Writers Workbook Archive 3
Truman Mason pilgrim@bc1.com http:/www.bc1.com/pilgrim Fri Aug 22 00:37:48 PDT 1997

I just have a question. I hope this is the place where I may get an answer so here it is. If I put my story on my site and it goes out on the web, what is stopping some unscrupulous person from stealing my story and claiming it as their own? I would love to be able to publish it but I am conserned that it may be stolen. Is there any way I can protect it?

Gary Howard ghoward@intergate.bc.ca Thu Aug 21 13:00:43 PDT 1997

Jack: Just noticing all the italics going on here. What happened? Anyhow, I sure am enjoying the electrifying discussion going on in the notebook. I'm throwing in the occasional poem. Please respond if you feel like it.


Desert becomes wind sand and timeless
Coyote spirit
Lone tree

At this elevation pure awareness
At this elevation all seasons roll into one
At this elevation beyond manic myopic meanderings in the valley
Hawk becomes friend

And ancient elder eyes
Dark and liquid
Weep celestial happiness

Men creep from kivas
Gentle euphoric and windy

Women braid their raven-black glistening rivers of hair
Proud and pregnant bending to rhythms of sun-drenched Mother Earth

Children embrace hard crisp elemental life
And dance near the sacred graveyard
Bare feet stirring dust
Dust of beginnings
Dust of sinister endings

The Pinon tree shivers in the wind
Shivers with the hard cold breath of life
Lone Coyote sounds his secret siren call
Sand wind air and sun

Night blacks out the corrugated landscape
Wind breathes still again
Distant clans of chattering tree frogs
And silver-studded stars
Punctuate the long dark silent sky

Christopher Pomeroy snakeskin@pen.net Wed Aug 20 10:02:31 PDT 1997

Snippets from an American Scene Stealer

Dangerious rhythms of a heart searching
of a tongue lolling
across clit fertile fields
of an auto floating
of a bleak streak bleeding
of nonsense rambling
across one undertaxed author

Ephemerious abstractions of too much, muchness
of big mouth TV swallowers
of Big Macs seducing
consumers, beautiful consumers
of flashing flash and too much style
of one hundred miles an hours
without the benefits of wheels

Mercurious moralities of fast food servers
of greasy minimum wage fingers
stroking sparse mustaches
of hand it over, hand it over, hand it over Now
of bright white fallows
of blood pressures risings
toward dark unreachable stars

Homogulous choices of unchancy choice
of all-Wailing Wall rows
of spectral mosaics
spicing up nothings
of clickable palettes
of deciphering no details
in a plain of deep grays

Audacious proselytizings philistine of preachings
of brackish closed portals
of indefinite highways
lost to huge opaque machines
of stolen, wordless sentences
plumped up like pillows
of tired fabrics sewn tightly
crunching fleshes
drying eyes
solidifying schemas

of shrinking and finding the emptiness all yours

I hope this posts correctly, it looks strange in the text box. Sorry if it is an eyesore. Please email me any comments good or bad-- thanks.

Joan Rhodda rhodda@montana.com Sun Aug 17 06:39:54 PDT 1997

I've rewritten the beginning of this novel several times, and I'd like to try this one out on you. Please let me know if it grabs you, and feel free to slice and dice. Thanks!

Chapter One

Someone shook Cara McKittrick's arm. "Mphm," she mumbled. Go away, long day. Sleeping. The hand grasped her elbow again and shook, harder this time. Blue. Everything so warm and blue.

"Cara. Cara!" Fingers squeezed her arm and shook. She'd have to open her eyes. Anvils. Anvils on them. Then she shook her head, the world came into focus, and she realized: her eyes were already open. Darn! Here she was again, standing in her stocking feet and flannel boxers, staring out the stupid window. And for how long this time? God, she'd better get a CAT scan.

She sucked in air, looked away from the moon's aura and stumbled back from the window sill to sit with a thump on the bed. She began to shiver.

Her roommate, Barb, released her grip on Cara's arm and plunked down beside her. "You okay?"

Cara nodded, dizzy and nauseous with familiar disorientation. She leaned against the headboard and drew her knees up to her chin. Barb grabbed the lap-quilt off the foot of the bed and tossed it to Cara, who promptly coiled it around herself. "Thanks."

"What happened--do you remember anything this time?"

Cara shook her head. What was there to remember? There weren't any dreams. Nightmares she could have reasoned away. But these episodes were more like she wasn't even there.

And it didn't happen every night. On nights with storms or fog she'd sleep and dream normally. Then there'd be a clear night. "Callus nights" she was beginning to call them. Nights when she'd get out of bed to rock away some of her restlessness in Gran's rocker and then, sure as moonrise, she'd find herself pacing the floor, back and forth, back and forth in front of the window, rough-weave carpet slowly building calluses on the soles of her feet.

Invariably she was drawn to the window sill to stare at the moon until all she could see was blue. She never remembered anything else, and that was scary in itself. Was that what happened when people heard voices telling them to kill, and then never remembered doing it?

Worst of all, it seemed to be affected by the full moon. Superstitious, and so laughable! But tears would not be far behind the laughter. If they caught her howling at the moon--and the idea did not seem so far-fetched, given the strength of the obsession--they'd probably lock her up for good.

Even in daylight the feeling of being beckoned nagged at her. Several times a day her senses jerked upright, listening tensely for the voice that seemed just beyond the limit of hearing. She shook her head.

"I remember stumbling over to the window this time--I hit my toe on the flipping heat register and leaned over to hold onto it. Then I looked up and . . . and there was the moon." Her voice drifted off, because she was looking again at the moon and her heart began to ache with longing; not just longing but loneliness, and the moon, cold and so so far away, and oh, it hurt, it hurt so dearly. Her eyes stung with sudden tears, and she felt the familiar reaching well up within her, and there was the moon, the moon . . . the moon.

"Get a grip!" Barb shook her again, with a half-laugh that revealed more worry than humor.

Cara wrenched her gaze from the moon and resolutely turned toward Barb, rocked by a fresh wave of nausea.

"You've got that look again," Barb said.

"Maybe I need a CT."

Barb hesitated, then shook her head. "I don't know anyone more focused than you are. Your patients won't have other nurses stop by. I tried the other day with Mr. Yat, when you were busy. He opened the door a crack, said 'Where's Miss Cara?' and then mumbled something about having to see a man about a horse!"

Cara laughed. "The curmudgeon. He enjoys it."

"Yeah, well. There was the strangest smell when he opened the door."

"Like ginger root and mint--maybe a little ginseng?"

"Nope. More like Jack Daniels."

Cara sighed. "I left him with an herbal brew--he won't touch anything prescription and he swears the hot toddies fix up his cough."

"What's wrong with him?"

"Same thing that's wrong with most of them. They're lonely. On top of that, smoking for 40 years has given him emphysema."

"And the herbs are supposed to cure that?" Barb's skepticism crept into her voice.

"Been here, done this, Barb. We're nurses. We know what to do to ease a cough, whether you use herbs or cough syrup. But the heart is a different matter."

"And so you visit their homes and play cribbage and poker with them, and feel them herbal tea. Some remedy!"

"Better than Jack Daniels."

Liam Hays bhb@firewall.summit.com Fri Aug 15 16:56:21 PDT 1997


I am at the disposition of your touch,
The rendering of your will.
I am as you would wish me to be
A shadowy sylph to enter your dreams,

Ravenous as a murder of crows
For not the fiercest tempest may move me such as you,
Nor the darkest abyss cage me as your arms into which

I entomb my love.
I am yours for pleasure or penance
In the secretive gardens of our trust,
For the asking, and to taste your pulse
Raging against my lips.

James Armstrong armstj@training.gov.au http://www.angelfire.com/ak/jamesdale/ Thu Aug 14 22:46:05 PDT 1997

Hello everyone,

I have written two short stories, each of about 3500 words. And while they are too long to put on here you can read them at my homepage. Criticism is more than welcome, these are the first stories I have actually finished and I know they still need a bit of work. So any help you can give me I would be more than thankful!


Gary Howard ghoward@intergate.bc.ca Thu Aug 14 15:52:53 PDT 1997

The following is a poem for perusal. Mythic Note: Cheiron (or Chiron) was king of centaurs and mentor to many Greek heroes. He taught them the martial arts and chivalry, poetry and herbal medicine to mention a few.


The hand of Cheiron
Warm and soft
Settles upon the head of Achilles

Remain in your tent
Stay in your tent boy

And may you wear in your hair
Shards of its frail fabric
When in later years
With all women
You make love

May those strands
Of blasted canvas
Signal delicately
The explosion of your soul

Rosemary Croom rcalien@gvtc.com Mon Aug 11 15:19:56 PDT 1997

I am thrilled to find this area for writers. This is my first time entering comments on the notebook so please make allowances. I think the combination of novice and professional writers makes a rich mixture for any type of writer.

A few days ago, I posted my shortest short story on the workbook and I want to thank Kay Brown for her E-mail. She was very complimentary and gave a number of very helpful insights and suggestions.

The impressive quality of the work in the workbook area was a treat. My eyes give me trouble when I read steadily on the computer screen so it took me a number of days to get through the current selection, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The only surprise was the amount of adverbs. My group is continuously harping on that problem to each other.

Thank you so much for having an open venue of this type available.

{I realize this is not the correct area for letters, but my computer refuses to post to the notebook.}

Mon Aug 11 15:18:34 PDT 1997

Liam Hays bhb@firewall.summit.com Thu Aug 7 15:57:11 PDT 1997

Desperate for Feedback!
Info that would be most helpful:
What did you like about the story?
What didn't you like?
Would you like to read more?
Based on this segment, would you buy the book?
On a scale of 1 - 10, how do you rate the quality of this segment?


