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The Mere Tide

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Old 05-16-2017, 09:24 AM
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A week later upon road windswept and plumb of rumor and weathers unseasonable. Road pricked with splinters where had gone wagonwheel and the shod. Scuffed under hoof and nicked by claw. Its snowmelt filled potholes floating tiny icebergs on their filthy tides. Across it to the north low hills, a braided channel land. A gulch atimes dry, atimes running a thin stream of tawny water. Empty hamlets in places where none aught ever have settled and enviable localities also desolate. In these places were no sign of war nor disease and Dachni supposed the neuter vacancy bruit of forces as yet unseen. Neither this unusual and she was welcome to walk in the solitude of its wake and yet upon the basin near Sarsay she was come upon an itinerant of that land.

Cautelous scion of precincts remoter than these bespoken badlands and prone to the dissemination of heretica and whom to say where these regions be that propagate aberrations. Dachni watched his brated ambulance. He wore a free flowing black toga and tubes were running out the opening of his robe into his brain and his mangled hands trembled about his sky turned face as if he were the overloaded conduit of portents terrifying and obscene. Behind him he left a dark trail like an ooze and he muttered grimly. He seemed not to see the child and as he approached she stepped aside to let him pass. He hobbled a few yards more on his twissled limbs and succumbed to his knees.

Fliehen! Fliehen! Der Abgrund ist offen. Sie überschwemmen aus der Erde. Sie brachten ihnen, den aienee. Die Welt wird im Blut ertrinken. Folge ihm nicht. Er ruft sie von der Erde, die er ihnen hinschickt.


Intermit to these mad ravings. The madman kneeled round and looked at her. Dachni smiled uneasily. A dark nebula was spreading from him and when she looked he gripped his raiment and tore it open. Inside hung dozens of blood packets. The drip chambers full and draining down the tubes into the earth or else into his every vein, his catheterized scalp and his infused testes.

Ok, said Dachni backing away. Ok. So is goodbyes. Byesbyebyes.

The madman groaned.

She pointed behind him where the dark encroached and he swung round as if fearing abominations hailed from elsewhere other than the sunless barathrum out which he'd ejected to claim his soul. Träger des Kreuzes. He swung round again, his knees sliding in the blood mire, and put forward his hands in a ward as if towards some lunar malignancy instantiate. As if that fabled leviathan so hunted cross the liquid circumference had by emaciation and horror been distilled into a starved malevolence twisted and scourged or else some stigmatic diablo spawned out the corrupted ciphering of a system wholly alien to the natural order of things.

They held no commerce further the child and this venipunctured prophet and she eloigned of him towards evening and there far removed listened to the surf sough of their shadows in their tides of the sun at fail, the sun at rise and occlusion contemplating the pilot and her intersection into her apophatic journeys.

It rained. Soft rain like cold fire in the wind. The child slogged through mud made mobile. A constant lapping at her ankles. That with misstep in channel floated her gently to a sink out which she labored. Another hour and she was bivouacked between two cypresses rooted in the bank of a ravine. From the cabin she had a book of matches and a jelly jar of gasoline siphoned out the hatchback by judiciousness saved for the abatement of just such weathers. She gathered kindling and in the hollow of the cypress arranged it carefully for the dryness there but when she uncapped the jar and tilted it what poured forth was a grimy sludge. She adjusted the lamp to better see. Mud. She tore a match from the book and struck it. A brief flare she put to. A blue nebula bubbled out of the slime and died. Her countenance fell. Teeth grit and fists clapping against her ears. She held the lamp to the jar to see the sandy brown solution within. She shook her body side to side and then she poured the whole thing over the kindling and ripped the matches from their book and lit them and set their ends to the kindling. A stillborn light sprung up and miscarried off the sticks. She shut her eyes and bit the heel of her hand.

Thass not fair. Isnt too much. It isnt too much to ask.

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Old 05-16-2017, 08:14 PM
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I'm done waiting for you to fuck up. Looks like you're not going to.

Now... to get you to write faster😆
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:09 AM
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I dont think I can write faster than I do. In fact I should like to write slower. Its not contractual work after all and Im not waged by the hour. I used to attend writers groups, still attend one but we imbibe and talk about anything but writing. Often I try to come up with the vilest song titles I can. As a bonus out styles are so disparate we hate everything each other writes.

But when I went to other writing groups I found the preemptive and final defense put forward against critique was some permutation of: Well I wrote this in ten minutes. I doubt anyone ever bought that. I certainly didnt. But allowed the lie out of necessity for when someone else would need employ it. But reconsidering this I think there were more than a few cases when the author was telling truth. That for ten minutes the muse had possessed them and that what flowed out was sufficient. It never is. The muse is a filthy whore whom will couple with a hog. Those too having dreams. People oft acknowledge that writing is toilsome but speaking and believing and understanding are distinct ontological categories.

At these masses during the homily when the author watched the faces of his readership I watched the author. What I invariably saw was arrogance crumbling. The idea that the rules apply to all save me. That I was in the end not special. Its not hard to read this in the face. The transformation is unmistakable. The slouch of the shoulders, the guardedness, the sudden epidemic of tics. Our digital predilection for instantaneous response is a plague. Instant validation arrives with the specter of instant condemnation. I dont think one is more destructive than the other. The former inflates the ego to preposterous dimensions, the latter squashes it. It seems inevitable that this would infect every aspect of life. From books to relationship to cooking. People not being good at statistics. It seems a perverse indictment of the educational system that folk play the lottery but fear sharks. Likewise the hope that the first thing one puts to pad is ready to publish without work.
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Old 05-22-2017, 02:00 AM
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In the dawn they were not yet noise. An aural shadow, an irritation in the little snow let down by a sky of iron cast uniformity. Something as yet uncast. A subtle undercurrent that with the ceaseless rotary motion of the spheres burgeoned into an indistinct mass transmitting across the plain its mass. Fine grains were unsettled from their places. Branches shook. The first to be parceled out of that growing clangor were engines. Then lowing. The sounds of animals. An inharmonious conglomerate of human voices. A pandemonious sennet that with a lift of fog became in a rusty cloak of dust Americans driving a motley herd of chattel across the wintering plains. Thousands. Perhaps ten thousand. More man than beast but cattle aplenty and mules and other stock and no proper sorting save a few osmotic pockets favored by the species. Columns of long tracked twelve tons trundled along the flanks and pale horsemen darting between them mending the darker chained trunk of the herd and others of their disposition swaggering afoot like hominidic cats regarding all with a casual dire.

Dachni in her cypress eyrie shrunk. Procession evoked out of the ages by curse return to the ages. Go by go by. Peletons of driverless tractors lumbered accessorial harrowers forks scrapers cutters rakes raised as if in salute. One leading a train of the unruly, their yoke chain hooked to a rotary tiller to deter uprisings. They slowed to cross the bridge upriver and the footmen fanned out. To point and call and come her way. She drew up her knees. No hurry imbued them nor concern and they stopped on the far side of the ravine and helloed her.

Hidy, she said.


Dachni uncovered her face and lifted her chin above her knees. Hidy.

Are you American?

Issint et.

When are you gonna be?

When comes to armyin. Isnt that their say? Ye army an ye get creditals.

Thats what they say, said the man.

Come down.

The man who called was a clone of Corrigan. Tall and rough looking, unraveled of the same genetic code, this issue tattooed and through the brass bullring he wore in his nose hung a curtain of leather strips in which teeth were spliced.

Kinder wanted ta keep ear a bit, she said.


Said wanted ta keep loned whiles.

I know you. Come down.

Never seed ye afore.

Corrigan spat. His impatience settled upon the nearest man and this man moved towards the shore.

Dachni stood. She looked at the ground and hugged the trunk and climbed down and gathered her things from the hollow and studied the ravine for a place to cross and upon stones painted with the shells of turtles crossed. They walked back to the drive. A radio was clipped to Corrigan's shirt and he pushed to talk. Stop her, he said.

Over, said Dachni.

He looked down at her.

Post to say over.

