citadel, cast from failure and regret.
So I ignore that I have built so many fires from these memories
That good firewood is a good months hike there, and back.
So I hike, and build a pyre upon the permafrost
Hoping against all evidence, that this fire, this time,
Will do the trick.
But on a clear, black, cold night. Pinpricks of light dot the inky shroud
I realize I am as broken as the sticks on the ground I intend to set ablaze.
"Why not set myself ablaze?"
I mutter as I strke match, and light the fire.
Shuffle to the stove to put on the hot cocoa
And go searching, again for those horrible flannel pajamas.
No Promises -- I’m sorry Amanda.
I told the most beautiful young woman today about us, well about you really.
No Promises by Cheat Codes gently wafted over the air like baking bread. Pleasant to the senses, but not overwhelming.
"God I hate this song" she snorted. Platinum blonde hair twisted into a single ponytail over her shoulder whipped around derisively as she scuffed at the song swinging her head angrily. "Promise me no promises? It's an oxy-moron". Pouty lips pursed punctuatively. "I mean it's a good song" she shrugged "but the lyrics piss me off."
I was thoughtful for a few seconds. "I had a woman in my life a few years back. I managed to lose her." I pulled out my phone, and flicked up, causing the password screen to come on. "You see, she didn't expect much of me, but she asked me to give 100% all the time, always be honest with her, and never make a promise I couldn't keep. That's why I ultimately lost her, I think." I tapped Instagram on my phone as I talked, and started scrolling through my friends to bring up her profile. "You see, I made 2 promises I couldn't keep, and it cost me our relationship."
"Seems a bit harsh" she screwed up her face and wrinkled her understated nose. "You couldn't keep only 2 promises? High maintenance much?"
I scrolled through her pictures. She had a fantastic one in a black dress from about a month ago. I've seen some fantastic pictures of her, but this one may be the best photo she's ever taken. The dress was form fitting, and showed her abs, but along both hips starting at her belly button and running down to her calves, 2 sheer pieces of fabric run horizontally towards her hips, and then down the front of the dress on the outside. It takes any hot blooded, straight man about 3 seconds to realize, she's not wearing any panties, because there are no straps. I turned the phone around to show the girl the visage of the woman I loved so deeply.
"I think, they are saying that you shouldn't make promises you can't keep. At least that's what I think about every time I hear this song. That's what it means to me."
She processed the picture for a few moments as I held the phone a foot from her nose."Holy shit" She laughed "yeah you fucked up dude. She was into you?" She walked away shaking her head.
I had only told her half the truth. I made promises every day.
I promised her I loved her. I promised her I lusted for her. I promised I would be a better man than her physically and emotionally abusive husband. I promised I would be there for her. I promised that our love life wouldn't be once-a-week-after-watching-sports-center-one-night. I promised her I would only cheer against her Patriots when they were playing my Broncos. I promised I would prop her up. I promised her I would take care of her. I promised I would love her on her worst days, when her Lupus was as painful to her as being dipped in lava. I promised to forgive her for her bad days, and I promised to never have a bad day with her. I promised her I would keep writing erotica about us, for her. I promised her I'd drive to California and swim to her if the cartoons were right and San Andreas Fault ever dumped her in the ocean. I promised her we'd have children. I promised her a mix-tape of all of the songs that make me think about her. I promised to never forget her birthday. And I promised that her short temper didn't bug me. I promised her everything.
And I delivered almost nothing. I loved her, to be true. I lusted for her, certainly. If we had ever bridged the gap, I would have been there for her. I know our sex life would have been better than once a week, and I doubt I would have been able to celebrate her Patriots, but I would have tried. That's about it, though.
I do genuinely believe I broke 2 promises to her, that caused her to throw in the towell though.
You see, I promised I'd leave my wife for her, and I promised I'd never make a promise that I couldn't keep.
At least I'm glad every time I hear the song, I smile the same way I'd smile every day when I got an e-mail from her. And I realize it's because I'm thinking of all the promises I'd make to her, and how she'd reply.
"Don't make promises you can't keep, babe. ~.~"
ANML Chapter 2 Edited for Simon & Schuster
https://theprose.com/post/142410/anml Chapter 1 of this can be found here
https://theprose.com/post/162121/anml-chapter-2-raw The full write that is 3400 words can be found here.
Kevin took a few moments to realize the true horror of the situation. He had just lost to Brian, Rose had lost every penny they owned, including the money Keith had given them to purchase a pizza by betting on Kevin to win, and Kevin didn’t have a reserve stash to pull funds from.
