The Mental Militia Forums

Arts & Liberties => Writer's Block => Topic started by: George Potter on April 19, 2007, 10:51:09 pm

Title: Pyre
Post by: George Potter on April 19, 2007, 10:51:09 pm
I build the pyre slowly and carefully, hands calm. A classic shape of logs and sticks, tinder where she should be, densities and dryness judged and placed just so. I build the pyre to burn slow and fierce, with more heat than light, for nights like this it's best to keep a low profile.

I am 14 years down the road you were denied. 14 years older and more exhausted and every day more disgusted and afraid. It has gotten worse. It will grow worse yet.

14 years ago, children. I watched you die. Millions watched you die and were lied to about it. The difference between myself and them are simple and dual:

I did not believe them.

I have not forgotten you.

I light the pyre and smile when a single match suffices. A well built fire will not disappoint. Nations and noble experiments may crumble, but the dry bones of trees will burn if positioned right. Every time. A reassuring pattern in an unsure world.

The flames grow and dance and I let the sight of your burning home dance there in the light and heat. I feel the old revulsion -- faded but still there -- coil inside my guts.

As flame takes its fuel, I play with possibilities in my head. Alternate worlds where you did not die, worlds you walk even now.

A dark haired beauty, 18 years old, hitching her way through the Southwest, towards golden California. She tells stories sometimes, of the weird family she finally tired of and left behind. She has a tattoo of a butterfly on her shoulder and she has broken seven hearts already. She means no harm, but she is far from through.

A wiry young man in a baseball training camp in Houston. A wonderboy they found in the middle of nowhere. He's shy and polite, quiet in the face of the city boys and gruff pros he now mingles with. They call him 'Tex' with a mixture of humor and jealousy. When he swings the world thunders. When he throws, lightning is born.

A chubby blonde trembles at her interview for the big library in Albuquerque. Six years of school she suffered through, for the honor of a low salary and a world of books. Her nervousness belies the peace she feels at the walls and canyons of paper and that glorious smell. She fits here. She can feel it. "Waco." she says, in response to the question. "I guess you could say I had a non-traditional childhood." She laughs.

Painful, these might have beens.

The fire is at peak, and whole sagas dance in that orange red heart. Whole dramas and comedies blur there through wet eyes.

I look up and you sit with me, frightened, confused children still. There is no anger. That is for me to feel. There is no justice, that was denied. Your killers faced no consequences.

I look back into the fire, away from your eyes. I watch until the flames shrink and flicker out. I stare at the white ashes that pulse with dark heat. I let the ashes become a patch of ruin in Texas. I let them become the ancient blood soaked sands of Iraq, the stony fields of Afghanistan. A stoop in New Jersey where a man died convulsing, begging 'not in front of the kids.'

I hope in this world of ghosts you are not lonely.

I can only stay a moment more. The pyre is burned, the heat has fled. The cold and damp creep up again, as they always will. But I will make this promise, the same promise I make every year:

I will speak the truth of how you died, in the face of lies.

And I will never forget you.


Goodnight, children.




Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: cowardly lion on April 20, 2007, 05:40:42 am
Nothing to add.
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Pagan on April 20, 2007, 05:47:49 am
The memorial that should have been...
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: rick on April 20, 2007, 05:58:49 am
A darn good piece.

A++ ;)
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Bill St. Clair on April 20, 2007, 06:33:58 am
I got chills. Then tears. Thank you, George.
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Vrsovice Rebel on April 20, 2007, 06:37:30 am
Nothing to say to that one, GR, except Damn.
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Bill St. Clair on April 20, 2007, 06:45:40 am
Posted at http://billstclair.com/blog/gloryroad/pyre.html
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: rick on April 20, 2007, 06:54:18 am
Posted at:  http://de.liberty.li/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=44
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Joel on April 20, 2007, 10:27:22 am
Excellent, dude.
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Tahn L. on April 20, 2007, 12:47:46 pm
Thank you!

For remembering, for writing, for sharing!
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on April 21, 2007, 01:23:47 am
Wow!
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: George Potter on April 22, 2007, 01:10:05 am

Thanks guys. This is the first thing I've written in longhand in quite a while. I wrote it by the fire I talked about. For the past few years it has been my tradition to burn a little fire in remembrance of the Waco victims.

