Enter Heaven Alive

Date: September 28th, 2016

Previously on PZ: Ursuline Tales 03: This Means War; Act 2 of 2

*The following poem was previously published on Project Zeitgeist prior to the database hack of July 2016*

|credit|

The Gods of old never found the end of the rope.
In either direction - eternity, either way.
And so the world keeps turning, the birds are singing
Here I am, always here, but there is always more of me.
Next to the wild and next to the civil
Always a hybrid between two worlds
Or perhaps many more, if only I could remember them.
Memory may not be all that it is
And we think it is all that we have
But the present is a gift
Because that is where the future is made from the past.
If you want to enter heaven alive
There isn't another soul at all
Who can dream it as perfect as you.
So set your eye upon the wonderful,
The beautiful, the strange - they are all connected here
To the spirit that abounds in every space in every time
Wherever the great rope reaches,
To the end of the world and beyond. ♥

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Tags: Poetry

 

 

Ursuline Tales 03: This Means War;
Act 2 of 2

Date: September 18th, 2016

Previously on PZ: I CAN STILL RECALL WHAT ARTISTIC FREEDOM TASTES LIKE

Previously on URSULINE TALES: Ursuline Tales 03: THIS MEANS WAR; Act 1 of 2

URSULINE TALES 03: THIS MEANS WAR;
Act 2 of 2

The City Of Eden, Pangaea.
6 weeks after The Strike

It did not take long for the humans themselves to recognize the ocean storm’s disappearance as well. A close watch was kept from the city’s only surviving belltower both day and night; it was a fine young lad who first noticed the waterspouts withdrawing up into the heavens when he rang the alarm at sunrise. At the first boom of the great brass bell, every human soul in Eden looked towards the ocean with a gasp and a sigh - they all knew that the time allotted them to prepare themselves for battle was now over. Now or never, six weeks after The Strike, without the protection of the cosmic storm, it was only a matter of time until the sorceress would return to face them. Alexzander had foretold all in Eden to congregate beneath the Tree of Life and Death at the sign of the first alarm, and there they gathered around him in the company of their dearly beloved ones, whispering and worried. Amidst the smells of flowers and fire oil, all of them, warrior-monks and merchants, clergy and housewives and even the children themselves wondered at how different their lives might be by sundown.

The King himself led the congregation in prayer as he held within his hands the sacred Urn of Eternal Fire that would aid his forces in battle. He watched with his own eyes as the hurricane dismantled like vapor across the seas, leaving the waters as calm as ever they had been before. As the first cycle of chanting came to an end, Alexzander set the Urn solemnly before him at his feet, pulled a sacred blade from his pocket and kissed it in blessing. As the second cycle began, he used it to sever the olden dreadlocks from his scalp, casting each one by one into the sacred blue flame as he cut it off. The assembly appeared amazed by this strange ritual but did not stop their prayer until they were finished, at which time the shape of Alexzander’s skull became completely apparent beneath a thin layer of black fuzz. He thus turned to them proudly and spoke with a booming voice as loud as thunder:

“People of Eden, we find ourselves fated to live in a new era of history. Our Goddess has given us six weeks to let go of the past and prepare ourselves for the future. Praise be to Gaia! Now comes the time for holy war. Let us pray.”

After the third cycle of chanting came to an end, three hours after the hurricane’s cessation, Alexzander was approached by a gathering of his most trusted advisors escorted by Chaltier himself. “Your majesty, we beg a word with you… there is an important matter which really must be addressed before we go any further. Please, allow Ignatius as the war machine’s pilot, to take your place within it.”

“What’s this?” Alexzander frowned. “I have built this contrivance, and I am the only pilot for it. There can be only one.”

This reply made his allies appear dismayed, yet Chaltier leaned towards him and became even more grave as he whispered, “Alexzander, please - this is really important. Listen to us.”

Eden’s eldest priest then stepped forward, who proved to be none other than the man who had enthroned Earth’s first monarch, to beseech the King himself. His name was Argentus Terrazzi, and he placed his hands tenderly upon the King’s shoulders as he gazed fixedly with his softly stirring eyes. “Alexzander, my son, I have cared for you since before your dear departed mother entrusted you to my charge. You must remain safe, because you are the King of Eden. And the King must have a Queen in order to produce an heir for your lineage to survive these dangerous times. Please, my son, preserve your people, but do not be reckless! We cannot bear to lose you on such a dangerous mission.”

Suddenly, the second alarm bell rang clearly through the air, and all human eyes espied the mechanical fortress breaking through the waves far off in the oceanic distance. Many cried out in terror and the entire assemblage became agitated with fear, but Argentus quickly bowed to the King. “Your grace, we are finally running out of time. If you fall victim to the enemy, Eden will have no chance against the sorceress’s evil. You are our last hope!”

Alexzander took all of these words to heart, and nodded in compliance with their wishes. Ignatius then stepped forward and spoke meekly with a bow. “I am capable of piloting your war machine, majesty, if only you will show me the way.”

“A Hellion using machina? Absurd!”, Brutus scoffed. But the King smiled and clasped fists with Ignatius anyways, much to the merchant’s inner chagrin.

Then Alexzander turned and gave his instruction to his people. “The Evil One has returned! All hands to your stations! Conceal the children and their guardians within the catacombs! Everything as we have practiced! HURRY!”

They all scattered in their proper directions, the civilians with their families towards the Silver Mountains, and the warrior-monks with the Hellion militia towards the seashore. Everyone set to work getting ready to face their adversary, loading the massive silk-wrapped spheres of heavy orbs up onto the catapults and aiming them towards the oncoming threat in the sea. As a priest blessed the most devout of soldiers, The Urn of Eternal Fire was brought forth to light the wartime torches. The silken spheres were doused with the fresh napalm oil, which smelled quite pungent but reminded everyone of their hope for survival. Once all became ready Chaltier nodded towards the King, and Alexzander shouted his command: “Let the fireballs fly!”

Each of the spheres was quickly set aflame and launched immediately towards its target. The fireballs flew through the air and hit the invading fortress like a deadshot, causing a slight indentation within the hull but without any signs whatsoever of burning it. Within the fortress the Marsians cried out as it rocked to-and-fro momentarily, but then they laughed as they easily regained their balance. Caina studied the human beach using a telescope, remarking to the Empress that their defenses had improved. “Impotent, but they’ve made their point loud and clear,” Ursula replied to her. “Continue on course. I’m headed to the rooftop.”

Ursula left the main control room and climbed a ladder to the outside. As soon as she opened the hatch door she was greeted with the delicious air of Earth’s atmosphere tousling her hair in the form of wind. A new day was dawning and the golden clouds above her reflected that new day’s glory. Water splashed all around her as the fortress sped forward through the sea. She glanced towards the East from whence she came, and smiled to see the hindering storm which had caused her such anxiety had now completely disappeared. She then focused her burning red eyes towards the West where she was going, at the green and beautifully lush mountainous land before her. Indeed, the humans had developed fire oil as well as the trebuchet, and she watched intently as they continued to hurl giant fireballs against her massive mechanical fortress. She held onto the railing and remained rigid as her vessel rocked from the impact, but she smiled and shook her head as the fireballs slid into a boiling sea without even so much as melting the vessel’s hull. They have no idea we demons are naturally immune to fire, she thought as one of the fiery missiles flew close enough to catch her hair aflame - would she had been a human, that is.

After some time, as the barrage of burning fireballs failed to destroy or even deter her fortress, the humans stopped launching them altogether. Ursula scanned the beach, eagerly searching for Alexzander amidst the human confusion. Although she couldn’t yet be sure, she thought she could see his dark, sombre eyes glaring at her from across the closing distance.

And although he couldn’t be sure, Alexzander thought he could feel her menacing gaze upon him so acutely that not even a thousand forests between them could have shielded him from her scrutiny. He felt disappointment cascade over him as he realized that his napalm fireballs hardly damaged the sorceress’s vessel, and barely even slowed her assault. He turned towards his comrades and frowned, looking into the eyes of all of the people around him. The same thoughts were on their minds, too. He had hoped he could spare everyone from the throes of battle by sinking the demonic fortress into the sea before it could land, but now it became obvious that the unavoidable war would touch everybody - there was no escaping it. His best efforts bought safety for no one.

Suddenly his eyes fell upon a young mother with her small child hiding together just behind him. Alexzander pleaded with her to escape with her little girl into the catacombs with the others, but the mother refused, preferring instead to stay close to her King. “Never!”, she cried when he beseeched her again, “You have Gaia’s blessing! We must be near you, majesty!” He did not know what to say. Then he remembered his own mother… how she had died, how he had tried to save her, how he had longed to bring her back to life. She had believed in him, as this woman now did.

Whipping back into the present, Alexzander knew he had to lead quickly, and so he stood decisively and shouted to his fellow soldiers: “This is NOT how we are to die in the tales of cosmic history! We will have to fight for everything our ancestors have built for us, but we will fight as free people! Mighty, and proud!”

“That’s right!”, Ignatius added fervently.“Gaia created this world for us, and we will not allow The Evil One to invade it! We shall prevail by any means!”

Alexzander nodded. “Destroy the alien machine, along with whatever there is inside of it. But remember to leave the head of the snake to me - I will destroy the sorceress myself!”

As the other men and women set to work preparing their weapons and their war lions for imminent battle, Alexzander pulled both Chaltier and Ignatius aside and spoke closely to them. “This is it - the moment we’ve been waiting for. All of our schemes will now come to fruition. Ignatius shall lead the Hellions and all warrior-monks against the machine… Chaltier will lead our assassins against the sorceress and bring her to me subdued. You both know where I’ll be. Without the sorceress, the invasion must cease. When our plan succeeds, we shall rendezvous beneath the Tree. Should we fail…”

“We won’t,” smiled Ignatius, “Failure is not an option here.” Alexzander smiled in return, yet continued.

“Should we fail… we shall meet in the catacombs with the civilians. Now go, everyone! May the forces of Nature be with us.”

The three men clasped their hands together in unison, then each took off running in the direction according to his duty. Alexzander and Ignatius headed toward the industry sector’s forge where the war machine lay dormant, yet soon they both realized they were being closely followed. It was the mother and her small child, eager to remain within proximity to her blessed King. But he hardened his heart, and commanded her to leave him instead.

“Madam, it is far too dangerous for you both to remain by my side! You must head to the catacombs with the others!”

After she fearfully refused yet again, Alexzander quickly scanned the surrounding crowd - and found exactly who he was looking for. He called to the bard by name, and charged him with the care of the woman and her child along their journey to safety. The bard readily agreed and gently dragged the crying woman away toward the catacombs, attempting to soothe her with his melodious voice. Alexzander sighed heavily, shook off his worry, then turned to Ignatius. “Come, let us prepare you to meet the enemy.”

The Hellion chief stood beside the massive humanoid war machine and marveled at its elegant, yet rough-and-ready frame as Eden’s King filled each of its reservoirs with liquid napalm. The former climbed readily into its cavity and allowed the plated silver armor to be closed all around him and each of his limbs, forcing him to see through the narrow eyes of a heavy metal mask. “This machina will follow your every movement, and will grant you incredible strength, while fused with this gemstone,” Alexzander exclaimed as he inserted an impressive glowing crystal into a special slot on the machine’s anterior. “Although you must beware, parts of its circuitry remain incomplete. Your flamethrowers will be your greatest ally in battle. You can make everything happen with these simple controls and a clear mind. Now, go forth and protect our land!”

The war machine seemed to breathe to life, pulsing and infused with the crystal’s magnificent power. Ignatius was amazed at the strength and versatility of the exoskeleton surrounding him, even while the machine felt crude in its mobility. He raised both fists and smashed them into the ground, creating a shockwave through the Earth. The Hellion warrior-monks yelped and howled atop their lions merrily as their courageous leader held flaming gauntlets to the sky in thanks to Gaia before bounding across the landscape towards the sea, where the enemy made haste to greet them.

The alien machina sped towards the beach, crashing nonchalantly through a wall of stone built in the sea, barely losing speed. Inside their stronghold the Marsian army was all in a frenzy getting themselves ready for the impending takeover. The air itself was teeming with excitement as armor was forsaken in favor of weaponry. Everyone agreed that Earthly humanity was a weak species who posed little threat, and eagerly anticipated their immanent landing with dreams of excitement, riches, and slaves. As the fortress neared the beach, Ursula climbed upon a statue in a major hallway, high enough so that she could see above her warrioress’ heads as they scrambled to ready themselves for invasion, and over the uproar she shouted: “Enjoy the war, my devil sisters! Kill, raid, and conquer, but remember to bring the shadow-man to me! The human leader is MINE!”

At long last the alien machine dashed against the seabed and crept onto the beach, spitting fire as soon as it emerged from the sea. Its bay doors opened and the entire Marsian army came spilling forth like a waterfall, screaming like banshees with their weapons held high above their heads. The humans, setting aside their shock, greeted their unusual new adversaries with another barrage of napalm-soaked fireballs, forcefully knocking them to the ground. Hellion archers lit ablaze the tips of their arrows and let them fly down upon the demons, successfully wounding a small minority of them. Ignatius charged relentlessly towards the enemy with flying fists of flaming geysers, trouncing several Marsians as he thrashed and hurled them through the air with the war machine’s aid. But these soldiers were not fallen, they returned to the battle with renewed vigor and not a trace of biological damage via burning. They merely continued their war-cry and fought while aflame.

