Terminal Decay: A Short Story in the Chronicles of the Great Migration

Recently I have decided to take some of my unpublished short stories in my sci-fi series, The Chronicles of the Great Migration and begin recording them and uploading them to YouTube. This will be an ongoing series with occasional releases that add to the world in which my story takes place.

The first entry in this series is titled Terminal Decay. In it:

A sentient satellite falls to earth and reflects on it’s life and the state of humanity, who is now relegated to living inside giant walking cities.

I hope you enjoy it!

A Wintered Heart (Narrative Poem)

A Narrative poem titled A Wintered Heart. The artwork I created goes by the same title.

A Wintered Heart

A heart of winter, a wintered heart,

She lay quiet, the letter torn apart.

Her tears streamed, like rivers to the sea

And she tried to make bargains, and made endless pleas


An age had past, and cold crept in

No smiles, no warmth, and no new life could begin

The fresh dark tears of the next mornings song

Rose up her cheeks and sapped her strength so that she could not go on.


There she lay, no warmth and no light

A mistress of time, without the slightest delight,

Waited, she waited, with her breath deeply bated

But once the cold crept in, her permafrost was fated


An act so unkind had birthed her present dread

And soon, she had sores from her long days in bed

That act of greed, and a lust for glorious stone

Had left her heart broken, now widowed and alone


She sat there all winter, in endless defeat

She lay so still, mice nested at her feet.

And as the spring time came, the sun drew in

And pressed on her face, lighting her skin.


It planted a seed below her dread,

And as the sun shone that morning, she swung out of bed

Her pain, had nested rot in her heart

And she could not bear the thought of no more love

AND no more art


And so that day, she made her demands

At the canvas she threw red paint and smoked contraband

But from her mess, came a new kind of love

A love of life, hard won, from travels above


Her wintered heart still, held great sway,

But she got a little better with each passing day

And new mediums of art caught her attention,

And she found small victories with her creative affections


So she took one step, and then one more

And one day soon she found herself outside her front door

And found a new canvas to shed her grief,

Though when she spray painted her mural, the cops chased her, called her a liar and thief


Though she had not finished and ran and hide

She planted a new seed on the cities west side,

New murals sprung up in tangent with her own,

And she started a club, and though at first people groaned

About the “grafetti” and the murals, it became a place for many to call home.

And though many of the wealthy had made their gripes

Soon the color that flooded the city brought new life


Community gatherings of collaborative art,

Helped her to get a kind of political start

She found that art brought so much relief

To help people shed the weight of their tragedy and grief


She started centers all over her city

And named them Wintered Heart, to make light of her season long self-pity

For she knew that seeing the signs swinging above

She would always remember her long lost love

And She would honor him with every stroke of a brush

Or spray can, or clay, or charcoal or the burning of sagebrush


Her wintered heart had planted a seed of hope

In place where so many felt at the end of their rope

And they loved her, and taught her a new kind of joy

That’s found in friends hearts, without any romantic ploys


Winteredheart… they chanted her name,

With love and respect and begged her to enter the political game,

Soon after elected mayor she made the city her new project,

Used art, music, theater, and poetry to help them remember self-knowledge and respect


Through her acts, she brought great change,

For the city filled with color and it helped her to rearrange,

The divides and the differences that people perceive

And she taught them that it was, in each other they should believe.


Still her wintered heart held great sway,

For she barely forgot about her lost love for more than a day

Her heart still long for his eyes and his lips

Or to run her hand through his hair with her fingertips


But she smiled, and felt, the joy of all she’d done  

Many victories, in her community, she had won

And her heart was frozen but happy at the same time.

For even a Wintered Heart, can find new rhythm and new rhyme.

Simulacra (Sci-Fi Flash Fiction)

Simulacra is a piece of flash fiction (less than 1000 words) about a conversation between two men, after it’s revealed that our whole world is a simulation created by future humans to study the past.

