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A True and False Prophet

There was a prophet whom everyone said was crazy.

Every prediction he said, so said the people

He had gotten wrong.

He even once said that the heavens would pour down fire

If the peoples did not repent of their actions.

Haughtily, the world looked,

And no fire rained from the heavens.

 

There was another prophet whom everyone said was in his right mind.

Every prediction he said, so said the peoples

He got right.

He even said that fire ought to fall down from the sky

For it would be good for the peoples if it did rain fire.

Haughtily, the world looked

And then desired with their whole hearts for fire to rain down from the heavens

Like Sodom’s Brimstone

For they enlarged their stubborn hearts as if they were gods.

 

The first prophet was visited by brethren

Of the Church of Christ, to spy whether he was mad

Or truly a prophet. They saw him

And not much greatness was perceived in him

For every proclamation he made was wrong.

Yet, when he spake, the children of God trembled

For fear of God’s wrath.

 

The second prophet was visited by the same brethren

Of the Church of Christ, to spy whether he were a prophet

For they neither considered him mad, nor a false prophet.

They saw much greatness in him

Enough to bring down fire from the heavens.

Every prediction he made came true.

Yet, when he spake, the children of God became haughty of heart

Desiring in their hearts to become gods.

 

Which prophet, do you suppose

Had done the will of God?

The one who spoke, and all men trembled

Though not one word of his came true?

Or the prophet whom everyone adored

Because he could tell fortunes,

And make their hearts haughty because of mammon?

 

Yet, Christ said this: “I give this generation only the sign of Jonah,”

Whom Jonah set three days in the belly of a whale

Before going to Nineveh because he considered he’d be made a fool

When his words would not come true.

And surely, his words did not come true

Because God was merciful to Nineveh.

Woe to that people whose prophet’s words come true

If the prophet’s words are to turn the peoples off of the narrow path.

For the peoples adore great spectacles, but cannot tolerate a poor man

Whom the whole world despises because of the inconvenience of what he says.

Yet, blessed be that prophet who speaks a word,

And it does not come true

If it is spoken to warn the peoples of bitter trials ahead.

For a prophet ought not seek destruction,

But rather to preserve the life of his peoples.

And a prophet’s fear

Is to gladly be made a fool for his prophecy.

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The Siege of Moscow; Fiction Short Story

