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Friday, June 29, 2012

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Prologue

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Here's part one of the prologue....

Nothing could save her now.

The artificial lights swirled like Earthen stars and even the silverware twinkled. The ceiling was draped with a golden tapestry that contained moving images: fluid horses, ancient soldiers called knights, brutal battle scenes. There was even an engraved rose that served as a clock. There was nothing on her table but a flower centerpiece and the empty chair opposite hers seemed to grin sinisterly. The room was full of bright happy conversation but her hands were cold.

Zoe’s trembling hand stroked her hair, hoping no one had seen it turn black. Up above the thorned stem ticked closer to ten. Nothing to do but wait.

Music played, announcing the new time. She squeezed her eyes shut as all the guests applauded the newcomer. Please don’t come here, please don’t come here. Footsteps rang loudly on the marble floor. “Enjoying yourself, Zoe?”

Her heart nearly exploded with fear. Her eyes snapped open.

She took in a man wearing a blue suit with a white tie and a smile. Strange, she’d never seen how handsome he was before now. Very handsome.

He laughed when he witnessed Zoe’s hair changing color, this time to ginger because of her anger. “You’re here to enjoy the party,. There’s no point in getting a temper.” He bent closer and whispered so no one else could here. “Tonight you will do whatever I ask of you. And if you don’t…” He traced Zoe’s throat with one finger while swinging his arm around her shoulders, like a couple might, but she knew he was concealing her so no one could see his hand tightening around her neck. Strangling her.

Her knees kicked him under the table, as she got ready to do whatever it took to get the man off her. At around the same instant the pressure around her throat lessened.

“Do you understand?”

Zoe nodded, too frightened to speak.

His voice returned to a contented purr. “Now, how should we introduce you as? My ora?”

Zoe’s hair turned fiery again. Ora meant wife in Kutorian.

“Ahh.. maybe more like female friend?” He winked at her.

She was ready to strangle him. This traitor situated right there, who had ruined part of her life and all of her future. This disgusting excuse for a person.

“If you don’t stop…” Zoe began.

“You’ll poison my drinks with your wine. And maybe use this rose as a weapon?” he nodded towards the table centerpiece. “But probably not. I daresay you enjoy them too much. Did you receive mine securely?”

“It was… you?” The word got stuck in the girl’s throat.

“Yes. Marvelous arrangement, wasn’t it?”

Zoe hated everything about him, from his fancy clothes to his voice. She stood up. The room quieted, staring at her in shock. The silence rang in her ears.

“I proposed to her and she said no,” he comfortably explained to the guests. “Girls these days… Always wanting more than what’s best for them.”

The hush dissolved into chuckles and the carefree atmosphere settled once more.

Zoe sat down. “Why did you say that?” she spat.

He shrugged his shoulders. “What else was I supposed to say? That my own guest was getting out of control?”

Guest. That word had venom to it. His guest. His prisoner.

Kendra's exceptionally round face flooded with excitement as she spotted the two of them in the back. Bringing her bulk squeezed into a tight magenta dress the interviewer strode eagerly to their table, her double chin jiggling on the way.

“Shut up and go with everything I say,” he hissed in her ear.

Faces began to look up at them again, confused. No reporter was allowed to approach a guest in the middle of a ceremony. Paparazzi were restricted. “Hello, I am going to be giving live coverage to Rana through their Viewers. Is there anything you would like to say before we begin?”

He stared hard at the reporter before saying sweetly, “You look very beautiful tonight.” She glowed while Zoe grimaced. Despite being overweight, there was something repulsive about her face and body.

He then added, “Why are you so fat? I thought the Nutrition Department had restrictions on what anyone could eat.”

She gave a gasp like wind being sucked out of her windpipe and turned away with a start. Zoe stared after her. He was crueler than she could have thought.



Slowly all the lights, including the candles dimmed and a darkness swept over the gallery room. An announcer at the front took up a microphone and the sound traveled through the audience. “Welcome to the Committee Gala, and I hope you are having a splendid time tonight.” As his eyes traveled around all the glass tables, Translators abruptly streamed the events to the rest of the nation, changing the announcer’s words from Anglic to Kutorian.

“We are here on the behalf of a special guest. I think you all know who he is.” Clapping of approval came swiftly. “But I will not take away any of your time. I grant you the microphone, Deputy of all of Rana!”

A real thunder roll came as it became obvious he was stepping from my table to make a speech. This was what everyone had been waiting for. He took the microphone with a flourish and began speaking fluently in Kutorian.

I had taken Kutorian as part of my foreign language education in school once, so I understood a few of the words: Welcome, women, men, Kutora, great, etc. so I knew he was going through the salutary. Soon, however, the man’s face grew serious. I strained to listen to a Translator who was streaming the speech in Anglic.

