The Royalty

Clear steps on a marble floor,
Statues from both sides stare me down,
Time escapes me but I know this is the end,
Ornamented doors ahead beg no invitation.

Where the hell are we anyway?
I don't like the shadow I am casting,
Dark and menacing it follows,
Marching with me to some final showdown.

I've been talking in my sleep,
Conversing with nocturnal demons,
Sacrificing up the last few drops of endurance,
I had managed to retain all this time.

I can't look at you with the same ease,
And I'm guaranteed to misread all your actions,
But there is no way to strip the importance off this,
My pride simply won't allow it.

We are sophisticated killers you and I,
And I hope I'm losing my touch,
The nights alone are hell to me,
And your glances are getting to be too much.

Put on something sexy and we'll dance this bitch out,
It's last call and my shadow's long gone,
We are the rulers of this deserted stronghold,
And this my candlelight courtship.

(phrase "dance this bitch out" credited to Megan Mooney=hilarious)


On a Request...

I have been most kindly commanded to give a little background on Jennifer Quell (look, I've already told you something new!). She is one of the few people to truly have a unique life literally from birth, since her father insisted that before they even wrapped a blanket around the screaming newborn, she had to be see the world through the retro glasses worn by the infamous Mickey from Natural Born Killers. Not the actual pair used of course, but replicas her father snagged as a promo way back when the film premiered. You could almost say she always had her own special tint of the world from that point on. After the trip home from the hospital, Jen was introduced to a snug 1-level house on the West Coast. Her childhood consisted mainly of childish things, except she would never, ever play with dolls.

"They're just such a poor representation of humanity," she told Tucker on the one occasion that she ever mentioned anything about her past to him. "I mean, they're supposed to be this model of a human, but they're so still. So dead. And people just aren't like that. Not real people at least; people who are actually awake."

She never used the term "alive" when referring to her "real" people, it was always awake. Tucker remembered the shock in her face when he showed signs of confusion as to how someone could be asleep all the time but alive. "Oh, you could sleep through your entire life if you wanted to. Well, I guess really you either do or don't from the start, but you can wake up in life. But it's rare. And I've never met anyone who was awake and then went to sleep."

He had laughed at that, because it was said just as he was yawning. He also remember what happened next quite well.

She had jumped up with no discernable reason or purpose, and started dancing. Not a fancy dance or even a party dance. In fact, Tucker couldn't tell if she had any technical involvement in it besides spinning in circles. He remembered bursting out laughing, then trying to mute himself. She stopped to face him, seemingly more from his concealment than the laughter. He had instinctively appologized.

"I'm not embarrassed. It feels like there is someone else doing this same thing somewhere else right now. It's a way to connect."

Author's Note: I feel as if I may have failed in my task of deciphering more about her, but I think this last bit summarized Jennifer as best I can at the moment. Yes I know it ties in with the other story, but I think that may mean that Jennifer is something bigger in my head than I first thought. As it is for now though, Jennifer is a simple thing:

Jennifer is a dance.


Abyss Proves God

I have been assured that we were made in some God's image,
Someone generous enough to darken our minds,
To add an abyss for us to peer down into,
And an endless sky with a changing moon.

It is to this that we were called,
And it is to this adventure I am a slave!
One who stops under shade trees,
to journal of his various experiences.

Of a man who never quite touched the ground and one day drifted off,
Of a woman bound to the storm she carried and those she snared,
Of the hell and the tightrope hope above it,
And of the hill at the end of it all (for this one).

Of course this last is still in the distance,
And this traveler has much to write!
What can one see through other windows?
And what can surprise will surely be worth noting!

Everything has past me yes,
And oh God! I thank you for them!
As is Everything before us,
And I would much love the company.

Just A Thought...

It has been my experience that in my short and ignorant life thus far, the worst thing one can discover is that nothing has changed.


Likewise Part 3 of 3

The large man had been gracious enough to let Tucker take the day off. In truth he was more than happy to do so, but Tucker still thought it a kind gesture. They got into a taxi and Tucker directed the man to his apartment. But everytime he would look over at her, he would be back in his car, driving her places because she had wrecked when racing a boy to prove that girls could race too.

He lived on the second floor, and fumbled with the keys unlocking the door. He opened it to his old room where he grew up. There was only a bed, a bookcase, and a desk buried in crumpled wads of paper, all containing various attempts to tell her how he felt. He blinked and it was his apartment again. Robotically he walked to the couch and sat with a thud. At last his body seemed to give under the pressure. She sat placidly opposite him in a chair, hands folded in her lap. Still those green eyes penetrated him.

"Jennifer, " he said, and there was some power in it, as if validating her existance.
"No one calls me that. You know it's always been Jen," she said playfully.
"I...I don't know what to say, " Tucker stammered out.

