To the spirits I offer an image of fog.
And fog to myself, I bind like to like.
For air is my myth, and water my sense
I shroud and deceive, I shape shift and watch.
Erode away earth, and dampen the fires.
Block out the sunlight, let down the rains.
Cast moving shadows, ich leit man verrückt.
I spy and I steal, mein Welt ist verflucht.
In spite of all this, I entertain crowds.
Watch as I shape shift, and sing happy praise
For fog is my name, and lies are my game.
To the spirits I offer an image of fog.
[Written as a response to In two hundreds words or less, describe the first planet humans visit in the future that COULD support life.]
“Blue oceans, green land, just like home.”
“I thought it would be colder here, being third from the Sun but the thermometer says it’s warm”
“No, the atmosphere’s pretty good here. Heavy enough that we won’t run out of hydrogen.”
“Which means we can live on the water here for millions of years?”
“Yeah, we won’t run into the greenhouse effect like back on Venus.”
“So then we can slowly bring more people here after we test the environment!”
“The atmosphere is breathable if you want to go out now. Mostly oxygen. But that also means – ”
“Let’s go outside and have a look then!”
“That also means that there is already some form of life here though, be careful. It could be just bacteria, or maybe aliens have already evolved here.”
“Well, I’m having a look anyway, imagine being the first one to find intelligent life!”
“Fine, go, I’ll join you in a bit after I finish these observations.”
The raptors stalked curiously, circling about the sky-borne metal object. They listened and heard sounds inside. A panel opened and a small being stepped outside. They pounced.
There was still one more moving inside. They waited.
I found Teddy next to the door this morning. I think he scratched the door because there were alot of scratches on it. I told him to stay away from the closet. There is a monster inside it. I never saw it but I hear it. The door opens sometimes at night. I hide under the blanket. I tell Teddy to stay away from it. Why did Teddy sleep in front of the closet? Did you see what happened? I think the monster tried to take Teddy from me. But Teddy bit him and made it go away. I don’t want to lose Teddy. They already have mr Panda. The monster should go away. Mom and Dad think theres no monster. I only have Teddy and you.
We celebrated from night to morning after we finally found a way to defeat that blasted Panda. We had tried everything from nets and pitfalls to explosive tennis balls and flamethrowers. Every time, that thing with it’s ravenous claws and teeth would easily bypass our tools. You wouldn’t think a huge bear like that would be able to jump out of a one-foot hole, but holy hell, when it did we ran for our lives. The thing that got it finally? Poison. Pandas will do anything for bamboo it turns out. We just had to find some, and lace it with alcohol. I guess it couldn’t digest it, and it just fell over. We dragged its corpse into our lair to harvest the bones for our houses, but that’s only second grade material.
What we really need is human teeth. The fairies up in heaven, they almost have a monopoly over teeth. They give the humans a piece of metal or paper in exchange and they go for it. Those fools! We could offer much more if they would just be open to negotiations. The tooth fairies then sell the teeth to us in hell for outrageous prices, and we have no choice but to grit our teeth (ha-ha) and bear it. Then some of us found a way to infiltrate the human living spaces under the cover of shadows. All the teeth in the world suddenly became available to us, except the humans had guards.
Ferocious guards, as I might add. Lions, tigers, and bears. They wouldn’t let us near the humans who had the teeth we needed. We couldn’t even negotiate properly, because we could live only in the shadows and they were always asleep, so there was nobody to call off the guards. When the closet is closed, we sometimes call for them to tame their guards, but I don’t think they can make out our words from so far away. We could give them gold, jewelery, I hear those humans fancy shiny rocks. But instead they give all of their teeth to the damn fairies for pieces of paper.
But we were hopeful after we discovered a way to defeat one of the guards at least. I sent one of the soldiers to retrieve the teeth the next day, but he never returned. The human got another guard, a brown bear. I sent my legion to give it a dose of the poisoned bamboo, but they haven’t returned either. I fear we may never be able to escape from the dependence over those wretched tooth fairies.
Teddy could smell evil. It was his first day on guard duty and he was determined to prove his worth, even if the human was asleep to observe the battle. He saw the shadows creep out of the closet brandishing green sticks. If he attacked now, they would easily react and escape. But if he waited, waited…. now! He lunged and bounded towards the demons. They saw him, but they were too slow. They scrambled to reach the safety of the closet, but each was struck down by the deft claws of the feral bear. Hundreds of shadows, clawing at the door to try to open it, the bear roared a great roar and the shadows evaporated. The child woke up with a start and turned on the light. Teddy went limp, as the light paralyzed him. It didn’t matter. He did his job. The fairies would pay him well for defending the child.
I am a statue – alone in my room
Waiting for someone – to open the door – to tell me I won
Or lost – I can stay normal – perfecting my trade
Outside the window, a line of people
Destiny disagreed with them
Perhaps I will join them soon.
Banging on my door.
My heart leaps, I rush to open it
Awaiting the king’s messenger
It is only the servant, bringing more food
I can’t eat.
My head hurts.
I want to shatter the window and run.
Forget everything. I won’t be a hero.
But I’m paralyzed by my faith and hope
The heaviest weights, the acid within
My mind is dissolved, my thoughts are erased.
I choke on thin air, I gasp for a breath
But it lies among the stars in the sky
I can only struggle alone against myself
Waiting for someone to knock on my door.
Enters as a spy
Gets to know community
Loses his hunger
Seven Years Ago
Seven years ago he stepped out of the grass
Into the muddy swamp, littered with glass
Garbage, vermin, toxic fumes, acid, death
He started digging, glass cutting fragile skin
The wounds festered but he ignored his health
For to stop digging, to cease torture, would be sin
Seven years ago, he slew a butterfly
Seven years ago, his conscience died
Seven years later, the tears’ not dried
Seven years later, his hands’ still tied
People stare from the grass, unwilling to come near
His crime forgotten by everyone but himself
He chooses not to stop, not to come back to the land of wealth
He’s bound not by chains but by fear
Fear of harm, of killing again
Unfit to be human, he keeps digging
A butterfly lands on his shoulder and he flinches
Stumbles away frantically
Buries his head in his grimy hands
Whispers a prayer for his old self.
Seven years ago, when he was human.
Seven years ago, when he could feel.
Cold is the snow falling down the window
Gently, softly, quiet on the meadow
Its an endless expanse, totally flat
Except over there, pawprints of a cat
She silently wanders through frozen land
While the flakes keep falling, drops of candy
I follow the cat into the unknown
And then – like the wind – She’s suddenly gone
Falling snow covers the trail of small paws
I turn back to find the warmth of the house
But see just white – swallowed in nature’s jaws
To her expanse, I am just a mere mouse
I navigate by smell of warm cocoa
To home – I warm my hands from winter’s snow