Below is a snippet from a very cringy story I wrote in serialized style starting back around 2002. Above is an upscaled and modernized version of the cover that I had designed when I still had illusions that I would publish this tripe. Mind you, this is one of the best sections in the some-200 pages I wrote and, while I can see some salvageable elements, it is still pretty awful in my estimation. It is a tale full of not very clever stuff that I thought was clever at the time and includes one thing I have grown to detest as I get older: an evil overlord.
Drifter has a problem — he turns people to ash quite unintentionally when he touches them, he has a wafer-thin evil overlord pursuing him, and can walk through walls. Evil overlord wants to use him to stop a young lady who can keep the apocalypse from occurring — which the evil overlord would find annoying.
In this scene, Evil Overlord sends his minions, Glum and Treacle, to make sure Drifter picks the right side in the global affair.
It’s all very silly.
I am publishing this solely because Tara Caribou dared me to post something awful I had written. As I warned her, I have very little shame. Some light edits are involved. I have a modicum of pride, even if I have no shame. You can throw blunt objects at her if you read the following. I am innocent.
You may want to skip this post.
The scene setup is that Drifter is being woken from a dream of the beach with his lost love. She was complaining about the birds breaking clam shells on the rocks as the tapping begins.
The Drifter added another god to the roadside bonefire blazing under the dying desert sun. He even feigned reverence until the sky grew red laced with seared violet because that is the kind of thing one does during such events.
It was necessary, however bittersweet.
As gloaming seized the sky in earnest, he turned on a well-worn boot heel and stepped up into the lonesome road of broken asphalt, walking to a rhythm without a source, but one always with him.
He nodded in welcome to the rising pregnant moon casting pale shadows across the growing night. He was not alone, as a lone coyote offered her own welcome to the pale goddess of the night skies.
twilight with rain
time slips away
no leave given
to fall stone fall
out of my skin
into the musk
past sour and stale
old oak tallman
drinking me roots
i carry worlds
in my cranebag
forest floor needle brown
night feather scry skies
wood ring words taut
my fungal heart gills
and waves tow tide under
riding skiff at dawn
to kiss the sea
I have been standing here, staring at the edge of the world.
People imagine that place to be on the precipice of an abyss filled with void, tumbling out before them — a cascade of nothing.
That’s not the edge of the world.
The edge of the world terminates where another begins: one of dense old growth trees and sunlight struggling to reach eager young plants, and where mycelium chatter over a mystic telegram of spores, electrical impulses and chemical lovemaking. Where thing rot and are reborn in the shadows, and leaves mask the rich soil below.
I am unmoored, unhomed, lost the thread of the tether save for the few gossamer tendrils threatening to break like spider silk under too much strain. I am a drifter trying to find a way back to the heart buried past the edge of the world, a wayfarer and pilgrim, blind with fingers reaching out to feel my way past the blinding brilliance of chrome and corrupted alchemy. I am wandering, here, at the razor thin slice of reality, wondering on which side I actually stand.
Drifter: my everywhere is home, but never do I belong.
Taking up my walking staff, my third leg grounding, I step into the shadows, leaving something behind.
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