Ink stained fingers swept through pages upon pages of text, mindful eyes weary in the dim burning glow of several aged candles pouring precariously beyond the edge of a well worn splintered and none too spacious letter desk. Overhead, the thin streams of black smoke crept upwards to lie with the already pitch turned ceiling, arching in a high crescendo of ancient stone some 30 feet above, lost in the obsidian darkness encroaching upon Mortibund's sickly form and his few fluttering candles.
Around him, encompassed within these heavy stone walls he remained for many an hour, or day. Adepts and sycophants would at times summon a gentle din, but nothing more than the hiss of a tome taken or shelved, nothing more than a quiet scuff of a footstep finding its way through an endless shadowed maze of tall forgotten lore encased in dusty volume.
It is here that giants once dwelt. It was they who built the massive subterranean chamber in which Mortibund can be found of late, nervous footsteps specter stepping through painted halls of bas-relief nightmares and gruesome accounts of eviscerated forms pierced ghastly in a distant past or recent future, down tall narrow corridors, banishing spiders and their webs from his path with the edge of his heavy velvet cloak, always feeling the presence of another nearby, but always alone. He did not like places such as this. For most things he remained indifferent, hesitant to make personal judgment other than calling the circumstance at hand, however this place he most certainly did not like. Dripping water, as it often did from high above made eerily the sound of slow methodical footsteps which echoed horribly about every corner and shadow. Any light which dared to the deeper parts of the cavern is swallowed whole by the darkness and distance, no matter how fair the flame, or how keen the eye. To say the least it is a dark place, filled so with the ichor of wickedness even daft Mortibund could find no solace there.
The Library of Spindledar as it had come to be called had preoccupied the past several years of Mortibund's scrupulous attention. Spindledar itself was an ancient place, a massive labyrinth of snaking tunnels and passageways, adjoining rooms, caverns, cathedrals, halls and ever expanding mines. It was created by an ancient peoples whose bones are long turned to ash. A people who felt it necessary to ensconce themselves deeply within the earth as protection from whatever horror lurked upon the surface at the time.
Upon this particular night or day, whichever it may be in the bowels of Spindledar, Mortibund feels something very rare to his nature. It is fear which creeps over him as he hears the sound of his own name whispered from behind him, from a voice unmistakably ethereal. It echoes softly in the darkness, punctuated by the soft plop of a water drops dashing themselves against a cold stone floor somewhere in the chamber.
The wind, he thinks uncertain, or I have spent far too much time in these catacombs. But he knows that the air here stands still, stagnate, only moving if there is a door open. And he is one of very few who would ever open a door into this place. He turns his head slowly, nervous while curious all the more of what he might see. But he sees nothing.
He rises, knocking his rickety and somewhat uncomfortable chair against the floor with a clatter. His eyes delve deeply in the shadows to define a form or shape, any amount of tangibility. But again, he sees nothing.
Then a breeze gently caresses his face. It carries the subtle sweet scent of a lover loved and lost long ago, striking him with a sudden realization as he unknowingly mouths the word "Seraphim".
"Where is your daughter, Mortibund" the voice hisses coldly amidst the unseen, shaking Mortibund's frail frame as if it were a leaf in the wind. He listens intently, trying to hear anything but his own heart raging inside his chest which pounds a frightful tempo with each contraction. He could feel the bitter cold hand of fear slip firmly about him. It almost paralyzed him, for he was not naive to the dangers that had made their home here. Nor was he unaware that he was most certainly not alone.
He knows things lurk here in shadows and whispers, secrets of the past spilling over the brim of our imagination manifesting themselves among shimmers of light, sporadically illuminating our doubts and fears, diving deep within the emptiness of our soul to fill it with their anguish. They are horrors assuming a physical presence, driven onward by their own ignorance or incapacity to comprehend their own mortality.
But only some entreat passage to this library. Most are repelled by the barricades fashioned of heavy wood and stone, filling completely the high arched doorways, their weak stupid forms easily dissuaded. But there are those who are unaffected by tangible barriers, whose souls spin about the ether as a spider about her web, an infinite number of paths to try. These are things Mortibund fears, for though they are mostly harmless, some are not. Some are crazed with sorrow or enraged, an unquenchable fire with intelligence enough only to long for satisfaction at any cost. They skirt upon the narrow indigo edge of obsession and reason, of horror and treachery, of deceit christened over and over with the spilling of blood as a knife edge gently and precisely tracing a burgundy path through ivory skin as the sacrifice looks in horror for the first time and the last as their body is irrevocably, slowly pulled inside out. Pain is only incidental beside such misery as the knowledge that you must endure a grindingly unhurried and gruesome death, with not a thing to do but die.
It is horrors such as these which Mortibund has seen in the eyes of those touched by them. At times born witness to victims return safely to their chambers, surrounded by friends and peers and teachers, rigid and cold as stone, forced such by the demon who silently stalks them within their own minds. He has tasted the salted sweat kissing a friend goodnight forever as their eyes are stuck fast open in unknowing agony, their flesh slowly splitting open to reveal living organs, hard bones breaking under the tension of the very muscles which intended to serve them, watched for hours as their mind and body wrestled to regain control, but instead destroy each other and the soul which once harbored there. And there is nothing that can be done but to help your friends die. Not that this would end their torment, for that shall continue for an eternity, but to spare your sanity from your imagination envisioning your hollowed body, blood and sweat-soaked, twisting uncontrollably, shackled with iron cuffs to a table, screaming as your everything is slowly pulled into the darkest chambers of hell.
It is these that Mortibund fears, above any trap or pitfall, or poison or mortal creature. Though still he continues in the darkness, with little enough light but to see a nearby wall, cautiously making his way forward to where he thinks the voice should be. In his minds eye he can hear the voice echo about. It is a voice he knows so clearly, and knows it is meant so clearly for him.
Again, it sounds his name somewhere in the abstraction. Mortibund pauses a moment to study it, attempting to locate the source of a hundred thousand echoes before trundling through the library, between shelves and pillars of stacked books, wary of his flame, not wanting to set the place ablaze. Under awnings, over catwalks, and narrow corridors suspended two men high in the great hall his travels lead him, till he finds himself peering over where a railing once guarded a dark hole, an entrance to the levels below, a steep twisted staircase whispering his name in a dank, rotted breath.
The stench alone nearly brought him to tears, but the thought of descending into such a place where he might very well meet his end was none to appealing. But a warm surge of air ebbed from the gaping hole unmistakably enunciating "your daughter..." Mortibund realized that he must follow this to its finality even if it would his own.
So downward he goes, stepping lightly, soft leather shoes cautiously making room for themselves, scooting bits of stone and debris from the surface of cracked and broken steps, making his way deeper into the bowels beneath Spindledar. Thirty-eight steps below, the 39th submerged in rubble and subterranean flotsam shin high and just a little too warm for comfort. Mortibund winces as he steps down, the greasy liquid dribbles into his shoes as he does so, filling the spaces between his toes. The floor is viscous at best, and he takes a moment or so simply to find his footing before continuing ahead.
As he proceeds, the corridor opens into a large area he could only imagine to be a kitchen. From his dim candle flame he could see glints of iron oven doors, rusted nearly through, what must have been a wooden cutting block, corroded and rotted. A blackened alcove signified the presence of a fireplace, probably where a spit once stood. But there was something more. Something about the walls that did not seem right, even after a thousand years. Ignoring his purpose for a moment, he sloshed a little closer until he realized what the markings were. Hand prints, or more accurately, smears and sprays. Most likely blood he thought as his fingertip traced the edge of an elongated print which seems to have been dragged downward. Somebody had obviously fallen here. From all that he had read, though there is surprisingly little written of this matter, the fall of Spindledar was savage and brutal.
"So close, Mortibund..." The voice of his lover traveled through him like electricity, causing his reflexes to snap to attention instantly. His eyes shot to the direction of the voice, through the darkness up ahead. Without delay he trudged through the shallow water into a wide hallway which proceeded for some distance till he arrived before an enormous iron door, held shut by a large metal crossbeam.
The crossbeam he could tell was put in place sometime recently, relatively speaking. This was probably an entrance from the kitchen to a mead hall, and judging by the size of the door, a rather large one. The crossbeam was most likely set into place after Spindledar was rediscovered. It served as one of the many barricades against the horrors lurking within the heart of the city. And wherever the voice was coming from, it was coming from beyond this door.
Beside the fact that it was highly unlawful to breach any one of the barricades without precaution, Mortibund had serious reservations about doing such a thing in regards to his own survival. Here at least, on this side of the barricade, he had some assurance of safety against the lesser of the darkling creatures. But beyond this door they roam without constraint. He would be completely alone in opening the door, surviving any encounter, and most important, closing the door up again. An open barricade would be disastrous for the Desadarian monastery that sits upon the entrance to the Spindledar ruins. The monastery to which he had pledged his life, which he very well may be on his way to losing.
Mortibund stepped slowly towards the door, placing one hand lightly against it. It was cold, bitterly so. Gently he pressed his ear against it to listen. He did not hear the sounds that dark ones make. He did not hear clumsy footsteps or slurred attempt of speech or clawing of a beast waiting to be released from a cage. "Seraphim?" he whispered, not wishing to draw to much attention to his presence at the door. Time stood still as we waited for a reply. "Seraphim?" he repeated softly, impatiently.
"Mortibund, open the door..." she pleads quietly in a voice no more than an arm lengths away. "Open the door, Mortibund. Please, don't leave me here."
Mortibund's soul shook as he heard the proximity of her voice, the life within her voice!. He quickly shifted to see through the center of the giant double door, a crevice no more than a pea wide. And he could see her! He could see her hair, golden blond, matted with sweat and grim, he could glimpse her eyes as they turned to see his. They shone brilliant blue against his candle flame. He could see her skin, ivory, so delicate, so tender, smudged with ash and dirt but still so beautiful. His heart ached to touch her, to feel her warmth, to caress her, to make her safe and to make her his own again. "But Seraph, how are you here, you... How are you here?" He begged desperately as tears began to burn down his face. "You can't be here!"
"Mortibund, please open the door. Please don't leave me here." He could hear her voice tremble as she began to sob. Her voice clouded his thoughts, permeated his mind and body with confusion. If he could only think clearly…
Mortibund spun around his back pressed hard against the ancient door, closing his eyes so she couldn't see her, clasping his ears to deaden the madness surrounding him, he slid to the floor. He had to take a moment, he had to think. Seraphim was his lover, whom he had not seen since seven, eight years past. She was of the order. She was of the faith. She had been his student, and he his mentor. She had been with him as he made his first "unapproved" excursion into Spindledar. She had been with him as they researched and experimented with mysticisms thought dead or folklore. They had learned so much together. They had learned so much of themselves. She had been with him mind body and soul for three and a half years. She had been his for three and a half years. Ah, but then she left, didn't she? Memories flooded Mortibund's mind, his conscious unable to quickly process the imagery of his subconscious. Why was it that she had left? Flashes of a letter ripped through his brain, a letter he still kept in the drawer of a cherry wood nightstand beside his bed, a bed which she had visited many times in those years. The letter was sealed with her emblem, a serpent in a circle bending forward to take its own tail inside its mouth. It smelled of sandalwood incense and old parchment, even older now. He had opened it cautiously, not wanting to damage the brittle tear stained medium. Within, encrypted in a language only they shared she had asked his forgiveness. Within, in carefully penned curves she had told him of her love, of her sorrow and of her departure. For Seraphim was wed, though Mortibund was well aware of this at the time. She, according to epistle could not bear the adulterous shame she had brought upon herself and her husband through his company and to please let her go. Mortibund had been left clutching the note against his heart, burning in white rage, tempered only by immense sorrow. Immense jealously.
And yet here she sits but a mare's breath away just as perfect as he had ever remembered, separated by but a door. An abysmal confusion set about him. Had she returned? How could she return, for she had supposedly died over 7 years ago, yet she lingered still. And to see her now, to see her long afterwards, never expecting to see her again, this tore his flesh and soul apart. Mortibund clenched the short hair at his temples, his teeth grinding into each other trying to still his mind, trying to force her weeping voice from his ears for a moment. He rubbed his face harshly and finally asked slowly and with much difficulty "From whence did you come, my love?" Silence…
Perplexed, Mortibund raised his head and leaned back, craning his neck to peek through the slender opening, but to his horror, she had gone, vanished into the permeating darkness beyond. He gasped, his fingernails clenching the space trying to pull it open, trying to rejoin his beloved Seraphim, but she was gone, and the door was barred fast. "Seraphim!" he hissed desperately pushing his ear against the crack holding his breath so as not to make a sound. But little noise called upon him. Little noise beside the occasional drop of water echoing its suicide upon the floor. Little noise at all in the eerie darkness of his own soul.

