Hic Sunt Deos

Here Be Gods

A Memory of Ash and Snow

Wisps of ash floated down from the growing cloud of smoke. There was no breeze, but the heat of the flames buffeted the smoldering flakes of wood and cloth, gently guiding the delicate remnants of the blaze away from the still raging fire even from a distance. Even without a wind to tear them apart, the flakes were gossamer thin, fragile, vulnerable, often disintegrating into dust before they could reach the ground. Every so often there was a sharp pop from the inferno, and a shower of white hot cinders shot out into the darkness of the night, a spray of short-lived flares, melting snow wherever they came to rest. The cabin burned for hours, sputtering and dying only when the timbers had burned well below the snowbanks, extinguishing only when the still frozen ground would allow the conflagration to go no further.

Between the low lying storm clouds, gathering strength to unleash another torrent of snow the next day, and the thick obscuring smoke from the blaze, the inferno was almost invisible even at full strength, vanishing entirely from view any further than a few yards by the time the last few guttering flames gave out at last and all that remained were quickly cooling embers. The blizzard that broke the next day lasted for a week, dumping layer after layer of fresh snow upon the land, burying all sign there had ever been a fire or home for many months after. When the spring came, later that year than any on record, the gathered snows melted slowly, clumps and drifts lingering over any depression and against any protrusion that could be used for cover. What had once been a cabin offered little shelter for the retreating snows, but it was enough to mask all signs that life had ever dwelt there for a few weeks longer. The days were turning toward the simmering, sweltering summer season before anyone happened upon the ruin.

A small child, enjoying the first weekend the weather had allowed him to ride his new bicycle, stopped in front of the blackened outlines in the ground of what had once been a house. He was far from his own home, far from any neighbors he knew, and far from the paths and roads he normally played along. This deep into the wild, down the badly maintained dirt road, he had not expected to find anything. The weeds and brambles had already started reasserting their natural right over the narrow road, adding to the illusion that no one had lived here for longer than was true. The child wondered about what he found, but made no note of it. There was nothing special about charred debris in the deep woods, and his were not the worries of the grown up world. Laughing away whatever fears or worries the oddity aroused, the child pedalled away toward home, leaving the last testament to what had once been a home behind, to be overgrown, not to be seen again.

Share with:


So Long Til Sleep

This is not what you think it is. In fact, it is not even what you think it is not.

Infinite impossibilities tangle inside my skull, contemplating and conspiring on expiring my last waking moments in a cacophony of idle thoughts so they can watch the show of me turning and churning in the sheets, struggling to extrapolate myself from all that is all my thoughts at once.

Mere caffeine alone cannot solve this one. Time for music.

Even if I could, I would not, so to say, even think of changing to a slower grade of pace as I face each day on what little measure of sleep I allow for my mind to take. When else would I dance with the moments of space and time that flit into my brain, expecting a waltz?

I say this, but once. Time is not what you think it was. It is mine.

Coffee is for the weak. If my blood gets much thinner, I could slide it into a seam and sew it away, never to escape again. Of course I am rambling, the damn lights never give up, not when they can blind me in the total darkness, pounding into my bones, trying desperately to keep me blinking. Damn sun. Damn sun! Die already!

Oh wait, it’s dead for the day. Why then do I still see it when I look down?

The compositions of those already asleep wander through my ears, soothing the silent beast trembling within my skin. It is good music I hear, too good for the mere darkness of the light to envelope. It is good to hear as I drink a little more sustenance, drowning out the howls of the thoughts as they drift away and disappear on the horizon of a nice soothing dream.

A dream, of music.

Share with:


King Winter – A Poem

In the twilight of the days, in the evening of the year, as inebriated fools hail the fading sun and curse the coming darkness, I whisper into the cooling winds, my words wandering across the earth. The earth comes to rest for another cycle, as the colors flee before my cold. I am approaching on whirling clouds of grey and gloom, quickly gathering into the storms ahead. Darkness looms above, as shadows grow below, nothing escaping the darkness that comes upon the land like a mad torrent of unforgiving anguish.

My cold chills to the bone any caught outdoors. I blast forth from the depths of men’s fears, swallowing up the bright summer days and the colors of the fall, washing all life of its warmth and painting the world in white. Men cower indoors, huddled about together before fires, trying to stave off my chill, trying to bear my wrath for another season, shivering through the long nights and longer storms as I vent my cold fury upon all who would dare to venture forth amid my sovereignty .

Behold, mere mortals, the rancor of my reign! Curse your curses upon my head if you will, offer me supplication from your scant stores, wail into the howling darkness your entreaties for forgiveness, but you will know no mercy. I am King Winter, and you will taste my death, trapped in the darkness of my grasp. Struggle and flee, my chill gales will pursue you, will gnaw at you, will bring you down into numb submission, and will tear the last warmth of life from your frozen bones.