The Siege of Moscow

Siege of Moscow, July 19th 2032

Russian Front

My name is Vladimir Kolva. I am Russian soldier stationed underneath the battered Russian capitol, Moscow. The year is 2032, and I’ve been here for one month; the sound of my city crumbling resonates through my ears. This bloody adversary attacks our city with weapons of chemicals, and bacteria. As I walk through Russian underground, I can see people dying of our own viral weapon, Ebola. They are quarantined in section guarded by Russian soldiers wearing hazmat uniform. Others are wheezing to death as a result of enemy attacks. Those illegitimate sons use airborne anthrax to kill us. If it’s not that, it’s blisters caused by the other kind, or lethal mustard gas. I’m glad the Chinese die slow deaths from the deadly and painful poison, Ebola. It is my deepest regret that I cannot kill them with my hands, lest I get infected. I wish to drink their blood like dog, but I cannot, for they are too shameful to even touch. Worse than lepers. Our warheads, loaded with Ebola, deny us the privilege of conventional warfare.
Our war started when the Chinese cleverly accused us of planning an invasion. We massed on the border to defend our land! We knew the attack was coming. They struck first. We had no intention to attack; we saw them like they saw our warheads. All of this loss because Russia chose to stand against a repugnant foe. They supported North Korea, and North Korea’s cowardly attack on their Southern brothers. They said, “Test of our warheads.” Ha, test our warheads! The weapon was live, and landed in the southern state. It killed 50,000 innocent men, women and children. We Russians have heart, one enshrouded in stone, iron and vigor, but we do have heart. An attack of that magnitude on innocent city because of pathetic border dispute, and jealousy. Pft, I spit on Korea, and its allies the Iranians, and these disgusting Chinese pigs.
Our allies have all but abandoned Russia. The very countries we helped industrialize, setting far apart from their weak and feeble neighbors, they now turn their weapons on us, or their cheeks turn aside to our needs. Now our only ally is the very foe we Russians despised the most. But what we Russians despise more than those Capitalist swine, now, more than ever, are the imperialistic illegitimates, the Chinese. Especially now that they invade us with their army of 70,000,000, and launch their anthrax and mustard gas on our beloved Capitol, Zion herself. We can never return to peace! Us Russians will fight these dogs back into their cave, and then slay the heart of the prostitute who bore them. I will have avenged my family, or my name is not Vladimir Niccolavitch Kolva.
I can hear their missiles bombing our city. I wait inside myself, eagerly awaiting the time I get to kill a Chinese pig. Soon, my prayers are answered. I prayed, yes, I prayed, for strength. Before my departure, my comrades and I sit around a table with a bag of American dried beef. My comrades grab a piece of United States cow, and eat it, talking in our native tongue.
“Ha, looks like the turkeys have some good things. Capitalist swine probably still think they are going to convince us to buy their overly priced leather,” says Micholvich.
I glance at him and bellow, “Their cows are quite tasty, though,” I say this to him while chewing on a piece of the dried meat.
“O-boy-Oberto. Ha, what does that mean, I wonder, comrade?” asks Micholvich.
“It is a way the capitalists brainwash each other into being even more capitalist. They use words that rhyme to subvert the rational creature, and sell them on consumerism,” I say.
Micholvich laughs heartily.
“But what is worse than Capitalist is hypocrite. At least the United States will admit to their own ideals. The Chinese, however, they attack without couth. They call themselves a nation of reverence, but then sanction a country to send their dogs into another helpless one. They expect us to roll over like those dogs, to be teased with a bone. I say those Chinese illegitimates will die,” says Mickov.
Micholvich nods his head, as I do. These two are my only friends in the world, now. Since this war began, a year ago, everyone else I know has died. With the order to attack ringing like melodic music in my head, we put on our spirits, and our hazmat suits. Mickov laughs, and tells me that he can make this very thing out of his tent. We all laugh.
The generals of our armies all hide like mongrels, underneath our feet, and now it is up to only us people of Russia to defend Zion. We had many tanks, soldiers and equipment waiting underground, but much was destroyed. We now have a fraction of what was once our army. We have one last force of 200,000 waiting for the final assault against the Chinese. That is all. But now, it is up to us civilians to battle the Chinese, who bombard Zion.
I grab my AK47, the most trustworthy weapon ever made.
I follow my comrades, a row of us merge into another, which merges into another, which merges into another. We soon are 6,000 strong, exiting out a hole in the ground, like rat. It is despicable that our proud people be relegated to holes in the ground.