On the road the manacled shuffling was rising to a blaring permutation of din. The drivers laughing, waving their hats as those in victory. Some on foot hewing the herd with sheer pride and others who soldered their breaches with whips, some electric whips that crackled like thunder in the hand, moving among the dark tide as if through a tamed sea. The trucks slurred off road spraying clump ways of mud. Packmules were arrested by their longears and unloaded. Troubadours danced by in motley and mock pomp juggling their coxcombs to enliven the morbid courtesans failing to keep their dresses unstained. Paladins of the Scottish Rite in gothic power armor planted their reliquary within dueling distance of the blistered acolytes of Hectavasad who by their evangelizing had emptied the mankind of old with all his dusty tomes into his mortar and grounded them to dust with his mighty pestle and sucking out the breath of life set them new upon the face of this fresh hell, the times indeed changing. Came vinters. Came victuallers. Meat wagons where swarms of carnivorous wasps darted angrily out their paper nests between the spokes. Husbandmen and tillers and the hackers of wood, the porters of water, and paleontologists transporting enormous skeletons like the drastic issue of Kottos or Briareus. Herdsmen shepherding flocks, erecting paddocks, corrals. Swans rose and snapped back at the end of their tethers, the wings slapping each other down in their search for current, the uppermost veering as if ensnared in the lines of a gyre and colliding with another before crashing down again. Two tanks shed their cloaks like rain and charged forward, their barrels Boaz and Jachin wanding over the columns as if ensorcelling them and drummers aboard beating their numbers upon the hatches and now composer and ensemble trumpeting to the delight of fickle demimondes cuckolding a quartet who hats in hands endured their scorn and the labors of an army of shoeshiners who migrated boot to shoe to blucher in hope of coin like ants and elsewhere carpenters and elsewhere blacksmiths upshopped for queues already forming and a barber throwing down his chair sat a customer whose locks he had been shearing walking. Feed was spread for cattle and chattel and burnt offerings were made upon portable altars and alterchrists were crucified and posted outboard to bay the vengeful wroth of the insatiable spirit of god. Servants dashed to every to, every fro and by their efforts mazes of metals rose draped in canvas, huge ratty tents, one having as frame the bones of dinosaurs and whales, the ribbed spine set between the massive knobs of vestigial femurs capped by a furrowed brow with skulls rung round and the whole of it armatured in human skins all rising amidst rising masts unfurling their black gallants like a carnival metastasizing in a waste.

In the belly of that ossified chimera Dachni and Corrigan sat on stools around a space heater watching the mayhem outside.

Corrigan swung up a tobacco pouch and clenched it in his teeth and rolled two cigarettes and lit them. His proffer she took. Sweet smoke to breathe.

Can ye spare that book?

He could.

She ripped out a match and scraped her thumb over the head but it didnt ignite. She tried again and again and then she raked it against the coarse strip in a fright of fire that trembled down the stick towards her nails. Blackened them. When she looked up Corrigan was holding out a necklace of painted teeth.

Its yours.

Never lost sech a thing.

Corrigan watched her tiredly. He took another draw on his cigarette and draped the necklace on her knee. Dachni didnt touch it. She looked outside at a passing upholsterer hugging pillows. A naked spearman clutching his jeans. A computer technician. Beyond them all the blacks.

Iss is stock drive, she said.

Corrigan exhaled through his nostrils a blue smoke that seeped through the leather chords like a mist and the muscles in his neck strained and the smoke was sucked away.

You look like you were fed through a meat grinder.
Her gaze dropped to the asphalt. Cracked and rough feeling bumpmap. Theys no easies. She smoked and shook her head. Nevered seen ye afore.

Never said you had. I said Id seen you.

Oh. Was it now? By the river?


Corrigan took a last drag on his cigarette and rubbed the stub of it out on his bootheel and rolled another.

Do you have a map?

Sorted of.

Lets see it.

She rummaged through her rucksack and got out the map. He leaned across the space between them and took it and produced a second map of his own and hooked a wire between them.

Whatre doin?

Installing a program.

Ye mean like a Temple?

He didnt say. He navigated the options on the screen and then he just stared at it until it chimed whereupon he disconnected the maps and handed hers back.


She spread the map in her lap. Floating over an empty spanse forty miles southwest of Uralsk near a lake was an icon. Different colored lines announced the routes most favorable to reaching the destination and they were none more than a week away.

What is this? she whispered.

She touched the icon and the map zoomed in on a structure in all that emptiness. A church. The necklace slipped from her knee and she stared at it where it had pooled before her bootsole.

Now what? she said.

Stay here the night.

Is morning.

Were camped.

Can ye make a fire?

I can do that.

Can ye do it now?

He could. Gravel fire of gentle hypnosis. Warm on the hands. Channeling down their scars as if they were veins for warmth. The hours passed calm and slack. The noise outside subdued but for a wind that shrieked snow across the plain and rippled the walls of their shelter like water. Others entered and arrayed themselves around the fire. Someone grounded coffee beans with a jasper doorknob. He poured them into a strainer and took up a kettle and flowed the water through them. An older man lit cinnamon incense. Dachni drowsing wrapped in a cashmere blanket like a bride. Someone was recounting his adventures in the cold jungle wonderland of Argentina. He told them how revolutionaries had fished his eye out with a j-hook. How he watched in the unpreserving shade it prune in his palm.

I quit that year. Chartered a ferry to Charleston much of it as there is and hiked from 26 to 40 and ended up in Knoxville. The queerest thing I ever saw were these mannequins all along Gay. I camped in the collapse of a department store and those things were staring at me. There were square dancers in the parking lot and a tagger had painted silhouettes in the spaces that moved and I swear it was them that cast the dancers.

Lively times, said the old man.

Course I nearly died there too. Cause in the morning those sure werent mannequins. Was a fishermen saved me by the sole of my shoes.

Whyd ye come back?

Back where?

To drivin.

To workin for Bethel?

Ifn its him does drive.

I have to think about that.

The room brightened. They all looked. A kyphotic pantryman gray of beard and bent of bone hobbled in with six poorly clad menials. What they brought was a suckled pig roasted round by blutworst and mashed potatoes drenched in gravy and biscuits and loaves of sourdough buttered and dashed with garlic. There was sauteed trout served on beds of pilaf and lobster and cutlets and corn and apples and tangerines and wines from Moldova and beers from Germany. Last of all a roasted pig dressed in a dirndl, fitted with a blond wig and spectacles.

Dachni watched the men gravitate towards the banquet with her knees drawn and her thumbs flat against her lips. All these stuffs never seen before. Never rumored before. Corrigan beckoned.

Even you, he said.

No hyena eating here. But what first? A lobster tail might contain treasures. She chewed on the tail but it didnt taste good.

The one eyed man took the lobster from her and pulled it in two and gave it back to her.

Thats roe, he said.

Dachni looked at the discolored goo towards which he pointed. She lapped it up and it was delicious. Next he cracked open the tail. Wrinkled white meat the color of snow. She hadnt thought she'd need be taught how to eat. He dipped the meat in a saucer of lemon juice then in clarified butter and gave it to her. She ate it and then she was hording the lobsters upon her plate and then in guilt redistributing them to all. Outside a boy was staring through the entrance and when he saw her notice he went away.

Did ye ever have your say?

I always have my say.

Ons how ye were for back here.

That. Well. I managed to get home. I lived in Washington State. I should have waited for a boat to Texas or Cali but I couldnt. I couldnt. I was done. When I got home I saw my parents but we really couldnt talk and they didnt know want to know where Id been. Id been gone three years. I lived in a suburbs outside Seattle. I got work in a kitchen. But the truth is all that time Id been moving West Id been watching the sun every night going down and. It looked like the apocalypse. Theres not a lot of government anywhere. I couldnt talk to anyone. I wanted to talk to people but I couldnt. I sat in bars a lot. I met a girl I went to school with but she was married. I was pretty jealous of that. I can say that now. I couldnt say it then. When I heard Bethel was in port I signed back up. I didnt feel comfortable around people. I didnt feel comfortable alone. After work I sat at home. I drank a lot. Everyone was getting married or getting pregnant and then getting married.

Where yall goin?


She nibbled at the cutlet. Ta sell them niggers.

Corrigan shook his head. No. Theyve been bought. This is a shipment.

Thass a whole lot to bought? All of em?

Most of them.

Theys machines was murkin ta buy people. Theys pertied far ways walkwise but said cause lookin.

Corrigan wiped his mouth and wiped his fingers on his shirt. Show me where?

Dachni got out her map. Its by the bridge at the next big river. She fingerdrew the letters in the dirt before the fire. Thass whats blue by the river inva map an its at its bridge.

Ok, said Corrigan.

Hey they has flyboats maybe ee can borrow em. Itchel git ye round faster.

Were good with what we have.

Dachni pulled the skin off a trout and mulled it idly. What kinda work would they need em for? Them slavies.

Corrigan tore off a piece of bread and dunked it in a cup of olive oil. Not labor.

She shook her head and the skin flapped about like a dog tongue. Whab den?

Im delivering this to the Pross Institute for Biological Studies. So you tell me.

Dachni made a strange bobbing shrugging motion and then slurped down the skin. Wouldnt know to tell.

