Tuesday, September 30, 2008


They lock them away, once they can do more than destroy mountains. In dark places, or stasis fields, or other dimensions. Some might simply be killed; I am not sure. My brother wonders about this more than I, because he is Teleshaper, one of the three most powerful telekinetics in the world that the world allows for.
        He is a superhero, because otherwise he would have been locked away in fear. He hides his true strength, because they will lock him away regardless if he uses it. His secret is that he is stronger than anyone knows, strong enough to juggle mountains. Strong enough to tear the planet in half. Maybe.
        And he’s a hero. But there is mind control, and trickery, and madness: he could be pushed to that, the people who make the hard decisions think. The ones who allow the Atomic family to exist for reasons all their own.
        I’m just his younger brother. They tested me, too, but found nothing. Mom can fly, dad is a decent teek. I’m just normal. It’s my secret, one even the Institute that studied me might not know. I can make other things normal, too. I’m average. Boring. And I can stop their powers, by thinking about it. I can make any of them normal too.
        My brother can level mountains. I could stop him from doing that; does that mean I am more powerful than he is? More powerful than even Atomic Storm? The Six? Possibly. that’s my big secret, that I could beat nay of them. That I could drag them down to the human level, and then punch them a few times. Some of them have probably never even bled before.
        I watch them on the TV, and wonder which ones I’d hurt the most. Even the heroes would be afraid of me. And I would die. Every time the urge get strong, I tell myself that. they are heroes, and villains. They are our gods, sometimes. They would kill me, for dragging them down. Others would help them, because I’d hurt their saviours.
        I try and work out how long I’d have, before someone would kill me. I wonder how many other people are out there, like me, who can stop powers from working. I wonder how many the Institute knows about, how many die in accidents, how many get snatched up into covert groups and die in secrecy.
        I am more powerful than the most powerful superhuman on this planet, and I am too afraid of dying to ever use my power. It’s almost funny, except it’s not. I wonder how many of them would want to be normal, how many would protect me if it came to that, but I don’t know. I don’t know.
        I just watch them on TV, and ignore the digs by my brother at me because I’m just ‘normal’ and my parents constant waiting for me to develop powers, to make something of myself, and keep my secret deep inside.
        I go through a lot of Tums. But I still have it. And they don’t look as scary, or as impressive, when I know what I could do to them, to all of them. If only no one would hate me, when they knew my secret, if only they’d realize I’d be saving them, making the suerphumans remember they were human, if only I could be sure it would get rid o the ulcers if only ...
        But I turn the TV off, when the news finishes, and go to bed. Not tonight. I have a crappy job, but my secret gives me strength. Lets me endure everyone. I won’t give that up today.
        Even if I need to by more Tums next week.

novel titles

I can has title? would be a neat title for a novel :P

Just not for one I'd write. I am 10K into plotting nano bits, and have just realized I have no title at all for it.

Minor thing :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

To Show

There's an empty hollow in the corner
where once a rocking chair of wood
some times you come there and you've stood
tears don't come even when they should

It feels like the whole world's quiet, silent
before the grave; feelings only violent
a single harsh breath silenced; there it went

Across the roads, through the woods you used
to walk through and they're all waiting, all confused
everyone knows you were never abused
everyone knows
they're only waiting for the final mourner

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The day too-bright summer
hot, the sky empty-clear azure
blue never reaches

Clouded, his thoughts are
owned, not shied from, hands
dark and heavy, light above

Cancerous, a world full of omen
meaning craving for a hunger
hope gnawing inside.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember, remember ....

Was catching up on a friends blog and realized: Oh, it's the 11th. And so I thought about the day a bit.

I remember being woke up by a phone call from a friend, telling me to turn on the tv. I did, and stared at the screen,and asked her if it was a movie. She kept telling me to wake up and that it was happening. I realized I actually had never thought about said centre before,not really known it existed. The first thing I said was, "So, when do the conspiracies start?"

After, I went downtown (I was living in Ottawa then) and the entire core was silent, the mall almost empty. I got some food, and the manager at the fast food place told me she'd sent everyone home early, and was about to close up for the day. I went past a closed bar,and people clustered about a tv still on, silent, watching it.

I thought about fear, and the response to it. And what would drive people to what the terrorists did. I wondered at foreign policies that made terrorism a logical response, and thought more about hate and fear on the way home.