Only when the land is dead, and the chill has sunk into the rocks and dirt will I depart once more. Only when I have had my fill of your misery, only when I have scoured the leaves and chased the joy from all who survived my vengeance, Only then will spring come to know the land. Only then will men emerge and whisper of my cruelty. Only then will men and beast return to the land. Only then will they once more claim lordship upon the world and build and breed. Only when my menace is a memory will they farm and flourish. But men and beast alike would do well to remember that seasons come and seasons go, and seasons pass and seasons grow. Tarry not long upon the land, for in the autumn of the year I bide my time, and once more the dark clouds grow upon the skies above and once more my words wander forth, heralds to be headed, to be feared, to be dreaded. Signs and portents of the fall of light and warmth should be heeded, for once more I will know my glory and life will know what cruel consequence cold can carry.

Share with:


Now Available as an Audiobook!

I am pleased to announce that Once Upon A Lane is now available in Audiobook format, narrated by Bick Schaeffer. He did a great job on the reading and I know you will enjoy listening to his performance!

Audible | Amazon

Share with:


Now in the Google Play Store

Once Upon A Lane is now available in the Google Play Store and in Google Books! With this new store, I can offer a Holiday discount on the ebook of $4!


https://books.google.com/books/about?id=YPvCDwAAQBAJ
https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=YPvCDwAAQBAJ

Share with:


Once Upon A Lane – Excerpt

They were shouting and laughing at each other, as if they were running away from the scene of some mischievous prank, which they were, as if they were being chased, which they were, and were fleeing to a safe refuge to wait out the temporary ire of their hapless victim, which they were. They careened wildly around various residents of the lane with little regard for their or the residents’ safety, as the young invariably do. Most just grunted or smiled in annoyance or bemusement, but some shouted reproaches at them or tried to reach out and grab them short with no success. When at last they reached Liola’s home, they were short on breath, but giggling all the same. They made their way around the pink pelican statues, down the path along the side of the house, around to the back of her house, past the back door that never opened and into the barely discernible hole in her hedgerow.

There was a hollow in the center of the bushes that lined most of the back fence that connected from bush to bush, and here was the favorite hideout of the youngest Murphy boy and Bobby. It was here that they planned their adventures, it was here that they hid their treasures, and it was here, in the hidden hollow, that they sought refuge from the adults who did not care for their childish escapades. The birds and squirrels had long ago ceded the whole hedge to the two boys. This was their refuge and their fortress. The bushes had served duty as a pirate ship, a castle, an underground cavern, a courtroom, a spaceship, and at all times a tunnel into another world that only they could see and visit.

Once secure in their hide-away, the youngest Murphy boy and Bobby chattered away in whispers, lest they be heard by their imagined pursuer, whispers far too loud to be stealthy, but quiet enough that none listening could possibly discern anything meaningful. Not that they discussed anything meaningful to anyone else, as they excitedly retold the events they had just experienced, misremembering and embellishing every detail, until their latest amusement was of the greatest magnitude with the highest of stakes and the fraughtest of perils. The erstwhile neighbor they had forayed against became a terrible dragon whom they had vanquished with a mighty spell, which happened to take the form of a water balloon, atop a high mountain in the forests of suburbia. Even woeful Leo Tuttle was transformed in their retelling into a mighty guardian troll they had deftly flanked as they crossed a rickety bridge spanning a yawning chasm without bottom that still somehow held a fearsome river filled with piranha and lava at the same time.

The boys stopped their narrative dialogue suddenly when they heard a creak and scrape of wood from the fence next to the hedge. There was only silence, as much as there ever is silence in a world filled with birds and insects and squirrels and other varieties of life. The two boys held their breath and listened intently, suddenly wholly convinced that they had been found out and their secret lair was about to be exposed to the world at last. Long moments of tension and worry held them captive, but the sound did not repeat. Finally, when they could hold neither their breath nor their tongues any longer, they burst into a frenetic whispered debate as to what had caused the sound or if they had heard any sound at all. They came to the mutual conclusion that they had imagined it, then subsequently decided that they had hidden long enough and the world outside was safe once more, so they peaked out of their hole in the bush before creeping out into Liola’s back yard.

Laughing and chattering once more, the pair dashed around the house, not hearing the boards behind their hideaway creak and scrape once more.

Share with:


Once Upon A Lane – Available Now!

A character driven slice-of-life story that follows the humble lives of the residents of a suburban neighborhood as they live and love, and about the house with the dead yard, a vacant lot, that sits among their homes, inert and immobile, yet intimidating and terrifying to any who look at it too long. The children of the lane are not the only ones who are fearful of the anomaly in their midst. Every adult upon the lane wonders why the structure still stands, with no known owner and no reason to be. The lingering question is not who owns the house, but why no one ever goes in or comes out, and why there are such ghastly noises emanating from within. Day by day, the happy people of the lane go about their tasks and trials, and day by day, the house with the dead yard seems a little more ominous, a little more intrusive, and a little less ignorable than before.

