skonen_blades: (Default)
I believe that you have an evil version of you in hell already and an angel version of you in heaven. When you die, one of them gets you, is strengthened by your soul, and the other one dies. There is no God or Devil, only good and bad versions of you co-existing in alternate dimensions. You can hear them.

Do they have bad and good versions of themselves, too? Is there a limit? I love the idea of a spectrum with us as the fulcrum, fanning down to the depths of evil and up to the incomprehensible upper limits of holiness. A domino train of deaths working its way up or down the ladder.

skonen_blades: (gimmesommo)
The metal angel was hard at work sharpening his tools. The war was coming. The angels of love and inspiration were huddled in heaven, listening to the sounds of war outside. The floor of heaven vibrated with the concussive bass of battle.

Wings made of long saw blades, fingernails of scalpel tips, and eyes aflame with the brilliant blue of a welding torch. The angel perched near the sharpening stone, if something that weighed eight tons could be said to perch, and leaned the blade against the spinning rock. A fantail of sparks showered up and out into the holy foundry.

He was the last battle angel to head out. The newer angels had the ‘radar’ and the ‘infra-red’ and the ‘heat-seekers’. Their weapons merely needed to be turned on before they jumped out of heaven’s bomb-bay doors without so much as a battle cry. Kids. All about stealth and being cool under fire.

Give me a good war scream any day, thought the lone battle angel. Let the enemy know you’re coming. Scare the crap out of those red-skinned, black-leather bastards. Go in with the sword a-swingin’ and lay waste like the reaper himself.

He leaned forward with a creak of hydraulics and the scrape of massive hinges. The sparks roostered up higher with the finishing touch. The sword was now sharp enough to slice a soul’s tether. It could split a demon in half with hope. It forgave with each mighty swing.

Big as a building with a chest plate the size of a Cadillac, the angel stood, knees and shoulders screeching. He had no long-range weapons. He was the biggest fighter and he brought up the rear.

A quick, body-wide shudder was the only weapons check he needed. Like a dog shaking itself dry, the battle angel felt his internals speed up. Steam bays emptied in a shroud around him as his engines kicked up to a higher pitch. He was a living golem made from chainsaws and righteous anger.

He twisted his enormous mitt and the sword caught fire with a thunderous rush of light.

The bomb-bay doors lay open and the battle raged below. The last battle angel stood at the lip, looking down into the volcano theater of war.

With an amplified scream that made the entire battle pause and look up, he spread a thousand scissoring feathers and dropped like a stone towards the fray.

skonen_blades: (dark)
In many countries, a period of military service is mandatory. Young men and women are taken away, shown how to use weapons, taught hand-to-hand combat, educated in the ways of self-discipline and made to follow orders.

It’s no different with heaven and hell.

There are people here on Earth, people that you know, that are a little too wolfish of face or a tad too blue in the eyes. Perhaps a person’s fingernails are thicker and longer than one might expect. Maybe there is someone in your neighborhood who gives almost all of their earnings to charity and is always a pleasure to be around not matter how stressful the situation.

Small tells can give away these creatures.

Usually, it’s a physical deformity of some kind that isn’t immediately noticeable if one isn’t looking for them. An extra vertebrae in the neck, for instance, or abnormally strong ridges of muscle in the back. Sometimes it’s a personality trait that is difficult to keep secret, such as an uncanny ability to see the bad in anyone, or an efficiency bordering on the preternatural.

Common giveaways are the smile that is unchanging, the shout that nearly deafens, ears too small or nearly pointed, a leanness verging on starvation or conversely a rotundity that would suggest a serious heart problem in individuals that eat normally and have quick, healthy reflexes.

In both sexes, there is a sense of barely-restrained eagerness, either dark or benevolent, to do their master’s work.

And then one day they are gone, yanked up or pulled down without so much as a goodbye. They simply stop coming to the local neighborhood coffee shop, stop coming to the local night club, and stop returning calls. They are off to resume their true physical form in heaven or hell with new knowledge of how best to do their jobs.

They try to corrupt or inspire while they are here. They tempt, they encourage, they coddle, they seduce, and they bolster. They push wavering folk to one side or the other. Both sides fight dirty, it has to be said. Both sides are strong.

We finite and temporary humans house souls that are the bartering chips for these wars. We are the stakes.

I, for one, am sick of it.

I have a big basement. I have started hunting.