Mary mbu@earthlink.net Thu Aug 7 12:27:10 PDT 1997


My name is Mary and I'm new to the internet and to writing, what a combo, huh?

Anyway, I took a creative writing class last Spring and loved it! I have a couple of manuscripts sent out and to date have received one 'maybe'and two really nice 'no's'.

I'm working on some fiction this Summer about twin 'angels' which I'm really enjoying. Maybe I'll put some of it into that workbook thingy in case anyone wants to read it.

Thanks for listening! See ya!


ROSEMARY CROOM rcalien@gvtc.com Wed Aug 6 15:02:33 PDT 1997

I tried to send my sample earlier but I don't think I worked. This is a very short story that resulted from an exercise in a local writing group. Please send opinions and critiques. You just can't go by your friends opinions. This story is not really an example of my writing as I have just finished the first draft of a sci fi space opera. (I think that's what it is.) The quality of writing on the workbook is excellent and I am hoping I will be able to become a part of the group.


Ralph walked over to the bar and slammed his glass down. The room was crowded tonight, blue smoke hovered above everyone hazing the lights to a dim grey.
“You try to have a nice evening with the guys and half the city decides to come here,” he muttered. “Gimme a pitchur and a cold mug.”
Jackson gave the gleaming bar a quick swipe and Ralph a level stare. He was right, the room was too crowded, but Ralph had been in a foul mood when he came in.
“We had to get a new keg from the basement, so I’ll bring your order to the table in a few minutes.”
“Great! Can’t even give decent service to the regulars.” Ralph stomped across the room to the booth he had been occupying. It now had three burley young men sitting in it. Despite the fact that they looked like weight lifters, Ralph shoved his belligerent face into their midst. “This is my booth. Get out.” He stood, legs spread and fists on hips and glared at them.
The men looked at each other and grinned. “Is this what we came here for, or what?” said the smallest of the three.
“Yeah, but he’s too small. We’d get thrown out before we had any fun.” They were discussing the situation as if Ralph wasn’t right there, glaring.
“Small? I’ll show you small.” He reached over and grabbed the nearest offender by the collar.
“Take it easy, Bud. We’re making a decision here.” The guy in question stood, looming over Ralph’s five-foot-seven inch height.
Jaw jutting, Ralph shoved his face up as far as he could, arriving a good five inches away from the tall man’s chin. “I could mop the floor with kids like you any time I wanted.” He released his hold on the collar, “Jackson doesn’t like it when I beat up on the customers, so if all of you will just get out of my booth, I’ll let bygones be bygones.”
The potential opponent looming over Ralph balled his fist and was pulling it back for a good swing when he glanced past the small man’s head. The bartender was standing there with a baseball bat in one hand and a tray with one frosted glass and a pitcher of beer balanced in the other.
“Come on, guys. We haven’t lost anything here.”
Ralph puffed up like a Banty rooster.
The other two looked over Ralph’s shoulder at Jackson’s bat and determined face. “Right. We said we’d meet Joe at the track anyway,” said the red haired one of the three. He was well over six-feet tall, and when he stood, Ralph gulped.
The three toughs wore elaborately casual expressions as they threaded their way out of the smoky bar.
“Here’s your order, Ralph,” Jackson slid the baseball bat between the side of the booth and the wall before Ralph had a chance to turn around. With a flourish, he set the mug and pitcher on the table. The interlopers had not been served, so he didn’t have to clean the table.
“Thanks Jackson.” Ralph slid into the booth, “Sorry about the crack about your service earlier. I’ve been in a down mood all day.”
“No prob. All in a day’s work.” He turned, retrieved the bat and returned to the bar.


Thanks for any and all help,

Wed Aug 6 14:43:59 PDT 1997

Tina Bougourd Tina.Bougourd@ogit.gov.au Thu Jul 31 03:04:24 PDT 1997

Hi everybody,
This is a short short story, even a prologue to a novel that I have started. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Please feel free to tear apart, just don't leave any razor blades close by!
Thanks Tina.

He knew he was different. He knew he was special. After all, hadn't he just spent most of eternity coming to this realization.
He sensed the others around him, they were so inferior, he was the only one that could hear the whispering. It stirred emotions deep within, teasing at the edge of his subconscious, like an itch that could not be scratched.
He mentally searched for the source, but was not enlightened.
Gradually the emotions began to travel up to the surface, and with it came memories that were dusty, but still as fresh as the tears that began to form around his soul.
He felt the heat of a raging fire, angry and unstoppable. The anger threatened to overtake him, but was doused by the earth, that hinted hidden secrets and promised stability, only to be washed away by the wetness of the worlds tears, that poured unchecked from the earth's cracks. He felt a sudden breeze that dried the flood of tears, and cooled the parched land.
These memories sparked guilt within him, but he did not recognise this feeling, this led to confusion, which released more memories.
A journey began.
The birth of a child, happiness, but sorrow as the mother sacrificies herself with her death, so another life can continue.
The infant struggling through the early years of its life to maintain its existance.
A rebellious adolescent, mistreated and misunderstood, but determination the sole reason for survival.
An angry young adult wanting to turn its back on the world, taking, but with no giving in return.
*A more complacent and older adult learning how to forgive and perhaps forget, the teacher its own newborn offspring.
Now middle-aged , needs to pass knowledge on, warily walks down a new path with uncertainity, perhaps to a new beginning?
The old one waiting for death, now has forgiven, and accepted what has passed.
The journey finishes.
He wants to know more, but cannot raise the memories.
Now the whispers get louder, and he feels the urge to journey on, to leave the others behind.
He's moving slowly at first, the whispers are getting louder, calling to him.
A sense of freedom envelopes him, urging him to go faster, he gets impatient, still the voices keep calling him.
He cries out , but no-one is listenening. He realises that he is frightened and he does not want to continue.
He stops.
He thinks he has escaped.
Then with a sudden jolt, he is moved forward again, but with much greater speed.
He screams as a he is launched in to unfamiliar surroundings.
The voices return, but only one voice reaches down to touch his soul.

"Welcome to the world, my newborn son". gently whispers his mother.

Brant Forseng brant@portal.ca Sat Jul 26 23:13:45 PDT 1997

Hello All:

I'm an aspiring part-time author. Currently I'm writing a story TIMES which is a X-Files/Xena:Warrior Princess cross over (and no, its neither a comedy or a parody ). Its currently being posted to a website (not mine so I gues its not really vanity publishing).

