Week 30 2016 – Death By Tiger

LionsA pride of lions was on the hunt. So very hungry and so many mouths to feed. Antelope run too fast and so the big cats opted for a slow group of humans, locked in cages, hanging low from a tree. Not much wanting to be eaten by a lion, I made my escape. Recalling skills of my younger days, I picked the lock and dropped to the ground. Some of the other captives followed me, but for some, the lions were too many and too fast.

Lions could be cunning, and some could be driven mad into a frenzy of killing beyond sating of their appetites. I had heard first hand accounts of lions taking human prey and staking out human settlements. There were never any hashtags to mark these events. Perhaps, hoping to appease this particular pride, me and the others had been deemed a suitable sacrifice. I did not know. It did not matter.

I did not know where I was running too, only what I was running away from. The landscape was utterly alien to me. I climbed a hill once the lions turned their attention on the others. I should go back for them, I thought. I should save them, but then I am no hero. There’s no reasoning with hungry lions, and I had no weapon dire enough to dissuade them from their feast. I was as helpless as a lamb.

HungryTigerI saw lights in the distance sparkling against the dusk. A village perhaps. I fled in that direction, but I did not go far. The tiger, a massive animal, moved in a whisper. The last thing I saw were its jaws as they made to clamp down on my throat. I did not even have time to scream.

IMG_0538I awoke exhausted to Frankie’s most puzzled look. I told her that I had just been devoured by a tiger. The pug tells me that it sucks to be so aware of one’s mortality. It is a great way to stop from living. If you are always running from things, eventually you will run blindly into a tiger. And it will eat you, no matter how majestic of a beast it might be. No matter how much you donated to its preservation. It cares nothing for yours.

I felt small and insignificant, like a cow meant for slaughter all of Thursday as a result of my nightmare. I cursed Robert Blake the whole day as his poem echoed in the reaches of my obsessive mind. And when I slept that night, I found myself that awkward teen in English, reciting the poem before a class of mocking and cruel students. I think I would rather have been eaten by a tiger again. The pug, I have it on authority, cuddled up to a rabbit and a lion in her dreams, and slept quite peacefully.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Robert Blake
The Tyger
Songs of Experience

Week 9 2016 – Avoiding the Reaper

IMG_0099It happens now and again that I freeze inside. I simply stop. I go numb, and there is this sort of surrender akin to despair. I float through life during these periods, making lists of things that I must do (go to work, walk the dog, feed myself) and my dreams take a back seat to survival. It is this weird fugue that proceeds illness. The sick hit me Saturday at noon.

That morning, I was feeling well enough, tired, but I was getting things done; the laundry, the grocery shopping, walking the dog, playing with the dog, a little proof-reading of my R&R, some notes on my WIP (work in progress). I sat down, thinking I would make some tea and do some real writing. Then out of the blue, pain, gut-wrenching like I was being torn in two, pain. That is how it happens every couple of months, and for the greater part of my adult life. After a while and much vomiting and wailing, it passes, leaving me feverish and weak as a newborn kitten.

These episodes are a  brutal reminder that time is no friend of mine, not when I was twenty and not now. Opposing that unpleasant truth, is my belief that I will live until I finish and publish the final book in my Idylls of Alleysiande series. There will be seven of these.

DarkriderReality and I have never gotten along. I am working on book two now while trying to snare an agent with book one. I have two other series that I hope to weave into my publishing career along with the Alleysiande books. I will be needing another few decades, but there is no bargaining when it comes to mortality.

Somehow, I have to stop counting on the mystical to keep me alive, and start dealing with the reality that if I don’t keep my eye on my dreams, time may run out before I have readers waiting for the next book.  I can’t imagine what is coming this next week. I am a piss-poor prognosticator, but perhaps in the labyrinth that is my life, I can hide a bit longer from the grim reaper.