“Yes, we all know of the unfortunate tidings. But is it true?” At this point he paused dramatically before going on, “I want to confirm the rumors. Yes, Alcor is dead.”

A collective gasp came from the guests. Someone even began shouting, “How can we be safe? It’s another virus! We’re all going to die!”

At the podium the deputy motioned with his hand for silence. “And yes, because of the circulation of power, I am now leader of Rana.” Another roar of screams washed back and forth but this time with applause. He was clearly popular. His ascension of leadership was approved by the public.

The man smiled. This was what he had been waiting for. “Do not fear change. I speak to both the nations Kutora and Rana. Together we will be greater than we ever were on Earth. I simply need your support.”

Shrieks pierced the air, excited, nervous, but most of all grateful. His works were known. He had given Kutora technology, something that had been forbidden for centuries. It was a matter of time before they were richer than all the Seven Nations.

The man stepped down, giving a few waves and walked back to Zoe’s tables. People tried to get through to him but the Security blocked them. In the hubbub of noise their conversation was veiled.

“What happened to Alcor? He wasn’t sick. He was perfectly fine.” That whisper of fear came from Zoe. “Is it true? There’s another virus outbreak?”

The man smiled. “I assure you, there’s nothing to worry about. There’s no virus. Alcor simply, let me just say, reached his end.” He laughed, but it hinted at something much evil.

“The Viewers said they found him dead in his bed. The Inspectors found traces of magic. They said maybe there was foul play.”

He narrowed his eyes. “You shouldn’t listen to everything the Reporters say. Especially when they’re as fat as Kendra. But yes, that part is correct.”

It was there. The answer was there, but out of reach. “You’re saying he was… murdered?”

“Of course I’m saying that. Do you know by whom?” He grinned again.

You?” The world was crashing around her. The ceiling tapestry was going to fall and suffocate her.

“Yes. Me”

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Notes for Dawn's End

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            Comes from Acanthor…

Zoe fought through the waves. “Hey, why do I feel so heavy/”

“I know, I hate that, but I’ll show you something. Lay down on your belly and hold yourself up with one arm,” Regal called out.

“Why though? That’s going to be impossible with all the waves!” Zoe yelled.

“Just do it!”

“Fine!” Zoe sank down into the murky ocean and did an underwater pushup. With one hand, easily. “Wait, how it this possible!

“It’s because of the salt! Smell that in the air?” Regal asked.

“Oh, so that’s what it was! I thought it was the waste of a thousand sea creatures!” Zoe said sarcastically.

“Come on! Please be serious. Anyway, all that salt increases the water’s density. Makes you more buoyant. Makes you float,” Regal explained.

“Okay that’s interesting and everything, but how? How does salt make you float?”

“I don’t know exactly…” Regal trailed off. “I didn’t really go to school much back on Acanthor. My parents pulled me out every summer to hell with the fish harvesting. But I do know it increases the water’s density, like I said. It’s like… it’s like I makes the water heavier, heavier than you so you can float.”

“Hmmm… All of this is still not helping me swim. Can you tell me more about Acanthor while I fight. The. Ocean?” Zoe said sweetly.

“Okay.” Regal closed her eyes. “Okay. Well, like I told you, we were all fishers, or seawater purifiers. That’s what most of our water is. Sea water without the salt. I was there till… till…” She opened her eyes and gazed up at the sky. “Until my father died in a fishing accident. My mom died from a sickness two months later. The Healers said of a broken heart.”

Regal breathed heavily, in and out, in and out. “That was around the time ___ took power. I had to stay with my uncle but he hated me. He gave me over to the Recruiters. And that’s where I met you.”

Zoe was shocked. Regal never told her what happened to her family. She wanted to desperately lighten her mood. “Which was the best moment of your life,” she joked. Regal didn’t reply. She still stared up.

            Is me and has cool eyes…

Weird blue symbols spiraled around the irises of her eyes. “Um… Your eyes…”

“I know,” Regal said. “When I look in a mirror they spell out my name.”

·        Leo is weird. Sums it up. Leo becomes deputy of Alcor, new leader of Rana. No one knows why…

She called out Regal’s name but she didn’t respond. “Alcor…” she muttered. “Alcor. I know that from somewhere.”

Her eyes snapped open. “Alcor! That’s a star!”

“Are you sure,” Zoe asked.

“Yes, yes! I have an aunt named Ursa. She’s named after the Great Bear, a famous constellation. Once I had an Earth night sky stimulation and I looked up for Ursa Major. The middle star of its tail had a star behind it, so I asked for its name. They told me Alcor. I know!”

