Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Dreams | Delusions

Once, you might have thought that this certain thing is your dream. Something that you should pursue as there’s some weird nagging feeling deep within you that you should go after it. You believe that it will bring you to greater heights, not to mention some measure of popularity, maybe.

You are willing to make sacrifices and adjustments just to ensure that you are on track in chasing this so-called dream. Work schedules have been shifted, pastimes minimized, and sleeping hours reduced. You let go of what could’ve been very promising endeavors just for this dream of yours.

What happened though? Was it all worth it?

You stopped because something within you just…died. That drive that kept you going fizzled into nothingness. The dream itself drifted far away from you as you no longer have the enthusiasm to go after it. This glorious quest has become nothing but a goddamn snipe hunt.

Now, as you reflect on the things that you gave up and let go because of your foolishness, I hope that you realize that delusions are quite costly. There’s no going back of course as you are set on a different path.


As for you, dear reader, never ever forget to make plans first before jumping into something. Contemplate. Think hard. Make an outline if possible. Picture all possible outcomes. Trust me on this as the plans you make will make sure that your pursuit of dreams will not become a futile endeavor.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Husk


Little rag doll with broken strings
Sitting while a sad tone he sings
Watching as the days pass quickly
And fate mocked him without mercy
Countless lips smiled because of him
Before getting tossed in a whim
Many a time his name is called
By someone who is hurt and cold
Fed with lies and vain promises
His love for her was a distress
From dusk 'till dawn he cheered her up
While his peers told him to give up
A fellow doll then said to him
"You're just flying in a bad dream"
Next day passed, then another week
He's still trying not to look weak
But when her need for him is gone
Read this piece again from line one

Monday, June 12, 2017

कुंडली

The procession of robed and blindfolded men moved in the darkness of the night, grasping each other’s shoulders like a long centipede of humanity crawling through a path of gravel in the forest. They were surrounded by trees, serenaded by nocturnal wildlife, and led by a torch-bearing man who was the only one without a blindfold for obvious reasons.

Aaron was one of the men who joined this midnight trip. He did his best not to stumble as they traversed the nether trail, feeling his hands quiver as he grasped the shoulders of the person in front of him. The same also happened to the hands that clutched his shoulders. Fear made their limbs tremble as there was not even a single chilly breeze in the air.

Just like the rest of the blindfolded people here, Aaron was an enthusiast of everything horror. Frightening movies and heart attack-inducing screamer videos gave him a rush that was akin to a mind-numbing orgasm. He was always on the hunt for the next thrill of a heart-stopping fright, so when he came upon an online ad that promised the “ultimate scare”, Aaron didn’t hesitate to sign up.

He and a dozen fellow aficionados met in an abandoned warehouse where a trio of bald men in business suits gave them the robes. They were then made to wait until midnight before they began the trek through the wilderness.

Their march abruptly stopped. Aaron felt the gentle wisps of wind rustle his robe. The torchbearer ordered them to remove their blindfolds.

Aaron rubbed his eyes after removing the cloth that covered it for almost an hour. They stood in a clearing in the middle of the forest, with dead leaves on the ground illuminated by moonlight. At the center stood a trio of square stone blocks. The torchbearer knelt next to it and pressed something on its base, causing a small part of the earth around the blocks to sink, revealing a spiral staircase made of stone.

The group followed the torchbearer as they descended into the passage, into a short earthen tunnel, and into a huge round chamber carved out of the earth and illuminated by a string of wall-mounted torches. They stopped at what appeared to be the edge of a depression on the ground that sloped to the center, making it look like a small asteroid crater. A glacial chill crawled down Aaron’s spine and it made his heart pump in excitement towards the impending scare, much like how a child looked forward to a Christmas present.

Silence filled the air once the footsteps stopped and the participants were at the edge of the depression. But a strange muffled noise became audible, like the distant whimpering of a trapped animal.

The torchbearer stood on the side and spoke, “We are gathered here tonight to celebrate our fascination towards what others find terrifying. We are a unique kind of people, yes, and we deserve only the best when it comes to the things that excite us.”

Aaron’s vision adjusted to the darkness and what he saw made every hair on his being stand.

Dark thin oval shapes formed a spiral on the sloped depression at the center of the chamber. They were chained to the earth perhaps to prevent them from rolling off. At the core was a stone pedestal riddled with carvings of tentacles, and on it sat an orb as black as night. Aaron saw something swirl inside the orb, or maybe the dim lighting was just playing tricks on his eyes? He heard the others gasp as they saw the bizarre display.

Aaron noticed one of the oval shapes was positioned near where he stood. He crouched to take a closer look at it as the whimpering sounds became much louder. He had to squint his eyes to see the shape properly.

Until it squirmed. Aaron bolted upright as the shape wriggled on the chains that grasped it. His ears picked up a faint yet familiar sound out of the sniveling that echoed throughout the chamber.

“Help.”

“Help me please.”

The reality of the situation sank in and, for the first time, it brought with it a kind of terror that Aaron did not find enjoyable. This was the kind of horror that he didn’t want to see, that he didn’t want to experience.

