Pocky Loves Pain

“I was born to give this to you.” A woman’s voice echoed through darkness. The layers of sound coalesced and expanded, engraving vibrations into permanence.


A man lay prostrate on the floor, dreaming, all of the world’s gravity pulling down upon his awareness. Sound roared and gurgled in his ears. It was the bottom landing of a dwelling that climbed at first around the base of a tree, but then branched to a self-supporting structure. Beneath him were polished timbers of redwood, and the walls were logs separated by handmade glaze. Above him a black spirit hunter cast words down upon him.

“The flies come. They are seeking. They bring the bubonic plague.”


John F. Kennedy, shot several times, including once in the head, pulled himself out of the car and yanked out his own Colt 1911 A1. He saw a man on a grassy knoll, who tried to run. Stunned, the secret service were unable to react before the President of the United States shot the would be assassin. JFK struggled up the knoll and shot the man six more times, including once in the face.
“That’s for Cuba,” he said.


A black cat called, “Medic!”

Stepped from the floor onto a living man’s chest

Drooped low upon his form

Weight sinking, meowrled, “Wyvern”

And scanned the shadows for the players yet to meet death.

“Doom,” said the presence.

“Begone,” thought the finite ridden man.


Lengthening shadows in the canyon outpaced the two riders on horseback. Far up on a ledge an archer with only one arrow looked down upon the figures. She recognized both of them – the two men who killed her only son. She focused on the one she recognized, the one who betrayed her entire race. She drew the bow and arrow, aimed and closed her eyes. She let the arrow fly. It hit the man she recognized right through the left eye and pierced into his brain, and he slumped over onto his horse. The other man cackled and rode on.

When the archer opened her eyes she saw the unharmed man look back over his right shoulder. He still had a grin on his face when someone distant, on the other side of the canyon, threw an atl-atl that went straight through his rib cage. There was no way to gauge the distance, but she saw blood bubble out of the rider’s mouth. He was no longer smiling when he fell off the horse and died, slowly, gurgling in his own villainy. At that moment the archer knew him as well. He was the twin of the man she hit.

She looked back at the other horse, that had slowed to a stop. That man fell off of the horse and rolled down the short incline to the water’s edge at the bottom of the canyon. She saw an eagle in the southwest, and decided it was best for nature to decide if that man lived or died.

The fine young woman looked at the 200 meters back up the cliff and loosened herself for the ascent. She was famished and couldn’t wait to eat the unleavened bread she had stowed at the top. The moon was already rising before the sun set, and it was good time for a climb. The people in the mountains 175 miles to the west would be gladdened to hear of her revenge.

With the Surinam desert glimpsing the colors of the sky, the warrior on the other side of the canyon watched his grandmother’s shadow closing over the climber he could not see. He took the flinger for the atl-atl and reattached it to his Mannlicher before briskly hiking up the canyon to where his children were finishing spit roasted duck, fresh from the Igloo. He managed to smile before he reached the top, and then his smile broadened when he saw his little girl and boy. Their step mother’s smile did not sit well with him, but he knew what had to be done before he started down.

The glow of the campfire warmed the man, but the feeling in the pit of his bones was something he doubted would ever go away. He was glad he had not seen the face of the man he killed, and saddened he knew the one he had seen riding before. The kids and the woman went deeply asleep as he continued to stare at the fire and wait for dawn. Occasionally he fed the flames while they slept in the tent. The crackle of the fire warmed his face. The melancholy would lift with time.


Pocky Feels Pain

Dreams of empire swirled in the drain of the sink in the hunting club. By the time Roger woke up Saira had gone, and everyone else. He couldn’t remember falling asleep in the bed, but a nightmare had plagued him. On the window he could see flakes of snow sticking to the panes of glass, and the whispers of a knowledge too disgusted to cause despair. He shaved with freezing cold water and a dull razor blade and no soap, to wash the feeling of the night terror out of his mind, but it did not work. He missed Saira, just as he had known he would.

In the dream he saw a woman behind Saira and her companion the day before, a woman had not previously been there. With her was a man of pure darkness without flesh. Stars swirled through his form as he commanded the invisible woman, who was deathly pale, to feel about her posterior nethers and lick of the still clean finger.  She had done so, and though hygenic of body, the lingering foul influence caused madness to dance in midair.

The continuum of reality bent and warped around that spectacle, not because she had tasted something so basic, but because the entity had commanded her to in order to thrust Roger into a self-fulfilling prophecy of misunderstood language. Roger had done nothing wrong. He was neither married nor a father. Though his thirst for pleasure sometimes consumed his senses there was nothing dishonorable or ill about the humanity of that simple state of male essence.  The vision caused conflict that was difficult to reconcile.


Roger saw Ian three days before he went to the hunting camp. Ian was one of his close friends from the Academy. Neither of them had ever been involved in any war, but they enjoyed discussing the ins and outs of tactics, military strategy and the principles of combat. Roger stopped dwelling on the visions he had in the night when he started thinking about that hot coffee and breakfast he had with his old companion.

The campaign they most speculated on was always the one that led through the Mongolian highlands and down to the shores of the Caspian Sea. There was never any reason to question the tenacity of the veterans involved, it was the shipped cargo that had sent their historical anger off in many directions. Slavery turned into a blood bath when the fathers met the slavers. Of course that had been a topic of conversations between Roger and Ian in the past. Their last meeting was filled only with small talk and grudging recognition of each other’s tenacity at holding onto their dignity in the face of time and weariness.

All talk shadowing dire circumstances eventually ends in stalemate.  Roger hoped there would never be anything eventful to discuss between himself and Ian again.  There was already too much to be ignored between them.  Roger knew better than to think he would never see his old friend again, though, so he just sighed and got ready to depart the club for the train station.  At least it had been a very good night.

Roger glanced at the gold bracelet he tried to give Saira before he left the room.  He had known she woudn’t take it.  He also knew if he left it she would get it, so he left it and the scene of their long, fate contorted love affair.  He sighed one more time, hoping he would see her again somehow, one day or night.  Then he was gone.

- Thompson Creek, East Feliciana, Louisiana
- March 22, 2010

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