Although I've had positive feedback about the story, it all comes from fans of either of the two series, so they're not the most objective critics.

Below I've provided Chapter Three of the story and would be interested in feedback from people people in general. Particularly with regard to charactization and dialogue.

Note: words between asterisks are meant to be italized.



Chapter 3

3:14pm Local Time. The Covington Institute

The police cruiser came to a halt outside of the Covington Institute. There was a fairly large crowd around the place, held back by uniformed police. Detective Senior Grade Horace Randall -- Horse to his friends -- climbed out of the driver's side and stretched his full six foot frame. Black, handsome, well-liked and competent. He had a string of successes behind him over the last three years. Including a serial killer case. Randall's popularity came from the fact that he was always careful to credit the efforts of others in his successes.

All of which he would have gladly traded for the job of a beat patrolman right about now. He sucked in his breath. God help him, they'd stuck him with this mess. And *they* had made it clear that they were expecting results very quickly. Yesterday if you please. Savannah was beginning to develop a nice tourist industry and this was just the kind of media disaster it could do without.

He wasn't even the first on the scene. Local patrolmen had been summoned at about 3:30 in the morning by a grim-sounding night watchman. He'd tersely related that he had heard, hell, continued to hear -- the sounds were quite audible on the police tape -- heavy gunfire coming from the inside of the building. The first squad car attended the scene about seven minutes later.

The place was completely quiet. The officers radioed in, drew their guns, and proceeded up to the guard's office. The front door was unlocked and they found the office empty. Curiously, the lights were out. Later it was determined that the hapless gang members had thrown the circuit beakers.

The officers' flashlights stabbed into the darkness as they proceeded through the galleries. Outside a second squad car drew up. Inside the two patrolmen halted as their earphones crackled with directions. They were to wait for backup. The second pair of officers went up the steps and joined their fellows inside. The four spread out in the main gallery, covering all fields of fire. There was little wasted speech. These were professionals.

A third squad car parked outside. It disgorged four officers. Unlike the ones who had come before these men carried shotguns and assault rifles. The addition of this very serious firepower opened the option of proceeding further into the darkened building. The group of now eight officers exercised that option by moving into the hallway at the end of the main gallery. There was still no sign of the night watchman.

At the end of the hallway was a closed door. It opened into the Xena/Callisto gallery, although the officers didn't know it at the time. What they did know was that long thin hallways made difficult tactical problems. Two of the last officers to arrive, one with a shotgun, the other with an assault rifle, moved to the front and quickly up the hallway. The positioned themselves on either side of the closed door. The remaining officers made their way quickly up the hall, hugging the walls as they did so. No sense in providing a clear target if the door at the other end of the hall opened suddenly.

Silent nods and a series of thumbs-up signals indicated they were as ready as they could be. One of the officers stepped up to the door, grasped the handle and pulled it open, crouching down and levelling his handgun as he did so.

Randall shook his head. He'd read the reports. He just couldn't quite believe what they had said. He fervently wished that he could have been there to see it -- her! -- with his own eyes. Instead he had to rely on second hand accounts. And he knew that even highly trained officers could never describe things exactly as the were. Only as things were perceived.

When the door opened it took their eyes a moment to adjust to the wash of green light that seemed to spill outwards from the centre of the room. Peripherally they noticed several bodies scattered over the floor and the shattered remains of glass display cases.

But what really caught their attention was the two figures in the middle of the gallery. The mystery regarding the location of the night watchman was cleared up immediately. He was on his knees in the centre of the room. Unlike the other figures strewn about the floor of the gallery, the night watchman was very much alive. And to judge from his convulsive trembling, terrified out of his mind. On the other side of him, and back-lit by that green light was another figure. Female. Blonde. Dressed like an extra in some low rent S&M flick. Black leather skirt. Black leather boots, black leather harness of some sort. The sword in her left hand was, however, a unique twist.

She looked up sharply at the unexpected intrusion. The officers' flashlights -- only two as most of the men held their weapons two-handed -- seemed to disorient her momentarily. There was a shouted command to drop her sword. A second later one of the officers dropped his flashlight instead. Later they found that it had been knocked out of his hand by a dagger. The officers hadn't even seen her move.

What they did see next was little short of fantastic. The lithe figure summersaulted backwards from her crouched position and disappeared! As soon as she was gone the weird green light had disappeared as well. The officers charged into the room, sweeping every angle with levelled guns. But she had vanished!.

Randall's lips twisted into a grim smile. Those men must have chosen their words very carefully when they composed their reports. After confirming that all of the occupants of the gallery were indeed dead, except for the night watchman, the officers had sealed the room and summoned the forensics team.

And that was when it got *really* strange.

When the team had arrived an hour later, along with many more police and the first of the media, they had opened the door to the gallery and found -- nothing.

Until someone flipped on the lights and they glanced at the walls. The team leader, a fifteen year veteran, had stumbled backwards out the door, his stomach heaving. All of the bodies were hanging from swords stuck into the walls. There was blood everywhere.

By 9:00am the whole place was a bloody zoo. The media was in full attendance, alerted that something strange was going on. Crowds of onlookers were around the grounds, held in check by some badly overworked officers. When the bodies were finally removed out the front door (and in bags), the reporters and the crowd had gone into a frenzy.

And at 10:00 am, while Randall was sipping his coffee and reading the first reports of what had been found, his phone rang. Could he please come down to the Chief's office at City Hall?

His day had rapidly gone to hell from then on. It took him four hours to extricate himself from the Chief, the Mayor, and half a dozen other city officials. What little information they had that he hadn't he acquired in fifteen minutes. The rest of the time was spent listening to them bleat about the need for a speedy and successful resolution to this case.

And now he was finally here. He pushed his way through the crowd and ignored the shouted questions from the media. As he approached the night watchman's office he briefly wondered what Janice ‘crazy' Covington would have made of the situation. After decades of obscurity the institute was now front page news across the continent.

"Horse," a plainclothes came up to him and clapped a hand on Randall's shoulder. It was Jim Galloway. The two had become friends during the serial killer case.

"Congratulations and condolences, buddy," Jim continued. "Biggest case in years and you have the singular honour of solving it."

"Yeah, with about a dozen people breathing down my neck to do it yesterday."

"That what the condolences are for my friend. Better thee than me."

"What do you have Jim?"

"Not much more than you probably already know, five dead gang members, attractively arranged as wall displays, a night watchman scared out his mind, and this." He held up a plastic bag containing a police issue flashlight. It would obviously never be used again as it had a twelve-inch dagger sticking through it.


"I'll say. The officer to whom this belonged was holding it at the time. Not hurt though. Weird. He was at least thirty feet away from the perp. In the dark. Whoever she is you definitely don't want to play lawn darts with her."

"Anything else?" They were now inside the night watchman's office which was acting as the centre of operations for the on-site investigation.

"Something a little strange." He pointed to a leather shoulder bag on the desk. Several handguns were stuffed inside.

Randall poked it with a pencil tip. A Glock-9 and several other guns were visible. He looked back up at Jim.

His friend shrugged. "It was found in the gallery. Looks like she may have dropped it."

"There are easier ways to get guns in this city," observed Randall. "Anything missing?"

"Nothing. Lots of damage though. Mostly due to bullets. Forensics must have pulled over fifty rounds from the walls."

"Not gang related, I think," said Randall slowly, "And not a robbery. At least not in the conventional sense of the word."

He looked at the bag again. "That bag, did it come from the gallery?"

"Yes and no." Randall looked at his friend and waited for him to explain.

"It didn't come from the gallery. But according to one of the staff members it is authentic to the time period of the rest of the artifacts in the room."

"Who's the staff member?"

"Young girl, 23. Name's Genny Barston. Works here as one of the few remaining full time staff. She must do it as a labour of love, lord knows they can't be paying her much. When she showed up for work this morning one of our guys spotted and questioned her. She's still here if you want to talk to her."

"Lead on."

Genny Barston was sitting in one of the research offices being questioned by a plainclothes when Randall and Jim arrived. She was slightly built with blue eyes and reddish blonde hair that fell down over her shoulders.

Both she and the plainclothes looked up. Genny spoke first. "Can I go now please? I've told you all I know about that bag. And the dagger."

Randall dismissed the plainclothes and took a seat opposite the young woman.

"I know you've gone over it all many more times than you'd thought necessary, Ms. Barston, but please, indulge us just a bit longer."

Genny chewed her lip. "Am I going to be paid for today?" she asked.

A valid question thought Randall. He'd read the background on the institute. If they were as badly off financially as the reports indicated the girl must be worried about her job.

Unfortunately he had no idea how to answer her question. So he didn't.

"Please tell us about the bag, Ms. Barston."

"I told your people that its authentic to the period."

"How do you know?"

The worry left the woman and she looked at the two men sharply. "Because I'm the only remaining expert here. I've studied the time period extensively. I'm writing my thesis on it. That bag comes from ancient Greece. The workmanship, pigmentation, type of leather used, its all authentic."

"Looks pretty new for something over 2,500 years old," observed Jim.

"Its remarkably well-preserved," she admitted. "I can't explain that."

"Could it be a copy?"

"If it is," replied Genny, "it was done by somebody who has a very detailed knowledge of the time period. More than the general public. More than even most of the staff who work here, or rather did work here."

Her eyes widened as the implications of what she just said sank in.

Randall shook his head. "You're not under suspicion Ms. Barston. And the dagger?"

"Same thing. From what I could see, your men wouldn't let me touch it," she said wistfully, "it is authentic. For the same reasons. There were details in the construction that almost no one would know about."

