Category Archives: Writing

Haiku: Yellow

Strong & courageous, 

My Sun shines from my belly.

I accept myself.

— A.E.W.


Haiku- Last Minute 2016

fear

Unbearable noise,

Cyclone ripping through our mirth.

Another Sun dawns.

–AEW


Prompt #2 Write something “On The Road” 

“HEATHEN”

No regret in taking the Heartbreak Highway. I have had no end of company on this road. In the end with you, I  guess, I was just a flash of rag-tag blur as you sped by at 55mph. Perhaps you pined a little as you saw me in that proverbial rear-view mirror of yours while that plain little woman sitting next to you passed you a ham sandwich and prattled on about the wedding plans she made for you both.

And I walk on with nothing left to lose— With the Sun on my face— I squint into the thermals bluring my memory of our mad love. But these thoughts are as elusive as the sweet smell of mesquite after a desert rain.

I need coffee.


Haiku: Rocket

Trailblazing day; 

My thoughts follow the sun’s path 

In relative haste. 

By A.E. Wallace 


Excerpt from The Vermilion Smoke

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Looking out into the nebulous horizon, Rigo steered the wheel. The tails of his flight coat flapped in the breeze. He could taste a metallic flavour in the air. Tears began to sting at his eyes but he was unsure if it was due to the quality of the air or the thought of Persephone lost in the ether. He shook the doubt from his mind and decided the woman was far too formidable to not have made correct calculations. Although she might not have yet reached her destination, she would do. Or perhaps she already had, he thought. Perhaps she found Captain Pepperdrake and Lenore. Perhaps even now somewhere in time, she might be toasting to her success in helping her brother find his lost love. She most likely was basking in the glory of their admiration and gratefulness. She was also most likely cursing Rigo and wondering what was taking him so long to get to them.

Or perhaps not. There had not been any transmissions from Persephone’s coms device in two days. However, the dials on the Tempus Sextant rotated chaotically indicating she was still moving through time. This gave him hope. It meant, theoretically, he could track her and find her. He would be able to follow her if he could just track the sky right. He needed to see the signs so he needed to fly into the eye of the storm. Although he was a navigator, he was not a scientist. That had been Persephone’s talent. She would know when all the conditions were right. She would know when to anchor and lock in to time. With one vial of Fluxinium left, he knew there would be only one chance to make it through the porthole.

He felt he reached the correct altitude. There was the familiar electricity in the sky prickling his face like the last time. He threw the lever into auto-pilot to maintain the course. He needed to be at the Captain’s override when the porthole opened so he could plug the Tempus Sextant into the Captain’s control panel. He looked at the spinning dials on the sextant once more before putting it into his large coat pocket.

Rigo had thrown any excess weight off the aerostat before he left the dock. All valuables had been stored at the Dr. Griffin’s warehouse. The Vermilion Smoke was barren of everything that meant anything.

Almost everything. He turned to look at Aursezz. His dragon regarded him from her corner on deck. He could not bear to part with her yet he did not know whether she would survive the journey. Her death would be even more unbearable. She never asked for this. He walked over to her, bent down and put his forehead to hers. I’ll set you free, my friend. I hope to see you again, he thought. Aursezz purred and sent him her thoughts of understanding. She acquiesced. He unlocked her from her security cable. She stretched her wings, shook them flapped once and took flight into the billowing air. He watched her fly away until her silhouette faded into the white lightening and tumorous clouds.

He was now the solitary member left on the Vermilion Smoke.  Tears stung his eyes again. This time it was not because of the air. Angrily, he wiped the tears away and brought his goggles down from the top of his leather flight cap to cover them and tightened his chinstrap. Rigo went back to the instruments and read all the gauges. He was unsure of most of the readings but he knew enough to know the craft was in good running order. The mad engineer had taught him enough to keep her running.

