Today is Valentine’s Day, and the official launch date for the second of Superversive Press’ Planetary Anthologies, this time it’s Venus—twenty captivating stories of love, romance, the planet and the goddess (in various guises). It’s well worth a look, and not just at the video above 🙂
It’s that time of the year again, the anniversary of the first time I contacted the girl who would become my wife. By tradition, I write her a poem and send it to her by email last thing at night on May the 1st, and she is not allowed to read it until May the 2nd, (since I sent the original fateful email on the first, and she read it on the second). This time, I’ve recorded it as a song, which you can find below:
There Was a Girl
There was a girl whose name brought joy
To a once so lonely boy;
Now that joy is multiplied
That she is at his side.
Now many more does she delight
With her presence, at the sight
Of all she does to bless the lives
Of those close to her heart.
So now upon this special day
With fondness look my way I pray,
Take pride in what we’ve both become,
We two now joined as one.
Continued from part one:
A pack of pitchfork-wielding men soon gathers in the yard.
They make sure every door and window is securely barred,
Then off into the murkiness they move in groups of five.
“Keep within shouting distance, that foul thing must not survive!”
Each group sees a short distance by their burning torches’ light.
Fog and smoke combine to blur this dark unholy night.
Tension rises, deer are spooked, the trail seems to be cold,
Then a mangled carcass leaves its story to be told.
“The creature clearly went this way, advance and call the others!
We must not let it get away, forward, band of brothers!”
They form a line and move between the gnarled and ancient trees
After an hour they hear ahead a faint inhuman wheeze.
It’s gruesome silhouette emerges from the murky gloom
Foreboding fills each mortal man, it exudes certain doom.
“Be strong and force that monster back into the old tar pit!”
It gives a piercing wail that makes them feel their heads will split.
Faced with an angry line of spikes, it slowly backs away
They follow, full of fearful rage, driving back their prey.
A farmer that breaks from the line is cut down by its claws
Its cruel strike and his chilling scream give all the others pause.
“Don’t give up now, together we are stronger than this beast,
If we flee now then our beloved will be its next feast!”
With fresh determination they resume their slow pursuit
And doggedly begin to corner this most gruesome brute
It senses it has no retreat and starts just lashing out
Men fall back gravely injured and the outcome is in doubt.
Then the mist reverberates with an unholy roar
The aberration charges in and battle is in store.
They both sustain such wounds that would destroy a human life,
They’re forced by pitchforks to the edge, distracted by their strife.
The aberration stumbles and pulls his creator down
They fall into the thick black ooze and there begin to drown.
The farmers take no chances and they set the tar ablaze,
ending both monstrosities in a pungent haze.
They trace the trails of havoc back and storm the castle yard
Destroy its great laboratory, leave its library charred.
When he reports back to the girl, she weeps for all that’s lost
For all the pain her father caused, for all his science cost.
Her family is now all gone, her home wrecked and reviled;
pain and guilt and shame and sorrow on each other piled.
Moved by more than all her woe, he offers his embrace.
Deep within his warm, strong arms, she knows she’s found her place.
Now that there is no way back, she starts a whole new life
As her favourite farm boy’s friend and treasured, loving wife.
This fun little celebration of B-movie sci-fi horror is nearly finished and has grown to be quite long, so I have decided to split it into a couple of posts. Enjoy!
In goggles, gloves and coat of white, a balding moustached man
By dim and dreary lantern light unfolds his cunning plan:
A gleaming living man of bronze, a rocket to the moon,
That unprecedented breakthrough that is coming oh so soon.
“I can transform this rancid skin and vats of squirming goo
To twelve-eyed toads to flood the roads from here to Timbuktu!
But that can wait, here on this slab old life will be reborn
Old corpses iced then sliced and spliced into a whole new form!”
With triumph shining in his eyes he cackles like a witch.
He cries with glee “For Science!” and then throws the power switch.
Torrents of pure lightning flow from one globe to the next;
Reanimated limbs are stirred, their muscles stretched and flexed.
An unholy aberration wakes up with an angry roar,
And foul green birthing liquid spills onto the stony floor.
It bursts through doors and fragile walls, repelled by fire and light
Devouring dogs and squealing hogs, it limps into the night.
“It lives!” He cries, and raises to his lips a tepid flask
Of a strange concoction meant for quite another task.
On realizing his mistake, he gasps and grabs his throat,
Collapses to the ground as his whole face begins to bloat.
His arms extend, his teeth grow sharp, black fur sprouts everywhere,
His eyes take on a beastly and most terrifying glare.
Extra limbs and tentacles erupt from his hunched back
His helpless lab assistants are now but a tasty snack.
His stunning nubile daughter watches, truly horrified,
At what her dear dad has become, at how many have died
To satisfy his fevered mind, enact his twisted plans,
How in his wake he leaves a trail of poisoned, battered land.
She jumps from her high balcony down to an grassy slope
And flees pursuing foulness to her last faint ray of hope.
A sturdy square-jawed farm boy stands and maims the creature’s face,
As it retreats the girl faints into his surprised embrace.
Her fragile beauty stirs his heart, his duty to protect
All that is worthy in this world of honour and respect.
He lays her gently down and brings her water from a stream.
When she awakes and sees his face, she asks, “Is this a dream?”
“That creature here was real enough, you see the havoc wrought,
The fences smashed, cattle gouged, the marks of battle fought.
Others will arrive soon to destroy its threat for good;
Together we will hunt it down in that accursed wood.”
What captivates a young man’s heart,
Grows his stature, inspires art;
Awakens and matures his soul,
Breaks his heart and makes it whole?
What drives him to complete despair
Or hope of castles in the air?
What turns a youth into a man
Forms and overturns his plans? Continue reading