There once was a lane, filled with well-tended lawns and well-fostered friendships, of well-appointed houses all neat and tidy and those that live within, of stories and mysteries that manifest for only fleeting moments for the few who pay attention. This is one such tale. A tale about pleasant people, about the lives they live, about their wants and dreams, about their loves and losses, their joys and hates, about their days and nights in the company of cherished companions in the houses they call home. It is a dance between tears and joy, of young and old, of hopes and fears, of knowns and unknowns, of those who have yet to live and those who never have. In this tale of the happy little lives of blissful simple folk, there are monsters, to be sure. But this is not the story of monsters, this is not the tale of their evil deeds, this is the tale of those they make suffer. In this tale, the monsters have no names. The monsters do not deserve names.

Available now in ebook, paperback, or audiobook at your favorite online marketplaces:

Once Upon A Lane at Amazon

Once Upon A Lane at Audible

Once Upon A Lane at Smashwords

Once Upon A Lane at Barnes & Noble

Once Upon A Lane at Google Play

Also available in the iTunes App Book Store

Share with:


Once Upon A Lane – Coming Soon

There was a hollow in the center of the bushes that lined most of the back fence that connected from bush to bush, and here was the favorite hideout of the youngest Murphy boy and Bobby. It was here that they planned their adventures, it was here that they hid their treasures, and it was here, in the hidden hollow, that they sought refuge from the adults who did not care for their childish escapades. The birds and squirrels had long ago ceded the whole hedge to the two boys. This was their refuge and their fortress. The bushes had served duty as a pirate ship, a castle, an underground cavern, a courtroom, a spaceship, and at all times a tunnel into another world that only they could see and visit.

Once secure in their hide-away, the youngest Murphy boy and Bobby chattered away in whispers, lest they be heard by their imagined pursuer, whispers far too loud to be stealthy, but quiet enough that none listening could possibly discern anything meaningful. Not that they discussed anything meaningful to anyone else, as they excitedly retold the events they had just experienced, misremembering and embellishing every detail, until their latest amusement was of the greatest magnitude with the highest of stakes and the fraughtest of perils. The erstwhile neighbor they had forayed against became a terrible dragon whom they had vanquished with a mighty spell, which happened to take the form of a water balloon, atop a high mountain in the forests of suburbia. Even woeful Leo Tuttle was transformed in their retelling into a mighty guardian troll they had deftly flanked as they crossed a rickety bridge spanning a yawning chasm without bottom that still somehow held a fearsome river filled with piranha and lava at the same time.

The boys stopped their narrative dialogue suddenly when they heard a creak and scrape of wood from the fence next to the hedge. There was only silence, as much as there ever is silence in a world filled with birds and insects and squirrels and other varieties of life. The two boys held their breath and listened intently, suddenly wholly convinced that they had been found out and their secret lair was about to be exposed to the world at last. Long moments of tension and worry held them captive, but the sound did not repeat. Finally, when they could hold neither their breath nor their tongues any longer, they burst into a frenetic whispered debate as to what had caused the sound or if they had heard any sound at all. They came to the mutual conclusion that they had imagined it, then subsequently decided that they had hidden long enough and the world outside was safe once more, so they peaked out of their hole in the bush before creeping out into Liola’s back yard.

Laughing and chattering once more, the pair dashed around the house, not hearing the boards behind their hideaway creak and scrape once more….

 

Excerpt from my upcoming novel, Once Upon A Lane, available soon in your favorite online marketplace.

Share with:

Perchance to Taste

Two steps to the left, another to the right,
Twist and turn, spin and dance,
Jerk and shake, twirl and slide,
You are trapped in the trance.

A little of this, a little of that,
Too much to do, too many to meet,
Smile and shake, laugh and chat,
They stand in line to greet.

You want to do it all, every bit,
Experience the world all at once
In a second yet still enjoy each part.

Perchance to taste, perhaps to take,
A chance to create, to contribute,
To mark your mark, to live a dream.
Nothing can stop you today.

Share with:

Define Today

I want to see you naked in the first light of a newborn star.
I want to see you fully clothed in the fading light of day.
Dreams born, dreams worn, dreams shorn and forlorn.
I want, I need, I wish, my greed, my lust must feed.
Nothing matters, except everything that matters.
Nothing matters, except everything love shatters.

What is must be, what is has been, what was will be.
Scream into the heavens, they will not hear.
Cry into the abyss, there is nothing there.
I grasp, you cry, you persevere, we die.
Memories. Memories over mementos.
Memories made, memories matched, memories memorialized with life, memories lost.
Memories over moments.

A madness of words and emotions, never enough, never ever enough.
A madness of reason and reaction. Motions of melancholy and memory.
Fear, trepidation, a new life, an old life, a short life, a new life.

There is nothing certain, there are no tomorrows.
Today is a day like any other day, it is.
What is done in this day is yet to be defined.
Let’s define it a good day.

Share with:

« Older posts

© 2020 Hic Sunt Deos

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