I’ll capture these demons and angels masquerading as humans and I will keep them in my basement until they disappear back to where they came. They will not sway me with pleas or illusions. I’ll make sure that they make no attempt to sway any more humans.

I am restoring the natural order or things. I am no puppet.

It was Jill who gave me this idea and I'm grateful. She doesn't return my calls anymore.

skonen_blades: (hluuurg)
The angels came for me from the eighties.

They were beauty personified. They were Nagel visions from the decade of my generation’s sexual awakening. Flipped-up collars under giant manes of teased, feathered hair restrained by gallons of atmosphere-destroying hairspray. They stepped off of a Duran Duran record cover.

There were three of them.

The blonde angel on the left was wearing white leg warmers. She had on a unitard built for jazzercise and early-morning workouts. She had crimped her bangs. She snarled at me playfully under white eyeshadow. Two lightning bolts had been painted on each cheek and across the bridge of her nose was an Adam-Ant bar of white paint. Her nails were long. She had a small ceramic triangle on one ear and a small ceramic circle on the other. Her pristine headband shone.

The blonde on the right had her hair piled high in a Flock-of-Seagulls wave of chemical brilliance, streaked through with bleach and held back from gravity by Studio Line Strong-Hold Fixing Gel by L’oreal like a picture of the crashing surf. She had on an impossibly huge oversized white sweater with a mock turtleneck riding high. Her earrings dangled with feathers, small crosses, and long, fine chains. She was wearing white leotards that disappeared into tiny calfskin boots. Her face hid beneath the hair but above the collar, like a tiger watching prey from the tall grass. She formed jazz hands in her fingerless gloves.

The dark-haired wonder in the middle stared straight at me with eyes as blue as the neon in a video game arcade. He collar was popped, bringing the wingtips up to her cheekbones. Her white silk shirt had shoulder pads that would do a linebacker justice. She had on lipstick that glistened, damp with promise. Streaks of blush and thick mascara turned her face into a sensual kabuki mask from a bygone era. She was clean lines. She had on white powerwash jeans, high-waisted and excruciatingly tight. Her white stilettos pushed her heels up to fashion model height. Her nails were long and the colour of pearls.

Behind them, the wings. Above them, the halos.

They had stepped forth as the angels designed to take my soul, to make my passage into the other plane voluntary and pleasurable.

They guessed well.

I smiled and stepped towards them.

skonen_blades: (gasface)
There’s this girl that I don’t know.

4 cups of sugar. 1 lemon.

I mean that I’m not smart enough to know her.

4 1/2 cups cake flour

I’ll never get all of her in my head at one time, y’know? It hurts to know that. I always felt like if I knew someone long enough, I’d know, like, all of her. But I’m just smart enough to know that’s never going to take place. Makes me suck a little air through my teeth…

2 teaspoons salt

…here in the supermarket. I’m reading the piece of paper taped to the side of the cart. It’s a list I brought. In case I forget. I'm more forgetful these days.

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

I’m bringing all of this home with me. Tonight’s her birthday.

2 cups boiling water

She’s going to invite a lot of friends.

16 egg whites

There’s going to be a party. There’ll probably be drugs. There’s more of that lately.

2 tablespoons baking powder

And sex.

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

and other poisons.

1 teaspoon almond extract

All I know is that I’m going to cook an Angel Food Cake for her birthday.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

And then, while the party’s raging away,.

Sift cake flour, sugar, and salt three times then stir in the boiling water.

I’ll say I’m going to the bathroom

Let cool.

They’ll think that I’m doing a little extra ‘something something’ to help with the party. They’ll nod and giggle and wink at me through the layered fog before turning on each other with hungry mouths, wide pupils, clinking bottles. It’ll look like the clouds of Jupiter in the living room.

Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, baking powder, vanilla and almond flavorings until stiff peaks form.

Instead, I'll go through the bathroom into the master bedroom, and pack up most of my clothes into the waiting suitcase.

Fold into the flour mixture and pour batter into one ungreased 12x18 inch baking pan.

I’ll silently open the window and slip out. It’ll take a half hour for them to notice I’m gone.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes.

I’ll drive to the next city. I don’t even care. I won’t go to relatives. They don’t talk to me anymore. I won’t go to friend because I don’t have any. I’ll just get a motel room with this stolen visa and start looking at want ads.

