The Lamp Struggle

I see an old man and his wife with a large, heavy looking lamp, reminiscent of the old time gas lamps that lined the streets of Paris in a time before our exploitation of electricity.

With the stand and it’s cumbersome head, easily ten pounds apiece, the man removes it gingerly from the trunk of his silver CRV under the watchful gaze of his wife. I can already see that their intended desire is to sell the lamp is folly. A red sign on the front door of the seldom frequented lamp place across the street states -CLOSED- which now at second glance does actually appear to say -OPEN-.

The man’s legs aren’t what they used to be; he shuffles slowly, but not as slow as others his age might be. His bald head is surrounded by a half circle of frosty hair. With their pace, the man with the lamp, the elderly wife behind him, make their way up the rough concrete stairs: pushed and warped by the grassy hill in front of the old store, attempting to devour all human constructs.
The man pants, battling the growing realization that his carrying days are numbered. Step by step, he makes it, leading his wife from the car to the stairs in the hill.

His wife fusses over something in her bag as the man makes for the door. Before he can reach it, the wife stops and says something along the lines of “I forgot (this or that) at home.”

The man with the lamp turns and irritably talks with her yet only with the kind of anger that comes from the burden of a heavy lamp and annoyance with a loved one.

Anyway, whatever problem occurred, the  two continue along the overgrown concrete towards the door, the old man lugging the heavy lamp, the old woman right behind him until they finally see the entrance which bears the sign. On third glance it must say closed after all. The two stand side by side as though the world has dropped away from them. At first thought to me, it is that they cannot fathom the sign being on display, but more likely they are reading the open/closed times.

Side by side they stand at the door as though something may occur to make it open.

Alas, it is fruitless, and although there is no outward showing of emotion, I get the feeling that the old man is annoyed in that way of a working person, always willing to take the burden but unhappy over futility in it. His world becomes that of Sisyphus in an instant.  The woman is filled with the void of reality, of unhinged plans and wasted time. Just for a moment,

the time it takes for them to make their way back to the trunk of the CRV and stow the heavy lamp for another day.

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Mox V

“Bing Bong” came a soft and irritating alert from Ganymede Entry Protocol and Services. It echoed around the cabin’s comlink speakers.

“You have successfully downloaded the standard entry package. The standard package is updated every fifteen minutes and has a success rate of sevend-”

Grivo Switched off the comlink  with a curt flick of his wrist on one of the knobs outlined with a neon green on the intricate dash. With another flick of his wrist the little furry alien twisted a neon orange outlined knob. Just as he did so, radio waves from earth’s past brought the sounds of Pink Floyd to the ship in a descending orbit around Jupiter’s most civilized moon colonies.

Grivo reclined back in his pleather chair, stretching out his little arms before crossing them behind his head. The little tufts of fur on his elbows stuck out from the sides of the pilot’s chair. His long ears rubbed against the material before they relaxed about the sides of his face. He let out a deep sigh that whistled between his sharp teeth and finally he crossed his legs.

Lynda on the other hand was suddenly struck with a tense paralysis once more.

Fucking hell, why now. She thought as the moon grew closer. It’s small, it probably barely has an atmosphere. 

She looked down to see her nails digging into the coarse tan fabric of the passenger seat. She looked out the window and saw only madding space or the moon which was now dominating half of their view.

She looked to Grivo. His eyes closed; stomach rising and falling in a soft peace beneath his flight suit.

She felt her knee reflexively bobbing and looked for something to take her mind away from the rising tide. She scratched her elbow. She scratched her jaw. She felt beads of sweat on her brow. She turned suddenly to the little alien.

“Are you always this calm when you’re about to do an atmospheric push.” She said. Her eyes grasping at Grivo to say something to distract her.

“Hmm?” Said Grivo, his eyes opening slightly. “Why aren’t you. You paid for them to do it. Does that not bode well on your nerves?”

“It’s…I’t’s not that I’m nervous…” Said Lynda “I just have a conniption about planetary entries.”  Lynda’s left ankle pocket began to feel very heavy.

Grivo shrugged “It’s just a Lunar entry. Over in three minutes.”

Lynda’s teeth began to chatter, and her skin felt as though she was being bitten by lice .

“I’m trained fully myself. I’ve done it lots of times. Eventually you accept that you’re gonna make it or not.”

Lynda’s eyes groped to the window. Madding space. The moon which was just a pinprick before was now looming before them as they descended. She could make out structures and formations on the surface.

“Don’t worry. Atmosphere entry is way over hyped. I guess you haven’t done it too often, but it’s really not that difficult.”