That was a lie. He knew exactly what he wanted to say. He wanted to say how he loved her, lover her back then and still loved her now, and how he hadn't forgotten a thing.

"I always knew you did, " she said. His breath caught. His own mind had betrayed him!

She got up and sat back down beside him, facing him. The only other time they had been this close and alone was when he gave her the lighter. He had kissed her then.

And he kissed her now.
Back then he figured she had just played it off to the moment. This time he didn't care, and would make up an explanation and convince himself of it later.

With unimaginable strength he pulled back. For the first time he spoke directly to those green eyes. "Is this what I've been waiting for?"

She smiled just like she did when two versions of the same soul first saw each other.

Likewise Part 2 of 3

He was stocking when she came back.

"Do you have Cat's Cradle by any chance?" asked a female voice. He was down on one knee filling up the next-to bottom shelf and didn't turn around immediately. "It's by........by........"

"Vonnegut," he said as he stood up and turned around at the same time.

Suddenly he was 16 again at a local football game. He didn't really care about football, but his friends had practically dragged him to it, and now he was thirsty. Musing over how many other drinks he could have had elsewhere for the price of the one in his hand, he was walking back to his seat when he saw her. He thought she had black hair at first, but would find out that it was just a very dark brown. And green eyes. Green eyes that stopped you. Just like they were doing to him now. Someone bumped his shoulder and muttered a swear word. She was wearing a short jean jacket, with what had to be fake fur around the edges and cuffs, because later she would tell him how she hated to see any animal hurt. She was standing still too, and looking at him. After all these years, he never forgot the way she first smiled.

"Yes! Vonnegut!" She smiled the same way. Tucker blinked a few times before becoming fully present in the moment again. He didn't want her not to remember him. Frantically his mind searched for some key event, some pivotal point in time that would bring it all back to her. He thought of the last night before she went off to college. He still had another year before he went, and they weren't even going to the same school. They had both ditched a farewell party and had driven out to the highway. They parked in the median, and were laying in the grass listening to the cars pass on both sides. He had given her a lighter, not because she smoked (he knew she despised even the idea) but because...

"Fire is always so alive and so bright, and that is how I'll always remember you."

He stood there trying to read some kind of response in those green eyes, but could draw nothing. Then her hand slowly reached into one tight front pocket, and pulled out a lighter with a lion carved into one side. She had always said she wanted to be a lion when she was a kid. Now her green eyes were searching him.



Likewise Part 1 of 3

Bookstores aren't that bad.
You have plenty of time to think,
and plenty of time to read other people's thoughts.

At least that's what he thought about it. The large man behind him who signed his check every thursday had trouble accepting that.

"Listen Tuck all I'm saying is that you need to get out more. Hell, even if it's just to another bookstore, go somewhere besides here and the laundry mat. " The large man's brows twisted with concern as his fingers traced his suspenders. Tucker put down a copy of American Gods and went into the back room. A minute later he reappeared with his jacket slung over his back and another book in his hand.

"Then I guess I'll read at home," he said with childish ease as he walked to the door. The old man's expression relaxed to a helpless frown.

"Don't you have any friends to go out with? Or a girlfriend?"
"I have a few friends, yes, but none anywhere close. And I could never have a girlfriend. " This last came out with an almost matter-of-fact tone, as if the large man should've known this already.

"And just why not?"
As he reached the door, Tucker turned his head to answer. "Because the only girl I ever loved is still somewhere out there and I still love her. Should I abandon that just because I haven't any reason to believe I will ever see her again?"

He pushed down on the black bar to release the latch. The large man sat down where Tucker had been reading.
"Well, pick up some red wine on your way home! A book is always better with some wine." He settled back and closed his eyes as the door swung back into place with a Clack!

* * *

All We Can Do

We can only hope,
That the stars remain at respective distances,
Blending us into a forest of fireflies,
We are all blinking our lights.

We can only hope,
That the oceans will stay to their tides,
To be content with their mysteries,
And not let jealousy make a new Atlantis,

We can only hope,
That fire will always burn,
Warming our hands and likewise our hearts,
The caveman froze because he was quite lonely.

We can only hope,
That man will never get better,
Sick minds conceive mental utopias,
With room for one and a great view of a microwavable future.

We can only hope,
That Importance will never matter,
That we will still enjoy being idiots,
And never murder childhood.

We can only hope,
That you will never read what I just spelled out,
And realize how fragile this world really is,
And how much I am hanging on these words.


Rain Makes People Think Too Much

"I don't think they have natural causes right."

A belch of thunder rolled over the car as she spoke, as if to announce that it was interested in death too, but I kept driving.

