2:35PM In the writing lab. Trying to focus in on the editing. Going to work on Kill the Television. Complicated flashback thing going on in that work. Begin the story with scene framed by a television anchor. Through the perspective of the screen. Weird entry point led me to overuse flashback, which is confusing when you read it. Keep things simple, ordered. Flash back should be brief, not place of main action, I think.
words to eliminate
3:08PM About half an hour, that’s how long I can edit, in sessions. I get way too anxious when I edit, like it’s open heart surgery or something. I start just jumping pages and paragraphs frantically fiddling around with this bit, then that. Realized I had to cut a whole chunk and also copy/cut/paste a large section to eliminate the unnecessary flashback bullshit. Process and coffee get me gritted teeth, slapping at the keyboard and mouse pad thingy. The urgency and anxiety are wholly out of place and problematic. Need to slow down. No reason editing can’t be fun. Having all these works is like being a sculpture getting truckloads of raw uncut stone. The process has just begun.
It is fun too, to see the result, see it start taking a working shape. I can feel it sometimes too, the ripple of future self, purring as it feels a reality, a possibility being created. I hope the energy and efforts lead to something worthwhile for the reader too.
Started the day off great. Took a family trip to Ledges State Park. It was cloudy, but cool, perfect in my opinion. Probably my favorite park in my immediate area. There are thick woods, sandstone cliffs, and a picturesque stream you can walk around in. The water is moving so its super clear. My gang loved splashing around in it. Picking up rocks throwing them in. I love being out in nature like that, taking a deep breath, realizing how much is out there if you really go looking, and all you got to do is show up, claim it for your own.
The dream of country exodus is gaining steam everyday. Realizing we need to do it, challenge ourselves, get debt free and create a sustainable life. Walk around barefoot all day. Let the kids stomp around like little Robin Hoods, bows and arrows, forts, fishing, BB guns, carrots as big as your heads, chickens, goats, rabbits. On the drive back from the park we take back country roads, stop for a couple realty signs advertising acreages. Nothing stops us but time and opportunity. We plan and plot, encourage development of the Executive Function. 3:34PM, back to the editing.
7:43PM Went upstairs to get drink of water. Found sugar cookies with purple frosting and green sprinkles in final stages of completion. Devour several. Make roasted veggies for the fish fry later. Dinner. Water the gardens. Back in the lab.
At the Ledges today people have marked the whole place up with rock graffiti. Most of it is what you would suspect, middle school declarations of pairings. It’s everywhere though. You think about the countless lives, carving into the sandstone. All that energy, potential, needing an outlet. Where does the urge to leave our mark come from? Seems primordial, this need to create, imagine, change and shape things into the way we want them.
9:34AM Gang got haircuts this morning. Handsome little devils for sure! They get them from my childhood friend’s Mom. There something awesome about that, growing up and living in the same place, this sort of full spectrum relationship that develops. Mrs. M who cuts their hair was skeptical of me as child and teenager, rightfully so, but even back in the day I knew she liked me, just skeptical was all. Twenty years later she is my three boys regular barber, and they’re best buddies with her granddaughters. What sort of perspective is developed when you see people like that, from children to adults, to parents and beyond. What is like it seeing the doubling, tripling of a person?
Was going to post last night, got called away by sleepy boys who needed attention, books, pajamas, airplane rides to bed. I serenaded them with my guitar practice until they both declared I was giving them a headache. The rhythm can take you over, get inside your head, not let you think of anything else.
Going to focus on editing, that is the game plan. I have the whole day of ahead of me, mostly free to do as I will. Dinner with friends, and possible jam session scheduled at five. My editing goal is one full read through, rewrite of Kill The Television.
Spent the last hour and half examining world through ethereal portal. Things are getting very strange. I could rant about this, but it only adds to the din. So instead I will leave you with some evidence of the madness to consider, as well as an antidote. Would love to hear your reactions and speculations. Good day Artists-Warriors.
