Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Storm

Lightning flashes in the sky, lighting up the dark clouds that loom, but still no rain comes to break the mounting tension. Thunder rumbled and he was there.

Standing on the horizon, a dark figure against the darkening sky.

She had never seen him before, but she knew who he was; she knew he had come for her.

Another streak of lightning raced across the sky behind the figure and she could see the features of his strong, bearded face; could see the flash in his dark eyes; eyes that looked directly into hers.

She stood defiantly across the field, her chin raised up as she stared back at the man. Her own eyes shining fiercely with the flashing light.

The rumble of thunder began to fade as another bolt of lightning sparked anew with a cracking boom.

At this the dark figure starts toward her and she hurriedly stepped onto the dusty plain to match his stride. The dry, arid ground crunched under foot as they both made their way across the barren field, moving swiftly, straight toward one another.

Her heart beat built as she neared the tall, dark figure of the man, moving purposefully to her.

A dozen or so strides away from each other, they came to a halt and regarded each other in the quiet rumble of the storm building above them.

To her left, movement made her quickly look sidelong at a third figure that had come, seemingly out of nowhere.

A young boy with a dirty face and carrying a guitar taking up half the size of his body sauntered up lazily.

He too, stopped paces away and she looked back to the bearded man who had not taken his deep, black eyes off of her.

Her heart raced until all she could hear was its beating in her ears.

Another flash lit up the sky and the man flourished his arms and held one above his head and the other down and out towards her.

She took a breath in and was about to speak when the young boy's guitar sounded with a proudly strum chord.

He worked his little fingers deftly along the strings and the man, just as suddenly began to stamp his boots to the rhythm of the guitar, kicking up puffs of dust as he moved his arms fluidly with each stamp.

Not knowing what to do, she watched with amazement as, with a sudden pound on the top of his guitar, the young boy stopped his strum and began to sing in a loud, wavering voice and the man began clap to keep the beat.

Once the boy's first verse was complete he beat on his guitar again and began to strum and sing together as the man began to move in a wide circle around where she stood.

Unknowingly, she too began to clap rapidly to keep the beat and spin slowly around as the man moved his circle in closer to her. As they spun and turned, their eyes never left one another until they were only inches away from each other.

They began to move around each other; at the same time, with one another. Two figures, moving in and out of one the others' space, as the other move into where they had just been.

The boy's song suddenly stopped once again and she looked deeply into the man's eyes, which were not black, but the deepest brown, and the lightning flash with a thunderous crash.

Rain began to fall from the ripe clouds, patting down on the dry ground around them.

The boy sang a solemn chorus and, as the rain began to fall harder he began to strum once more, and the two figures became drenched as they danced with passion to beat of the drops hitting the long parched soil.

And when the last of the thunder rumbled away into the distance, she spun around to find she was alone.

She looked to the ground and saw it was muddied from the movements of the dance. The boy's song and his guitar faded in her ear while the brown eyes of the man burnt in her memory, and the rain fell, cooling her skin and at last quenching the land of its thirst.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bounce Point

Keith's curiosity got the better of him.

Normally he would never ask a stranger their business. It was a good rule. In the city there were too many weirdies and oddballs, that asking such an innocent question as; “What are you doing?” could land you in a heaping pile of crazy.

But he had been watching the man in the middle of the little park field for about a half hour and he seemed completely normal, except for the fact that he kept testing spots on the grassy ground with his feet; stomping down a normal looking patch of grass, sometimes doing a little two-footed hop on the spot, and then looking up into the sky.

It seemed to be random, but the man, wearing a clean-cut set of khaki shorts and a polo shirt, was so methodical about it, it seemed he may be conducting an experiment.

So, despite himself, Kieth got up from his bench where he had been reading his book and slowly, apprehensively, made his way to the open area of grass where the stranger continued to stomp, hop, and look up.

When he got a few meters away, he stood with his arms folded across his chest and ventured his inquiry.

“So,” he started shyly, “uh, what are you doing there?” He cleared his throat nervously.

Without looking up from his routine, the man stated in a perfectly normal tone, “I'm testing the ground for a bounce point.”

Kieth nodded as if he understood.

“Oh yeah.” he said in agreement, and then with less certainty he added, “Bounce point for what?”

Hopping on a new spot the stranger replied, “For a leap point.”

“I see.” Kieth said, even though he did not.

Then the man hopped to another spot and bounce a little higher than he should have for such a little hop. About a half a meter off the ground.

“Ah, ha!” the stranger said with the delight of discovery as he immediately tested the pot he had just bounced on.

Kieth watched on with interest.

“Did you find one?” he asked, genuinely wanting to know.

“Yup.” the man answered simply. And then looked from the spot on the ground to the clear, blue sky above and then over to the trees that lined the field.

“Okay, let's see if this works.” he said to himself as he strode in big, meter-length strides away from the spot to the trees, counting as he went.

Kieth watched with a perplexed look on his face and counted along in his head; twenty paces.

The man then turned back to face him and the spot. He waved his hand for Kieth to move back.

“Could you step back a few paces, please?” he asked politely and Kieth hopped out of the way, going back almost to his bench, then stopped to stand and watch for what this strange man was going to do next.

Back at the trees, the man took a few deep breathes which he blew out with force while shaking out his arms and hands to loosen them up.