They wont be used for labor.

Are you all Americans?


Are yall fightin?

Theres no war.

But theres gonna be.

Yes but I wont be fighting it.

Hows no?

Ill have errands.

She looked at her friend. An you?

He brushed back his hair. No. No. Im lonely. Not suicidal.

At the conclusion of the feast Dachni kicking round asked were any slaves for sale and Corrigan picking his teeth with a jag said he had said there were.

But gratis is yours.

Hows that?


Dachni threw her arms in the air and twirled with a laugh. Wells bugs on you!
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Old 05-28-2017, 01:21 PM
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They turned out to survey that groaning mass huddled on the asphalt. A sable sea to be picked through and frowned at.
Has ye got no lilns? Or knows. Any whites?

He did. A rangy waif thief bright blond among kin. Dachni squatted and poked her in the shoulder and the waif withered under her touch.

Whatns yer name?

The waif said not neither the father in whose arms she was encompassed.

She poked the side of her nose. Сенің атың кім?

Did you just talk Kazakh to her? said Corrigan.

Whats wrong talkin as that?

Theyre Swedes.


So then they speak Swedish.

Hrmm. She prodded the waif further and rose. Reckon its no too big matter. Thissel do. But needs to find a name so Persla.

Corrigan ordered the extrication of the waif and when the hand of the guard touched to her that hand was grabbed and a fist curved out and stretched him flat. An oak tree of a paterfamilias rose to receive a charge of guards. He caught a billy club in its descent and dragged its wielder down. Another slapstick thwarted him and his brow folded over his eye. He swung and the guard he held went down. His sons now too were engaged and one of them fell clutching a knee and the other was biting the arm choking him. His father lurched over them and the arm went slack. Then the father dropped. He twitched on the ground and the son threw himself at the man who had tasered him and was electrocuted himself and then the father was up again and he took the man with the taser and crumpled him to his knees with the flat of his hands as if he were a doll. And then he was down again by a slapstick smartly. The waif cried beside her bleeding mother and Dachni came and collected her and looked at the scene.

Hell was that.

What do you think? said Corrigan.

Hasnt knowed. What is it?

Theyre family.

Dachni's face gave a strange twitch. She considered the waif anew. Sobbing blindly. Cheek swelling for a wayward blow. She looked at her kin who were still not quite subdued.

Well, she said. Well. Mebee it aint tove right ta say em bye.

She released the waif and she dashed into her father's arms. She looked at Corrigan.

You said them isnt gonna used for work. Can ye let them off? How much would it be for them?

They didnt cost me anything. I didnt even know we had them.

Howd ye get them then?

Corrigan regarded his recovering guards. Who got these guys?


Corrigan spoke into his radio. Slatchel.


I have Swedes. Where did I get them?

I didnt get any Swedes.

Do you know who did?


He regarded the Swedes where they had regrouped to put up a new defense.

Theyre not billed for anyone. Does anyone here speak Swedish?

None did. He snapped his fingers for the attentions of the family and gestured that they aught quickly disappear of his sight. They looked about uncertainly and he hissed at them and they stood and began to extricate themselves from the herd.

They aint got nothin of an outfit, said Dachni.

But they have their freedom.

Shoot. Hold on.

She dug in her pockets for her coinpurse and upended it into a pocket of the father as he passed.

Sorry for ye to get all busted up over that.

The father made the slightest nod of wary gratitude and then hurried his family out. He kept looking back as if this windfall emancipation might suddenly be reneged but it was not and soon they were small in the country.

Shitty shit, said Dachni.

That sizes it, said Corrigan.

Maybe grab a buddy else. Pay this one.

You dont have to pay.


Its fine.

Dachni twirled afore to face him with hands clasped behind her and a little bow. Hey yer purtied nice.

Dont thank me.

Yer thanked anywoobs.

They moved on. In their search for whites they found Russians she said might do. Slavs of rancorous demeanor and a few phossy jawed expats. Two sisters. High cheekboned brunettes.

Theyre kinder tall. Maybe tads younger?

He had one so. A stripling of about seven years.

Ye hasnt a red hairded one does ye?

Corrigan looked at her with a kind of disbelief. He said he didnt believe it.

Nah redded heads isnt secret. Seen two afore.

You want to nail one of these girls.


You want to slip it to them.


You wanna fuck one of these girls.

Scarlet turned the child and gaze to be anywhere but on him. Nobe! she blurted. Thass the...no no. Thass grosser an ell an note.

Corrigan tucked his fingertips into his backpockets and surveyed his cargo. Whatever you say. I can scrounge up a red head somewhere.

Esnt no need to be of red head or girl or boy or anythin or nothin twas jess an ask.

Its your decision.

Just take that goddamn one.

He followed the careless jamming of her finger to a black boy sitting in his rags. Take whoever you want, he said.

She stalked off with a wave of the hand. Thatns fine.

He shrugged grinning. Alright.

The guards sallied forth again and they wrenched the boy to his feet and the mother of him fell howling upon her face and the father moaned and beat his head with his fists while the niggers other watched with a haughty impassiveness.

Retiring to the tent they found it further furnished with sleeping mats made up. The remains of the feast had been boxed. She yawned hugely.


Dont go to bed yet, theres more.

Dachni broke out into a circling run that saw her compass the room twice ere a front roll that sat her upright. Ok.

Youre a weird one, said Corrigan.


Among the new furnishings was a baggage trunk and Corrigan opened it and took out a fur jacket.

Try this on, he said hand it to her.

She took the jacket and held it out to study the workmanship. It was fashioned out of a liver roan wolf pelt. Rich the longhairs and slick the short. She unbuttoned the front and slid her arms into the sleeves and threw on the hood that was its head and looked down. The jacket was bigger than her by twice but there were buttons for the cuffs to be pinned back and likewise the hem that brushed about her feet. There was a fullsize mirror by the trunk and she looked at herself in a bewildered awe.

Whered this come from?

Corrigan didnt say.

She wiped the new beads of sweat from her frontlet. Boy ye could get hot in hell in this.

He lifted out other things. A pair of infantry combat boots with fox fur lining along the wells and leather cavalry gloves with silk inlinings and gold studded belts and silk shirts and undershirts of tailorship that would put a king to envy. Until Dachni ran forward with arms straight out and slapped at his hands to keep from the production of other articles.

She covered her face and shook her body from the waist up side to side. No. No. Nonono. Ye caint. No. No.

Corrigan closed the trunk and sat on it.

She clapped her hands to her forehead and looked at the clothes. Dont dont dont.

Corrigan was rolling another cigarette. Youll figure it out.
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:42 PM
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Yer thanked anywoobs—LOL
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Old 05-29-2017, 04:13 AM
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She'd quit that if she could.
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Old 06-06-2017, 11:11 AM
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It took her all day. Circling the clothes where she had laid them out and dressing and undressing and redressing and undressing again and going out to peek through the tent flaps at them and going back inside to dress once more and tromp about. She gathered the blankets off the unused mats and constructed a bouffanted den out which she peered at the fire.

She woke in the open air, the tent gone, and the column coughing along the road like some amalgamate caterpillar of metal and woe creeping towards the just risen sun. Corrigan waited nearby holding the reins of a grade. Tied to its pommel was the slave by means of a leather strap and collar, his hands ziptied behind his back. Dachni crawled forth of her den and folded the blankets and rolled the mat and walked over but Corrigan gestured towards the bedding with a throw of his chin.
Why did you leave those?

Aint they yours?

What do you think.


She went back for the bedding and dropped them before the grade. Her head came to just its belly.

Big horse.


The saddle was fitted with a two step stirrup to aid her mounting. She mounted and Corrigan stuffed the bedding into the saddlebags.

Where are you going to go? said Corrigan.

Plan of grad.

Youre not going to go to the church?

The what?

Never mind. Mind that map the church is marked. Think about going there.

Shall do.

She roweled her horse into a walk and turned it around. You never said your name, she said.

Thankey for everythin.

Dont. I was paid.

Dachni looked wounded. Was happy gettin all this. Wasnt they no haps in givin it?

Corrigan spat a coffee stained phlegm on the road. It swirled on the asphalt. He studied it a moment and then rubbing it out with the toe of his boot restored the gritty black of the asphalt. I guess Im happy youre happy.

An its good to know yer...

She dismounted suddenly and walked up and punched him in the thigh. Yer of hugs, she said and hugged him.
Corrigan surveyed the procession. Id recommend you discount your beliefs on people. They dont override.

Dachni nodded into his leg. Could be. But theys enough wrong everair an maybe thistle help it keep.

