The Days of The New

                The advent of sleep hung on his head. The lack of stimulants stumbled across his tired body. Illness plagued his chest and back. The pain of suffocating slowly lingered. It was not the night of nights and he was sitting across his blank screen. He was waiting for something to emerge from the mesh of words that crisscrossed his thoughts ever so quickly. Mumbling musings of an old tale, he could keep himself in this state for eternity. There was nothing to attend to.

She came up to him sleepily from the bed. Taking the time to give him a loving embrace from the warmth of her bodice, she kissed him on the cheek as the cigarettes burned endlessly on the ashtray beside him. Once more, she whispered in his ear the words that would always convince him to leave the illustrious state of dullness. The gray walls echoed the flawed words of the music that emerged from the speakers of the computer.

“It’s all the same. Once again.”

He kissed her back, slowly taking the time to lock lips with her. There was no tongue for it was sweet and not passionate. It was bleak but not meaningless. It was soft. She understood his state, so close to an epiphany of sorts that would eventually cause him to write another masterpiece. Disturbed by the physical realm of reality, his link to the alternative mental truth was severed.

It was another day, another musing, another mindless run of the mill scenario, another empty passing of time and life. Breaking from a habit that emerged every year, taking up the three months of the hottest of the season, it was never quite the same each time. Each time, a longing progressed into his soul, and yet, he wanted the new. He wanted the new, but never stopped wanting the old.

How did she know him so well? He never wondered past the question. He just enjoyed it. He just loved her, regardless. It was not strong, nor was it too timid. The perfection of it all waned reality such that he believed that he did love and at the same time forgot how to. Such was the perfection of the situation.

Another change of music, another change of scene, another change of life’s lessons, another change of dreams. A fling of jealously for comrades who progressed far into the future, while his being was of the past, rendered in the present, and only developing slowly into the near future, kept him at bay. He wanted to move up the ladder; fast. It was impossible due to the constraints of certainty, but nothing was impossible when done out of love. He did it for love.

Fingers poised at the keys, he typed out his work, his heart, his passion. He brewed it from the depths of the empty nothingness that kept him awake at night. He mixed it in with the slight sweetness of life’s little joys. All held together by the porcelain walls of text, the recipe was just right. There was no creamer to soften the strength of the piece. There was nothing to soften the blow of the veracity of existence. Verily, the facade was no more a veneer of human narcissism. Emerged in the black mixture was the visage of life. It was all quite real to the taste however perpetually false to the flavour. Bitter.

“Welcome back.”

She whispered as he joined her upon their bed. The chamber of thoughts locked away once more. He kept it safe, hidden, and would only expose silhouettes in the form of words. The sun was nearing its incumbent return to geographical vision, and he closed his eyes. His arms wrapped themselves peacefully and lovingly around her warm body. She huddled in, savouring the vibrant act of love. It was a good night for her, as it always was, being loved by him. It was never a good night for the writer, kept awake endlessly. He laid himself there, eyes open, in thought. There was no sleep for his mind, yet there was peace in his heart. It was a good night for his soul.

Good for change. The guitars sung them a song that granted him a well earned, and hard pressed moment of sleep. The fresh daylight hours had finally arrived, bringing about the false promises of productivity. He could scream out in a frenzied calm, alas he did not. He slept peacefully in the hopes that tomorrow was a fulfilled promise of beauty. Never was it so hollow.
*Inspired by the band “Days of The New”

