Leviathan Reviewed

The first review of Leviathan has recently made its way onto the vast expanses of the interwebs. It seems generally quite positive, given the rather obscure genre it is written in. Show the critic, Red Haircrow, your appreciation by visiting his site and reading the reviews of all the other independent authors he helps out so generously.

Epic, heroic poetry of the kind not so often seen in the “mainstream” anymore or unless you belong to a specialized group. “Leviathan” is a different form of fantasy in this modern age, but no less vivid or important. – Red Haircrow

The second review has also been quite positive!

During Hero’s journey to avenge his loss, he affects change in a number of ways. His mind focused on his mission, he doesn’t even notice whose lives are altered by his actions. When Hero eventually finds his way to Leviathan, the meeting doesn’t go quite as planned, leaving the reader to think about what it all was for. It also offers the opportunity to think of how Hero’s journey relates to your own life, as I found myself reflecting on my own journey. – Grace Krispy, Motherlode

 

Leviathan has also been spotlighted at two different sites: Bargain eBooks, where eBooks for five dollars and under are showcased; and Indie Books Blog, where a small questionnaire is posted alongside a summary. Show both sites your appreciation by exploring all of the other independent authors they have given a helping hand to!

So go forth and purchase!

The Faery’s Last Song

I woke to her last song fluttering in my ear, through the cracks in my window-sill that kept no warm air in. She sung in mourning of her own death, and it contained all she ever was. It floated on that crisp wind that cuts through sheets and souls alike, and rested on my pillow, by my head, and it closed its eyes along with me.

It called to me, through my dreams, or better yet, despite my dreams, and I could not resist it. It was a story of death, and of emptiness, yet there was no struggle in it. There was loneliness, yes; but acceptance as well, and the song floated as a feather, and would not be weighed down by all that pulled at its barbs.

So I rose and went to her. Outside, into the forest, down along the streambed now frozen to a trickle, to a thicket of rosebushes at the trunk of a near-dead oak, blackening and snarled and twisted about itself. She lay among the roots, unmoving limbs and unblowing hair, though the cold wind blew hard from the North. Only her pale pink lips shimmered with life, and still her song went, so I listened.

It was a song of yesteryears, of time long spent in places worth spending it, of great heroes and towering cowards, of myth and of reality. They used to listen to her songs, dance to her songs, sing them to their children; and she would breathe in their hearing, and it fed her, sustained her. Like a strong liqueur she would feel it in her throat, in her blood, and from its boiling strength new songs would flow.

Their children would come to the towering tree with its twisted roots and hold hands, running in circles about her, shouting the stories she had told, and their words would drift up into the leaves, and she would draw them deep into her and need no more. From the children she drew such life, and from her they drew knowledge, and all was good.

Then men came with quill and ink and hardened hearts, and though they heard the stories, they listened not, but wrote them down on rough skins and strips of dried grass. They would hear the stories and frown to those who listened, and shush the children who sang, and they would write all they heard and saw, but would with sad eyes go their way.

Soon, they who used to listen too only heard, and though they would stand about her trunk as she sang her new songs, they would not tell them to their children, but would with sad eyes go their way.

Their children began to come and dance about the tree, but they did not sing, for they knew not the words, but would with sad eyes go their way.

So the tree withered, and her skin grew old and her leaves would crumble and fall earlier every year, and those who saw the tree saw not her underneath it, and they would with sad eyes go their way.

Thus her song ended, and I bent down to pick up her frail body, but I rose with only a flower as pink as her lips, and a gust of wind shaking me to my bones.

I lay down to bed, and rested the flower beside me, and slept. In my dream, I heard her voice, and she told me fragments of stories told in ancient times, in ancient voices, in ancient ways, but like the fragrance from the flower they drifted with the wind, and I could not see, only feel them. And though I still slept, I was awakened by all she said, and my spirit stirred and chased and grasped and slipped and gathered, and I collected the parts, and like a puzzle I pieced them together, though I knew not how they should look.

So, dear Muse, let loose your songs in my dreams. Tell tales of high import, though these days they are ignored. May all that you once were be revived, and I will listen and I will sing at the roots of your tree and I will leave with happy eyes.

If you enjoy this, please take a moment to read

The Boy Who Drew In The Mud and other parables

The Boy Who Drew in the Mud

There once was a boy who drew in the mud. Now, this was quite an ordinary boy, and his drawings were of nothing in particular, and of no significant artistry. Nonetheless, the boy would, as often as he could escape from the various chores and homework everyone seemed to enjoy giving him, spend hours with a stick, or maybe just his fingers, or occasionally a carrot or bit of celery he had smuggled into his pocket to avoid eating, drawing and drawing in the big patch of mud on the edge of his backyard, near the garden his neighbor had.

