Serial Sci-Fi

I ran this serialized Sci-Fi story about two years ago when I didn’t have much of an audience. Now, there are over 200 people following along with my blog. I thought I’d run it again for those of you who might be interested in seeing some of my prose. I’ll parcel it out in ten short installments in as many days.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has been with me since my humble beginnings, and I’d like to welcome all the newcomers. This really is a great community of bloggers, and I’m genuinely happy to be part of it.

Best,

Hawkelson

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Chapter 1. Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?  

 

It was not a dark and stormy night, and that was the scary part. If it had been, Jeremy could have chalked it up to an overactive imagination brought on by watching one too many paranormal videos on Youtube. As it turned out, it was a bright sunny day in mid-autumn. There was no doubting his senses.

He was sitting on a bench outside Hannah Hall waiting for his sort of girlfriend, Chloe, to finish her French exam. He wasn’t sure if it was a date or not, but whatever it was, they were going to walk to the student union for a bite to eat. It was hard to get a read on her. She said she didn’t like to put labels on things, and Jeremy accepted that because she was very eccentric and highly intelligent. She was also smokin’ hot, so he decided to wait a while longer to see how things would play out.

Chloe came walking out of Hannah Hall at about a quarter ‘til two. Jeremy realized she had finished her exam in fifteen minutes. He wondered how she ended up at a mediocre state university when she clearly had Ivy League brains. He wondered about a lot of things. She told him her parents split up when she was a kid, and she was shuffled between grandparents, aunts, uncles, and foster homes until she was eighteen. She said she had lived just about everywhere in the country, but she didn’t think of any place as home.

Chloe descended the stone stairs, looking quite stunning. She was tall and tan with dark hair and blue eyes like glacial ice. A lot of people thought she wore colored contact lenses, but that wasn’t the case. It was just in her genes. And in her jeans, Jeremy chuckled to himself. He was an English major – always on the lookout for puns, especially bawdy ones.

He waved and she waved back. He had a cheesy line he was going to say to her in French: Ça t’a fait mal quand tu es tombée du ciel? He had practiced the pronunciation for a half hour, and he felt like he had it down fairly well. It translates to something like, Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven? He thought she’d get a kick out of it, or at least appreciate the effort. But what he saw next made him forget the line. In fact, it made him forget about his notions of reality.

Chloe began to blink on and off as if phasing out of existence. Then, in mid-stride, she vanished completely. Jeremy wanted to scream out for her, but terror had crystallized in him. He was unable to move or think. A diffuse fog appeared in the space she had occupied. It collected in roughly human form and drifted toward him. The fog seemed to gain density and opaqueness as it closed the distance, becoming less like a vapor and more like a syrupy liquid, then like sand, and finally, Chloe was restored in her entirety.

She plopped down on the bench next to him and said dramatically, “I’m so glad that exam is over. I think I got an A or a high B at worst.”

Jeremy’s faculties were jolted back to life, and he stood abruptly and took a big step backward.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Chloe, what just happened?”

“I finished my exam, silly. Now we’re gonna get lunch.”

“Tell me what just happened.”

“I’m sorry, Jeremy. You weren’t supposed to see that. There are glitches, sometimes. Go home, Jeremy. Forget about this.”

Friday’s Photo: Angel of Death

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The hauntingly beautiful statue that adorns the tomb of Francis Haserot is titled, The Angel of Death Victorious. The angel holds an inverted torch, symbolic of a life extinguished. The photo was taken in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio (January 2019).

Archives: More Free Verse

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A Procrastinator’s Epiphany

The whiskey is mellow,
and the hammock sways
almost imperceptibly
as a Southerly breeze delivers
me into an oblivious sleep.
I wake to the screams
of a million Mayflies
in their death throes, and
the wind is out of the
Northeast now, siphoning
the heat from my bones.
A red Sun has scribbled
its mad manifesto
across the ugly world
in serpentine shadows:
I will hold you in orbit, and
you will mark the revolutions.
Squander these days, or don’t –
I will not remember your name.
Infinities will be devoured
by greater infinities. Immortality
is an abomination – the gift is
this moment right now.

Archives: Mixing Politics and Poetry

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Today’s post features a kind of cautionary poem that draws much of its substance from a particular episode in Roman History.  The subject matter deals with the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 A.D, but the lessons therein provide some commentary about the state of global politics today.

Leading up to the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, excessive taxation and brutal disciplinary measures mandated by Roman authorities in the Germanic territories spurred barbarian tribes to revolt.  The uprising resulted in the massacre of three entire Roman legions – a staggering blow to what was then the most powerful army on Earth.

It’s hard not to see the parallels between ancient Rome and the global superpowers of today.  I guess I wrote this poem as a reaction to the incendiary rhetoric and cavalier attitudes that pervade much of our modern foreign policy. The stakes are much higher in the 21st century.  I didn’t crunch the numbers, but I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more destructive power in one nuclear submarine than there was in all the Roman legions and all the barbarian hordes combined.  This poem is really a plea for rational thought in an increasingly irrational world.  Anyway, here it is.

Questions, comments, and criticisms are always welcome.  And as always, keep writing, keep revising, and be kind.

-Hawk

 

When Varus Lost Three Legions, 9 A.D.

Far from the precise geometry

and carefully measured

customs of Rome,

Publius Quinctilius Varus

led his three legions

into the tangled

Teutoburg Forest.

 

Marching columns, four abreast,

struggled over the terrain,

stretching into one thin line –

a many miles long serpent

crawling half-blind

toward its own

oblivion.

 

The barbarian hordes

came out of the hills,

out of the trees,

out of the darkness itself.

Axes and hammers,

animal screams,

thoughts of home leaking

from cleaved and

bludgeoned men

into the gurgling mud.

 

We have come so far

since that late summer in 9 A.D.

Now, a few blunders

in diplomacy will

scorch continents

and boil oceans.

We can stir enough

dust with our madness

to blot out the Sun.

Those ancient Emperors

would be so damned

jealous.