(c) Anachronic Works 2013

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Hard To Find

It was her devilish smile. He’d caught a glimpse of her as she walked through the door, the afternoon sun and the spray of the open wind from the beach birthing into this cafe a goddess, of sorts. Her red trench coat stood out, instantly catching the eye of many a man. The cafe’s door chime rang as if announcing royalty, simultaneously, her red stiletto heels clicked as if calling each man’s attention. She hung her coat, revealing a rather obscure orange dress. Bright colors weren’t exactly his thing, but hey, who would complain when the colors were accompanied by a nicely pressed body. Looking down at his horizontally striped red and white shirt, he checked if he was fit enough to talk to her. He could almost see his bones rupturing the cotton fabric of his long sleeved shirt. Adjusting his peculiarly circular glasses, he stood up, scratched the hair underneath his, also peculiarly striped, bonnet. He gazed at her as she sat there by the counter, ordering her drink. It was a coffee shop, after all, and there was nothing to feel relatively uneasy about. He picked up his bag; he could always simply disappear into the crowd, should his dignity be compromised.

“Hey, there, ma’am. You seem familiar. Have I seen you somewhere? In a film? You look like someone I’ve seen in a film. I, myself, characterize myself in books.” He spoke with his squeaky voice that shook. He sat down next to her, dropping the messenger bag on the floor. There she went again, flashing her devilish smile at him, as she turned her head away. She slid the ashtray from her end to center between them, followed by her pack of Pall Malls. Offering him a cigarette, she took one from the pack and lit it. He took one.

The wind from the shore blew into the open-deck cafe, swinging the chimes and curtains. The aroma of saltwater and coffee proved an excellent conductor for the interaction of two people. Such was the case at that moment. They let a little silence pass, as they took the drags slowly, staring out into the beach ruckus. Children playing, seagulls flying, and all sorts of poorly chosen items filled the sand, and there was barely a walkway. Several people sat on lawn chairs, reading, and there was a group that played Frisbee. Above the clutter of life further down towards the shore, they sat, with subtle jazzy music emerging from the speakers of the cafe. As the moment passed, she turned and finally deigned to talk to him. He had been waiting in disturbed silence. She turned to face him with her legs crossed, and leaned forward, revealing a little cleavage.

“I am Carmen San Diego, and you are?” She puffed smoke between her Latin accent.

“Wally, or as some people call me, Waldo, Odlaw.” He said, taking the lighter.

“So, why is it you’re here, talking to me?” She played a subtle, yet distinct pout.

“Why does anything even happen?” He played a smile that seemed bittersweet.

“Avoiding the question, changing topics, and you left your drink on the other table. You like me, don’t you, Mr. Odlaw.”

“Well, someone’s full of herself.”

“Well, that just proves it. I am right.” She said, using her cigarette to accentuate the point.

“Just because I said certain things in that order, doesn’t mean that I have a hidden plan of sorts.”

“You just keep making this harder and harder for yourself to disprove.” She said with a wink.

“Alright, so you’re right. What of it?” He said, dropping his hands calmly on the tabletop.

“Let’s cut the verbal foreplay here, huh?” She said, uncrossing her legs.

“Alright.”

“You have, more or less, until the end of that cigarette stick to make me like you. If you fail, you’re gone. No second chance. Deal?”

“Deal.” He said, taking a very deep drag that finished most of the cigarette off.

“I have a feeling you’re a tough kind of girl to find.” He said, stubbing out his cigarette.

“I feel the exact same way about you.” She replied, stubbing out her cigarette.

(c) Anachronic Works 2012

Bargaining (Poem)

How much,
Is your final
Offer
For these
Cigarettes?

What,
Is your last
Price
For these
Drinks?

What,
Will it take for you to
Come
Home with
Me?

When,
Will you
Keep
Your promise to
Me?

Will,
You
Accept
Poetry
As
Payment?

Will,
Words of affection
Be
Enough
For
You?

Where,
Do we
Go
From here
And
Now?

How would you,
Like to
Do
It when the
Time
Comes?

What then,
Will we
Settle
On when the
Night
Is done?

Why,
Don’t we
Close,
The deal
Before
Introduction?

There. Now.
Tell
Me your
Name.
I’ll tell you
Mine.