Cool cake inverted in pan, laying a tea towel underneath the cake to absorb the steam.

I’ll work hard, stay straight, and save money.

Frost as desired once the cake is cooled.


skonen_blades: (jabbadoubt)
Cold tires and chicken wings. Dinosaurs and dice.

I have a dream-catcher the size of a bicycle wheel and it’s clogged with nightmares now.

The thing looks like a pizza. It drips and stinks and moans. I need some metaphysical Drano. I need some care-bear blood to throw through the cat’s cradle of the first-nation strings, something to melt the caught dreams like sulphuric acid splashed on the face of someone who owes a lot of money to bad people.

I have throwing stars with badly-drawn portraits of a smirking David Duchovny etched on them. I have a phone book filled with the names of people that have been accidentally erased from time. I have a magnifying glass that shows a different world on the other side.

I have a little hand-mirror that shows me, only me, as someone else. It’s very disconcerting. I won all these from a millionaire with sunglasses and a beard in a poker game in Nevada. I also won his bar and his wife.

I drank so much in those days that I don’t even remember why I burnt the bar to the ground. The wife ran off. I remember feeling just fine about both events. I remember that bar fire gusting high when the roof caved in, lighting up the Reno desert outskirts like all the jack-o-lanterns from every porch laughing.

I keep thinking about how that millionaire never took his sunglasses off. That’s not unusual for a poker game but there were a few times, while he smoked his cigar, that I thought I saw smoke come out from behind those sunglasses.

Like maybe his eye sockets were empty and the cigar smoke was somehow coming out of them. Good reason for glasses but not really human, y’know?

I have an extra finger on my right hand. It’s amazing how many people never notice that. That showed up one morning along with a streak of white in my hair and a lost week. I didn’t ask questions and I considered myself lucky.

I own houses in most states. They are all in disrepair. I am a vagabond with money. There are homeless people living in all of my run-down houses. When I show up, I have dinner with them and use swear words and listen to their stories and hang out. They do their drugs or have their episodes. I don’t judge. They don’t know that I own the place.

Somewhere along the way, every day for me became a mixture of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. A window from twenty years ago looped back with a bright fist and remembered me. I am a string puppet being manipulated by my future self. I am a raffle ticket on a fishhook.

I am an orange peel remembering summer on the tree.

Cold pizza and angel wings. Flying cars and rice.

skonen_blades: (thatsmell)
The gangs have come to talk about peace. This should be interesting.

Here come the Skarlitanes. They’re anorexic and shiny with skinplant leather. It’s hard to tell the guys from the girls with hardly any fat on their bones and masks over the top halves of their faces.

Keystroke is their leader. She lurches from heel-click to heel-click. Their awkward gait is a trick. It makes them look weak and starved, ready for conquest. It’s a lie. They’re the most dangerous amongst us.

That’s why there were scheduled to come last. With the rest of us already here, they can’t get up to any funny business in close quarters.

The Angels are here with their white eyes, fluorescent halos and tattooed wings. They seem calm but they always do, the bastards. The SirCuts are gathered down at the end, pissed off because they’re going to have to do this analog with no brain-chatter. Even the lobsters showed up with their water-misters, already wanting to get back to the water. Five other gangs and a few reps from the smaller families pepper the rest of the table.

Two organized crime journalists hang out down at the end of the table.

Scanners must be bathing this place with sonar pings, Geiger counters and microwaves. The hotdogs gave every person a sniff before they were even allowed out of the parking lot. There are no detectable hidden mikes, nukes, bombs, firearms, or innerbody surprises here.

It’s still uneasy. Everyone’s here, right? One bomb and the balance of power would be thrown into a year-long battle in the streets of the city.

It’s going to be a long night but hopefully we’ll be able to figure out what to do with The Object that’s shown up in the bay.

It’s a big metal ball. It seems benign but it’s the size of ten city blocks, perfectly smooth on the surface, and no one noticed it arrive. A giant impact wave did not attack the city, it didn’t crash down from the sky or rise from the ocean. It was just there this morning.

All attempts to contact it have failed.

We have to unify until we establish it’s status as a threat.

skonen_blades: (nyeeehaha)
My guardian angel is hideous.

Seriously. I can’t read books when he’s near. He breathes like a pug. Puff. Blow. Snort. He sounds like an ogre with bronchitis. The fibrillations of his nostrils trying vainly to snort through the mucus repulse me.

