Oracle

I have watched several people
Watch the years slip through their hands
And all the days I’m hardly counting
Are grains of the same sand
So, I can say I know the future
And it’s even somewhat true
Because I’ve watched the sands of time
And I’ve seen nothing new.

Siege

All the questions cropping up
Of the futures that could be
They gather like an army
Far as the eye can see

The siege now here upon me
I tremble as they come
No walls can stand against them
That time, I fear, is done.

The Inkwell

“And next week,” the paper read, “there will be a murder somewhere in the East section of The City. More details pending.” Joy Wells sighed at writing such an ominous — and not to mention tremendously unhelpful — bit of news. Normally, the dark and foreboding was her brother’s province, but lately her dreams showed only crimson, and however much she grasped at her usual optimism, she came up blank.

Cynric Wells came in just then with a cup of coffee in hand, and he stopped briefly to read over her shoulder. With a vague nod, he continued on to his desk, sitting and staring into space as he sipped at his liquid caffeine.

“Hey, sis,” he said after a moment, “your dreams told you that Officer Tannis would live a long life, marriage and kids and all that, yes?”

“Yeah, why?” She answered, looking up in confusion from the typewriter she’d been staring at as she wracked her brain for a happier way of sharing unhappy news.

“He’s dead,” answered her brother matter-of-factly.

“What?” She demanded, rising in surprise and horror. “How?”

Cynric took another sip of his coffee before answering. “An earth wyrm. Came right up out of a manhole, believe it or not; swallowed him whole. Now that’ll make for interesting reading for the common folk tomorrow morning.”

“But he could still be alive! Have they–“

“Oh no, Joy dear. I assure you, he’s very dead. Julius doesn’t like it when things happen to his underlings without his say-so, and had the rest search until they found the thing and gutted it. That’s where I’ve been these past few hours. I got a front row seat of the… operation.”

Joy fell back down into her chair, holding her head. “That’s terrible,” she muttered.

“That’s one word for it,” said her brother, eying her intently.

“Just say it, Cynric,” she groaned.

“Alright. You were wrong, sis. You’ve never been wrong before, and it’s not a good look, for either of us.”

She looked up at him. “You’re blaming me for appearances, when someone — a man we’ve known since we first came here — is dead? I knew you could be heartless, brother, but I didn’t realize you could be this petty as well.”

“Pettiness has nothing to do with it. Your ability has never been wrong before. If it can be wrong once, then why not twice, thrice, three hundred times? And if that’s the case, then I’m sorry to say, sister, but your ‘gift’ is downright worthless, and could potentially even be considered fraudulent. Once is bad enough already. But if this happens again, how long until the whole City starts to lean towards the ‘fraudulent’ answer? Tell me, Joy, have you ever been skinned alive before? Because let me assure you, it’s not very fun.”

“The Inkwell is the newspaper for the entire City. We have friends all over. You really think they’d just turn on us?”

Cynric scoffed. “What do you think happened to the people the job belonged to previously?”

“I thought you said they retired to a unicorn dimension?”

“No, dear. That’s called sarcasm.”

Joy’s face dropped. “Oh.” She took a breath. “So what are we going to do, then?”

“We make darn sure it doesn’t happen again. So… what do you say to a little investigative journalism?”

***

Per Goldie’s challenge. To be continued… Possibly.

Will

For many moments I sat waiting,
So adept at standing still;
So certain all worth chasing
Boiled down to just some time to kill.

But all I’ve lived was just prefacing,
Life a writer with a lethargic quill;
Maybe we’re on to demonstrating
That even characters can have a will.

Bobby Pins

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

I can’t always wait for freedom
As I’m tightening my chains
Or call for allies to remove them
When my list of foes has all the names

It’s up to me to hoard the bobby pins,
To find the key to ease my pains;
It’s up to me to unlock prisons,
And remember there are sunny days.

Realization

I’ve looked so long for a prince,
But I was longing for a friend;
I’ve watched the sun set from my tower,
But I was watching for a beginning, not an end.

I’ve been waiting for someone to throw me a rope,
But what I wanted was someone waiting for me to climb down;
I’ve been wishing for someone to make me smile,
But my best wish is for someone to be there even when I frown.

Not Me: Thinking Out Loud

I’m so sorry… Of all the things I could have been, I became this. I could’ve been like my brother and reached out and made a life for myself where I could.

But instead I’m here. Still just sitting here. Waiting for something to befall me, be it destiny or accident.

Probably accident. Screech, crash, bang, and then I’m gone, in all likelihood. It would be just like me to not be paying any attention and accidentally step in front of a car. It wouldn’t be on purpose, of course. But it wouldn’t be exactly unwelcome.

I sometimes like to pretend that I can see the future. The prediction is always the same: I’m going to die alone. It’s not even a future anymore, it’s a fact. I’m going to die alone. So what’s it matter if it’s distant or soon?

I’ve lived nineteen years, going on twenty. So young, and often much younger than I should be. And yet those years, these days, they crawl by like an eternity, and they’ve never changed in form, not really. The world is still a distant thing, and I am still… what I am: The person who walks on the path before me. And it’s still a circular one.

My brother sees this. He sees us all going in circles, ducking our heads, diving into whatever we can to hide. He wants it to change. He wants it to change — but he doesn’t want to change it. None of us do. It would be like organizing a junkyard… while being attacked by a pack of wild dogs. Nobody wants to take that on. Especially when the thing we’re taking on, is the nothingness of never taking anything on. Someone has to start. But each of us vows, it won’t be us. 

Pageless

A pageless book you call your own;
A pen, saved for the last
Until a time that you can call your home,
And burn away your unwritten past.

A cover, written with your name,
To be the story of your life.
But the pages — oh it’s such a shame,
For they knew nothing but the knife.

Fortune Teller

Tell me, can you read my palms?
Can you describe my life to be?
Will you show the rises and the falls,
And explain away my mystery?

Tell me, can you see my soul?
Can you describe it, what you see?
What color, if it’s there at all,
And won’t you explain what it all means?

Tell me, can you sense my pain?
Can you describe my remedy?
Will I meet him in sunshine or rain —
Or, is it not my destiny?