Black Jim accused Jack of being blind. “Can’t you see soldiers arriving every two or three days? Don’t you know the last soldiers that came brought big guns with them that shoot bullets as big as your head? The commissioners intend to make peace with you by blowing your head off with one of the big guns.” Other speakers supported Black Jim’s argument, and when Jack again tried to reason with them, they shouted him down: Your talk is not good! We are doomed. Let us fight so we die sooner. We have to die anyway.”
Believing it was useless to say more, Jack turned to leave the council, but Black Jim stopped him.”If you are our chief, promise us that you will kill Canby next time you meet him.”
“I cannot do it and I will not do it.”
Hooker Jim, who had been watching silently, now stepped up to his chief. “You will kill Canby or be killed yourself. You will kill or be killed by your own men.”
Jack knew this was a challenge to his chieftaincy, be he held in his anger. “Why do you want to force me to do a coward’s act?”
“It is not a coward’s act,” Hooker Jim retorted. “It will be brave to kill Canby in the presence of all those soldiers.”
Refusing to promise anything, Jack again started to leave the council. Some of Hooker Jim’s men threw a woman’s shawl and headdress over his shoulders, taunting him; “You’re a woman, a fish-hearted woman. You are not a Modoc. We disown you.”
To save his power, to gain time, Jack knew he had to speak.
6:34PM Hitting a wall, think it might be the undercooked rice noodles. Time to do some heavy bag sessions, and put down thoughts for the day. Word of the day, telomeres.
7:12PM, after 1st round. Much better. Out of breathe. Heart beating. I’m alive. It was dinner, clogging the pipes. Was really thinking about what I wrote lat night, “eat from my dirt or die”. Something dramatic like that. It really is a goal though. Realized today I’m not waiting for another property in anyway. My home is my home. I’v plenty of dirt, space, and sunshine at my disposal right now. It’s not a matter of quantity, but quality. Quality in spirit. Being active, ideal, first principled.
Paradox, to dream big we must live big. In Iowan, whisper voice, “if you build it, they will come.” Fake it until you make it. The blog is descending into catch phrases, may only be half way through the noodles. We’ll do round 2 of Heavy Bag circuit.
7:46PM, after 2nd RD. Looking at the Wikipedia page for telomeres. Crazy stuff. Valuable, glue like material at the end of chromosomes. Hard to conceptualize stuff on the cellular level. Seems so inanimate, but it’s wholly animate. Key to real animation. I read, “Telomere length varies greatly between species, from approximately 300 base pairs in yeast to many kilobases in humans…”. See my affinity with my wild yeast sour dough is not unfounded. Our chromosomes are in cahoots.It’s resting bubbly and peacefully in the fridge.
More half-ass Wikipedia synopsis, there’s a convincing argument that it’s the shortening of these telomeres, exaggerated by modern lifestyles and pollution (food) that leads to cancer and senescence. How’s that for a word, “senescence”? Had to look it up. Means, “the condition or process of deterioration with age.” Round 3.
8:21PM, after RD 3 I went upstairs to get glass of water. Chay, under Baker Mom supervision was baking a cake. Paradox abounds. Can we complain about cake? How do my telomeres feel about cake? I know what my Candida would say.
Earlier when I said, “dream big” that was sort of cliche and generalized. Dream big to me means like a dozen chickens, twenty plus grow bags in the front yard filled with carrots strawberries, peppers and tomatoes, wall of berry bushes, insane self sufficiency (bake my own bread, never eat out, beans tons and tons of beans), bettering the debt to income ratio, and big goal, buy like twenty plus acres of fruitful land to live in eternal peace and communion with nature, think Walden’s Pond. Cows. Chickens. Goats. Tree Forts. Howling at the moon. Salute.
What are your big dreams? What are you going to do get them?
Their musical names remained forever fixed on the American land, but their bones were forgotten in a thousand burned villages or lost in forests fast disappearing before the axes of twenty millions invaders. Already the once sweet-watered streams, most which bore Indian names, were clouded with silt and the wastes of man; the very earth was being ravaged and squandered. To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature–the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy glades, the water, the soil, and the air itself. (7)
3:33 PM. I’ve been writing for a couple hours now. Not sure exactly how many words I put up, at least a couple thousand, and dun-dun-dun-dunnnnnnnnnnn, 1st Draft of Nowhereis complete! Basically. For now. We are sitting right at 55,222 words. The ending was abrupt, but I think I want something like that for this story. Leave it all messy and unresolved. That’s what the future holds.
