Monday, October 25, 2010

The Greenway Part 1; titled SIX

My name is Six. I live in the outer- reaches of the City known as Traders. It started off as a safe haven for the few of us who made it through the war. For a while, we felt human again. That was until the Trackers took over. The ones lucky enough to survive out here are considered scrappers. That's me, I'm a scrapper. I take a trip into Traders once a month to get water and gas, the two most important commodities on the planet right now.

It doesn't matter what time of day it is, the outer- reaches are always full of noise. Even in the middle of the night, people out here think they have to be somewhere other than home. Who can blame them? Every night, I sit on the roof of the broken down building I live in, and watch all the idiots go about their lives. Most of them don't realize or care that the Trackers are growing in numbers. Rumors about the Greenway have been spreading for a while now. Most of them are thought to be just stories of dark and torturous fantasies.

The girl who just exited the building, she's trouble. They call her 97. I've watched her take credits from men on a daily basis. She climbs into the car for about a half an hour and then pulls her skirt down on the way out. I assume she counts her credits before the deed is done. A girl's gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, but you better watch yourself around her. She'll rob you blind with a kiss.

There's a punk kid who lives two floors down. He sells drugs for credits on the corner so he can live, because his mom is too busy hitting the pipe herself to give him anything he needs. I feel bad for the kid because it's not like he has a choice. We all do what we hafta to survive.

“3, why are you out so late? Get inside,” I yelled down to her.

She looked up at me with a defiant look on her face then shrugged her shoulders and went up to the room we were in. I’ve been watching out for her since she was a toddler. I found her abandoned in the room we live in now. She was in a wooden box, and like me, she was alone. Today she had purple hair; yesterday it was neon green. I have no idea what it’ll be tomorrow.

I looked at my pack of smokes. Damn it, almost out. I forgot to stop down at the market and grab a pack. Doesn't matter, the store is open all night. I walked through the door leading back inside. The torches lighting the hallway didn't bother me as much as the stench from some of the dirty rotten bastards who lived in this building. I guess using an out-house was too much for some of them. I swear I'm going to shoot the next person I catch pissing in my building.

I jumped across the missing stairs with ease. I'm not worried about the jump or even falling. It's the land at the bottom that will hurt if one of the stairs breaks during my jump. I walk out the door and down the steps. The toxic smell of burning rubber filled the air. No doubt the smoke came from Trader’s. They use old tires to make the power for the lights there. It’s a god awful smell, but I guess if it works, oh well. Health isn’t exactly the main concern now a day.

"Hey Six, how's it going?" 97 asked. She looked about as strung out as you can get just before you kick the bucket. Too bad really, she was probably a beauty at one time. The streets here did a number on her.

"Fine," I said.

"Well, how would you like a little-" she started to say.

"You know better than to ask. Besides, when was the last time you had a med check?" I asked.

"That's our secret," she said. She winked at me with her long fake lashes.

I walked down the cracked sidewalk to the market. It’s kind of a funny to call a single store the market. It was named by the old ones who were here before. It reminded them of a time when things were easier. He has his steal cage around the cash register all the time now. I remember when I was a kid he would raise it during the day. Today, it's just safer to hide behind the bars of steal.

"How's it going Six?" 149 said.

"It's goin," I said.

"Need a pack?" he said.

"Yeah," I said.

"Kind of eerie tonight. Too quiet. Troublesa comin," he said.

"Yeah, I heard. They're rounding us up and sending us up the Greenway," I said.

"Bad deal for those who are taken. I hear they do things, unspeakable things to those who are taken," he said.

“Unspeakable or not, 3 and I are leaving soon,” I said. “You should do the same.”

“Where are these old bones gonna go?” 149 asked.

“Yeah, that’s what I’ve been thinking about. Where to go,” I said.

Just the thought of going to the greenway was enough to make me want to pack up and leave now. There are a lot of sick people in charge of Traders. They each have a different fantasy and they have enough credits to pay for what they want. A pretty thing like 3 would sell for millions on the market for the greenway. I couldn’t risk some sick son of a bitch wanting to rape her hard and fast. The image of a huge sweaty fat man with a knife in his hand, carving her in little sections, flashed in my head. All the while, she’s alive and feels all of it. It happens. I know it does. I watched them take a body out of the Greenway a week ago, pretty little thing; just like 3. I heard her face and tits were kept as trophies. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m not waiting around to find out.