"How so?"
"I just don't think that people die because their hearts or lungs or livers give out on them."
"Well, what do you think happens when you just up and quit?"
"Yes! That's it!"
I jerked the wheel right then quickly back when she twisted around in her seat to face me.
"Quit! That's what I've been trying to work with. See, my theory goes like this: we don't die because of disease this or problem that. We die because we have too many memories. Too many times and people we can never get back to, and it just gets to the point when you know where you've been is better than anywhere you're going. "

"Then you don't believe in Heaven?"
"Kind of, but not the God one. When you die, I think you go back and live in all those best memories. At least that's the only thing I think you can really call Heaven." At this last point she seemed to go back to her mental musings and rested her head back on the car window.
I took my eyes off what I assumed was still a road in front of me (the rain had by now increased to a thick sheet cascading down the windshield) and looked over at Harper. Most people close their eyes when in the position she was, but her dark blue eyes seemed intensely focused on every raindrop, guiding it up until where it shattered on the glass. For a moment her eyes seemed to match the grey in the sky, like trying to learn it, then they were blue again. Her dark brown hair seemed to somehow be a violater of the nature of the time in and of itself. Just her whole being, just...

I focused back on the road.
Why was I analyzing this girl I had known for so long? I had wondered before if I loved Harper, but always dismissed it. She was too much life for any one person to be that close to her, least of all me.

"Pull over."
"Pull over."
I looked around to see if the weather was suddenly a beautiful spring day, but if anything it was raining harder. "What the hell for?"
All I got was another 'Pull over.' With incredible luck I managed to slide off the road and get stopped. Harper unlocked her door, stepped gingerly outside, and (should've known) started to dance. Not some elegant ballroom dance, or even just a party dance. Basically, it consisted of little more than spinning in circles. I had already gotten out of the car, and was soaked through my jacket before I came back to my senses. The feeling of 'What the hell' engulfed me and I found myself doing the same thing. After only three minutes or so I had completely lost all sense of direction and was trying to stop when I ran into Harper. And by ran into I mean she crashed into my arms. It was at this point that I found myself as close to those eyes as I ever had been.

Son of a bitch.

Instinctively one hand brushed the hair out of her eyes, and the next instant our lips met. Wet, dizzy, and mindblown, I stayed like that for eternity. When eternity was over, she stepped back a few feet and resumed her dance.
"Hey, Harp," I said, standing plainly with the rain still falling in every direction.
"This is one of those things I'm going to die because of, isn't it?"

And so I kept dancing.





The Road To Hell

The dry land stretched out before us. As the old V-6 engine turned over and over, I tried to keep some kind of beat between it and my foot, then gave up after trying to incorporate my index finger on the side of the door. My eyes slowly rolled over to Drew, who at some point had slipped on his sunglasses. They were those big, black, Cool Hand Luke aviator glasses. They transformed his face into a perfectly still picture except for the reflection of the passing mile-markers in the lenses. I thought someone should make a bust out of that face.

"Want me to drive for a while?" I offered, "with those glasses I can't even tell if you're awake or not."
Drew remained static for a few more seconds.


An indecipherable noise ejected itself out of my mouth to express my utter confusion.
"The most attractive thing a girl can have. Bangs." He clarified.
I thought about Sloan. She had bangs, but I had never really attributed any great attractive power to them.
"Really? I always thought you didn't even look at their face."

I make terrible jokes on long trips.

Dave dismissed this with a quick grunt.
"No, definitely bangs. Think about it."

I tried, but I couldn't stop watching the reflections passing in his glasses.
"I give up."
"Bangs cover part of a girl's face. They hide something. But they accentuate something at the same time. By covering one eye, it makes you focus more on the other one. And if that one eye is so breathtaking, so encapsulating, so telling of everything, then, well, two of them..." He took his hands off the wheel to give the universal sign for 'what can you do?'

"But...doesn't that mean the eyes are the attractive thing?"
"Key word attractive. Bang's draw you in. Eyes keep you there forever."
"If they're good."
"If they're good."

As the city began to bloom before my eyes, and its dark alter-ego in Drew's aviators, I sat back and thought of how pretty Sloan's eyes were.


Hurry Up And Be Winter 2

(I just did this spurred by the title of the last one right after I wrote it, so forgive any increased difficulty in holding down food than is normal. k thx.)

Leaves fall and trees wither!
No I am not a fan of the death,
But rather the life these things signify,
The rebirth of the darker romantics!

We've all moved to the north now,
In apartments that badly need painting,
Near 24-hour grocery stores,
And weather perfect for our leather jackets.

We give the world away every night,
And always find it returned in the morning,
Do you know how much we get out with only a sigh?
We expulse the riches of kings!

