29 July 2011

My Grandfather

I used to go hunting with my grandfather when I was a kid. We'd go on the weekends almost every weekend; it was the highlight of my weeks. We would go to this reservation a few minutes from his house and it was like an adventure—it was so exciting, having to be quiet and getting to carry a gun. When I became a teenager, we would share a few beers while we were out and he'd always tell me, “Don't tell you're parents I'm giving you this.”

It was pretty much the only time we'd ever spend together; going out hunting, drinking, goofing off. I loved it more than anything and I could see in his eyes that he enjoyed it too. I killed my first buck, cooked my first squirrel, shot my first turkey, and my first duck with my grandpa and he was always so proud of me when I'd get one. I was thirteen when I shot my first buck, a little four-pointer absolutely nothing to brag about, but you couldn't tell me or my grandfather that. We came back to his house, where my parents and siblings were waiting and I just strutted up to the door with my chest puffed out and quietly, with a smug look on my face, pointed to the back of the truck where my prize was sitting. That was the best deer meat I had ever eaten.

As things go, I got older and the trips started spreading out more; some of it was my life catching up to me and some of it was my grandfather being less able to keep up and go out as much. We still enjoyed a good hunt together, but it became an annual thing, no more once a week or once a month trips for us. It was still just as much fun as it had ever been, and I still looked forward to it every year, counting down the days until our hunt together.

One year, I was twenty-five at the time, he called me up and asked if I was gonna make it to the hunt this year, but I told him I was just too busy this time; I'd have to get a rain check. Truth is, I was going out with friends to bars and clubs to pick up chicks and get wasted; we were gonna have so much fun out that night and we'd get so much pussy it would hurt. Found out the next day that my grandpa had an accident while he was out hunting. He was trying to climb one of the fences out there and half-way up had a heart attack and fell to the ground. He died alone out there because I wasn't with him.

I never forgave myself for that. If I had been out there maybe I could have helped him and saved his life, maybe it never would have happened if I'd gone with him, he wouldn't have had to exert himself carrying all the stuff and he would have had my help climbing the fence. There are so many maybes, but it's my fault he died and I have never been able to forgive myself for that.

27 July 2011

Is This Okay?

When is it okay
To tell your boss
That he smells like cigarettes
And that you ran over his dog?

22 July 2011

The Trinity Sword

The Trinity Sword is as old as the Angels and Demons and almost as powerful.

In times long past, the world was in chaos. Beings of light and shadow began taking forms and fighting for no discernible reason. The planet, Tera, was in its raw form, for the gods were still molding it. Nothing could survive on the surface save the spawning creatures of light and shadow who were at constant war.

The raw form of Tera was covered in expanding oceans and erupting volcanoes that reaped massive destruction on its surface. Hurricanes and Tornadoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis all rocked the surface of the developing Tera.

Amidst the chaos and war, four beings formed that were different from those of the light and shadow. They were formed of neither light nor shadow, but of the planet and lived in peace with Tera, but could not tolerate the wars of the other creatures and resolved themselves to put an end to it.

They prayed to their mother Tera and asked her for power and resolve. Tera answered by giving each of the four a different strength. One received command of the creatures of light. One received command of the creatures of darkness. One received command of the power within Tera. One received command over the powers of all things physical. Each received a body to represent their new power. The first took the shape of a creature of light. The second took the shape of a creature of darkness. The third kept his form. The fourth grew to towering heights, able to stand over mountains.

The four took their new powers and tried to use them to end the wars, but their efforts were futile. Frustrated, they called again to mother Tera. Tera answered once more with another gift. She took the three with command over creatures of light, creatures of darkness, and the power within Tera and combined their powers. The three took another form that encompassed all three in one physical form, the form of a sword. The fourth armed himself with the sword, and with one swing banished the creatures of darkness and light to separate realms, forming the Angels and Demons, and calmed the surface of Tera, leaving peace for life to develop. The energy necessary for the swing exhausted the fourth being and he fell dead, dropping the sword beside his body. From his corpse sprouted the first tree.

The Angels, seeing the power of the sword, took it for themselves and hid it from the Demons and the rest of the world for fear that it might be used against them once more.

20 July 2011

15 July 2011

The Recovery

“Hurry up, Stinson,” Thadeus paced the room. His hands went into his pockets, behind his back, across his chest, and on his neck as he circled a server box. He and his friends all wore goggles on their faces.

Stinson was laid back in a chair, completely oblivious to the world around him. His avatar ran across the goggles of his friends, “I'm trying, okay? Just stay calm. Leroy, I need you to flip that switch for me.”

“Which one?” His voice was raised as he glanced across the room. The images in his goggles lightly obscured the world around him.

“The one on your left.”

“Which one? There are like fifteen here!”

“The green one...up...yeah, that one,” Stinson's voice was calm as he guided Leroy to the switch.

“This one?” He grabbed it with his rough hand and pulled it down.

“Shit! Not that one! Unflip it, unflip it!” Stinson's avatar blinked red in Leroy, Thadeus, and Pete's goggles.

“Jesus, dude?!” Pete appeared to be staring at a wall, “Don't fuck this up, Stinson. If we get caught, we're dead.”