Lost in my own thoughts, I didn’t hear the truck creep around the corner. Spot lights shined in my face and the sirens sounded. Running across the street, I pulled out my guns and fired at the lights on the truck. I didn‟t hit a single thing. 3 called out from the window above me.

“6, are you ok?” she yelled.

“Get inside, hide!” I yelled up.

I couldn’t stay hidden behind the wall forever. I took a few deep breaths in and readied myself for the fight. With both guns blazing bullets past them I raced to the other side of the street. A couple of the Trackers fell out of the truck. They aimed their sites at me. That’s just what I wanted. I ran across the alley and into the building adjacent to mine. There I found the stairs and ran up them as fast as I could. ‘I have to get to the roof.’ I thought.

Unable to run faster, I just missed being shot more times than I cared to count. My heart pounded against my chest. My lungs felt heavy. I heard the homemade Gatling firing shots. What could they possibly think they would be able to round up by firing that at us? The building chipped and shattered behind me with each step I took. Just when I reached the roof, the gun stopped. I don’t know why.

I knew something was coming last week when I saw the body of the dead girl. Something sick was paying big. I had a bag ready for 3 and I along with extra ammo stashed on the roof. Who would think to look in an old building under a piece of the roof that was coming off for something of value? People don’t think today. I was counting on that.

“3,” I yelled.

“6, help me!” she screamed.

“Get the board, you know what to do,” I yelled across to her.

I waited for what seemed like an eternity for 3 to show up with the board. She tossed it across as a bridge. Every steady step shook the board. Trackers saw the bridge above them and shot at the board to make it fall. I took out my automatic and fired rounds at them. The board slipped from beneath her and she started to fall towards the ground. I grabbed her by the foot and pulled her up to me. “No time for thank yous, Come on, we gotta go.”

3 stayed behind me. It wouldn’t be long before they found us. They had already gathered up a few people from the broken down building I lived in. Damn it pissed me off too. I have known most of the people they’re taking for a long time-too many years to count really. We headed to the fire escape. A thought occurred to me, ‘Did they intend it to be an escape from gun fire when they named it?’ We landed safe on the ground. I watched for a moment from around the corner.

3 tugged on my shirt. “Come on. Let’s go. Please,” she said.

We walked out into the night, hugging the walls as we went along until we reached the warehouse. The screams and gunfire could still be heard a few blocks away. I flipped the release switch to turn off the traps. I could hear the sirens getting closer. I put the cage down on the side car and climbed on the bike. A couple of revs and it started. She purred like she wanted to be driven. Crashing through the walls in front of me, we sped out of the warehouse. The pieces from the crash dropped to the ground. If it wasn’t for the gunfire, it would have echoed through the outer-reaches.

One of the Trackers trucks raced after us. I pulled out a sawed off shot gun and blasted at the truck. The tires blew out on the right hand side and flipped the truck. I stopped the bike and got off. There was a Tracker trying to get out of the truck. I wanted to shoot him, but I couldn’t with 3 watching me. She’s seen too much already. I hit him with the butt of the gun and walked back to the bike. We sped off into the night without looking back.

Deep inside the single thought gnawed at me. ‘That’s going to be a mistake. I should’ve killed him.’

What’s done is done. That’s all there is to it. There is nothing else to say. 3 is safe for the moment. We both are. I know it won’t be the end of the Trackers. The greenway will call from all around. Now, I just have to figure out where to go.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What is it to Dream

What is it to dream,
when all around are closed ears
eyes wide shut
show the way
hope leads
on to a new day.

What is it to dream
when hearts are heavy
and worries run high
touch is lost and
life is so unsure.

What is it to dream
When paths are rocky
all rivers run through my soul
and nothing but now remains.

Some one tell me,
What is it to dream?

When the Walls Talk

Everyone lives where others have died. Blood is everywhere in this land we call home and it leaves a stain that can't be seen. The walls around us often whisper about the past and inhabitants who lived here. They hold secrets few of us ever find out about and live many lives. They hold the tears when we're sad and hug the laughter. The walls talk to each other and keep us safe. They stand strong when we are not and they allow us a simple piece of something called home.

Old man Peterson stood in the living room that had just a flickering light in the background. The curtains were shut and the TV was on. Laying on the floor was an empty bottle of Jack Daniels and an old TV guide. He couldn't remember how he ended up standing. In fact, he didn't remember much of anything accept watching TV. He took a step forward and stepped into a body...his body. His soul shuddered with disbelief. He leaned over to get a closer look at the body on the floor. His eyes were bulging and yellow. They still had the blood shot look from all his drinking. The release of gas from his body made a gurgle sound causing old man Peterson to jump back and notice a puddle of urine.