Lynda’s scalp felt like sandpaper. She let out a irritated breath and reached down into her ankle pocket.

“It’s fine.” She said, scratching with her other hand as she raised a cylindrical device. It had a large metal cylinder with a blue button. A glass chamber at one end became a mouthpiece with a rubber tip at the end.  She stopped to calm herself before  putting the mouthpiece into her mouth. “It’s fine” she breathed. “I have ways to cope.”

She pressed the blue button and a wave of vapor snaked through the glass chamber. She pulled the device away and took a sharp secondary breath before letting her arms fall. She closed her eyes and a plume of vapor spread out into the cabin.

Grivo glanced over to see Lynda fall back into her chair as the smoke trailed from her head. Her arms slumped over the armrests and the cylindrical device fell to the floor. He shrugged and closed his eyes.

Lynda’s eyes opened. They were dilated to the edge of her iris’s. The lights of the cabin waved in and out of focus as the motion outside the window continued beyond care or worry. She felt her body being enveloped by the puffy passenger chair. She laughed as fire began to creep up the windows of the cabin.

Metal-alloy shutter shields lowered  in front of the windows. Blocking out the view. The lights inside the cabin flickered and faded away to darkness as the ship began it’s long and turbulent decent to the surface.

Lynda’s eyes made patterns in the blackness and felt soft swaying nudges in random directions. She giggled as the ship continued on.

Mox V? thought Grivo

There are worse problems. thought Grivo

Radio

The radio sputtered with static. Garbled voices of various pitches whirred into focus and then away with the rapid switch between stations. A band of blue green light waved with the frequencies in the center of the console behind scratched and dirty glass. The green numbered preset buttons below stood at attention between two knobs outlined with neon orange against the darkness of the cabin.

The static waved like rain on a metal roof, became interlaced with pops and waves, or receded for a moment to give way to the muffled voice of some alien creature. Nothing clear or decipherable could be heard. In the vast world of radio frequencies, nothing was picked up by the device.

Lynda swiveled her chair away from the window.

“It’s busted. Why do you keep trying.” Her crossed arms ignored the brown canvas of the puffy foam passenger chair.  Beyond the glass behind her, the neon lights of the spaceway and other ships in the night moved quickly across the stars.

“You don’t have any appreciation for frequency jumping do you?” Said Grivo. The little fox looking alien stood on the edge of the pilot’s chair, his claws digging into the imitation leather material. One of his furry hands was on the console of the radio and the other held the wheel.  His face was alight with an animal curiosity at the radio while the frequency band reflected blue green off of his dark glistening eyes.

The sounds of the dead radio whirred and jumped some more around the hi-fi rigged surround sound system of the ship’s cabin. The strange and abstract noises from mysterious sources fell flatly on Lynda whose face somehow depressed further into her crossed arms. The blaring static and garbage noise polluted her mind with a rising landfill of rage until she snapped.

She flung her arms out at the little creature.

“CANT YOU PLEASE JUST PUT ON A SONG for gods… sake-”

Just at that moment, her wide eyes cooled. Her mouth hung open and her arm muscles relaxed as a driving back beat of pedal drum and bass guitar smited her. With crystalline clarity the groove arose from the sea of static. The song was graced with the presence of a guitar. It’s silver strings vibrating smoothly along the frets. A soft soulful saxophone meandered above it all.  The notes hit her like heat to butter. A lone voice took over singing words in another language which could have meant anything to her.

The song had a magical effect on her until the saxophone’s solo was beginning to rise and a curtain of dense static dropped over the experience.

“Eh, not my favorite tune. Too lounge music don’t you think?” said Grivo turning the dials with a fervency once more.

“Hey! Change it back!” said Lynda

“Oh you liked it?”

“YES! That song was from Earth!”

Grivo looked back with a confused tilt.

“My home planet.”

The static continued around them, Grivo seemed to be thinking the same thing.

Lynda furrowed her brow. “It made me nostalgic.”

Grivo flicked his wrist and the music smoothly retook the cabin. Lynda sat back in the chair and swiveled it towards the window. Grivo let go of the dial and focused his eyes and both hands on piloting. The white and yellow electronic lines on the glass showed the safest lanes of travel as ships switched between them. Their thrusters were a myriad of colors.

“I have no idea what nostalgia is. But it must be nice for you humans. I ether like music or I don’t.” Said Grivo

“No.” Said Lynda “It’s not like that…it’s …well…uh…It’s that the music makes me think about other things. Nostalgia is like a kind of homesick…but for memories too…”

It was Grivo’s turn to furrow his brow. “Why would you want to be homesick?”