But you can be sure we're faithful,
The nice guy last and always the saints,
Slipped your mind and never near your heart,
And what a joy that is to consider!

To crash and burn and fix and build,
The Phoenix is no myth after all,
It is us who will go down as new legends,
The faithful who carry on that essential hope.

So quick to the hunt for it is such a short season!
Hit the floor right alongside that first speck of snow,
Make hast for we are living and not yet so dead,
I am already out the door.

Hurry Up And Be Winter

Come outside with me,
It's snowing but you can have my jacket,
The lining's warm and I can't stand it here,
And I think I need the company right now.

Something white to replace all this red,
The burning of ash and smoke rising from their very souls,
Both our drinks were never half-full to begin with,
And I'm starting to laugh for different reasons.

Let's make cookie-cutter angels on the ground,
The silence will come and then I'll steal a kiss,
Play mind games with myself for the next half-hour over some coffee,
Give up and plung in as always,
(I'm so weak when it comes to this.)

Tonight you smell of cinnamon,
With orchestral eyes directing this amateur play,
Give me the cues and I'll do my best,
My best My best My best is enough!

Now I'm such a gentleman for walking you home,
Fleeting talk leads to the fleeting kiss,
Oh how I want to be buried on the way home!
Frozen right here on the sidewalk.

Not to bed but by my window is where I fall,
Some red wine and a sunrise to see me off,
My mind is calling in sick today,
It wasn't doing much work anyway.



John watched the fan as it spun slowly in the silent room. Eventually he faced his fears and looked back. She was still alive and the gun barrel was still rubbing against her forehead, much to his dismay.

You knew it was still like that, idiot. No gunshot remember?

Regardless he averted his gaze again, this time to the old man near the furthest in the far corner. He seemed to be staring at the electrical outlet to his left, and John tried to do the same. The man with the gun suddenly spoke up.

"Boy, I told you I want you to watch this and understand."

John looked the soon-to-be killer in the eyes and immediately lost whatever comfort he had been trying to find in other things around the room. They showed no hesitance.

"I said I need you to see this, boy."
"Don't...do it," was all John could manage. Someone's life held in the balance and all he could articulate was the basis of an opposition.

"You don't understand...yet. But I have to do it." Was the smooth reply.
"Why?" he got out quickly, surprising even himself at the effeciency.

"Because it's god's will." chimed again the cool response.
This time John built upon the confidence of his last outpour. "Why is it necessary to kill someone?"
The priest looked him square in the eye as if it was the stupidest question that he had ever heard.
"Why...so they can go to Heaven, of course."

The mention of Heaven seemed to trigger a complete remake of who John took this man to be. He saw that he was not dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, but rather a robe and with crucifix on a long chang slung around his neck. While John was gathering all this again, the man interpreted this as a need for explanation.

"I have to do this, because if I don't I can never be sure that they go to Heaven. See, I have already heard this woman call out to God when I threatened her life, and she is trusting in Him as we speak. If I let her live, that faith could slip, and I must win as many for the Kingdom as I can. So now do you see why I must do this?"

John was thinking of his response when the shot echoed.

The Races

Off to the races I quickly fall behind,
So many people are chasing this prize,
To wish that I could be more fit for this competition,
Is to cheat in the space race,
I have been given what I run with,
And that is all I will use,
I find the people in front of me lacking,
But that does not make them fall behind now does it?
What's playing out is how it's supposed to be,
And I will place as I should,
The finish line is decided by you,
And no one argues with the judge,
So bring on the verdict and I'll humbly bow,
Cus I've run my portion and can do no more for now.



I have too many desires I know,
But if that changed I would lose the good self,
Because I am made too much for the future,
Too fragile for the stakes which I am risking,
For something neither possible nor practical,
Mixed with fire and a shade of the amber glass,
But still it is not complete.
The whole scene drained without that essential componant,
The one who does to your heart what no scientist can accept,
And still deny the existance of God.
And yes this is too much to ask,
This is not my chosen blessing,
But still I desire,
And so still I am restless.


If I tell you of destruction,
What will you do in return?
Will you turn to the favorite corner of your youth?
Or look about for some common patriot?
There are those who can do neither,
And therein lies all creation,
Deep inside the eyes of the few,
shouting at the heart of it,
~I cannot fall~
It is they who will pick up and run with a dream,
Of a field with a cool breeze,
Of a woman worth anything,
~Of the peaks where you lose your head~
And you never see them reach the top,
And you never hear them weep for those behind,
But the Drive spurs,
~And the will is strong~
To this chaos can do nothing,
There is fire already within these beasts,
And it is they who shape the world,
~It is they who truly love~