The Lies We Hear

Lies are strange
Lies are weird
They are sweet to hear
And wholesome to our ears
Yet they are poison to our soul
Poison to our lives
Yet we will drink them all
We accept without fail
All around we wade through
Hearing lie after lie
Yet we do nothing to challenge
We do nothing to find the truth
For we are told the truth is a lie
And we are fools for falling for a lie
While all the while
Their silver tongues
Whisper lies to our ears

Monday Stories: A Forrest Meeting

An owl’s cry echoes through the night. A man stirs slightly. Hidden in the shadow of three old trees, he watches the forest. Twin moons give enough light to move without the need for torchlight. Here a deer slowly moves through the woods. A pair of foxes moves swiftly through the gaps in the underbrush. Still, the man waits. All around him the buzz of insects and the croak of hidden frogs fill the still air.

The man takes quiet, even breathing. He remains still. His brown skin is marked by countless scars from past battles. His leather armor is equally worn.

Abruptly the night sounds fall silent.

He carefully tightens his grip on a pair of daggers.

His dark eyes scan the forest, seeking anything out of the ordinary. Anything unusual.

Then he sees a shadowy figure move.

The figure moves carefully, silently, from one tree to the next. His black cloak gives him a shadow-like quality. The figure is hunched over, pausing every now and then. Little by little, the figure moves closer to where the man hides. The man keeps track of how slow time is passing by the shadows of the trees. An hour passes before the figure reaches his hiding place.

The man tenses, his hands gripping the swords.

“I smell you.” The figure hisses.

He straightens and faces the man’s hiding place.

“I smell your hatred. Your fear.”

Slowly the man rises and steps forward. His swords remain drawn but at his side. The figure nods his head in understanding. He draws his hood back, revealing pale skin and an aristocratic face. The figure’s black hair is pulled back and tied in a single ponytail. Despite his handsome human features, his eyes are little more than solid black orbs.

“Who are you, hunter?”

“I am Kal, Son of Anon of the O’di Clan.” The man answers as he assumes a combat stance. “And you?”

The figure throws his black cloak aside, revealing black armor. A red hand print adorns the chest armor. “I am Krishna of the Line of Lucia.”

For a moment, they stand in the moonlight eyeing one another. It is clear both have lived the life of warriors. And it is clear that both are skilled and seasoned by long experience.

“Why do you wait for me in the dark?” Krishna asks.

The question catches him off guard.

“Why do you wait to murder me?”

“You are hunting.”

“Am I? Do you see any humans nearby? Do you see any others besides me? Do you see the so-called war paint upon my face? The blood of our victims as your kind claim we do? Do you see bloodlust or rage?”

“You are killers–”

“By those of you who hate my kind! You cannot listen to the words of those who hate us! Me! Their words are tainted. Look to your feelings and hear those who agree with us. That peace can exist between our kinds. That we can live beside one another.”

A warning in Kal’s heart gives him pause. He takes a deep breath and tightens his grip on the steel swords.

Krishna makes the first move. He becomes a little more than a black whirlwind. Red blades appear out of thin air. Kal barely has enough time to get his own steel blades in place to parry. In seconds, they are lost in the rhythm of the battle.

Silver blade against red sword.

Their blows strike hard enough to send sparks flying. Their clashes echo through the night. Back and forth, the two males battle. Back and forth they struggle. A monetary weakness gives the other the advantage but a mistake quickly shifts the balance of power back. They become black shadows. Faster than any human could possible dream of.

A heartbeat passes and the two combatants split apart.

For a moment they pause to catch their breath.

Kal’s left leg sports a deep wound and is barely able to hold his weight. A blow to his ribs has caused him pain with each breath. His arm and forehead bear lighter wounds. Sweat dampens his armpits and back. Fear dampens his palms.

Krishna is little better off. His chest is riddled with stabs wounds. His right arm bear several deep wounds while his left kneecap is askew.

“Why do you hunt us.” Krishna snarls, “What have we done to you?”

“You are an evil that must be destroyed.” Kal wheezes out. His vision is darkening around the corners. “That is reason enough.”

“Evil? We did not choose this. None of us did. We became this because another was forced to do what they must to survive.” Krishna stalks forward, “We do what we do to survive! We have the right to survive and live as we please! As do you and your kind!”

“You are murdering innocents!”

“What innocents?” Krishna snaps back, anger giving him strength, “Have you heard of a man disappearing or a family found slaughtered? Have you heard stories where children vanish from their beds or whole villages disappearing? No! We are not murders!”

“Your kind has preyed on us for ages. Only the War Clans have risen to stop you.”

The black armored figure scoffs, “You fool. You War Clans fight among yourself. Was it not just three days ago where two Clans destroyed each other? And what of our deeds? Have we not lived in peace beside you? Have we not killed or hunted the humans?”

Kal prepares to continue the fight.

“You cannot be serious! Put aside your blades and your hatred. Hear me and the truth I tell you. Please!”

“Why should I listen to you?” Kal answers. “Everything you have said and done?”

“Tell me! What have we done to harm you? Have you seen us killed? Or maim? Or have you seen my kind react to you as you hunt us in our own homelands. As your kind kill us in our villages and homes. Have we not the right to defend ourselves?”

For a moment, Kal hesitates.

