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The Siren - 2In the dream, Sandie was weightless. She had dreamed that sort of thing before, though, and understood that it would not last. When she dreamed that she was floating, it was only a matter of time before she dreamed that she fell.
It was an odd sensation, floating there in the dream. She could hear the world cars and a dog and the rumble of a jet passing overhead but there was nothing to see. She tried to raise her hand in front of her face, but she had no hand, either.
I'm a Presence, she decided. A Presence floating in space. That was comforting, because a Presence could not fall. She listened to the sound of the highway.
It was not so much a voice as a thought, less of a word than an impulse, sort of like Sandie imagined binary code might feel to a computer. She tried to shake her head, figure out whether it was her ears or her brain that had received the message. But she had no ears, and it did not feel like she had a brain, either, and as
The Siren - 3It was only reluctantly that Sandie went to work on Friday morning, but she had to admit that her nails looked awesome. She had settled on neon blue, and Connie had loaned her an eye shadow to match. It gave her a tiny bit of extra confidence, just enough to face a steady stream of coffee-hungry commuters. She flitted between the espresso machine and the rows of syrup bottles, filling orders while she deflected curious sympathy from her co-workers.
Connie was the worst.
"So, he didn't take anything?" she verified for the twentieth time. She popped her gum and flipped her glossy black mohawk to the other side of her head.
"Nope. At least, I haven't noticed anything missing yet."
"Nothing?" Connie asked again. She leered and winked. "Nothing at all? I mean, you don't think he snuck in and ravished your unconscious body?"
"What the hell? Where do you get this stuff?"
"From Padre. Not that last part, I mean. He just told me you had a break-in. Bo-ring. Doesn't make a good story to say some
Pirate MoonA bloody moon rose, hungry, through the mist
to wash his crimson glow across the waves
and froth the surging whitecaps with the kiss
that sent ten thousand sailors to their graves.
Beneath that vicious moon, a sail was set
as was the fate of some poor, hapless crew
oblivious to the impending threat
that drifted ever closer through the blue.
The moon smiled sweetly, bathing naked steel,
as cannon shuddered through the velvet night
to rend the sodden trader, hull and keel
and put an end to her frenetic flight.
The captain's grin shone redder than his sword
As he o'ersaw the booty brought aboard.
The Siren - 4Mike brought a pizza for lunch, and the crew piled into the back of his minivan to enjoy it. He disconnected the battery to keep the interior lights from eating up the juice and opened all of the doors to invite a breeze. Even so, the sun turned his car into an oven. At least the pizza was hot.
The sign on the Baptist church down the street flashed: "Pray for Rain."
"You feeling okay?" Mike asked. He had on a red plaid shirt that almost managed to hide the pizza-sauce stains. His collar was curled up in the cup holder in the front seat.
"Better," Sandie said. She bit off a string of cheese and helped herself to an orange soda from the cooler. "I mean, it's hard to stay freaked out when you're working the morning rush and you've got twelve caffeine addicts yelling at you over the counter. Would have been easier if Connie would stop bugging me, though."
Connie offered an angelic smile from her place on the bumper. "Not my fault you're loca, mama."
"I guess you guys don't listen to
The Siren - 7The thing sat still and silent on Sandie's couch, swathed in the oversized black shirt and faded jeans of some long-ago boyfriend. Its white hands rested, motionless, on Its denim-clad thighs while Its expressionless eyes stared through the wall into nothing. It had not moved in more than half an hour, not even to breathe which only made sense, Sandie thought, since It had been dead and rotting the last time she had seen It.
On the other hand, it was hard to be sure that this visitor was the same one that had shattered her window. The faces were so different, and this one was not dripping, but the voice in her head was the same. It felt the same, what few flashes she had gotten from It.
But after a few minutes, It seemed to have given in to exhaustion and fell into quiet muttering that filled the back of Sandie's head.
She tried to help. She dug up old clothes and helped It to dress, a process not dissimilar to trying to clothe a rag doll. She asked what It needed, both aloud an
The Siren - 6The rest of the night was quiet, and so was Sandie's morning. If the alarm went off, she never heard it, and she slept hard until nearly ten, when her phone rang.
"I think it's gone," she told Connie. "I mean, I don't want to jinx anything with optimism, but at least it's gone on vacation."
