The Glass

The embassy party began as quite a success. Ambassadors and diplomats and their escorts were present. They represented over thirty nations. The new American Ambassador surveyed the scene from a balcony above the main ballroom. She turned to her escort, a young Marine captain recently assigned to the Embassy. "Shall we?," she inquired, holding out her arm to him. "As you will, Madame Ambassador." He accepted her arm and together they proceeded to the main floor and began the first dance. She found herself enjoying the party and the company of her escort. During a pause in the music, she noticed the beautiful crystal glasses that the drinks were served in and commented on them. "I believe they are Waterford crystal, Madame Ambassador. My mother has a set similar to these," the Marine replied. Soon after the music began again, and she allowed him to lead her in another dance.

About halfway through the evening, the ambassador noticed a commotion near one of the ballroom's entrances. That's about when the noises began. Sounds similar to champagne bottles popping in rapid succession, sounds of glass breaking, sounds of people running, screaming and falling. She turned to her escort, who was speaking with another embassy official, and watched in horror as he was thrown back and down, surrounded by a mist of his own blood. He was joined on the floor by the other official. Their clothes were soaked and a slowly spreading dark pool formed around their bodies. Perhaps most horrible was what she saw falling. The young marine officer had thrown his glass upwards in a reflexive jerk. The Ambassador watched it fall, scintillating as light reflected off the fine cut crystal. It fell and fell, tumbling end over end, spilling all that was left in it. It seemed as though it would never hit the ground. Then it did. She watched as its delicate structure shattered into dozens, hundreds of pieces. Shards flew in every direction, some landed in the blood so recently spilled, looking ever so much like crushed ice in a Bloody Mary. The ambassador had teetered on the edge of sanity, now she fell off. As the glass shattered, so had her mind. She opened her jaws so wide she heard the tendons crack. She screamed and went on screaming and screaming. Her eyes were bugging out of her head, her body was covered in cold sweat, her urethra and sphincter opened simultaneously and still she screamed. Her throat was on fire and she went on. One woman standing in the middle of the dead, the dying, the injured, and the merely terrified, and she screamed. The blood filled the air with its smell and she screamed. Little pieces of crystal reflected the light and she screamed. She looked at the shards again, and realized they didn't look like shards at all. They looked like rough diamonds. She stopped screaming, knelt down and began collecting the shards. She kept collecting them until she realized that the blood was warm. Then she screamed and didn't stop until nothing more than a croak would come from her mouth.

Hours later they found her, sitting in the blood, rocking back and forth, holding the crystal shards in her hands. She was giggling.


"No Dogs Allowed"

"No Dogs Allowed"
The man walked in out of the rain, what they would have called a soft day in the old country. He was alone except for the dog. The two of them were much alike. Neither of them were of a particular breed and both of them had the dust of many roads on their feet. Rough, uncouth characters, the two of them; that was obvious. Their entrance silenced the lively talk in the pub. It being just after dinner on a weekend, the pub was crowded and loud; but the din abated soon enough so that the only sound was the jukebox changing selections.
The stranger approached the bar with his canine companion in tow. "A cold beer and a bowl of water," he cried. The proprietor continued to stare open-mouthed at him. "Don't you speak English?," the man demanded. "Habla Englaiz? Sprechen Sie Englisch?" The bartender found his voice at last and replied, " N-No dogs allowed." The stranger stared at the man behind the bar, looked at the dog, then looked back at the bartender again. He leaned across the bar, opened his mouth to speak, and was interrupted by a bark. Looking to his left, the man saw that the dog had jumped onto a stool and had dropped a coin on the bar. His mouth twitched, then he smiled. He turned back to the bartender and said, "It appears you have a customer." A couple to his right laughed, and several others were grinning broadly. An old man in the corner spoke up, "Ah, Charlie, where's yer manners at all?" He got up, walked over to the dog, and shook hands with him. "Welcome to New Chicago, sir. I'm Mick, who're you?" The dog barked at him and wagged his tail. "Well, I'm pleased to meet you too. Charlie, a drink for my new friend." Turning to the stranger, Mick said, "And you, sir, welcome to New Chicago as well. Charlie, give this man his beer and stop complaining; you need the money. Sir will you and your friend join me at my table?" "I will sir. The blessings of Jesus and Padraig on ye." The old man looked at him sideways and said, "Don't be startin' in on that or we'll be here all night." With that, he turned and walked back to his table. The stranger grinned and followed. The dog, after giving Charlie a dirty look, leaped down and followed the two men to the corner. The jukebox began again, as a boy from somewhere called Mississippi sang "Jailhouse Rock." The noise of people having a good time soon started in earnest. Things were once again normal.