"You stupid son of a bitch!" He said to the body. "You just couldn't lay off the sauce. Hell, you lost Maggie and all you did was drink more. What kind of answers did you find at the bottom of the bottle?"

Old man Peterson crouched down next to his body. Memories flooded his soul. It was the first time he met Maggie. She was beautiful. She had long flowing red hair and small petite feet. He loved her the moment he met her. She shined like an angel in the sunlight. They had a whirlwind romance and she ended up pregnant. That was OK by him. She was all he ever wanted. 

Life took a turn for the worse when he lost his job at the plant a few months after Tina was born. He did what his father did, he turned to good old reliable J. D. The two of them fought everyday about money. Soon the yelling turned into him striking her across the face. She went down to the floor with a thud. For a moment, he didn't know what happened. One minute she was standing there, the next she was on the floor crying. He had blacked out. The next day she packed her bags and left with Tina. She told him if he went for help, she would come back. It didn't matter though because he wasn't going to be controlled by anyone especially a woman.

His mind brought him back to the here and now. The sun began to peek through the curtains. He could see what a mess his life had become. Too bad it had to come to this. He didn't know how long he had stood there, but a knock came to the door. Then the door opened. It was a policeman. He hated the cops, but in this case, he was glad to see someone.

He watched the young cop kneel down and check his body's pulse. There was nothing. He pushed the bottom the radio, "I'm gonna need a coroner at W 406 Oak Street."

"I need an ambulance you idiot. I'm still here. Can't you see me? I'm still here! Call for help!" Peterson yelled.

He watched while the young cop pulled out a small disposable camera and took pictures of his body and the bottle. The coroner arrived and a few seconds later Peterson was pronounced dead. "I'm putting in a round of golf today. Right after I check this guy in. Looks like he broke his neck when he tripped over his own two feet. Drunk no doubt. I'll run the tests, but this is an accident, not a homicide," the coroner said.

"Aren't you even going to try?" Peterson yelled.

Time moved in slow motion as he watched his body be placed on a gurney for transport. Old man Peterson tried to follow the body out to the van and was shoved back by an invisible force field. He would be forever trapped in a hell of his own making.

"I'm right here!" He yelled over and over again. "Dear God, what did I do?"


Emma couldn't believe her luck when she found the apartment at such a great price. She loved the three rooms and the little kitchen. It had new carpet and fresh paint. There were even new curtains on the windows. The small apartment was her first step into setting her life and the lives of her children right. No longer would any of them have to go to sleep in fear because of Bob. Not one time in the marriage with Bob had he ever hit any of them. He had a different kind of abuse. His was more of a mental abuse. The hangers in the closet had to be exactly one inch apart. The towels in the cupboard had to be folded the way he wanted them. They had to be in a color pattern. The floor had to shine like a mirror. All these things seem so small until they are put together with shouting. The obsessive behavior was too much to bare after a while, so Emma packed up and left. She didn't want anything from him. After all, they were her kids and she had been alone before. She just wanted a clean break.

Her apartment was the first step into being able to live without tension or fear of reprisal for not getting the right dish soap or the right red color of apples. She no longer had to hear about how worthless she was nor did her children have to hear about what a group of idiots he was strapped with.

She unlocked the door for the first time and put let Arial in first. She was five and loved the way her steps echoed off the walls around her from the empty apartment. Her laughter filled the air while Nathanial and Gage helped their mom unload the uhaul. Nathanial was 16 and Gage was 13. She didn't know what she would do without any of her children.

"I'm still here. Can you hear me?" Old man Peterson said to deaf ears. He watched while the new family unloaded the uhaul.

Nathanial and Gage already knew they had to share a room. They were OK with that because they knew they would be able to make it their own. They wouldn't have to worry about Bob coming in and ripping posters off the wall because he didn't like them. They also knew they wouldn't have to worry about him breaking their Cd's or even him taking their clothes out of the drawers because they weren't placed where he thought they should be.

The family loved the new freedom the apartment would give them. They didn't know they had a guest who lived in the walls. Old man Peterson would watch them laugh and grow. He would watch them fight to grow up and he would see all the mistakes they would make. For the first time, old man Peterson would see what a family was really about.

Three months into the move, Bob knocked on the door. Emma opened the door, "What do you want?" she asked.

"I just miss you guys and wanted to tell you I'm sorry. Please come home," Bob said.

"We are home. You can't show up here. The divorce says you can't," Emma said.

