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I was 3,200 feet below the surface in the old long abandoned and forgotten mines that pockmark the back hills of the Searles Valley to the north-east of Ridgecrest.
It’s a different time and a different world down there. You can still see the scorch marks from the old oil lamps that used to hang from the rusted iron hooks placed along the shaft walls. The smell is a mix of old earth and timber. Long ago the timber used to have a sweet smell to it, but all the sap has long since dried up and been leached from the wood. Most of the old equipment had been stripped from the mine but the further you go, the more the past starts to reveal itself.
There was no slow build-up to the quake. Not like the movies where things shimmy back and forth. The only warning I had was the roar that came from the snapping of supports as the earth rolled like an ocean wave around me. Even the air itself, having spent years settling into its void of a home breathed anew.
Dust that was flung from the timber supports, as well as the roof and walls of the shaft itself, blew against my face as I closed my eyes.
The track that sat rusted and unused below my feet popped and pinged as it was displaced from the floor in parts. The spikes that were driven into the earth hundreds of years ago gave off puffs of rust tinted dust that covered my boots.
I wasn’t sure if the mine would hold and whispered my goodbyes to my loved ones.
While most of it did hold up to the quake, portions of it did not.
It’s been a month now since the quake, but only a couple weeks since I was able to dig myself free of Mother Earths wanting embrace. Someday she will reclaim me for the final time but until then, I have more to explore.

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After 70 years of heroic battles and unfavorable odds, he sat before the fire. Hands stiffening with arthritis and scars covering more of his body than not he held his cape as tears welled up in his eyes.
He couldn’t even remember all the fights, all the hard-won battles anymore. At some point, it all became a blur as time stretched a haze over a life spent saving others, saving the world.
He tossed the cape into the fire and watched it burn.
“Maybe this world wasn’t meant to be saved.” He whispered.

We stood at the crossroads of two highways long since abandoned to time. The moon hid behind the clouds in the night sky. Ashamed and confused.
The devil took his time reading from my list.
Finally and with a tired but curious glance over the top of the paper he asked, “How do you propose to pay for these things?”
“With time,” I answered.
He nodded slowly and licked his lips before extending his hand, “We have a deal then.”
I shook his hand firmly and smiled, “Deal.”
In the blink of an eye, my life was ended and I stood apart from my body as it collapsed to the ground. The asphalt reached up and pulled it under slowly but without a sound.
The devil looked at me then with a tear in his eye. “Thank you for this,” he said as he handed me the keys to Hell and slowly vanished into thin air.
My watch had begun.

The moon was hidden by the clouds as I struggled to find my sight in the dark.
In the distance, trees were being ripped apart as it came for me. I could hear the loud crack of the tree trunks splitting. I could hear the thunder of their roots being pulled from the earth and the rocks and debris that fell from them as they were lifted out of the way. Even the very ground rumbled under Deaths footfalls.
There was no silent reaper in a robe, that was children’s tales and make-believe. This was a God of death, and he was coming for me.
I lost my footing in the creek and fell into the dry creek bed. Dirt and dust covered my face and stung my eyes and throat as I scrambled back to my feet and clawed my way up the other side.
I didn’t dare look back because in my mind it was right there, talons reaching for me already. I expected it any second. I couldn’t even hear my own thoughts or my own clumsy thrashing about. Just that thunderous roar and snapping branches that seemed to be so very close.
I decided to give up then. To just stop running.
I could hear my breathing then. I could hear me sucking in air and almost sobbing as I exhaled. It was over, I didn’t want this anymore.
A few seconds went by when I realized I was listening to my own breathing and only my own breathing. Nothing else. No thunderous war-drum beating footfalls, no splintering of three-hundred-year-old trees, nothing.
It was just me.
Alone.
I sat down with my back against a tree and waited. Slowly the nocturnal animals began to come out and the silence was filled by the sounds of wildlife. I smiled at the peacefulness of it all.
It took me hours to realize that I was Death.

Boys Will Be Boys

Posted: December 31, 2018 in Poetry, Uncategorized

I remember you
Not every detail, but pieces
I remember the toys you used to steal
The courage I slowly built up
To confront you

I remember when you apologized
Told me I could have them all back
You said they were under your bed
In the dark
But it was just you

I remember you
Not every detail, but pieces
I remember the innocence you stole
The shame I slowly built up
To come home

I remember

“I’m a weirdo? I’m a  freak?”
“Maybe, but I live this adventure in madness, this chaos of laughter surrounded by the freaks of nature, and the fearless of fantasy. I wouldn’t change it for all the vanilla pudding in the world, darling. But you go right ahead, cause I’ve got claws to paint on, and leather straps to tighten before the clowns arrive.”

She soaked fishnets in kerosene
Then playfully parted her thighs
Now I’m drunk on the fumes
Tongue numb, whispering lullabies
 
I can taste her through the vapor
Hear her moan and feel her grind
As she tangles fingers in my hair
We’re completely intertwined
 
I hear the strike, see the spark
And smile at the games she plays
As my eyes find hers in the dark
She sets us both ablaze