I look back, now, and the fear won. The terrorists won. Any victory against them was Pyrrhic at best. It doesn't have to win, not in the end. But after a war that couldn't be won and another that should never have been I wonder about what the end of this will be like, what historians will say ... and where they will be silent.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Plotting out nano

I am ostensibly writing superheroes. The chief problem is that I tend to apply real-world thinking to them (like, "How can the cast of Smallville afford insurance anymore?). The end result is that I need to strike a line between this world and that of a world in which super humans exist.

In this world, superhumans are sometimes celebrities. Which means they attract a special bred of paparazzi. There are superhuman talk shows and tabloids. (There used to be an olympics for superhumans. Once, three years ago. No one talks about that too much. They were held on Mars to reduce collateral damage ... they still haven't found Phobos yet.)

In this world, being a 'mutant' can be cool. It can be freaky. It can be ugly and useless. It can also just be cancer, and you just die. People do that, after all; most never return.

In this world, superheroes can save it. Sometimes. Those who do it often, and not from problems they cause, are considered heroes. Plain and simple. (This is akin to huge sports stars, who can get away with anything and the world turns a blind eye.)

In this world, aliens exist. Some heroes. Some villains. Even tourists. A few have TV shows, though aliens chefs have never caught on.

In this world, superhumans are common enough that a sudden rush of missed classes by good students leads to teachers asking them if they have powers. Sometimes. Most people learn to take the insanity in stride, and even derive pride from it. ("I was there during the invasion of the Meteons, man! It was so awesome! They turned me into a car with their whole 'make humanity useful, let it understand its servants' science that Inventions Inc. reversed, but it never helped me pass driver's ed.")

In this world, superhumans can be treated as weapons of mass destruction and locked away accordingly. In this world, even the villains who believe humanity to be ants crushed under their death ray still have to find funding to make it, and pay their phone bill.

In this world, there are bars for superhumans. With strong drinks, and a 'no fans and no sidekicks' policy. Because life isn't fiction,and sometimes you aren't fast enough, don't have the right power or trick for the job, don't think quite quick enough that one time ...

In this world there are heroes, and their are villains, and some have powers, and some do not: and in the end all that defines them is their common humanity and how far they'd go.

Monday, September 08, 2008

To Love That Never Was

There must have been a reason
Sometime and way back then
For everything you did, and didn't
And the way that things begun.

I'd like to think I understood
Or could have been a friend
But you only lets the cats close
And each died in the end.

From cars and dogs and people
But each you bore with pride
To come home with a new pet
And a secret deep inside.

The day I found the pet food
And the rat poison jar
After you'd bemoaned vet bills
And the last died to your car.

I watched the dogs come next
They came and died so fast
I wondered what they took from you
And how long you could last

I never said I loved you, just
Held for hope in vain
And then I found the dog food
The night of storm and rain

I'd been helping you because of
A wild night of hail and wind
And what I saw I never spoke
And fear I hid behind

When the vet clued in years later
When just one dog got loose
My brother was the one to find you
Holding your makeshift noose

You said it was a leash and laughed
(He still pales to recall)
The dog's eyes filled with broken thing
and he cowered to the wall

I know all this and more beside
I'd followed all the news
And yet when I see your face
I still feel so confused