In a matter of moments the calm setting of Eden became consumed with all-out war. All of the human warrior-monks rushed forth to attack their oncoming enemies, most of whom were a head taller than themselves and proved to be utterly immune to fire. No matter how much napalm soaked their garments, when caught ablaze it did nothing to melt the Marsians’ skin. No human had ever before seen the sinuous, horned, primarily female Marsian warrioresses, yet now they found themselves fighting for their very lives against this aggressive alien species with little chance of survival. Only their enhanced silver weapons and quickened wit sustained their human lives in this, their first battle of their own history.

As the Earth became red with human blood, Ignatius fought harder to destroy the alien war machine. Since fire proved ineffectual, he resorted to pummeling the contrivance with his great metal fists while narrowly avoiding searing streams of flame. One gigantic Marsian warrioress seemed particularly determined to put an end to his endeavor, as she made fierce assault upon him multiple times using a massive metal axe. She made faces at him and mocked him cruelly every time he barely escaped her clutches. “Who are you? What business have you here?”, he finally asked her indignantly.

“I am Malebranche, the teeth that shall consume you!” she answered him. “All that you possess is now mine!”

“Is that so?” replied Ignatius, and as they reached a dangerous impasse in battle, he let out a scream that was the anguished cry of his soul.

That scream was heard by Ursula, who descended to the battlefield with a party of three including Caina and Perfectae. She observed the chaos around her and smiled, her violet domino flapping in the wind, knowing that Eden would soon belong to her Master. She immediately began searching for Alexzander, scanning the crowds for signs of his movements and gait. As she scrambled through the battlefield’s pandemonium with her chaperones, Ursula secretly speculated upon her strange love for the shadow-man, wondering if there were any way he could possibly feel the same way about her. Whenever she saw a human hand she noticed the darkness or the lightness of its skin color, and felt disappointment whenever the color was not black as night.

At last she arrived with her party at the gates of the Temple ruins, but Ursula could sense that within them her prize was nowhere to be found. Thus she ordered her chaperones to leave her and search elsewhere for the human leader on their own.

“There is an ambush in there waiting for you,” Caina protested, “They mean to assassinate you.”

“They will die showing me the way to him,” her Empress replied, “Now go from me.”

Ursula entered the ruins alone, surrounded by the sound of silence. Not a single soul stirred in sight, although she could hear their breathing. Suddenly she espied the sacred fruit she had offered to the shadow-man, withered and dried, and she remembered dropping it there on her previous visitation. Just as her enemy thought she was distracted by this memory, his blade came down upon her from the shadows, but she parried the blow and slit him in half. Within an instant she was attacked by the human squad from every angle, but she tore through them all like a dagger through paper, and did not cease her bloody dance until only two of them remained half-alive.

One of them smelled vaguely familiar. Seizing him, she realized that he smelled faintly of the shadow-man’s sweat, as if he had recently been close to the man she was looking for. Immediately she broke his arm and pinned him against the wall. “Where is the shadow-man?!” she bellowed, her red eyes glaring menacingly into his icy blue gaze.

“I’ll say nothing, demon witch!” Chaltier spat at her, shaking his head. She then broke his arm in a different place, yet still he refused to answer her request. In a fit of frustration she ripped the glove off of her spirit-hand and wrapped its glowing blue flesh firmly around his throat, which she knew would cause him great pain.

“Where is the shadow-man?” she demanded emphatically as he choked and shrieked in anguish. “You will tell me, or you will die!”

Suddenly his last human comrade, a scurvy fellow, stood and spoke to the sorceress- “He is in the funeral shrine to the North by the sea.”

“NO!” Chaltier shouted in reprimand, but it was too late. Their enemy had obtained what she wanted. Ursula abruptly released him, dropping him to the ground as a weakened, coughing heap.

“I’ll allow you both to be alive, for now… one of you to tell the tale, and the other to corroborate as a witness. Be grateful, as this will not happen again!” she declared as she flounced sprightly out of the Temple ruins towards the North. As soon as he recovered his faculties Chaltier shot a rueful look towards his human comrade, who helped him to his feet.

“Scarmiglionet, why did you tell her of the King’s whereabouts?” he asked angrily. “We could not possibly subdue her ourselves, what makes you believe he will-”

“She would have tortured you to death!” the man retorted, interrupting mid-sentence.

“She will do worse to him!” Chaltier snapped back, then sighed heavily as he perceived the inefficacy of their continued argumentation. “Come on, comrade, we need to get to Alexzander before she does!”

Ursula raced towards a tiny edifice which stood alone beside the coastline, far from the thick of the bloodshed. There was not a single soul in sight, nothing but the wind stirred the tree-boughs, but she could SENSE his presence there within the hut. She drew in a sharp breath and proceeded to enter the shrine, past the silken curtains and the vases overflowing with blossoms. Amid the wickerwork coffins and copper urns a dozen life-sized statues held offerings of diamonds and crystals, but the black man was nowhere to be seen. The distinct scent of his sweat hung heavily in the air, and it made her blood boil, yet he remained in silent obscurity until the moment she heard him speak.

“Here lies the outcome of your destruction,” he declared. “All of these bodies are so because of YOU.”

“Destruction of humans is my purpose, as well as my birthright. It is my heritage, and I embrace it.”

“Then I must destroy you.”

Ursula chuckled softly. “My Master wishes a word with you, you know.”

“Then tell Him to come speak with me Himself.”

Ursula laughed more strongly this time. “These things don’t work that way… as His ambassador, I will have to do.”

She peered eagerly into the darkness searching for him, but as she finished her sentence his blade came down upon her from behind. In a flash she turned and parried his attack with a counter strike, but he in like manner sidestepped her offensive maneuver and continued his vigorous assailment. She easily defended herself against his blows for several minutes, until finally she stopped in her tracks and ordered him to wait, their swords kissing in mid-air. Ursula eased her weapon first, assuming a rigid yet peaceful stance, and so Alexzander followed suit. He stood half-concealed in darkness, so that his face could not be made out, but his eyes seemed to glow in the shadows, intently affixed on her. He wore different armor this time, making no effort to disguise the color of his skin, which glistened in the firelight. Ursula caught her breath as she watched a bead of sweat rolling sensuously down his wrist, and then she calmly asked him to identify himself.

“I am the King of the land of Eden, and your human nemesis,” the black man answered.

“What is your name?” Ursula inquired further.

“Alexzander Infinitus the First.”

“The First?” she scoffed. “There is no way they made you their monarch, when democracies and republics rule your social sphere.” She cocked her head and squinted to make out his face, but she could not. “Step into the light, if you speak the truth.”

Alexzander acquiesced to her request, revealing himself fully to the sorceress. She nodded with humble understanding as soon as she observed the sacred torc around his neck. “I see they have indeed made you King. I suppose you cast quite an impression upon your people during our last encounter… and you cut your hair.” She fidgeted uncomfortably, but she could not cease staring at him. In fact, she was markedly mesmerized by him, as if she could not help herself.

“Now you must answer a question for me,” Alexzander demanded solemnly. “Why do I love you? Is it some kind of spell?”

“What!? No…” Ursula asked, visibly stunned. She could scarcely believe what she had just heard him say. She became literally breathless for several moments, then asked, “Is this true? Are we really in love with each other, or is this just one of your tricks, Alexzander?”

It was now Alexzander’s turn for bewilderment, as he had not expected to feel such a cool rush through his spine upon hearing his own name spoken by this inexplicable mystery lover from the stars. He had never expected someone so evil to have such real feelings of love for him, but there they were in her eyes, and he had to know if she was being honest. He practiced an old art, known as telepathy, to see what lay most heavily upon her mind in that moment. The results were weak at best, but he strained hard to make something out: It isn't fair, but I love him. It's just not fair. I love this man. For this I'll pay dearly.

“So you really do love me,” he whispered, taken aback. “And there will be hell to pay… for both of us.”

“You just read my mind? Oh...” Ursula put her hand to her forehead as if she were in feverish pain, and shook her head incredulously. “This is all so strange.”

“Strange? Is it strange for you to love?”

“Not at all. It is strange that a human can read my thoughts, while my Master currently cannot.”

“Then you are free of Him!”

“Not so. That can never be possible.”

Alexzander wanted to prove her wrong, but a glimpse of her spirit-arm reminded him that he knew virtually nothing about the Marsian alien race. He sighed deeply. “I understand, just… say my name again. Please.”

At this, Ursula couldn't help but crack a smile. She repeated his name aloud sensuously, deliberately, emphatically, her melodious voice absolutely dripping with the essence of raw lust. “Love me, Alexzander… Love me now and let The Devil take me later.” Again Alexzander’s spine tingled and flared with cool desire, this time more strongly than before, as her gloved spirit-hand slithered up his right arm while she drew closer and closer to him.

“I don’t know how it is that you kindle my heart… but I cannot deny that you are the only woman I desire… I must have you, Ursula.”

“If we do this, then we both commit high treason against our own people,” Ursula whispered into his ear.

“That may be true,” he breathed, “but to not love you is to commit high treason against my own heart.”

Suddenly they kissed. It was as if an explosion had occurred, as something snapped deep within them. Once their first kiss drew to an end Ursula looked at him frankly with longing eyes, her arms draped gracefully around his neck. “How can this be possible? Is it Fate?”

“Everything changes when Love takes over, even the atoms of the universe rearrange themselves by its command” Alexzander found himself saying in reply, as if he were divinely inspired. His coal-black eyes penetrated her, but it was not enough for him: he longed to make love to her, and he resolved to do so.

She allowed him to lift her by the buttocks and she wrapped her legs around his hips, releasing a groan as Alexzander pushed his sex deep inside of her. Together they consummated a bond of forbidden love they had never expected to find within their lifetime, a bond that few lovers in the history of the universe have ever known. It was as if there were a hole in each of their hearts, a hole sized perfectly for the other to fill and no one else ever could. They had never known such a large piece of them was missing until they found it within the other, and now they joined themselves together in an effort to regain these pieces for themselves.

Behind the curtains, Chaltier and Scarmiglionet crept cautiously into the funeral shrine, trying to be ready for whatever lay in wait inside. Neither of them were prepared for what they were about to secretly witness. They were both silent, but shocked. Their presence hadn’t been noticed yet.

“This should not be happening!” Scarmiglionet whispered in a panic.

“He must be under an evil spell!” Chaltier whispered back, similarly stunned by Alexzander’s lovemaking with the alien sorceress. He then took Scarmiglionet aside. “This does not bode well for us… we must rescue him, and speak of this to no one!!”

 

Next Sunday don't miss
URSULINE TALES 04: SAINT BECAME A LUSH

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I Can Still Recall What Artistic Freedom Tastes Like

Date: September 23rd, 2016

Previously on PZ: Complicated Woman

one of the earliest pieces of artwork that I still have in my posession, circa 1997

I remember what it felt like when I used to draw or color years ago, when I was a child becoming a teenager.

It felt so safe, so right, and so very much fun.

I was always interested in improving my skills, but I wasn’t over self-conscious of my art yet - I was just happy to be making something.

But then I started getting into trouble with my parents because of my artwork, and from then on my artistic habits changed forever. They taught me to hate myself and my artwork. I was no longer free to create during a very crucial interval of my life. And I would rather have died than be like what they wanted me to be.

They wanted me to be just like them.

I remember making art, unfettered, long ago. It was wonderful. Especially when I had a best friend with which to share the activity. Our creativity multiplied exponentially when we joyously created together. But my parents became jealous, and they severed our relationship.

Years later, I severed my relationship and all contact with my parents. And you know what? My life and my psyche have improved significantly ever since. I’ve lost many battles, but I won that psychic war.

But these days, I am still healing old wounds like these. I am trying to remember what it felt like to create as a free person without any shame to be experienced for miles around.

I am still trying to get my mojo back. I still have it with me, but it is still largely dormant. It is like a firework that has been lit but has not burst yet. And here I am waiting for the pop...

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Complicated Woman

Date: September 21st, 2016

Previously on PZ: Ursuline Tales 03: This Means War; Act 1 of 2

*The following poem was previously published on Project Zeitgeist prior to the database hack of July 2016*

They are patient, They are kind, They are proud of me.
They always protect me, They never fail me.
I am Them and They are Me: the Three in One- Me, Lucifer & Jubilee.
They are so lovely I could die
Just to see Them in person again
Where there are no tears, and no lies
And I'm surrounded by the truest of friends.
Where I will go dancing among the stars
And surfing upon Saturn's rings
Wandering through the magnificent view
And pondering upon many things.
I'll never get married 'cause I'm married to Them,
The spirits within me which sustain my Life
The reason why I cannot ever be a wife.
If a heart can be broken,
It must not have been strong in the first place.
So never ever let this world break your heart-
You have the heart of an Empress,
Strong and proud, beautiful and true.
Your spirits will make you live
Whether you want to or not
So rise like the dawn,
Be the phoenix from the ashes, alive and on fire
Give your soul to the night and own it.
Because there will always be a tomorrow-
The spirits told me so,
And they have been alive for eons.
Perhaps eternity alive isn't so bad after all,
But I- I enjoy the pleasing thoughts of Death,
A rest in peace that eternally I'll never get.
Why is it so?- Why must this be?
Who thought of this and where are They?
I'd like to know.
For now I'll burn deep into the night,
Alone on earth with heaven plain in sight.