The black gifted her was a tall lanky carp hunter's son prized off the Euphrates and in her deception would be butchered a few days hence and it would be the head of a different black she would present to impress the army recruiters shortly thereafter to be met with. He walked behind the horse in his leather neck yoke and tried his master in various topics but Dachni talked to the horse.

Tissa bad iggage. Thisis workin pretted well. He dont know though. He were bein a perverted. Dont rent pays on that. Never would doesnt even know sexin is. Kiddins aint for that so he prolly is a thing of hisself an sayin on what other folk do cause a his. Says other people are what hes doin. Thats...thats...project. Hes project. But hes ok. Aughtin be more like him. More of. Less him that dont go cusin people a doin wrong. Yer worried. Aint no big worried cause nevered done nothin like that. He wouldnt know. Howd he know? Bigger worry is theys moren niggers an nobuddy knewed where them Sweets came of so what ifn theyre thiefin people out of the country? Maybe shouldnt a said nothin on Temple. But no...theys scared armed so prolly hell be ok but what on Holfie? Theyre beat to nothin. Maybe. Isnt maybe. Might be maybe. No. No. Whatwhatwhat. What ifn shes there? Shoot her. An run. Wont work. Shes the meaner shot. What. What? But he hasta know to not. Its. Itll be ok. No it wont. Dachni. What? Reck your bet all this ta come from? It aint of her. Dachni. Why dont ye shut up.

Who are you talking to?

Dachni halted and took out her map and studied it. She was four days from the hostel. She rubbed her pinkie over it. She sat the grade and surveyed the horizon. Then she turned north and roweled the animal.

My names...

Gives a fuck on your name.

She rode on. The boy watered at the creeks side by side with the horse and he slept shivering on the ground.

On the fourth afternoon the hostel came into view. Incontinent boat of incense. Of noise. Drunks drunk stumbled down the ramp. A whistling washer removed stains from the bulkhead with a power hose. The blood draining out the rents in the fuselage. She stabled horse and nigger and went up to the cockpit and stoned the door. It opened.

Get up here, said Anzel.

The rope ladder and she ascended with its end buttoned to her jacket. He transferred her from the cockpit to a stool and poured drinks and set them out.

Im supposed to call, he said.

Call Corrie.


Hes drivin them niggers round. Hes gone Moss Inneweute for studies.

Uh huh.

Hes a Bethel work.

He works for Bethel?

Maybe said that. Aye. A nigger driver fer Bethelled.

I can get hold of him.

Call him an tell folks is Kazakhs an people an he caint slave em.

You came back to tell me that?

Dachni was leaning over the bar staring with wide eyed intensity into his toady weariness. Course did! she cried with flailing arms. Notta monster! Call! Why wont ye call?
Right now?

Aye now aye now now now. Hasta call an hurried. Hes a slaver an maybe hes gonna slave folk dont need ta be. Remember Holnifa? Shes home an might think shes sallable. Sheyd fetch best price. Not her mas cause shes a terrwickedle whore.

Anzel palmed his face. Good god.

Fuck god. Get on call.

Ill do it but we need to talk first.

Ons what? She seized his shirt and shook him.
Calllaaaalaallalll. Call an plenty promise ta talk.

Anzel blew a long sigh into the last gray remnants of his hair and placed a heavy army upon his side of the bar and searched out his phone and punched the numbers with enormous goiter thumbs. The call went through and on the third harpsichordic note was answered.

Hello. I need to speak with...I dont know. I need to get in touch with a driver.

Dachni mounted on the bar leaning over the distension of his gut. Say not to. Hey say not to.

Anzel held up a finger for quiet. She leaned closer but the voice on the other end was a static unintelligible.

Hey! Ye aint talkin to nobuddy.

He turned his seat and backed away. No the crazies are multiplying.


Bethel's drivers. Hes on the road to Almaty. You can pass on a message for me? Good.

Say him not to hurt Holfie.

Tell him not to pirate the country. Especially a little Kazakh girl. Her names Holnifa. Or anyone related to her. Thank you. I know.

Then he hung up. He tossed the phone behind him and a machine arm caught it with a magnetic plate. There. Shes safe. Now we need to talk.

Dachni sat back on the bar and crossed her arms. Dont wanna talk.

Wasnt that the deal?

She covered her head with her jacket and mumbled into the fur. What on?

The dagestai.

Dont wanta talk on her.

He wants to talk to you.

Fuck her. Tell her eat shit an die. Was she here?

She stopped by.



Dachni looked into her drink.

I think shes doing alright, said Anzel.

She drank. Thass too bad.

Why dont you stay here for the night. Ill ring her to come back.

Dachni slid off the stool. Not stayin. Dont say was here. Making for the door she perchance glanced into the tumid corridor to discover it raining blood. The wares covered for outdoor weathers. She edged towards the threshold and looked up and saw meat pasted to the rafters. The washer was still at his work, still whistling, dislodging chunks of flesh.

Anzel ran a thumb through a fold in his neck. She wanted to know who had seen you. Those vors had. Best I can do is give you a few hours head start and misremember exactly which way you went.

Dachni backed away into the stool and turned and climbed onto it and sat on her knees fixed him with a stare her fearful tenor could not impart emotion.

Wait on sayin. Couple days. Needs think of it. Ok? So say wait an be back. Ye hear? Say her wait three days.

Ill...do that. Dont get me in trouble.

Ifn ye can pent that mess out there ye can keep that son of a bitch gone.

Lets hope so.

Two days later she cut the black loose and gave him the map.

Get on.

Im free?

But the fledgling apostate was already riding the miles to a stream hidden in a wood where to circle the articles she would lay on the bank. To be skinned in her provision or a whore materially purchased, her affections for barter. Or a trap. For knowing trapping done by setting out that which was desired and invested with hope every thread wherewithal she was wroth over this low esteeming. Or forgiveness. Inanimate interlocutors. She searched the clothes. Searching the inner breast pocket of the jacket she found a second seam, hand sewn. She opened it with her knife. Inside she found a piece of cloth. The runes dyed upon it she could not read but beneath them was Phyryii, red star of Ntzinieyii's enkindling. Misnomered moon. Banded and oceaned and crowned with a lantern and wearing a belt of ferric slag. Nor the last sigil she would she see for two days later assumed her slave's track found its conclusion in a meat web in the desert. A reckless mess of flesh strung betwixt saxaul rampicks. Signal to this mid aught given over to livid and noisome horror. Whereunder maggots writhed in a massive stain in the sand. Where small birds had been ensnared in the vortex and where buzzards with slavering plumage moved upon the bridge of spine spine like weavers mending the wicked strands of heimarine with their pendant organs by their arteries strung and cleaning the bones that gave prop to this flaccid nidus. Some of tendons strung so taut she could pluck them like the strings of a guitar or cello. Spread wide upon the web was a spider but it was no spider as she had ever seen. It was naked of hairs and pale and it had eight arms and to every arm a hand that gripped the web and it was twice her own size. She thought at first it the work of surgery and that no life lay in the thing but as she approached it reared like fangs its two human heads, one of a man and one of a woman, and rubbed them ear to ear as if in warning. And yet the buzzards gave defiant maraud to this creature's heinous seat and Dachni spying flint and stave of magnesium and though its following heads split in twain to reveal each a fanged maw stepped forth to claim her prize.

Aint nobuddy scared of ye.

Fresh digging disturbed the sands round about and what she disinterred was a lantern biering a nigger head eyeless and without mandible. Deep in the darkness of those terrible flues there seemed a malign intelligence coiled with blacker tidings yet.
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:28 PM
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If you end up posting the whole novel here I'll still send you the $20 for a hard copy.

Love this girl.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:18 PM
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Ha well hold on to your money. This is about ten months work of a five year project so theres a lonnnnnng way to go. The finished novel will be nothing like what we see here. One of the things I did when I wrote TFA is I spent weeks on each scene for nine years so when it came time to edit all I ever did was rephrase things or take them out. There was very little in the way of additional material.

I forget who it was who wrote that in novels the future changes the past because the author has the benefit of seeing the entire continuum of the novel. I didn't do that in TFA but its something Id like to do in MT. The major change editing wise being a switch from strict streamlining of the text to adding to or modifying earlier sections to create a harmony with what came after.

I don't see TFA as a harmonious novel so much as a patterned wake of errors which is very much in keeping with the personality of the pilot, nothing if not an aimless protagonist. The foreshadowing was often done blind. A detail thrown here and there and if it connected with something later on well then great if not just as well. But that would fail with Dachni which is something of an admission that my editing is styled on the primary focus of the novel whosoever that might be. Ive always found the pilot's digressions to be infuriatingly apathetic in their passivity. For all her strength and intellect she is hopelessly impotent while for all of Dachni's weakness and stupidity and blindness she is the most alive marionette of the work.