(c) Anachronic Works 2012

Cradle’s Story

With a lingering pain in his chest, Cradle walked down the moist sidewalk, next to the bus stop, scarcely trying to recall what his life had been like, long ago. A cigarette in his mouth, he knew he was to die, however he never quite expected that it would be like such. The streets were dark and void of anything, or anyone. It wasn’t quite the same as it was when he was alive, however, his only contentment was that in this life, death was not to come again, and that whatever he did here didn’t deteriorate his body. If he’d shot himself, he wouldn’t misplace his life, it’d be right there where he left it, in his body. At least that’s what he could expect, after attempting to poison himself futilely.

“Son of a bitch.” He said with a slight musical atonement that would relate words to actions unintended. He dropped the cigarette from his mouth as he flung the creature off his shoulder. It was a centipede, a small one, red and brown, and it left a lingering double-dotted bite mark on his neck. To think that God or whoever was the creator of this damned place would think of a less nuisance infested world. Checking his pocket, for the hard cardboard pack of his endeared vice, he found no refuge in the embers of burning tobacco.

“Motherfucker.” He said, rubbing the sore wound that would never fester into a malicious disease, recalling how his antiquated body was like, long ago. Immersed in the thought, he recalled his dying mother, ill to the bone with a barrage of incurable diseases thanks to her line of work. He recalled his father, who had died on his 19’th birthday, quite some years ago. He recalled his two sisters, who had moved on with life, slowly decaying as time passed by; as they lived their lives without him. His wife was pregnant, and such was the case during his past life. Averting his trail of thought from the dismembered memories of what once was, he returned to his current, and yet similarly distorted life.

“Asshole.” He mentioned to the creator, who was clearly nowhere near him, or so he thought. If there ever was a creator, and they’d met, he would probably have attempted a homicide. The next pack of cigarettes would be at the convenience store uphill, and it would be a ten minute walk over. Checking his watch, he noticed that he still had 15 minutes before the store closed. Undisclosed to his line of sight, there was an old man, around mid 80’s, with a long gray beard that draped over his chest, wrung tightly against the man’s suit. A large gut hung from the man’s centre, which made the man’s breathing more incandescent as it moved, shifting shadow and mass. The man had quite the formal look with a tie bulging from beneath the dark double-breasted coat he wore. It was fairly unnoticeable until:

“One want?” Said the man, startling Cradle. Cradle winced over in shock.

“Want what?” Cradle replied, tossing the empty pack towards the filthy sidewalk, encompassed with litter.

“A cigarette.” The man said, offering an open soft pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes. Thunder rumbled in the distance and lightning cackled its worst. The man was sitting on a dilapidated bench in the bus stop, a paper bag next to him with what surely contained a bottle of some oddly branded liquor. The cigarette pack claimed that it was detrimental to one’s health, and a physically dangerous substance. The irony of tobacco, its enemies, and its users. It never ceased to let a smile drip from Cradle’s face, and this time was no exception.

“Sure.” He said taking one from the pack. Why wait when he could satisfy his cravings now?

“Thanks. I needed one.” He added, lighting the stick.

“Sit, sonny. Listen.” The man offered. Seeing as he wasn’t going to do anything quite productive, although that didn’t perturb him, for the rest of his miserable second chance at life, he sat down. Luckily he died with just over 3 billion dollars in his hand, and it remained with him through the afterlife, if this was the afterlife.

“Alright.” He said, sitting down, next to the old man. The old man took a swig from the bottle in the paper bag, and released a self satisfying sigh that seemed to echo down the streets. Haunting in a way, although he knew that nobody was hurt here, a chill rose against his spine, the tingling sensation reminding him of his former life. Quite close, however, nothing here was ever quite the same. Everything was extensively bland, to the point of being hackneyed, but at least there was some little taste left.

“What’s a nice night like you doing on a guy like this?” The old man drunkenly asked, turning to Cradle with such familiar green eyes.

“Well, I don’t know about the night, but I’m pretty sure I was walking home when you offered me this.” He replied, holding out the cigarette.