Now, this neighbor was quite an ordinary neighbor, and like all quite ordinary neighbors, was particularly nosy in matters he had no business being nosy in, and not nearly nosy enough in matters he well should have been nosy about. So this neighbor would watch the young boy drawing in the mud all afternoon long as the sky was starting to darken and the clouds were starting to build and blacken like a cloud of ash in a small room, and he would yell from his porch where he sat, “Boy! Why do you draw in the mud? It will just be washed away when the rain comes in, and you will be left with nothing!” But the boy would just look at him with those big brown child-eyes, give a half-hearted shrug, and return to his scribbling. And when the rain came, the boy would sit and watch as it washed away, and the neighbor would shout “Boy! What did I tell you! Now you must start from the beginning!” But the boy would just look at him with those big brown child-eyes, and give a big grin, and return to his watching.

For as long as the neighbor could remember, this would happen every time it would rain. Yet never did the boy tire of the game; he would draw, and watch as it would wash away. And the neighbor thought, “This boy must be mad! There is no reason why he should so enjoy all his work and all his effort wasting away into the ground. Why, it is quite unnatural! Next time, I will go right up to the boy and drag him away from his mud, and I will explain to him exactly how these things should be done! With a pencil and clean sheet of paper, or maybe a scrap of charcoal from my fireplace! Yes, I will teach him how to draw properly, on proper things!”

So the next time he walked out on his porch and saw the boy drawing in the mud, he marched his way to where the boy stood, puffed out his chest, and looked straight down his nose, saying “Boy! You come with me right now! This is quite unnatural. Let us go get a pencil and a clean sheet of paper, or maybe a scrap of charcoal from my fireplace, and I will teach you how to draw properly, on proper things!” But the boy just looked at him with those big brown child-eyes, and shook his head. The neighbor, being, like all ordinary neighbors, quite stubborn, stomped his little dress shoe on the grass and said, “You must be mad! There is no reason for you to enjoy all your work and effort wasting away into the ground!” But the boy just looked at him with those big brown child-eyes, and gave a big smile, and said, “Wait one moment.”

The boy pointed down to the patch of mud where had been busy drawing an immense battle, with giants on one side with massive raised clubs, and knights on stick-horses with big pointed lances guarding little stick-princesses wearing pointy stick-hats. And a dragon with a long, curly neck was busy breathing fire on a bunch of little stick-peasants, while a bunch of stick-centaurs surrounded it from all sides, pointy bows and pointy arrows flying all about. As a big clap of thunder resounded about the yard, the neighbor said, “I am too late! This will be ruined, and you must start from the beginning!”

Then it began to rain.

The entire drawing seemed to stir to life as the water ran across it in sheets, and the trickles and streams of rain through the fluid mud breathed movement into all the figures. The knights were suddenly charging and the giants swinging their clubs down as the princesses swooned and fell to the floor. The dragons fire jetted about, and the peasants collapsed in terror, as the centaurs rode in circles, wildly shooting. Armies clashed and lovers met, and some men ran away like cowards, while others rode forth into death and fame. The scene swayed about, and, like a play, all the figures did their part. And the boy and the neighbor watched together, wordless, with big grins on their faces.

 

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The Little Toy

The little toy lay on the ground where he fell
When the door had shut a little too fast
And jarred the table, shook the room,
Sending the poor little toy to his doom.

Shattered, broken, beaten and bruised,
The fall had left him in pieces, in parts,
His left leg sliding across the floor,
His right arm crumpled up by the door,
His left hand barely hanging on,
While his head was scratched, the paint nearly gone.

What would the little boy think, what would he do,
When he came home to find his favorite toy fallen, split in two?
Would he cry and hold his parts up high?
Would he throw his remains towards the bright blue sky?
Would he grow angry, bury him far underground?
Would he sullenly walk away without a sound?

How could the boy love a toy no longer fit
To be all he had in his expansive mind?
A policeman, a cowboy, an astronaut,
Courageous, romantic, humble and kind?

Where once his limbs had been strong as stone,
The years had wearied him down past the bone,
The burden of life had grown and grown,
And now, now he would be ever alone.

The door creaked open, there was the patter of feet,
And the sound of a young boys cry of defeat
As he saw his favorite toy scattered about;
“What had happened to the toy once so stout?”

But the little boys father leaned over his son
And soothed the child, calmed the storm,
Gathered the legs, the arms, the head,
While the little toy thought, “Surely, I am dead.”

The son watched with tear stained cheeks
As the father placed the pieces together so neat,
And with a tiny tool and steady hands
Put the little toy all together again.

Triumphant, the son lifted the little toy
For what the fall had broken his father had fixed,
And what had split apart, now was even stronger stitched;
Thus, the little boy loved even more
The little toy that had fallen to the floor.

The Pig, the Horse, and the Dog

The Fable of the Pig, the Horse, and the Dog


On a comfortable farm surrounded by acres of rolling hills and gently swaying trees, there lived a Pig, a Horse, and a Dog. The Dog guarded the farm, scaring off the wolves and the foxes that tried to steal into the pens in the dark of night; the Horse pulled the plows through the fields and the carts into town; the Pig ate and ate, in hopes of bringing a good price at market. Every morning, after the rooster was roused by the sun, the farmer would bring out their meals; the Dog would get a large bowl of diced lamb and carrots, the Horse a trough with sweet feed and hay, while the Pig would get a bucket of slop, filled to the brim.