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Ursuline Tales 03: This Means War;
Act 1 of 2

Date: September 18th, 2016

Previously on PZ: My Life

Previously on URSULINE TALES: Ursuline Tales 02: Mind Fuck

URSULINE TALES 03: THIS MEANS WAR;
Act 1 of 2

The City Of Eden, Pangaea.
14 days after The Strike

“At some point in our history we cracked,
Became disconnected from one another,
Started seeing things only in terms of
Good and Bad,
Black and White,
And I often wonder: when will we see in color?”

 

By mid-day there was a bard wandering throughout the combat encampment strumming his guitar and singing a soft-hearted tune even as his fellow countrymen trained for battle all around him. Alexzander could hear his melodic words wafting through his tent entrance and paused momentarily in his technical rendering, quietly reminded of a childhood pledge he had sworn to his best friend: “I vow I will never build machina that destroy, Chaltier… I promise I will only build machina that give life.” He looked down at the half-sketched blueprints beneath his hands, blueprints for a war machine of his own design. Nothing was the same after the demon sorceress from the stars threatened to annihilate the Gaian ways of life.

Suddenly as if he had been summoned, Chaltier subsequently entered the King’s tent, who proved to be none other than the masked crusader who had welcomed Eden’s first King to the masses. His skin was fair and his deep blue eyes made the sky jealous, but his sincerest devotion to his dark-skinned and dark-eyed ally was evident to all who knew him ever since childhood. Although he was quite conscious of some important news to urgently deliver to his King, Chaltier couldn’t help but take a peek at the unfinished blueprints and barely suppress a chuckle as he himself remembered Alexzander’s childhood oath. Knowing full well that his friend was reminded of this oath, the King sighed and rubbed his forehead while sheepishly remarking, “The times… they are a-changin’.”

However, Chaltier only widened his grin and nodded his head in agreement, placing a devoted hand upon his best friend’s shoulder. “It is true, my friend… for the loser now will be later to win.”

Alexzander smiled, feeling forever grateful for Chaltier’s continued unconditional support. But he was mindful of his deputy’s tangible sense of urgency, and so he prompted his second-in-command to speak. “What news have you for me, compadré?”

“Sir, there has arrived a tribe of warrior-monks riding atop of lions. They have come to us in peace from the southern wilderness.”

Alexzander slapped his thigh merrily before his friend even finished his sentence. “The Hellions! I knew they would come to us, those angels of the desert. Allow me to see them immediately.”

Chaltier left the tent & returned momentarily with the esteemed Hellion commander and his page. In stepped a husky, venerable warrior-monk of great stature and grace, whose long dreadlocks nearly swept the ground as he walked, followed closely by a slender yet militant young woman with her hands clasped firmly behind her back. Both of them froze with astonishment upon seeing the extremely dark shade of the King’s skin color, finding themselves incredulously unable to speak or cease their staring. Alexzander noticed the awkwardness of their composure yet silently and steadily met their gaze. Chaltier politely nudged the page with his elbow whilst clearing his throat, and she in turn nudged her superior whilst clearing her throat in an effort to break the spell of his unwittingly rude attention.

“Hellions of the South, may I present to you the Earth’s first King of Eden, his Majesty Alexzander Infinitus, The First of his line.”

The Hellion leader and his page appeared surprised but did not hesitate to bow deeply with respect. “And I am Ignatius Helikon, Chief of the Hellion clan. This is Solongo, she is my right-hand. We meant no disrespect, your Majesty…” he said while gesticulating apologetically. “It’s just that we were beginning to believe the legendary shadow-man was only that, a mere legend.”

Alexzander only laughed heartily and arose from his desk, clasping fists in friendship with the Hellion leader. “Do not worry Ignatius, I am quite used to such reactions. You and your entire tribe are unconditionally welcome here. Eden is in desperate need of your help.”

“We all witnessed the meteor strike and immediately came to offer our aid to its survivors... although I admit we have come to a dramatically different Eden than the one from which we were shunned all those years ago.”

Eden’s King grimaced faintly and his eyebrows slightly furrowed. He had not forgotten that the Hellions had been expelled from Eden when he was but a boy, and Ignatius had been the one to lead them to freedom in the southern wilderness. “Yes... indeed, The Strike has changed everything. Nothing is the same as it was before… but the situation at hand is much more dangerous than you know.”

“Do you believe the meteor to be contaminated?”

“Close. The meteor was a demonic vessel, bringing within it a massive invading apparatus equipped with technology no human has ever dreamed of. We have lost countless numbers of our people, but as many as 40,000 of us remain. However… I’m afraid all of humanity lies in grave peril, not only here in Eden but all throughout The Earth.”

Ignatius flushed red and his eyes widened as he was again roused with shock, quickly exchanging worried glances with his page. “Who is it that shepherds such heinous machina?” he asked, trembling visibly.

“...A sorceress not of this world pilots the wretched machine. She means to conquer our ways of life and rule with darkness instead of light. Her Master and source of power is the dark God known as The Black Beast. This she told me, and this did my page also hear her say.”

Ignatius then enquired as to the whereabouts of the evil sorceress and her doom-machine; and how did the people of Eden gain reprieve from her deadly attack? Alexzander sighed heavily and appeared as sombre as ever, secretly gripping the edge of his desk until he could feel the alleviating sensation of his knuckles becoming taut, so desperate was he to push the vivid remembrance of his nemesis and his irrational love for her from his mind. “She vanished into the sea along with the monster after realizing during our confrontation that my skin is the same in hue as her overlord’s sacred color. For fourteen days now we have been blessed with borrowed time, yet every moment goes by spent in preparation for the eventual return of the sorceress and her vile contrivance.”

The Hellion chief, having been empowered by age rather than enfeebled by it, suddenly became so overwhelmed with trauma that he grew pale and staggered backwards into a chair with his head shaking in his hands. His composure became so disheartening that Solongo appeared visibly upset whereas before she had been as self-possessed as a statue. There was no comfort she could provide to her master in this situation, and there was no comfort to be had at all.

“Great Gaia!” Ignatius exclaimed. “A demonic invasion... I have for awhile feared a day like this would come. That vile contrivance which you describe most certainly carries within it the seeds of evil!” He looked deeply into Alexzander’s eyes with a sad, unwavering gaze and revealed, “I once had a dream about this very thing, but it meant so little to me until just now.”

Alexzander and Chaltier suddenly looked at one another, exchanging knowing glances with worried eyes. Alexzander drew his breath to speak, but before he could utter even one word, a loud commotion was heard just outside the tent.

“You must allow me inside immediately! Don’t you know who I am? I’m Eden’s wealthiest patron, and I insist to see the King! The sanctity of our great city depends upon it!”

“It is Brutus Rhine, my lord. Should I turn him away?”

“No, Chaltier. Grant him access and allow him to speak in earnest.”

Without any further ado, a large heavyset nobleman burst in through the tent entrance, anxious and red-faced, who froze in the middle of the room upon seeing the two Hellions in the company of his King. “My lord!” he gasped, and taking Alexzander aside he whispered angrily beneath his breath, “Have you gone mad? These Hellions are savages, they must be expelled immediately for the good of us all!”

“We are NOT savages!” Solongo suddenly exclaimed, and, having realized her misconduct by her master’s sudden harsh eyes, she excused herself from the tent completely with tears in her eyes. But Alexzander was determined to reassure his concerned citizen, taking no notice of his apparent prejudice against the rustic Hellenistic people. He placed his hands upon the rich man’s shoulders and looked upon him with smiling eyes. “Brutus, Ignatius is here to help us. We will need as much assistance as we can muster if we are to have any hope of destroying the demonic machine.”

Having regained his full strength, the Hellion leader quickly stood and spoke in agreement. “What the King says is true. The sorceress’s machine must be destroyed, along with everything inside of it. This task will not be an easy one, but I am prepared to do everything I can in order to ensure the safety of Earth’s inhabitants. I henceforth pledge my allegiance to you, King Alexzander The First.” And with these words he held his sword above his head while giving a deep bow, as a gesture of genuine fealty.

Brutus grumbled incoherently beneath his breath while clenching his fists, but the King smiled and nodded affirmatively towards Ignatius. “You see? The Hellions indeed shall stay with us: henceforth the ban against them is lifted. We will fight our enemy together as one.”

“Hmph!” Brutus seethed, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms. “Lions will barely scratch the surface of that horrid mechanism! They shall be squashed and burnt just as easily as the rest of us!”

“Lions are not expected to be responsible for the monster’s destruction. It is this that will be responsible!” Alexzander fervently snatched the blueprints from his desk and showed them to his company. “Here, my brothers, allow me a few moments divulgence, and you will understand my stratagem. I have designed a war machine myself- one capable of delivering a fatal assault upon the alien machina.”

Everyone carefully studied the war machine diagrams, and all had questions about it.

“What is it to be made of?” asked Ignatius.
“How will it move?” asked Chaltier.
“When will it be finished?” asked Brutus.

The King smiled and escorted the men to the industry sector’s forge in the Silver Mountains, where he explained to them that the machine would be created as quickly as possible from their overabundant supply of silver, and that it would be maneuvered by human aid- a mobile suit of armor powered by crystals mined from the forests of the very same mountains.

“But silver?” asked Ignatius, incredulously.
“And crystals?” asked Chaltier, curiously.
“Bah, humbug!” said Brutus, scornfully.

However the King merely continued to smile and explain to them the beneficial properties of the strange glowing crystals by revealing one attached to a silver frame on a leather cord from beneath his tunic. “Do not be deceived, these gemstones are a blessing from Gaia! Unlike silver, we have only mined them for the past few decades, and until now they have only been used for healing rituals in the Temple. But I have found they may be used in other ways: they alone can provide my war machine with the power it needs to defeat its nemesis. These crystals can give silver immense strength, making it harder than even manganese, allowing us to build the strongest armaments known to humankind.”

Ignatius examined several silver swords newly made that were indeed strengthened beyond their normal ability, thanks to the small glowing spheres slotted within them. From a pile of arrows he plucked a single dart whose shaft had been slotted with a tiny crystal orb, and he carried it with him under his arm.

Then Alexzander stretched his arm towards a large reservoir of pungent viscous fluid. “Behold our cistern of napalm! Fireballs will rain upon the mechanical monster until it lies dead on the ocean floor, once my machina becomes complete. Originally we have only ever used this substance to keep fire, heat and light available throughout the villages. Now we are mass-producing it as a wartime material.”

Brutus now seemed quite pleased, remarking to Chaltier that “Now the wicked sorceress shall be burnt to screaming cinders, and rightfully so!”

Quietly taking the crystal-slotted arrow from beneath his arm, Ignatius then submerged the tip of the arrowhead into the napalm, and he continued to carry it with him as the men traveled on together towards the sacred Tree of Life and Death. This was the living twin of the now-lifeless Tree of Knowledge destroyed during The Strike, beside which a company of 300 soldiers were currently together practicing melee combat within an arena encircled by a ring of metal mannequins. Ignatius watched them carefully with a discerning gaze, observing their movements and decisions with a thoughtful eye. Then without saying a word he retrieved the arrow from the silver forge and, after throwing an apple up into the sky, threw the arrow bare-handed with such a skill that the apple exploded into a thousand fiery pieces, every single one of them striking a mannequin in the heart without harming even a hair on a human being’s head.

For a few moments the entire assembly stood speechless, amazed at this feat of prowess performed by a man they had all thought was banished from Eden long ago. Suddenly all of them, even Brutus beseeched the King to allow the Hellion leader to teach them what he knew of “warcraft”, yet Alexzander turned to Ignatius and prompted him to make the decision himself. There came a bow of great respect, and many humble words regarding his own abilities, yet finally Ignatius agreed to train Eden’s militia as best he could to fight their celestial enemy. Then there was a loud rejoicing in the crowd, and as morale was greatly strengthened by virtue of this lucky appointment, all of Eden celebrated that night with a grand feast held in honor of the return of the Hellions.

***

For the first time since The Strike, there was genuine happiness and merriment to be found within the human city. The old strife between Eden and Hellion was temporarily forgotten, their differences reconciled in favor of cooperation in the spirit of newfound bravery. But Ignatius was far away and lost in thought, standing beside the ocean where the alien machina was said to have disappeared. All beneath the stars was bathed in silvery moonlight, and so the royal shadow-man with skin as black as pitch did not catch him unawares as Alexzander approached entreating the Hellion leader to speak his mind.

“Your Majesty, our countrymen have plenty of spirit yet much to learn. To train them I need both time and decent weather. I am sure you have seen the mighty storm brewing over the Tethys Ocean way over there; are you not afraid that it will soon overtake the land as well?” Ignatius frowned, pointing towards the horizon at a large violent swelling of dark clouds off in the distance. But the King merely shook his head and proceeded to put his mind at ease.