"Can I come in and talk? Can't we just talk a little?" Bob asked.

"There's nothing to talk about," Emma said. She went to shut the door.

Bob stopped the door with his foot and pushed his way in. Old man Peterson watched in anger when Emma was shoved aside. It reminded him so much of what he had done to Maggie.

"You son of a bitch! You can't treat her like that!" Old man Peterson yelled to deaf ears. He felt the anger well up in him. It was just enough for him to shove Bob out through the open door. The door slammed shut.

Emma stood frozen in fear. Old man Peterson saw this and gathered as much energy as he could to speak. "Don't be afraid. I won't hurt you," he said to her.

"Who are you?" She asked.

"Name's Peterson. I used to live here when I was alive. Trapped now. Fading. Hope I helped,"

Emma never saw Bob or Peterson again. Once in a while she thought maybe the movement of the curtains meant he was there, watching over them. Protecting them; in the way he couldn't protect his own family. She was safe. They all were.

When the walls talk. They tell you stories about love and laughter. They talk about the fighting and gossip about the new families. They hold our many secrets and keep warm. They hold the souls of the past and share a little every now and then. We don't hear it when the walls talk, but every now and then we are given a glimpse to all they hold inside.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Few Poems For Fun

Haiku Words

So many words not
Needed in the break of time
Just a grin and nod.

Haiku Protected

Mountains and trees spring
Giving life to all of us
Should be protected.

Haiku The Gaze

From across the room
He sees through me to my soul
The gaze, intense, breathe

The Kiss
Silence now.
Our eyes meet
Intense gaze into one another’s spirit
Minds and hearts collide
Leaning in
A breath away
Tender shivers felt
Silky sweet
Then a grin essense
Oh such sweet desire.
Brought on by a single kiss.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Did I Entertain?

I'm on the last part of editing I AM WOLF. It's a story I'm passionate about and yet I find myself unable to look over the last few chapters. It makes me nervous. You know what I'm talking about. Taking that last step into the unknown. The list of things left to do at this point is dwindling down to nothing and soon I have to let my baby walk on her own.

This is something I have never had to do until now. It's such an odd thing, watching it grow from an idea to a what if. From a what if to a plot and from a plot to a full blown novel with living breathing beings in a world I created. Seems like such a proud and sad moment. I keep seeing small things that should be added, so I add them. I also keep wondering if the story as a whole will be loved by those out there as much as it is by me.

I know that is a lot to ask, and even a lot to accept, but I can't help it. I AM WOLF is a part of me. I think it always has been. Now, after all is said and done. I guess what I worry about the most is the answer to the one true question, did I entertain you the reader? That is now and always remains the single most important question. I hope the answer to that is yes, dear reader. I hope that you cringe and laugh when you read it. I hope you see a bit of yourselves and maybe even a little of your friends. Above all, I hope...yes, I hope above all else that I have entertained.

Let me know what you think. I will be posting a little more at the end of next week. By that time, it will be ready to walk on it's own to a publisher, whichever one Chamein deems fit.

I bid you all, a fond hello, and can't wait for you to let me he he

Your ever faithful writer,

Joann Buchanan

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chaos and the Beltane; Chapter 3 part 1

Time takes many things and many forms. In most cases what time takes is subtle. Walking around the Beltane in the between time with a beautiful girl was something Nicolai was sure he would mark for the rest of his life. He knew her from somewhere, he just couldn’t seem to place it. His gut told him to trust her.

There are secret passageways deep beneath the surface of the Beltane. It’s a small labyrinth that leads to the center of Beltane Castle. Jocelyn led Nicolai by the hand through the woods to the edge of a brook that had a small cave entrance.

“What I’m about to show you is one of the biggest known secrets. Most people consider this place a myth. Can you keep a secret Innate?” She asked.

Nicolai’s interest peaked a little. ‘Why would she want to show me the secret entrance to the palace?’

He took a deep breath, another thought entered his mind. ‘She knows.’

“Well, you know my secret, so I might as well know yours,” He said.

Jocelyn smiled a little then took his hand again. Butterflies filled Nicolai’s stomach. He didn’t know if it was because she was the most beautiful person he had ever seen or if it was because of all that was happening. He accepted it as part of the fates and walked in with her. She didn’t speak again. Nicolai could feel the Chaos run through the veins of the cave walls. The deeper in, the stronger it became. A soft hue of blue and gold light became stronger as they approached the center of the passageway.

“We are almost there. Come. There is much to talk about.” Jocelyn said.