I could keep writing and rewriting on this project, so I know its something I definitely need to return to, but I also know right now, I need to let it rest and shift gears for a while. Now the question becomes what do we scoop up from the slush-pile and try to get the stink off of.
The first choice, edit a short story or novel? I’m leaning towards short stories, because it is the harder thing to do, and I like doing things the hard way. Pause for round 1 Boxing circuits.
Good round, did it without the gloves. Not hitting it hard, just working the muscles, through the combinations. Focus on breathing. In and out. In and out. I listen to music or lectures while I box. I am Generation Multi-Tasking. Journal, while boxing, while listening to lectures, yes please! We are Renaissance reborn. We are Athenian Academy reborn. Mental and Physical growth as a regiment, as an occupation. I am a tool for greater works than myself.
Person to person economies mean we all have to be super heroes, skilled in many areas, with positive, forward attitudes. If I can’t help myself I can’t help others.
Something’s missing in my writing.The themes and scenes are interesting, but there is a lack cohesiveness. For instance, right at the end today, realized I’d written half a chapter with a character that was out of place. I’ll have to trash the majority of that, but I don’t see it as too much of a loss, since I was still writing new stuff, which is what I was trying to do. They talk about pantsers vs. plotters, pantsers being writers who write by the seat of their pants (intuition), plotters work from an outline while they write. I am definitely a pantser, but recognize I need to be a plotter. I’ve started writing notes and plan to plot my next novel. How many books can I have rolling around in there?
4:09PM Pause. Heavy Bag Circuit 2. My problem is the multi-tasking. Focus exclusively on the thing your doing. Give it your undivided attentions. It’s worth it. One finished book is worth more than 12 first drafts. I just need to slow down. Take it one word, one scene, at a time. That’s why you have to let stuff rest, to see objectively, with fresh eyes.
Still pretty bummed out about world events and vibes. Trying to focus on the beauty beyond them. Think we’re going for a family swim here soon. That should be an Edenic moment. I can’t wait. Child’s laughter is the best cure in a tormented world.
4:33PM Last heavy bag round.
Later, 6:21PM, post work-out, swim. That was awesome. Beautiful blue sky, wispy clouds, relaxing heat. Whole family jumped in, all five of us. I had everyone cracking up. Something so silly about a clumsy Dad splashing around like a wet bear. I play it up when I go under water and come up shaking my head growling, stomping around. Came in and made tacos, beans and beef, slaw with homegrown raspberries in the dressing.
Plan for the rest of the night, have fun, practice guitar, feed the subconscious (oh shit speaking of feeding things, need to feed sour dough starter and do a loaf of bread). Gonna read end of Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. That book has been soul crushing, but was a substantial influence on the end of this first-draft. Tomorrow morning we edit, for serious. Hope you got your words today and everything else you wanted. Salute.
5:37 Break after 1st heavy bag circuit. Circuit is, do as many push ups that I can, same thing with planks, then as many squats, and then some general stretching/Yoga, then three mins on the heavy bag. Just keep punching that’s the goal.
Wife made a ridiculous cheese cake, like ten inches high, with monster cookers for the bottom, and a chocolate ganache topping, with the same monster cookie creation liberally spread all over top of that, for America. That, along with the rest of the Feast for the Independence, and the booze, left me with an achy stomach for three days. I even did one of these boxing circuits, and a bunch a garden work in that time, but it had nothing on the America-inspired gluttony. I literally got fat in a week…
Right with the acid reflux, came 90 plus degree days. Humid as Satan’s asshole out here. Storms keep popping up out of nowhere, leaving their watery shadows and escaping. Everything is sweating, oozing fluids.
