Category Archives: Uncategorized

Spider Country

The blistering sun gleamed off the black scales of Soldier 1077’s riding monitor, flashing in her glassy eyes and baking her ochre chitin. She dipped a clawed hand into a tub of black grease and rubbed it on the ridges under her eyes and above her mandibles. The monitor’s long, bony spine rolled back and forth as its claws found purchase in the dry, brittle scrub, and 1077’s joints ached from rocking with its movements.

1077 checked inventory again, her memory always growing hazy every few hours of the journey. She ran her hand across the belt of shells. 12 left. She checked again. Yes 12. More than enough for, what was it? She unfolded the rawhide map tattooed with dotted lines and crosses in red ink. 3 sheds. Yes 3.

She drew her lever-action 8 gauge from its cracked leather holster and checked the action several times. It clicked smoothly, with no trace of jamming. She’d traded it from the ape-kin for a year’s worth of sheddings, her life savings. At fourteen months, 1077 was older than all in the colony but the queen, and sacrificing a few comforts was well worth the time the shotgun had added to her service.

All memory of luxuries and leave-time faded quickly, the only strong memories she could hold were the action and the Queen. The action she learned from, the Queen she loved. A deep primal love, a desire not to please, but to serve. The Queen’s word hung in her brain for weeks, long after anything else had faded.

The taste of fear pheromone split 1077’s mouth and her musings. The hairs on her back and upper arms stood on end. She slipped five shells into the 8 gauge without looking, her eyes darting around the scrub and burnt gums.

The beaten yellow path in the scrub twisted around a fallen gum and a red rock outcropping. Dark wet splashes crossed the path and led into the bush. 1077 pulled on the reins of her monitor and tasted the air. The pheromones followed the trail of splashes to her left. She jabbed her monitor with a tranquiliser and it fell to its stomach, billowing out a cloud of dust.

1077 swung down from her saddle, draping the belt of shells over her shoulder and swinging the 8 gauge from side to side with her right arms. She called out into the bush, her voice a series of clicks and high-pitched scrapes.

“Queen Misery of Guilt, report.”

There was no reply.

1077 stepped into the brush, using her lower left arm to push spikey grass out of the way while she held the shotgun with her right. Past a thick hedge of lantana, on a mound of gravel under a paperbark, were the thorax and head of an ochre-coloured Soldier. Long dead, but arms still seeming to claw for a text-caster just out of reach.

She tasted the Soldier, then reached down and picked up the text-caster. Random characters on an unsent message. She walked back to the Soldier, hefted her body face up. A haemorrhage lance lay snapped in half beneath. 1077 checked the map again twice. The forage shed was just around the corner.

She swore, a series of slow clicks. Making her way back to the monitor, she buttoned up the found text caster in the woven sack on the back of her saddle, and strapped her own over her left shoulder. She unsheathed her sting, just in case. A last resort that was equally deadly for both parties. 1077 made round the corner, swinging the 8 gauge at each blind spot she passed.

The shed was buried in a pile of lantana and broken branches. Its corrugated iron walls had a patina of patchy red and yellow rust. The door had been torn open, and hung by one twisted hinge. The shed was deceptively small from the outside, with only the entrance peeking out from the vines, but inside was enough foraging equipment for 70 or so Workers, smaller and more vulnerable than 1077 and the rest of the Soldiers.

1077 tasted the air again. A strong scent. Female. The taste of spit and battery acid. It was a scent not many recognised. Usually only the nomadic males holed up in the forage sheds, and either moved along after a brief respite or were cleared out by patrolling Soldiers.

Females mostly stuck to their own territories, the cracks and caverns and underground seas of the deep beneath, relying on the males that crept up to them in hopes of reproduction for sustenance. A female on the surface hadn’t been encountered in many of 1077’s lifetimes, and she had only seen one, once on a low patrol.

They hadn’t bothered trying to fight on that patrol, though several Soldiers were present. They caved the tunnel and dug in a different direction.

1077 stepped into the shed, her eyes fading gradually from colour to grey as they picked out detail in the dark. Thick cords of silk were strung taught across the wide concrete floor. Broken harvesting equipment covered with a sheet of web created a mountainous grey landscape. The husks of males, half again as big as 1077, were strung from the ceiling, nine legs curled around them and eyes white and drained of liquid.