Now, one day, the Pig looked over at the Dog’s bowl, and looked over at the Horses trough, and became jealous. “Why should they have such choice foods while I have only this slop?” So he began to plot. When a clever idea came to him, he called the Horse over.

“Friend Horse, look at how wonderful the Dog’s meal is. There is lamb, sweet and succulent, and carrots, which I know you have a tooth for. Every day he feasts on these, while you have only your grain and molasses and I nothing but my slop! Is it not unfair that we never get to taste such delicacies? Let us divide all of our food in three parts, and each share our food so that we do not tire of our mundane meals. You can share of the Dogs carrots, and I will take some the Lamb, and together we will grow strong!”

So the Horse, who did indeed have a tooth for carrots, heartily agreed. The next morning, when the rooster greeted the sun and the farmer brought out the daily lunch, the Horse and the Pig approached the Dog and took his bowl, and each ate a portion of his food, and each left the Dog with a portion of theirs.

But though the Pig could eat the lamb, and the Horse could eat the carrots, the Dog could not eat either the sweetened grains of the Horse, nor the dirty slop of the Pig. And as the days wore on, the Dog weakened, and eventually died.

The next night, a Wolf crept into the farm, vicious and hungry, but the Dog was not there to alert the farmer. So the Wolf stalked into the Pigs cage and ate the Pig, and as he left, the Horse saw the Wolf and reared, so the Wolf bit the Horses leg before running off, full and satisfied. The next morning, the farmer saw the Horse could no longer work, for the bite was deep. His heart torn with sadness, the farmer took the Horse behind the barn and shot him.

The Beast

Their cries from distant shores resound
as the fathers called from yonder rougher ground
“Sons! Leave your beach, cross the river, brave the waves!
Lest the beast lay you in an early grave.”

Alas, their fears fell on muted ears;
instead the sons, with all their wood, built simple spears,
bared them bravely, beat their breasts,
staying far away from the waves deadly crests.

“The shores of our fathers are not for us,
their beaches barren, their forests fruitless.
See how the colors are dull and dreary.
See how the crossing made our fathers weary.
What danger waits that we cannot combat?
Our weapons sharp, ready to attack.
Courage and bravery we do not lack.”

But, at heart, the sons shook with trepidation,
always anxious at the rivers constant motion;
they saw men carried by its charging current
to the infinite beyond, to the endless ocean.

So the sons stayed on their bounteous beaches,
willing to brave the beast they had never seen,
but scared of the river which flowed within their very reach
’till came the day the foreboding fathers had foreseen.

Their cries from distant shores resound,
as the beast knocked their prideful weapons to the ground,
and no son escaped, for they had built neither boat nor oar,
as their fathers watched, mournfully, from the safer shore.

In The Hands of Fearful Men

Our country is now led by men who fear Death as they fear Poverty – a sinking, gut terror; this is not a child’s fear of the haunted house, nor the sailor’s fear of the unmapped sea. This is the guilty man standing before the jury. This is the frightened doe with the wolf snapping at her heels. This is the dread of the unavoidable.

Since the start of the last century, the creeping ideal named Communism has split the world asunder, often by splitting their skulls first. All of their electioneering, all of their politiking, all of their rabble-rousing done in an abject hatred of wealth; with grand words from golden tongues they denounced, detested, decimated the rich.

Yet beneath this righteous facade was a deep-seeded anxiety, a trembling notion that Poverty was the worse that the world could offer – that if some man smoked cigars while another smoked Salems, Fate was busy laughing. That if in some parlor in some city, a businesswoman drank bourbon while another drank Bud, God himself was waiting to exact Justice.

Envy is a sly fox – like oil sitting atop water it slips above Justice as if it belongs, as if it is but another layer to virtue. But where Envy and Justice mix, there lies Vengeance. And oh! how the man afraid of Poverty will bring his Vengeance down upon his fellow man – how the ringleaders of the masses will destroy the very foundations of society to put off for but a moment longer the day when he will look around him and see ashes, the hour that he will rise from his chair and notice nothing of worth beneath his dais. And how inevitable that day is.

Now, at the turn of a new century, we are once again in the hands of fearful men – men scared of Death to the point that they will sacrifice Life for a fleeting chance at Health. Their Envy now pollutes their Justice, blackening it like boiling tar in a dying sea, and their Fear overwhelms every sense of Right they once had.

For Death is a determined collector, and all men know this. To enslave ourselves to running from it is no better than to lie down and wait for its icy touch.

Still, now they slap on the healthy their shackles of Fear and Envy. They will drive us before them while shouting “For Justice! For Health! For the Children!” But one by one men will fall to their empty philosophy, their dark future that averts its eyes from the inevitable and hides amidst platitudes and purposeless gesture of goodwill. For where Liberty is attacked, Life is the first casualty.

Yet there are we who do not fear Death, as we do not fear Poverty. We no more Envy the rich than we Covet the healthy. For the Lord has beaten Death just as He dwelled in Poverty, and so we are in Awe of Him, and we tremble before Him, and not the childish worries of these cravenly men.

May we fear God as we do not fear Death.