Exiting the hole, a fog of war mists us. It is not smoke, but chemicals, vaporous spores, death, the very being. The mist fogs even the tight tunnels we walked. My comrades walk with me. Looking out of my suit, the world is framed inside the outline of goggles. My peripheral vision is blocked, and for once, a fear consumes my bones. We walk, and all I can hear are the sounds of bombs and death. The once horrendous hatred is now turned to fear. Though I speak strong to you, fear consumes my very bones. Artillery roars like thunder, the mid-afternoon, cloudless day blocked by the fog of war. If you were in Moscow, you wouldn’t recognize her. Zion has become shrouded by gas and viral dust which blocks out even the sun. Black smoke rises from countless fires, burning fuel lines, bombs and fire. The Chinese artilleries flash, illuminating the far east horizon. It looks like lightning emanating from endless peals of thunders. The city was crumbled, the Kremlin destroyed, my home a smoldering pile of ash. Around me is corpse after corpse, civilians, infected by anthrax, or killed by mustard and nerve agents. I look to my left and see little black haired girl, holding her doll. Dead, no use describing the horror, but the black bile of Ebola drips from her lips. It was our weapon that killed her.
Soon, our column is dispersed. We run through the rubble, through the destruction. What weapons could mankind throw at us now? What more devastating thing is there than this? Even nuclear war couldn’t hold this kind of devastation. Around me are the corpses of not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of innocents. Animal—killed: cattle, dogs, sheep, children, everyone dead, except us. Or, are we also dead, too? Was my humanity stripped from me by the Chinese pigs? Rage enshrouds me, like the fog of viral and chemical weapons upon Zion.
We continue down further. Artillery still thunders, Iranian fighters rip past our ranks, dropping more chemicals, more viruses, more bacteria. One slams into my column, tearing my fellow soldiers limb from limb. I swore revenge. I hadn’t seen the enemy, but I know they are out here. I knew. We couldn’t touch them because they might be infected with our own weapons. We couldn’t support any more viral outbreaks. Around me are the deformed bodies of casualties, covered head to toe with blisters. I don’t even turn away; how can I when it is all around me? My friends and I make our way to Russian counter artillery. One of our Hin-Ds flies above us, and disperses a volley of fire and brimstone. Above us is a dogfight between Russian and Iranian Air Forces. A plane loses its wing, a blazing fireball smoldering with black tar; it crashes into one of the few remaining buildings.
“Fire!” yelled the artillery commander. The giant cannon fires at unspecific targets. The entire air recoils, a shockwave penetrates my very bones. The hiss of fighters roar around us, beside us is Russian artillery. It is not so lucky; it is destroyed by Iranian bomb. When bomb made impact, the entire metal structure turned into a spew of shrapnel that cut through my comrades surrounding it. Micholvich’s suit was scraped, but not penetrated from what I could see.
We man another artillery post bravely, as the enemy overwhelms us with shells. The fighters roar over us, battling a blaring battle of fire and speed. They are hidden by the fog of noxious gas surrounding us. The Hin-D is now destroyed in mid combat by another Iranian helicopter. Our escort was destroyed, which left us no other choice but to abandon our post. The Iranian helicopter sprays its fury at us, tearing my retreating comrades to pieces. We fire back with RPGs but they are no match for enemy helicopter. Demoralized by our loss, we retreat back to the nearest bunker entrance, the nearest entrance to our newly formed underground city. We find cover quickly, and rest in the dismal tunnels. Around us are wounded soldiers, executed on the spot to prevent the spread of illness. Quickly, I check my suit for any breaches; I find none. Micholvich has only one, but it didn’t seem to penetrate. Mickov looks fine, too. We are sprayed down head to toe in our suits with bleach, to prevent the spread of spores. We retreat after long day, receding back into the depths of our tunnels.
When we finally find sanctuary, it is next to an anthrax treatment station. I look at the sore-covered people, and I am greatly sorrowed. They wheeze. The night is spent listening to the sounds of dying countrymen, dying a slow death of anthrax or Ebola. We aren’t allowed anywhere near them. The quarantines are not very good; in fact, the virus and bacteria infections spread throughout our people regardless. I still wait to fight, though. I will die for my country whether by virus, bacteria, chemical, fire or gun.
Sleep doesn’t come easily to me anymore. I rest my head against a dirt pile, but I can neither sleep as I can cry or scream.
I turn to talk to Mickov, “Mickov, I never wanted to be soldier,” I say to him.