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Old 06-12-2017, 02:37 AM
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Last update for a little while. I spent almost a month writing one scene so the buffer isn't as much as I'd like it. Typically like to have forty or so pages between whats here and the total and I wont have a whole lot of time to add to it as Ill be ferried in the Black Sea for the couple days and making my way through Georgia and Azerbaijan.

She stood the ground smoking the cigarette she had poorly rolled. It mayent mean much either way. She never liked no niggers. Ye could make it mean.

But the pilot would protest that while the truth may lie beyond articulation it nevertheless in all its polluted rampage twas extent. And forget not. For while a hanging may be saddled with a thousand ancillary consequences each with their own host of meanings it means most of all that someone has died. And yet in her darker moments she would say whom could say death had meaning at all? Or who lend death primacy in the ordering of affairs.

Dachni studied the curious raptor tracks and found a set that much outstripped the others in its dimensions and she spat and rubbed them out and rode on following the prints of a man, the next day a ninth nigger travailing across the land in his wound sanity. Another youth who hailed her a mile off and whom she rode past and whom fell in behind her.

He spoke madly but it was much the same to her until espying a shard of granite need reconsider the heretic's heart and stricken by the blistered shade of it need a like to compare it to. She turned her horse and drawing her mosin shot her tow. He crumpled and she dismounted with her knife and pushing away his weak fending opened him and reached in feeling through his working to that palpitating stone. It spasmed in her fist and when torn out spurted blindly as if it would course the air. She held the hearts side by side but it was not that shade. She thumbed the ventricles, plugged them in turn. When she was done she confiscated the head and with it mounted and rode on.

West then far into country and from people. To towns she would not enter but for the outskirts. To dash into bars to buy whiskey with a mask on.

One day to enter a street where in uniform a woman stood on a street corner. And all caution. This female a sergeant surveyed the street for the listless and meandering suddenly confronted with a calamitous mishap of child bearing down upon her holding aloft rifle and head.

Oh shit.

Dachni reached the sidewalk by miracle unscathed and cursed upon by the halted traffic. She danced round the sergeant who backed and backed.

Look look its head an can shot up aldy an goes took an Alessa work of could citizen look look look! Hey its true really is was in the desert an said hey an this here nigger come ta try an rob of horse an stuck him a yaonet an tooked his heart thisis is head. Crossed everwhere benned the world an in the mounties an up an down an tubed an thowed an saw floods an locusts an rain fire I the desert wayyyyy sly ompta heathen home an foughted rusks an broke a train an caught a king! Look! Look! Its the head turned out an has favor of Yandvilai so ettl brin ye wricked luck in any kinder fight haps rings rings an woo! Sightly goes moon an hard breaks it down to sun.

The sergeant had backed herself to the wall of the recruiting center. The door opened and a corporal no more than looked out then was set upon.

Hidy hi! Which one are you?


He slammed shut the door and then opened it cautiously and looked to the sergeant. What?

I have no idea, said the sergeant.

Dachni was still jumping about and the sergeant stilled her with a hand.

Whats going on?

List! Aint ye for list?


Dachni hunched over and burst upward. Lissssstin!

This is a recruitment office.

Aye! Aye!

I...wait. Are you trying to enlist?

Aye! Its rain fire.

The sergeant looked at the corporal but Dachni dropped the head and snatched at her blouse.

Listen! Listen!

The sergeant took the hand and put it from her. Hold on, she said. Hold on.


Hold on. Whats your name?

Essa. Ess. Less. Alessa. Gillespie. Alessa Gillespie.

Ok. Calm down. Calm. Calm. Calm.

Dachni slouched in impatient exasperation.


First things first, said the sergeant. Is that your horse?

Dachni looked into the street. The horse was meandering nervously in the lanes while the traffic swerved around it and the drivers shouted and blared their horns.

Thats horse. Its not.

Get that out of the street.

Dachni dashed for the horse flinging as she did the head down the sidewalk where it rolled spraying blood against the storefronts. She picked up the trailing reins and led the horse to the sidewalk and looked for a place to tie and did so to the door of a furniture store. The manager would have protested but then he saw her scapulars of teeth and ears and he thought better of it.

The NCOs were conferring when she ran back. Hey hey hey.

They looked at her.

Can you tell me where that head came from? said the sergeant.

Offa nigger.

How did you get it?

Fightin. He hadda big ol knife an he tried ta rob the horse but run up to his charge an slid an stucked him in the belly then shot him off blaw! An tooked his head.

Ok, said the corporal. He looked down the street at the head. You cant leave that lying around. Get it and come inside.


She skipped down the sidewalk and got the head and dashed back. They held the door open for her and she went in. In the lobby a dozen recruits watched. They sat their seats and watched this diminutive homunculus track shapes of blood in the carpet. The sergeant pointed at an empty chair.

Sit there. Stay still.

Dachni plopped down and beamed at the staring faces. Outside the corporal was securing the grade to a bike rack in front of the office.

Wheres yall froms?

The recruits looked at her. She looked at them each in turn for answers slow in forthcoming.

The grad.

The same.






Where are you from? said a boy from Pelican.

Mounties. By Perm.

Are you Russian?

Dachni spat. Shet no.

The corporal came in. Dont spit on the carpet.

Dachni clasped her hands to her headtop. Sarry.

Dont say sorry just do it.


He rubbed the spit out with the toe of his boot. He leveled a finger at the recruits. You all are responsible for this hot mess until Im back.



Aye sir.

He gave a last doubtful look at the child and then went out of the lobby down a hall.

Whatre you doing here?

She looked at the Roseville recruit. He was young but big. His hands big and clean.

Gonna list. They say list an ye get to be American.

I think you have to be American first.

Noo. No no no that aint true they said ye could list an
then ye can. Ye aint got ta be already.

Another recruit watched quietly. A somber youth of twenty. Its ok. Im from the country too.

Whatre you doin here?

He jangled his keys in his pocket. Waiting on dinner.

Does they feed ye too?


And drink ye too?

I guess.

Hows it sounding gethered?

I dont know.

Laurence said that this is the great pivot.


Voice on the radio.

It is that. How did he say it? We in this generation...are part of the great pivot from chaos to order or something.

No out of the great disorder.

He called us the first unmauled generation in three centuries.

That isnt going to last. If what everyone is saying is true.

Shit, said a city son. I wish theyd get on with it.

The corporal came back to the lobby. Dont worry, he said. Were already on, the with is coming.

Amen to that. Im ready. Its going to be hard but there isnt a damn thing in life easy worth doing.

Shit. Patly grew up on the leather tough edge of the jagged edge of a rusty town. Its going to take more than a head to scare him. Thats the truth. Where did you get that head anyway?

Dachni looked at the boy from Aster. Head?

Yeah, he said pointing at the head in her lap.

Oh. Founded it.

You just found somebody's head in the desert?

Everthings in the desert.

The Aster recruit looked away with his chin in hand. Yeah.

Dachni watched him. She watched the others and she had in that watching a dread intuition that there was not one soul in that office who would not be dead in two years. And silent prophetess would that thou couldst have spoken for each would perish and every man and woman who in this place signed their name to the line. The Aster recruit paralyzed at Gomel would be fed alive into a grinder to become nutrients for the clones, them of the grad obliterated by artillery and the rest in their way even that demure son of the country who knowing better but hoping more would be bayoneted in a ditch under an apple tree.

I have the video, said a recruit named Charles.

Play it.

Come here.

They gathered round. Charles coughed into his elbowpit. Would do again when inhaling vesicants. Excuse me. On the tablet a man stood behind a podium in a stadium. Charles pressed play and he shifted into motion.

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Old 06-17-2017, 03:57 AM
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I know someone else who did what you're doing, bluewpc, with excellent results.

His was just a simple little thing. Yours is epic. I don't know how I've missed it up to this point (I was gone for a while) but I will have to go back and read it from the beginning.

And I humbly give up my crown as king of the legible run-on sentence.
Mr. Ed said I should use his signature, since he's not anymore. In honor of his good friend Nok, here it is: "As far as smoking a cigar," she said, "I'd not know where to start or how to start." "It's simple," said I, "You light one end and chew on the other and hope to meet in the middle."
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:26 AM
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@prodigal thanks for the kind words but in truth I couldn't write my way out of a wet grandsire's diaper XD If you want to get some grounding for the book you could read the first novel:


Its looooong but that's because I'm not smart enough to condense things. I could hear Hemingway's chortles tremoring the ground beneath my chair for years...