Kevin stood in the crowded warehouse panicking, as Rose sobbed on the floor, hugging her knees. Even though people were milling around talking, and Brian the Brain was painstakingly re-describing, loudly, to anyone who would listen his ANML’s harrowing victory, the receding caucophony of the memory of Keith’s drunken abuse made Kevin abjectly feel silence in the world around him crushing, despairing silence. Kevin grabbed the silvery metallic sphere and marched over to Beanpole.
“Bean, I’m stuck for cash. I’ll sell you my Sphere for $150. Then I’ll buy your X210 model for 120.”
Beanpole stood unbelieving for a few moments. “Kevin, that Zturbo model cost you $400, I’ve never seen someone work so hard for a pro-level unit.”
Kevin lied through his teeth “I’m sick of ANML right now, I can’t even beat Brian, I need to take some time off. I have my X215 model at home, but it’s about 30 bouts over its life expectancy… so I want a fun unit, but if I can’t beat that turd wrangler, I can’t go pro”
Beanpole seemed panicky, and unsure. “What if I loan you the money, Kev? I mean, you’re goddamn DangerX, you’re the winningest dueler here, by a wide margin, you’ll be a pro some-day you can’t let one bad match throw you, I was considered a great at the sport, and I only won 55 of every 100 matches I was in!”
Kevin’s face got red and hot. “I need time Bean, are you in or out?”
“What about a loan, how much do you need Kevin?” Beanpole was negotiating a losing position and he knew it. He’d seen so many people throw in the towel in this situation, but he couldn’t fathom why Kevin was being so hasty, so rash.
Kevin thought back to his father, Allen. It’s better to be broke, but out of debt, than to have a million dollars, and be stuck for every penny his father used to say. Allen never really liked loans, and he shared that logic with Kevin once during a playful family argument about where to get food that night. Kevin had taken the standard 6 year old child’s position that a loan was suitable for a cheeseburger, while Allen was being far more level headed in his approach to money.
The lesson stuck “Tell you what, How about sell it to you, and you hold it for me Bean, and if I decide I want back into the game, I’ll buy it back from you.”
Beanpole found this amenable “Deal” he said, reaching into his back pocket and pulling $30 bucks out of his wallet and tossing it to Kevin. “Grab any X210 from my case. The top layer are my oldest, grab from the bottom, the units are newer.” Kevin hesitated as he handed his competition sphere over to Beanpole. He walked over to the case, and dug to the bottom, fishing a new, entry level nano-sphere out. With his money problems solved, he packed his ANML tacklebox up and picked Rose up, dusting her off.
“I’m so sorry, Kevin, I’ll help you buy it back, I promise. I promise!”
Kevin grunted back at her, he was angry with her. So angry.
The walk to the store may have taken 30 minutes, or it may have taken 3 hours. In Kevin’s bewildered state, he didn’t pay much attention, but it happened far too quickly. They walked in, Kevin bought the pizza that Keith wanted, and saw there was a deal on the pizza, 2 for 1, so he purchased a second one. Then he walked all over the store, buying cereal, bread, peanut butter, jelly, and even managed to conjure up a smile as he tossed a bag of gummy fishes at Rose for her to catch. They purchased the food and began the trek home. On the way, Kevin took the Gummies from the bag and opened them, savoring one for himself. He held it above Rose’s head and mocked her with it.
“You can only have these, if you promise to listen to me, next time I tell you what to do. Collecting bugs, being quiet when you’re pissing off a rattlesnake, or even betting more money than I tell you to. It has to stop. We’re on our own here.”
Rose tried to argue with a loud drawn out “Awwww, but”
Kevin interrupted her emphasizing each and every word. “On. Our. Own.”
He dropped the gummies into her outstretched arms and stole another one from the bag before she could jam a handful into her mouth.
“I know you are, you little shit” He tousled her hair and they walked silently home, the fading sunset painting the evening sky with the same color reds and pinks as their gummy fish snacks.
The rest of the night went uneventfully. He and Rose spent 90 minutes washing dishes, and brought one of the whole pizza’s into Keith and his Mom. He baked the other pizza for himself and Rose and settled into the couch to cuddle and watch a little bit of TV before bed.
That night, after he crawled into bed with an overly full belly, nearly nauseous from having overate. He let his mind wander, trying to imagine the things a boy of his age could lose himself in. He sought the imaginary inklings of spaceship battles, or giant robots, or even exploring a monster laden dungeon in search of a magical sword, anything. Instead the echoes of losing to Brian echoed around in his mind, over and over.
