Unwanted Visitors


The wind whistles through the broken window. Shadows move as if ghosts through the room. Old dusty floorboards creak as the old building shifts. A pair of children cower in the corner behind the cot they share. Father leans against the wall next to the open doorway, readying himself. Whispers can be heard, floorboards are pushed to their limit as weighty spectres move across the room. Father prepares himself, he will protect them. He will do what he must.

This was the world now.

They keep moving, searching for something. One moves down the hall, toward the children’s room. Father says a silent prayer, hefts the heavy weapon in his hands. He glances at the kids, they’re scared eyes looking for reassurance in his. The moonlight shows a long shadow on the floor, moving closer. It stops to check another room. The building breathes again replaced by an unsettling silence. The shadow moves closer still. The children holding each other’s mouths to keep from making a sound.

The figure reaches the threshold, pausing. It’s back is turned. Father leans closer, feet spread, his muscles tense, sweat drips from his forehead. The figure moves, it turns and takes a step into the room. Realization sweeps across the stranger’s face, children are here. Suddenly a mighty crack erupts throughout the house and the figure slumps heavily to the floor. Father hefts the weapon again, peering around the doorway. The ghosts whisper loudly, arguing.

Father moves out of the room, motioning to the children to stay and hide. He creeps as quietly as he can, his boots making only the slightest sound. The whispers grow louder. They are in the kitchen he realizes. He reaches the doorway, listening intently. He can only make out two voices. The door’s hinges lay bearen, the task of holding the door long forgotten. He moves his head slowly until  he can see into the shadowy room. The figures are animatedly arguing, blackened silhouettes against the moonlight. He tries to size them up, telling himself to stay come and be deliberate. This is no time for half measures.

He turns the corner letting out a mighty bellow. The figures jump in terror. Father picks up an old chair sitting next to the doorway, throwing it with one hand as hard as he can at the larger figure. Then charges the second raising his sledge above his head. He brings it down, but misses the head and the blow lands on the shoulder, emitting a sickening crack. The figure crumples holding it’s shoulder. Father turns, the other recovering from the chair. It is over in a second, Father jabs the face and brings the butt of the sledge down and across the head, the figure crashes to the floor unconscious.

The second figure, still holding it’s shoulder brings up a hand, asking for mercy. Father spits on the plea, asking “Why do you deserve to live?” He hefts the heavy sledge preparing himself once more. The figure pleas “I’m like you, I just want to protect my family.” He looks more closely, realizing the figure is shapely, feminine. He pulls the face up to see her eyes. Tears run down her cheeks, reflected brightly in the moonlight.

“I’m pregnant” she whispers. “Please don’t kill me.”

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Long Distance


Long distance is awful.

I had to go away for a few months of contract work and unfortunately my girlfriend was unable to join me. I am stuck in a city where I have basically no friends. I go to work and then I come home play some games or watch some tv and then go to bed. That is my life right now (apart from the writing). At the beginning it didn’t seem so bad, the days went by fairly quickly and it seemed totally manageable. Things changed.

Now I can’t stop thinking about her, every minute of every day I am haunted by her. It’s basically torture.

We have not seen each other or felt each other in just over three weeks.

It will be at least another two weeks before we get a weekend together.

I hate this, I hate being so far away with no one, not even a friend to distract me. All the people in the office I am at are at least 20 years older and they are nice but it’s not like I would go hang out with them anyways. I feel so constricted.

The only positive so far is that my creative side has had a bit of a revival. I write all the time, and drawing is starting to come back. (inspiration lately has been lacking).

We talk fairly often but not enough, never enough. Texting and chatting on the phone can only do so much. What’s worse is that we can’t Skype because she doesn’t have adequate internet where she is. It’s no ones fault but it sucks.

End of an Era


We spent the whole summer together.

The two of us spent the entire summer looking for work, basically wherever we could find it. Unfortunately this has led to a problem. Now we have jobs in different cities, and they are far from each other.

The summer was amazing. We decided to live together for the first time, and since neither of us was working we spent most days together just hanging out. Many naked days. It was impressive how little we fought considering how much time we spent in the same space.

Everyday we would wake up and then go into the room where my Xbox was and we would spend most of the day there, watching movies, playing games just hanging out. There were a few times when I found myself thinking “I need a bit of space, just a day or two” but those were rare and even then I didn’t really need it.

Now I wish so badly to go back to that time. When she was always in arms reach. When I could kiss her whenever I wanted.

Hopefully in a few months we can go back to something like that. Only where we both have jobs in the same city.

Our Life: Part 7


How Can I Go On

 

I’m waiting, wishing,

Sitting in a room of memories,

Seconds slowly pass, time`s pace is cruel.

My mind wanders

Thoughts of her haunting me once again

The ghosts of memory,

I shake

I don’t want these feelings

These thoughts anymore.

My mind tormented constantly.

Why can I not escape?