Simulacra

“Because, Edgar, you’re living in a simulation!”
Roger pointed to the glitch, a rather large shimmering hole in the fabric of reality. “There are hundreds of those all over this so called world!”
“That doesn’t mean I don’t have to water my tomatoes.”
“Nothing matters anymore, we aren’t even real, we’re software. Didn’t you see the news? It’s confirmed, there’s no denying it, our designers even showed us how it works and made people appear and disappear. I got to walk on the so called moon without a spacesuit yesterday. What do you think about all of this?”
“ I think my tomato plants won’t appreciate it if I let them die.”
“Screw your tomato plants!” Roger waved his arms and paced back and forth across the garden patio.
“What did my tomato plants ever do to you?”
“Not exist!”
“Well I don’t see how that’s their fault.”
“We don’t exist either.”
Edgar stepped back for a moment, looked at his watering can, looked at the plants, looked at Roger, shrugged his shoulders and started to water his plants again.
“Nice day for it.”
“For what?”
“For living in a simulation. At least they didn’t make it a dreary day.”
Roger strode forward and knocked the watering can out of Edgar’s hands. Water spilled everywhere.
“That was rude.”
“It doesn’t matter does it?”
“It matters to me, and now my socks are wet.”
“Your socks aren’t real, your feet aren’t real, the watering can isn’t real. This isn’t a hoax, this isn’t made up. We know, for a fact, that our whole existence is a program run by humans from the 24th century to try and understand why the 2020 sucked so bad and all you can talk about is your wet socks and tomatoes?”
“You don’t seem to be social distancing well Rodger.”
“Covid-19 is a simulation!”
“That doesn’t mean I won’t get sick.”
Edgar pressed his wet feet into the cement making squishing sounds. “My shoes are soggy. It’s going to take a whole day for them to dry.”
Roger sat down, pulled out a cigarette and lit it.
“Why are your smoking?”
“Because it makes me feel better.”
“But you said yourself, you aren’t real. You stopped me from watering my plants. I don’t see how a cigarette will make you feel better.”
“Well our creators made me addicted.”
“That a bit like saying, the Devil made me do it. I don’t see any designer shouting at you to smoke.”
Roger puffed smoke. “It’s in the algorithms or something. I don’t see anyone making you water your stupid tomatoes.”
Edgar picked up the watering can, walked over to the spigot in the wall and refilled it. He turned to water his plants again. He said, “And just what should we do about this whole simulation business?”
Roger strode forward and knocked the watering can out of Edgar’s hands again.
“Do? What should we do?”
Edgar sighed picking up the can again, “Well I can finish watering my plants and you can keep smoking.”
“What’s the point?”
“What was the point before?”
“Before, we had meaning and purpose. We talked about the nature of humanity and meant it. We debated ideologies and philosophies and talked about free will. But it seems, we were all wrong. Well, except for the few crazy ones who already suspected the truth. But we ignored them.”
“Your life had purpose before?”
“Shut up, you know what I mean.”
“So what then?”
“We could break it.”
“The simulation?
Roger nodded.
“How?”
“I don’t know. You stop watering your plants and I’ll stop smoking.”
“If I don’t water my plants they will die.”
“Yeah, sure. Maybe we should do crazy off the wall things that humans wouldn’t normally do?”
“Like?”
“Dress up our animals and treat them like humans?”
“There is a whole industry that caters to that.”
“Burn buildings to the ground?”
“That just sounds like a riot.”
“Well we have to do something.”
“Why? Why not just enjoy the simulation? Maybe make some different choices and see how it goes?”
“But…” Rodger gestured at the large glitch in reality. “We can’t just pretend like nothing is different. That what we know now is meaningless.”
“Why not?”
“Because it’s a crime. We’re oppressed by our future selves.” Roger paused. “I got it! We’ll go on a general strike!”
“And do what?”
“Nothing.”
“Sounds like most days for you.
“Shut up.”
“And what will that accomplish Roger?”
“Well the designer on the news said they created this simulation to model human behavior. What if, all of us, everywhere, in the simulation, decide that we will do absolutely nothing. We won’t do a damn thing. We will just stay still until… until…”
“Until what?”
“They set us free!”
“Aren’t we software?”
“Yes but…”
“Can software become free of hardware?”
“Yes!, No… maybe… I don’t know.”
“Have you considered the opposite?”
“The… opposite?”
“What if, now hear me out. The glitches weren’t an accident? What if the designers were bored with modeling human behavior in the 21st century and thought, well, let’s tell them the truth and see what they do? What if, every thing you are saying now is a pre-made program set to infect all of us and we’re playing into their very hands at this moment.”
Roger blinked. “I… I never thought of that.”
“Do you know how long you have existed Roger?”
“What?”
“How long have we known each other?”
“A few years why?”
“Are you sure about that?”
“Yes we met at that party in Hebron.”
“I’ve never been to Hebron.”
“What do you mean?”
“A week. You popped up a week ago, the exact same time as the glitches.”
“What? Wait, if that’s true, how come you remember it?”
“A glitch probably.”
“You mean a real one? Not one made by the designers?”
“Yes, I think so. You’re an probably part of the experiment Roger. Now sit down, shut up and let me water my tomatoes.”