He then rummaged under the shelving unit against the far wall next to the door leading into the hallway, and re-assembled an ANML containment ring that looked like it had been re-built and re-furbished with more wire and insulation than was probably in the original unit.
Kevin was experimenting with his old sphere in his favorite way. He reached into a “useless reagents” box and swirled and mixed all of the discarded bits. Toenail clippings, crab apron castoffs, shed snake skin bits, a birds feather, cockroach shells, plant matter, dirt. Everything he’d tried to make the next great ANML warrior with. He catalogued the bits, and tried to guess what it would look like. In this case, he had a few caterpillar hairs, a bird’s feather, and a few bits he couldn’t identify. Between tired yawns he worked away, pouring a powdered strengthening reagent onto the pad.
“Whatchya doin Kev?” Rose was standing in the doorway “you’re being so loud, what time is it” she demanded, rubbing her eyes with balled fists.
“Shhh, don’t wake up the parentals” Kevin said. I’m almost done!
Kevin grimaced, he was out of fixer and life extending reagents, but he didn’t plan on having the bot do any battle, so he didn’t think too much of the resulting creature to realize what he was doing was incredibly dangerous.
Kevin flipped the power unit on the ANML ring that rested on the floor. Cracked and faded black plastic seemed to groan and vibrate gently as a blue light pulsated inside the ring in a clockwise direction.
“What do you think it’s going to look like Rose?” He asked, anticipation growing for this creation.
Rose studied the catalogued reagents list, they had played this game a hundred times before, and she was never right. “A giant capertillar!” she said.
“You mean a Caterpillar? I think it’s going to look like a Dragon!” he smiled as he put the ball and the reagents in the middle of the circle.
Rose crossed her fingers as the old Nanounit began to shudder and seize as it crackled and dissolved like wet sand all over the floor. It was a sure sign the unit only had a few uses left in it, the bots don’t act like a liquid metal.
An elongated pink worm formed first, with a single onyx black globe on the center of one end, 2 antanae sprouted above the globe as a bright pink pupil formed in the middle of the globe. Brown and Golden hair begain to sprout with labored effort from the skin, until the worm was covered with a thick, coat all over its body in a matter of seconds. Two small padded stumps grew out of the front and 2 more out of the back, forming a sort of stubby leg, that raised the bot just a few inches off of the ground.
“It’s so pretty!” squealed Rose, and her hand shot into the ring to pet the bot.
“Wait” Kevin yelped. “There’s no fixer!” He shot his hand in to block hers, and they touched, but her fervor to pet the bot was stronger than his will to block her hand, and they both touched the bot at the same time.
The bots skin tore away with the gentlest touching of their hands, revealing a metallic shell that looked as if someone had created the shape of the bot by using aluminum foil. Kevin stared in horror at the fine silver dust that covered both his and roses fingers. Then the pain surged forward like hot glass shards under their skin. Nanobots tore at and rended the skin on Kevin and Roses fingers. They both brushed their hands together, trying to brush the bots off of themselves back onto the caterpillar, but this just spread the bots to other parts of their skin. Electric pain raged in their fingertips as the creases around their nails began to bleed, and Rose half choked half screamed in agony as Kevin coughed and gasped in pain himself.
Oh god, this is it, I’m going to die to nanobots He thought, as he passed out onto the floor with a loud thud. He remembered hearing Roses body thud against the ground before the swirling blackness enveloped him.
Daylight pierced through the window at the head of his bed, and a shaft of morning light rested on Kevin’s eyes, the warmth of the sun itself brought Kevin gently awake, his hands burning and raw, he looked down to see they appeared as if they had been subjected to a hundred little papercuts. The events of the night flooded his memory, and he twisted his head to look at Rose. She was petting the Caterpillar as it was laying on her chest.
“I woke up like this, he isn’t hurting us anymore!” She giggled “You really hurt us, didn’t you?” She pouted as she continued to pet the Nanobot Caterpillar that appeared to be nuzzling and snuggling against the inside of her neck.
In the History of ANML and nanocompetitions, no ANML had ever lived longer than 1 hour 17 minutes and a few seconds. The batteries in the Nanotech would run out and the bot would dissolve into a metallic puddle on the floor before re-forming itselfself into a sphere again. These bots were created and maintained with the most expensive equipment and the newest bots on the market with teams of scientists. Some kid, with an entry level sphere that had been used 40 or 50 more times than the expected lifetime of the sphere, shouldn’t be able to beat that.
“I’m going to call him Chocolate, his fur looks like chocolate” Rose giggled again.
It had easily been 7 or more hours since he and Rose had collapsed in pain after touching the Caterpillar last night.