She has gone,

My mind will not yield

Refusing to let go.

She enters,

I am baffled yet elated

Yet she takes no notice of me,

Am I… a shadow?

A spectre of memory?

She was my forever.

This was the last piece in the Our Life series. I hope you enjoyed them. Here is the full collection in one place. Please feel free to leave a comment if the mood strikes!

Our Life: Part 6


Gone, Where I Cannot Follow

 

A four letter word, can I say it?

It haunts me,

She is always on my mind.

Her

Without I feel empty

Reduced to a phantom,

She gives me heart

A soul, meaning.

I want to tell her with every fibre of me.

Life left to never return

Never again will she hear

The four letter word.

Our Life: Part 5


The Next Step

 

I open the door, already a smile on my face,

I am home.

I see her, a smile spreads over her

Tears come to her eyes

I bring her close, hold her tight.

We breathe each other in

I can feel the weight in my pocket

I kneel and look up, her beautiful eyes stare back.

A breath

She breaks,

Death leaves her lips.

Our world is shattered.

 

Our Life: Part 4


A Perfect Pair

 

I look at her,

Happiness overtakes her,

I can’t look away.

My stare attempts to see

Everything, remember everything.

Life made simple with her

Life is for her, without I would be nothing

A shadow.

I need her

Desire her

She alone is my perfection.

Life is her.

I hold her close,

I love her.

Never will I leave her.

 

In The Night…


I lay in bed, the harsh light from my computer illuminates my face. Darkness surrounds me. I must have lost track of time. I’ve been down here for so long. I slowly stand, blood rushes to my head and stars cross my vision, the dizziness dissipates and eventually I make my way out of my room. I peer out the glass doors, the invisible guardians that keep the world out there. As I stare at the trees movement causes a light to illuminate the backyard, birds scramble off the feeder, escaping the light as quickly as possible. Squirrels sit, staring back at the light, staring back at me. A figure moves, a shadow, just out of the lights reach. It moves down the gentle slope towards the lake. I stare, hard. The shape looks familiar, almost human like, but its movements are animalistic. Suddenly its head turns and its eyes are illuminated, huge glaring eyes.

I shudder and tell myself it wasn’t real. I explore the house looking for the dog, I need someone to distract me. I find her soon enough and she follows me back to my room. As we lay in bed I pet her, and soon we have both drifted off into a realm of dreams.

I wake to an eyeful of sunlight trying its best to muscle its way into the room, through the inadequate blinds. The dog, Frey, wakes as I begin to get out of bed. I make my way to the kitchen for breakfast, she of course follows, knowing scraps will surely follow a meal. The day continues as normal, I write and read and we go for a walk. As we stroll through the forest I find myself continuously looking around, I am wary and can’t stop my mind from returning to the odd figure of the previous night.

The day runs its course and once again I am in bed, the hours disappearing into the night. Frey suddenly stirs, her ears on alert, she bolts out of bed and runs to the doors. I curiously follow and we both stare out into the murky black of night. Shadows move and fall, a loud bark breaks the silence, I almost jump out of my skin. Frey must see, or smell something. Her tail falls between her legs, she barks once more. She looks up at me, I feel as if I can see terror in her eyes, her whines break the silence. My nerves starting to fray, I grab a flashlight and point it towards the lake. Yet again I am forced to stare just beyond the light’s reach.

The figure suddenly appears, it’s odd gate making it easier to spot. It moves again towards the lake. This time I decide to grab an axe and venture out into the dark. I open the doors as quietly as I can and slowly begin walking towards it. My eyes adjust quickly to the moonlight. As I near the creature, I begin to smell it, a stench, almost of death. The creature seems to be drinking, or eating. It is crouched by the water, with what seems to be a fish in its hands.

For some reason, which I still cannot understand, I yell, I scream at it to get away, to leave. Startled it turns to face me, its eyes glaring, it seems just as terrified as me. We stare at each other, neither of us moving. I raise my axe, yell and charge.

It shies away, giving in, then it turns and awkwardly lopes away.

Never again have I seen that strange creature.

Our Life: Part 3


Her

 

The veil of darkness is slowly pulled back

Dawn has arrived.

Warmth, comfort and happiness surround me.

These sheets hold me forever

Just as the warm body next to me does.

We are one.

I, no longer a shadow.

A perfect moment

I relish it, savouring each second

Lids close as sleep calls to me yet again

Darkness returns,

Beautiful dreams await.

Our Life: Part 2


Then Comes a Kiss

 

Soft and warm,

Red and luscious,

A lock of velvet.

They near each other

My heart pounds, hands shake,

A moment has never caused

Such turmoil within me,

My hands move of their own volition, as if confused.

We near each other

Time crawls forward,

The moment lasting forever

Excitement and terror writhes through me.

Finally,

We touch.

The pounding ceases, baffled hands become calm,

The lock has found the key

Everything is right.