He reached into his coat pocket and reassuringly touched the sextant again. Then he put his left hand into his other pocket and took out a box. He brought this box to Persephone during the early days of their acquaintance. He had not long been onboard the Vermilion Smoke. He opened it. All the letters he wrote to her were still in it along with one she wrote to him. She had never sent it. He wanted to read it but a crippling regret threatened to suffocate his heart. He regarded it for what seemed an eternity lost in a golden reverie. Anger and fear took hold of him suddenly and broke the spell.

“I lied to you. I said what you wanted to hear. It’s what you wanted, my dear,” he said out loud to no one. He closed the box, walked to the bow, steadied his resolve and dropped it into the amber and bronze clouds.

The lightening clawed past the Vermilion Smoke and an eerie green illumination burst into view. This was the sign. The porthole was about to open. Rigo wished Chongan was there. The monk understood the magic of things. His quiet serenity gave the crew strength. He should have been the one to do this, thought Rigo. He bit back his doubts, went to his navigator’s podium and looked at the charts. He took out the sextant. The needle continued to move but was now wavering between two points. This was more than satisfactory.

Persephone, he thought. He picked up the vial of Fluxinium that was strapped to the podium and went to the engine room. He opened the door to the boiler and tossed the vial in. The fire went green. He slammed the door shut and bolted it. In a fluidity of motion, he turned wheels on gauges, flipped switches and pulled the correct levers for the engines then sat in Pepperdrake’s chair. The dials and switches on the arm of the chair formed an elaborate control panel that parroted those at the steering wheel. Rigo took a moment to marvel at the invention. Of course it had been Persephone’s genius that allowed her brother to fly so well.  The auto-pilot had been maintaining the course steadily but it was time to accelerate. Rigo strapped himself in, took the Tempus Sextant out of his pocket and plugged it into the control panel then flipped the master switch releasing the Vermilion Smoke from the auto-pilot.

Suddenly, the needle on the sextant steadied and locked in. The control panel accepted the reading; the lights went from amber to blue on the control panel. The sextant began to chime. The course was set. Rigo’s heart raced as he felt the thrust of acceleration. He saw the eerie green starburst of light at the centre grow bigger and bigger. He was headed into the eye of the storm and into the portal. His trajectory was set. He would see Persephone and Pepperdrake again.

–A.E.W.


Watch “Pixies – Gouge Away” on YouTube

Excerpt from “The Homing” by A.E. Wallace

He had asked to be able to harness the power of storms so he could conduct lightning through the five weirdboyz that accompanied him. Electric fingers spat from them, danced all over Brainbutcha’s armour and snaked out across the field in the direction he pointed to jolting the one and only tank that inched out to meet them.

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by A.E. Wallace Posted from WordPress for Android


A Poem– Carnivorous Lily

Carnivorous Lilyby A.E. Wallace

Not sure how we came to the notion,
taking that potion at the end of the day—which lead to the smoking—
Seer’s Sage;
This is where it all went a different way.

Leaving my watcher,
I went for a wander
down a meandering path.
Pulled down dark chasm—floating, falling, flying —
Into a message
that shot through the dark—
from a distance—
in some uncertain tongue:

All that is, isn’t.

Chaos conversion—Tranquility.
One-time daydream demanding development–
Eaten alive in some floral reality,
the need for my Freedom became the key–
The inviolability of my heart had been much abused.
No longer loved—but bound by a vow–
The elegant simplicity;

He is not the one.
lily


# 1 Stephen Kings Top 20 Rules for Writers– First Write For Yourself, And then Worry About The Audience

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Balance Point

“I struggle to remember what it was like being that big bad Buddha—before the hair went. Before the divorce and the kids and that job and the woman…”

“In that order?”

“No, hell no—I can’t even think of the order anymore. But, God-damn those days were something—I remember driving without seatbelts—rolling down that road—scenery just passing by—shoom, shoom, shoom like one of those old movies. The old movies had some kind of movie projector thing behind the actors. This was before green screen and Star Wars and all the new CGI stuff where the superheroes are actually believable. Have you seen that new Superman? If I saw that movie when I was 15—I’ll tell you what, I would have believed that was the real deal, you know?—The real deal.”