“I know! Okay, flip the one under the one you just flipped.”

“This one?” Leroy was sure to indicate the switch he was about to flip.


Leroy flipped it.

“Okay, yep,” Stinson's tone was calm and direct, “they know we're here.”

“What?!” Thadeus's face was red and the veins in his neck stuck out farther than his ears.

“Calm down,” Stinson's avatar gestured his hands downward, “just calm down, okay? I got this. Pete, you see the red switch in front of you?”

“Yeah, what about it?”

“Flip it down.”

“Okay,” as the switch went down, an alarm sounded throughout the building and water could be heard pouring in rooms around them.

Stinson's avatar appeared to be searching through files in a hall of file cabinets, “That should create the diversion we need so I can find these files.”

“Fuck, dude! That's your plan?” Leroy was practically bouncing around the room with anxiety.

“I told you, I got this. See?” Stinson's avatar held up some papers for the group to look at, “I've got the files,” he stuffed them in his pocket and blinked away. Stinson's body jerked up from the seat and he took in a huge gasp, “Ugh, I hate coming out of the network,” he unplugged a few wires from the server in front of him and stood up.

“Great!” Pete looked back at the group, “Now, let's get the fuck out of here.”

08 July 2011

Mommy, Where Are You?

“Mommy! Where are you?” A young boy ran through the woods, his face contorted with worry. His short brown hair was covered in caught twigs and leaves as he barreled through the trees and bushes. He had small cuts on his arms, none deep enough to draw blood, but still painful enough to make a boy of his age tear up. He had come out to his favorite park with his mother to celebrate his ninth birthday; she had disappeared hours earlier and he got lost trying to find her.

The sky was bright on this day and clouds covered most of it, casting shade on an otherwise hot day. Combined with the shadows of the trees, what little light that shined through bounced off of the young boy's face as he ran on.

“Mommy? Stop playing! Where are you?” His cries were frantic as he looked around. He had lost all sense of direction as he turned in circles and ran at random, finding himself in the same place many times over. He stood, once again in the place he had started. To the east were some bushes with little green berries that he knew he shouldn't eat. They dotted the bush in clusters. A little brown bird landed on one of the branches and began pecking at some of the berries. “No,” the little boy ran over to the bushes waving his arms in a shooing motion at the bird, “Don't eat those; they're bad for you.” The bird flew away, scared and confused.

The little boy plopped down into the dirt and leaves on the ground and started crying. Mud streaked his face in long fingers where he wiped his tears. His eyes grew red and puffy. “Where are you mommy?” His cries came out small and helpless.

In the distance, the sound of frogs croaking could be heard. It was a continuous white noise in the background of the forest around him. It almost drowned out all the other noise as he sat, silent, staring forward in a daze.

In front of him, to the west, were two tall, skinny trees that reached up, almost touching the sky. He watched two squirrels playing tag on the trees—chasing each other up and down the trunks, sending bark flying out in all directions. Any other day, he would have found this sight funny and he would have laughed, but right now he felt worse than ever. He was alone; he had never been alone before, not like this anyway.

“Mommy!” He started crying once more, “Where are you?”

06 July 2011

01 July 2011

The Plan

The city below them was an expansive network of grids crisscrossing in a patchwork of small buildings and sky-scrapers. Cars sped down the roads like ones and zeros across the bus of a motherboard,  lights dotting the city through the darkness like a giant machine with too many switches to count, flickering without a comprehensible pattern. Three boys, teenagers, stared across the landscape from the roof of a sky-scraper on the edge of the city. A fourth sat against the railing, touching at the air as if in an imaginary world of his own, goggles on his face and circuit-run gloves on his hands. He bobbed his head back and forth to the beat of the music coming from his sound-nullifying headphones.

“So what do we do, huh? After our last mishap, we're fucked!” Thadeus, the youngest of the group, threw his arms to the side. His face was red.

“Relax, D; we can figure something out. Our lives aren't over yet,” Pete, the tallest of the group, tried to keep his voice calm as he spoke, but choked a bit on his words. He knew they had fucked up and he had no idea how to fix it.

“He's right, Pete. They know our signature; they have our file; hell, they know everything about us now. How to we come back from that? Nobody's gonna want to deal with us, our faces are on practically everything now.” Leroy placed his thumb and index finger on the bridge of his nose and leaned against the cold, steel railing. His eyes were closed and he tried to calm his nerves.

Pete turned to the two, feeling like they were ganging up on him. He sat on the railing and leaned his body out over the street, fifteen stories down. The buzz of traffic rang through his ears as he assessed the situation.

“So, what do we do?” Thadeus interrupted his thinking.

“I don't know, okay? We can't just pick up and go somewhere else, the corporation's everywhere and we can't stay here; we'd be caught within weeks. We need to strike back. We need to destroy our files.”

“They're on lock-up,” the boy sitting against the railing didn't look at the group as he spoke to them. He left his headphones and goggles on and continued touching at the air, “They're keeping them in a secure vault within their network. I can't access any of it from here, but if you bring me to their server room, I could get to the files and delete them.”

“See?” Pete turned to Thadeus, “Things are looking up,” his grin almost reached both of his ears.