How I Came to be a Married Man – the Quiz!

Earlier this week a friend of mine noticed a minor note in my author bio and thought that how I met my wife must be a ‘cute story’. Now you, my dear readers, have the chance to decide for yourself what sort of story it is, perhaps even entertain yourselves in the process and most of all gaze in wonder at my rudimentary webpage building skills!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Love Story Quiz!

(Before clicking the link below, please update your browser to the latest version, or it’ll either show you all the answers before you start, or never show you any of them at all. I know for a fact it works fine in Google Chrome, since that updates itself automatically.)

To the Quiz!

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Conspiracy

The greatest ever general calls his lieutenant in:
“Greetings, my most faithful friend,” he opens with a grin.
“Our armies are positioned, our men thoroughly supplied
with weapons and technology from which no man can hide.

Our enemy is unprepared for our impending strike
With overwhelming force we’ll crush Him, then do as we like.
His degrading chains will never coil round us again,
At last we will be liberated, proud and noble men!”

“Your stirring words and readiness are music to my ears,
But who is this great tyrant who has ruled us all these years?”
“Why God, of course,” the general informs him with a sigh.
“Er, what?” responds the lieutenant, bemusement in his eye.

“God. Now we have agents in each church recording names,
Those traitors will be rounded up, each building purged with flames.”
“You mean the God of Israel? Creator of all things?”
“Yes, with his ‘morality’ and ‘mercy’ with its strings.”

“You want people to lie to you? to steal and kill your friends?”
“No, I will do that to them, on us their life depends!
They would not dare arouse my ire, they’ll fear our awesome might”
“But can you trust a living soul if you ban what is right?”

“Irrelevant! No need for trust when we have total power,
Those loyal will get fine rewards, dissenters will all cower.
Nothing else is needed to establish our domains,
The people will be grateful to be freed of moral chains.”

“But what about what God did to the Soviets and Rome,
The Egyptians and Assyrians? All superpowers at home.”
“Coincidence,” the general shrugs. “Now as for education–”
“How can you hope to undermine the Lord of all Creation?

“You cannot catch him by surprise, he knows what you will do,
He’s not just indestructible, with throngs of angels, too,
but utterly unstoppable, the Lord of life and death,
It’s only because He allows, that you can draw a breath.”

“You fret too much, all that we need is to coordinate;
we’ll overcome his ‘truth’ and ‘love’ with floods of lies and hate.”
“I’m out of here,” the junior departs silent as a wraith,
“Come back here, you fool, can’t you just have a little faith?”

Beyond the Mist: Chapter One

Chapter 1 – The Mist

Am I falling or flying? I thought to myself as the endless mist rushed past my face, feeling the buffeting ripples up and down my skin but hearing almost nothing. How long has it been – hours? Days? Months? Is this all there is? I asked myself, unable to remember anything. And who am I?

A small plastic packet of water drifted past, travelling slightly faster than I was, and I caught hold of it. A tube of some sort of food followed shortly afterwards.

Where do these come from? I silently asked as I consumed them, then allowed the empty wrappings to float away.

There was a faint light up ahead and I began to deliberately drift towards it.

Dive away! Dive away! Avoid them at all costs!” cried out a voice behind me, and I leaned away from it. “That is a ledge placed there by our cruel overlords. If you hit one of those, not only will it hurt you more than you can bear, but it will also rob you of your freedom. Seek refuge in the mist.”

A ledge? But what are they for?” I asked, turning to see who was speaking, but could see no-one, only a disturbance in the mist that indicated something was there.

The overlords seek to lure us to our doom with promises of ‘truth’ and ‘life’,” explained the voice, spitting out those two words with disgust. “Do not listen to them, they only seek to hurt and enslave you. Here there is life, here there is freedom! Here they cannot touch us.”

Reach out for your life, find the truth and save yourself,” called a different voice from the light as it came rapidly closer.

Don’t listen to him! Dive away! Dive away! Don’t let him reach you!” screamed the first voice as the light flashed past. “That was close, despicable creatures.”

So you know them?”

I know what they are,” replied the first voice, full of bitterness, “I have heard the stories, they speak of ‘truth’ and ‘light’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘responsibility and self-control’, it is nothing but lies to ensnare and enslave you. The mist is life, the mist is safety, here we fly! Here there is no failure or shame, duties or consequences, here we are kings!”

How can there be lies if there is no truth?” called the second voice from a distance. I looked back to see a light approaching.

It is one of them!” screamed the first voice, “Cover your ears, dive away! Dive away! You will not enslave us!”

The second voice spoke with an authoritative calm as it gained on us. “To lie is to knowingly deny the truth. How can there be lies without a truth to be denied?”

Stay away from us!” shouted the first voice. Continue reading

The Hill

In ancient times this sacred hill did nourish weary souls
A nobleman once stood here and declared “We’ve reached our goals.”
The land I see from this high place is fertile, watered, green;
Here we can carve out a life that’s safe and most serene.

Houses and small villages can be marked out and built
Fields planted in this thick dark soil enriched with rain and silt.
A fortress to defend our young and old upon that ridge
Looking down upon that great wide river that we’ll bridge

Nine centuries of legend have grown upon this mound
It’s viewed as a great pilgrimage to almost holy ground
Parents with their precious children come here to retrace
The steps of him who gave his name to this enchanted place

Some young are not so keen to climb the steep paths up the hill
Some even lose heart so much as to make themselves quite ill,
Insisting they have not the strength to even reach its base
With wails and whines and tears that keep on streaming down their face.

The father makes the effort to snap his son out of it
Not letting despair win the day, not letting his boy quit
With gritted teeth they climb the slope part way and then they rest
Seeing that his son has so far been doing his best.

Then son decides upon a plan that takes his dad aback
To take a shortcut up the hill far from the concrete track.
The spirit of adventure lives and glows from his young face
Dad can only follow, barely keeping up his pace.

They reach the top, exultant, son has grown his mind and heart;
He’s learned of all that he can do, if only he would start.
Great obstacles now hold less fear, as he knows that he can,
He’s taken one small step towards becoming a young man.

Sci Phi Journal Issue 2 now on general sale

Cover_Issue2

Chapters 1-3 of Beyond the Mist appear in Sci-Phi Journal Issue 2, which  is now available at amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Sci-Phi-Journal-November-Philosophy-ebook/dp/B00OWS1H26/?tag=theologyweb-20

smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/487869

or Castalia House:

http://www.castaliahouse.com/downloads/sci-phi-journal-2/

If you are on facebook, you can meet with some of the contributors to the Journal at the Sci Phi Journal Discussions Group, and discuss the various stories and articles, as well as other philosophical and sci-fi related topics.

You can also tell me what you think of Beyond the Mist by commenting here.