“Yeah, I saw that movie. It was good…”

“Yes. It was. But the best thing is, something new will come out that will topple that one—Godzilla. Did you see that one?—Well same shit. I remember when it was some little puppet, clay, stop-animation thing. Whatever it was, it was not CGI. But where was I?—”

“Big bad Buddha.”

“Damned straight. But with a full head of hair—going down to Newquay— surfing, drinking, meeting girls—it was great.”

The Care Worker struggled to follow the conversation so decided just to be carried by it that afternoon. The Service User sat and cheerfully ate the breakfast and went on to talk about how he had it all, lost it all, got something different and then walked away from that. Today the Service User was in a good place and the Care Worker just wanted to enjoy it. There were days when it did not feel like work. Today was that kind of a day—to people getting to know each other and enjoying a day out.

But it had not always been this way. The Service User almost got arrested at the weekend after he tried to kill The Care Worker. It was down to a mixture of prescription pills and ADHD pills that belonged to a Guest of his. The Service User tried to understand what had happened that night but The Care Worker and The Guest were not talking—at least they did not say anything that remotely crystallised what happened that night.

It was a cool morning. The sky was bright but grey clouds seemed to rim the horizon like sheep dogs worrying sheep.

“You think those clothes will be ok on the line today?”

“I hope so. It looks a bit grey over bill’s mother’s but the BBC didn’t give out any rain.”

The Service User looked outside at the cars and people passing by. His eyes began to well up with tears.

“I say! You think I should have had one of those big breakfasts? It looks really good. I can’t believe I didn’t order one when you did!”

The Care Worker had seen this before with his Service User. It did not always go in a negative direction. Sometimes the change was subtle and sensory things often brought him back to a cheerful disposition. Tentatively, the Care Worker started to evaluate the café making note of what he would have to do if it all went terribly wrong.

“Maybe we should go back. Maybe we should bring them back in.”

“If you like—we can go—sure why not? We can have a cup of tea at yours, eh? I can nip down later to that bakers and get us a nice Viennese Whirl—or a vanilla slice. What do you think?”

Together they moved—the steps were familiar. The Service User followed a silent command as The Care Worker fluidly moved to the changing situation. Without touching The Service User, he moved smoothly, crouching—finding the balance point—strong-eyed– directing The Service User to the exit.

Once outside, The Service User smiled. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a packet of cigarettes.

“I think you are right. It will be ok.”

“Yes. Where do you want to go now?”

And they headed off down to the post office to buy some envelopes.


Of Level 20 Dragons and Goats- (excerpt)

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The room was filled with a coterie of game aficionados. They all had the same look about them—arrogant and unconcerned about mainstream subjects of fancy. Their blithe demeanour seemingly imbued the air with an ever-so-slightly-unwashed pong. Within the sea of black t-shirts, backpacks and beards, there were a few females attached here and there to some of the men who came out to the opening of the new shop called Games Afoot. Somewhere I could hear the spumescent sounds of a cappuccino maker. I made my way through the crowd to get a cup of coffee and to find Doug.

Doug had sent me a text earlier in the day that simply read: It’s the store opening tonight. She won’t be there. She’s gone. Please come. We had been friends for over twenty years so I cancelled my squash game, dug out my d20 t-shirt and headed out into town without question. It had been ages since I saw him.

I met Doug one summer in 1990 when a friend of a friend invited me to play D&D. Doug was someone’s cousin and was not originally invited to play but there had been a drop out and he was keen to learn something new having just moved to town. Within five minutes of rolling out our characters, I knew this guy would one day be best-man at my wedding—or at least talking about it. Over the years we would have a share of dips and peaks. Failures and successes in our everyday lives would never hold as much weight as to in-game minutes that siphoned off our realities. Everything we ever did revolved around table top games, dice, miniatures and complicated systems until the day we were forced to find ways to fund our paper and plastic addiction. We needed jobs. Doug got one in a pub and I decided to go to the University of Edinburgh.