And the hair! Everywhere I go, he sheds in a path behind him like a Persian cat in the spring, except that my angel has thick, straight, almost insectile hairs. They’re like strings from a guitar. Luckily no one can see them except me but they’re seriously gross. It’s a blessing that they’re invisible.

I tell people that I have no sense of smell but the truth is that the reek of my guardian angel overpowers everything except burning tires. It’s an acrid stink. It’s not like human body odour. It’s a stink combining scents like leaking batteries, rotting tree trunks, and burning plastic. It’s hard to describe. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

If he smelled sulphurous at all, I’d suspect I was being duped. But he doesn’t.

And he’s fat. I don’t mean ‘a little extra’. I’m talking huge. He stomps around because his wings long ago lost the ability to carry his bulk. He always manages to keep up with me, though, no matter what I’m doing. There’s something miraculous about that, I guess.

And don’t get me started on his looks. It’s like he dived face-first into a swimming pool but forgot to put the water in. His face is practically cubist. He makes Sloth from the Goonies look like Brad Pitt.

His wide, thick lips hang like deflated inner tubes over the ruined jut of his splintered, brown teeth. His chin pushes forth like the prow of a ship. His huge nose would probably come down to nearly touch his shelf of a chin if his snout wasn’t broken to the point of zig-zagging off to the right. One of his eyes is dark brown, too big for his face, and can barely stretch its tight eyelid over itself to blink. It waters constantly. The other eye lives in a pit on the other side of his face. I don’t know what colour it is. It glitters from time to time if light manages penetrate that deep.

Sometimes, looking at his ears, I joke to myself that he has two pairs of wings.

His body looks stapled together from whatever was left over on god’s table. Like a pelican. He is the opposite of grace. His ugliness transcends race. It goes beyond any definition of ethnicity. He is from Ugly Country.

His voice is thick with guttural noises. Half of his sentences are sighs, grunts and other unidentifiable glottal utterings that make no sense to me.

However, I have been safe from harm and lucky all my life. Even when I’ve unknowingly placed myself in harm’s way, the worst I’ve ever received is a lesson.

And the love in my angel’s eyes when he looks at me almost makes up for his disgusting appearance. I swear that if it was possible to cut him, nothing but admiration for me would leak out.

It’s hard to spurn that kind of devotion. I’m lucky to have him.

skonen_blades: (angryyes)
Angels and demons are nothing but carrion birds.

They fight over our loose souls like seagulls and crows fighting over sandy French fries on the beach.

They do not ferry us from here to one place or another. Our souls are merely food for them and they are hungry.

The only difference between them is the colour of their wings. The angels are white-winged and strong, a little bit bigger that the demons. The demons have black wings that glint red highlights in the sun. They are slightly smaller than the angels but they’re quicker and there a few more of them.

They circle above us, unseen, waiting, diving at every death in a flocked race with a gluttonous finish line. Disasters with high body counts thicken the air with their screeching cries and flapping wings.

We are a school of fish. They circle, gliding in lazy circles above the shifting, scalloped-glass meniscus of the ocean’s surface. They drift in an energy-conserving spiral, heads twitching for signs of death, flecks of struggling fins breaking the surface. Then they dive.

The sun glinting on the waves, shimmering down into the depths, is the light we see near the end.

There is no afterlife. Nothing is wasted, not even the soul. It is a closed system.

skonen_blades: (whysure)
Ah, good times.

The GCC. The Good Conscience Convention. This is the time of year where all of us Good Consciences leave the shoulders of our earthly mortal hosts and convene to update our status, research new psychological initiatives, keep in touch, and generally pat each other on the back.

Some of us are better at our jobs than others.

Over there, the GCs of the powerful politicians and heads of the major corporations are seated in a circle, chain-smoking and wide-eyed, staring silently into space. Our hearts go out to them.

You can’t help but feel responsible when your host gives in to the dark side. Sure, there are all kinds of graphs to show us that no matter what we do, there is a bigger picture of morality at play. There are platitudes, equations and conjectures about how all of our hosts are fifty per cent evil so defeat is inevitable at least half the time.

Try telling that to GCs of the abused kids or the gangsters. They dream of fifty per cent. They hope for ten and consider themselves lucky if they get even that. They get all the support we can give. They take notes furiously, trying to stay positive.