“You sound like capitalist,” says Micholvich to me. “You both sound like capitalist, with all of your whining,”
“At least capitalist wouldn’t destroy Russia to such extent, yah?” says Mickov
“What? And communist would? Where are you getting at, Mickov?” I ask him.
He shrugs and says, “Ah, I’m just saying that I don’t think United States would have gone to such lengths to destroy Russia; that’s all I’m saying,” says Mickov.
“Let me tell you something about United States, Mickov. They are probably the ones who enticed China to attack. Remember Afghanistan?” asks Micholvich, his grandfather killed in Afghan war.
“Keep quiet, Micholvich; Afghanistan was when we were still part of the Union,” I say, trying to prevent demoralizing argument.
“We were the Union, until the capitalist swine toppled us!” shouted Micholvich. “Now we are their puppet, fighting their war with China. We are Afghanistan and Vietnam. We are just the stage that the real war is being fought. It is China and America who are enemies: we bear the brunt because we were stupid. We are nothing to either,” shouts Micholvich angrily.
“Obviously we are something, if it is China itself attacking us. The United States is giving us thanks for being the battleground. You are right that we Russians are not the ones who chose this war, but we only fight it for Russia. It isn’t the United States in this wear, is it? No, it is Russian blood. Russia fights this war, and the United States will help win it,” says Mickov, who seems greatly appreciative of the aid being given.
“I don’t know. I am not much of American enthusiast, but I have to say that recent developments would show that the USA is turning out to be more of an ally than anyone else,” I say to Micholvich.
“China was only in it for their own self-interest. They didn’t want only Russia, they wanted to rule the world, and take control over the new world. Ah, I’d say that’s why they stay out of WWIII,” Mickov says.
“World War III? The United Sates just wanted to get rid of African gold standard. I believe that WWIII was all set up by American government. They nuked Israel, they had to. Why would Muslim nuke his own holy city? They wanted Muslims to band together and fight as one, so they could also be broken as one. It was all scam,” says Micholvich.
“No, Micholvich, it is all in your head. United States is not as bad as you think they are,” says Mickov.
“Ha Mickov, you’re letting o-boy-Oberto get into your head, comrade,” I say, “The Americans aren’t as sinister as we’d like to believe, at least not as sinister as the pigs, but they are bad. They are wasteful and superficial culture based on set of principles that not even they follow. They are joke. They are also just like us,” I say.
“Bite that tongue!” shouts Micholvich.
“How do you say,” Mickov answers inquisitively.
“They are just like us because they are oppressed people as well. Yes, I say it: their freedoms are just dreams distracting them from the reality that they are to their own government puppets on a string. Our government makes us work in its factories, tells us how to live, breath, work, socialize, fight, theirs do the same thing only with media and o-boy-Oberto. Their whole society is o-boy-Oberto. They are puppets dangling on the strings of their own so called freedoms. Corrupted by their little jingles and media, they have no freedom: they also get killed if they challenge their government, just like us; they go to prison for their ideas, just like us, and they stand in a line, just like us; they lost those values, and the vigor that they brag about having, but in reality, they lose it long ago, just like us. Their only freedom is they get to live in big house, with white fences, and have dog as best friend. Pft, if that is freedom, than that they are full of. If that is freedom, then we can say that we are not free people, and they are. But if we see it for what it truly is, there are no free peoples. Not anymore.”
“You dare challenge our government!” bellows Micholvich.
I laugh. It is funny. We fight in stinking hole like gopher, to pop our head out and die of rat poison? It is funny, Comrade, understand why.
“I have to say that our government is better just because the fact that we don’t hide our intentions from our people. Does it shame you that I have found common ground between the two most, supposedly, polar opposite cultures in the world?” I say again.
“I think you are wrong, Kolva, about America. Where else can you go and accomplish your dreams? Maybe all that stuff is true, but at least they have the ability to fail or accomplish something,” Mickov’s words angered Micholvich. I fell silent because someone might hear us, and those words stung the soul of my communist heart.
“You capitalist, swine!” whispered Micholvich.
“I’m not capitalist; I’m just simply saying…” started Mickov, trying to defend himself.
The tremors of an explosion from the outside startles our conversation, cutting it short. The shockwave bursts us back into the realization of where we are, and what is happening all around us.