It is the children that haunt me the most. To me, the entire purpose of civilization is to protect and nurture children. Any killer of children, be they government agent or private citizen, declares themselve to be the mad dog and deserves no better treatment.
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on April 22, 2007, 01:37:17 am

Thanks guys. This is the first thing I've written in longhand in quite a while. I wrote it by the fire I talked about. For the past few years it has been my tradition to burn a little fire in remembrance of the Waco victims.

It is the children that haunt me the most. To me, the entire purpose of civilization is to protect and nurture children. Any killer of children, be they government agent or private citizen, declares themselve to be the mad dog and deserves no better treatment.

Which reminds me of a tagline I used to see on a mailing list some time back,  by a guy who I haven't bumped into online in quite a while.  It said:  "Why is Lon Horiuchi Still Breathing?"
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Pagan on April 22, 2007, 04:33:58 am
George,

Your Prologue was perfect for Symbols Flow. May I use Pyre for the Epilogue?
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: George Potter on April 22, 2007, 04:52:01 am
George,

Your Prologue was perfect for Symbols Flow. May I use Pyre for the Epilogue?

Sure. That's a good idea. :)

And the hush account isn't working. I keep getting an error in gmail. We have three options:

1) You can get a gmail account.

2) I can burn you a CD.

3) I can upload the pics to lulu myself once you are ready for them.

The gmail would probably be the simplest, since I figure that you might want to play around with the covers some.

Let me know.

BTW, I had to rewrite my acknowledgments. It got erased somehow. And the Apocrypha will be much smaller because one of my old forums has disappeared completely and the other crashed so severely that out of 1592 posts I only have 14 left. :(

But, oh well. :P
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Pagan on April 22, 2007, 06:12:10 am
GET A MEMORY KEY (oops, sorry for yelling -- my finger slipped on the caps key. :-) ) ... and put your works on it!

I'll get back to you about the account.
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: George Potter on April 22, 2007, 03:14:25 pm
GET A MEMORY KEY (oops, sorry for yelling -- my finger slipped on the caps key. :-) ) ... and put your works on it!


I have a USB drive that I store all my writing in, on a Puppy Linux build, and wear everywhere. In fact, if you look at the picture in "The A Is For Anarchy" you can see it hanging around my neck. I also use the massive storage space of gmail as a secondary backup. I back up once a week.

The stuff for 'Apocrypha' was mainly just one off forum posts that I wrote on the fly...mainly humor and parody. I'm certainly not going to back up every post I make to forums. I'm not that egotistical. :P
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Lazarus Long on April 22, 2007, 10:02:40 pm
Thanks for that poignant reminder, George.

BTW, I had to rewrite my acknowledgments. It got erased somehow. And the Apocrypha will be much smaller because one of my old forums has disappeared completely and the other crashed so severely that out of 1592 posts I only have 14 left. :(

But, oh well. :P

Have you tried the Wayback Machine at http://www.archive.org, to see if perhaps they've got mirrors of the forums that went down?

PM if I can help.

Lazarus
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Plinker-MS on April 23, 2007, 12:18:33 am
Good stuff, George.

...added to the Best of George Potter (https://thementalmilitia.com/forums/index.php?topic=11411.msg147814#msg147814) thread.  A few days late.
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: George Potter on April 23, 2007, 12:26:28 am
Thanks for that poignant reminder, George.

BTW, I had to rewrite my acknowledgments. It got erased somehow. And the Apocrypha will be much smaller because one of my old forums has disappeared completely and the other crashed so severely that out of 1592 posts I only have 14 left. :(

But, oh well. :P

Have you tried the Wayback Machine at http://www.archive.org, to see if perhaps they've got mirrors of the forums that went down?

PM if I can help.

Lazarus

That might work for one of the forums. Unfortunately, the other was a private club type deal. Thanks for the reminder about the Wayback. :)

Quote
Good stuff, George.

...added to the Best of George Potter thread.  A few days late.

Thankee, Plink. :)
Title: Re: Pyre
Post by: Ghost on April 28, 2007, 12:54:19 am
Beautiful, dark, and stirring, thanks as always for sharing your talents George