1077’s body pressure increased. The memories of action flooded back. Vivid images flashed in her mind’s eye, and she had to fight not to dodge phantom blows.

She moved further into the dark, 8 gauge shaking in her claws, stepping where the web was thinnest. There were no signs of life or movement, not even the webs stirred in the still and stagnant air. She entertained the briefest hope that the female had moved on, that maybe the Soldier had proved more trouble than the shed was worth.

The landscape of web rose in a circular crest, then dipped down to a wide hole. Filling its centre was a frieze of fractal ridges on a circle of grey carapace. 1077 froze, her body still but her antennae flailing. The circular pattern lifted slightly, revealing the massive, deep black abdomen it was connected to. A hairy claw slipped out. She readied the shotgun.

It sprang, faster than anything she’d seen, faster than the trigger on her shotgun. Eleven black, furry legs scrambled wild across the web, swinging out and sweeping 1077 under fat mandibles and a mess of milky, oozing eyes. The female was monstrous, easily the size of the biggest of the Worker’s harvesting equipment. Bigger than the queen, though ugly and malefic where the queen was beautiful and maternal. Smaller males clung to the jagged bristles that jutted from the female’s carapace. Every interlocking part of the female moved rapidly and randomly, and screamed violence.

1077 braced herself under the female with her legs and lower arms. Four glassy fangs extended from the female’s maw, dripping a slow and painful liquidation from the inside out. 1077 planted the 8 gauge in the gap between the female’s thorax and abdomen, and fired, pulling the action down quickly and getting three shots through. The first two sprayed shards of carapace and droplets of ichor all over her, the recoil sending the third up the female’s side and shearing the mandibles off a stray male.

The female stamped down on 1077’s upper left arm, crushing chitin and tearing it and the belt of shells away. 1077’s legs spasmed and she dragged herself out from under the female with her arms, still gripping the shotgun and text-caster tightly.

The female drew back, legs coiling and ready to spring. 1077 lifted herself to her feet, legs still spasming and making her wobble in place.

The female sprung. 1077 loosed her last two shells into the female’s pus-seeping eyes and fell onto her back, slipping under and digging her sting into the gap in the female’s carapace. The sting dug into flesh, hooked and tore out of 1077’s abdomen.

The female’s bristles vibrated, making a loud and low hum. She flailed and drew back, leaving 1077 prone in the middle of the shed. The males abandoned the female’s back, crawling across the floor and up into the roof, randomly placed eyes glinting in 1077’s grey vision. The female pulled into the corner and curled up, forelegs covering her face, as if in shame.

1077’s legs were uncontrollable now, thrashing in all directions. She glanced over at the belt of shells, still draped over her severed arm. It was too far, too close to the female, who still shook and hummed deafening death cries. 1077 dragged herself back with her lower arms, still pointing the shotgun at the males. They hadn’t worked out she was dry of ammo yet, but it wouldn’t be long.

A trail of her life fluids extended from the torn hole in 1077’s abdomen across the floor of web and concrete. She got her back against the corrugated iron wall, baking hot to the touch from the harsh sun above. She unslung the text caster from her shoulder, her claws fumbling over the keys.

She tried to think, her thoughts slipping, of all the things she wanted to say to her love, her duty. The fate she cleaved to. She felt things she couldn’t quite understand. 1077 wrote.

“Action required. Forage Shed 37 West Kingdom.”

She looked up at where the 8 gauge was pointing. The males were making tentative steps down the strands of silk to the floor.

“I’m sorry,” she added to the message, and sent it.

Nervous Stick

Well hey there my chunky newborn babes. I’m postin again and there ain’t nothing no one can do about it, and there aint no one who wants to do nothing about it cos you all been real nice about my posts and I am real grateful.

Here another one and it makes me real nervous to talk about this biz, but I also get real nervous if I see a particular pattern of seeds in bird shit on the ground so no news there. Hope you enjoy or feel something or at least don’t say mean things about me on the internetz.

S xx

 

Old Battle Wound

 

And here it comes again. A shot to the nerves between my shoulder blades. My fists clench, and the words spill from my mouth.

“I wanna die.”