Iranian Fighter Pilot

“Zoubir, I can see the fogs rising from the enemy’s wasted capitol. I’m readying to launch my angel of death upon these blasphemers,” says Mustapha.
He flies in tight formation with me, “Mustapha, no. Have mercy, for they were our ally for quite some time.”
We fly low, in our MiG-238s. The enemy has Su-47s. This I dread but know for sure. A much more superior weapon to our MiGs. They will surely have less, though. The Chinese raided their airfields with bombs and chemicals not but a week ago. They couldn’t have more than five squadrons. We have twenty just with us.
Out of the bile cloud surrounding the City of Moscow, eight fighters plume out. Russian for sure. I can see the vultures closing in on us. Su-47s no doubt. I can tell because of their wings; they curve toward us as they fly. What unholy bird flies with wings outward—only these. A tank looks like a turtle, a fighter an eagle, a jeep like a beetle, but these Su-47s, they look like an evil djinn, with their unnatural, curving wings. They are evil, and I know it.
“Mustapha, break formation, you fly with the six others to deliver our payload.”
Mustapha is one of only three bombers with us. He flies the new Iroquois XA; a devil we bought from America, the women‘s blood. The Iroquois is a Hydrogen Modified Helicopter large enough to fit fifty, full grown men. The craft has jet engines, and the propellers encase themselves inside a circular chamber, only allowing the blades to make contact with the air above and beneath. This helicopter flies at supersonic speeds, the fastest helicopter in the world. Ha, the women’s blood Americans… their contractors sold us these under the table. We bought half a dozen of them, with our wealth. We brought three to this battle. A far superior weapon to the Hin-D.
Mustapha flies in close formation with our other six fighters. I watch them drop below. The other two Iroquois fly within the large cluster of formations which approach the city. The Russian interceptors are few, and our fighters are many. Nine fighters against twenty squadrons! We all joke.
“Halael, take your squadron down and intercept their attack,” I watch as a squadron of seven flies out to meet their squadron. The fighters find themselves in a violent dogfight. My warning lights begin to flicker. I look down, “What in the name of Ishmael!” I scream, though I don’t know why. Then I look up, and I can see out of the city, 12 missile tails, heading straight for our squadrons.
“What! Break up, break up!” I roll my bird of prey down, and fly straight for the deck. On my radar I can see eight of the missiles hit their targets. The one for me splashes into the ground. While pulling up, I find myself cutting through an enemy squadron. I fire my machine gun, but hit nothing. I pull my craft out and am blinded by a continuous scream of warning lights. I cannot sit still. Around me I can see smoke trails, and my friends burning to their death. The Russian pilots are far superior. Mustapha is all that is left of our bombers. We have a payload of three chemical warheads, each one meant for a crucial target.
I finally balance my craft, and I find sense out of the dementia of the battle. Only 3 Su-47s are seen. We still have many of our fighters left, but still, only a fraction of what once was. QXAAMs, I think. It has to be. They launched all at once. I knew it, so I give the orders to my brothers, “My brothers, don’t let the initial bite be the sting that brings you to your knees. For it wasn’t venomous, and they haven’t enough strength to bite like that again. Kill them.”
My words give great encouragement to my fellow pilots. Quickly, I roll my craft and find the tail of a Su-47. It out maneuvers me, and can fly faster. I simply hold still and fire a SAAM. The weapon leaves my craft. The Su pilot out maneuvers it, coursing my missile to leap off vector. Then, the demon turns around and shoots me. Its bullets spray at me, hitting my fuselage, and my wing. My craft is wounded, not critically, but enough. My fighter is now slower than it once was; I realize the superiority of the enemy. They have us beat with their demons. Only 9, and they still mount an infallible offense against our MiGs.
“Quickly, my brothers, we shall recede to the city and take to destroying their artillery,” I say.
The fighters in my battered squadron soar down toward the wasteland that was once Moscow. Our fighters take on casualties as we close in the gap. Finally, we penetrate the plumes of poisonous gas. Once inside, we only see for three kilometers. The buildings come up fast. Below, I see an artillery cannon. I can see the enemies loading it. I lock onto it, and let loose a missile. It soars through Russia’s wasteland, like a dove in flight. The weapon finds its target and destroys it. Next to it is another artillery. Quickly I roll around and can see an enemy interceptor trailing on me. Quickly, I fire a missile, and before the enemy has time to react, he is hit. His fighter is only feet from the ground, and it finds its way into the standing building. I turn around, and marvel at my kill. I am ready to brag. Turning around, I lock onto another artillery cannon, and let loose another missile. The missile makes impact with the artillery piece, and now I am up to three enemy kills. I turn around and fly out. I can see Mustapha, as I am leaving. An enemy Hin-D hovers as defense over the last remaining artillery cannon that we know. Mustapha flies toward the Hin-D and destroys it with his superior firepower. Then Mustapha attacks what is left of the remaining troops, killing hundreds as he follows them back to their rabbit holes. Soon, the order to recall is announced. My fighters recede back towards Iran, where we will make pitfall. We will refuel, regroup and then re-launch tomorrow. The Russian interceptors disappeared somewhere, broken and shattered.
The flight home lasts an hour, when at supersonic speeds. We land our craft gracefully on the airfield. I look at the casualty report, and I am shocked. We lost over seventy percent of our fighters. I then realize why the interceptors departed. They used up all of their ammunition on us. They killed so many of us, that they didn’t have anything left to spare. I talk to everyone else, and soon find out that I am the only pilot who killed one of the demons. Perhaps this means some of the dead did, but I do not know.