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Poem: Hurt

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It is human to feel pain.
It is not humane for someone to hurt you.
Here, does not the tear sound so loud when falling on your pillow,
Loud as a rain drop thousands of feet up?
And your throat aches, as unpleasant
As the smell of ozone.
I try to be perfect but she only criticizes.
I came to your doorstep expecting comfort,
Finding only black cobblestones you tried to bleach
And a dead cat impaled by a telephone pole,
Stiff and silent.
I try to remember that night.
There were stars above the city.
Birdsong within a thunder storm.
You want to experience my pain,
Wanting excitement.
You do not know it will only make your hollow heart emptier.
You only see the poppies blowing. *

*After World War I the country sides of France were covered with poppies, including the graves who died.

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Poetry

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Poetry is the combination of the right words. The reader can touch- but not feel – the experiences and visions of the writer.

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Poem: Yellow

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Babies like the color yellow
And why wouldn’t they?
Yellow is
                A daisy
                Sunlight
                Butter
                The color of their rain booties
                Their stuffed animal
                The blouse of their nanny
                The color of their mother’s gold earring
                The eye of a stray cat pausing on the street
                The center of a rainbow
    Joy
Babies are Joy.

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Milk

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She believed that milk tasted of warmth and love because it had a little of the mother in it.

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Poem: The Fantasy of Argen

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To the south there’s a place names Argen.
In its center there’s magic
That can make you young;
But the world’s tragic.

There’s haunted dangers everywhere.
Ghost princes whom themselves hang
At noon and midnight.
The flowers have fangs.

Past the mist of the Mountain Forests
There is a bridge without end,
On the dank lagoon
Of dreams that don’t mend.

You will come to a yellow clearing
Cut into birches and oaks.
You’ll see a castle
But that’s a hoax.

Don’t listen to the Shadow Music.
It can break a diamond’s heart.
It shall make you a slave
To the Pixies of the Dark.

A warning against the black roses:
They have a beautiful smell.
They grow in the house
Of the youth named Belle.

She’s a daughter of an enchantress.
She carries a silver flute.
Belle has an owl
That has fatal hoots.

Poison Ivies are truly potions
In her lush dappled garden.
Crows are her servants,
The moon’s her warden.

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Poem: Willow

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Say your hushed songs in my ear, you draping willow.
Your frame is graceful, your leaves billow.
You’re a delicate silhouette in the south.
Whisper to me, I’ll repeat back with my faithful mouth.

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Bettles Song

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The lyrics to "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" is very interesting and poetic:

Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she's gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ahh...

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Poem by Emily Bishop

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I love this poem "The Fish":

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled and barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
--the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly--
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
--It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
--if you could call it a lip
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels--until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

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Poem: Sometimes I am surprised

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Sometimes I am surprised
To discover that I am me.
Sometimes I am startled
To find that _____ is my name.
Sometimes I am shocked
That this is my life and not a book;
Because behind the ill glasses
The unattractive face and body
The unpleasant voice
The unwell mentality,
I see myself as I truly am:
Confident,
Beautiful,
Lovely,
Funny,
Talented,
Smart,
Me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

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Poem: Diary of an Insecure Teenager

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Someone once told me I have no friends.
I thought, Yes, I must have no friends.
Someone once told me I’m ugly.
I thought, Wow! I knew it all along.
Someone once told me I am liked by no one.
I thought, Well of course that’s correct.
Someone once told me that no one wants me.
I thought, Yes, no one in the entire world.
Someone once told me why can’t I go kill myself
I thought, Okay then I will.
But someone else told me I’m a wonderful person who’s
Creative,
Nice,
Pretty,
Amazing,
Someone to care about.
And I said, “Thank you for loving me.”

Saturday, June 9, 2012

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Poem: Why You Cry

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When your heart’s a sad sea
And you’re as lonely as a tree,
You want to lessen the tide
And that’s why you cry.

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Poem: Stormy Dusk

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The red glow from the sunset was fire,
And the dark gray storm clouds were smoke.
The world was flaming.

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Poem: Ponderings of Me

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The splinters beneath me on the wooden bench.
Why don’t they ever replace it?
Gasoline fumes.
The smell of the dead future?
The cool of the trees’ shade,
The hot sun beating down in the nearby playground.
Why do the insects crawl on my book?
Long strands of hair glinting on my black pants.
Why are they russet in the sunlight?
I pretend I have no needs.
I don’t have to eat or drink or get tired.
But I still experience pain:
The ache in my shoulders because of sitting
In the shade
Of the tree
On the old wooden bench
For hours.
And I’ve already finished my poetry book
But I feel hungry and can’t resist.
I eat one small granola bar.
Do the flies smell the sugar on my breath?
Maybe if I convince myself I don’t have a desire to eat or drink
That means I’m not human.
Not being human means being perfect.
Why is it impossible to be perfect?
The old men sitting next to me on the old wooden bench
Have loud, harsh voices and talk about
Thinks that don’t matter, conversations that have no interest.
Why are their lives so boring?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

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The music’s rhythm is curved and tender
And the transcendent light is undulating in thought
And definitive in nature,
Accentuated by the November blues.
The slippery mildew has an authentic essence.
Magenta blood spills out of my cuts.
Why is it we fear the ordinary
But feel extraordinary?
The fathomless voice of the wind screams in my ear.
The tree shades shiver.
Did you know the rain wants to travel in boats?
And past time is frozen in ice?
And cigarettes burn the universe?