“Heh. Well, nobody doing knows what they’re here anymore. Even I don’t… Anyway, the name’s Earl. A meeting you pleasure.”

“An equal pleasure to meet you. Are you drunk, or do you just have some grammar issues?”

“Well, since ever I blew my head from the brain, I’ve funny been talkin’ like this.”

“I see. Tough, huh?”

“Yep… That’s why hires nobody me. I’ve tried. I’m it sick of.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Well, here’s life been good pretty, actually. I donation get others from. Day it through gets help.”

“Sucks, huh?”

“Yep.”

“So, what was it you wanted to tell me?”

“Oh, nothing that. It’s lonely just lately I’ve been, and I share to something you with wanted.”

“Mhmm, and what would that be?” Cradle said, taking another puff from the cigarette.

“Well, foggy seeing as its how, or vision my blurry is, I talk to wanted you. See you, its doing difficult this, nobody because talks with to want me… I be used to a speaker public. One day, decided I enough I’ve had. Went on shot I myself and. See I how react people to me. Understand do me they, but hard it’s them for. So talking I do don’t much, nowadays.”

“I can see how that would trouble you. Misery loves company, and I guess I’m here to revel in your story, huh?” Cradle said.

“Wanted no, I just say to something someone die before I.”

“You’re gonna die? Now?”

“No.”

“Oh, okay. Well, you can’t get much dead-er than this.”

“Yep. You how bout’? Story a have me for?”

“You know, I gave up my entire life for my dream. Chased it, and I was forced to do something I guess I could say I’m proud of, even though that would classify me as somewhat troubled mentally. I took chances, did everything the books and people told me to. I sat when they said so, jumped when they told me, and still, all my dreams were flushed down the toilet. I made a company, and my partners turned on me as soon as the recession came about. I was forced to steal from them. Hell, I stole almost everything. It was good, at least, when the cops finally found me, I caused a big shootout, killing some bystanders, and a few cops as well. That’s when it turned to shit; some punk-ass SWAT sniper took me out from across the street. Worst feeling ever, being shot. Anyway, I didn’t die then. I was still alive, although my arm was nearly blown off by that son of a bitch. I realized I didn’t want an eternity in prison, so I just ended up shooting myself with my own gun, right in the heart.”

“Head at shoot least didn’t you your.”

“Yeah. Those sons of bitches. My mother was dying, my father was dead, and I was also pretty much an undead asshole, walking with a beat, not knowing what was going on with the rest of my only family, my two sisters. Heh, I guess you win some, you lose some, life’s a joke, and I’ll be damned if anyone can prove that otherwise.”

“Yep. Strike the name’s. Are you?”

“Cradle. That’s what they called me. I always cradled almost every possession I had when I was a kid and the name kinda stuck. What’s with strike?”

“Bowling.”

“Ahh… I see. Nice to know, Strike.”

“Advice piece one I’ve you for got. Again it don’t do, sure for that’s. Life’s here better, so waste don’t chances your. You’re have that money lucky to. It do good with. Worth it’s not do to again that. Trust me. Worth this its time it.”

“See, anyway, around you.” Strike added as he stood up and began walking away. Cradle checked his watch; it was 20 minutes too late for buying another pack. Fractious about the scenario, he cursed again under his breath. Strike disappeared, and Cradle noticed a stick left on the bench. Picking it up, and contemplating on whether or not the creator was actually half bad, he read a small penned inscription on the stick. It read:

‘Good luck, Cradle. Be better.’

“Yeah, right, Strike.” He whispered under his breath, lighting it up. Walking in the opposite direction now, he headed over to the other convenience store that was open 24 hours. Although it was farther, his need wasn’t quite fusty just yet. Cradling the lighter in his hands, he continued walking down the road, pondering on whether or not his gun which was back at his apartment was still loaded.

(c) Anachronic Works 2012