Tuesday was a rough morning too. I could sense the kick in the dick coming. They love dropping news bombs on the day after holidays. They know most Americans are preoccupied, suffering through the gut rot and the hangover, so why not dump the dirty shit then. I’m talking about FBI Director Comey’s very strange announcement about no charges brought against Mrs. Clinton. He eviscerated her on the matters, and even went as far as to say that anyone else in the future would face all the normal punishments expected with this sort of thing, but not this woman, not now. No responsible prosecutor would bring such a case, something like that. It was obvious Comey was way freaked out, taking one for the team. I’ll stop the rant there, just painting pictures, reflecting.
Checked my three jars of kraut, our middle-finger to fascists, and they are doing great. The purple and green cabbages make a pink color kraut. The bubbles and scent indicate its coming along. It’s a funky almost nail polish sort of blue-cheesy yeast type smell. Speaking of interesting smells, the sour-dough starter is still bubbling and stinking nicely, made my first batch of sourdough bread last night, and my people loved it. Even Keke, who is our picky eater, requested seconds.
All right round 2 of the circuit, I’ll be back! The gang spied me working the heavy bag from outside. Now, they sit on the concrete outside the window, eating popsicles, green and orange sherbet looking ones. The kids swim in candy and junk food, reciprocally peddled with everyone, including neighbor kids. Its a losing battle. You fight the good fight and you become a renegade asshole, ranting about high fructose corn-syrup and candidas. Everyone agrees, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
As I suspected the 1st Draft does not want to go quietly into the night, dear soldier. Sitting at almost 52k, and I still got two or three major scenes and plot issues to resolve. As I’ve mentioned I want to be done, so I can focus on editing and finishing projects, but I also recognize this first draft deserves a well executed first look at the ending; I don’t want to leave it with first draft blue balls…sorry.
Looks like I will have to submit, give it another one or two writing sessions. Dang, I have to do the part I like a little longer. Circuit 3.
6:38PM. Exercise is the key. To everything. If you have the smallest desire to be great, you must enter the physical realm, even, no especially if you will fail. I know I can get lost in my mental space, in the words, and you can begin to feel very light, very disconnected from the world. Diving back into the body takes all this head pressure off. It causes the blood to leave that ethereal muscle, and travel to the grounded bone wielding muscles.
I need to do this more. I’m trying to it every other day, some sort of exercise specific physical activity, but I still got to achieve that goal more regularly. Brit is going for a marathon by the end of the year. I joked/not-joked with her that I would be ready. I was displaying that dangerous uniquely male sense of overconfidence. I realized on my circuits tonight, that it would probably be a good idea to do some training in that way. Good husband and wife activity too.
And as he made his lament, sleep came upon him, and in his vision there seemed to him that the god stood over him and bade him be of good heart: “You will suffer nothing untoward if you confront the Arabian host; for I will send you allies.” He trusted in this dream, and , taking with him such of the Egyptians as would follow him, he pitched his camp in Pelusium, for that was where the enemy were to invade. There followed him not one of the warriors, but the shopkeepers and handworkers and fellows from the marketplace. But when their enemies came, there spread out against, at nightfall, field mice, which gnawed their quivers through, and through, too, the bows themselves and the handles of their shields, so that on the next day they fled, defenseless, and many of them fell. So nowadays this king stands there, in stone, in the temple of Hephaestus, in his hand he holds a mouse, and he speaks these words through the inscription that is there: “Look on me, all of you, and be pious.”(193)
We thought we had ditched the wolf. Michael was doing an exceptional job driving, until he smashed the front tire into a large boulder. The explosion was awful and sent the truck hurtling into the ditch. Everything went blank for a second, a different blank then the empty space though, just nothing. Then I was being pulled out and tossed against the side of the truck.
“Goddammit,” Commander Daniels screamed at his men crowding around the idling truck. “Fucking greenhorn limb-dicks! Keep the Humvee on the fucking road, that’s all you had to do.
“I’m sorry Sir,” Michael said. “B-road, that rock came out of nowhere. Fucking huge, don’t know how maintenance missed it.”
“Don’t know how you missed it.” The Commander countered. “Nah it’s fine, get that spare on there, move it! It could be on us in a second. One of you, what’s your names again soldiers?”
“Smith,” said Howdy.
“Hopsin,” said Shaky legs.