She drank her coffee black and supervised the installation of a new door. She picked up the phone to call Mike, but remembered belatedly that he had a noon Mass, and set it down again to wait until later.
Local news entertained her until the thump came from the new door.
A person's silhouette was visible through the frosted glass, standing still and dark beneath the shade of the back porch.
The thump came again not a knock, but a meaty thwack as though the visitor was trying to come straight through. Then there was the horrible squeak of skin sliding down the glass.
Sandie's lip curled. She added Windex to her mental grocery list and stood up, grabbing a heavy wooden candle stick from the end
The Siren - 5All Sandie learned from her very expensive blood tests was that there was no reason for her to have paid for very expensive blood tests. She did not have leprosy, or hepatitis, or any of a number of different anemias. The news was a comfort, but the check was not.
Sandie bought a book of stamps and sent a stack of poems away to the offices of Lead Soldiers, thinking that a small royalty would at least begin to fill the dent that a new door and a medical bill had left in her bank account.
"Maybe you could take up a special collection for me," she told Mike as she got him a glass of water root beer was an unnecessary expense.
"Meh," he said. "Charitable though the cause may be, it doesn't really work that way."
"Shame. I'm going to start getting really sick of ramen in a week or two."
"You can always come share with me. For some reason, people are always bringing me leftover barbecue. Which is nice, don't get me wrong. But they must think I eat like a football team or somet
The SirenThere was a dead body on Sandie's back porch, and it was trying to get in.
She wrung the coffee out of the front of her shirt, made damn sure that all of her doors and windows were locked, and called Mike.
"Yeah? Sandie? That you?"
"You don't know anything about this, do you?"
"Mike, there's a zombie on my back porch. It's leaving smears on the glass door. Is it yours?"
"I... Could you repeat that?"
"Zombie, Mike. It's a dead body in a puddle of nasty, and it's leaving more nasty on my door. God, I can even smell it. This is one thorough job, man."
She edged away from the door, keeping an eye on the intruder beyond the glass. It was bloated and purple with decay, green and black fungus speckling its face. There was fluid coming out of its mouth and dripping from its nose. It had no eyes, and all indication of sex or age had rotted away.
"Robotic, maybe? One of its legs is about to fall off. You didn't sic one of your Cyber Derby friends
Half-Past a Different Kind of BrokenTrauma looks like my kitchen clock.
they are dead
and the second hand stutters,
I imagine every inconsequential twitch
is a plea for the freedom
it will never see again.
When its futile heart finally gives out,
I won't try to fix the timepiece
because after all its wasted sufferings,
allowing again such a disjointed tic
would be a deeper level of cruelty.
Where Angels PlayWhere Angels Play:
A lonely spark appears before me tonight
amongst the struggles deep inside of me...
Should I give in, will I breathe in?
How much more can I be forced to take
before my soul breaks?
Shards crashing into me
letting me know I am alive
I am barely breathing...
The moon lights my pathway
deep in dark, where we will fade
I've walked past the archway
Where angels will play...
The warmest touch, upon my skin
Wings that glow with sacred light, from deep within
They have come to take me back, to where I've been
Gone away into the winds, my voice forever lingering
Do I alone escape this and find my peace
without concern for what is left behind
Even if I could close my eyes in endless rest
The thought of you keeps me breathing...
The angel that leads me, deep in dark, where I seem to fade;
The lonely spark that keeps me, is the warmth of your heart...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 30th September 2012
Tidy Little BoxesEverything in tidy little boxes
All of my memories are pigeon holed
One section left vacant for all the dreams
A million for the dreams that they stole
All the boxes with perfect right angles
Protractor now set to ninety degrees
With such rigid habits I wont survive
Please will you come and make a mess of me
Everything in tidy little boxes
While your dreams remain scattered on the floor
It's best that way, mine are hidden away
And stay so very easily ignored
All the boxes are stacked up together
So high one day they will surely fall down
Either that or they will be stacked so high
They'll encompass, suffocate and surround
Everything in tidy little boxes
You will not box my personality
Multi faceted, three dimensional
Remains the only similarity
All the boxes throughout all of our lives
Restrict our movement, so what irony
The box in which they will lower us down
Is when we will finally be set free
Come to the gallows
My pretty friend
I will put you out of your misery
Such a fitting end
Lived fast and died young
Left a beautiful corpse
Greeted failure as you did success
Felt no remorse
Come to the electric chair
My sexy beast
A few buckles round your limbs
Then you shall be released
But not into the world
Or into the wild
I will release you into eternity
You sexy child
Come feel the injection
This lethal dose
From beneath your bones
But they can't see your pain
Not even in your eyes
Any last words princess
Before you die
Come to the gallows
Bring your pretty face
I wlll meet you there I promise
Show you the end of days
Close your eyes now
Rope tight as I kick the stool
Every confidence that I will follow
You pretty fool
Paint your rosesIn the queens garden, her roses are white.
