Poem: Deadly Love

Weight pressing me down

Lungs filling with blood I drown

Heart aching from the hurts

Pounding so hard it may burst

As I bleed out like a pig

From wounds your claws dig

Hanging from hooks above

Murdered by what you called love

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Poem: I’m Free!

I’m Free!

To pay my taxes

To make my mortgage

To pay for classes

I’m Free!

To obey all laws

To drive the speed limit

To please my boss

I’m Free!

To be faithful in marriage

To listen to my wife bitch

To always hold and cherish

I’m Free!

To show up at work

To earn my wage

To tolerate a jerk

I’m Free!

To say what’s acceptable

To limit my desires

To try to make life bearable

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Excerpt: Sureshot the Assassin

Don’t wait, get Sureshot the Assassin today!

Off in the distance he heard a commotion. He did not know exactly what it was all about, but he sensed it was something bad. He snatched the ax from the stump and ran towards the inn. He was glad to be running towards a problem instead of away from it finally, it just felt better to him. He covered ground quickly and decided that the commotion coming from the inn were sounds of battle. Rothan had not escaped his assassins it seemed, and his pursuers had caught up with him. No doubt they closed the gap during the night.

Maklar leapt over rocks and trees and reached the inn in only a matter of seconds. From inside he heard the shouts of Rothan as well as other men. He came around the inn from the rear and outside stood two men guarding the door. The axman rushed toward them so fast that they had little chance. He came at them from their flank and dispatched the first before he knew he was in peril. The second reacted as Maklar drew his ax from the first man’s chest but was too slow to stop the crushing blow that Maklar delivered. With the door to the inn clear, he kicked it in and quickly assessed the situation.

There were ten of Warren’s assassins in the room. They had surrounded the prince and his guards who were behind an overturned tabled wielding chairs because their weapons were in their rooms. All of Rothan’s men were engaged with their improvised weapons as was the prince. Tynek was on the ground against a wall with blood dripping from his head. Just before Maklar attacked the assassins, Glik was struck with a sword and fell to the ground. The axman had reached them just in time.

A few of the men noticed when he burst through the door but were still taken by surprise. Maklar dispatched two of them before they could react to his entrance. Three of them faced him while the other five continued to try and kill Rothan. Maklar put a foot back and held his ax up ready. They paused to consider him a moment and then attacked in unison.

The man to Maklar’s left thrust his sword at him, but the axman dodged to his right. At the same moment the center assassin slashed his sword at him, but he blocked it with the shaft of his ax, and then swung it back to his right and struck an attacker with the blunt side of the ax. The man stumbled back but did not fall. Maklar swung his ax back toward his left and forced the center attacker to block his blow. The assassin to his left thrust at Maklar again, and again he dodged the attack but countered with a kick which caught him in the leg, not inflicting much injury, but stunning him for a second. Maklar punched the opponent in the face with his left hand as he drew his weapon up for an attack with his right.

The assassin to Maklar’s right regained his stance and slashed at him simultaneously with the attacker in the center. Maklar held up his ax to block both attacks, and then pushed them back with a mighty heave. While they were falling backwards, he swung his ax from above his head with both hands straight onto the enemy to his left. The man tried to block the blow but Maklar was too powerful. The force of the ax broke the block attempt and hacked the man; he fell dead. Before the other assassins could muster an attack, Maklar swung his ax from his left toward the second man who managed to block the attack with his sword, but again the axman released the ax with his right hand and punched the assassin square in the face dropping him to the floor.

By now the third man had regained enough composure to resume attacking Maklar. His opponent attacked with fury, slashing and thrusting and he had Maklar on the defense. The axman blocked with his ax and dodged but he was moving backwards, something he did not want to do. Just as the attacker was getting the best of Maklar, Dusan rushed from around the bar wielding a meat cleaver and struck the assassin in the side. The man, surprised by the attack, quickly backhanded the boy in the face which sent him reeling backwards. It was enough of a distraction for Maklar to regain the initiative and he began to unleash heavy blows to his opponent. After three strikes, his enemy could not defend quickly enough and Maklar struck him in his side ending his life.

By this time, Taras and Wolski were too wounded to continue fighting and only Pazdan, Tyton and Rothan continued to resist the five remaining assassins. Maklar quickly struck one from behind before he knew he was in danger, and then struck another with the shaft of his ax, pushing him back. His enemy tried to regain his footing but was unable to do so before Maklar struck him with a fatal blow. Immediately, the axman drew his weapon from the fallen foe and spun around, his blade gaining momentum, and then landed a vicious blow to another attacker, dropping him immediately.

By now the remaining three men who were trying to get at the prince halted their attack to engage Maklar, but it was too late. Maklar the “madman” would not be stopped. His movements were fluid and powerful and he could not have been beaten. He swung his ax upward from the floor and struck the first enemy in the arm forcing him to drop his weapon and clutch his wounded appendage. Maklar kicked him to the side and attacked the second man. His enemy struck at him, slashing and thrusting, but he could not beat the axman, and shortly after they engaged, Maklar struck him in the face with the butt of his ax forcing him to fall backwards, but before he hit the ground Maklar’s ax was in his chest.