The splinters beneath me on the wooden bench.
Why don’t they ever replace it?
Gasoline fumes.
The smell of the dead future?
The cool of the trees’ shade,
The hot sun beating down in the nearby playground.
Why do the insects crawl on my book?
Long strands of hair glinting on my black pants.
Why are they russet in the sunlight?
I pretend I have no needs.
I don’t have to eat or drink or get tired.
But I still experience pain:
The ache in my shoulders because of sitting
In the shade
Of the tree
On the old wooden bench
For hours.
And I’ve already finished my poetry book
But I feel hungry and can’t resist.
I eat one small granola bar.
Do the flies smell the sugar on my breath?
Maybe if I convince myself I don’t have a desire to eat or drink
That means I’m not human.
Not being human means being perfect.
Why is it impossible to be perfect?
The old men sitting next to me on the old wooden bench
Have loud, harsh voices and talk about
Thinks that don’t matter, conversations that have no interest.
Why are their lives so boring?

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Poem: Transcending Music

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The music’s rhythm is curved and tender
And the transcendent light is undulating in thought
And definitive in nature,
Accentuated by the November blues.
The slippery mildew has an authentic essence.
Magenta blood spills out of my cuts.
Why is it we fear the ordinary
But feel extraordinary?
The fathomless voice of the wind screams in my ear.
The tree shades shiver.
Did you know the rain wants to travel in boats?
And past time is frozen in ice?
And cigarettes burn the universe?

Friday, June 1, 2012

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Poem: Dreams Live

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Dreams are the things that never die,
Even when you want to die.
Dreams are the things that never change,
Be it sun or rain.

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Short Story: Life and Death and Seeds

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At the Beginning of Time, the earth shaked and as a result two seeds were dislodged from First Tree, and fell into a crack that went straight down to the bottom of the world. It was just so that one seed represented life and the other death. They were fed by a deep channeling river that seeped into the crevice, one that the First People drank from on the surface. When the First People borne children and then grand-children they grew elderly and died. They were buried underground and gradually their remains sank down to the seeds.

The seeds matured into saplings and later young trees. The tree that represented life was Zycie*. The tree that represented death was Mortem. Whenever a new child was born Zycie added an extra ring to its trunk. Whenever a person died an extra ring was added to that of Mortem. Zycie’s leaves symbolized current nations, tribes, languages and traditions. In contrary, the tree of Death’s leaves symbolized all that had become no more. The birds that sang under the earth symbolized dreams and they perched and flew back and forth from both trees, for an idea or hope that had become deceased in one person may be reincarnated in another.

After awhile the humans became only a little more populous on the world but Mortem stored memories of all that had ever been since the Beginning. Zycie would bud a new leaf for a baby that had started a life, only to let it wither like in autumn when that person died. The crumpled leaf fluttered down to the waters of the underground river (now mighty after many rains) and swept to the roots of Mortem. The tree drank up the mulch and sprouted an identical leaf from its matter, but one that would never fall, until the echoes of that person finally became diminished.

That is why Zycie only grew a little while Mortem never stopped being taller. One war leader could exist on the Death Tree for many, many mortal lives if he had influenced an entire culture. Years later its top poked up from the deposits of stone and entered the foundations of a mountain. Still seasons later it punctured the crest of Lonely Mountain and continued to grow like a small wild bush. But that is far to the east and many daywalks.

If you could keep your leaf upon Zycie forever would that make you immortal? Indeed. That is how some humans became gods. You must journey beneath the earth for many years. Then you must take a leaf molded out of the bark of the First Tree, which is rumored to be buried in the most ancient temples and shrines. You must write your name upon it with Blood Clay and dab the surface completely with scented oil from a sacred herb. Finally, you must tie it securely to a branch on Zycie. Of course, this process takes much time, endurance and cunning. It is thought that there are terrible beasts guarding the Underworld and it is punishable by death to steal from a temple. Therefore, it takes only the most diligent humans, ones more often than not born with supernatural abilities, to accomplish this ordeal.

*┼╗ycie in Polish means life and mortem in Latin means death.

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