It’s so hazy… what’s that sound?
Ugh… I need to get up
I said get up!
Maybe if I closed my eyes–
The ringing is gone now.
Maybe I should–
The fire flared in bright red and yellow, casting tall shadows on the grove surrounding him. With a step, he backed away from the flames as it was reaching towards his face, burning against his skin. He quirked his mouth in amusement, imagining his wife striking him beyond the dead. She and the fire had many similarities, he realised; they were both beautiful, energetic and unpredictable. Perhaps the flames were the manifestation of her? It wouldn’t surprise him. She always had a way of reaching him wherever he could not.
Perhaps that is why it ended this way?
She had it all, the power and the freedom to do whatever she wanted – to meet anyone she wanted…
He frowned as his mind drifted away. She had been with a lot of men. He was certain. He’d accepted it because she’d always been there for him in the end. Though, his friend always said he was paranoid… but, of course, he would tell him so, he was but one of many men she met.
She always beamed after coming home from one of those meetings. What else did she do but break her vows to me and to almighty god?
“Praise his name,” he mumbled over the roars of the flames.
Suddenly, the fire flared, forcing him to cover his eyes. The flames were so bright… another similarity, he realised – she had been his light.
A tear trickled down his cheek at the thought of the flames eventually dying, leaving him in the darkness of the mortal bound – his sins unattended.
He would never see his light again… yet, he was contempt.
As if fuelled by his emotions, the bonfire towered ever higher towards the sky. “You will be there soon,” he said aloud, raising his hands towards the sky, imitating the flames.
Suddenly, something rolled up against his shoes, breaking his revery. He lowered his head and narrowed his eyes, a burnt watch hissed in the cool air, partly melted.
He grabbed the watch and rubbed his thumb against the glass, it was still ticking. It was a nice watch, he realised regretfully. For a moment, he wished that he had taken it, but he quickly dismissed the thought and waved his hand airily; he would not add stealing to his sins, and he threw the watch back into the flames.
“Ungrateful bastard…” he muttered. “It is more than you deserve! a death far too beautiful.” he roared, raising his hands into the air as the wind blew against his back, amplifying his voice and making the flames flutter in response to his words. It really was a manifestation of them both, he convinced himself, feeling at ease once again. They knew what they had done, and they were sorry, he could tell. He was sorry too. But in the flames, their sins will vanish and they will be accepted onto heaven.
Standing by the fire he suddenly lowered his hands and his lips flattened. What of my own sins? he speculated. There were no loopholes in the laws of god. Murder in any circumstance would always lead to damnation, he was certain.
He stared deep into the flames, purposely avoiding the centre of the fire. Just a little more… then his sins will go away.
For there can be no a crime when there is no guilt, and if there is no crime, surely there was never any victims.
© Christopher Stamfors
Writing before work is easy; writing after work is very difficult.
How can this be?
Is the brain unable to do creative work if you don’t start immediately in the morning?
Mine certainly is.
I need to get a night shift job.
Why is it so hard to write all of a sudden?
Where has my creativity gone?
Is my mind sapped?
Do I need a refill?
I believe that a writer should never get in a situation where you have nothing to do but write and read. It is like incest to your brain, unable to absorb the reality of life and just the fiction of other people’s creations.
Though all artists steal, you should steal from your environment and your surroundings, not other people’s thoughts. Otherwise, your creativity becomes inbred, unable to make something that is truly your own.
The wind chilled through her cotton clothes as she traversed along the side of the mountain. Her red hair blew far beyond her face as if dragging her towards the edge of the cliff. She stared at her feet as the road was barely visible under the weed and crumbled stone plates. She wondered for what purpose it was erected, and by whom, as the land was remote and uninhabited. But her mind was occupied by the path head and the people struggling behind and before her; careful, with every step they took.
After hours of climbing, she became un-watchful and her legs became weary. The pressure under her feet made one the ancient stone plates break in half and her body leaned over the edge. She wobbled as she tried to regain balance. Her heart stopped, and she held her breath as she stared in terror down the foggy abyss. With a pull on her wrist, she was flung back to safety.
While pressed against the mountain wall, she gasped uncontrollably, her heart beating out of her chest. But as her breath steadied, she looked at her saviour who stood hunched next to her. What she saw, was a man with a vacant expression, the expression of a man that had traveled too far and seen too much. Feelings that she could relate all too well with.
Burn, burn I say!
…End my torment
…Cleanse my sins
Soon there will be nothing left
Soon there will be no guilt
There will be no crime
And therefore… no victims
Gold, gold is the elixir of life
Gold is what keeps me asleep at night
– Shame the one who may wake me-
My breath may be that of smouldering death
But my heart still burns strong on top of your homes wrecked
It’s my gold…. Leave it be
The people waved and cheered at the soldiers marching through the town. Commander Vergan moved his hand back and forth in response, grinning excitedly at the crowd.
They had expected fierce resistance from the populous, but as none came, he, and his men, could not help but laugh at their fortune. Battle in towns and cities was something to be avoided at all cost. It was impossible to keep formation and the battle often descended into chaos when the ranks were split up, unable to communicate. He recalled the dread of never knowing what lay around the corner, always glancing at the windows for an ambush. He shuddered at the experience, but he had lived to fight another day, just like today.
Though he was battle-hardened by now, he could never get used to the tension of war. It wasn’t meant for him. Yet, he had been forced into this profession, he being the youngest of his brothers and all – unable to inherit. But, he had done well for himself, all things considered.
In a fairy ring broken
Your dreams lie trapped
Go grabbed them if you can
You are welcome to try
But be warned if you do
Because at your wits end
You will find that you are not alone
In your mind’s game
The world is ripe
The gears are in bloom
My machines will kill you
and you are all doomed
… I’m sorry