The Song of Old Gerald

They say that Old Gerald, he liked to play Tak
for coin in the tavern at night.
But Old Gerald cheated and often his games
would end in a hideous fight.

He’d pulverize men and bloody their noses
for calling him out on his tricks,
and when he was done, he’d take all their coin
and give them a few extra kicks.

Then one day a man with fire-red hair
and a six string-ed lute on his back
walked into the tavern and pulled up a seat
right where that old cheater played Tak.

He watched Gerald cheat and swindle his way
through game after game after game,
and when he had had his full of deceit
he stood up and called Gerald’s name.

“Gerald,” he said, “you’ve bullied these men
and taken from purse after purse,
but if you do not return what you took
I swear that your fate will be worse!”

Then Old Gerald laughed and drew his sharp steel,
for he had far more bravery than wits,
and Kvothe the Arcane called fire and lightning
and blew poor Old Gerald to bits.

Now some say that Kvothe is gone from this world,
but the two of you may yet cross paths,
so if you should try to cheat me at Tak
remember the Kingkiller’s wrath!

Yet another song inspired by the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss as well as Tak, the game Rothfuss created with James Ernst that comes from the world of the books.  The Kickstarter for Tak is still going on, so you still have time to pledge and get your hands on this wonderful game.

A Demon Went Down to Tarbean

Well a demon went down to Tarbean. He was looking for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind, ’cause he was way behind. He was willing to make a deal
when he came across a young man carving a capstone down by the docks
and the demon jumped upon a wooden pillar and said, “Boy, let me tell you what:”

“I bet you didn’t know it, but I’m a Tak player, too
and if you care to to take a dare I’ll make a bet with you.
Now you’ve got a mighty fine capstone, boy, but give a demon his due.
I’ll bet a capstone of gold against your soul ’cause I think I’m better than you.”

The boy said, “My name’s Daerwick and it might be a sin,
but I’ll take your bet, and you’re gonna regret
’cause I’m the best there’s ever been!”

Daerwick, polish up your board and gather up your stones,
’cause a demon’s loose in Tarbean and he’s cornered you alone.
And if you win you get this shiny capstone made of gold,
but if you lose, the demon gets your soul!

The demon drew a board with fire and said “I’ll start this show!”
and sparks flew from his fingertips as he gathered up his stones.
When he placed a stone upon the board it glowed with evil light,
like a putrid sea of sewage lit by the moon at night.

As the game went on, Daerwick said, “Well you’re pretty good, old son,
but sit down in that chair right there and let me show you how it’s done.”

Dragon in the valley, run boys, run!
Tehlu’s in the light of the midday sun.
Six-string wore a ring that was made of bone.
Taborlin the Great called the name of stone.

The demon bowed his head because he knew that he’d been beat,
and he laid the golden capstone on the ground at Daerwick’s feet.
Daerwick said, “Demon, come on back if you ever want to try again.
I’ve told you once, you son of a bitch, I’m the best that’s ever been!”

Sorry for the lack of updates, everybody. I went through a bout of depression related to work. I’m doing a lot better now, though!

Anyway, I wrote this parody as way to calm down and start writing again, and also to promote the Kickstarter for Tak, a game from the world of The Name in the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. The Name of the Wind is one of my favorite books, and if you’re a fan of fantasy you should definitely check it out. Please also check out the Kickstarter for Tak, because Tak is an amazing game.

A Special Annoucement

Steve filed in to the auditorium with his fellow employees. At the podium was the CEO, her face twisted into a smile that made dogs howl.

“Thank you all for coming,” said the CEO to the assembled crowd. “We have a really exciting piece of news for you all. We are ready to proceed with phase two of the Great Transferal. Now is the time to ready ourselves to topple the governments of the world. We shall begin immediately.”

As his co-workers shuffled off their flesh, exposing the alien forms underneath, Steve began to wonder if he should have chosen a different place of employment.

The CEO of my company sent out a really cryptic email about a surprise mandatory meeting, and this popped into my head. The announcement turned out to be that the CTO is retiring. I guess you humans get to live another day.  

The photo is yet another one from my trip to Wales. It depicts the newspaper where Dylan Thomas worked. 

After School Pub Crawl

Four suits walked out the tavern door
Four smiles stuttered and sang to each other
Fine polished shoes scuffed themselves against the sidewalk
Laughter was their king, and they bowed to her
Now there is a man hyperventilating in the kitchen
and someone else is trying to shush him.
There are sobs pounding on the back of their teeth.
Their eyes dissolve into the salt water.
I myself can no longer see where they are:
My feet are stuck on a carousel in the foyer.
I cannot but shuffle forward and cry.
All I know how to do is walk in circles and scribble lines.

Here’s a late post in celebration of World Poetry Day, which was yesterday. This was originally published in the Fall 2013 issue of the Case Reserve Review and later republished on my now-defunct tumblr. Photo is from my semester abroad in Cardiff. 

The Lady in Blue

“If you get lost,” said Anna, “the Lady in Blue will get you!”

Anna saw James stop in his tracks just ahead of her. She smiled. An imagination like James’s was a feeding ground for ghost stories, and the tale of the castle’s signature ghost had terrified him. “Come on now,” she said, catching up to him. “Let’s go find everyone…” She paused. Down the corridor, she saw a woman in a blue dress. They locked eyes.

And suddenly Anna was the lady in the blue dress, standing over the graves of her murdered children, knife in hand, ready to plunge the steel into her breast…

And then she was Anna again, and the woman had gone. Shaking her head, she took James and walked up the steps and down the corridor. Only when they had gotten back to the tour group did Anna realize she was crying.

This was done for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers weekly challenge. The Photo is by Louise with the Storyteller’s Abode. 

A Recipe

Bring me the pupil of a dead lover’s eye
and the writhing, sick body of a copperhead snake.
Through this I shall give you the power to lie.

Give me the secrets of a man who has died
and the kerchief of one who has cried at the wake.
Bring me the pupil of a dead lover’s eye.

Seek out the market of the goblins and buy
the legs of a spider and the fangs of a drake.
Through this I shall give you the power to lie.

Show me, when the moon has dispensed with the tide,
the treasures that lie in the heart of the lake.
Bring me the pupil of a dead lover’s eye.

Tell me the things you are trying to hide,
the words that will have them burn you at the stake.
Through this I shall give you the power to lie.

For nothing is spared when one’s wants must die,
and all flesh will suffer and all bones will break.
Bring me the pupil of a dead lover’s eye.
Through this I shall give you the power to lie.

This post was salvaged from an old tumblr of mine that I really should get around to deleting. I liked this poem though. The photo is from my semester abroad in Wales. I thought it fit the mood of the poem.