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By: Antwan Crump
Out there—beyond the horizon—is a place that’s always cold. It’s always desolate. The wind blows wild, and the land is lit only by the moon. The trees are black and pointed—with no sign of ever having had life.
A pack of wolves roam the dry terrain. They feast on whatever they can. I’d recommend that you stay far, from such a place. However, upon exception, you may enter—with acceptance of the rules:
1.) No horseplay. Such games are petty and for children.
2.) Come alone. You’ll find all the company that you desire.
3.) Walk straight. Wanderers tend to remain that way.
4.) Plan to stay. You can leave; what you’ve left behind.
5.) Come hungry, or don’t bother coming at all.
Adherence to the facts above is most pertinent to your stay. You’re free to test them—as many have—only to be left with unfilled hopes and gutted bellies. It’d be a pity if it weren’t so damned funny.
Past the unsettled rolling rocks and broken glass, you’ll find a cabin. There’s nothing special about it. Only that it’s there at all.
Should you survive the pack of wolves and poisonous branches of the plants—you’ll be welcomed in, with open arms (upon examination of your gullet, that is). The wolves will howl. The moon will shine. But, you mustn’t be deterred. Focus on the window. A candle should be fluttering about to distract you from your fear.
Be sure, to enter with haste, you shan’t want to keep him waiting.
Inside, you’ll find a desk or two. Some coffee—a most luxurious brew. A mat for sleeping on the floor. And a gun, when you can take no more. All are options, none are sealed. They’re just choices. Yours, upon your yield. You’ll wield the knowledge you’ve retained, only to find that here it means nothing.
Surely, you’ll be confused and taut. It’s dangerous—what you will have wrought. But once you’ve sat and drunken the brew; there will be much he needs from you. So, as you search—we do from time to time—you’ll beat against your wretched mind, with questions. Answers, you’ll not find. But, a tinkerer—aged ninety-nine. He’ll be there with his working crime—wondering if you see the difference.
You DO NOT QUESTION. No, not yet. You do not burden. Nor, you fret. You drink the brew and sit where set. He’ll come to you…should you be next—with palms connected, eyes perplexed, he’ll ask, “Have you seen the muse?”
You answer with your heart and soul. And, if you lie, he’ll take them both. For it is not an answer sought—but bits of you—that you have brought. He’ll ask you once, you let them free. Once more, answer honestly. Go to the door and kick it twice. Then you’ll be ready. You’ll be right.
You’ll turn to him and say “complete”. He won’t look back, he’ll say, “repeat”. You’ll do this til you pain your feet. And then, you’ll see the muse.
She will lead here and there. She will fail you. She will fair. She will haunt your every dream. And she will be your nightmare.
Oh, to manage. Yes!
I tell you now and do not jest. You tinker, when you tinker best—before you use the gun.
And you shall live a life in there. Tinkering with worlds of air. In your mind and living twice, (a third, if you can get it right). You’ll find yourself: aged ninety-nine, forgetting facts, and spinning rhymes—for eternities. No mortal binds!
And only then will you be fine.
But, I don’t recommend it.
Tinkerers are a weary lot.
Welcome to the world of the macabre. In this long-awaited anthology, we delve into the dark nuances of the human spirit. From the apocalypse to murder and brutal realities we remorselessly explore them all, in search of the truths that evil holds. Can you face the darkest corners of your psyche or will you cower back to your fairytales and superhero mythologies? When you tire of the lies—we’ll be waiting for you here…in the dark.
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