Thursday, May 26, 2011

//SPECTATOR

Much has happened since January. I'm no longer a spectator--no longer watching the game from the stands.

This blog, in that regard, has run its course. I indulged my inner writer for a url, and started a new one to focus on.

http://indianaverne.blogspot.com is where you will find a lone Queen, her back to Rome's ashes and her sword pointed to the Black King's lair.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

//DREAMS-NIGHTMARES

All I see around me is ash. Smoking husks I once called trees cover the grey dust where there was once rich soil. The sky weeps flame and ash, long stained grey from the immolated dreams of the innocent.

Creatures only Lewis Carroll's nightmares could name scurry among the embers and fallen trunks, red-eyed and predatory, once-sleek coats caked and matted with what passes for soil here.

I rise to my feet, choking on the dust. In all directions, bones, white and clean and the only thing pristine in this other world, litter the landscape. The skeletons of men, women, children, infants, all point to a tree in the distance. Still green, alive. Still right. I stumble towards the one beacon of reality as I remember it, my throat dry and face caked with ash. The heat of a nearby fire causes my eyes to water. I continue forward, one agonizing step at a time, bruised body and torn muscles crying out in protest.

The winds carry a whisper. “Save us.”
“Help us.”
“Please, someone, anyone.”
Among the ash and fire, part of the world rebuilds itself. A small town, a faceless monstrosity closes in on a mother and daughter. Rather than fight, the mother begs for a hero to come to the rescue. She had grown complacent, and doomed herself and her daughter in exchange for a docile existence before the King collected his due.

A tall creature appears in my vision. Joints, so many joints. Where the human arm bends at the elbow, its arm bends at seven elbows. Where the human leg bends at the knee, its leg bends at ten knees. There is a face on this one. Empty eyes and a rictus grin, two flaps of white flesh standing out on a field of black, slowly coalescing into a suit made of pulsating, living flesh. Tentacles hang, limp, down to the ground, and the dust floats into the air, forming a miasma thicker than the worst fog.

I reach the great tree, my legs no longer strong enough to hold my weight. I lay, helpless, each breath coming with more effort than the last, as the tree catches fire, lighting the beast from behind.

I wake up, in a cold sweat as always, and know without having to know how that the Black King wins only because his victims are as sheep, relying on a shepherd to save them, rather than wolves, who live, fight, win, and die as one.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

//ROADS

All roads lead to Rome. Cobblestone by cobblestone, the roads catch fire. Ash and burned husks litter the once-verdant landscape.

The firelight glitters off a dagger's edge, a centurion casts aside the shackles of loyalty for the freedom of justice.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm not entirely sure what goes through peoples' minds anymore. Rome's burning, and all I see are people waiting for a hero to catch the pillar about to fall on them. Indeed, they've yet to do so much as lift a bucket of water, even while the bloated underbelly of the city shows, the lepers and the killers all shedding the blood of their brothers in one glorious bloodbath, a testament to human decadence and indecency, an orgy of lust and murder, all of them pawns in a greater game.

Rome's burning, and those who will not do their part to put out the fire, or who focus on the only ones carrying full buckets, and beg them to put out the fires for them deserve to die so the rest may be stirred into action.

Friday, April 1, 2011

//PARK

There is a very pleasant park near where I live, with a row of tables perfectly sized for a chessboard in one corner of it. Late last night, after my discussion with Reach, I found a note on my pillow, requesting my presence in that park early this morning. The note also requested I bring a chess set with me.

I admit, I was curious. But I'm also not naive. I brought a knife with me for defense. It wouldn't be much, but it would be *something*. I found a table, and set all the pieces up, taking White's seat. I looked up, and the Black King had taken the opposite seat, holding his hands out to me, elbows bent, palms facing the sky. He seemed to be offering White the first turn.

I'm unsure how we came to the agreement, but we both began a game of speed chess. Counters were countered, which were in turn countered, traps were set, sprung, and countered (which again was met with a further string of counters), and the game continued on well past sunrise, a cat-and-mouse with King, Queen, and Knights. Finally, though, it was down to the Kings, an even stalemate. I stared the Black King in the face, expecting to die, but he instead formed a mouth and told me to wake up.

I shot awake to the sound of the Beatles asking someone, anyone to help as my alarm clock went off at eight o'clock AM.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

//Queen-Knight

White Queen takes Black Knight.
Jared Gregory Marsh. Age 42. Caucasian male.

He had been a soldier of the Black King for twenty-one years. He had been situated in the NSA as a codebreaker. He and a proxy in Israel would use their positions to smuggle codes between themselves, keeping track of activity in those two nations.

He was found lobotomized in a gutter Saturday, March 26, 2011.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

//RETURN

The player's seat is empty no longer. The Queen strides onto the battlefield.

The Rook and Knight have made a discovery--the Black Knights are but pawns of another name. A more aggressive strategy can be safely played. The Black King's men are but men, the methods that would kill you or I kill them just as surely.

The goal of the game is not to topple the Black King, but to leave his army crippled and him alone on the board.