To her, it's a distasteful sight.
Boring and plain, her garden sits.
The queen throws her fits.
"Why not paint them?" said little Alice.
Painting roses at the Queen's palace.
Paint them red, red as blood.
Kneeling in the mud.
Alice, so sweet, so small.
Alice shows them all.
You do not like what you see.
Change it, make it pretty.
Paint your roses.
A Shattered IllusionA Shattered Illusion:
A day that was born of the brightest light
Has now shattered like crystals in the sinking dark
Where once the spirit was unfettered and free
Now it weeps painfully in a cage of thorns
Blood is drawn from its tender flesh
And drips slowly down to mark the skin
A tattoo of pain forever remembered
By a ghost that lives within
There is emptiness in this void
A cold and lonely song of existence
A solemn note born from the sheer magnitude of the silence
That it deafens both the heart and mind
In the quiet serenity of utter despair
What is born from the lack of a sense of hope?
A cold determination to steal the future
From the wanton wheel of fate...
"Such is the nature of desperation, when caught in an endless cycle of hate..."
-Chen Yuan Wen, 10th July 2012
Bruises and InfidelityYour lipstick bruised his cheek,
It was still there when they found him lying face up,
So they asked me what shade I wore and I told them I didn't,
That's why he said he loved me.
The bullet bruised his heart and
It was still there when I wiped my eyes with a borrowed
Handkerchief and watched them lower him down with a little effort.
You threw down some dirt.
Your hand bruised my chest when you
Threw me against the wall and warned me not to pry.
Strong for a little woman, and beautiful. You told me he would not be dead
If I had been just a little more exciting.
They washed your lipstick bruise away, like
They deleted his name from the bank account and
Stopped sending him junk mail on the off chance he might
Open it. Now at least they know he won't.
A Writer's BlockA sense of pending doom overcomes a writer
Consumed in a frustrating inability
To construct a poetic sentence
For one is trapped in an exasperating moment where
So many words cannot be penned
Thus so many emotions that cannot be expressed
And so many insights that cannot be shared
All to blame on the burden called a writers block
A writers nightmare diagnosis
But one must let time heal
This temporary feeling of wordlessness
And one must let inspiration reopen
This blockage of poetic emptiness
For a writers next epiphany will soon come.
Lure me in with silk and gold,
beaded velvet, satin threads
drawn across lips still red with wine.
Draw me down beneath the world
into some secret, wanton lair
while Carnival still beats within our veins.
Wall me up behind the dark
and leave me with my silver chains
to think on wiles byzantine,
Montresor's bleak design.
Volpi.You will find that the story you tell
is very rarely your own. In Lucca,
even the smallest pebbles
breathe in the warm sunlight.
Knotted stones and cobbled roads
beat out a paper-dry heartbeat heat
my city breathes in and out,
inhales sparrow air.
It's writing a story.
You are the pen.
You will find that in Lucca
the daisy chains forge fire
in side streets and back alleys.
Teenagers intertwine. Tell me,
odd flower, are you still closed?
Here we are colored wax;
the heat of the city melts us.
We run into each other, rhapsody
of pigments. Operas are our specialties.
Open up; feel the reds.
If not, try and see them. There is a place
of deep knife marks, a street
long as midnight
you may learn something there.
Valentina's voice glimmers like red wine.
You may enjoy intoxications. Still,
know alcohol has no story
and will swallow your own.
Find the sign with the wolf on it.
You'll know the place. Epiphanies ring true as church-bells.
Lucca still guides the wanderers
to well sp
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