“Smith,” the Commander said, “help Michael here change the tire. Watch your six. First sign of that motherfucker you pound the vehicle with your weapon, you understand that? Just pound, and you don’t fucking leave Michael’s side until the tire is fucking changed, got it?”
“Yessir,” Smith said.
“Good boy,” the Commander said. “You’re all good boys. Now get under there and fix that tire.” The two men grabbed the tire and jack off the back and went diving under the front of Humvee. “Hopsin grab that bastard and toss him back in and take the wheel.” Hopsin hesitated for a minute, but then snatched me up and threw me in. There was more rumbling and yelling outside. Commander and Hopsin jumped back in.
The Commander was busy in the passenger seat, checking his weapon, ammo, and every other thing he could think of to touch or check. “Men, we’re gonna sit tight, all right? Hopsin, that thing shows up I want you to take defensive position at the door, understand? It gets close enough you’re gonna hop back in and we’re going to make a go for it, no matter what state were in. This thing can roll on three for a while.”
Hopsin didn’t say anything, but the Commander smashed a button on his dash and began speaking. “Headquarters, CO of Goon Squad, with an update.”
“Go ahead Goon Squad.”
“Sir, the mission remains critical. I repeat critical. Heavy Losses. Four units remain. Package Two is secure.”
“Copy that Goon Squad. Repeat. Package Two is secure.”
“That’s correct headquarters. Package two is secure.”
“And Package One, Commander?”
“Proceed to repair front tire and head to rove commander and wait for relief.”
“ETA on that relief there headquarters?”
“42 mins, hold tight.”
The Commander slammed the button. “You hear that shit, Hopsin? Hold tight. You remember that when you’re back at the bunk tonight. Sipping on a cold one, acting tough with the other squads. When the shit’s really thick, all you’re gonna get is a hold tight–” A loud banging came from the front side of the vehicle.
“Motherfucker,” the Commander said. “Hopsin get out here and see what he’s banging about.”
It was all muffled voices. The Commander shifted around obviously irritated, trying to get an eye around the vehicle. It was still too dark to see, especially now that everything was covered in dirt and blood. “Fucking unbelievable.”
Hopsin ripped the door open and dove in. “Smith has eyes on it. A flicker–”
“A flicker?” the Commander interrupted. “What the fuck does that mean? Did you see anything Hopsin?”
“How far are they on the tire.”
“The got the old one off.”
“Get out there and hold that fucking door. Tell them to move fast, keep their fingers off the trigger, hop back in, when they’re done, or before, you got me?”
“I got you Sir,” Hopsin said.
“You’ll take the wheel Hopsin?” He asked again, unsure for some reason.
Hopsin looked like he wanted to say no, but he grimaced, nodded, and jumped back out of the truck. He kept the door open and we could hear him barking orders at the other. “Hurry up!” His head came back in the door. “Smith says he’s seen the flicker again?”
“What the fuck is a flicker?!” The Commander roared. Before Hopsin could explain the deepest, bluest, wolf howl ever filled the area. It sounded like it was right on top of us, and everyone went scrambling down. Hopsin went bolting from the door, and I could hear the two at the tire as they crawled underneath the front of the truck.
The first howl was so long, it rang slicing through the stale morning air, bouncing off all the trees. Worn out by fright at this point, and frankly just a little sick of running, I took the whole thing in with a new coldness.
The way I saw it the monster must be getting full after all that. And I don’t know about you, but if I do a lot of running or hard work I really start to lose my appetite. Now this thing had just run ten miles or so. It had been running around all night for that matter, chopping trees and all that, supernatural hell beast or not, it had to be getting tired.
The howls kept coming. The Commander began hopping up and down from his open roof to the floor. The whole time his giant rifle was pointed right in my direction. Up and down. Up and down. He mumbled to himself. “Spooky shit. Should never have signed on for this. Fuck the money. Noting worth this shit.” Stuff like that.
Everything went real quiet for a second. The Commander got stuck on a loop of oh shits. I hugged the bottom of the Humvee, and appreciated having some level of protection in its steel chambers. I couldn’t see the wolf but I felt him in a flood of fear and dread. Rifle fire erupted and it sent the commander into a spasm of rage. He leapt from his seat on to the roof and began firing. Hot, spent shells came pouring back down the hole.