Randall nodded, making a mental note to get Jim busy on the whereabouts of all current and former staff. He looked back at the girl.

"All right, Ms. Barston, you can go now. Home if you please. And I ask you not to talk to the media. There's an investigation going on. I'll have one the officers sneak you out the back to avoid the press. And please don't go out of town. We'll probably want to speak to you again."

They conducted her out of the room and left her with one of the uniformed officers.

"What do you think oh-fearless-leader?" asked Jim as they stood in the hallway, watching the bustle of activity around them.

"I think I'm going to have a headache over this case Jim. Care to trade places?"

His friend smiled and shook his head. "Not on your life. Trusty side-kick status is good enough for me on this one."


"And damn proud of it!" agreed his friend.

Movement through the front doors of the institute caught both their eyes. A tall man and a shorter woman were making their way towards them. Both had black overcoats on. Randall set his mouth grimly. If they had made it through the police line they had to another official complication. He didn't recognized either of them.

"Detective Randall?" the man drew his wallet and flashed his identification, "I'm agent Mulder. This is agent Scully. FBI."

Randall's mouth set in a thin line. *Great. Just fucking great.*

Phuong pdoan@varney.idbsu.edu Mon Jul 21 17:50:39 PDT 1997

Please tell me what you think. Do the characters seem realistic, etc.
Note: I pasted my document in here and my italicized words didn't show up, so I had to put quotation marks around what the individuals say.

"Come with me and watch the cars pass by." Gabriel would ask of me. This time being different only in that it will be the last.
We walk in that direction leading to the highway, outside of town, which takes so many unknown people in unknown directions. The sky overhead bordering on forever. An ocean ruled by the sun. Thin wisps of clouds are whipped and pulled by the sky’s unseen currents, but the eyes can only see the burning sun. Scorching. It is impossible to escape as the world seems to reflect its presence in deference. Rocks and sand glowing from the sun’s fiery torch. Unable to bare the terrible glare from the sky, gazes shift to the path. Each step kicks up a cloud of fine dust that clings to the feet. The air is heavy and still in the heat... leaving scars as it burns a path down throats and lungs. I feel it settle deep inside weighting down all movements. The road appears suddenly as a stark relief against the austere landscape sparse with vegetation. Currents of heat creating a blur of motion above its surface.
A hard glance falls, seen through squinting and watering eyes. The road is barely in sight, the sound of cars as a shifting, building up to a roar that quickly dissipates as if it never existed. The brush of fingers which suddenly grip fiercely, swinging hard around and forcing a halt to motion. Then insistent like the faint buzzing in the ears from the quiet. The world melts away. "You’re leaving." Yes. Understanding reaching blue eyes that seem cold, but shadows move in them like the motion of great beasts in the depths of the oceans.
Moments upon moments coalesce in that pinpoint of time. A plentitude of pricking that finally brings the promised bleeding. I feel anger over the idea, thought, that this might be all there is to have. A kingdom of dust and sky. Battlefield for the daily occurring war between searing heat and utter cold. Fear was there also. Fears of following the same rutted path if I stayed, like settling for nothing in the hopes of making life easier. Maybe he understands but I cannot tell and we don’t speak of it.

"Stop moving!
Little bitch. Don’t like this? We know better."

Words coming out in grunts. The faint staccato of a striking hammer. Blurred face moving closer, and a gust of breath brushes by. Noooo.
I woke up with a start then. Forcing myself up from the depths of the too terrible dream. Physically sitting up in the need to escape, gasping. A soft keening sound is carried by the breeze moving through the curtains. Faint light and the rushing sound of a car startles. I lean over my legs. Both hands touch my face, in fear, softly. Bedclothes are twisted about the legs, and in revulsion they’re torn away. I look up and see the reflection in the mirror. A dark glow at my left from the breeze parted window. An even darker face looks back. Curtains of hair fall and blot out the sight. JUST A DREAM. PLEASE. Phoenix is coming with the morning.
The bed eases. Laying back down I pull a sheet up. Billowing as it shifts. A shiver follows the motion.
Morning light presses through sleep. The awareness of cold sheets shoves it further away. Eyes open to the soft light. A room of pure white comes into focus with a grey edged mirror and metal table being the only objects vying for attention. No warmth is seen or felt from a sun yet to make its appearance. Swift movements, bare feet meet cold tiles, and the soft slap slap of feet is heard. Sounds at the door and the feet are diverted to answer the call. Door opens and in the midst of the white frame, Phoenix, black hair swishing. Eyes can only blink in answer to the hug.
She moved then to pass me by, entering, grasping my hand on the way and she laughs while pulling me along. I look to the mirror on the wall, behind her I stand more than a head taller. My red hair stark against the white of the wall and my skin... a bodiless head looming over a friend. Her head tilts back, quick smile, and pulls on me even faster. Her voice breathless, but soft and still in that cold air. "You have to get ready." Another laugh for my slowness and confused stare. Down the hall and back to the bedroom. We’re on the bed. She sits close not at all afraid, white brows wrinkled with worry and thoughts I cannot fathom. Staring into eyes that were achy with tiredness and old memories much too disturbing for the quiet morning.
Up then and to the bathroom. I turn at the sound to see the small figure disappear through the door leading to the hall. A quick scrubbing and I find myself dressed without quite knowing how I got to be so. We’re both on the bed again. One glass to her lips, a small pale hand palms another orange juice to me. The silence we created in that moment seemed to lessen the crazy spin of the world. I close my eyes to the feeling and let it wash over me.

Graham Clarke GClarke885@AOL.com Sun Jul 6 10:55:24 PDT 1997

**************PLEASE BE MERCILESS!****************

The Vengeance Shop Copywrite 1997
Graham Clarke

On a Friday Reginald Arch said, "Please take my calling card, won't you?"
The calling card was plain, white, heavy stock and read:
The Vengeance Shop
"Do Unto Others as They Have Done Unto You"
Reginald Arch, Prop.
There was no address or telephone number.
"Good day, Sir. I shall look forward to seeing you in our shop again very

Fairclough hurried home and turned into his front yard. The
booming Italian opera penetrated the skin of the house as he
approached the front door.
He had detested opera when he had first heard it five years
previously: his new bride, Lottie, had started to unpack her trousseau in the
bedroom of the home he had prepared for her, and before she'd barely made a
dent in the first of the three cedar-lined cases, out had come the eleven record
albums. She'd immediately cast about like a setter for a grouse.
"Oh, Fairclough, surely you've a gramophone?"
Fairclough, not a lover of music of any sort, had nevertheless provided a
walnut veneer-cabineted RCA Victor gramophone in the parlor. He had never
expected nor wanted to actually operate the thing. Before he knew what was up,
the first side of the first of the long-playing albums had been tenderly lowered to
the felt-covered turntable, the silent electric motor turned on, and the automatic
tone arm was disembarking its cradle for the swing and gentle descent to the
waiting grooves.Not wasting a moment, Lottie had meanwhile been adjusting the
big brown Bakelite volume control knob to its most devastating position.
A terrifying blast of symphonic sound assailed Fairclough. He cowered in
his own parlor, pounded by a plethora of violas, violins, kettle drums, and
cymbals. Worst of all was the huge masculine voice, shouting at the top of its
foreign lungs. It rather reminded him of his father, though his father had
invariably bellowed in English. And there were ten more double-sided, long-
playing records to go.
Every hour of every evening of every day of every week of every year for
five years, Fairclough had been treated to the opera, each record played in strict
succession. The predictability somehow made it more unbearable. The one with
the unbelievably loud choir of angels was followed by the tenor with the foghorn
voice followed by a pair of basso profundos followed by the woman who captured
then exuberantly released every note on every scale at maximum amplitude for
what seemed like minutes on end without drawing a breath. There was a total of
forty-one selections in the collection.
Fairclough, slumped in his Italeanate chair that evening upon returning
from his visit with Reginald Arch, clutching his stemware of Chianti (the only
fortifier permitted in the house), now recalled the worst day of all. It had
occurred on a Monday, four weeks and five days ago.
He had been sitting at the desk in his eighth floor office at Amalgamated
Tremendous Industries, shuffling and reshuffling papers in hope of discovering
some undone task which would keep him from leaving for home, even though his
co-workers had long since left. He checked through his "in" basket once more, he
even got up and went to search the barren surface of his supervisor's desk. No
luck. Fairclough sighed noisily and shuffled back to his own desk. He swung his
wooden swivel chair about to face the window. The glass had been painted over
in chalky green paint.
On an evening past, in an uncharacteristically furtive move, Fairclough
had scratched a penny-sized hole in the green paint, high up and behind the roll-
up shade so it was invisible to anyone not seated at Fairclough's desk. The hole
revealed the evening sky and, when he was lucky, a bird in flight. This evening
there was no bird, no winking running lights of an aircraft, not even a shimmering
star, for the sky was cloud-covered.
Fairclough was bored to distraction and, in truth, depressed. Gone,
apparently forever, were the happy days of his bachelorhood when he could return
to his peaceful home at the end of the workday, turn on the TV, have a real drink
and pop a frozen multi-course Mexican dinner in the microwave oven.
His fingertips, on that idle evening in the office, had drummed idly on the
gummy oaken arms of the chair. Fairclough leaned back in his office chair and
tried to relax, to pretend of a world without opera.
At last the emotional fugue was his.
Air whooshed efficiently in and out of his mouth. In and out, nothing
untoward, just the faithful inhalations and exhalations of lungs and esophagus
which had been part of the Fairclough team for as long as he could remember.
Too silent for detection at first, there came a mere modulation of his
breathing, certainly imperceptible. With each succeeding exhalation, his vocal
cords, instructed purely by his subconscious to be sure, oh so gently squeezed and
palpated seductively around the smoothly running column of air. Eventually a tiny
sound issued forth, still too delicate to be heard by even the keenest of ears, not to
mention ears abused over the years by the forty-one Evil Selections. The sound
was soon followed by another, tentatively tiptoeing on the heels of the first. The
sounds sneaked into the ether, subtle and discreet. Even a keen observer would
have been unaware of the transition taking place, as the volume increased ever so
microscopically. Then came another sound. And another, still unbidden. And
then, as though in response to a dam bursting, the sounds became musical notes
and leaped free of the Faircloughian throat!
The notes tumbled forth in growing assertiveness until they stumbled over
one another in their haste to escape his untutored tonsils. There were whole
notes with broods of half, quarter and eighth notes close behind. There were
rests, arpeggios, treble clefs in profusion and even here and there the odd recess
for `a capellae. The entire produce flew unpiloted toward the walls and ceiling of
the tiny office, crumpling against the institutional green and cream color scheme
only to be battered by others frolicking in their wake. There was a cadence to
them, nevertheless, a certain ranking and ordering, not musical in the ordinary
sense of course, but more so than, say, your run-of-the-mill rote recitation of the
Then, quick as a battlefield amputation, the sounds abruptly ceased.
There followed a shocked silence, unbroken even by the sound of his
breathing which had proven so treacherous. You could have felt the indignation
in the super-heated air. Fairclough's dishwater-colored eyes bulged. His face
drained of the little color it normally carried. His little fists clenched tightly so
that the knuckles whitened. A necklace of perspiration was strung across his taut
upper lip. A sheen of rapidly-drying saliva glistened on his front teeth, which had
been bared in an unconsciously feral reaction to this cowardly assault on his very
standards. If he had been able to get his hands on his traitorous vocal cords, he
would have wrung them speechless.
For Fairclough had unwittingly been humming the third selection from
the second side of the ninth of the Evil Albums, the one rendered by the Amazon
who was evidently pure bellows from the waist up.
It took him weeks to get over the betrayal of his own body. He constantly
monitored the sounds coming from his own mouth, alert to the smallest tendency
toward operatic humming. There would be no repeat of that horrifying incident
while he was on guard. As so often happens in life, however, the humming
episode turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
For on the very Evening of the Disloyal Vocal Cords , a tiny glowing
nucleus of resolve had taken root at the most secret and deepest of Fairclough's
subterranean emotional cavities. In its nascent form, it would have taken a
psychological spelunker of rare skills to have unearthed it; even then, how to
characterize it? It couldn't be compared to a cancerous cell at all, for it was not in
the strictest sense malignant. No, it had more to do with Justice than Retribution.
Nor could it be compared to rare amber, for at the center of it was not a fly or
other carnivore. And it certainly could not be compared to a potato seed, for no
plebeian nucleus was this. No, it could most favorably be compared to the
genesis of a diamond. Yes, Nature's most precious progeny, conceived in fire and
the most unimaginable of pressures at the very core of the Earth.
For Fairclough was preparing to Act, even though he may not have yet
been aware of it.