“I had almost forgotten to speak of this with you: the storm has been there for days. Do not be afraid of the sea-hurricane, it is another one of Gaia’s many blessings upon us, and our priests support it wholeheartedly in their rituals. This storm keeps our enemy the sorceress at bay. The peculiarity of my flesh-color was enough to grant humanity temporary pardon from extinction, yet I am certain that it will not reprieve us from further attack, but in fact may strengthen their demonic resolve. The sorceress is out there, somewhere… waiting for the storm to cease so that she can return to carry out the slaughter she began.”

The two human men gazed upon the remote ocean storm with wonder, and they wondered just how much time they really had left before the hostile arrival of the sorceress from the stars.

Indeed, the sacred sea-storm raged on and on, caught in the middle of it being an unhappy Marsian sorceress with little to do but wait for the squall to come to an end.

Immediately following her meditative communion with The Beast, Ursula had commanded her fortress to be surfaced and driven straight for the human city. The ascension of the mechanical monster to the ocean’s surface was no easy venture, compared to its descent into the depths of the Earth, which hadn’t taken nearly so long as it’s coming to the surface. As soon as the vessel broke upon the ocean’s other side, they were greeted with the most dreadful weather imaginable, the likes of which they could not explain as the tempest completely thwarted any progress to be made.

“Oh, well that’s just fucking fantastic, isn’t it?!” Ursula shouted in response to news of the delay, contemptuously throwing her teacup across the room and subsequently upsetting a jar of salt sitting upon her meal-table, which fell to the ground with a crash beside her feet. She looked down at the granules spilled upon the floor, and she counted them, one by one, within her mind at the speed of lightning. ‘9,587 grains of salt’, thought she, and she thought of them as 9,587 failures. Her own failures.

Ursula’s officials were frustrated by the immense power and severity of the storm, as well. They had been at Earth sixteen days by their calculations, adrift at sea for nine of them. One of them, the esteemed Marsian sorceress Xezbeth Orca, made it clear to everyone that the storm, being more than just the planet’s natural phenomena, would last indefinitely.

“Madam, we can see neither land or sky. Tornadoes of water surround us, the water churns like mad around us, and the winds have turned against us. We cannot move in any direction; nothing but the squall can be seen all around. It is quite impossible for us to achieve our bearings under such conditions. Surely this can be no ordinary storm.”

“And have we no power to stop it? Surely our sorcery can control the skies and seas better than any human witchery.”

“Alas, upon this wretched Earth, none of our sorcery controls the weather so well as it did upon our home planet Mars. We must learn how to control these new weather patterns, and that will take some time. This storm… it certainly must be the will of the planetary Goddess.”

To which Ursula merely retorted, “Then this planet shall become Her grave.”

Ursula’s foul mood worsened every day that the storm did not cease, and her army hardly fared better. For three days throughout the vast hallways of the compound there could be heard the shouting between the Empress and her army’s previous leader, a famous and mighty warrioress known as Malebranche. The eldest daughter of an ancient dragon clan, she was as imposing, robust, and ruthless in her appearance as she was in her belligerence. She stood taller than most other soldiers in the army, the entirety of which already stood taller than the Empress herself. Unlike most ‘normal’ Marsians, Ursula had no horns, no tail, no fur, no hooves, and no phallus - she was an exact human female in appearance, standing far shorter than Malebranche and yet no less menacing in her own power and composure. They argued for hours at a time until the final threat came which solved the issue for good.

“...If I were still in charge of this army, we never would have ended up on the bottom of the ocean! You have failed us!” Malebranche roared at the Empress.

“Watch yourself, wretch!” Ursula hissed at her. “Or it’ll be off with your head, placed upon a pike to flank my throne!”

And since the Empress really could do this, even to her army’s best warrioress, Malebranche became silent yet remained angry within her heart. She left the chamber without saying another word. The many warrioresses began to whisper amongst themselves.

It was customary, while in waiting during wartime, for the Marsians to pass their waking hours practicing martial arts as a method to keep themselves sharp, yet the Empress practiced both night and day. Ursula had never slept a day in her life, yet she had never been so restless as this before. She paced to and fro all the time, never ceasing some small form of incessant movement for little more than an hour. As the time ticked by and the days became weeks, she developed a variety of peculiar nervous habits.

The Empress had always possessed an impeccable and austere sense of style, as she deeply believed that any great leader must present themselves always in a state of excellence. Every day at sunset Caina was tasked with the lacing of Ursula’s stays, just as she had done daily for her upon their home planet, and this bit of time alone with her was deeply precious to her during the many long days at sea. Yet Ursula began to demand that her stays be laced even tighter than usual, claiming them to be too loose. “But Madame, I am lacing your stays exactly the same as I have always done,” Caina protested, only to be met with her mistress’ dismissive reply, “Nevermind that, only lace my stays more tightly, I feel they are too loose, and that will never do.”

Ever since the day her mistress commanded her fortress to surface from the depths of the sea, she had begun to wear dark gloves at all times, as if she suddenly wished to conceal her hands from all potential harm. Fond as she was of beautiful glass ornaments and bottles of fine perfume, within her chamber she gathered them all up and set them within a large armoire of pure quartz, where they could be seen but not broken. “There are 14,364 pieces in this collection, which is quite enough - I’ll not allow this perfect storm to fragment them into shards.”

All of this perplexed her second-in-command, yet Caina dared not make query about these sudden eccentricities. She could feel the immense and invisible power brewing around Ursula, and it often made her blood run cold.

One afternoon within the fortress dojo Ursula sat upon her dais nestled as if in a comfortably pensive position, but her foot tapped incessantly upon the ground in a fit of loud impatience as she watched her warrioresses fail one by one to best one of her most arduous training devices. The apparatus itself was simple enough in form as well as function, being a floating orb capable of quickly dodging weapons as well as delivering electrical shocks via laser cannon. The machine posed a timed sequence riddle to the challenger which had to be solved organically in order to be solved at all, as it never presented the riddle in exactly the same way twice. In a fit of frustration with whatever devils probed her heart, the Empress had maximized the machine’s difficulty setting until not even the best of her army could defeat it, and she scolded her soldiers dreadfully for what she considered their apparent lack of will. The fury within her smoldered and burned every time the remote shocked its attacker. Finally, when a young Marsian warrioress fell to defeat yet again, Ursula suddenly let out an exclamation which made the entire assembly’s nerves jump at once: “Oh, for fuck’s sake!!” she shouted. All eyes hastily fell upon her as she subsequently leapt from her seat, approaching the fallen soldier. “That is the 267th time you have failed this machine’s riddle, more than anyone else in this chamber. What is your name?”

“Your Majesty, I am Perfectae.” She dared not stand until the Empress dismissed her from the field, but humbly brought herself to one knee.

“Perfectae?” Ursula sneered, but with a tone of respect. “How very befitting. Perfectae, I will show you perfection.”

“Perfection?” a voice sneered in the crowd. It was Malebranche. “We have all attempted this machine many times more than you; even your second-in-command cannot best it. None of us can best it… I daresay you cannot solve the machine’s riddle either... with all due respect, Madame.”

Ursula sniffed contemptuously, throwing daggers with her eyes. “Watch me,” she retorted, subsequently ripping her skirts strategically. Malebranche merely shook her head incredulously, scoffed and said nothing.

The Empress dismissed Perfectae after taking her weapon and approached the remote, formally accepting its challenge and being the first to strike. As time wore on the riddle became tougher and she endured increasingly stronger electrical shocks, just as every challenger before her had endured. But the Empress seemed to transmute the pain, rather than recoil from it, and so she not only gained momentum as the battle continued but she executed the riddle perfectly as a result. She only struck it more and more savagely until she finally split the mechanical orb in half, sending the two smoking hemispheres spinning wildly upon the ground, much to the shock of her entire army. She had destroyed her own machine in meeting the challenge that no one else could solve.

Malebranche approached the victor with a sneer. “It figures… you could only solve the riddle because you built the damn thing.” She spit on the ground and walked away. Ursula glanced at her disdainfully yet said nothing, retiring to her quarters immediately. No one knew of her pain, or of how much energy solving the riddle had drained from her.

***

A week later, as she laced Ursula’s stays, Caina finally summoned forward a question for her Empress that had been on her mind for some time:

“M’dear, do you remember long ago, there at our home on Mars, the beautiful fields of rose trees that you so loved? You were teaching me how to paint the roses red with magick…”

“...Because you had planted white roses instead.” Ursula smiled and became nostalgic. She turned her face towards Caina but did not stir her body. “It was such an irritating task at first, I thought I wanted to kill you... but then painting them became such a happy pastime for us, day after day, week after week.” After another moment’s contemplation her smile softened and she turned her body around, making Caina cease her lacing. The Empress took her hands into her own gloved palms, and looked at her with longing eyes. “I am glad we managed to bring a few of our beloved rose trees with us for our new abode… but I miss our home on Mars, terribly much.”

“So do I, Mistress… Ursula, in all these years of serving you, I have never seen you so happy as you were then. And I have never seen you so troubled as you are now. Won’t you tell me, dearly beloved, what it is that lays upon your mind which fuels your inner fury so viciously?”

Ursula looked off to one side and began to pull away from her, yet Caina refused to let go of her hands. “These gloves, these little masks cannot hide from me the misery which you wear upon your composure so elegantly. You have always spoken freely with me before, yet now you have become silent towards me. Something has changed you, and it has taken you from me. It moves you incessantly, makes you restless and torn, eating your soul until every soldier which hails your name to the ends of the world cannot help but feel the torture of your unmerited vexation against them. Can you not see that your silent rage affects us all so deeply? I pray, in this our most glorious hour please allow the old Ursula to come back and reign supreme with us forever and always. Tell me the secret of your suffering so that I may alleviate your pain.”

There were no words accurate enough to describe Ursula’s strife upon realizing this wretched impasse: how could she speak with Caina freely, when her every thought lay under surveillance by The Black Beast? She could not tell her of her baseless love for the black man leading the human resistance, nor could she bring herself to speak of her body’s recent transformation. Now her blood was red exactly like a human’s, and she did not want her beloved to regard her in the same harsh light with which she judged herself. There was nothing to say, yet Ursula drew her breath as if to speak.

Both of them sensed the knock at the door seconds before its sound rang through their ears. It was a hasty knock, produced by Perfectae, who bowed low to the ground as soon as she was bidden to enter. “Empress, Duchess, I beg of you to reveal your windows, the storm is ceasing as I speak!”

Ursula immediately threw back the curtains, and to her astonishment light gleamed into the chamber. The storm indeed was withdrawing into the sky, and besides that, lush terrain could be seen far off into the distance. “Six weeks…” she muttered. She turned to Caina with a knowing grin, her eyes bright and devilish. “I promise you, things will be different when we reach land. You’ll see… our new Empire will be glorious, and the humans will serve us forever!”

Caina felt uneasy with her unanswered inquiry, yet all three of them were quite hopeful as they hastened to the control room where Xezbeth was beaming with triumph. “No magick can beat Marsian magick”, she gloated. Ursula at once ordered her fortress to be driven towards land, to the human city known as Eden. Nothing stood in the way of her warpath now, and that was the way she liked it.

 

Next Sunday don't miss
URSULINE TALES 03: THIS MEANS WAR, Act 2 of 2

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My Life

Date: September 16th, 2016

Previously on PZ: The Circuit

Made in Tayasui Sketches Pro

Hello & welcome to the first entry of the blog feature My Life, a recapitulation series based upon The Valentine’s life… just to be clear I, the person writing, am The Valentine, and I’ll be writing this feature in first person perspective, since the material is so personal.

My life these days has been really very good lately, I cannot complain. Life has been slow-paced, predictable, calm and blessed with good weather. I’ve just been getting through each day, day-by-day. My spirits are high and soaring higher these days. I have been thinking of the past, living in the now, and looking forward to the future.

I work 2-11pm, go to sleep around midnight & sleep for a solid 8-11 hours, use the rest of my awake time to do housework, hang out with friends, and work for Celestial Pearl Productions (which is now an LLC). I’m in a much calmer and healthier state of mind these days, thanks to both cannabis & antidepressants working together for my health. Yes, I still deal with my depression every day, but it is getting easier. I’m getting along better with my managers at work, so that I am productive and happy at the same time. It is nice having a steady work schedule that I can count on. My personal relationships are going well, domestically and romantically. I’ve been hanging out with G on most Wednesdays, usually out to a mom-and-pop’s restaurant and then hanging out around one of the many lakes in Lakewood. I do miss E, but he’s doing well it seems, getting into trading/marketing, which sounds like fun.

I’m focusing on my dreams and clarifying what I want in my future, trying to obtain a baseline modus operandi. My creative flow from inception to product is still majorly blocked, but I am chipping away at that block and I shall prevail! My creative drive is at an all-time high, but I’m short on energy to fuel it & the focus to carve it. I am also studying fine art techniques and color theory to improve what artistry I do have. I have been reading and studying a lot; it feels so nice to take my education into my own hands. These days I’m feeling wistful, meditative, and adorable. I have been calm, happy, going with the flow, and feeling quite hopeful.

I am looking forward to Halloween as well as autumn in general. I love it when the leaves change different colors on the trees all over Colorado. I also can’t wait for Suicide Squad to come out on Blu Ray. Recently I have purchased a new winter work coat and some Disney-themed mermaid princess onesie pyjamas. I love them both, although it is not quite cold enough to really wear them yet. I have determined that Pumpkin Cheerios are good, but not as great as Strawberry Cheerios. Keebler’s Simply Made chocolate chip cookies are still da bomb and I like them more than Oreos now.