Also If you want to read that's spiritual predecessor you can read this (its something like 250 pages and its rough but hey its free and you get to point and laugh like look at this shitty amateur thinking he can write ):


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Old 06-29-2017, 10:47 AM
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Mr. Tamhall, Governor Arrington, President Orrin. Thank you for being here and thank you for the time and expense of hosting me. Thank you to the institutions which made it possible for me to speak on this occasion. Thank you also to Chairman Pelson for the contribution of this venue. To those listening whether here or abroad, whether in urbanity or country or domed within the outer colonies of space, whether you are a member of the future generations whom we here seek to serve, you have my gratitude for your time, which always has been a precious commodity though perhaps today more than ever.

We stand today on the 23rd of February in the sixth year of the sixth century of the second millennium at the great pivot of the years, the great fulcrum between disorder and order, between chaos and stability, between a brighter dawn or an age darker yet than that which has gone before. Today human poverty has been reduced by an order of magnitude unimaginable even forty years ago though nowhere near what was achieved in antiquity and yet our ability to destroy ourselves has paradoxically maintained its furious degree of if changed at all has only increased.

Today marks the succession of the first unmauled generation, a generation that has unlike any other in recent history escaped the wake of our ancestors who for their mistakes cursed their sires for far beyond the fourth generation. Man being a harsher judge than god. Perhaps we refrain from casting blame though blame may be laid for we are not substantially different, nor do we resent our forefathers for we too have made mistakes our children must suffer for. Failures of fortitude, failures of communication, failures of courage. We ask understanding from the youth and forgiveness that they too must take up the hard mantle and shoulder on. But shoulder not alone. This older generation would shoulder this burden alone I believe to be the general feeling but we cannot. Every man, every woman, to prevent every child must answer the call to defend the ideals of this country, young as it is, ideals, not ideologies, for we must remember that it was the rigid mind that scourged the greater part of mankind, ideals we have not always lived up to, ideals betimes we have betrayed, and if this is call is a call to arms it is also an entreaty for forgiveness for the wrongs that we have done that have led to this moment of intractability and for the wrongs we will do to lead us out of it. Ernest Hemingway wrote “Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.” In this we may all soon become criminals, but we should hope not to become recidivists nor unrepentant. For my part to the youth of this new era you have my most heartfelt apologies. But also you have my most heartfelt hopes. I will not pretend that the future shall be any easier than the years that have gone before, in fact we predict they shall be markedly worse. Again I and I am sure the guardians of this age ask forgiveness for the state of the world and this terrible impasse, that we could not improve it beyond what has been done.

Nevertheless the world turns and we in it are the heirs to its turning. Whatever tomorrow brings we wish it bring not war but war we shall if called upon to do so. But also shall we make peace if peace there can be. For even in this dark hour we pray it not yet the twelfth and even if so we shall endeavor to rewind it back another hour and find a route to peace.

The wheels of this earth have ground some four and a half billion years and they will turn perhaps another four and a half before the sun expands. Thus we find ourselves at the meridian of the world but we may perhaps be at the end of human life on this world at only a scant three hundred thousand. For all our failing of which there have been many we hope that we amend them through our labors against the common enemies of man to which all mankind is susceptible, whether man or woman, young or old, protestant or Catholic, black or white, Russian or American. We here in this country young, and usurping its namesake from an older institution are as guilty as any of being human and being full of human frailty but we also have human strength and human ingenuity which if utilized to its utmost may see us through this darker storm which if we survive without compromising our humanity will bring a brighter dawn.

Our forebearers inherited a world far from their choosing and yet abandoning not their responsibilities softened a world more brutal than ours and if we likewise assume the same responsibility may make a kinder world for tomorrow. This shall not be an easy task and if it is darker before dawn it is because the smoke will blot out even the stars. This too I lament. But lament without despair. For I know as do many here assembled and listening that though the wheel is in the ditch of the ages our shoulders are against the wheel.

To those against whom we are opposed and who oppose us I invite them into dialogue, with respect on both sides, not from positions of fear or suspicion but with mutual openness. But there is no openness without vulnerability and no vulnerability without trust and no trust without faith. In that spirit we welcome a drawing down of arms for though this peace has not been well it has yet been peace and peace we should prefer. To those who feel neutrality the safer option you have my empathy. However I ask is it work the risk to remain uncommitted against the bulk of tyranny, hedging that greater powers will if not defeat than at least match it, is it better to oppose tyranny in its ascendance or at its apex? Remember that nothing in life not least of all life is guaranteed. To those domestically who question whether taking the pledge, whether choosing to commit to this vision of a better world may be in vain, I say nothing is done in vain that serves for the betterment of all people, though they succeed, though they fail, and yet the prospect of the dissolution of all that we hold dear is too much to bear and the hope for a better future too much to resist.

Aster put the tablet away and eyed his comrades assuredly. Were gonna make a difference lads.

Ten minutes later the police arrived. A pair of officers who knocked on the glass of the door with their billyclubs and pointed at Dachni and beckoned her out. She exchanged glances with the recruits and then she parted of them.

Outside on the sidewalk one of the officers pointed at the head. Where did you get that head?

Dachni held up the head. Desert.

Did you shoot that man?

Aye. He were probbed hunnerd yards off an hit em with a heart shop. He harlied time to see nor shit.

Didnt you tell Sergeant Lowe that he tried to rob you?


How could he do it from a hundred yards off?

Dachni's face made a worried twitch. She set the head on the sidewalk. Well. Wasnt maybe that far off. He were close enough. He had a knife an it aint as ifn ye has no tentions is good runnin.

He was running at you.

Caint rob a folk runnin away. Look it were jess ta make it sound somethin better for em thass all. Know aint big. An aint smart. An aint pretty. So theres ye knows...hasta be somethin ta trade.

Wheres the body?

Desert. She waved her arm vaguely to the east. Its reckon somethin days away.

The officer looked at his partner.

I dont want to, said the partner. Im not going to.

Alright miss why dont you come with us.

Caint go with ye cause needs is list.

You cant enlist.

Who the fuck says you?


Fuck you.

Listen youre too young to enlist in the army.

Thass esent your say.

It is my say.

He reached for the child and the child ran back. She threw open the recruitment center door and ran through the lobby to the hall and down it. The sergeant's voice was coming through a door and she threw that door open.

The sergeant rose from behind her desk, the recruit chaired before it turned.

What the hell is going on?

Is to list!

The officers stumbled through the doorway and dodged back from the thrown chair. It dented the jamb. The sergeant grabbed Dachni by the shoulder and pulled her back. The officers kicked the chair from out the doorway and entered.

Whats going on?

Im taking her to the precinct.

Is she under arrest?

No shes an orphan.

Dachni stomped her foot. Not true. Not matter is gonna list.

The sergeant came from around the desk and righted the chair. I can take this from here, she said.

The officers glanced at another. We cant have that running around alone. Criminal or not its a health hazard. I mean look at it. Tell me that isnt what comes before cholera.

Ill sort this out.

She looked at Dachni. Wait out in the lobby until I call you.

But needs to list.

The sergeant turned to the recruit she was interviewing. Wait outside for a moment. Then to the officers. Both of you out.

The officers, the recruit, left. The sergeant shut the door and relieved Dachni of the nagant and leaned it against a bookcase and gestured for her to sit. Dachni sat on the floor.

In a chair.

She got up and sat in the chair. The armrests came almost to her shoulders and not least because her deepened hunch. The sergeant resumed her own seat and put her elbows on the desk and clasped her hands levered them down.

You cant enlist in the army.

Dachni nearly leapt from her chair but the sergeant continued.

Im going to be frank with you. The army is a formal organization with standards that you flatly dont meet. Youre too young, too short, you dont meet the weight requirements. Your speech impediment is disqualifying, your illiteracy is disqualifying, and while Im not a psychologist I think Im looking at a walking pathology.

Dachni looked at her boots. Is seventeen.

Look I understand you traveled far to be her but there are rules on things are done.

Thass it? Thass all. Not even a why?

I told you why. I can say it again. Too small, too light, too dumb, too psychotic, too inarticulate.

Dachni was wringing her hands over another. Desent hafta be so mean of it.

You wanted the answer there it is.

Well now what?

Dont ask me Im not a social worker.

Dachni was tearing up. She wiped her nose. Hows...hows get citizenned?

I dont know apply for it.


I dont know. You might already be American. Where are you from?


Do you have a passport?

Dachni retrieved her passport and put it on the table.

The sergeant needent examine it. Youre Russian, she said.
Nooo. Thass fake. Look inside.

It looks real to me. And if its fake why do you have it?
Dachni didnt say.