It was not for no reason that Fairclough was Deputy Assistant Manager,
Internal Audits Section, Audits Department, Accounting Branch, Finance
Division, of the Amalgamated Tremendous Industries. Indeed, his ascent from
Clerk (Junior) just seventeen years previously appeared inexorable in retrospect.
For Fairclough was a ponderer. It had even been said of him that he spent
more time thinking than doing. Yes, Fairclough gave careful consideration to
each significant or insignificant act and, indeed, at management level, the
consensus was that Fairclough was dependable and thoughtful.
Not to mention cheap.
He had never in seventeen years asked for a raise, nor had one been
offered. So when the incumbent Deputy Assistant Manager, etc. died in the
traces, the logical choice was to promote Fairclough over the heads of at least
fifteen intervening and arguably more capable candidates, for his salary would be
a third of that of any of them.
"He's slow to anger," confided his old mother to Lottie when the young
couple's courting showed signs of solidifying, much in the manner of a gerbil-
owner who is moving away and explaining the vagaries of the creature to a new
caretaker, "But when he does the sparks'll fly."
"We'll see about that," muttered Lottie sotto voce, not yet anxious to
alienate the future in-law. And Lottie was right. For five years, Fairclough had
not raised his voice, nor even cursed quietly, nor been insolent to Lottie. Well
once he had referred to her noisily to a complete stranger at Tremendous
Industries' Christmas Gala after too much enthusiasm alongside the wassail bowl
as "not just a millstone, but the whole damned mill, wind and all." By the greatest
of good fortune, that isolated peccadillo had not made its way to the ears of his
bride, although it caused unprecedented mirth throughout the company canteen
following Monday.
Fairclough was

Bob Flowers bflowers@northernway.net Tue Jul 1 20:41:55 PDT 1997

HI Everyone: I am placing a sample of my novel here for
critique. I have a freind proofreading my work. He has
brought out an interesting observation. He thinks I make my
characters speak too well, i.e. not enough slang and such.
I can by that as all of my training has been in the
engineering disciplines which requires proper and concise
wording. Whether writing reports, proposals, memos, etc.
it had to be right. Nothing else is acceptable. Nothing
looks more unprofessional than poor writing skills in the
tech world. I need a second opinion on this and
suggestions for making the dialogue more believable.
Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

Dana shed his loam covered clothes as he walked into the
bath house behind the Inn. He guided a squirming Balon
before him.
"While we are washing behind your ears, Sarren will get
us some clothes with the money I gave her. The people
here are good and won't steal from her."
"What will you do with our other clothes?" asked the
"Throw them in the nearest fire. They're nothing but
"Don't throw away my weapon shirt." exclaimed the still
squirming boy. "My father gave it to me."
"I have no intention of destroying anything you might
want to keep. But it will have to be cleaned." Dana
paused and then added, "I don't know about you, but I will
appreciate clean clothes and a soft bed for the night."
Balon tested the steaming water filling the stone tub,
with his foot. He was a tough boy, hardened by his recent
experiences, but he knew that he too would enjoy the hot,
soothing water and a soft bed this night. He settled into
the tub and enjoyed the feeling of warm water cascading over
his head and shoulders as Dana's strong hands, like his
father's, scrubbed his scalp.
Sarren, preferring to bathe in privacy, went into the
village to purchase suitable traveling clothes for her
brother and the McCourser. She entered the market street
and quickly found a dealer of sturdy clothing. She
purchased loose, comfortable Kadak skin britches for
herself and her brother, rabbit fur mittens, bort-skin
soled boots and wool shirts, She decided to let Dana
purchase his own attire as she had trouble approximating
his size. Even so, she carried a heavy load of clothing
for a child of twelve years.
As she walked from the market street back to the Inn, she
was met by Wink who offered to carry the clothing for her.
She thankfully accepted his help. Sarren chattered like a
chipmunk to the man with smiling eyes, telling of her recent
adventures. The girl was no fool however, and omitted her
and Balon's powers, the talisman, and the courier's mission
from her tale. She fell silent as she thought about the
The Skyangle felt warm under the coarse material of her
shirt. She let her senses expand and was surprised by the
strength of Winks mind barriers. Feelings of trepidation
and confusion washed over her, but she quickly dismissed
them and continued onward toward the Inn.
As Sarren and her new found friend entered her temporary
home, Dana and Balon left the bath house. Wrapped in
blankets, the duo walked across the yard to the Inn's rear
entrance. Entering their room, they found clean clothes
laid out for them on the bed. Sarren stood looking out the
window and promised not to peek as her companions donned
their clothing.
Dana spoke as he quickly pulled up his trousers;
"Sarren, why didn't you get me new clothes? These aren't
fit for a beggar and I gave you plenty of coin."
"But I didn't know your size." she replied. "Besides,
it's a long walk to town and except for the help of Wink, I
wouldn't have been able to carry all the clothes that I did
"Have you got any money left?"
"Yes, about half of what you gave to me."
She dug into a fold in her dress, producing the left over
money. Dana took it from her as he inquired;
"Who's this Wink?"
She replied; "He's just a man who helped me carry the
clothes back. He's out by the front door."
"Well," he continued, "you stay away from these people.
They're not all nice."
Sarren put her hands on her hips and faced her adopted
guardian defiantly.
"You don't trust me then." Sarren's face turned red
with anger as she continued. "Just you remember who saved
you from the dincas."
"And bees." piped in her brother.

Dana McCourser was a patient man, but he would take no
scolding from children. His deep voice reverberated in the
small room:
"Listen you two, I know that you saved me but there's a
lot about this world that you don't know. You still have a
great deal to learn about survival. I am a McCourser. I
have been trained from birth how to survive in the Valley
and I am still learning. I suggest that you learn to listen
without getting yourself angered every time someone
criticizes your actions!"
Sarren stomped her feet as she marched out of the room,
her small fists clenched into tight balls. Balon looked at
the man with bewilderment, wondering at the sudden display
of ill temper. He spoke with a halting voice;
"She did her best. Why did you yell at her?"
"Look!" replied the man, "What if this Wink had been one
of the Tibran slavers and had taken her captive? Do you
think she could handle a grown man as easily as stupid
beasts? I just want her to be safe."
Balon accepted the explanation and laid upon his bed.
Dana left instructions for the boy and headed for town. As
he lie on the soft mattress, the youngster opened his
soulsense, creating a channel between himself and his
sister. He merged with her, pouring the special love that
only twins share, to diffuse her anger and replace it with
Sarren responded, feeling the touch of her brothers mind.
She opened to her twin and let his strength calm her.
She sank into her bath and let the water, warm and clean,
work its own special magic.