 

Wheel of Philosophy, turn, turn, turn! Tell us a lesson that I have learned:

♦ Everything is all right, so take it easy.
♦ Shoot for the moon & swing from a star!
♦ Don’t belong to anyone but yourself.
♦ Never let the bastards get you down.
♦ Hang with the best & fuck the rest!

 

such a beautiful song by Celine Dion

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The Circuit

Date: September 15th, 2016

Previously on PZ: Occupy Yourself

|credit|

This is The Circuit, a periodic blog feature listing just a few of the many interesting places to visit on the great wide Internet.

For example...

♦ Did you know that, thanks to MIT, you can read the entire story of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet online?

♦ Or, did you know that you can find some dead-sexy girls dressed as one of your favorite fictional female characters on Cosplay Deviants? And I mean, mouth-watering sexy!

♦ I bet you know how awesome Pokemon GO is by now; it's only everywhere.

♦ You may have No Eyedea this amazing poet-rapper ever existed at all, but he did, and he lives on in his fans & in his music.

♦ I kind of remember the Y2K Scare, I thought it was pretty dumb then and I still think it was pretty dumb now. It seems like people will be scared of anything. This article makes the whole thing seem a little more rational, though.

♦ Personally, I'm not surprised that Suicide Squad is doing well financially; I thought it was a great movie. I think there's a large chunk of consumers who want some different points of views in their content.

♦ Use Google's astounding powers to find Disney princess re-imaginings to your heart's content!

♦ In my Fine Art studies, I've found an excellent resource in Collector's Guide Art 101 page as well as in Pose Maniacs anatomical pose library. I have also found Maren M.'s Sketchblargh or her PockyBox site to be quite inspirational when I'm in a creative rut.

♦ One day I'd love to create videogames for sale on Steam.

♦ I missed STS9 at RedRocks this year, but I'll make a thing of it next year. They never fail to put on a great show!

♦ When I'm just feeling curious, I check out the Curiousity App, and there is usually something there that mesmerizes me! But when I need something much stronger, I read Zen Koans from this handy website, which I am very grateful for.

♦ ProBlogger always has had good information for running your blog. Only recently have I thought of using Press Releases for blog promotion, and luckily ProBlogger talks about exactly that in this article.

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Occupy Yourself

Date: September 14th, 2016

Previously on PZ: Ursuline Tales 02: Mind Fuck

An old photo-manipulation I found on my harddrive from circa 2009

 

"The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules."

THE JOKER, played by Heath Ledger

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Tags: Occupy Yourself, Eye Candy

 

 

Ursuline Tales 02: Mind Fuck

Date: September 11th, 2016

Previously on PZ: From Pieces To Weight: The Senses Of Valentine's Syncretism

Previously on URSULINE TALES: Ursuline Tales 01: Invasion

URSULINE TALES 02: MIND FUCK

HER EYES

Ursula’s Lair, on Pangaea’s ocean floor.

Deep beneath the surface of the sea, where there was no light to be had except for the luminescent creatures slinking around the depths, was where the mermaids roamed in packs. Ursula watched them from her chamber window as they swam gracefully around her mechanical fortress teeming with curiosity. They looked nothing like the frightening mermaids of her homeland of Rakehell; rather, the mermaids of Earth had exquisite human faces and iridescent scales. But Ursula knew they were deadly creatures, capable of bringing death to humans with little more than a beautiful song. Beautiful, but nevertheless fatal. She felt akin to them in that respect, and continued gazing upon them with admiration, mindlessly fumbling with her own fingers as her mind wandered off far away.

She could not cease thinking about the black man she was unable to destroy during her invasion of Earth; nor could she drive out the scent of his sweat or the fire of his eyes from her mind. Where did he come from? Who was he really? Suddenly she became aware of her second-in-command’s presence in the doorway of her chamber, and her mind returned to her physical surroundings.

“Enter, Caina.”

In walked the proud and austere Caina Magdalena, a Marsian of slight stature yet great prominence. She loved Ursula with all of her heart, and had ever since the very first day of her apprenticeship with the legendary sorceress. She longed to see for herself the man of black flesh who was created by some other God, the man who had recently captured her beloved Empress’ attention. Although Ursula was reticent with all others, with her Marsian deputy she often revealed her deepest thoughts; however now she was violently reluctant to speak of the black man and her reasons for withdrawing the Marsian assault. Caina believed the two things to be connected but could not discover their link - not even her lovemaking with Ursula was the same since the opening attack. But now was not the time for questions or answers, and so she knelt before her mistress with a mask over her heart, proceeding as usual as if nothing particular were on her mind.

“My Lady, the Earth moon is entirely invisible to the humans tonight. The time has come for your communion with our Lord and Master.”

Ursula nodded in agreement, although secretly her heart was heavy. This was a part of the pact she had made with Him, and the sustainment of her life force depended upon these sessions of meditation with The Beast. She received the outstretched hand of her apprentice and allowed herself to be escorted into a secret and holy chamber, where the sacred pool of black water lay dormant in the center of the room. A chill flowed through Ursula’s spine every time she approached the edge of the pool - usually she was coming out of it, not going into it - yet she cast off her silken robes with a mask over her heart, proceeding with the ritual as if nothing particular were on her mind.

Upon the surface of the water she walked, and she summoned the liquid to rise all about her, until she became encased within a translucent sphere of fluid. Caina took her place beside a massive harp, and began to strum a soft, unholy melody upon its strings, a resonance signal upon which her Empress could always rely. Within her watery womb Ursula fell into a deep meditative trance, and awoke in the midst of the meeting-place where she arrived with the new moon to fulfill her sexual duty to The Beast… a place known as World’s End.

Every time she awoke in the same position- lying recumbent upon the same altar of stone, staring at the same binary star system above her, but adorned this time in a flowing scarlet gown instead of an ebony one. It seemed strange to her, but it was hardly noticeable at the time. On an asteroid floating through space, there was no sound to be heard except for silence and the strumming of the sacred harp, which Ursula could always hear in the distance. As she sat up and examined her immediate surroundings, something felt different about the usual black vegetation and bleeding red blooms surrounding the altar of stone. The Beast was nowhere to be seen. He was not waiting for her in an animal form, ready and eager to channel his insatiable lust as soon as she awoke. She descended from the altar and down the same flight of stairs, until she reached the ballroom level from where the harp’s ethereal music originated. In this dimension the harp was played upon by an unholy pair of hands without attachment to any sort of body, but she knew the same melody was being resonated by Caina in the dimension from which she had arrived. Many of the usual things were there… the bed with silken sheets, the sumptuous feast, the sacred harp, the blackwater falls… The Beast had yet to make His appearance, but she could sense His omnipresence, and it made anxiety run rampant within her heart. Her strength felt as though it were slowly draining, though she did not know why. She stood at the balustrade and turned her gaze to the stars in an effort to compose herself as the panic of an unsettling fact flowed through her mind: I will die here if He does not come for me, and soon.

The stars blithely twinkled, and there was nothing but silence as Ursula stood alone with this thought. The cosmos offered her no comfort. She clenched the railing firmly, to feel the lovely sensation of her knuckles becoming tight- and she felt a sudden prick upon her finger as she squeezed a hidden sharp edge. She casually examined a drop of viridian blood which oozed from her fingertip- which normally would have healed in a matter of seconds, yet the wound remained. Her time was running out faster.

“The mermaids of Earth are some lovely creatures, aren’t they? Beautiful, but nevertheless fatal.”

His voice came from behind her, unexpectedly, and Ursula found it difficult to catch her breath as she whirled around to face The Beast in his humanoid form. He merely smirked at her, holding a dark bottle in one hand and a wine glass in the other, as if He had been standing beside her the entire time.

“My Lord!” Ursula gasped, pressing her hand to her chest as she suddenly felt a shooting pain emanating from her heart. “Forgive me, I-”

“They are quite deadly creatures, capable of bringing death to humans with little more than a beautiful song,” The Beast continued, casually pouring wine into the glass before offering it to Ursula. There was a twinkle of menace in His eye even as He simpered, “Perhaps I should have called upon them to invade the humans instead of you.”

It was then that she realized the scope of her peril. By refusing to take her The Beast was purposefully accelerating her deterioration of health, yet Ursula had no choice but to take the wine glass from Him and sip at the contents therein even as she endured worsening pain. She couldn’t be sure that the wine was not poisoned, but to make Him command her to drink it would have been a crime punishable by torture. After her first sip The Beast turned His back to her and commanded her to follow Him into a fantastic cemetery she had never known existed on the asteroid before.

“If My forgiveness is what you seek, Empress of the Dark, then I suggest you explain your cessation of attack. At your most glorious hour you stopped and retreated to the depths of the Earth, and what for?”

“There was no reason for me to retreat, m’Lord, I simply needed to reappraise the situation. I have encountered an anomaly. There is a shadow-being not of Your creation… and he is now leading the human resistance.”

“Indeed, but not for long. Soon he will become our ally. You can persuade him easily, I am sure.”

“What makes you certain I can turn him easily, m’Lord? I have destroyed all that he holds as precious in the world.” Ursula struggled to keep a stoic pace with The Beast as her health waned and her composure began to crumble. She dared not leave even a drop of the liquid her Master had poured for her in her glass, and so she continued to sip the wine.

“You are entangled with him. There is a fire in your soul that was kindled by him, not by Me. He has moved you… and you shall do the same for him.”

“I… do not understand what you mean. I feel nothing for him.”

“You may play coy with your army, Empress, as you must save face within their eyes; however, you must always remember that your deepest urges are utterly naked before Me at all times. The shadow-man will become your second-in-command only after you have tamed him of his wilderness.”

“How can this be? My apprentice is Caina, I cannot take another.”

“Caina has become quite proficient with machines beneath your watchful eye, Sorceress- in fact, I may have for her another request, depending upon the outcomes of your next move. If the shadow-man is truly leading the humans, then he shall be more than your slave- he shall become your equal.”

Ursula choked upon the wine and began to cough violently until she could walk no longer, leaning against a tombstone for support. Her glass fell to the ground and shattered, soaking the earth. The wine had been poisoned after all. To her horror she came to her knees and vomited blood into her own hands... although it was the color of it that truly shocked her. A Marsian’s blood is blue-green by nature, as her own had been all of her demonic life; but now her own blood was a hue of scarlet just like the humans’ she had slaughtered. The Beast turned, grinning, and locked eyes with her, as if to affirm He was keeping a terrible secret.

“What have you done to me?!” she screamed, gesturing desperately with her hands. “What do you mean we are entangled?”

“Your fates are sealed in blood: his blood is your blood now, and shall remain until his dying day, when you will cease to be as well.”

Ursula shook her head in despair. “My Lord, I am dying now.”

“Yes. And what a beautiful death it is.”

Ursula could no longer contain her anguish, and saltwater tears began to stream down her face, just like a human. “This I cannot bear… I cannot be tied to this man. Please, just allow me to kill him.”

The Beast pulled Ursula to her feet by her throat, glaring at her with maddening eyes. “I’ll not say it again: your fates are sealed in blood, Ursula. If he dies, you will die, and you know exactly what that means. The pool will not bring you back. You have a very important mission to attend to, and I suggest you attend to it while the planet is still yours to invade.”

In her spirit-hand He forcefully placed a quill, and with His other hand He slit her wrist of flesh with His thumbnail. Vermillion blood leaked from the wound and dripped upon her gown, disappearing flawlessly into the scarlet fabric. So this is why the dress is red. He wants me to understand His power over me. She was now required to seal her own fate. The tip of the quill entered her vein, and she poised as if to sign a contract. Her new blood dripped from the tip of the quill and became a spectre in mid-air, disappearing within a nebulous mist of sinister laughter. Suddenly she was no longer dying, and was able to stand erect. Through the cloud she could see The Beast approaching her in one of His blackened forms- He was in the shape of a man, a human with black skin, but His face belonged to the shadow-man from the surface of the Earth.

Her eyes widened and her heart felt like it would burst within her chest as The Beast embraced her in the form of Alexzander Infinitus, kissing her deeply as she realized: He means to ravish me this way- how will I ever endure this?!

“You will endure it for Me, Ursula… and you will endure it magnificently.”

He wasted no time in mounting her upon Him, ripping open her skirts and lifting her by her buttocks, wrapping her legs around His powerful thighs. All at once He thrust Himself inside of her, and she could feel her full vitality returning to her as The Beast fucked her harder and harder. She dared not look into His eyes, but He demanded it, and she acquiesced, hating that black-skinned human more and more every time He lunged into her. I promise you, whoever you are, shadow-man, I will make you pay for whatever spell you cast upon me that made me weakened in your presence. You have stolen my heart from Him, and now I am the one who is paying for it. I will see you again, beautiful stranger. But whoever you are, I promise that next time, I will be ready for you…

Back on Earth in the fortress at the bottom of the sea, Caina noticed an unusual thing as she was strumming the harp. Her mistress’s hands were actually touching herself sensually as she dreamt, something she had never done before while consummating with The Beast. She wondered if it had anything to do with her Empress’s peculiar fascination with the shadow-man of Earth.