“The horror that plagues our media nowadays are nothing but child’s play, an insult to what brought fear to our ancestors hundreds of years ago. Ghosts? Killer clowns? Psycho nurses? Zombies? Bah, they’re but feeble imitations of the true art of terror,” the torchbearer’s voice drowned out the chorus of groans and whines that became clearly audible.

The other participants realized what the shapes were, and three of them bolted out of the chamber.

Three gunshots echoed afterwards.

The torchbearer moved towards the nearest oval shape and sank a curved dagger into it, causing a trickle of blood to flow towards the pedestal. He then cast a glance straight at Aaron and said, “You claim to find satisfaction in fear. Now’s your chance to fulfill your ultimate wish: to witness the pure heart of dread that lurked in the minds of our cave-dwelling ancestors during the ancient times.”

Zeroes

The military installation was crowded today with a flock of personnel in different shades of uniform. The huge rectangular structure was situated in the middle of the desert, with smaller circular buildings connected to it via steel hallways.

Jonathan shouldered his way through one of these hallways, sometimes even pushing people aside rather forcefully. He had to move fast as time was not on his side.

He kicked the steel door at the end of the hallway open. It led to a small room with an elegant red carpet and expensive wooden furniture, all lit by a huge chandelier on the ceiling. Jonathan stomped his way towards the long mahogany table where General Kevin sat, legs swinging over the edge while looking at something on a smartphone.

“All dead! All 500 men, no survivors,” Jonathan said as he tossed a folder to the general’s lap.

The general gave him an irritated look before opening the folder. It contained a report on the chaos that happened hours ago
.
Early this morning a massive black sphere fell from space and crashed in the desert. It sat in silence for a couple of hours until it suddenly reshaped itself like a huge wad of clay. The sphere formed eight huge legs, a long tail, and three ferocious heads that resembled no beast in Earth. The monster then marched towards a nearby town and flattened it in a matter of minutes.

The military mobilized to fight the extraterrestrial threat that lumbered towards the next town. Jonathan was among those who were deployed, the 501st soldier to cram inside one of the armored personnel carriers. They unloaded everything they had on the monster but it didn’t even get scratched. Jonathan was lucky enough to survive after hiding in a crevice on the sandy ground, but he was unfortunate enough to listen to the screams of his comrades as they were being squashed like bugs.

Jonathan pointed towards the yellow phone at the corner, "We have no choice."

General Kevin sighed, "I'd rather nuke the town along with the beast--"

Before he could finish the sentence Jonathan was already pressing the receiver against his ear. He didn’t give a damn about the grave repercussions that come after defying his superior.

Especially when you’re defying him for the sake of these two… superheroes.

"Mr. Fahrenheiiiiiiiit and Supersonic Man at your service," the former's voice oozed with masculinity.

" Yeah, uh, a town is about to be attacked. Figured we need your help, “Jonathan said. He heard his superior snicker behind him.

After a few seconds of silence Supersonic Man's annoying high-pitched voice spoke, "We'll be there in a jiffy."

Jonathan slowly lowered the receiver as he gave the general a victorious smirk. Unfortunately he didn't know that Mr. Fahrenheit was still on the line.

"Just kidding! We're on a vacation in Mars right now. Leave your message after the beep."

Beeeeeeeeeep!

Anno Nuovo

A bright sphere of light sailed across the star-studded blanket of the night sky. It was the fourth shooting star to appear tonight, and the reported meteor shower was just starting. John sat next to the tripod of his older brother Larry's telescope, his fists busy pulling the grass out of boredom. He found his older brother's passion for astronomy as a pointless endeavor and hated it when he was forced to come along, but he had no other choice for tonight as the citywide blackout made staying at home twice as boring.

Fortunately he charged his phone earlier today. The decent radio stations were still on the air and John's earphones were of topnotch quality. His moment of zen in this agonizing night was interrupted as Larry picked him up by the arms.

"Don't just sit there you idiot. These comets won't be visiting our skies until the next 600 years," Larry gently pressed John's face to the telescope. The boy sighed as loud as he could while squinting one eye to peek with the other.

"They're just dumb falling stars!" John exclaimed as he felt not even an ounce of wonder at the sight of the cosmic light show. He yanked away from his brother's grip and returned to the grass. He reached for his smartphone that lay on the ground and noticed a crack across its screen.

John bolted to his feet and threw the hardest jab he could deliver on his brother's arm,  "LOOK AT WHAT YOU JUST DID!"

The smartphone's radio continued to play the broadcast as the DJ introduced the start of his program.

"Good evening loyal listeners and welcome to the December 21 episode of our Nightly Drive. It's me,  your host Barry Bee,  and tonight we are treated with a very wonderful shower of stars. Makes this blackout worthwhile don't you think? Anyway I hope that you've already finished your holiday shopping as 2012 is almost ending and you don't want to be caught up in the rush."

Extracurricular

It was a dark and stormy night in the police department with the rain pouring hard outside and the streets barely lit by light poles. Senior Inspector Danny Bluecher stood alongside Chief Inspector James Anders as they faced a table littered with pictures of faces and opened notebooks.

The pair had their eyes fixed towards a certain piece of paper.

