I don't know if this is going to work, but, as another stupid war no one wants seems closer every day, I have this short, one subject post this week, excerpts (fragments, a better description) from my book Peace in our Time,
story told in flash fiction pieces in the first person, an apocalyptic vision and a mystery, in this case the mystery of who or what and the mystery of all wars... Why?
1. In the early days of the war...
In the early days of the war, back when most had shoes and my baby sister was a virgin and I was in love, and we did not yet know the taste of horse or pigeon***
We had so much to learn.
2. There is a new weapon.
There is a new weapon.
Even the scavengers will not defile the corpses.
They all lie twisted, pale in the moonlight, shinning clear, as if washed after death***
Maggie lies twisted in the moonlight, pale, undefiled...and clean.
3. In the place of my city...
In the place of my city there are gaping holes, like rotted teeth in the earth; in the place of grand boulevards, muddy cow paths unvisited by cows long slaughtered; in the place of orchards there are gallows***
4. A stream here....
A stream here, Maggie lying with me in the cool of an autumn eve, pale skin, breasts inviting my kisses, the blush of desire, together entwined under a full October moon----
It was before the clouds parted.
5. I fought at the First Battle of Balanced Rock...
Floaters had taken the rock. Command staff wanted it back.
I remember the roar of the mechanized units and the Floaters over head and the crash of falling rock.
Birds, rabbit in the brush, a doe and her fawn search for grass in the torn and bitter ground - they don't remember, don't know.
The raccoons raiding the bloody knapsacks know, but keep the secret
10. In a forward position...
In a forward position, watching for Floaters on the horizon, I see six blackbirds perched on an electric wire, the wire long dead and unused, attached to a leaning creosote pole at one end and on the other, ceramic insulators on the only standing wall of a small frame house.
Remembering how good I was with a slingshot...thinking of how I had that slingshot today I could have crow for dinner.
13. Naked by the sweat rock...
He found an old can of tuna, tried to hide it, won't share.
We struggle and in the end, I kill the son-of-a-bitch.
The son-of-a-bitch wouldn't share his tuna.
14. It is a virgin night...
It is a virgin night in a place still unspoiled. The moon so big and bright, like a bucket of milk pouring across the hills, so bright I can see the cedar and mesquite and oak, and the shadows they cast on the meadows.
I try to forget the memories, watch for the enemy instead, but memories do not fade with war, they
grow more intense.
A danger these memories, they make us soft when we must be hard...
15. They have come upon us...
Blood paints a seeping pattern on white sand; how quickly it fades away. I leave my new friend, Willis, in pieces behind me, blowing sand already crusting over all his parts.
The pass over me and I am unseen.
18. Across a desert and through the mountains...
There are fewer of us now, fewer every week. Some killed, some dead of exhaustion, stress and plain hunger and deprivation. Some just quit. Some of those try to return to from where they came, as if it was still there. Others just wander off in whatever direction they were standing when the started leaving, to wherever
20. In the second week...
In the second week after the old Holiday of Eggs, a new demonstration of power***
Some, in despair, want to surrender; some, the brave and the proud and the dim, want to fight to the end.
I want to live.
23. A woman in the snow...
A woman in the snow, back against a tree...
A woman, filthy, in rags like me, freezing to death in this dark winter, like me, a survivor...
Though I haven't seen a woman in six months, haven't talked to a woman in even more time than that, haven't fucked a woman since the camp whore in the first year, this one, this one doesn't entice me to try.
I think we have all gone insane.
27. He wandered into our valley in the last days of winter...
A crazy man, a lunatic running through the trees***screaming, throwing rocks at the trees and animals.
Then one day I caught him, his mud-caked body lying naked on Woman, trying to rape her, threatening to kill her***
28. I have been hearing the rush of Floater keening...
I rush down the mountain to our camp, but it is too late***
And now I must forget to be human again.
29. I am a straggler...
So I avoid my kind, a passing solitary shadow, hard to see, hard to find.
I am a cockroach, living in the dark corners of this Earth, I used to call home, skittering away under light.
31. A child...
A child high in a tree over my head.
Watching me with feral eyes***
I don't know what to do.
35. We are on the last downward leg...
We are on the last downward leg of the granite dome, when we hear the familiar keening...
Boy's grip is secure, but the part of the ledge I am on crumbles and I slip the rest of the way down the crevice into a cave***
I hear the quiet button whisper of a somnolent rattlesnake***
37. It is spring again...
It is spring again and Boy and I are again traversing rolling, wooded hills.
There is much Floater activity in this and I don't see anything that suggests what they are doing and why they are here, the same question, why are they hear, that perplexed us in the beginning and has not been answered since. They are the same mystery since they first appeared in our skies.
38. I sit alone under a tree...
I sit alone under a tree, atop a hill and continue to weep for my loss.
From behind a hill near the horizon of my sight, I hear a great explosion and the brilliant burst of Floater fire.
40. I am following a river through a seemingly endless prairie...
I come across a hut, built against a bluff beside a creek.
As I consider this, an old man walks up from the creek
We stand frozen in the moment, each waiting to react to what the other does.
42. We talked often into the night...
He was a wise man who had spent many years thinking in the quiet of his solitude, coming to understand, he thought, the mystery of our destruction and the why of it.
We are vermin, he said***
45. Maggie, and my parents and my brothers and sisters...
*** and all the soldiers I trooped with, and Woman and Boy, and the old man, it seems so unlikely that they are all dead and I'm still alive
Funny, I always assumed I was the cat never, the mouse. Now, I'm the mouse that survived all the cats threw at me````
47. It is the end of me...
It is the end of me and I think it might be the last of me, for it's been years since I've seen another of my kind.
So I guess there will be no one following me to hear my story.
But I feel I must tell it anyway```
This book, along with all of my other eBooks, is available wherever eBooks are sold.
As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and to me
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I welcome your comments below on this issue and the poetry and photography featured in it.
Just click the "Comment" tab below.
New Days & New Ways
Places and Spaces
Goes Around Comes Around
Pushing Clouds Against the Wind
And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio
Seven Beats a Second
Sonyador - The Dreamer
Peace in Our Time