The pang recurs daily, almost hourly. Even though that battle is long since won. Even though there are years between me and that desire. Just a pang and a dark memory from a time before the light.

It was so natural for me to say, in time thankfully long past, and the fight to where I am was bitter and long. These old wounds don’t fully heal, and I’m not the warrior I once was.

By god I wish it would stop. I don’t need this reminder of times gone, of ghosts still too real. But wishes are nothing, and purpose remains. There isn’t a sea of joy to fall into at the end of this path, but more paths and paths beyond.

Ah, all this doom and gloom, hanging onto my legs like cobbler’s pegs on a peaceful walk through wild lands. What’s a little limp in my step when the air is fresh and new and full of opportunity?

I may scream and curse and carry these old wounds for the rest of my life, but I will die a man that conquered this. A man that lived and found a life whole and filled with good.

Just as I may remember and wince with pain refreshed, I will look back and smile at the memories I fought for and won.

Pre-Smash

Hoo bebes I been taking a break now for three minutes past way too long. Stuff ain’t moving liked I’d hoped and I ain’t talking about the thunderbox because I been eating plenty lentils. But something done lit a fire under my ass (wife) and I can feel the writing comin on for I hope less than miles in the distance. Dat means I gotta work my way up with some good ole’ fashioned posting, so here’s one for you and you specifically. Enjoy or don’t, I ain’t reading it for you.

 

First Left Turn

 

There is a secret place, at one of my many childhood homes. Down the back, into the maze of lantana vines and prickly pears. First left turn into the tunnel of scrub. If you miss it, you’ll never find it again.

I’m sure I’ve seen it. A ceiling of leaves and flowers, a neon blue creek, a rocky ledge bathed in the light from the water. Cool air and a sweet fragrance. There could have been a boat, though there was nowhere for it to go.

I’ve tried to go back, again and again. Each time I miss that turn and head further into the dark, until I reach the usual spot. A steep grassy ridge down into brown water. Once wild and ugly, now tamed and plain. A kiosk, concrete and screaming children.

I wonder, who tamed this place in me? Who put paths and walls in my dreams? Why can’t I take that first left turn? If I’ve been there, why is it missing from me, and if I haven’t, why is its memory so clear? Why do I long for it, with heart aching and tears welling?

This tangled world I’ve dreamed in for decades. It must have meaning, have purpose. These feelings are too strong to be random, these sights and tastes and smells are too real not to be somewhere.

There is hope in me, in decades repose, I will find this place, this purpose for what I’ve seen. That this longing is the pain that will make the salve sweeter. That once more, in this place, in this dream, would be enough.

Brick Wall

I had a good idea

At some point

And now I sit here

Ready

And with time on my hands

And there is nothing

What I had has slipped and gone

And what I’ve got is empty space

How frustrating

All that time I spent

Fucking around

All I want is this

This

The only thing that escapes me

I know

That it is in me

But here I am at the brick wall

Without a hammer

If I had a spoon

Maybe I

Could dig, and dig, and dig

And time, and time, and time

Would pass

Till I got through

For all time is

Is long empty hours

Wasted and regretted

By all who had plans

In the first place

A few more words

Another spoonful of stone

And maybe

In time, and time, and time

I could see

If there is

Another side

Loathe Self

Use your words

 

Filth

Trash

Garbage

Waste

Leftovers

Unused materials

Plenty

 

 

A simple, long hard slog back into the light

 

One tiny topple

Back into your arms

And I realise

 

 

I never hated myself

I just missed being better

 

So, only the good things to do now

Such a relief

 

Joy floods in

The gap left by that weight

 

I am me

That makes me happy

Beyond words

Enough

The war isn’t starting

 

This genocide has been passed down to us through generations

 

The toll is too heavy to count

 

The pain to great to comprehend

 

With guns and disease and batons

 

With our words and our silence

 

We each have been complicit

 

 

The war is not just coming to us now

 

We have been fighting all our lives

 

For the wrong side

 

Our forefathers came here drunk and shot up paradise

 

Our forefathers slaughtered and raped and stole

 

 

It never stopped

 

Form after form it took

 

Our secret war

 

On those who should have been our kin

 

 

We have nothing left to take pride in

 

And who is there but us to atone?

