Strong Words

100 words –

I like words that are powerful, inspiring, and true.

Don’t you?

Words that bolster beliefs like boulders in a wall. Words that ring large for one and all. Massive words that roll across the landscape like an earthmover leaving the reader in awe.

Words describing mighty deeds tumble from the imagination like wild seeds spreading stories among societies searching for ways to express their inner most desires.

Monumental words mount up until the moment a kingdom rises from its slumbers and listens to the messages missives convey. A new day documented and emailed to eager searchers of weighty words.

Steps To Serenity

100 words –

Close your eyes and think about where you want to be. See what you want to see. What makes you happy?

Allow peace to settle upon your soul like a warm blanket in the winter.

Visions of eternity compete with reality, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find serenity. It’s there, deep inside like a splinter.

Let your inner being be serene, and dream. Everything isn’t as it may seem. Our life is a mystery, our roots long lost in history. We each have a story.

The road to happiness runs from desire to the heart whose destiny is serenity.

The Daily Life Run

200 words –

The life and death betting odds are officially released for today’s races:

Trainer’s Notes: Today’s contestants are from the North American continent and are all three-year veterans of the Life Run, which means none have ever lost a race.

Handicapping will be according to international game standards, factoring in weight, height, and skills with multiple weapons.

Announcer: “The first contestant is off! He’s carrying an automatic pistol and what appears to be a 17th samurai sword and has settled into a steady pace.

Just a refresher for any new viewers; there’s four contestants in each race. They take off from the four points of the life circle.

The goal is to get to the center of the circle first and take the antidote for the poison they were all given. As you can imagine, there’s some desperate fighting going on as contestants run into one another in the dark maze tunnels.

Note: Hopefully, future historians will understand why the daily life run is necessary after reading this. The long and the short of it, population control. The daily races are held throughout the planet. The races were agreed upon as a more human (and entertaining) way to cull the population.

Nightmares and Fears

100 words –

The heathen hoard clambered over the remnants of the consciousness wall, bringing madness to the chaos already imbedded there.

Reality is readily routed. The dreamer tries to break the dark ties, but only finds loathsome things like nightmares. Ghastly memories rooted in time tip-toe through their unconscious mind.

Unforgiving monsters stalk the sleeping brain, seeking tears by using fears built up through the years. Slumbering memories of sadness step around madness every night in a silent fight against nightmares and fears.

The gods comment: “Poor humans. They’re so frail that their minds are held hostage when they go to sleep.”

First Contact

500 words –

Terence adjusted the dial and listened breathlessly…

As the leader of the NASA team that designed the special instruments that could record electromagnetic vibrations in Space, he was given the honor of being the first person to activate the scanner. The team then transferred the vibrations into sounds their ears could hear.

There was no doubt it was a major scientific breakthrough and the highlight of Terence’s career. It took his knowledge and skill to take the recorded sounds, a complex interaction of charged electromagnetic particles from the Solar Wind, ionosphere, and planetary magnetosphere, and make sense of them.

He listening long into the night and went home dreaming about making contact with an alien civilization. The team all took turns monitoring the devices in 24-hour shifts which meant he didn’t get to go back for four more days.

When Terrence’s turn came up again he eagerly relieved his fellow team member who was noticeably yawning. “Maybe tonight,” he thought while putting the headphones on and pushing a row of blinking buttons on the display dashboard

As he waited to hear strange repetitive sounds he was stunned to hear a high-pitched voice speaking English!

“Surrender and we will spare you…surrender and we will…”

Terence’s mouth hung open in shock. What the hell was going on?

“…we will spare you…surrender and…”

There it went again! It wasn’t his imagination taking a sanity pause. The message was a dire warning coming from deep within space!

His first thought was, “Who’ll believe me when I relay this message?

After a couple of hours the message went silent. Terence was afraid if he told one of his colleagues they think he was nuts. Then he calmed down and realized the whole thing was recorded He felt sheepish and vindicated. It only took minutes before he rewound the machine and played it back.