“It’s not like that- just- just forget it, lets just listen to the song in peace.” Said Lynda, her arms resuming their crossed position. She looked out the window at the approaching hyper-jump gate, in orbit around Gatamine while french smooth jazz played around the alien’s spaceship.

Part 2 —> http://bit.ly/1BxzbWa

The tale of Arrie the Kitsune

1
Twas back in time of woe-sung rhyme
That one of the fox-folk, Arrie so named,
Did from the high mountains so wooded in rime
Came down to the lands of men to play games

At forest’s edge she went in disguise
Where the trees and fields make their meet
A glint of mischief she held in her eyes
For a trick or love to toy she did seek

Through fields she set off like wind through rushes
Arrived at the road near fall of night’s cowl
Feared not she be looked on, such is,
Silver moonbeams never treat he so fowl

How eyes do trick in the night’s light
None could be wiser to the maiden’s sight
2
The waving grain made a windy part
Silent footfall upon dry crumbled husk
Gust of wind rustled the tarp of a cart
The driver admired the cooling dusk

Enjoying the sounds of his wagon’s creaks
Wound down the road this village merchant took
As the way ribboned its way to the east
Never a rearward glance he took to look

Saw the heaps of thatch rise from yonder hill
Little known to his passenger’s fine feast
The little demon took up her fill
Enjoyed his shipment of fine meats

So filled with prospects of his new venture
Heeded not the puzzling sound of laughter

3
To the warm light of street shops she crept
And snatched up a dress remaining unseen
Unwatched by the throng she needn’t repent
Placed it on neat by two buildings between
Yet then by eye a luminent gleam
With a gander across from alleyway nook
She lent on the corner to gather the scene
Orbs of orange marched like embered brook
Demons masked in festive preen, lanterns took
Like painted pagans the townsfolk danced free
Music weaved sateen through the crowds they shook
Arrie smiled at the mirth she did see
“What curious sight” thought the kitsune

4
Needn’t she fear the scrutning eyes of men
guise she dropped taking on her true form
danced among the music seen as a friend
Intoxicating dew, firelight warm

Around the great blazes they sung their sounds
Of all mischief Arrie seemed to forget
Mask among mask pounded foot against ground
One foxian face shown through bare, there yet

Food and stories the reveled folk shared
Returned with steps of tumultuous laugh
Though some thought her tales were quite rare
Not one had guessed from where she made her path

With jokes and wit told here and there, Arrie did not fail
And she smirked at the compliments on the craft of her tail
5
The festival reeved with a drunken muse
Lines hand in hand ran through the streets
Salty snapping meats running with juice
Smiling eyes to joyous tambourine beats

Arrie drank nearly the whole of a cask
Witnessed’ agape with curiosity
How easy for her to drink through her mask
And wipe her mouth with ferocity

In the midst of the mirth then caught surprise
The watchful eyes of a man clad in grace
To show under her mask he asked for comply
And wished he to set upon her true face

Pulled from her daze she turned her back to him
And re-turned with a kindly illusion
6
Visage of a stunning woman she passed
With hair of black and eyes of icy blue
Her form seen kindly subtle, now while masked
Eyes met Gazing, dizzy warmth flutter flew

His face was less than fair as fair may be
held something yet behind those auburn eyes
resisted strange gravity, held she to see
her mind had set work on him with apprise

Asked he then with an outstretched steady hand
To join him in the last festive dance
Arrie the demon could not understand
How this mortal could put her in a trance

With the flutes rising she took the offer
Swept in the masquerade to his proffer
7
Knowing no dance, his guide was her portal
Lively the veiled casted their costumes aside
In bacchius haze she danced with the mortal
Less known her the truth to be descried

To his arms she fell, and he did embrace
The music background seemed to fall fell
In soft current of their step, all erased
Warmth of touch driving unholy impel

With eyes that betrayed, she looked upon him
An earnest presence returned his graces
Desire takes aside all forethought whim
In the eternity of meeting faces

Replaced with a whim of desire sore missed
Did in the harvest, the lord and the demon kiss
8
Be what be and be what may be said
What kindled with the thicket fires
That in her tale when awoke so fed
And lived new where lived her desires

Sprang to realize what desires displaced
Fled she away in the morning hours
Gone she was, never more a trace
Far to where lived her old powers

And when awoke he to empty sight
Recalling what in night he had seen
Startled struck with a sudden fright
And pondered nothing more than a dream

When the night winds swift  to daylight’s break
Not one sees the fox’s flight as they wake