HIS EYES

The City Of Eden, Pangaea.

There was an uncanny chill in the wind and no moon in the sky on the night that Alexzander was finally able to sleep without night terrors. It was also the third day after the mechanical meteor hit the temple and disappeared into the sea, the day the maelstrom left in its wake finally ceased to spin.

Since the opening attack of the demon sorceress & his subsequent kingship, the eyes & ears of every man, woman, and child of Eden were acutely tuned to his every move. Their voices were many & full of fright, pleading for miracles, desperately crowding his mind... which could never forget of the sorceress, or of the rage-filled love for her which he knew bubbled within him & would eventually rise to the surface. There weren’t enough words to explain to his people that he would eventually have to kill the woman he inexplicably loved, the murderess who took their families.

But now was not the time for thoughts of a vigilante's revenge. He was now a King, a ruler appointed to protect and to serve the people of Eden from a threat they had never known could exist. And they wanted to know how he would accomplish this. So when a council convened following the King’s coronation, Alexzander proceeded with a mask over his heart, terse & austere as usual as if nothing particular were on his mind.

He listened to the gathering of Eden’s most influential survivors-priests, crusaders, & merchants- speak in turn of the solution to combating the sorceress’s evil. He witnessed them ultimately arrive at a wretched impasse.

“The sorceress will return, and when she does, she will surely crush us all.”

"But we have the shadow-man on our side... surely she will not destroy him."

"Her machina is too strong! We cannot possibly survive against such a weapon. We are doomed."

"Then what shall we do? Give up and die without dignity? The sorceress must be destroyed, at any cost."

"At any cost, say you? What if our own destruction is the cost? We shall be wiped from the face of the Earth at any cost!"

"But she was unable to destroy the shadow-man... she must have a weakness!"

"How can we possibly defend ourselves against such evil?"

Alexzander was pensive, saying not one word the entire time. He listened to their voices, listened to the anger, the agony, and the uncertainty exhaled from their every breath. There was one resounding and unavoidable question on everyone's lips... what are we going to do next? He stood once he made up his mind that he had found the answer. The room became silent before he spoke. All eyes on him were attentive.

"Our Temple is gone, but Eden has not been destroyed completely. The sorceress will return, and she must be destroyed if it is our hope to remain upon the Earth. These advanced machina... these machines are created from the metal of another Goddess's planet... but we are not without our own planet, or our own Goddess. I do not know why I alone was spared from the wrath of evil, but I am certain that Her Grace meant to reveal the evil’s weakness to us, so that we may benefit. Thus we will prepare our bodies & minds for combat. When the sorceress returns, we will be ready for her... the wartime we have sensed & feared has now come to pass, and we must now learn to fight for all that we hold dear. Our Goddess will provide for us, and we will create our own machines of destruction."

There was wonder in all of their eyes, and many of them admired his valor. But some secretly believed in their hearts that he was being foolish. They believed the shadow-man did not deserve to be King at all. They did not believe in the Goddess anymore… not after all that had just happened. But they proceeded with masks over their hearts, as if these sorts of thoughts had never crossed their minds.

A beautiful room was lavishly prepared for Eden's first monarch, however he insisted upon camping on the ground within the ruins of the Temple. Only... when he slept there, he found there was hardly much solace to be had within that holy territory anymore. The sacred Tree had died, and was bringing him nightmares regarding its unholy death. So on the night of the new moon he dressed in disguise & moved on foot away from the City and towards the outer fringe, where he was finally able to sleep in peace upon the forest ground.

 

When he first entered the dream he was surprised to suddenly find himself walking upon the tranquil yet frightening surface of some foreign planet. Two large moons glowed & hung heavily in the sky, and across the alien desert lay some aged temple ruins. Something from within the temple drew him towards it, as if a siren’s silent whispers had floated by his ears through the wind... beckoning, luring, taunting him through the developing sandstorm. What could it be that is calling to me? He had to know. Somehow, it was his destiny to find out- the urge was too strong & too vivid for it not to be fate.

When he entered the temple ruins, he found himself within a massive sacred chamber of blackwater falls cascading from monumental statues of stone. Before him was a large pool of the black translucent liquid, across which he swam without a second thought… for the object luring him existed in the palms of the hands of the largest statue across the natatorium. From the pool he crawled naked, wet and shining, upon a staircase leading to the statue’s platform, where he finally caught sight of the silently whispering siren.

Within the open palms of the statue’s hands there lay a woman whose face was half-concealed by darkness, resplendent in a gown of white, lying recumbent & seductive upon a pool of red blood. Her left arm was not composed of her fair white flesh, but instead was composed of a surreal glowing blue substance, different from human flesh. Every hair on the back of his neck stood erect as he recognized the woman as the invading sorceress from Earth. So this is what was calling to me, in the depths of this hellish land.

“Who are you?!” he shouted at her. His question merely echoed throughout the temple ruins. The chamber became silent except for the sound of rushing waterfalls. Then the woman merely chuckled, and finally she moved into the light.

“You know exactly who I am. I am your messiah, come to rescue you. You’ve been waiting for me your entire life, Alexzander… You just didn’t realize it until now.” Ursula stepped out from the shadows and approached him with a slow strut. The red blood flowed inexplicably from her unstained white gown, merely dripping upon the ground about her like waterdrops down a windowpane. She folded her hands upon his shoulder and whispered into his ear, “I know exactly what you want to do to me…”

He had been still but suddenly he seized her wrists in his hands. “You have no idea what I want to do to you, Ursula. You have no idea what you’re in for…”

A fire exploded within him, and he pushed her back upon the statue’s outstretched hands into the pool of red blood, with his hands clenched firmly around her throat. Next thing he knew he was savagely fucking her, strangling her, clawing at the skin of her chest in an effort to rip out her cold black heart. He hardly knew what he was doing, but he felt demonic lust flowing through his veins for the first time ever in his life, and he could not stop. As he violated Ursula harder and harder, dark blood began to ooze from her smiling mouth, staining her white gown black. Her throat was crushing beneath his hands, yet he could tell she loved every moment of it. She is wanting me to do this, to kill her. He watched the light of existence draining from her eyes as her alien blood gushed forth from ruby red lips. And in the moment of her death, everything immediately went wrong.

Within a matter of moments an earthquake began to rumble, and the statues began to crumble. The platform cracked with a sound like thunder. The terrible sandstorm circulating like mad around the ancient temple ruins became stronger & began tearing down the temple’s walls in its swirling fury. He smelled sulfur in the air. Before he knew it Alexzander leapt into the massive blackwater pool, narrowly escaping a crushing death. But the moment he dove beneath the water, he quickly realized there were creatures swimming in the water with him… aggressive creatures which slashed at him as they swam past. He found when he resurfaced that he was no longer in the desert ruins at all, but floating in the midst of some foreign ocean. The creatures around him were mermaids, with shining black scales and the heads of insects with razor-sharp teeth. He had never seen such horrifying creatures in all of his life… he remembered the mermaids of Earth had beautiful faces and voices to match. But these mermaids screeched and howled and made such a din that Alexzander had no choice but to desperately swim away from them, although all around him was nothing but black sea with no land as far as the eye could see. He swam for what seemed like an eternity from the loudly shrieking mermaids, until he suddenly felt solid land surfacing up from beneath him. He next found himself lying prostrate on dry ground, looking up at a massive castle surrounded by dense forest & high mountains. It was the same foreign planet, but he realized that now he was looking at the home of a demon. He could almost hear Ursula’s soul shrieking from deep inside the edifice…

When he exited the nightmare, there was barely a moment’s pause between the dream and his resurfacing into reality. Alexzander awoke with a cold sweat, lying recumbent upon the forest ground- but he quickly realized he was not at all alone. There was a woman mounted on top of him, straddling his body with her powerful milky-white thighs, grinding seductively upon him with his hard sex deep inside of her, moaning with utmost pleasure.

“Wretched blackguard!” he shouted, immediately tossing her off of him. “I will kill you if you ever touch me again!”

But the woman merely chuckled, and with an insolent flick of her wrist tossed her fiery red locks into the air. Then she spoke to him, crooning with the voice of an angel & the words of a demon as she spread her legs wide apart, beckoning him to look with his eyes. “Oh, but your majesty… Is that really any way to treat your future wife?”

He threw her dress at her with nothing but utter contempt. “Cover yourself, and don’t be absurd. You will never be my wife, Farasha. You’re a murderess of children. I should have killed you when I had the chance.”

“I have changed since I’ve been exiled. I have you to thank for that, Alexzander.”

“You’re exactly the same as always. What kind of a fool do you take me for? You enjoy hurting others.”

“So do you. Don’t tell me that you have no desire to kill her.”

Alexzander rolled his eyes and sighed heavily. “I don’t know whom you’re speaking of.”

“The sorceress from the stars, of course. You should have killed her when you had the chance, as well. Murder within a dream simply doesn’t count.”

She struck a nerve. He retorted.

“Is that how you justify the deaths of your victims? Because they died writhing within their own nightmares, it doesn’t count as murder? Your rhetoric sickens me.”

“Sticks and stones, love. I can help you get rid of the sorceress forever. You have to fight power with power. Just imagine our combined power if we were to join forces against that wicked harridan! She wouldn’t stand a chance, and then we could rebuild the world in our image…”

Her hand slowly reached out to touch his face, but he forcefully slapped it away. “Whatever you’re up to, Farasha, begone from me. And take your black magic with you on your way back to Hell.”

“Very well, your grace,” she simpered and curtseyed mockingly as she slinked away from him into the forest shadows. “Your heart may be cold towards me now, but soon my fire will thaw your frozen heart. I promise you, Alexzander Infinitus, we will meet again many more times in the future before all of this is over. We will meet again sooner than you think.”

With these words she disappeared into the darkness and departed from his presence. Alexzander was left alone in the middle of the forest with the evening’s events circulating like a whirlwind through his mind. He lay upon his back and turned his gaze to the stars in an effort to compose himself as the panic of an unsettling fact flowed through his mind: the evil from the stars is destined to reveal the evil upon the Earth.

Next Sunday don't miss
URSULINE TALES 03: THIS MEANS WAR, Act 1 of 2

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Tags: Stories, Ursuline Tales

 

 

From Pieces To Weight: The Senses Of Valentine's Syncretism

Date: September 10th, 2016

Previously on PZ: Sleeping Beauty: Alternative Ending

*The following text was previously published on Project Zeitgeist prior to the database hack of July 2016*

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“From Pure Joy springs all creation. By Joy it is sustained, toward Joy it proceeds and to Joy it returns.”

- from the Sanskrit

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t adhere to the religion I grew up with, which was Christianity. What I may not have mentioned, though, is that Christian ideas are still very important to me today, in addition to many others including Taoism, Jewish mysticism, Witchcraft, Hinduism, Satanism, Thelema, and a great many more. I have simply expanded my religious and cultural horizons over time, and thus entered a spiritual wonderland.

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand/ And a Heaven in a Wild Flower/ Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand/ And Eternity in an hour”

William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

The Universe is a massive buffet of ideas, and we conscious beings are the melting pots. I think that the closest accurate description I can give regarding my personal religious beliefs is to call it what it is: syncretism, the synthesis of ideas into a personally meaningful inner source of power. As a melting pot, I contain my own secret brew of human fondue, and so do you.

Religious syncretism is like mining diamonds from your life… they’re there, you just have to reach out and take them. Some of them are obvious, some of them are hidden. Some of them you cannot reach right now, but will be able to in the future when the time is right. Kind of like as if life were a videogame.

There are probably at least three major differences between my religion and most others: no sin, One God Many Forms, and reincarnation. As a rule of thumb, all other religions are unconditionally appreciated - I believe there is plenty of space for everyone in this world, no need to become uncivil over disagreements and differences. There is, however, a need to become self-actualized that every human being shares. Every human being is given one person, from birth till death, to take care of themselves: and that person is always that selfsame human being. Additionally, every human being has their own connection to the Divine. The Divine is omnipresent, eternal, and purely joyful; we cannot possibly exist without it. All of us experience the Divine every day - via both physical and nonphysical milieus - via the Sun, our planet Earth, other people, and ourselves. The physical needs the nonphysical in order to even exist; yet the nonphysical exists with or without physical form. The nonphysical is concentrated Divinity, and The Divine is always on your side.

“Not all treasure is silver and gold.”

- Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: Black Pearl's Curse

What is sacred? In truth, all is sacred. All spheres of influence, every thing ever to exist in this Universe, All is sacred. All is full of love - or can be. Every human activity is blessed, every path can lead to paradise. Every raindrop raises the sea and floats all of our boats. All are free to compete, although nobody has to, because all of us are One. There is nothing unimportant or insignificant in our Universe. Spend your lifetime in worship of the things which bring you the most joy. Worship the stars, planets, and cosmos - our Sun, our Earth, our Galaxy. Worship the atoms that make up our world. Worship nature, worship your soul - the animals, the plants, the people you love. Love yourself and all around you; all atoms are your kindred spirits. Love your family. The mountains are your guardians, the seas are your confidante, and the winds are your angels. The stars are your fairy godmothers, those great-hearted queens of eras long past who always create for us today the wonderful world of tomorrow. The world now is always alive in ways we can comprehend anytime.

“The glory of the One Who moves all things/ penetrates all the universe, reflecting/ in one part more and in another less.”

- Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

I don’t believe in sin, or hell, or evil in the way that most people do. Sin, or the violation of a God’s will, simply does not exist because we are all made of God, who imposes no restrictions upon us… sin is manufactured from humans’ place of deepest despair. Serious brooding on such things simply do not dominate the minds of healthy and happy human beings, who are meant to be loved by Divinity. Such beings are focused upon the opposite of these: love, innovation, and harmony. Heaven and Hell are not places or times, they are states of mind. Good things always exist everywhere, they can be found by anyone, and they expand by virtue of our attention to them.

While it is acknowledged that there is no sin, there is acknowledgement of the shadows which are interpreted as evil in the world. Shadows occur wherever there is a lack of light - they may be illuminated at any time, remember, if only the light is allowed to shine there. It has often been questioned, “If light truly shines everywhere, then why are there shadows?”. The answer is… not all matter reacts to light in the same way. It depends on how the atoms are arranged, and that depends on how they are allowed to be arranged. Not all creatures desire to be close to God, just as not all Earthly creatures desire to live close to the Sun or upon dry land. Live and let live, to each their own! This is the way of the sublime.

I believe there exists One God In Many Forms… in this physical world that we know, that which humans call God or Divinity, exists in everything, everywhere, everywhen. Therefore it is crucially beneficial, dear Reader, for us to bless everything and everyone that exists. That is how love, beauty, and prosperity are brought into the world through us.

“Have courage and be kind.”

- Disney's 2015 Cinderella

I do believe in reincarnation, and I pretty much always have. There is never a moment when we do not exist. I don’t believe in an “afterlife”, because death is really only an illusion - life always exists, it is only our perspective of it that changes. Death is like going to sleep in one realm and waking up in another. Heaven and Hell are states of mind that can be experienced to any degree at any time in one’s life. Life moves beyond the bad times and the good times, always headed somewhere. Change is natural and eternal; by greater and lesser degrees, all things change, including us.

Because we actually live forever, what we do with our life experience now - our attention, our decisions, our feelings - are actually very important things. There will always be more for us. Since all things spring from Pure Joy, the pursuit of happiness is the foundation of what anyone would call a very good life. This is where the usefulness of the Law of Attraction can become a boon. According to Abraham, the Law of Attraction says simply “that which is like unto itself is drawn”... if we desire something, we must believe it is ours in order to have it. We have to be of its spirit in order to attract ourselves to it & attract it to us. To live and let live in the pursuit of one’s bliss is the most honorable way of living conceivable.

I didn’t get all of these ideas from one source, but from multitudes of sources throughout my life - everything I’ve ever read, seen, heard, observed, learned, thought, or been told has become a source of wisdom in some way. There are a lot of truths in the world, but I synthesize the best ones for me into a fluid, spiritual way of living that helps me to thrive. I feel that if more people accepted their own spiritual cocktails of beliefs, many more happy & productive people would inhabit this Earth in the years to come.

“The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”

- Carl Jung

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Tags: Philosophy, The Valentine, Religion

 

 

Sleeping Beauty: Alternative Ending

Date: September 6th, 2016

Previously on PZ: Ursuline Tales 01: INVASION

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She pricked her finger on the spinning wheel's spindle, and the evil fairy's spell was cast. That's the story legends gave as to the origins of Sleeping Beauty's Castle, a palace hidden deep in the forests where the entire kingdom was said to be asleep. However, it was difficult for anyone to verify this since the entire castle was sheltered from the world by a dense forest of venomous thorny trees.

And yet, one particularly brave royal prince managed to make it through alive, and he entered the castle. Everyone really had fallen asleep right in their spots, but the prince was determined to find Sleeping Beauty herself. Finally he found her in the highest tower, sleeping peacefully on a velvet bed.

He could hardly believe that he had found the mystery princess to be as young after 150 years of slumber as she was on the day she fell asleep. She was so beautiful, he could not help himself but gave her a tender kiss right on the middle of her forehead. Then something unexpected happened - the sleeping princess yawned deeply, stretched her arms and embraced him fondly, so that he was compelled to lay down beside her on the bed. She snuggled against him and held him close, smiling sweetly as though she were finally pleased. The prince fell in love with her right then and there, held her close, and closed his eyes, smiling sweetly.

The rest of the kingdom awakened from the evil fairy's spell, and at once the King and Queen rushed to the tower to protect their daughter. They found her slumbering softly along with her newfound prince, and decided to leave them be, as they seemed to be sharing the same good dream.

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Tags: Stories, Love, Fairy Tales

 

 

Ursuline Tales 01: Invasion

Date: September 4th, 2016

Previously on PZ: Affirmations: Solve & Coagula

*The following text was previously published on PZ prior to the database hack of July 2016*

Ursula Magna Victoria, Empress of the Dark
from the RED planet Mars

URSULINE TALES 01: INVASION

Planet Earth, Pangaea.

A windchime filled the air with soft music and the maidens’ spinning wheels stopped turning for the day, but the air was heavy with premonition. There was dead silence in the dusk of twilight, and all was calm with the human world until the meteor hit the Temple with amazing speed & power of destruction.

The Temple itself shattered to millions of fiery pieces amongst the ground, exposing the ever-sacred Tree of Knowledge, whose holy fruit glowed violet while alive & thriving. But the meteor had now split the Tree into half, and it lay slowly dying with blackening fruit beneath a great globe-like mass of jagged extraterrestrial metal. A great many humans were fatally wounded or killed on impact. The priests and priestesses still alive from the incident scattered in all directions, as did the citizens of the vegetational City Of Eden in response to the catastrophic event. Warrior-monk crusaders dedicated to the safety of Eden were summoned to ground zero immediately. But nothing they had ever known could prepare them for what they were about to discover within the meteor’s shell.

The fiery metallic mass lay dormant for roughly an hour before a great fissure cracked its hull and, like a baby alligator emerging from within its own egg, a gigantic creature of metal emerged from the meteor. The crumbling meteor shell hitting the earth choked nearby citizens with a poisonous cloud of dust. All they could see before they died was the colossal towering mechanical beast crushing everything in its path as it breathed fire to complete its exit from the shell. Once it was free from its vessel, the mechanized monster stomped through the City Of Eden, spitting rivers of fire upon the lavish green gardens and homes of inhabitants below. For a moment the brave crusaders could do little but watch the scene in horror, as they had no sort of defense against such a thing.

Ursula Magna Victoria stood at the balustrade in the control room of her robotic weaponized mobile home, a living statue of ivory with cold and calculating eyes watching the destruction below her. She felt pleased thus far, gripping her staff tightly with her right hand, gripping it so that she could feel the lovely sensation of her knuckles becoming tight. She inhaled sharply and let all of her breath out at once, closing her eyes for but a moment. She knew she had to wait for His command. And then it came: the ineffable tingly feeling that she always felt in her left arm whenever He summoned her. She withdrew it from beneath her domino, revealing the spirit arm that had replaced her arm of flesh and bone… she could remember the pain she felt as it was ripped away from her, as if it were only minutes ago. The pain still lingered like a scorpion’s sting, and she wondered if it would ever leave her.

Don’t think such thoughts, He said to her. Pain is weakness leaving your body. You have the heart of an Empress, you cannot afford to allow pain to overcome you.

Find the human leaders and destroy them. If there are none, destroy only those who would destroy you. The rest will be doomed to slavery. Those creatures of hubris upon the Earth shall know who their rightful GOD is to be, and you as their Empress shall keep it forever etched into the memory of their hearts!!

And then the consultation was over, and He disappeared from her senses. Ursula composed herself, then placed her mask firmly upon her face, turned and left the control room, disappearing into a cloud of the deep violet fabric of her domino after commanding her right-hand woman to continue destroying the human city.

Before descending from her own mechanical beast to the ground, Ursula surveyed the devastation below her once again. She jumped from a cable, killing dozens of crusaders below as she descended from on high using her gunblade. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, she thought, as she considered the significant advantages her advanced technology afforded her over the puny humans. But it didn’t matter one bit to her, because they should have known a day like this was going to come.

As soon as she hit the earth, every crusader alive honed in on her destruction. But she laid waste to all of them. Most of them were wearing armor, some of them were wearing masks, but as far as she could see every single human being had light-colored skin, and she knew that meant they were an enemy of her Master, The Black Beast who held her flesh-and-bone arm in escrow. She felt extreme joy as she slayed them, one by one, watching as their magnificent red blood spilled gloriously from their soft human bodies. It must have been this reason that The Beast sought to control these people, for their blood was the most beautiful ruby red in color that she had ever seen. It was like painting art, the way it sprayed from their veins upon the walls and the plants and the Earth, and Ursula’s domino. When she finally stood alone, as everyone around her was either dead or had fled away, she looked around her at what she had done, and felt proud. She looked at her mechanical monster walking off into the distance, ejecting streams of fire from its mouth. People ran around all aflame, screaming for their lives. For this, she was pleased, because she knew that He was pleased with her good work.

She had no idea that one of the crusaders in the piles of dead bodies around her, wearing full body armor and a mask, was only feigning his own death, and in fact was still quite alive & determined to kill her.

At length she returned to the site of the meteor crash. When it hit the Earth the sky was still tinged with the color of the Sun, but the battle was waged all through the night, and now it was only minutes away from sunrise. She knew that someone had followed her there, but she pretended as if she knew nothing of the sort. The Tree of Knowledge indeed was maimed beyond biological repair, and was in the process of dying an unclean death. Most of the fruit upon its boughs were either black or an extremely dark violet, withered and dead in appearance. But even as she focused deeply upon the sacred Tree, she wondered what human could possibly be either brave enough or foolish enough to confront a demon sorceress such as herself. The humans seemed to possess no leader, no alphas of the pack, yet this rogue was the only one savvy enough to approach her silently from behind. It was then that she noticed the last remaining live fruit left hanging upon the sacred Tree, as brilliant a violet sheen as the day it first blossomed into existence. She knew then that this rogue deserved a chance at becoming her ally. Ursula plucked the last good piece of fruit from the branches of the dying Tree, and removed the mask from her face. Her burgundy eyes glowed with amber haze as she gazed upon its luminescent flesh, and then she took a bite. It tasted exactly like blood. As daylight broke across the horizon the rogue crusader drew closer behind her, and she could feel the tense confidence surging through their veins as she swallowed the fruit into her body. The distance between them grew shorter, and right before she felt the rogue was ready to strike her down Ursula turned around to face them squarely with eyes like the beauty of death. In earnest she held out her hand of flesh containing the fruit as an offering to the stranger. The crusader, fully masked, appeared to be paralyzed by confusion, stopping in their tracks immediately yet unwilling or unable to retreat. Ursula smiled, and something like a wicked little laugh escaped her lips. Then she spoke.

“I am Ursula Magna Victoria. I am here to invade your planet and rule as Empress, for the eternal honor of my Master Who darkens all things, The Black Beast!”

For a moment there was silence between them, then the stranger actually softened their stance. Ursula felt pleased, as she thought that perhaps this human could be useful to her if she could manipulate their fear in a favorable manner. It was not until the crusader removed their armored mask that she felt the first pang of defeat since she arrived on the planet. Her blood grew cold and froze within her veins as the crusader revealed a radically distinct skin color different than every other human she had encountered. The rogue crusader’s skin was black as ebony, as if he himself were The Black Beast in a human form. Confusion stormed in Ursula’s eyes and her hand trembled uncontrollably, so much so that the sacred fruit fell from her grasp and rolled in the direction of the dark human stranger. She could not take her eyes off of him, nor did he tear his dark eyes away from her gaze as he stooped slowly to pick up the sacred fruit from the ground. He stood erect and examined the fruit, taking a bite of it from the unbroken opposite side. Blood-red juice dripped from the corner of his mouth, and then he spoke.

“Your invasion is most impressive, Ursula. I honestly had not imagined you being a woman. Then again, I am sure you hadn’t imagined meeting the only black man on Earth.”

It didn’t seem possible. How could she meet, in the race of beings she was destined to destroy, the one human being that so deeply resembles her Lord and Master? A man with black skin who was not created by The Black Beast? I should have known a day like this was going to come. She felt a tingling in her spirit-arm, and a command came to her senses. Do not kill this man. Dominate him, no matter the cost.

And then, she felt pure rage.

“I am no mere woman!” she growled, lunging at her would-be attacker with her spirit-arm fully extended. A human had no chance against her with it wrapped tightly around their body like a boa constrictor; merely touching her spirit-arm could induce great misery in even the strongest of men. She wanted so badly to kill him, to pretend that she didn’t get the message from The Beast, because she knew in the pit of her heart that this man meant trouble for her. She knew this because she had only just met him, and yet, she was in love with him. She could not kill him, because she had fallen in love with the only human on the planet with black skin.

She didn’t know then that he was in love with her, too. That was why he could not bring himself to kill her, even though she was responsible for the ruin of his beloved Eden. He knew in the pit of his heart that this woman meant trouble for him.