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Untitled piece

The home of the alchemist Ikhthu turned out to be a giant fish, bright blue and preserved by unknown means. Dead bodies hung off the enormous tail under a large sign that read ‘graffiti is not tolerated on the whale’.
        “You’re certain he won’t kill me?” Quinn said slowly as they stared up at the rotting corpses.
        “You heal,” Carson said absently.
        “Right.” Quinn squinted. “Their legs and arms?”
        Carson looked up, then shrugged. “Why would an alchemist waste parts?”
        Quinn turned a little pale but managed a smile and followed Carson to the side of the fish, which had stairs in need of repair leading up to a door.
        Carson walked up and rapped on the door. “Hey!”
        The door was opened a few minutes later by a kid of about 10, who scowled up at them. “Oh, you.” His skin was a pale green and his voice odd and bubbly and one hand had been replaced by a red claw at some point. “I don’t recall asking for anything from you this week?”
        “I need a favour.” Carson nodded to Quinn. “He has writing under his skin; we need to know what it says.”
        “Oh?” he snapped his claw thoughtfully. “Now I’m interested. Come in.”
        “How old is he?” Quinn whispered as he followed Carson in.
        “I’m almost twelve,” Ikhthu snapped, not turning around.         
        Carson just smiled at Quinn, then looked around. the interior of Ikhthu’s home hadn’t changed, though there were even more fish tanks and the walls were covered in details drawings and notes scattered about seemingly at random.
        “You used to have a bed?”
        Ikhthu waved his human hand to a tank of water. “This is easier; the bed too up too much space.”
        “Ah. I guess that’s why you have gills?”
        “Don’t need them. They look cool, though, right?”
        Carson nodded. “You’re still making fish men?”
        “Trying to.” He scowled, heading around tanks to the back. “My backer keeps wanting breasts on them.”
        “Breasts?” Quinn asked, looking into a tank. A creature, neither male nor female, was in it, covered in green scales with a mouth of sharp teeth and alien eyes that stared back at Quinn without blinking.
        “I told him that would make them less aerodynamic,” the alchemist said. “And he only wants the female ones. I’m going to have to change how they breed to take that into account. they could impregnate themselves if I do it right.”
        Quinn looked back. “What?”
        “Just how flexible are they?” Carson said, trying not to laugh at Quinn’s expression.
        Ikhthu gave them both a blank look. “What does that have to do with anything?”
        “He probably wants to use the for sex,” Carson said.
        “Excuse me? I am the alchemist. That means I am the insane one. Did you see the claws and teeth? You don’t have sex with things that can rip you into shreds. Even I know that.”
        “You’d be amazed what people will do for some fun.”
        “The same people who think alchemists are mad?” the boy frowned. The standards may have to be revised. I would not copulate with a fish person, even if my equipment was functional yet -- is something wrong with your friend?”
        “Quinn? He has coughing fits sometime.”
        “I see. I built the fish men to survive predatation, Carson. I could see keeping them on display at art, but other things -- that is, at the least, foolish.”
        “It’s okay; you replaced your hand with a fish claw; you’re still insane in my books.”
        “I am beginning to consider that I may be sane; insanity seems the only rational response to an insane world, thus I am sane.”
        “What did you make the fish people for?” Quinn said
        “To see which one would survive when I throw them all in a giant tank of course. That will determine the next generation build.”
        “And this is sane?”
        “Saner than having sex with them. Now what do you want?”
        “He needs to go in a solution so we can read the writing under his skin,” Carson said. “If you can do that?”
        “Of course. Do you want him alive after?”
        “I want me alive after,” Quinn snapped.
        “I could make you better?”
        “No thank you.”
        “I said no.”
        “With gills!”
        “Ikhthu,” Carson interrupted, “just what we want, all right?”
        The alchemist sighed. “Everyone would be better with gills. Fine. get into the vat near the front, I’ll add the solution, and you just swim around.”
        “That’s all?” Quinn said.
        “Unless you want --.” Ikhthu sighed. “Figures. No, that’s it.”
        Quinn shrugged and stripped, lowering himself into the cold water and swimming around slowly as the alchemist added red dye and just watched. Quinn swam, ignoring the whispered conversation with Carson involving “just one fish man? Please?” as best he could, and the world began to swim along with hi. danger hit, hard, a feeling like ants over his skin and his body grew numb and distant as he sank into the reddened water.

“Is he supposed to float without moving?”
        “Well, probably, no. You don’t seem worried?”
        Carson smiled tightly. “Quinn surprises me.”
        Ikhthu looked up in surprise. “You knew my solution would kill him?”
        “I thought it might.”
        “Are you people really certain we alchemists are the mad ones?”
        Carson shrugged and grabbed rope, hauling Quinn out and starting at the words under his skin. “Parchment. Now.”
        He began writing quickly, reversing letters easily. They were in code as well, but that was easy enough to decipher. He finished the chest as the colour faded, frowning at the results.
        “What’s it say?” Quinn said, not moving.
        “Surprising things. Your pages are important. You are aware you aren’t breathing/’
        “Oh.” Quinn started breathing again slowly, coughed up some water, and stood, finding his clothing and dressing.
        Ikhthu made a happy burbling sound and regarded Quinn hungrily.
        “We need to go now,” Carson said. “You’d be a perfect lab specimen.”
        Quinn just nodded and followed him outside slowly.
        “Don’t ask. We need to get back to the apartment, and talk.”