The chaos lasted for a minute or two, and then the commander came crashing back into the vehicle and gripped the floor. The firing stopped a moment later, and a low rumble began from behind the vehicle. We could hear it breathing, raspy, tired, angry.
Like I said, I have to admit I am a bit confused by my own lack of hysterics at this point. Maybe it was the drug roller coaster? I felt the death and horror of the creature pressing all around me, but at the same time I felt a sort of detachment I can’t really explain. I think it has to do with a realization which was settling in, that even if I escaped one torture, say the Muse, that another torture, the Wolf awaited. After that men with guns, and after that, well isn’t that enough?
The Commander was an endless rap of contradictions. “I’ll kill the fucking thing. We’re dead. Ill rip its fucking eyeballs out and skull fuck its head. I just want to go back to Laura. Fucking tear his throat out when he gets to me!”
He dove into the back seat. “Listen man,” he whispered. “We’re in this together now. You understand? We got to work together. Here.” He handed me a shiny pistol. My first instinct was to hand it back. I’m not overly very familiar with guns, and I figured the other fellas hadn’t down too well in any case, and they had giant rifles. Another howl squashed any idea of giving it back though.
“Here’s an extra magazine,” he said. “You know how to use that thing?”
“Sort of,” I said.
“Simple cock it, and let it rip. There’s a release on the left side there. Drop it when you’re out, slap the other one it. If you get the chance, have at it. I can’t believe this bullshit.”
“Neither can I,” I said.
A random burst of rifle fire made us both dive back down. “Fuck this shit,” the Commander moaned. “I make it out of this, I’m done Lord. I promise no more of this spooky shit, I swear. I knew I was wrong for this. Dammit! I’ll kill this fucking thing first for what he did to my men!” He hopped back to his seat and started looking out the window. “You see that fucking thing?”
“No,” I said, head planted firmly against the floor.
“Fucking impossible,” the Commander said. “Thing’s a good damn shadow. Moves fast you know, like a goddamn ballerina. Fuck this shit! I won’t let it get me like this, cowering in the rig. Fuck this. I can’t let my men die like this.” He made a move for the door.
“Wait!” I screamed. “Don’t go out there! It’ll kill you for sure. Maybe it’s done, who knows?”
“Damn shameful,” he said. “ I know you’re just a civi, not built for this work. But damn that is a cowardly worldview–”
“Hold on, how long until backup gets here?”
He looked at his watch. “About thirty minutes, if that ETA is still solid.”
That seemed like an impossibility. It had only been ten minutes. It’d felt like a lifetime.
“Nope,” the Commander said. “Can’t do it man. Goon squad is ride or die. Good luck to you sir. Hold tight!” He jumped from the door and I heard him scuffle off.
I was all alone. Things were really quiet. The pressure and anxiety, finally started to come, especially the longer I stayed in the truck. I didn’t hear any shooting though and the time just kept ticking by. I thought about all options. Wait here for backup to arrive or take my chances running in the woods. The more I thought about it running sounded like the best option. Hopefully I could run, hide, and find somewhere to sleep, and wake up back on the other side.
I got up off the floor and crawled into the Commanders spot to take a look around. There was nothing, just dark early morning forest. It all looked so serene and peaceful, waiting for pleasant campers with picnic baskets and tents. Maybe the thing had given up?
I waited for a time, just sort of bummed out and apathetic. I even tried to fall asleep, slip through the space, back to my time, but it didn’t work. I was stuck over there it seemed, for now.
I decided to make a run for it. Carefully I opened the door, and sort of slide through the small gap like slime, and laid on the ground. I got sight of one man, torn in two laying on the other side of the vehicle, sort of resembled Howdy. His two halves were separated by a clear view of the forest and I saw no sign of anyone else.
I crawled around to the other side and everything seemed clear. I crouched there for a while listening for the slightest sound. There was nothing and so I grit my teeth and went booking it for the forest.