 

 

The fire is at our feet

 

And we have one choice to make

 

Do we join the right side

 

Or do we condemn ourselves

 

To a hellish world of injustice

 

To a world of cruelty

 

Of brutality

 

Of indifference

 

 

The stones are tumbling down the mountain

 

And now is our chance

 

To throw the shackles of our pride

 

To rise higher than those who came before

 

To find truth and beauty in a cruel place

 

To find the good in ourselves

 

 

Truth and determination are invincible

 

And the truth is

 

We can be what the lies told us we were already

 

Free and just and equal

 

We can be

 

What we’ve dreamed and we’ve hoped could be true

 

 

March

 

And keep marching

 

No more despair

 

No more stopping

 

Until we reach the gates of paradise

Playing Minecraft in my Dreams

My brother and I have been playing the same minecraft saved game since 2012. We started with a little shed on a hill and a large stash of homebrew in the fridge. Both unemployed, both drunk and very bipolar.

 

Our little town grew to a city, then to a kingdom. Now we have over 30 small villages, several large towns and big cities, multiple kingdoms with huge statues, massive lord of the rings sized fortresses, underground markets, secret passages, puzzle dungeons, pirate ships, and my brother is currently working on his own personal Mines of Moria.

 

We have sunk more than stupid hours into this little universe. My brother dug out a massive dwarven hall at the bedrock by hand, taking hundreds of hours to finish the thing. I’ve spent no idea hours wandering along its many roads, killing zombies, paying merchants and sitting around the fire at Snowmane Memorial Campsite (RIP) or drinking in the tree-top tavern The Lofty Standards on the Champ Memorial Balcony (RIP).

 

We have a national currency, business ventures, and we are digging a road between two portals in hell. I wish I knew how to make the computer box make pictures so I could show you.

 

I have a recurring dream about being in minecraft.

 

It started off in a vast and intricate desert structure. I was solving a puzzle by floating beneath sandstone beams and pushing heavy cubes onto buttons. The puzzle unearthed a long, cavernous road beneath the sand, half in shadow and engraved with ornate pictograms. I followed it for what seemed like miles, hiding from giants in the deep shadows until the dream disintegrated.

 

In a following dream I was in a deep cave structure. I kept diving deeper and deeper down, block by block, in a jagged and vertical shaft. Each time I reached flat ground I would find a new, darker passage leading further down and I would continue to dive. I reached craggy bedrock at the bottom of the now claustrophobic shaft, and saw a hole glowing with red light. I stood on the edge and looked down, seeing a wide burning chamber with a circular bloodstain smeared out into runes. Pink and hairless devils wandered around with blank eyes frozen in glares of pure disgust. Terror woke me but it was hours until I felt like I left the dream.

 

Weeks later I had moved on to a far off Nordic land over the ocean, filled with sweeping hills, dark hollow mountains and frozen forests. I had built a small settlement there and was showing my brother around. Log cabins behind tall and thick palisade stood empty in the snow, and the place felt new and wild and dangerous. I told my brother of all my plans for this new kingdom, though I knew it would be a long time before I came back because it was so far away. The dream left an ache in me that gives me shivers, longing for a place unreal and untamed, far from any place I’ve been or will go.

 

The most recent dream I had I visited my small settlement with my brother after many years, but giants had come and broken everything down. All that was left was blocky rubble and floating item sprites. The giants stomped around, throwing the wooden blocks my cabins were built out of and crushing them beneath their boots. My brother looked worried but I just laughed. I led him into the ruined tavern and we sat against the broken wall drinking beer out of 2D mugs.

 

I drank and leaned back and said to him:

 

“I know this ain’t the right place to admit that I’ve been struggling.

 

You know I get real sad at the drop of a hat and pretty regularly.

 

And it feels like there’s always been this deep sadness in me, and maybe there’s just no reason for it.

 

I’ve thought about it hard, and I don’t know what I’d do if the sadness wasn’t there, if there was nothing to build in me and nothing to fight against.

 

It would feel like it was over and I don’t want that yet.

 

I’m not moping or drowning in my sadness.

 

I’m building.

 

Building shit makes me happy.

 

Even if it gets torn down or torn up.

 

Every block I put down fills that gaping hole in me just a little.

 

And even if I’m just building minecraft in my dreams, that’s at least doing something.