He listened. And listened…and there was no message. He played it back and began panicking. No! He knew what he heard. There must be a malfunction with the recording devices he told himself as his sanity slowly slipped into a dark place.

When his relief, Dr. Olsen, arrived the next day he found Terence huddled up in a corner of the lab speaking gibberish. “Their coming! The aliens are coming!” he babbled.

“They want us to surrender…” he went on.

Dr. Olsen went to the display panel before even trying to talk with Terence. He activated the program from the last 24-hours, turning the speakers up to loud, and then went over to Terence.

The project team covered up Terence’s insanity. No one heard threatening messages from space and concluded he just cracked up.

Somewhere in space: “I want to know who the idiot was that ran that surrender message before we were ready to invade?”

Unsung Hero

450 words –

The dim glow of a quarter moon filtered through the curtains and cast shadows on the walls. Walter’s eyes struggled to make out the shifting shapes that pranced across them in a creepy parade.

Were they scenes from his past? Was waiting to die a way to suddenly come into contact with that mystical part of the brain scientists and poets write about? Do revelations reveal themselves before you’re executed?

The promise of a sure death was a blow to Walter’s soul and very being. He knew only hours separated him from the firing squad and eternity. This last night wasn’t for sleep. It was a time to pray. A time to accept one’s fate bravely. It was a time to fight the growing panic that comes when a body is not ready to die.

The idea of being tied to a stake and shot like a target didn’t register with his reality. How could this be? He wasn’t a deserter! They were wrong! The reason he was the only soldier left alive was because he never stopped fighting and the enemy drifted away after two days of fierce fighting. He didn’t run away, and come back to the fort after the battle was over like the tribunal claimed.

It was a case of universal injustice.

The rising sun went from blood red, to orange, to yellow, and finally burst into an azure blue. Not a cloud in the sky. A beautiful day to die.

When he heard gunfire coming from the walls he stopped pacing back and forth in the tiny room they locked him in next to the captain’s quarters. Screams of surprise and pain! A sustained rate of gunfire told him there was an all-out assault on the fort.

The battle lasted all day, finally slowing down at dusk. Walter looked out his shattered window and saw fires burning in some of the buildings across the courtyard. Bodies were everywhere. Legionnaires and Arabs. He could see the front gate were breeched.

He took a chance and climbed through the window. Taking a rifle from the dead legionnaire who was once his guard, he moved cautiously through the courtyard – rifle at the ready. After hours of searching he discovered he was the only survivor. Before disappearing into the desert the Arabs sacked the fort and spiked the two cannons. He scavenged bodies for rations.

Why no one looked in his room during the fighting was a mystery. It looked like his luck had changed.

Two days later a relief regiment arrived and discovered Walter. He told them his story. After a 25-minute trial the captain said “Arrest this deserter! We’ll make an example of him!”

A Writer’s Confession

250 words –

The first time I had something published in college I knew I was a writer. Not the normal reaction of, “Oh, I knew I wanted to be a writer after that.”

The sense that I was a scribe in full bloom was mostly vanity coupled with an imagination that continues to lead me down dark paths and redemptive roads with a twist for my readers.

My confession.Great Editor in the Sky: Forgive me for I have sinned. I’ve written numerous things with the barest of editing. Yes, it’s true. Even to this day I only edit for spelling and grammar. 

I’ve heard of rewriting and more than one draft, but I admit I seldom if ever, do that.”

So there you have it my fellow scribes. How could I seriously write without all the stress expressed by my peers? How could I not spend endless hours refining and polishing my poetry or prose and expect it to be good?

In my defense, I believe in spontaneity. I see a blank screen, or page, as an opportunity to roll around in lush fields of exploration seeking the holy grail of being a popular writer while defying norms.

But I’m too lazy to be a popular writer. It would mean marketing and other things that leave me colder than an Egyptian Maus in a meat locker.

I’m just a lazy old man with an imagination and a love for words. My joy comes in sharing. The fact that a stranger would stop – even for a second – to look at something I’ve written, makes my day. My reward for not having to howl at the moon alone…knowing others are out there.