There are symposiums about simple mental tricks that a GC can implement to push their host towards the light. There are panels from successful GCs giving tips and smiling advice. There are debates on the nature of evil.

There are pacts signed here as well. GCs are allowed to help each other. It gets to be a difficult process, though, as there are limitations. The banding together that we did in the early sixties was outlawed by heaven as a violation of the Free Will Act of Year 0. There was a small rebellion but in time, the Big Guy was proven right and we shook our heads.

Every boom has a bust, they say, and the unbridled, unlimited happiness-seeking of the 60s led to the excess of the 70s which brought about the moral depression of the 80s and early 90s. We had hope for a natural resurgence but in a post-911 world, we’re still reeling.

We thought it was our turn since the Dark Age BC insurgence was condemned but never properly equaled by our side. All those witch-burnings had never been avenged. We thought that free love, peaceful protests, mind-expanding drugs, and radical anarchistic notions of personal freedom were the way to go. Now we realize we were just thinking like the enemy and trying to fight fire with fire. Stupid.

Things are still out of wack and oscillating wildly. We’ve learned our lesson. We need to shape our hosts and push them gently. Manipulating them to be good all the time is like putting a piece of chocolate cake in a goldfish bowl. They eat themselves to death.

Also, whatever we successfully lobby to the Holy Congress to be allowed to do, the Bad Consciences are also granted permission to do.

There are panels where bad consciences give their side of things so that we can get an insight into their psychology. It’s a little unreliable because they’re probably lying their asses off and having a lark with us but hey, whatever we can glean will be useful. That’s the hope, anyway. They’ve signed NDAs and No-Harm Treaty Pacts. They wear whatever they feel like and smirk constantly. All the male BCs have goatees.

In between seminars, I catch up with old friends.

The whole Good Conscience Convention is held in the west wing of the Heaven Convention Center. The walls here are white. We’re all in our robes. The cafeteria is awesome.

I spent half an hour talking to a few of the younger GCs before heading off to a Fuzzy Concept Ideals Panel featuring Richard Branson’s GC and BC in a dual address with a Q&A afterwards. It’s a hot topic so I should get there early.

skonen_blades: (jabbadoubt)
Angels don’t go anywhere when they die. They’re created in heaven, serve in heaven, and are entirely composed of heaven.

They’re given regular infusions of love and happiness by their friends and the boss. Their days are litanies of smiles as they reward the human dead that file through the gates.

They hand out halos and harps the same way that ushers hand out programs at a symphony hall. The grin widely at each other with love-filled eyes. They move slowly. Occasionally, one or two will leap off of a cloud and soar around for no other reason that to experience the sheer thrill of it.

They relax in their off-time and play their harps, joining in with the cosmic music that always plays. They experience bliss at the oneness of the universe.

When an angel dies and is brought back to life, he or she breaks. They’re the stewards of the Earth but the price for having Heaven as a home address is that they don’t get an after life. Being brought back is almost a curse at that point.

Knowing this abstractly poses them no problems.

When it actually happens, however, a downward spiral develops.

A listlessness develops in their actions. Their smiles falter. The eyes have an edge to them. The serene expression becomes a mask for deeper, unresolved questions.

It’s the jealousy that seeps in then. These humans, they get to come to Heaven. The angels, God’s creations, highest pinnacles of creation, they don’t get anything when they die. Their life is their reward. Oblivion greets them after death. They already live on the highest rung of the celestial ladder. They can go no further.

After that, flying seems a little less thrilling. The music they create doesn’t seem to mean much.

They become addicts unable to satisfy their craving.

One time, a bunch of them got together and lobbied to change that. They were expelled. They started up their own show.

You know how that turned out.

Soon after being brought back, an angel will start to play his or her harp too loud. It is the music of the individual, not the chorus. It is petulant and angry. It shouts. It ignites discordant emotions of anger and fear.

The halo slips.

The skin changes, the wings become ragged. They snarl. Their anger consumes them and they start to demand that they be treated fairly.

That’s when the clouds beneath them can no longer support their weight. They slip through and fall.

Lucifer catches them with open arms and soothes them, congratulating them on waking up. He croons to them, allaying their fears and wiping away their tears.

They’re too heavy to fly back. They have to stay. Lucifer welcomes them into the family.

They’re only too happy to punish the humans after that. It feels natural.

skonen_blades: (borg)
Dreamjockeys. That’s what the realworlders called us. They were afraid of our abilities. They needed to ridicule us a little to allay that fear. We didn’t mind.