Our Life: Part 1


Beginning with a Crush

 

I am kept awake by thoughts of you,

When I finally succumb

I am tortured

Dreams are filled with your touch, your eyes.

Moments we are near I am but a spectre

Your eyes see through me

My words fall to a vacant stare

How is it you are on my mind constantly yet I am never on yours?

I am resolved,

I cannot be a shadow in your world any longer

I will act, I must.

Need drives me

I ask,

The weight lifts

The answer comes

My heart soars, my eternal smile erupts

Your words echo my thoughts.

I am yours.

Longing


Artist Jenn Grossman

Artist: Jenn Grossman

Days move slowly, I sit in my chair staring at ‘work’. The dull gray of the day seeps into everything. The screen in front of me illuminates the stagnant space in which I spend hour after hour. I am always waiting. Time is always my enemy.

I wait for love, I wait for happiness, I wait for the next distraction, anything that can take me away from this dull inescapable life.

The wait is always torture, I say to myself ‘only so many days left, only so many hours’ or ‘tomorrow it will be better, next week will be better, next year will be better’. Problems persist and my life goes on, unchanging. ‘Tomorrow will be better’.

I sit here, waiting, the next distraction is only ‘a month, a week, a day’ away. Upon arrival my life will change, the grey will be replaced by vibrance and colour will come back into my world.

Alas, it never does.

I sit here, waiting, once again finding myself staring, this time at paper instead of a glaring screen. Distractions abound and I cannot remember my purpose. My hand moves of its own volition. The pencil dashing across the page, white pristine paper replaced by lines of grey. An image begins to form, my mind awakening from slumber. Excitement sparks through my limbs. I am creating!

The wait is over.

Seriously, What Happened to Co-op?


Does anyone else look back and reminisce about co-op? I have such fond memories, having a friend or two over and turning on the Xbox and working together, exploring worlds together, rather than simply racing or fighting or shooting one another. Why is co-op so rare now a days? Does no one else enjoy playing with someone rather than against them? The only game I can think of that has come out recently is Diablo that offers a co-op experience. The focus of multiplayer has changed to competitive, pitting players against each other. Don’t get me wrong, I have zero problem with this, I thoroughly enjoy games like Call of Duty, Battlefield and Titanfall, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy co-op.

Dorkly’s – The Age of Multiplayer

Why are developers ignoring co-op? A game like Assassins Creed seems like a perfect co-op type game to me, there is a multiplayer aspect to it as is, it seems to me, it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to include a co-operative section to the game. The most recent installment, Black Flag could have been especially interesting, imagine traversing the vast open ocean and coming across a fellow player’s pirate ship only to team up and begin pillaging the high seas together! Sounds f**king awesome no?

UPDATE: AC Unity will have co-op, apparently Ubisoft realized how right I was, and decided to include it in their most recent addition to the massive franchise. Which reinforces this idea of co-op being a good thing, which we need more of.

Some of my favourite co-op games include, Gears of War, Borderlands, Minecraft and Diablo. These games all do co-op well and it never feels shoe-horned in, which is definitely important. There are however many games which co-op could be included and it would add to the experience rather than take away. I used to consider myself a lone-wolf type of gamer, especially with shooters, however last year I began to play in a group, five or six of us would play together fairly regularly and it was so much more fun. I had no idea what I was missing out on. Now I almost always play with at least someone else because it’s just so much better. I love playing with a couple friends, why not make it so that we can work together?

Diablo 3’s main characters

Borderlands 2, 4 main characters

Borderlands both 1 and 2 did a great job of making co-op easy and awesome, similar to Diablo. Playing with people was not only more enjoyable but it helped your character, you gained experience faster and had a better chance of finding upper tier items. Why these types of games are not more common baffles me, hopefully in the coming months and years we will see more games like this or at least including a form of this. Games like Assassins Creed and Battlefield and even Skyrim could become even better with an inclusion of co-op.

Online multiplayer seems to be the main culprit for the decline in couch gaming (playing with friends on the same couch). The rise of online gaming should not mean that splitscreen or local multiplayer is not important. My favourite gaming experiences often involve a group of my friends and I playing together all on the same couch, whether it be against each other or working together. I think that co-op gaming online is good, however I don’t think it is as good as the local alternative. Too often online co-op is offered with no local option, this simply does not cut it. I don’t want to have to have multiple consoles and copies of a game in order to play with my friend, if they don’t have the console then we can’t play together.  Online co-op and the idea of playing together through the internet is basically what ended local multiplayer, I guess the idea being why bother leaving your couch to play on someone else’s. I see the appeal, but at the same time, it’s just not the same. There are singleplayer games and there are multiplayer games, social gaming has transformed from people being in the same room to no one playing in the same room. The social side of gaming is one of the best aspects of the pass time, I really hope games like Diablo 3 and others like it show developers it should not be done away with.

Diablo 3, 4 people one screen