Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Waking Nightmare

Seven black hills sit side by side
And I alone must face them all
For you are not with me
You do not answer my cry
Though the gap between us is not great
My demons, my weaknesses, my fears
Await me at the peaks of those hills
It is not a heavy feat
But I am not strong enough alone

ALways in shadow will I hide
Until the one heeds my call
The someone who I know can be
The one to give me strength to fly
Who can take my life and take my fate
Fill my needs and remove my tears
Without my one, each moment kills
I wait so long you to meet
And to be part of what you own

When you come, here I'll wait
By these black hills, as near as I dare
I cannot climb them alone
But I must, without you
Without you
Life is my waking nightmare

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sleeping Boy excerpt

I decided to go a little different this week. I wrote this a few years ago as the beginning of a novel and never finished. It's still an idea I'd like to develop in the future. This was the whole first chapter. Please let me know what you think.

The monks and nuns had carefully positioned his body so that it looked like he was sleeping, which in a way, was exactly what he was doing. His hands were on his chest, but not clasped as if in death, not laying one on the other, but simply placed as though he had fallen asleep with them resting loosely on his torso. They had even positioned his head so it tilted to one side-- to his left, so that those who came to the sanctuary to look upon his body wouldn't be able to look directly on his face. To look straight on at his face, even with him in sleep, would undo the church. The monks and the nuns had covered their eyes with strips of cloth when they had first bathed and dressed him two years ago.

Two years, and still people were lined up to see the young man-- no, the boy-- who lay motionless on the simple duck-down mattress in one of the back chambers of the sanctuary. They came in a few at a time, under the supervision of one of the monks-- lest someone disturb the body. Some wept at seeing the boy's stillness; he didn't even have the steady rise and fall of breath. It was a symptom of the drug the highest priests gave the boy every third day, when he began breathing again. The drug was a powder, placed under his nose so he inhaled the fumes and promptly slept again.

There were visitors who held up children to look on him; some even held up infants and mewling newborns, no doubt to tell them they too had looked on the Sleeping Boy so carefully kept in the sanctuary. There were those who brought candles and lit them in his room. Most were left to burn away on the floor or given to the watching monks as a gift to the sanctuary. Few were taken away. Some fell to their knees or prostrated themselves on the cold stone floor, praying what were probably the most feverish, desperate, pleading prayers of their lives.

It was Harion, a young monk of only sixteen years-- not too much older than the Sleeping Boy-- who first spoke words of fear and doubt to the highest priests. What if those who fell and prayed were not praying to the god, but to the boy? If those who came had plans to bring out the boy's body and set him out against the church? Surely there were those out there with evil in their hearts that would dare enter a place of the god only to see his enemy; to plot and plan the unleashing of the one who could bring about the end of the church's society, or even the church itself.

Peace, the highest priests told him. No fear. The unrighteous cannot enter any place dedicated to the god and therefore cannot take away the boy's body. Peace, and have no judgment, have no doubt that the ones who come by on your watch are the pure, the good, the devout. They come in the unspoken name of the god to conquer their own fear and confirm in their minds that all is right in the world.

Harion slept uneasily, his dreams full of people trying to take the Sleeping Boy from his place. They days when he drew the watch over the cell where the boy lay seemed unending, the people all sinister. He became edgy, twitching whenever anyone knelt or rose, or leaned over the body to get the tiny glimpse of a cheek or the side of his nose that was permitted anyone who dared. His edginess carried over to his time away from the cell, and he began to snap at the nuns and other monks, and even some of the priests. It was as if his senses of calm and peace, friendliness, and humor had gone and been forgotten. All the virtues that the god taught and valued had been sucked out of him.

In less than three months from the time he first spoke of his fear, Harion was sent away from the sanctuary with all the church could provide him: a knife, a hammer, a stout walking staff, a waterskin, and a sack with bread, cheese, and the last of the orchard's apples. He didn't look back at the sanctuary when he left; the open doors mocked him. They were closed to him now. He would never come back.

The day after Harion was sent away, the Sleeping Boy showed his first sign of breathing again. The highest priests had expected it and ushered away the visitors and the watching monks. They closed the doors to the cell so they could administer the drug. Their own noses and mouths were covered with thick wool so they wouldn't breathe in the fumes themselves. The boy breathed them, and his body settled, the steady rise and fall of his chest prevented for another seventy or so hours. At a glance, it was as if he had never moved at all.

The priests left the room, and the monk who was supervising waited the standard ten minutes, counting each second himself, before opening the door again to take up his watch and allow others in.

He stopped abruptly in the doorway, his rather bulky frame blocking the way so he was the only one who saw. The Sleeping Boy was not in his usual position. He was on his side, his back to the door, mercifully. No one would accidentally look on his face. His left arm was flung out on the bed, his right arm pulled tight to his body.

The monk screamed. As it echoed through the sanctuary, it sounded to all who heard it like the voice of the god himself.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Can't sleep
Mind won't turn off
Can't concentrate
Mind won't focus
Can't think
Mind won't turn on

Can't feel
Emotions have left
Can't cry
Emotions don't work
Can't smile
Emotions won't come back

Can't dance
No desire to move
Can't sing
No desire to speak
Can't play
No desire to

Can't breathe
Can't move
Can't heal

Can live

Can die