The last man took the opportunity created by the defeat of his companion to attack the madman wielding an ax. He struck Maklar in the side, but it did not stop him. Maklar turned to look into the eyes of his attacker, his own eyes burned. There was fear in his enemy. They considered each other for a moment. Everyone else in the room simply watched the two. Then Maklar dropped his ax to the floor, grabbed the man’s sword arm and his throat. He squeezed his throat and held his face only inches from his own. As he choked the life out of his enemy he thought of his friend Durbar and all of the injustice dealt him by Duke Orthan and now prince Warren. The final assassin dropped his sword to the ground and coughed his last words which were too garbled to understand. When it was finished, Maklar released him and he fell lifelessly to the ground.

The scene was gruesome. Maklar stood in the center of the inn with blood spattered all over him from his hair to his feet which were nearly stained black. He himself bled from his side, as did the other wounded men. Rothan, Pazdan and Tyton stood from behind the overturned table and stared at Maklar the madman for a minute. He had a smile on his face and crazed look I his eyes. Slowly, as he surveyed the room ad failed to find more enemies, the smile faded and his eyes returned to normal. They were shocked but relieved for his assistance.

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TBT: Poem Forever True

Alcohol swimming in your mind, blinding your soft eyes and hurting fate.

Tranquilly sitting in a boat, drifting on a glass lake.

Everywhere crawl people who long to hold your reflection.

Drunk off power, possession, personal satisfaction.

Heathens toss stones, shattering the glass and your might.

Shaking from confusion anyone who comes near gets a fight.

A flask of kindness, caring and love, is all I can offer to you.

Sweet lips taste the good, I will hold you forever true

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Poem: Your Slave (Limerick)

You rescued my heart from the grave.

Gladly my vows to you I gave.

Tried to be your partner.

Your Knight in shining armor.

When really you prefer a slave.

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Escaping the Abyss Part 7

Nanku grew in spite of any chaos in his world and he learned about his environment and how to navigate it. Growing and learning were not without their dangers.

Mother and Father provided some playmates for Nanku. They called them cousins and Nanku enjoyed them very much. They all spent much time together playing and laughing. One day Nanku was visiting the cousins. They were chasing each other through the house and laughing. As they did, Nanku tripped over a basket and fell hard. His lip was split open by his own tooth which was also knocked out of his mouth. The lip was badly cut and bled profusely. Nanku was taken to a doctor and his lip was stitched back together however there was much swelling and in fact the lip was never quite the same and also showed the scar from the fall and was always larger on one side as a result of the accident.

On another occasion, Nanku was again running and he fell and hit his head, splitting his head open and again bleeding significantly. This wound too was patched up and a scar remained but no further damage was done.

These accidents made Mother very protective of Nanku and she did not like to let him explore or have adventures as a result. She warned him that he would get hurt and would not let Nanku do some of the things he wanted to try like ride a skateboard or play football and regularly told him that he was not strong or tough and so it was best that he not do too many things that require physical strength or subjected him to risk. Nanku believed her and avoided activities that would test his strength or toughness.

This confused Nanku a little as Father seemed to be especially tough and strong. Father tended to constantly do things that were reckless and dangerous and Nanku wanted to be like Father. For instance, Father played hockey like the LA Kings and it was a very physical and dangerous sport. Father worked in a shop with metal and machines that were very dangerous. Father constantly had cuts and burns on him and didn’t seem to be bothered by them. Nanku felt that Father was somehow indestructible because he would test his strength and toughness and always survive. Nanku marveled as Father lifted things or pushed them. Nanku was even amazed when father got angry and threw and broke things in a fit.

Nanku became very used to the look on Father’s face when he was in a rage. His eyes were like fire and wide and his body moved wildly. Father would often kick things or throw them when he was angry and Nanku would take shelter and watch. Father usually became angry when he argued with Mother. She would say hurtful and mean things to Father and he would get angry. She would get in his face and continue to say things until he exploded like a volcano yelling and throwing things. Nanku hid and waited for the storm to end.

Mother was worried about Nanku getting hurt exploring his world, but did nothing to protect him from the dangers that dwelled in his very home.

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One of the most important aspects of a good story is the hero. Without a main character to follow and cheer for, it is difficult to connect with the story. We need to see someone embroiled in the midst of conflict and will them on toward victory. It’s a simple drive but also a powerful one.

This is partially why I’m drawn to fantasy as a genre. It allows, no it demands, epic heroes. These heroes usually find themselves up against tremendous odds and we hold our breath as we pour through the pages of a story to find whether they prevailed or not. But why?

It seems to me that we are drawn to this type of story telling because in our own lives, even in 21 century America, we have similar struggles. Maybe it isn’t about King John taxing people to death, but maybe the mortgage is difficult to pay. Maybe it isn’t about Sauron trying to rule them all with the one ring, but perhaps your ex is trying to ruin you. And maybe there are no real ogres in your world, but your boss is a huge jerk and is making your life very difficult. We all have monsters in our world, and injustice is still common and our own struggle to prosper is real. So we champion heroes because often times we need one in our own lives or we want to be a hero in our own story.

This is a common phrase I’ve heard lately. “You are the hero of your own story.” If that’s true then just like heroes in other stories, we’re flawed and we fail. We are often brought down by the weight of our circumstances and the consequences of our own poor decision making. Those are not always small things mind you. Few things seem to derail me more than fear of my own failure. But like our heroes, we have to push that fear aside and strive for victory. Only then can we hold our heads up high and fist to the sky and declare that we overcame the evil that blocked our path to joy, happiness and prosperity.

Be a hero.

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