And then began to run full tilt towards the spot on the grass he had bounced from.

Keith's eyes widen as the man sped towards the spot. At around seventeen paces he leapt up like a long jumper and stretched out with his legs to land, full force on his bounce point.

He landed dead on and bounced, rocketing into the air.

Kieth's mouth dropped open as his eyes shot up to watch as the man climbed higher and higher upward until he was no more than a dot against the blue, cloudless sky.

When he could no longer make out where the man had gone, Kieth looked around to see if anyone else had seen what he had just witnessed, but there was only him in the park at the moment.

He put his hand on his hip and scratched his head with the other.

After debating it, he walked over to the bit of ground the man had launched from and padded it with his foot.

It seemed just as solid as the ground around it. Nothing special at all.

He looked around again to see it anyone was around; a couple holding hands walked along the path through the park and he smiled at them as they passed him and continued on through.

Once they had gone he took a deep breath and did a hop onto the 'bounce point'.

As he hit, the ground gave way into a sink hole and he landed off balance, rolling his bad right ankle.

Limping home on his swollen ankle, book in hand, he decided it was still good practice to never ask strangers their business.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Machine

Underneath the surface of the planet, deep down in the depths; passed where people fear to venture; passed all known knowledge; massive tolls push great wheels that turn huge cogs of the machine that powers the world.

The parts of the unimaginably large machine all move, and whirl, and pump, and click throughout the ever expansive catacombs, high-vaulted chambers that look neither carved nor natural, only apart of the intricate machinery itself.

Smaller creatures move smaller wheels and smaller cogs at different points along the machine, all of them hard and worn from their years of labour. Every one of them driven by whipping slave masters that looked even harder and more worn, wearing leather hoods and snarling with hatred as they crack their whips unmercifully.

Driving the slave masters, were even more menacing figures, standing in the shadows of the caves, looking on in silence; their glowing eyes watching for any slack in the eternal workings of the machine.

Occasionally, one of the shadowy figures would bolt out from their hiding and swooped down upon a slave master who's whip was not snapping as often as it should; kicking and screaming, the slave masters would be carted off, gripped in the talons of the screeching creatures as horrid wings carried them up into some high ledge in the ceiling to be feasted upon. Just to make sure the machine was working to maximum efficiency.

Through the workings of the machine; the cogs, wheels, shafts, pistons, axles, and other various parts deep down into the world's core, the heat and motion caused the soft stone of the center to melt and churn into molten lava; the life blood of the planet.

And as the sea of heated rock moved, so did the entire world, thus creating atmosphere and environment to allow life to survive and flourish on the surface.

But this is only a by-product, a happy coincidence of the true purpose of the machine.

For sitting at the machine's end, the machine beginning, was the most terrible of beings. A fat, lazy, dirt covered old man, with a big round belly and a ratty, sooty beard. A wizard.

It was he who had thought of the machine; he who had forced the creatures of the sub-terrain into building and running it. For eons he had threatened them with his magic to construct his great machine. And for eons more had he enslaved them to run it with their sweat and blood.

A machine built for a selfish purpose. For in the end, the machine, and all its systems that ran thousands of leagues under the world's surface, and created enough heat to melt the core of the planet, also ground the wizard's coffee beans to the perfect consistency.

Wizards love coffee.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A New Sun

The warm rays beat down upon his exposed skin as beads of sweat came to cool him. The exertion of the climb added more perspiration to his hot forehead, but he kept on, steadily rising up the steep incline.

Steadily being drawn to the summit of the great pyramid, the shining apex of which, pointed directly to the bright light of the sun in the hazy sky above.

He scrambled the last of the way up the smooth surface of the cap stone and straightened himself to stand; high above the jungle below, and far beneath the radiant orb of the sun above.

Shielding his eyes with his hands, he looked up into the white light of the sun and saw what he had thought he had seen from in amongst the trees on the ground. A golden triangle shape formed around the glowing sphere.

Turning his hand to look at the palm of his right, the shape of a triangle, tattooed on his skin for as long as he could remember, was the same that now appeared around the sun. Its dull black-green lines a glow somehow with light.

He looked from his hand to the sun and back, then slowly, instinctively, he moved his hand up, to cover the distant light. With his arm fully extended and the sun covered from his vision behind his hand, he felt a warmth flowing from his palm, down his arm and throughout his entire body.

Heat increasing, he closed his hand around the triangled sun and slowly the light faded from the sky. His fist clenched he brought his hand down to his chest and the was no more sun in the sky.

The world was dark, entirely. Only the soft glow from between his clenched fingers could be seen in the pitch blackness.

Looking down at his fist, he released his fingers and there, floating slightly above his palm, the sun burned brightly. The triangle shape spun around the golden ball of light as his rotated its own way, its rays lighting the world around him and warming his entire being.

Closing his hand again he stood for a moment in the darkness.

Only for a moment, then, he thrust his arm into the air above and release his grip on the sun and wave of light pulsated out, enveloping him in sea of blinding whiteness.

When the bright wave washed away, the top of the pyramid stood empty again and a new sun hung serenely in the sky; two faint triangle shaped spun faintly around it. Barely noticeable, as the new sun shone brighter, more alive than the old dying one.

Born anew once more.