We were the men and women that went in while they were asleep and did rewiring. We could understand that fear.

I was having lunch on a muddy prairie underneath a signpost. Metal angels dotted the sky. The dream subject was off in the distance. The ground was plated in oversized snake scales like maybe the entire planet was a reptile of some kind.

The dream subject stumbled close. He had no teeth. A common enough dream about fear of battle.

I pulled an egg timer from behind my back and set it down at my feet. I made the picnic disappear. I stood up and waited for the subject to get back.

The metal angels fought above us.

The signpost pointed in two directions. Desertion on one arrow, Battle on the other.

This soldier was close to breaking.

skonen_blades: (didyoujust)
Stuck during Lifetime Achievement, I missed a hurdle and ended up face-down on a flatbed carrying dead-eyed strugglers using humour to avoid hard questions about how they got there.

My tribe.

It’s a shock to see so many familiar faces and so many variations on my own. The flatbed is a train, a barge, a truck, and even a cargo plane on occasion, blending smoothly between vehicles with the seamless transition that takes place in dreams. It’s not alarming.

Sometimes, in my mind’s eye, I can see the race track I was on and I’m surprised at its narrowness. These so-called fringes where I ended up are choked with the majority of the race. We’re all a little bummed to be here; The Unintended Path.

I was something of a z-list celebrity, arriving as late as I did, having gotten further than most. And I thought I’d fallen early. That makes me laugh now.

Some kids are born here, never even knowing that an Intended Path exists as a concept.

We’re followed by angels, our eyes glow and we eat salamanders to stoke our magic metal hearts. We’re rocking chairs for destiny. Crowded like targeted ethnic groups in a boxcar, we laugh.

skonen_blades: (notdrunk)
Sunlight is a choir. I am sunburned. The music of angels has reddened my skin. My pale body is more accustomed to the dark.

Summer is a fuel-injected hourglass. Time is sand taken from the beach. I feel the blue sky tighten across my pink shoulder blades. Summer is good times; winter’s reward.

This season is snapshots and memories hardened by heat. It’s watching the fireworks in English Bay from a friend’s rooftop balcony. It’s needing to walk slower. It’s the half-smile playing at the corners of almost all the mouths I see. It’s the sauna we stay in, cooking, before running naked into December’s snow.

I feel like I’ve just moved here after spending five years in the middle east seeing women wear burkas. The entire city seems naked. This is heat that throws propriety to the wind.

Friends consider their options in this kind of heat.

This is ice-in-the-bathtub weather. The city is burning down.

skonen_blades: (inwalkinhere)
The sensor charges go off and for a second I become a percussion instrument for the Devil. I feel two ribs go snap. Even the protection of the outsuit doesn’t stop the waves of force.

I’m wreathed in black smoke and dropping like a stone through the triggering zonefield. Explosions kick me like excited children. I’m a billion-dollar pinball of curled-up offensive weaponry plummeting towards the enemy with the wrath of god in storage.

There’s sudden silence as I pass beneath the blanket flakfield I was designed to penetrate. The air rushes by, whistling through the feathers of shrapnel embedded in my hull.

I unball and snap open the wingspread for a little dazzling arc of ‘still-alive’ triumph. Screaming with delight, I pull a tight three-gee loop in defiance of the enemy and in pure celebration of life.

I look left and right through amped senses to check out limb integrity.

A quick diagnostic reveals an acceptable level of damage: one busted fuel line, two severed tendon struts and those two broken ribs. The shredded ends of the ribs grate with each other, creating an almost ecstatic amount of pain trilling through my nerves.

I dump some delusion into my bloodstream and tuck my wings into a dive.

I transform from a rock into an arrow pointed down.

I’m piercing headfirst through cloud layers when my facevisor becomes a rainbow of targets. The city below me sends its best.

The last of the clouds suddenly snap past me and its like someone turned the world on.

I see incoming and viables overlaid on city blocks and towers. Starpoints with missiles in the middle are getting larger as I look at them. Contrails are forming a spiderweb in the sky with me at the center.

It’s too complicated to take in with my human brain so I dump a priority comp request through and feel the jabs in the back of my neck. Mentally, my ego dissolves and I become trajectories, vectors and tracepoints.

Even my memory fades. The only time I remember this state of mind is in my dreams.