Man in the Mirror (Happy Halloween!)

Happy Halloween 2017.

I recently wrote a piece for a Halloween themed Flash Fiction Event. I thought it would be fun to record a quick video and throw it up on YouTube. But, if you just want to read, the words are also below.

 

“The Man in the Mirror”

 

Welcome back doctor, you are well I hope?
No don’t bother, I know the usual trope
Are you ready to examine me under your microscope?
I am ready to share now, I will succumb to your hopes.

Your hopes, your hopes but what of my hopes?

I take it you want me to explain my tale?
I warn you now, you will think me mad, a liar, worthy of jail
I have told a few others but to no avail
They do not believe it, thus far the truth has not prevailed

The truth, the truth, the truth will prevail

Why am I speaking in rhymes you want to know?
It simply eases my pain and lessens my woe
The loss of my wife was, you see, quite a blow
Although, you think I am guilty, that I know

The woe, the woe, you cannot possibly know.

It was early morning when I woke from my doze
The darkness still sparkled, the sun had not rose
I shifted and turned in the chair that I chose
I shut my eyes tight but they would not stay closed

Stay closed, stay closed, if only they’d stay closed

I moaned, for sleep was scarce indeed.
The first colors of the morning had begun to bleed.
I sat up in the chair and tried to proceed
But long bouts of insomnia had sapped me indeed.

Nights without end, indeed, indeed.

I rose from the chair and the world started to spin
I pawed my way to the bathroom so my day could begin
I glanced at my reflection and I did not find twin
But instead staring back was a strange man with a grin.

That grin, that grin oh the horror of that grin.

His face was like mine, but something was wrong
We stared for a while, time looped and grew long
His eyes like questions, hypnotic and strong
My terror grew deeper for a mirror is never wrong

Distorted and cracked but never wrong

How much time passed? I could not say
But I will never forget what happened that day.
For the man in the mirror, he wanted to play.
And the game that he liked? Command and obey

Obey, obey I had to obey. My gaze was fixed, I had to obey.

It was not a good game, it was cruel you see
For he was trapped in the mirror and he wanted control of me
He wanted my life, he wanted to be set free
A curse had trapped him there for all eternity

The curse, the curse he wanted to be free.

A blood sacrifice was required of course
Not a chicken, nor a goat, not even a horse
At first, I resisted, I fought with all my force
But my will was finite compared to his source

Centuries of hate were his near infinite source

He compelled me to do it, to his will I was bound
You may think me mad, that my mind is unsound
But those eyes, those greedy eyes, so wide and so round
I could not resist his will, I was bound

Bound, bound, soon we will all be bound.

He beckoned me to the kitchen, and made me grab a knife,
And then he sent me upstairs to find my sleeping wife,
I entered our room full of struggle and strife
But his desires were strong and he wanted her life

Her life, your life, bound in the blood and knife

The rest you can guess I am sure it’s quite clear
After all, I’m famous, the case of your career
Crazy as It might seem we are bound right here
Do you feel it yet doctor? That tingle? That fear

The fear, the fear are my intentions yet clear?

And now doctor, I have you, you are all mine
You lingered too long, you dallied for the last time.
I captured you with my lyrics and rhythms and rhymes
I’ve been trying to find the right vessel and now you are mine

Mine oh mine, you are all mine

You see, the sorcerer in the mirror managed to get free
But his body? Long gone and so he found a home in me
But something about me is inadequate you see
I am dying and to a new body he must flee

This body will crumble, oh doctor, it’s too late now to flee

Come closer now doctor and stare into my eyes
That’s it I beckon, I compel, I promise you no more lies
That’s right doctor, give in, resistance is unwise
Let down your barriers, let me try you on for size

Wonderful, what a fit, what an excellent prize.

Now to find the descendants of my captors and bring about their
demise.