The wolf tackled me like a linebacker. I hit the ground with a mechanical force. A series of cracks and pops from my body told me parts, important parts, had just been broken. The wolf flipped me over, sniffed and howled right in my face.
I kept my eyes closed though, so all I could sense was its hard hands working over my face. Hot drool dripped and sizzled on my skin, with painful acidity. I screamed and one of its wretched claws was shoved into my lips, bashing my gums, in an attempt to shush me. “Stopppppp,” it ordered.
I tried to shake my head free, but it held on even tighter, seizing and slicing into my jaw. “Stoopppp, nowwwww,” it ordered. “Where man gun?”
I tried to scream again, but now I couldn’t even open my mouth. “Where man gun?” It asked again.
It started to become difficult to breathe. Panic forced my eyes open. I felt so small with this thing straddling me. It’s large head, hair slicked back and caked in gore, swung from left to right as it smelled the air. Everything was so large and lean on the creature. It was like having a truckload of concrete sitting on top of you. There was nothing I could do.
“Get off him!” A voice screamed. The thing jumped up and spun around. I didn’t wait a second, but scrambled behind a tree to watch.
The Commander pointed his rifle at the wolf, a grenade in his other hand. “Look at you! You’re one ugly bastard, aren’t you?”
The wolf stood there, huffing and buffing. His breathing was raspy and gurgling, and his belly hung distended. He had over eaten. He didn’t seem at all afraid of the rifle though.
“Get on the fucking ground!” The Commander ordered. “Now!”
The thing just stood there grunting, staring right at the Captain. “Get the fuck down now!” The Commander yelled. But again there was no movement. “I’m not going tell you again, get down!”
The Beast took one step and the Commander let off with a round of shots. They tore through the thing with a black grey burst, but it all sucked right back into it on reverse.
The Commander saw that and threw his weapon, pulled the pin on the grenade and charged the creature.
The wolf took a giant leap and came down on him hard. It sounded like a large branch being snapped in half. The creature was all over him. The were growls and snarls mixed with the Commanders screams. I realized this was the time to run, but right as I was about to break off, there was large explosion and burst of reddish blackness which clouded the scene. Through it, I saw Pete coming up deep from the woods and he held a rifle.
Pete crawled up on the two of them quietly. Besides the wooden leg which remained extended back, he moved like a cat, stalking his prey. You could tell he was fascinated by seeing the wolf feeding in this state. His eyes bulged from his head, and he licked his lips.
I should have ran, I recognize that in hindsight. The whole thing played out like a movie. The thing that was the Wolf and Lt. Daniels swirled like a tornado on the spot, slowly reassembling into something like the wolf and sections of the commander.
Pete crept up on the monstrosity as it continued to feed. I couldn’t believe it but right as he got close he raised his weapon like he was going to shoot the wolf. I won’t lie, after everything he had put me through, I felt no compulsion to save him.
He crept up so slow and when he was right up on it he took aim, and let loose with his rifle. Now from the way he shot I could tell he didn’t have very much experience with shooting modern weapons. He got stuck squeezing the automatic and a dozen or more shots tore recently and currently reassembling wolf right in half, from the chest up. The force also knocked Pete down (the peg leg didn’t help) and left him shooting into the air.
The wolf made the most awful scream and was now floating in two parts. The top half went lunging for Pete. The bottom half tried to follow it, and do that coagulating cloud thing, but the Commander sat up, head half ripped off and gripped on to the legs.
Pete was able to stop firing right as the thing fell and snatched on to his own leg. He quickly took aim and start blasting the thing in the face. Shot went everywhere though. The monster head exploded, but the bullets continued on right through the top half of the monster, and into the Commander himself. Pete fused with the powerful rifle and just kept firing.
The thing finally let got of Pete’s leg and tried to roll back to its own legs, but was chopped down in the endless stream of fire. The monster kept rolling through it but finally stopped, right as the rifle ran out. Pete kept the rifle pointed at the creature for a minute. Frozen. Like gravity finally turned on the different bubbles of wolf went falling to the ground, like black water colors, splattered on a flat canvas, with little chunks, and spiky patches here and there.