“Talk with who?” Nicolai asked.

“No more questions. There is much you don’t know.” She said.

‘That is understating the most obvious.’ He thought.

A cool breeze brushed past, sending shivers through Nicolai. Ancient drawings covered the walls. Some of them were familiar to him. “This one is about the sword of life, and this one is about the sword of Death. I thought they were nothing more than bedtime stories told. What is all this about? Why are you taking me here?” Nicolai asked.

“We don’t have a lot of time. The Between time is almost over. The bad man comes,” Jocelyn said.

“Bad man? What are you talking about?” He asked.

“I promise to tell you everything as soon as we are safe,” She said. She tugged on his hand and pulled him towards her. Nicolai felt his skin tingle. He looked into her eyes.

“As you wish,” He said with a slight grin on his face.

He smiled and pulled him down the passage way until they came to a chamber. The large room had three doors. Above each door in ancient Vale words said, Past Present Future. A high ceiling with beautiful beams of decorated wood formed an octagon at the top. Three hanging fires topped the center of each door. Two large crystals stood in the center of the room. Each one of them had the handle of a sword sticking out of it.

Nicolai stood in front of them in awe. “They’re real,” he whispered.

“Now, we wait. My brother should be here soon,” Jocelyn said.

“Who is your brother?” Nicolai asked.

“Perhaps its better if I explain,” A different voice answered.

Nicolai turned around and then bowed in the presence of Prince Albert.

“Sire,” Nicolai said.

“I’m sorry about the ruse. It was necessary so I could talk to you about something that is going on in the palace. I fear we are all in danger,” Prince Albert said.

“Why would you want to talk to me?” Nicolai asked. “I’m nothing but a poor merchant’s son.”

“My Seeker said you would say that. Seems she was spot on, huh sister?” Prince Albert said.

“Mwertle spoke of me?” Nicolai asked.

“Yes. He did. We will get into that a little more later, for now. I need you to listen to all that has happened over the last few months. An evil has invaded the walls of the Beltane. I don’t know where it comes from yet, but I know it has infected my family.”

A loud noise sounded from the ground above, causing the ceiling to shake.

“It’s started. We’re too late. Jocelyn, you know what to do. Now! Go!” Prince Albert yelled.

Nicolai stood still for a moment. His mind flashed to his mother and sister. Hoardes of footsteps sounded down the passageway. Prince Albert turned to his sister, “Go!”

She ran towards the middle door. A piece of the ceiling fell to the floor, blocking the door. “The way is blocked!” She yelled at her brother.

“Do you have a sword?” Prince Albert asked.

Nicolai rushed over to the silver sword with the blue gem in it. “I’ll borrow this,” he said before Prince Albert could stop him. Nicolai lifted the sword from the Chaos Crystal.

A glow appeared from the sword when he lifted it from its home. A soft song filled the air. Prince Albert looked at the boy in front of him. “You should be dead.”

A loud yell from the hoards echoed through the passageway. “Never mind that now.” Prince Albert said.

Nicolai could feel the magic of the sword flow through to his very soul. He couldn’t stop looking at it. The way it shined in the light from the hanging fire made it look like something that wasn’t from this world.

“By the gods. There must be a hundred of them coming.” Prince Albert said.

“A wise man once said tis better to flee and live to fight back than to fight impossible odds.” Jocelyn said.

“Where are we suppose to go? The passage to the present is blocked and if we go back to the past, we risk doing more harm than good.” Prince Albert said.

“What are you talking about?” Nicolai asked.

“There is always the future. What choice do we have? Our uncle has gone mad with power and our mother is under his spell.” Jocelyn said.

A scouting hoard entered the room. It stood as tall as a giant. It had coal black tree bark looking skin, sharp pointed teeth and a flat face. Prince Albert lunged at the hoard with his sword. His sword didn’t penetrate the bark skin. Nicolai followed suit. Blood spurted from the wound Nicolai’s sword made. He lunged again at the hoard again, this time he thrust the sword into its heart. The hoard fell to the ground.

“Alright! Come on. If we’re going to do this, let’s go.” Prince Albert said.

Nicolai didn’t wait for an invitation; he followed the prince and princess through the door. Part of him didn’t believe it would lead to the future. Then again, he was sure the swords were nothing more than bedtime stories too.

When Jocelyn opened the door, a white light filled the chamber. It made everything around them move in slow motion. The hoards that entered the room froze where they were. Jocelyn looked back at her brother and the boy who Mwertle said would save the land.

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