Danny traced a finger along one of the lines then said, “Says that his time is come, so he’s gonna surrender then?”

James rustled the thick salt-and-pepper bush on his jaw as he silently read the other lines of the song. The paper contained the handwritten lyrics to a certain song, delivered to the police station last Saturday. It was inside a small cardboard box covered with a pale red wrapping paper. One of the cops got his nose too close to the paper and realized that the whitish crimson wrap was actually caked in dried blood.

Then the carnage started.

The Sunday morning shoppers were greeted by the sight of a homeless boy’s body at the market. He was set on a kneeling position atop a stack of wooden boxes, eyes gouged out and body propped to make it look up to the sky. The boy’s elevation ensured that the wind rustled his long hair in all directions.

The next day a man was found dead in front of a birthing home, shot execution style with a single bullet to the head. Several pregnant mothers whose beds were right next to the windows were unfortunate enough to see the body in the middle of the street, and they were obviously shaken and in tears.

James disproved Danny by moving his finger to the next part, "He doesn't want to die, and besides he doesn't follow the song in order. Remember the clown whose corpse was strung up to look like he's doing the fandango?"

A bright jagged lance of lightning illuminated the dark streets outside the window. After a growl of thunder another bolt struck a nearby power line, cutting off the building’s electricity as bright sparks shoot out of the damaged utility pole.

"Damn thunder and lightning," Danny said as he wiped a bead of sweat from his cheek, visibly shaken by the display of meteorological phenomena.

James fished out a pen light from his pocket and pointed it at the lyrics. The darkness was more of a boon than an impediment to their work. He cleared his throat as he pressed an index finger hard against the paper.

"So, about that priest in our basement? One more ‘let me go’ and I’ll slit his throat ear to ear.”

Danny’s eyes were still wide in fear as he shook his head and protested, “Be patient. We’re almost at the end of the song. And no we will not be slitting his throat, I already have a good set of stones for him remember?”

Achaemenid

"SPARTAAAAANS!"

Kevin had goosebumps all over his arms as King Leonidas rallied his warriors to battle the Persian hordes. The fight scenes were Kevin’s favorite parts of the movie especially when the slow motion kicked in. He imagined himself as one of the brave Spartans complete with a spear, shield, helmet, cape, and ripped six pack abs glistening with sweat and blood.

He sat on the cold floor next to his best friend Jonathan, and around them were a handful of other viewers. They were in a dark room illuminated only by the huge wall-mounted LCD flanked by towering speakers. It was almost like a cinema if only they had comfortable chairs and popcorn. 

Today was the fifth time they watched 300 but the rush of excitement was still there as if it was Kevin’s first time watching it. Tomorrow they will be here again watching the Spartans make kebab out of their adversaries.

After the movie Kevin leaned towards Jonathan and whispered the same question he had every damn time they watched, “Why are the Persians so inaccurate?”

Jonathan shrugged and gave his same answer for the fifth day in a row, “Suspension of disbelief, bruh.”

They all stood up as the door at the back opened, filling the room with light. 

At the doorway stood Cooties, a towering hulk of white fur packed with muscle. His long whiskers peeked through the slits on his helmet, and his bright pink nose twitched. On his fluffy arm rested a long spear while his right paw was fitted with an iron gauntlet studded with spikes. His tail swung sideways in utter irritation. Everyone here knew that Cooties never loved his job.

With a tap of his spear on the floor the prisoners left the room and went into their respective cells to be locked up again behind bars. Tomorrow they will be herded again to the “cinema” for another action-packed hour with Gerard Butler. Kevin’s bars were kicked shut by Toodles with the kick of a paw, who then stood guard with the sound of his purring bouncing all over Kevin’s cell. 

“Suspension of disbelief… Sheesh,” Kevin whispered to himself as he lay on the uncomfortably cold and hard stone bed.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Gap You Can Reach Across, But Can Never Cross

A few moments was all that she needed to get smitten.
He was handsome.
Incredibly talented.
He could effortlessly forge words.
Mend hearts.
And save lives.
She could only imagine how lucky someone could be.
If that someone was loved by him.
Someone as extraordinary as him.
He wasn't that far from her, literally.
But there was a wide divide between them.
Cannot be crossed.
Will never be crossed.
She could try, but she'll have to use a rickety bridge.
She might fall.
She could die.
The aperture was just as long as her arm
She could reach across
But it was too wide
Perhaps in another life, maybe in another timeline.
There may be a sturdy bridge.
Or she could be in his arms.
In his protective, caring, nurturing arms.


For now there's nothing she could do.
There's absolutely nothing she can do.
But to look across the gap.
Over her shoulder.
To just watch as how amazing he is.
He'll never find out.
Maybe he'll get a clue.
Maybe she might slip a glance and their eyes will meet.
But hell, that's the closest she'll get.
Of letting him know.
Of establishing a connection.
Deeper than what they already have across this gap.


He might read her musings.
He might find out about her thoughts.
He might even manage to ask her about it.
But in the end, nothing will ever shorten that gap.
Nothing in this goddamn world will allow them to even touch fingers.

She can only look.
He can only... nothing.
She can look.
Just look.