“You cannot think of an instance? Can you? Where we have hunted and killed humans. None because we have not acted so.” Krishna takes a deep, labored breath, “We wish only to live beside you. I know you have heard our pleas and our cries for peace. We are not evil though we act out of defense. All that we have done we have done so because of your aggression. Your hatred towards us.”

Kal’s blades drop as the truth of Krishna’s words takes root.

For Krishna is right. No humans had been slaughtered. No lives had been consumed. Krishna and his kind were staying away from the humans.

Krishna strikes.

He crosses the distance like a black lightning bolt, sinking his blade deep into his gut. Kal groans as he drops his swords. The hit the ground with a metallic thud as he sinks towards the earth. Krishna stands over him with an evil grin.

“You fool. This is why we vampires will win. You let our words blind you. You let your own doubts slow you. Tonight I shall dine on the blood of children. Because of you.”

Kal watches the vampire stepped out of sight. Above him, two moons slowly pass out of sight.

As the world grows dark, Kal hears children screaming in the night.

Friday Thoughts: Becoming Great

Good morning! I hope your Friday will go well. This week, I have thought a lot about what makes a person “great” at something. What makes a basketball player talented or a gymnast a natural? What gives that person the “bend” for science or computer programming? Natural born gift? Or something that has to be worked on every day?

For me, it is both. Sometimes it is a natural bend. Most of the time it is practice and training that makes a skill natural for an individual.

As someone who thought that graphic design was out of my league, I find myself working as a designer. For a while, I knew what the answer was but I struggled with putting it into words. Then I came across a comic strip created by The Awkward Yeti (a fantastic artist and writer). Below is his comic:

Comic Strike from the Awkward Yeti
This comic was created by “The Awkward Yeti” All rights and usage belong to “The Awkward Yet”.
Please visit his website for more laughter:
http://theawkwardyeti.com/

As you can see, both “Heart” and “Gallbladder” started at the same point in time. A shapeless lump that looks like a yellow Ditto. But where Heart stared and wished that he was better, Gallbladder kept at it. He made some funny looking pieces and even found himself disappointed in the resulting work. But he kept practicing and researching by producing sculptures and looking things up.

The end result is Gallbladder has created a recognizable art piece.

 

And yes, some people are truly born with a natural gift. But that means nothing if one does not apply that skill every day. Refining it. Sharpening it.

It takes a desire to master the talent as well as investing hours of time. It takes determination to overcome obstacles and a willingness to try.

Whatever you want to do. Whatever your dream is. The only way to know if you can do it is to go for it.

P.S.: Special thanks to “The Awkward Yeti” for giving permission  to use his comic. Visit his website at http://theawkwardyeti.com/

Have a great weekend, folks!

Sleeping Hours

Day has ended
Night has fallen
The thunder of the day
Gives way to the subtle of the night
Beasts, great and small
Make their way through the night
Though man slumbers unaware

Yet here I lay
Wide awake
Unable to sleep
My mind rushes and rushes
Where the people sleep
I lie awake
Where the people rest
My soul stirs uneasily

Night has fallen
And my soul wanders
Across the landscape of my mind
There I see myself
My worries appear as mountains
My fears as canyons
My hopes as distant fields

Though all around me
The shadows of my fears
Rise and close in
Yet far above me
The stars of my hope
Shine far above me
A hidden hope of mine

Memorial Day

Today we remember
Today we honor those who have fallen
Upon distant shores
In the skies above
Upon far lands

They choose to go
To defend our shores
Upon distant lands
There they were fell
By mine, bullet, and cannon

Today we remember
Those who lost their lives
Today we honor them
Who fell to protect us
Today we remember
Today is Memorial Day

Friday Thoughts: Memorial Day

Memorial Day has finally arrived! With it the thoughts of discounts abound. With Christmas coming up, this is the time for those big, expensive gifts. Even I will be taking advantage of the sales.

But that is not Memorial Day.

As someone once pointed out to me, this day is not a day of celebration but of remembrance.

Men and women have spent their lives serving and protecting us.

Whether they gave their life in a single moment or spent decades, they have made sacrifices. They have marched through miles of sand while their son or daughter celebrated their third birthday without them. They have faced ambushes, snipers, and roadside bombs in distant lands. Not knowing if they will see the next sunrise.

On the home front, who have husbands and wives who hear the news and their painful words. Hear the reports of conflicts where their spouse is deployed. Dreading to see a man in uniform knocking on their door.

Think of the daughter who will never have her daddy walk her down the aisle. Or the son who will never be able to introduce their own child to “grandpa”.

Think of the father who waited months to see his new born girl. Or the mother hoping to get leave so she can see her son walk at graduation.

So this weekend, get your shopping down ahead of time. Take advantage of the deals.

But on Memorial Day, stop and remember those who stand as a living wall, a living shield, to defend us.

Wandering Soul

Hour by Hour
Day by Day
I toil and ply my trade
Sun up to sun down
I work all day

Yet my soul is far away
Past the cold buildings
Beyond the paved roads
My soul wanders alone

Through distant woods
Beneath star filled skies
My soul walks afar

It links by the streams
Of hidden valleys
It stands upon mountain tops
And distant ocean shores

Though my feet have never tread
This distant places
Nor has my eyes seen these sights
My soul lives there now
And my heart longs to join