The sergeant stuck two fingers through the pages and spread it on the table. It looks good to me. So. Time to go.

No waiting. I have

Well what to do?

I dont know. Go back over the border. Join the MSV. Theyll take anybody.

Dachni left out. Shuffling downcast past the sympathy of recruits. The officers waiting outside with her horse took her to the precinct. A small building with white walls. They sat her on a bench by the cells.

Wanna go.

Where would you go?

Whys it your business.

Youre a minor. We cant just let you go.

But they didnt watch her either. At their lunch break she left out and mounted her horse. She was next at a diner and in that diner she stared blankly at an omelet she needed help to order. It vented its steam over the long sable spill of night. The waitress bused the tables. She was staring at the cold fold of eggs and then she was staring at the plastic veneer of the table. The lights shut off. Someone said something to her and she got out of her booth and went out.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:36 PM
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Searching for her map at the edge of town she remembered suddenly that she had given it away. She tried placing herself in the world but all she managed was to know she was lost. She shut her eyes. She was going to cry and she didnt want to. Her eyelids grew inflamed. A car had sawed into the street. Its headlights slicing away the muted pigments of night. It drove past and at the intersection its stop lights flared like eyes of the demonic that slurred away as the car turned onto the main street and pulled away. She took out the passport and felt the paged face with her fingers as though she would read it as read the blind but this face too was in no language she knew and she let it fall from her fingers and rode on.

Listless now under crescent waxing, gibbous wane. Major maria and gray coast of crisium apart of lacus and sister mares who save thee first and ever edging the void would patron the passion of the wrath. She drank and drank and covered herself not from the cold but from the sun and the shadow engendering curtain of her corpus' shambling occluding the last of the divine in this lowest of the trichomatic hierarchy of the insane blind and maimed shored upon this cellar hell of sarkia. Wisdom thou hast bound the light but not taken down the screen and shall come a day when light cannot abolish dark for even now evil knows itself and purposes has.

Riding up a shallow ravine she entered a clearing where was a cèilidh disbanding. Men smartly dressed, men of means. Eight of them. They were saddling their horses.

Dachni's drew her mosin and stood it on her thigh. Their gray plump and bespectacled captain was already mounted and he rode his horse before hers and it raised its head and snorted and Dachni reined it around.

Good morning little one.


And to where are you bound this fine morning?

Upways. To a church.

Are you a nun little one?


He looked at her horse Tis an excellent...

Dachni leveled the nagant but the brute snuck up behind her swung his club and she dropped out of the saddle.

She woke bedded in the cold slouch of tree shade bateared by two fans of blood. A mazy sky of boughs drifted above that blinking collapsed together. She dragged a scarred hand limply across the vast vicious cicatrix crosshatch of her stitchless discolored flesh to a headside pain. Through the cleamed hair paint but no ear. She peeled away the scab strands. A wicked hole flush with her skull. And no ear other. She covered her eyes. She searched for her ears again but they were not there. She rolled painfully onto her stomach and pushed herself up and atwixt her thin ragged thighs saw blood dripping out the savage gape. She pushed her knees up under and tried standing but the pain was like a thorn demon incubating in her womb. A scissor pain that stole away her breath. She cupped her face in her hands and bit her fingers and managed to rise. In a shuffling limp she moved down to the ravine and with great difficulty squatted by the water and hooked out her holes sperm viscid and fisheye gray with a finger and after a while she lay down and cried.
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:40 AM
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I don't know if you notice but you're getting cleaner and more sharp with your prose. This scene is vivid and terrible and wonderful all in one breath.

It's a pleasure to read your work.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:51 PM
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Hey thanks for the kind words. I'll be away for a while. Ive discovered something I am good at writing violence but kinder bad at compassion

So the difficulty I'm presented with for the next three hundred pages is that the novel ceases to be a road novel very soon. TFA was a road novel and MT was up to this point and the great thing about that is is that you just get to keep moving on and you always have a new flow of characters but when youre stuck in one place or in a few places novels typically become more interiorly focused but since Dachni is one of the least reflective folks Ive ever written I'm going to have to figure out what to dooooooooooo

I never actually made it to Kazakhstan this trip out but next year next year...

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Old Today, 10:08 AM
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Well howdy there ladies and gents long time no sees. Sorry about the extended absence I was worried that the writing quality wasn't up to snuff as well dreading that my progress was glacial. As it would happen setting my page dimensions to 9x11 meant that the 168 pages I had was really more like 324. Soooooooo. Fortunately my hiatus was time well spent working out this new more localized pacing that I mentioned in the above post. It still needs work and I will probably be hammering out the proper balance between action and the more domestic aspects of this section but in truth I'm really enjoying that part. I wouldn't say I'm proficient in it but I am having fun and that's always a good indicator.

Edit: Oh I also keep up this website here where updates to MT and other things can be found: https://tangetialmenagerie.wordpress.com/

I think going forward my plan is to post fifty to sixty pages over the length of some months (what would correspond to something like a chapter), an update a week , take a break for a month, and then resume updates. So without further ado heres to you (N and B)

Monstrous came the raping rain and the vampire powers low hanging by the hangle puked ragnarok and wretched the complexion of the heavens. Potency of the inverted isangelous rescripting the valse of thunder and tree fall and the raked weeds' gnashing and there is a whirlwind gathers birds and slakes its gullet with the white elflocked shrives.

Swaddled in this display of the charnelverse she is treading in a tear of skins cleaved slick and rotten to her like some hideous molted miscarriage. Where she goes there is no shelter not least in her sick black hibernaculum.

Walking through a waste of agrostis she is come upon open air. Swallowed into the grave. She cracks a brittle labyrinthine bone cradle and it is a foxhole she has fallen into and this waste where the plemena had effected a stand against aerial drones that had annihilated them from two miles off. She composed a pyre out of the defenders. Fetching them out the wall burst trenches and foxholes like some banausic bonepicker in a lag of rotary motions. Their equipment had been looted but under a pelvis she discovered an ampule containing an effervescent elding ghost blue. She stowed it by the pyre and reaped the winter weeds, the hibernate flowers, two hours worth, and piled them on the pyre until the denuding of the bones seemed reversed. Shrieks of lightning barred the horizon. She had neither gunstone nor magnesium out which to strike fire and so she emptied out the elding and tried to strike spark out a shinbone with a tooth but more fell then lead in limbs is despair and the instruments slipped from her worn fingers. In the distance the whirlwind loomed and she could see the silhouettes of a herd stampede up the prairie chaos within and what voice spoke out was the screams of horse. And now fall the stones of heaven. Leaven the margent of her bed and fly the unharming fire through her toes and spiral up her shanks and a corset be and trellis her in vagrant tresses spilt across her bosom and do a dance pon her shoulders and with ethereal finesse whisk away her tears and down scars channel warmth and care not even to abate the rains.

She went on through fields of combed weeds gnashed back and across muddy metamorphosis of country roads littered with the gale stripped branches of a pinetum.

At a creek she rested upon a stump and had not long when voices sounded from upstream. Child pitch and child tenor. She didnt turn. Not when they neared nor when they exclaimed her.

A troop that rushed up and clamored her a thousand questions. She slumped to the ground. Someone ran for help. Someone else took her hand.

Youre going to be ok, the someone said.

A man came. He gathered her in his arms and bore her across the waters and across a branchblown bridge and up a path into his town and to his house. A woman awaited him. The frantic shoeslap of the children followed after. He took her to a bedroom and laid her upon the mattress. A postered police badge stared down from the ceiling.

What happened to her?

The man turned to face the clog of children in the doorway. All of you out, he said.

We found her.


All but one left. A girl in a full length cream trench coat and matching panama hat.


Emily held out her arms, one hand clutching her cherry red tie. This is my room.

The man looked back to Dachni. What happened to you? Was there anyone else with you? Where are you from?

Dachni stared at the bossment of the shield. The bow of MPD a perch for an eagle whats wingspread formed the border.
All silver.

Whats wrong with her?

I think shes catatonic.

Dachni looked past him. The walls were wainscoted. Quartered at her level and a mirror. Police memorabilia was everywhere. Mementos. Trophies for marksmanship. Framed letters. Photographs of this junior detective posing with the officers of the town.

The woman was in the room now. God what is wrong with its eyes?

Shes catatonic, said Emily.

Did you call Holiday?

You didnt fix the phone yet.

Go next door.

Ill get Mr. Trarper, said Emily turning and dashing round the woman.

The doctor was unavailable but his apprentice was. Young man. He put a stethoscope to Dachni's breast and looked at his watch.

170/190, he said. 174 BPM.