Doug killed off my 10th level paladin in the summer of ’96 ceremoniously when my character, Khodin, fell to a level 20 dragon the night before I left for Uni. That dragon came up widdershins on our party and smoked me like a kipper. I remember being so angry with him that night. I had plans of going out on an epic storyline that would take me through my days at Edinburgh University. Instead, I sat there eating pizza and drinking ale as I watched as the other PCs rolled and devised and played through one of the best campaigns ever run.

Doug met Linda when I was at Uni. He would send me emails waxing lyrical about how she was the one and how he could not wait until I met her. I remember thinking she looked like some kind of a grimalkin curled up in his arms in the pictures he would email. I thought she was beautiful and cursed his luck. Over the months and years, he looked more and more like she did. He began wearing his hair like some kind of boy-band escapee and he looked more and more serious in his photographs. When I came home and finally met her, she surveyed me and it was obvious that I was not what she expected. I opened up my first ever conversation to her with memoirs of happy goats I encountered on my gap year in China. Her eyes scintillated with each new random topic I brought up and I thought things went well. But I never did get an invitation back to their place again. I would see Doug when she allowed it. I also inherited a lot of his old games and miniatures when they moved into their new place.

My friendship with Doug became more of an online, social network and Xbox one. He had become a businessman. He was even into politics. He had been in the local paper more than once and always with her by his side. As an academic, I could only read about him since I was not the kind that would travel in his circle. The greatest news he ever sent me was his announcement that he was opening a games store. He asked if I would be at the grand opening and I had given him my congratulations and regrets. I said that I had prior commitments but that I would send him a bottle of champagne and a box of ale. When I got his text message, I was all at once nonplussed and elated.

I walked up to him and he beamed at me.

“Mate!” he shouted.

“Hey! Are you ok?”

“I am now, matey,” he said. “Look at all this! This is great!”

“Ah, yes. I meant about Linda. When did she leave? I mean, when I got your message—well, I thought you were upset but you seem ok.”

“Linda. Yes. I’m afraid my relationship reached that level of effloresce that we all hoped would never come. But what did I expect, really. She was not into all this. I am surprised that she stayed with me as long as she did,” he said and raised his cappuccino in the air. “This was her idea. She wanted a barista. I wanted a games parlour. She wanted a business. I wanted a community.”

“She did not like this, I take it?”

“Meeting her was simply an obliquity. I think she was that level 20 dragon I sent to kill you off because I was so upset that you were going away,” said Doug.

“You asshole. Still have not forgiven you for that.”

“I know. But I could not forgive her for not liking your goats,” said Doug. He took out his phone showed me his wallpaper. He had taken my photo and put text on it that read THE BRO GOAT. I shook my head.

“I’m sorry, man,” said Doug. “I should have stood my ground. I knew you before I met her. I have no idea what I was thinking. I’m really sorry.”

“No need.”

“We got a Magic tourney going on later. Shall we play?”

“I brought a deck.”


The Yummy Mummy Brigade– Just Musing

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Soft jumpers over denim mini skirt over leggings–bare feet in Kelso clogs–the women of the Yummy Mummy Brigade file into the coffee shop. I just beat the traffic of the school-run-odyssey to boot up my laptop and prepare for a meeting at the engineering firm down the street.

But I got lost in the debate over letting baby use a pacifier or his thumb and the best way to puree homemade food for him. All of a sudden, my pencil skirt felt very scratchy and my high heels pinched. My skinny latte did not look as nice as the cream-topped hot chocolate.

Then I think of him and what could have been.

Pen a “five-minute-prompt”. Ok. Here it is. Is it curing my writers block? Maybe on it’s way.