Wink, still sitting at his usual table, watched as the
courier walked from the hall and out of the Inn. He stood
and followed the man as far as the door. After satisfying
himself that the courier was gone, he turned into the hall
and then walked to the trios' door.
His heart felt like ice and his features were cold. He
muttered as he tried to force open the sturdy door. It was securely locked and
could not be budged. Wink knocked on the door but received
no reply. He knocked again with the same results. Balon
had quickly fallen asleep following Dana's departure.
Undaunted, the spy continued to knock, vowing to find out
what he needed to know, either through a veil of friendship,


Gwynda shields@comp.uark.edu Tue Jun 10 09:38:53 PDT 1997

Who will cook the food . . .

when I die?
When I go to my
resting place in red high heels?
While I lounge around
with lizards of blue and green?
Who will bake the bread,
the cakes, the pies
and place new coins over my eyes
so that I can't see
where I am going?
Who will share this food
and glasses of red, red wine
while I lie in perfect order
with my lips painted purple
and my hair in a bun?
Who will cut the flowers for my hands to hold
as my separate white fingers
grow stiff with the cold?
Who will dry their eyes
with white linnen handkerchiefs
while eating chicken wings and thighs?
Who will sprinkle dirt
upon my wooden box when I am lowered
to a place I can't be hurt?
Will it be you?

Please let me know if you have any ideas to make this better!!!!

Bill bwhitney@mail.usmo.com Tue Jun 3 12:18:36 PDT 1997

Nithan extended his hand to Lisa to help her into the shuttle. It felt warm and tender from his gentle touch. Arriving at the steak house, He gentlemanly offer to help her step down. Lisa was finding her nervousness returning, never being treated in such an affectionate manner, but was enjoying the attention. Nithan opened the door to the restaurant and waited for Lisa to pass through before entering.
The restaurant was solely lit by candle light, having a burning incense candle on each table and in special decorative holders along the walls. They followed a hostess to their table, a booth in a dimly lit corner of the restaurant. Each booth was protected with silken, embossed privacy screens on the back of each seat and was open in the front. Fresh flowers from the Nectara sector added their scent to the romantic setting.
In the center of the spacious restaurant was an enormous dance floor and stage with a live band playing slow dance music. Lisa's eyes watered as she watched couples in love sliding gracefully across its highly polished surface. She thought about what her father told her about finding someone, someday. She never dreamed it would be so soon. Father was right, I wasn't even looking. Lisa was falling in love.
"Are you alright?" Nithan asked, noticing the candle light reflecting from Lisa's moistened eyes. He reached across the table, touching her trembling hand. Lisa started to reflexively pull away, then relaxed and smiled sweetly at him as he gently squeezed her fingers. She felt a surge of nervous impulse flow from her fingers to her heart, then through the rest of her body.
Her lips quivered as she attempted to answer, "I'm fine, thank you, Nithan. It's just that...that those couples look so contented on the dance floor."
Nithan stood up, pulling ever so gently on her hand. He did not have to ask her to dance. She knew what he had in mind and rose readily from the booth while staring into his eyes. Nithan led her carefully around the tables and onto the dance floor. He brought her close to him, his feet moving as if being guided by a zephyr across the desert sands of Clarraca. She laid her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.
* * *
((((This next part is another scene continuing from above))))

Nithan's body felt warm to Lisa as she pressed against his while they continued dancing. It wasn't exactly the beach that she had fantasized walking along in the moonlight on Baynon, but it was just as breathtaking. She was content to be in his arms, no matter where she was. The music stopped and they returned hand-in-hand to the table where their dinner was waiting.
When they finished their meal, the waiter removed the empty platters from their table and brought them dessert. Nithan picked up his spoon and scooped it across the fluffy whipped sweet cream mounded on top of his berries, then reached it across the table to Lisa's lips. Lisa slowly parted her lips and suggestively licked the spoon while staring into his eyes. She placed her hand on Nithan's as she devoured the whipped cream.
"Your left hand," Lisa said, "it feels different from your right hand. It's feels cooler and smoother for some reason. I...I'm sorry. I must be imagining things. Don't mind me; I get silly sometimes."
"Your not silly...well, perhaps a little, but I like you that way," Nithan said softly, gazing back into her eyes. "I want you to know something about me...and you may want to walk away from the table after I tell you, but it's something I must say. I don't know how to say this, Lisa, but...."
"Don't tell me, your really married and you have six kids, right?" Lisa asked jealously, pulling her hand from Nithan hold.
"No...no! It's nothing like that at all."
"Then what?" Lisa asked impatiently.
"Now you're being silly. If you'll give me a chance to finish, I'll explain."
"I'm sorry. Go ahead, I'm all ears."
"Four years ago, while I was escorting a transport vessel with women and children onboard, we were attacked by Stanish Pirates. There was only two escorts, myself and one other fighter. We lost the battle and the transport was destroyed after the people on the ship were robbed of their valuables. My ship was severely damaged and I crashed into a small uninhabited moon with no atmosphere. I was rescued after lying unconscious on the moon for three days. Fortunately, my life support systems weren't damaged and there was no breach in my fighter's hull, or I wouldn't be alive today."
"Gads, that's awful," Lisa commented. "Where you seriously hurt? Did you have to go to the hospital?"
"As a matter of fact, I was in the hospital for almost a year," Nithan continued. "You see...what I want to tell you is, and that's the reason that my hand feels cool to you, I lost my hand and my arm in the crash because it was pinned within the wreckage and my circulation was cut off. After being crushed for so long, the doctors couldn't save my arm. My arm and hand are synthetic, filled with circuitry and artificial muscle fibers. So that's it. That's what I wanted you to know. I'm not a whole person and I was afraid to tell you...afraid you wouldn't want me"
Lisa lovingly caressed Nithan's face, running her fingers gently over his cheek and across his lips. Nithan kissed her finger tips as they touched him.
"You are a whole person, Nithan, as whole as I am. I guess you figured I'd run away because apart of your body is artificial. Well, I want to tell you something. That's just not going to happen!" Now I know why father wanted me to go over his file, which I haven't had the time to do yet.
After a lengthy conversation about his injury and Lisa explaining to Nithan about her accident, they returned to the dance floor. This time Lisa didn't lay her head on his shoulder, or even hold Nithan close. Instead, she held his hands, staying several inches away to stare into his eyes and admired his masculine form. Finally, he pulled her close to him, pressing his warm lips passionately to her's as they kissed. Lisa's tense posture softened as she seemingly melted against his masculine physic. She was protected, secure and for the first time in her life...loved. "Yes father you were right."
I'm sorry, what did you say?" Nithan asked.
"Nothing...it was nothing."
"Leaving the restaurant after several dances, they headed to the palace on the shuttle, caressing and kissing like a couple of school kids on their first date.

Gary Howard ghoward@intergate.bc.ca Fri May 23 19:26:01 PDT 1997

The protagonist in my screenplay, Jason, is into writing poetry, among other things. His girlfriend, Marisa, gives him a journal for his 20th birthday. This is a poem he has written for her:


Let me enter and drink deep
From the smooth currents of your mythology
Yours is a treatise within
A soft document

I want to touch your script
Scan your soul pages

Dark eyes
Dark lips
Lips tracing curves
Lips soft and warm

I want to read your lips
And swim in the mystic delight
Of your fragrance
Sweet the scent of each chapter
Chapters never-ending

You are my Calypso my Circe
A wondrous sanctuary

If willingly I languish
Then let life lion-hearted scrape and scratch
The curious tattoo of my life

Kenneth Kage kage@ionet.net Fri May 23 18:41:46 PDT 1997

To all,

When I think of the patience I need (due to the fact that the need for financial earning places writing on the back burner)...

For ever, they will often tell,
The hours written deep in hell,
Of goal beyond an outstretched hand,
Of famished souls, of barren land,
And of a quest the thought so true
That missed the mark. The debt is due.

...and still, I would have it no other way. Did I miss the mark?


Jo Shook jshook@paonline.com Thu May 22 08:17:49 PDT 1997

** Please note...Although I've wanted to write for years, this is actually the first (non-technical, non-work related) thing (and the first fiction!) I've ever written. I just wrote it an hour ago. I hope somebody will comment on it and let me know if any of you see any potential here...


Kronos stared intently down the dark corridor, straining to hear anything that might give him a clue as to what awaited him there. He gripped his dagger tightly and crept slowly down the corridor, listening intently as he went.

"Pssssst!" came a loud whisper from behind him. Kronos nearly jumped out of his badly stained leather armor. He whirled around. "Dammit, Job!", he spat, "MUST you do that?"

His comrade chuckled softly. "No, but it’s so much fun watching you jump. I thought you were going to wet your pants that time!"

"Serious up, man. I know I saw that spitter run this way. If you keep this up, he won’t have to kill me, you’ll give me a heart attack!"

"Well hey," quipped Job, still giggling. "Then I can keep all 125 gold for myself! C’mon, it’s just one spitter, we’ve wasted many of these little rotten beasties in our day. What’s eating you?"

"Wiseass." Kronos sighed and smiled. "I guess you’re right. I feel a little nervous for some reason. I can’t figure out why, but I’ve had the creeps all day!"

"Sorry about that, man. You’re right, I shouldn’t have done it. Let’s go get the little son of a bitch."