That's what he heard as he put his foot down; every time he put his foot down. What passed for road on this planet would be considered a backwoods trail elsewhere. At least the downpour had stopped. Now it was just raining. A whine at his side reminded him of his company. He reached down and scratched the dog behind the ears. There were worse planets on which to crash. At least this one had an atmosphere and gravity. It was just too bloody bad that it had rain too. He hoped nobody found the ship soon. That would be inconvenient, especially since the crew died of gunshot wounds and not from fire or collision. He made a resolution never to go near an interstellar war again. He studied the sky. It seemed that the grey light was even dimmer. It was time to find a dry place to sleep, or even just a place to sleep.
"What would you say to a warm bed, mutt?"
"Yeah, well...."
He headed off the road and into the woods with the dog following. The two stopped under a fair sized tree and sat down. He opened up the survival kit he had appropriated and took out a tiny stove and lit it. After pulling out some foil packets, a canteen, and a sierra cup, he made, well, gruel.
"Want some?," he asked hopefully.
The dog sniffed at the steaming concoction and backed away, growling.
"Oh, but it's so good and nutritious, it says so right on the package."
Another growl.
So he ignored the dog and tried to ignore the taste. This stuff was awful. He finished it anyway because it was warmer than he felt. He washed the cup out sparingly with water from the canteen and shut off the stove. He pulled the collar of his jacket up higher and leaned back against the tree. As he closed his eyes, he heard a pleading whine. He opened one eye and saw the dog staring at him mournfully. He sighed and patted his lap. The dog came and set his forepaws and head on the man's lap. He scratched the dog's ears and fell asleep.
The man awoke suddenly, stiff and still wet from the rain. Then he heard the low and menacing growl from the dog. He opened his eyes slightly. It was broad daylight and the dog was in front of him facing away towards the deep woods. He saw nothing else, but he heard something in the woods, something BIG. He reached slowly for the assault rifle next to him, another appropriation from the ship. He switched off the safety and loaded a round into the chamber. He did this without taking his eyes off the woods. As quietly as he could, which was very quiet, he moved into a crouch and slipped the survival pack over one shoulder. The dog was still growling. Crack! A branch was shattered. The sound of wet leaves being stepped on heavily came nearer. He could make out a dim shape in the distance. It was easily twice as tall as he was, with a vaguely familiar shape. It got close enough for him to see the dark mottled hide and to hear its heavy breathing. It paused, then moved rapidly towards them. The dog was barking loudly now. He dropped the pack and shouldered the rifle, aiming where the head should be at. The creature was now near enough for him to see it clearly. As he saw what was bearing down on them, the man nearly ran away. Loping towards them was the nearest thing to a dragon he had ever seen. It stood 3.5 meters tall, was reptillian, and had quite a few large, yellow teeth. The man fired at full auto into the roof of the gaping mouth, and then jumped aside as it kept running past him. It slammed into the tree, cracking many branches, and screaming in pain. It fell back onto the forest floor, thrashing wildly and making quite a pool of blood and gore. He fired several bursts at the body and head, but the beast was just moving in a rather energetic death reflex. It was completely still in less than a minute. As the echoes died away, he heard the dog barking. Not another one. Then he saw the dog running around the body and barking furiously at the dragon.
"I think it's dead."
The dog gave him a dirty look.
He walked around the dragon, studying it. He was very glad it was dead. It appeared to be 6 meters long, from snout to tail. It had an elongated snout, like a crocodile, but with consideably larger teeth. Beginning at its head, and running the length of its back, all the way to the tip of its tail, was a series of flexible spines. Poisonous? Or maybe a heat exchanger? Better not touch them either way. Although it had run on its hind legs, its fore legs seemed strong and well developed. It probably used them for holding prey while those teeth ripped the poor creature apart. He shook himself at the thought. The blood seemed thick and blue-green in color. Interesting, maybe there was very little iron on this world. He looked at those teeth again. Nobody would believe his tale, but if he had one of those teeth to show? Besides, maybe he could carve on it. He approached the head cautiously and inspected the mouth. Not a lot of intact teeth after his shooting. Wait, one of the largest was in pretty good shape. Drawing his knife, he began working the tooth out of its socket. It was surprisingly easy, especially since the roots appeared to be rotting. A little work with the knife chipped those pieces away. The result was still a fair sized tooth, maybe 15 centimeters in length. Quite a piece for show and tell if he ever reached home again. He wrapped it in the foil coverings of last nights dinner, placed it in the pack, and whistled to the dog.
"Come on, mutt, we're leaving."
The dog gave the corpse one last bark to put it in its place, and then followed the man out of the forest. Again they marched down that muddy road, but it was much drier now. Although, if he wasn't careful where he put his feet, he still heard that infernal noise. Splash.


Haiku #1

Sweet Nothings,
Falling leaves in the ears of lovers,
Lost in the autumn winds.


The Fairie Tree

Can you hear them singing?
Lugh and the Sidhe
Watch them dancing,
Wild and carefree,
Under the stars of night.

At the rising of the day,
At dawn, they take flight.
The coming Sun
Ending their play.



Seamhain is here and Morrigan dances
We sharpen our blades and charge forth
Yelling and whooping for joy
Into the barley, into the grain,
Not battle, but Harvest!
Beginning and End
Then it starts again
Cheering not for hard work
But for celebration
Life and Life's End
Sex and Death
Drunk and Hungover
Spring and Fall
Planting and Harvest
Beginning and


The Darkness

I feel the darkness
creeping into my heart
my soul.
The darkness,
the hungry,
It wants to feed
Somedays it's hard to resist
I want to feed it,
to give it what it demands
(my life)
It fed again last night
they never understand
always cry suicide
always say,
I am just trying to feed the dark,
the darkness,
the black night of that insatiable abyss
that wants,
begs for
(my soul)