The city is a dartboard and I am headed for the bullseye.

It’s with bared teeth that I chin the accelerator. Two mach-donuts of ruptured air smash out from my ankles. Windows shatter in the top floors of the towers below me as the sonic booms hit them twice.

I pull parallel with the ground just above the tip of the tallest tower. The missiles aimed at me adjust accordingly.

I spin, turning the exhaust streams of sixty-eight cruise missiles behind me into basket weavers. My twinjets leave a dna helix of superheated gas.

I am flying flat now with a pet arsenal of enemy ordnance at my disposal. Automated defenses are so stupid.

I take a wide left and circle back towards the squat building that’s worth the most points according to my faceplate display.

I crank up an old recording of Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday Mr. President as I fly straight towards President Johnson’s top secret retreat bunker.

He’s looking out the window. I couldn’t ask for more. I zoom in on his widening eyes as he takes in what’s happening. He moves in slow motion and I have entire tenths of a second to take in the picture.

I’m an angel chased by suns reflected in the glass he’s standing behind.

I chin the green button.

I blank out at the point of impact.

I wake up out of gee-shock with the taste of blood in my mouth. My suit is shuddering and I’m hurt bad. I’m headed towards space. There’s no way I could have outrun the groundwave so the emergency self-preservation routine chose ‘up’.

The billowing top of a mushroom cloud is chasing me into space. I look back into hell. The stars are glittering above me and I realize I’m laughing and crying at the same time.

Mission accomplished.

With a smile, I spread my wings again, wide, to brake.

I stop underneath the heavens like a capital T before nuclear fire overtakes me and I become Daedalus and Icarus rolled into one.

I’m a record cover for a second. Then I’m burning atoms.

skonen_blades: (jabbadoubt)
We did what needed to be done. The bombing run was successful.

The squadrons had been dispatched in an orderly attack the likes of which had never been achieved before. The numbers were incredible. Eight hundred units deployed in the South American quadrant alone.

Earth was on the edge of a monumental self-destruction based on selfishness and hatred. The sixteen of us had banded together and broken the covenant truce between Heaven and Hell set in place by the big cheeses thousands of years ago. We couldn’t stand back and let the humans that we loved so much snuff themselves out.

We manufactured weapons, put the seraphim to work training the cupids and cherubim in large scale conflict tactics, and organized a window of rebellion in the heavenly spheres to launch the attack on planet Earth.

We’d hijacked all of the cupids. These winged babies had responded to our plan with enthusiasm.

Our plan was to make the whole world fall in love at the same time. A plague of selfless caring would sweep all the nations and dissolve the borders. Now, at t-minus two hours since the revolution had begun, we were trapped in the drop bay we’d hijacked and awaiting the final reports from our troops.

Only three of the squadrons had not yet returned. We were anxious to hear their reports. The other eighteen sections were behind us, clustered and exhausted from the dropping of so many love bombs and firing so many love missiles. The new weaponry looked awkward and cruel on their distended little baby’s bodies but we knew what was at stake.

Through the vision scopes, I could see the three missing squads returning. Six hundred units limping their way back to us on an arrow-straight trajectory.

I told my brothers and sister, the other fifteen command angels, to warm up the receiving beds for the incoming cherubs. I told them to prepare a hero’s welcome. The relief of a mission accomplished started to weave through the hangar.

It was then that I noticed something was wrong but it was too late. They’d already opened up the bay doors to receive our hurt little soldier babies.

They decelerated over us through the doors, bloated little purple starfish with their tiny arms and legs sticking stiffly out. Their eyes and mouths had been sewn shut to keep them buoyant. Their fragile, trusting bodies were bruised beyond recognition. Their wings were taped to popsicle splints and propped open wide like gliders.

Too late, I gave the order to shut the doors.

The tortured black infants above us burst open like piñatas and spilled their demonic payload down.

Hate filled the room. We tore each other apart.

The returning squadrons had come from areas where evil had prevailed. They’d been noticed, caught, and returned as weapons.

We weren’t the only side that had broken the convenant.

That’s how the last great war began.

skonen_blades: (notdrunk)
The Ravaged Angel.

That’s what was painted in red nail polish on the nose of the three-person cryshuttle. It had docked on autopilot with good codes but wasn’t answering hails. The dock’s computer was talking to the shuttle’s compnav to ascertain where they’d come from and what their sitrep was when the hatches blew on the three ovals on the top of the Ravaged Angel’s hull.