Job moved past Kronos down the corridor. "Slow down!" hissed Kronos, "You’re so damn loud he could hear you a mile away." Job sighed in disgust, but complied. He turned around to motion Kronos to take the lead again. Kronos moved forward slowly. As he passed Job, he heard a soft scrape off to the left of them. He whipped his left had up quickly to motion Job to stop. Job, as always respectful of his comrade’s sharper senses, paused in a combat ready position immediately behind Kronos. Suddenly, a huge dark shape with glowing read eyes lunged from a recessed doorway just ahead on the left.

"Shit!" he screeched. "Pit Demon - a BIG one!" He threw himselft hard to the right, hit the ground and rolled, coming up on his hands and knees. The demon’s claws raked his shoulder plate but did not penetrate. Job raced forward as the demon followed after Kronos, who was now moving VERY rapidly down the dark corridor, still on all fours. He could see that there was no way Kronos was going to escape this thing if he didn’t get to him quickly. Kronos screamed as the demon’s claws sliced down - this time the demon had succeeded in slashing his left calf. Job threw himself at the beast in a desparate lunge, praying that he wouldn’t be too late. The beast whirled at the last second, and Job’s sword caught him directly in the throat. The demon howled in agony and dropped to the floor, thick blood pooling on the stones from the wound.

"Freeze!" shouted Kronos. Jake pulled the helmet from his head and the sensor gloves from his hands. He gasped for breath. "Whoa!" He stepped out of the tank and turned to face his partner. "Jesus, Tre! Did you KNOW Jose was going to put a Pit Demon in that sim?"

Tre was shaking and pale. "No way!" He exclaimed. "Don’t you think I would have told you? I mean really, with these new sensors and everything, I really would be afraid you’d have a heart attack, or something!" He began stripping off his suit. "Christ, I need a shower. I’m just lucky I didn’t piss my pants in there!"

Jake ran his fingers through his black hair, which was longer than regulation at this point - he would have to get it cut soon, or face his CO’s wrath. Jamison insisted his troops be showcase neat at all times. His green eyes blazed angrily. "Not me man - I’m going to see Jose right now. I don’t care how critical this technology is. He has NO right to do something like that to us without warning!"

Bill bwhitney@mail.usmo.com Wed May 21 18:23:28 PDT 1997

"Tiffany, when this is finished I was wondering if...uh...well maybe, if you wouldn't mind, we could have lunch together sometime?" Kandrik asked nervously.
"You move quickly, don't you Lieutenant?" Tiffany asked, not expecting a response. "I'll think about it for awhile."
"I'm getting a signal," Lisa said. "Vector north-east, twenty-one degrees, zero two minutes, fifteen seconds. Appears to be four vessels, one freighter class, three fighters. This might be them. I've hailed them on all known frequencies, but they've failed to respond. I'll try one more time, stand by."
"I'm on my way to your location," David said. "Just in case they are who we're looking for."
"Still no response. Two of the fighters have become stationary, the freighter and one fighter are continuing in this direction. I've continued to hail them, but they still have not responded," Lisa said.
"Lock in the coordinates of the other two fighters, they may be holding back for protection of the other two," David said.
"I already have. Wait...the third fighter has become stationary now also, the freighter is still coming though. It'll be to my location in four minutes, ten point three seconds," Lisa said.
"Must you always be so precise?" David asked as his fighter glided beside hers.
"That's them," Lisa said ignoring his comment. "I'm picking up an electronic signature from the incoming ships. The same signature my equipment received when we battled those ships the other day.
All of a sudden, a blazing bolt of light streak between Lisa's and David's ships.
"We've just been fired on. Tiffany, Kandrik head this way, this is going to get nasty," David said. "Heather, I want you to station your ship into long-ranger firing distance and hang tight. We'll play the game on their level. Lisa, transfer the coordinates of the stationary fighters to Heather's ship."
"That blast came from the freighter," Lisa acknowledged.
"I noticed," David said. "That explains the small doors Heather and I observed on the freighter at the landing port. Their freighters are obviously equipped with weapons, set up to do battle."
"The third fighter that held back is coming this way to join the freighter, the other two are still holding their position," Lisa said. "Looks like we're in for a battle alright."
"I'm almost there," Tiffany said.
"I'm right behind you," Kandrik said. "I'll watch your back side."
Another beam of blazing light whizzed past Lisa's fighter and then another.
"It's a good thing that that freighter can't aim," Lisa said. "That was close."
David brought up his holographic display, sighting in on the freighter. He locked in his long-range blasters and fired a shot in front of the freighter to warn it to cease its hostile actions. The freighter fired another shot, this time the blast ricocheted off David's defense shields rocking his ship. In return, Lisa fire at the freighter, bouncing her shot off the freighter's defense shields. The freighter and the first fighter were now in full view.
"I just had a long-range blast zip past behind me!" Tiffany exclaimed. "It came from one of the other two fighters." At the same instant, Tiffany and Kandrik both returned fire with their long-range blasters and Heather fired her's.
"Those other two fighters didn't expected us to be returning fire with long-range blasters, they're heading this way." Lisa said. Lisa flew past the freighter firing her r-lasers. The blast exploded with an eye crushing flash of light on the side of the freighters shields. The first fighter had joined the freighter, firing at Lisa's ship. "These guys can't shoot very well at all. They missed me and almost hit their own ship."
"One of these other pilots is good!" Kandrik exclaimed. "He just hit me in the rear. I've lost my aft shields." Kandrik fired his s-lasers, hitting a fighter that was hanging on Tiffany's tail. Tiffany looped around firing another blast at the ship destroying its shields. Kandrik fired again with his r-laser destroying the vessel. It exploded in a large fiery display in front of him as another fighter fired on Lisa's ship, penetrating her fighter's shields. The blast exploded on the back section of her fighter and did severe damage to the control section of her fighter.
"I've been hit," Lisa said. "I've lost all directional control and weapons systems. I'm drifting away. I've activated my homing device. You guys be careful and don't take too long. My life support system has been damaged. I'm going to try and patch it up, but I don't know..."
"We'll catch up to you," David said, firing his s-lasers at the freighter, again ricocheting the blast off the freighter's shields. "That freighter has strong shields. We've hit her several times without damage."
A large blast shot past David's fighter, hitting the freighter full force. The freighter came alive with electrical charges as it suddenly turned from its heading. The ships light's flickered, then it lost all power.
"Nice shooting Heather. I knew you'd come in handy eventually," David said jokingly.
"Thanks...I think," Heather replied with a tone of sarcasm.
"Two down and two to go," Tiffany said in a shaky voice, her fighter being vibrated with a powerful shock laser blast that hit her ship squarely in the side. Tiffany swung her fighter around firing both her r-lasers and her s-lasers simultaneously. Her target exploded into an inferno for a split second, showering bits of scrap metal into space, then was gone. "Only one left now."
"The last fighter must've had enough, he's running," David said as another large blast shot past his fighter striking the last fighter. "I guess he won't be running any longer."
"Cripple fighter, this is Princess Tiffany from Astangra, respond," Tiffany commanded. Silence. Tiffany repeated her request two more times.
"Tiffany, you and Heather go help Lisa. Kandrik and I'll see what we can do with this freighter," David ordered.
"Okay, but be careful, it might explode like the fighter you told me about," Tiffany said.
"Let's go Kandrik. Approach slowly and don't get closer than fifteen- hundred meters. If they do have a self-destruct device we don't want to go up with them," David commanded. "Its possible that they're only playing dead."
"Right beside you," Kandrik replied. "What are we going to do if they don't respond?"
"We'll worry about that when the time comes. Crippled vessel, this is Baynon fighter Flight-one, respond," David communicated.
"Still no response. I have docking apparatus on my ship, if you want to board her. It's not a good idea to tow her back since it's probably the freighter that has the bomb on board meant for Tiffany's shuttle?" Kandrik said. I don't want to be responsible for the ship exploding at the landing port."
"You have a point, it'll be risky," David said. "The freighter might blow while we're boarding it."
"I know, but we need to take that chance if we're going to learn something about them," Kandrik said. "I'll position my fighter over yours and let down the boarding tunnel over your canopy. After it seals with your ship and pressurizes, you'll be able to climb aboard my fighter. We'll board the freighter in the same way, through their top hatch."
"That's something I've never tried, but I've heard about the procedure. I'm ready for you."

Gary Howard ghoward@intergate.bc.ca Mon May 19 21:39:22 PDT 1997


Wake up you're a trembling presence
And I am for you!

Cast off your mantle of meekness
That blanket can no longer stick
You are too warm

Darkness despair shadows dissolve in your bright light
Demons glance from your flaming horns as you
Root your dreams in fertile fields of reality
Where matter is a tangible device
And service becomes the way

You are connected with animal allies
You become as I become
Capable of flight
Capable of right

I bend my beak
And the darkness of your introspection
Yields to the azure heights of consciousness

You must shape-shift for your spouse
You must shape-shift for your children
You and I will shape-shift together
Traveling difficult horizons
Bejeweling ourselves with light
Touching a troubled humanity

Wake up you're a trembling presence
And I am for you!

Gary Howard ghoward@intergate.bc.ca Mon May 19 20:20:46 PDT 1997


In a short time
This moment will seem
Aeons away

And it will be hard work
To remain a child

Ignorance is truly bliss
So re-invent yourself
At every turn of the tide

Tiffany Whitney bwhitney@mail.usmo.com Mon May 19 13:12:16 PDT 1997

By Tiffany Whitney May 1997

The Words

Why don't I know
What words to write?
My mind seems to be
Just black and white.
Maybe ‘cause I want to cry,
Maybe ‘cause I want to die.
Why won't the words
Come out right?
Did someone turn off my light?
Where did they go?
Why did they hide?
Did they walk to the other side?
Where are the words,
That once were there?
Will they come back,
Or stay hiding in fear?
Where are the words that I lack

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