 

Struggling is still doing something.

 

The end of it ain’t that far away, and I know I’ll be happy again.

 

And that’s good enough

 

For now.”

Give Hope You Bastard

Hey there it me you’re number 1 (45 actual) guy for some premium lord of the rings shit right up in your sad hole. Oh baby I been blue and oh baby I been blue before now and then some. And damn but looks like I made myself a career about talkin myself outta this shit, and I’m guessin youse all been feelin it too (as well, been a while and I can’t remember if I use the double o one).

 

Lordy you know it’s sad poetry time.

 

 

 

Ah fuck it’s pointless

 

Give me some hope or strike me dead

 

I’m thirsting for it

 

My heart is aching

 

My stomach is twisted into a knot

 

Cut me loose

 

Burn my nerves off with a lighter

 

Knock me cold with booze and blunt objects

 

Fuck bein dry or smart I’m hurting

 

And I don’t know what to do

 

 

The thing about

 

Being lost and alone

 

Is that it’s just you

 

And it’s hard

 

To have what you can’t give

 

Make a life outta giving hope

 

Needed or not

 

Seen or heard

 

And what’s left

 

When it’s just you who is empty

 

 

And I know

 

It would be worse

 

If it all was just chemicals

 

And drugs and money and freedom

 

Was the answer

 

It would drive me nuts

 

And I’d never be happy again

 

Sated and not lost

 

Because there was never a place

 

To be found

 

 

But hey there

 

Where is that voice

 

That keeps you going

 

Warm and kind and slow

 

And ever at the last minute

 

 

Where is that voice

 

That says it’s bad

 

Lord knows its bad

 

But there is the end of it

 

Somewhere

 

Maybe not soon

 

But ahead

 

 

Where are those flashes

 

Of smiles and drinks and firelight

 

Where is that sinking sensation of peace

 

The spiteful humour of resolve

 

The coughing laughter of a drowning man

 

 

 

I need it now

 

While this poem is bad

 

And going nowhere

 

While I’m failing and stabbing myself

 

 

I remember

 

Getting addicted to a song

 

Entirely sad and hopeless

 

Because I felt, stronger than I ever had

 

 

This is my fight

 

To push back

 

Against despair so strong

 

And thick in the air

 

 

It feels right

 

To throw myself

 

At this cause

 

Though it hurts me

 

 

Because enough pain

 

And it becomes a task

 

 

And there is my hope

 

To make this end of myself

 

 

A long and bitter campaign against despair

 

To grow old a warrior

 

 

And maybe all you can do

 

With your despair

 

 

Is to throw it back

 

At the wall in front of you

 

 

Then here it is

 

 

A cry to the light at the end of the tunnel

 

 

Grasp me

 

 

Hold me

 

 

Pull me close

 

 

And far away from this sad fate

 

 

From a wretched end of failed hope

 

 

And let me grasp

 

 

Any I can

 

 

And take them with me

Cusses

Waddup you sick fucks here it’s me again with another blog post for my like 3 followers and several bots from China and Uruguay. This one’s got hella fuckwords in it so remember to share it with your grandma, I aint care what she thinks of me.

 

Hospitality is the ultimate equaliser. It is the perfect job to have if you want to practice getting yelled at by people from any walk of life. As such, it is a draw for anyone who is naturally skilled at people being angry with them for no good reason whatsoever. Immigrants.

 

With the high staff turnover of a busy inner city café with a hefty dose of workplace politics, I have come into contact with casual workers from many exotic places, and have engaged in a classic Australian pastime with each. Trading swear words in different languages.

 

So if you’re ever stuck for truly creative cursive expressions to impress your foreign colleagues, I made you a little list of my favourites for them to enjoy. Also sorry if I sounded mean in that first paragraph, it’s as hot as the sun in my studio and the delete button is for cowards.

 

I care deeply about what your grandmother thinks of me.

 

10 Medium Grade (Australian Standard) Swears to teach your Brazilian/Korean Hospitality Coworkers:

 

Wanker – Obvious, but there’s a chance they haven’t encountered it and it’ll make em a hit at parties

 

Fuckstick – Much more creative way of calling someone a dick

 

Fucknuts – Hilarious

 

Dipshit – Not sure what this one actually means but I don’t think anyone does

 

Numbnuts – Light, so good for upmarket company

 

Little Shit – Kid friendly!