Jesus Christ.

No the literature says thats normal.

So shes ok?

Are you kidding?

Between the visit of the doctor and the custodian of the law the woman fitted Dachni into jeans and a sunflower dress. No one saw her lack of ears. When Trarper came he knelt and pulled the dress down a little. He had a scratchpad on which he'd written relevant inquiries as he had a forgetful nature. Dachni heard the questions as if they were of another world. As if there were no words for the things of which she had been witness.

The apprentice poised earnestly with her own pen ready to record any utterances. Trarper looked over his shoulder at her.

Has she said anything at all?

She clicked her pen twice and twirled it between fingers. Nope. I asked everything you did and she hasnt said a word. I dont think she can speak. Can shine bloods speak?

Its bez dushi, said the woman.

Trarper removed his cap and flapped it twice and put it on again. Ive been told they could. Maybe. I dont know. I dont know if we can do anything with this. He snapped his fingers over her eyes. Shes completely out of it. If she cant talk then well never know.

Is there anyway we can help?

Yes actually, Trarper said rising to his feet. Keep her overnight. Otherwise I have to cell her. Maybe they arent so vagrant as a gypsie but theres no telling how long this might take to sort out. Fact is I doubt it can be sorted.

We cant keep her here, said the woman. Theyre dangerous.

Trarper braced a hand against a hip. Thats. Its hard to say. Ive seen them hired to good labor. Theyre not lunatics. Which makes everything Ive heard come out of the frontier even worse.

What did you hear?

Theyre fucking homicidal.


Bad word alert!

Trarper smiled uneasily. Sorry ma'am.

The woman turned worriedly to her man. I dont like it. Who knows whatll happen if it wakes up.

The man rubbed his beard.

Your choice Mikhail, said Trarper.

We can manage her, said Emily. Ill keep watch.

Mikhail looked at Trarper. You dont have any space downtown?

Packed. That brawl filled us up. I guess I could let Marshall and Mills out but then I dont think theyd learn their lesson. Its either that or put ten men in a closet or add her to the mix and I dont think anyone would like that except the ones who would.


Traper shoved a hand into a pocket and got out a pair of cuffs. If the answers yes I can lend you these.

Mikhail looked at the dangling cuffs shaking his head slightly. Then he clapped his hands halfheartedly. No. I think we can manage. Fifty pounds of coma is exactly that.

The woman stepped forward and took the cuffs.

Might be fifty pounds of murder.


Mikhail rubbed his wife's back. No. Its alright. Because even fifty pounds of murder is exactly that. Fifty pounds.

Trarper flipped his notebook shut and put it away. Ill ring Harter tonight. See if anyone else has seen her before or maybe at least if banditry has been reported but with that storm I doubt anything is working. Ill let you know tomorrow.

Do you think well find the people who did this? said Emily.

There might not actually be anyone who did this. She might just have been caught out in the storm.

As beat up as she is?

Trarper shrugged. It might be. In any case even if someone did beat her up I dont think we'd find them.

Why not?

Well theyre probably long gone. And even if we did find them. Well. Maybe she was a thief. Or maybe. Even if she wasnt its not exactly a crime. I mean yeah its a kid and its wrong but these things are outside the law. And killing her aint contrary to the law.

They left Dachni to rest but a few hours later when they returned to invite her to dine she hadnt so much as winked for in that solitary interim she had undergone an epiphany adjacent the concept of suicide. The man got her out of bed and conducted her out of the room with her puppet legs dragging senselessly under her.

Supper was pilece belo. An onion and cabbage salad and fries and rye bread. Her utensils were wrapped in a napkin and balanced on the rim of her plate. She stared at them and she could not see the friendly visages smiling for for the uplift of her spirit. Emily proclaimed the bestness of the meal but Dachni was staring at the knife.

Did you have a name?


Im just asking.

They dont have names.

Blunt knife shallow salamander toothed. The girl leaned into her view.

Im going to be a detective when I grow up. What did you want to be? I passed the academy exam last year and the detective exam last month. I got a certificate for both and a picture with the police chief. Ive got letters and formals to boot.

I think it wants to be left alone, said the woman.

Do you want to see my badge?

I dont-

But Emily had already sprung from her chair and was
running for her room.

Try to eat something, said Mikhail.

They dont speak, said the woman.

He placed a heavy hand on Dachni's shoulder and that
shoulder sagged until the hand slipped off.

Sorry. Вы русский?

Emily slid back into her chair. She had a picture. This is me and Chief Aires. The man of whom she spoke was a bald rotundity of belt loose law and slothful oculus. Sun shades pushed up on his forehead. The badge next. A junior detective badge advised a precursor to the soon enough real article to be acquired. A blind double headed eagle bossed into the shield, banner in its talons, Horus eyes socketed at extreme of its extended wingspan. And the letter. Good papyrus mayhaps affirming all the girl had told.

Emily she doesnt understand.

Mikhail forked fries into his jaws and chewed and took a drink of water to help them down. He looked at his wife.

Wash your hands, she said.


You touched it.

Dachni wiped her eyes with her wrists.

Oh I think shes crying. Dont be sad.

What otherwise to be? Her gaze drifted across chicken, off
plate, across a gossamer tablecloth of diagrammatic embroidery of galleons and mans of wars to an arm of sparse blond down, bony elbow toeing the shield. Nouvea iteration of chivalry in nickelplate, in adversum malum. Eternal adversary of natural evils. Emily requested the salt and when it was passed she craned the shaker over the stiff folds of cabbage in a liberal dosing and flagged her daint arm to restore the shaker to the side of pepper in a restoration of the yin yang of the seasonings. Dachni shoved the butter knife into her arm pit. Emily screamed. The mother. She snatched the letter and the badge and dropped to the floor and scrambled through the kicking legs and burst out in a flare of tablecloth and clatter of cutlery and charged the door. The frame bulged outward in a loud crunch. She threw the knife at Mikhail and threw herself again into the door and fell out into the street.

A colder rain slanted down now. A gravid coal blue overcast. Dachni sprinted upstreet, her unshod soles sliding viciously over the granular macadam where puddles twinned lamp lights spinning round their stringed axis. Mikhail burst out the doorway beseeching the storm for an apothecary, Emily limp in his arms. Windows heretofore blinded slitted to reveal tintype ghosts alarmed at a sprite fleet Ptolomean tearing bandylegged through the street. She hurdled a fence into a backyard and leapt back again and lunged at pug polycreased mug of a pitbull bulging the waterbloated picket and dug her thumbs beneath the fat wrinkled eyelids. The pitbull whimpered and twisted, its saggy jowls throwing strings of slobber but it had lodged itself in the gap and when Dachni let go it howled against the sudden abruption of sight. Someone slid open the glass patio door of the house and yelled for her to quit harassing his dog and she ran on. Farther back from whence she had fled voices were gathering alarmed and speculative, their flashlights parceling out the darkness in whiplash illumination.

She scrabbled clear of the meager urbanity and turned towards the creek. Entering the bracken her foot stubbed a root and she tumbled down to a path paralleling the chopping waters. A recreational path favored by hikers and the domesticated and that in an hour's painful travail let out next a lake where docks undulated upon a chopping tide. A thin board where some landlocked bohemian surfed the disturbances. Who waved. She turned to receive the charge of what wheeling pursuants bore down but there were none and when she swung round again the surfer was gone.

She went on and there was violence yet more in the inclemency of the storm. She took a second path winding through a thready anorexia of birches to a road where beyond and alone in the blanket whiting of the heaven strife a cathedral granite and goth loomed like an apostolic horror house. Dachni sallied across the road and lambasted upon its asylum gates blows you would not have heard, that she did not hear herself. She jumped to grab the stolid pig iron bob of the doorknocker and hauled in vain against the portal. After several essays she gave it up and circled round the cathedral past the ribbed flank buttresses with their elongate gargoyles spewing gutter water and past a garth wall with painted tapestries of medieval battle, the placid combat wherein squires seemed fond of their braining. And past a cemetery where stacks of tombstones like playing cards awaited dealing. In the musty confines of the groundskeeper's shed she might have sheltered but didnt. Among garden tools was a barrel therein an axe and armed with thus returned to the gate and split the oak along its banded grain. Were that it was some enemy. The lodging of the axe was of a high tenored prate of splintering not unlike the thunder. In ten minutes of mechanical assault she mutilated the wood and now she hacked sparks out of the furniture mindless enough that she failed to perceive through the rents a gliding occlusion. The gate creaked away of its mangled double and the axfall shoved it back and then it shot open. Its corner struck the prominence of her ankle and that ankle folded and she went down.

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