It was a human ship, possibly an escape pod, but the decorations on the outside of the polished hull looked old and slightly archaic.

With a well-oiled creak, the vacuum pump kicked in and the ovals on the top of the ship swung up and back to reveal three capsule bays, each one holding a naked, blue, cryosleeping body.

The Ravaged Angel held three women.

The silence held for a few moments before noise amped up into procedure again and we got the three girls disembarked and taken to sick bay.

Cryosleep Restart was a fairly routine procedure but all the same, the doctor felt the need to ‘dust off’ some manuals from the backup banks. He also requested an emergency download from homeship for immediate protocol deniability with maximum instruction. Just to be sure.

None of us had seen a woman for our entire lives, you see. Neither had our grandfathers.

This must have been a capsule from one of the fabled ‘golden seed’ whoreships that had traveled from colony to colony hundreds of years ago.

It was too late to keep it a secret. As the bay commander, it was my duty to report what had happened to the captain and his decision on how to proceed.

I had no idea how I’d react in the presence of a woman but something about the way I swear I could actually smell them all from across the bay and behind thick glass told me I should stay away from sick bay.

Three colours of hair haunted my dreams that night.

They’d be awake in eight hours. I wished there were flowers somewhere on board that I could bring them to make them feel safe.

I’m sure all sixteen thousand of us felt the same way. I’m sure at this very moment, every last person on the ship who wasn’t in the bay was downloading and reviewing those three pod-doors swinging up and back.

It was going to be a different ship in the morning.

skonen_blades: (whysure)
Hey there. I just think that the simplicity of this PSA coupled with it's elegance and execution is just breathtaking. Click to get a bigger view if the writing is too small for you to read.

skonen_blades: (inwalkinhere)
She’s drenched in the blood of the hearts that came before his. She has rolled in the black ink of poetry written for her. Declarations of passion hang around her in the very air. She collects them as camouflage and as she leaves, she wears them out.

Her head’s on fire. She’s inside herself with anger. Things come crashing down on her but miss. She’s absent when disaster finds its mark. Arrows thud and quiver into the wall where she was standing just seconds ago. She’s a blind athlete sprinting, a speedster trailing cartoon symbols of love, death, warning labels and forgotten safe-words behind her.

She’s published cookbooks of memories. She’s painted invisible self-portraits.

For her, life’s an eighty-story building and she’s falling past floor after floor, snapping through the spider webs on the way down.

He leans out a window as she goes past.

“You’re an angel” he says.

“Angels have wings” she says, and keeps falling.

skonen_blades: (bounder)
The Blue Angel came down from the mountain for the last time in October of 1849.

He came down from the mountain six times a year for supplies. He’d been drinking silver nitrate to combat bacteria and it had turned his skin blue permanently. It’s a fact that silver kills bacteria but the doctors hadn’t counted on the amount that The Blue Angel would take.

The Blue Angel had huge blue wings tattooed on his back in black ink. No one knew where the wings had come from and people only saw them when he went into the bath house for his seasonal cleaning. Rumours circulated. Tattooing wings on your back isn’t something that one can do on one’s own.

Some said that he had been raised by the Indians in the area and that they had tattooed the wings on his back. Most of the natives had been slaughtered or taken away by the smallpox a few years later. Rumour had it that they’d been the Blue Angel’s family and people reckoned he never got over that huge amount of death.

Some say that he had come here just a few years ago from a far off country where blue skin was the norm and tattoos were plentiful.

There was a rumour of a time that he had a few drinks in the local saloon and talked for hours like a busted dam. He’d found religion in a big way. He talked and talked about how the end was coming and that it was coming soon. There was to be another flood. They said that he’d figured out a code hidden in the bible that said that a flood was coming in the summer of 1850. I guess he had a lot of time up there in that cabin of his.

Others said that he’d grown up here in a peaceful America before the gold was discovered just a few miles south. If that was true, he’d seen more change and destruction in the last two years that most people would ever see.

Most of us had moved here for the gold. The Blue Angel was just a bit of local colour to us. I remember hearing the rumour that his cabin had been found ransacked and burned.

I never lent rumours much credence but after six months had gone by and I hadn’t seen or heard of him coming through down, I figured he’d moved away or been killed. These were violent times.



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