 

Pissfarting Around – Very utilitarian in a hospitality setting

 

Shit for Brains – One of the top 3 worst things for a brain to be made out of

 

Dribbling Shit – Might be hard to convey the meaning of this one but sounds great with an accent

 

Fuckwit – Gold standard curse, classic f-bomb plus old school english. Shoots from your mouth like a .303 round at a 50-metre target. Anger and frustration focussed in a word with the cadence of a stockwhip crack. Could fucken say it all day

Not Killing People

Hey well I’m about to get probs a bit too honest on this here internet, so mum be prepared and maybe pretend someone else is writin this.

 

Lord knows I been through some dark times, cos I been prayin to him in gasping whispers in the dark with eyes too scared to close but too scared to look at anything too closely.

 

And now I pray in broad daylight as I walk down the street cos I walked right out the other side of the dark and I may look like a crazy person but sometimes looks ain’t deceiving in the slightest and there’s nothing wrong with being crazy if it’s most of us.

 

I wanna write to a very specific people because I don’t remember anyone writing to me when I was locked up in the dark with nothing but words to look to.

 

Lemme give some context.

 

I thought I was destined to kill people from about the age of 15 to 19, when I got diagnosed with a whole upstairs mixup.

 

As a teenager I thought about shooting up my school regularly. I was lucky enough to have the luxury of absolutely no access to firearms. And I do consider that a luxury.

 

All I seemed to feel were variations of rage or despair, not for any good reason, but I’ve come to learn there never is a good reason for these thoughts. They just happen.

 

When I finished school I moved into the city about three months after. I had to pay my rent, bills and food on a casual fast food wage. Didn’t have a washing machine or a bed or a computer. Had a foam mattress with a massive divot in the middle, a cupboard that wouldn’t close and a mobile phone that could only text and call. Obviously that sent me over the edge.

 

I would wander the streets late at night, seeing demons and being absolutely terrified. I was pretty switched on so part of me knew that I was probably mentally ill, but a lot of me was consumed by pain and fear.

 

And I wanted to kill people. Or, at least, I was fixated by the idea that it was something I would end up doing. I would scribble down stories about serial killers in the ends of high school notebooks, get blind drunk on weekends and slowly slip down the slope into hell.

 

There was this one house I would walk past, an old guy who would leave the door open as he watched tv. I would walk past his house after every shift, and each time I would picture walking in there and killing him. Fucken scary right? For everyone.

 

It’s probably the thing in my life I’m least proud of, those thoughts I had at that period of my life. And I got a lot of things to be least proud of.

 

Thing is, I never did it. Never actually hurt a fly on purpose, never been violent in my life unless you count wrestling with my many siblings. And something stopped me there, as it did many times over at many places.

 

And I could say that love and support or taking meds, eating properly or fucken exercising is the key to good mental health, but truth is I didn’t feel I could have any of those things at that point in time. And there will be times in your life when you got nothing but your own sheer will and a destination.

 

So listen, and take this from somebody who’s been down there in the dark with you, though we couldn’t see each other.

 

You don’t want to kill anyone.

 

You want a lot of things.

 

You want love.

 

You want freedom.

 

You want acceptance.

 

You don’t want to be in pain anymore.

 

You want support and you want help.

 

You want life and you want what you know being alive truly means.

 

And you’re missing that.

 

For now.

 

Life is long and roads turn corners. There are people out there for you, and they will come from unexpected places. Even now, alone in the dark, people are fighting battles for you unseen. There is a place for you that is right and good and whole, and that is not a belief of mine, that is a truth I’ve lived to see.

 

I can’t pretend to know how to fix you. You are not a machine, not a maths sum and what you got is more than a broken arm that needs time to heal. You are a lost human being, like the rest of us are lost, though your path has taken you to deeper and darker places.

 

In the end, though you need help and support and all those good things, and though this is sad to say, you need to rely on yourself. And sometimes all you need for that is to see a little light at the end of the tunnel. So here’s me waving a torch for you.

 

Not killing people is the way out.

 

The rest will come as it does, but if you hold to that all the rest is steps forward.