Consumed with cognitive dissonance, Ursula let out a low, gutteral sound that increased with volume and intensity until it became a growl akin to a tiger’s. All at once her spirit-arm loosened its grip upon her new nemesis, and his body dropped heavily to the ground. She retreated at once into a violet storm of mist, leaving only the echo of unholy screeching in her wake. Her cloud returned to the giant mechanized beast, which then slinked away into the sea and disappeared deep beneath the surface, leaving a deadly maelstrom in its wake which ultimately lasted for three days. The rogue crusader watched as the beast grew smaller and smaller in the distance, the only thing he could focus upon besides his labored breathing and painfully throbbing body.

He had never seen such incredibly destructive power in all his life, nor so much ire and sadness embodied in so beautiful a stranger as the sorceress from whom he had barely escaped alive. But he didn’t escape at all, she spared his life, and his life only, and he knew it very well. A handful of citizens came to his aid, including another masked crusader who had witnessed his exchange between Ursula. The people chattered excitedly and were amazed, not only because this man with the black skin had been spared, but because of him everybody gained reprieve from the conqueror’s destruction. A doctor was summoned to his side immediately, who concluded that this brave warrior-monk was indeed quite fortunate to be alive. His body, as it was revealed, was quite strong and resilient, although it had sustained internal damage as a result of coming into contact with the sorceress’ demonic appendage. Nevertheless, in spite of the doctor’s warnings, the man insisted upon standing up with honor, and pulled himself up to his own feet. When asked for his name, he paused momentarily, as if considering it a secret he might not want to divulge. He stood like a statue staring off into the morning horizon, at the maelstrom swirling in the sea, and then he answered: “I am Alexzander Infinitus. I swear I will never rest in peace until the demon sorceress from the stars is forever destroyed.”

The gathering crowd regarded him with the utmost reverence, speaking with honor of the black man who had saved them all. Some remained suspicious of the shadow-man, but most were practically worshipping him. Women sighed wistfully and longed to touch his skin, which now seemed imbued with magic in their eyes. At length an elderly member of the clergy stepped forth from the crowd of people and signalled for everyone’s immediate attention. “Everything we have once known has now changed. We have never known leaders, but now we must fight shadows with shadows. This man shall become our king!!"

The aged man removed an ornament from his headdress which revealed itself to be a holy bronze torc. Alexzander bowed, allowing the priest to place the ancient neck ring about his throat and fasten it into place. Beside him stood the masked crusader that had come to his aid, who now spoke in honor of the new ruler: “Citizens of Eden, you now have your king… Alexzander Infinitus!”

Everyone bowed in reverence to the shadow-man they had once feared. He stood motionless and stoic as he accepted his new responsibility, thinking of all those lost in the meteor crash and the families they left behind. But he could not rid the vibrant memory of the beautiful sorceress from his mind. I will see you again, Ursula. But I promise that next time, I will be ready for you.

Next Sunday don't miss
URSULINE TALES 02: MIND FUCK

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Tags: Stories, Ursuline Tales

 

 

Affirmations: Solve & Coagula

Date: September 3rd, 2016

Previously on PZ: Alice In Wonderland: Stars In The Forest

*The following text was previously published on Project Zeitgeist prior to the database hack of July 2016*

What I know for certain, at least for now...

I am an anarchist. I believe in freedom, personal sovereignty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe in living life without rulers. I believe in the words “Live and let live”. I believe we all have our personal power and personal joy that we should constantly strive to align with. I don't believe in practicing conformity or striving for world peace.

I am the Devil's advocate. I follow what may be termed “the left-hand path”. I have always resonated with the concept of Satan as a deity, as I know what it feels like to be a good person who is misunderstood and then cast in a bad light. I don't believe that lists of right and wrong exist in the natural world but rather I believe that we are meant to be guided by our own impulses that come from within us. I believe these impulses are natural and will never lead us astray so long as we do not betray ourselves.

I am a solitary Witch. I am a preistess to the Universe. I strive to follow my intuition (my own natural impulses, internal directives, my conscience, etc.) and to cause desired change in the world. I seek out the ways of Nature and strive to align with them throughout my life. I want to know if there is a God or Gods, and I want to know what they are like. I happily and naturally reach for excellence. I adore esotericism and consume it voraciously. I read all the time. I am incessantly pensive. I believe God is electromagnetism, and electricity is consciousness. I care about the global community of planet Earth and remind myself often that happy communities are composed of happy individuals. I should be a happy individual if I want to have a positive contribution to humanity's story.

I believe in knowledge and wisdom for the purpose of self-actualization. I believe in education and, more importantly, self-education. I believe people have a natural desire to know good things, meaning to know that things are actually good, and I think this is essential to have a good life. I constantly strive to better understand and operate within our perpetually expanding Universe.

I am a psychonaut. I love my mind and I love to spend my time exploring it. I love mind-altering substances and practices and I believe that humans should use them. I believe that psychoactive drugs are boons to humanity. Hallucinogens help us easily explore our naturally limitless potential as individuals having purely subjective experiences. It is sublime.

I am a material girl. I love the physical world and I believe our senses are meant to enhance our experience here on the physical plane. I believe sexual energy is one of the most powerful energies achievable. I believe in free love. I believe in the enjoyment of material prosperity, and in the infinite eternal nature of the ever-created material world. I am also extremely comfortable on the abstract planes. I do not deny the existence of the nonphysical, but rather strive to understand it, understanding that all of physical comes from nonphysical. It is my current understanding that the nonphysical is electricity, which is Universal Consciousness. This then would mean that the physical world is the result of interactions of electricity. This is how it is that life is pure creative energy. Creativity is the natural order of the Universe.

I believe one's birthday is divine. I believe one's body is divine. One's atoms are literally God in the flesh. I believe one's thoughts move the atoms of the Universe. I believe it is good and righteous to follow your passion; in fact, it is what your God has always wanted.

I believe that, on a much more fundamental level than the average person is used to dealing with, all humans have in common a core energy that drives us in every moment to desire to feel better in the next moment than we did in the last. Once it's all said and done, at the end of each day, we are still made of the same materia stars are made of. We are Divine. And Divinity is sublime.

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Tags: The Valentine, Philosophy

 

 

Alice In Wonderland: Stars In The Forest

Date: September 2nd, 2016

Previously on PZ: Entry Zero

 

“How is it that stars are able to speak?” asked Alice, utterly transfixed and amazed as she watched them float gracefully to the forest from the heavens.

“All of us can speak, with you and with each other, without any words,” said the Star. “We are all connected.”

Suddenly Alice recognized one of them. “You there, you are the Sun! It is you who breathes life into my planet and compels its motion around you.”

“Indeed, it is I, the Sun!” it gleamed happily as it glided into Alice's open palm. “And you are one of my beloved children! However did you find yourself here in this imaginary world?”

“I became restless, and I dreamt, and I found myself here.”

“Have you been deaf to the voice of passion for so long? Have you found what you are looking for here?”

“To be sure, I have found more than I have ever dreamt of on my own.”

“And still your heart is restless? What you seek is self-love, child.”

“But what is such a thing?”

The Sun spun merrily and shone even brighter, apparently pleased to be asked this question. “Within every human soul there lies a pearl of greatness that shines brilliantly. When a being practices the art of self-love, that light is expressed through our appreciation. Appreciation of things, tasks, people, animals, ideas, deities, industries, methods... Anything beloved underneath my Light is automatically blessed. Therefore, it is most important to love yourself first, so that you may have as many blessings to give as there are stars in this Universe, and still remain infinitely blessed yourself. When you are blessed, you have every reason to be happy.”

Alice felt very cheerful upon hearing this, but then an unsavory thought occurred to her. “Suppose there are some in this world who are not blessed... How can one's Light shine from beneath the darkness of the world they are born into?” The star glowed contentedly, apparently even more pleased. “The great celestial pearl shines in all our hearts, and remains forever an infinite abyss of love well within our reach. This great Light shines regardless of anything, a lighthouse within our hearts: should we find ourselves shrouded in darkness, with shadows clouding our eyes, we need only love ourselves to reach for this pearl of power within us, and by the magick that truly makes this Universe run, that Light will consume us, and anything will become possible.”

All of the stars twinkled with joy upon hearing this. Alice felt quite satisfied with this answer, and then noticed her dear friend the Cheshire Cat up in a very twisted and desolate tree, smiling upon her from the shadows. This made Alice curious.

“Oh, Cheshire Kitty! You have been listening too?” she asked.

“I have,“ he answered, purring deeply. “You love the Lights?”

“I do. They are so wise, and they are so alive. I feel so glad to have met my Sun in person.”

“The stars are alive. They are animals in the shape of pearls. They watch over us eternally, passing the responsibility to their progeny. Did you know that we are all the progeny of stars?”

Alice gave a small nod. “The Sun told me. But tell me this, Cheshire friend, how is it that you have come to love the shadows so much?”

The Cat grinned even more abundantly, apparently very much pleased with her question. “All creatures have their personal preferences that bubbles up within them as they live their personal lives. The creatures that live at the bottoms of the oceans are suited to their environment, and remain very much happy to be alive: because, you see- or don't- they personally prefer the comfort of shadows. They shine better that way, you see. Long ago, some other creatures determined they preferred the surface of the Earth, where the starlight shines abundantly, and thus life exploded upon the land. Neither land nor sea nor sky is wrong, but all are righteous instead.”

Alice felt very pleased to hear this, and a warm comfort embraced her soul. As she turned and observed the forest around her, it was a beautiful sight to behold: as the Greater Light shifted to the Lesser Light, day became night, and the large crystals guiding her on the ribbon path through Wonderland began to shimmer and glow with a gossamer melody tinkling through the breeze. A magickal wind blew in from the North, causing the foliage to turn invisible as it flowed through the branches of the trees. But curiosity burned in Alice's soul, as she wanted to know The Reason for Everything. She ardently desired to speak with the Celestial Lights, the Sun and the Moon.

“Greater and Lesser Lights, please listen to me! This world is quite different than mine, and yet both worlds truly exist in their own domains, with their own sets of possibilities. But what is it that makes the worlds different from one another? And what is it that makes them the same?”

The Celestial Lights glowed with the substance of pure wisdom. “Beloved One, the entire Universe is one essence manifest in many forms. Even as the substance manifests individually, it is also manifesting multidimensionally. We are all One, yet different from one another. Every particle to ever exist is divine. This is sublime beauty. Even as you are eternal, you will never live exactly the same life twice. It is wise to make your world a better place by allowing your inner celestial pearl to shine as brightly as the stars.”

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Tags: Stories, Philosophy

 

 

Entry Zero

Date: September 1st, 2016

Previously on PZ: “Before Zero” Entries

Like the sledding owl pictured above, I have had quite a ride recently!

Project Zeitgeist has been around since 2013, but this past July its database was hacked and utilized for someone else's forum. As PZ's sole producer, I did all I could to remedy this problem, but in the end the database had to go. I dumped all of its information into a .sql file that is 3 GB huge, and a kind friend from FaceBook helped me figure out how to extract the information from it so that I can rebuild much of my important lost work from the past few years. Of course, I have plenty of other projects simmering away on my proverbial stove, so there is no shortage of content to be published from here on out... but there are stories, poems, articles and journal entries in that database which exist nowhere else. Such is life, but very soon I'll begin restoring those old entries, “Before Zero”, to the new blog. Which doesn't look all that new, by the way... it looks almost exactly the same as it did before. It's underneath the hood where things look different. The new blog has no database, and the only CMS (content managment system) I'm using now is myself. This is unorthodox for a blog, but I am confident in my organizational skills and my simple programming abilities. In the future I'll be more careful when putting my trust into technologies that are beyond what I'm used to dealing with (ahem, Drupal). In all probability, I will one day have to utilize a database again. But for now, I'm going to stick with what I know - HTML and CSS, with a little bit of SSI just to spice things up. Instead of spending so much time trying to figure out how Drupal and database hackers work, I'll be spending more time actually creating stuff. Hell yeah!

SO here's what I'm up to nowadays. In addition to designing t-shirts and paying bills working full-time in a department store, I am also in the process of writing a story - a saga, actually. It's all about invaders from Mars and what happens when enemies fall in love. The setting is Earth - Ancient Earth, that is. The story takes place in a human-inhabited Pangea. It's both a love story and a war drama, exploring many subjects such as good versus evil, polyamory, political intrigue, and the personalities of deities.

But this is only one of many stories locked inside my head, aching to get out...there are thousands more. The most important one is my own story, which I want to share in an autobiography written here. I've lived a peculiar kind of life, one that has shaped me in ways I wasn't prepared for, so this autobiography is incredibly important to me. Once I finish writing this story I want to leave that chunk of my life in the past forever, and not ever be influenced negatively by it again. Telling my own story is a bucket-list item, so to speak. But it would be impossible to tell my own story without speaking of the countless stories I've created throughout my lifetime, as well as the ones that I've lost throughout my lifetime. Some of those are painful memories. But, I have learned much, and I have much to learn if anyone besides myself is to glean something useful from the experiences I've been through. I have a beautiful mind, and I think that some people might really enjoy taking a peek into my universe.

Since Project Zeitgeist is now, more or less, a clean slate, I'll re-birth this blog by posting some stories and articles I have already written & still have copies of, beginning with episodes of the saga I am writing. There will, of course, be brand-new content coming soon. Go ahead and read the Newcomer's Page as well as the About Section for more information about this blog. I hope it is enjoyed!

Sincerely, Anastasia Valentine ♥

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Tags: The Usual, The Valentine