King of Crows

There is a tale I’ve heard told about an ancient king. Glendower, the Raven King. He sleeps in the forest somewhere, or so I’ve heard. Waiting for the waker—waiting to join us, the living, once again. Somewhere, Glendower sleeps, dreaming of the day he will be woken. Eager to walk through his lands once again.

Eager to grant the waker a wish.

That’s the tale I’ve heard told.

The tale of The Raven King.

A magical king. A wish-granter. A sleeper whose quiet breaths are full of life.

I’ve heard the tale of that king. Heard it several times, actually.

But…

There’s more to the story than what there appears.

You see, I believe that something isn’t adding up.

There are… things… that can’t be explained by that tale.

Things that we, the listeners, have screwed up.

Things that we got wrong. Continue reading “King of Crows”

Sleeping Wishes

It wasn’t easy to get here.

The path is narrow, full of holes. Every step was marred—echoed, really—by the steps of the jungle beasts. By the creatures of this magical forest. I could hear their cries at night, and feel their eyes watching in the day. At some point, the trees gave up on me, gave in. Began reaching for me, choking up on the path ahead. Trying to prevent me from going forward.

Yes, it wasn’t easy getting here.

Not in the slightest.

But.

When the sleeper wakes…

It will be worth it.

Won’t it?
Continue reading “Sleeping Wishes”

Wish Maker

Every floating rock knows:

You might be a meteor someday.

If you’re not a comet—already spiraling, turning to ash, leaving a trail behind you—then you know:

You could be a meteor.

You float around, simply stuck in the void of space. Unable to stop your trajectory. Unable to change things. Unable to take control. You live your life knowing:

You’re just floating in space.

Just floating by.

Control? That’s so far out of sight, it’s not even an illusion. If you’re a rock floating in space, you don’t kid around. Don’t pretend with yourself. You throw all that useless, make-belief trash out the window because you know.

You have no control.

One day, something might catch you. One day, you might feel that tug, that pull. One day, you might not be floating. You feel the gravity of it, and you have no choice in the matter. You’re no longer floating.

You might be falling.

Crashing.

Burning.

And there’s nothing you can do about it, except to hope.

As you fall from the sky, begin turning into ash, begin building fire, don’t think about the end. Don’t close off your senses. Don’t be overwhelmed by the falling, by the fire. Don’t allow yourself to miss it.

Listen.

Do you hear it?

Do you hear the last sound?

Do you hear that hopeful plea?

Do you hear?

Have you made a wish? Continue reading “Wish Maker”

Wishing Well

I watched him.

For years, I watched him.

Wandering into the forest, the boy with rags. Holes in his soles. He’d wander in, following the old rocks. Leap the fallen logs. Meander through the fallen leaves until, at last, he’d find it.

The well.

And, that poor boy—do you know what he’d do?

Toss a copper.

Make a wish.

Throw offerings into the well.

Hope that his prayers said before the stones were heard. That his wish would rise off the water, echo into the heavens.

Tossing his living into the well. Continue reading “Wishing Well”

Star Power

Wishing upon stars wasn’t something I did as a kid.

But it was something she did.

All the time.

Every night we were together—having sleepovers or hiding from our siblings outside—she would always look at the sky. And she would find a star, and she would make a wish.

Sometimes it was the first star. Sometimes it was the last. Sometimes she’d make up an excuse, right on the spot, as to why you could be allowed to wish upon that particular star.

Not that I minded. I didn’t wish, and I didn’t know the rules.

The ones she made up were just as good as the ones those other people made up.

Once she announced that she was going to wish, she would close her eyes.

Shut them real tight.

She’d mumble under her breath, things I could never hear. (I wasn’t allowed to know, that would break the wish.) And then, when she finished her wish, she’d open her eyes.

And she’d smile.

Starlight blinking in the backs of her eyes. Thousands of tiny suns, unable to refuse her their light.

“You know what I wished for?” she’d ask.

“No,” I’d say.

“Good. It’s a secret,” she’d tell me.

And I never pried. Never did ask what she was wishing for.

But now…

I kind of wish I had. Continue reading “Star Power”

Bonefish

If you’ve never been lost in the jungle with a guy who might actually be insane, then:

You’ve never known real fear.

I wasn’t sure how Chad talked me into this. Maybe he drugged me. But, regardless, I was here, in this jungle, following him. And what was Chad doing in this jungle? All I have is one word and it doesn’t make a lick of sense to me:

Bonefish. Continue reading “Bonefish”

Fair Exchange

“Here.”

An envelope flies from the doorway and hits me in the head.

“What…?” I begin to ask, but it’s obvious.

The envelope has my name on it. When I look inside, there’s a small stack of bills for me. Payment from my brother.

“You sure got that done fast,” I say sarcastically.

He snorts. “Next time, I’ll pay Josie to wash the car. She doesn’t bug me half as bad as you about getting paid,” he says and then closes the door.

For someone who’s so adamant about procrastinating, my brother is actually really reliable. And incredibly capable. Anytime I need anything, I ask him. Sure, I have to bug him to death to get him to move, but once he gets moving?

He’s unstoppable.

That’s why, when I needed Richie Burt to die, I asked my brother for help. Continue reading “Fair Exchange”

Dead Legacy

I’ve always thought that tombstones shouldn’t give out quick blurbs about who loved us, or why. I’ve always thought it would be better to talk about how we lived, or how we died.

That way, when I die from wrestling six bears while sky diving, my epitaph can kick ass.

Just keeping it real. Dying like I lived. Right? I want people to know the kind of crazy I was, that I intend to leave that sort of legacy behind me. That when the dust settles and I’m gone, just part of the cloud of dirt matter, they’ll know.

I wasn’t afraid to live.

And I sure as hell wasn’t afraid to die.

Because that’s the kind of attitude you have to have in order to save lives. In order to make a difference. In order to be remembered.

In order to have a legacy.

God, I hope I’ve made a legacy.

Continue reading “Dead Legacy”

Cages

“What’s up?”

“Uh, well sir, I thought you should see this. It appears that she’s… moving things around.”

Supervisor Gary just looks at me in a very droll way. As if I’ve just announced the discovery of my own two hands.

“Yes?”

“Well, I just… didn’t know if that was allowed. Are patients allowed to do things like that?”

He smiles at me, a complete one-eighty from how he was looking at me before. “Oh, no, they’re not. But that’s because most of them try to escape. See, Abby is different. She doesn’t want to escape. She’s just restless is all. Probably she woke from a bad dream and she’s just moving things to regain some composure. Take back her peace of mind.” Continue reading “Cages”

A Wish For A Wish

There was a time when I danced among the stars.

I’m serious.

I did.

I know I don’t look like much. Just a dirty young man who can’t find a razor and lives under a trailer, but I did dance with the stars. All the time.

Because I was one of them. Continue reading “A Wish For A Wish”