I thought about running again. Didn’t seem to be much of a threat now that the wolf was splattered. I realized I was gripping the pistol in my hand. It had warmed in the mean time. I wondered if Pete had another magazine and would come hunting me down, the broken Fire Attender Oath and all that.
I thought about all the walking, and the path we had taken from the Pine Forgetting Forrest, to when I met up with Pete. I wondered if I could find my way back. I looked around the large forest, as an example, and realized I was totally lost. There was nowhere to run. More than anything, I wondered, where was that fucking Muse?
We take certain things for granted, I think. Art especially, I guess. One reason art is criticized is because children seem to be so good at it, predisposed to it in even The force of shame is a remnant of the Industrial Age, where men were supposed to do man’s work and woman were supposed to stay home. Thinking about it, this may only apply to the rich folks; poor people have to work all the time.
Maybe it is this confused historical paradigm which has lead to Art being seen as such a base, sophomoric pursuit. All that is probably subject for another blog, what I want to write about is the figure of the Muse.
In Homer and other ancient works the muse is invoked at the beginning of the poem. This ritual has continued into the present if you look close enough. Read a bit of the writers talking about their process and the Muse will come up.
What is the Muse? It is this strange sense one gets when doing art, where you sort of turnover to this purely creative force, which can speak and act on its own. The writer can become possessed as it were, by the Muse, and stuff can sort of just bubble out?
Now as you play with this, you begin to realize the Muse is a lot like you! Whouda thunk it? So this means, it likes what you like, chocolate, coffee, music, good smelling incense and candles. So you realize quickly that if you share some of your goodies with the Muse that can kick your creative process into high gear.
Be cautious though. Don’t see the Muse as some hedonist that if you overdose on chocolate it’ll give you a masterpiece. The Muse does not like to be fucked with. That means it appreciates a tight, closely followed schedule. If you really want it to show up for you, you’re best to show up everyday.
I also believe it is the Muse that requires all the extracurricular reading as well,. for two points. One the pleasure principle we first discussed. Second though and more importantly it wants you to beware of certain works, so that you don’t go wasting its time trying to rehash the same old thing. The Muse is a critic, rational and right. Sloppy business will begin to agitate it. This is connected to writer’s block I imagine, and it is the Muse which is doing the blocking.
The Muse is a free agent, and the business is good. It is best to recognize this and be very considerate of your Muse. When proper order is maintained a healthy relationship can occur. If it’s not found, things can be dangerous. A runaway Muse can be deadly, no more evidence of that is needed than the deadly history of Rock and Roll. Breaking up with the Muse, or worse fighting the Muse, all can have disastrous ends. Therefore it is helpful to recognize what you’re dealing with, and don’t be demanding. Offer the gifts to the gods and then write it as it comes!
Source for Nine Muses: http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/nine-muses-in-greek-mythology/
So I’ve locked my manuscript up in the basement, under lock and key, chained up in a folder. More like sitting on my desktop and cloudthingy, but psychologically and methodically, I am growing this thing in my dark and murky unconscious. It’s a shared space down there. There two other books, only one of which I ever intend to release. They are accompanied by 10-15 “short” stories and fragments, which I believe may one day clean up right enough to surface, but who really knows. There’s also unknown number of non-fiction ramblings and essays, from college, and also a few chunks of half-realized poetry.
You must let things rest. There are a number of things which require a resting period, like dough, good conversation, seasons, the sun, human beings, bears, seeds, love, my dogs (often). But while those things rest, I keep churning out my attempts at fiction, that ultimately will join the rest, floating below the surface. Until the day I brave the light, and display my pretties for the world to see!
I put up a new 2.5 words on a new, short story, brining the total over 5k. It’s still not finished, and I’m not sure how to finish it, and that was basically my limit on the story. I feel the story is overflowing and refuses to be shoved into 5k words, at the same time, I don’t know if I can commit to a whole other book right now…but I am enjoying the new story, a lot actually, and in reality connects to some of my other stories, but I just want a dense short story, to just wet these savage’s appetites, get the hook in ya know? Ah anyways…that’s what I’m thinking about right now…does size matter? Chime in folks!