Chinese Front

Around me sick and dead. Viral attacks Russians use on us kill millions of my people. We barely have enough to hold this city. If not for Iranian air support, we have nothing. Miles I trekked for nothing. From city, artillery fires upon us. We have hundreds more artillery firing back. We launch missiles, as well, missiles loaded with deadly gas and bacteria. We countered Russian viral attack with bacteria. We attack them with bacteria. Officer walks by us, picking random people to take to burn pits. He no touch them, no, he use other infected to do that.
“If you get infected, we burn you. No get infected. No touch anyone, no help anyone, if friend gets hurt, no help him. You might get Ebola, and thin our ranks. This last stand for Russians. All we need do kill their remaining artillery, then launch final assault onto their city. We close to end of phase one, so no die, no get infected. No help your brothers. You no help them; you just being weak if you do.”
General sees one of our men vomiting. Black bile pours out his mouth, like black blood. It has red, and black mixed in it, smelling like rotting flesh. Smell of death fumigates from it. Everyone knows what smell means, and what it is. We turn away from him, exile him.
“You, front line, we need you to infect our enemy. You, you go to burn pit.” He give orders like those to everyone. His eyes pass by me; I stiffen. I show alertness to demonstrate that I no one of infected. Officer nods his head, ushers hundred or so infected into line. He orders sterilization squad. Infected know what needs done; they know they die.
Sterilization battalion arrives shortly after general passes order on, and then they pull their high heat flamethrowers on. The hundred infected stand in column and burn alive. They used to be shot, but sometimes blood trickle onto someone else, and spread infection. I watch familiar sight of hundreds of people melting away, into ash, burning alive within flame of their own brothers. They no even stop when they charred. They burn them down to ash, and spray ash with bleach. They then go on bile inspection, and throw bleach over everything. Giant vats of pure bleach on back of men, along with thermite lacquer tanks, spray ash. They spray bleach on everything with hose. The Russians have experimental treatments from Americans; we no have anything. The infectious defense they use work.
“If you get infected, you die. No get infected,” say general again, yelling. We nod our heads, and then man battery. Enemy artillery shells blast us up and down our lines. Behind our lines, line of tanks, and jeeps, ready for invasion that still yet to come. Half of hundreds of thousands of war machines no even be used. Ebola infection thinned our ranks too severely.
While working artillery, I notice one man bleeding from eyes. I point him out, and he grabbed by hazmat police, thrown into one of thousands of burn piles. He knocked out with anesthesia before he thrown into burn pit, so he no get back out and bleed over us. His blood quickly found, sterilized, because infection transmitted by blood, and bile is secreted as result of virus. All his friends thrown into mass pit as well. They ask me if I know him. I lie and say no. Of course I know him, he one of my friends. He and I brothers for long march leading up to this. A trail of infected span here from there. We lose millions to virus.
Enemy artillery batteries fire at us with much intensity. One of their rounds hit burn pile. The bloody ash spews over all. The general touched by spew. I see him looking around, panic on face. He no hesitate. He march over to another burn pile, and throw himself onto it as example. Burning alive I hear him scream in agony, but he no show cowardice by rushing back out. Everyone within sight watch. Hazmat troops quickly come in, round up suspected infected, about 3,000 of them thrown alive into burn pit, on spot. Soon, our area deemed hot zone, and my blood taken as security measure. They find no virus in me, and let me move on to next artillery battery. I walk. The black smoke of thousands of burn piles dim sky around me. It midafternoon, but sky black, and only light from distant horizon, it burn pit. The city itself also spew smoke, but that smoke different, maybe more sinister. Aside from black cloud that loom over all, city have cloudy haze. That fog from our chemical and bacteria. Behind our artillery hundreds of thousands of war machines waiting to be used for final assault.
Soon I hear fighters in distance, hissing form behind enemy city. I follow that sound for few minutes. I know just who they are. Iranians. I walk further down line of ally artillery, but soon stop when hissing of fighter jets seem to erupt into great battle. I quickly turn around to see. At that moment I standing in front of one of our North Korean platoons. They special forces from Korea, specially trained for urban conflict. I no understand how much use they be in city that is now rubble. They different from us in many ways. Language, bone structure, culture, but foremost, their apparel. They wear head to toe body armor, respirators, and even vision aiding goggles. We have only 3,000 of these elite men with us, for that all Korea afford to send. But these 3,000 are best trained urban combat fighters in world. They so impervious to noxious gas that I see all around smoke enshrouded city. I again begin to walk but am disturbed by sounds of crashing fighters that echo in background.
I return to my new post, but no even talk to anyone to avoid infection. Behind our battery giant fire, filled with charred bodies. The artillery piece fires and resonates through my bones. Another sanitation squad seen heading my way. The artillery fires make me feel dirty, because my skin touched by dust. Everyone has to wear gloves, everyone has to wear dust mask, but even that no work. Our protection is in sharp contrast to Koreans. Also, it no airborne virus, it transmitted by sweat, blood, mucous or any fluid from human. The virus has ninety-four percent kill ratio. It virus that takes ten day to incubate, so I might have it and no even know it. It virus that actually eats away at your innards, turning your insides into bile. The bile then vomited out. The vomit is blood, puss and pieces of rotting flesh from inside you. How we be protected from virus transmitted through bodily fluids with only dust masks and latex gloves? They say pain caused by virus insurmountable, and excruciating. Like searing knife cutting you from inside. The pain alone said to be immobilizing, and even bring one to wish death upon oneself. Ten days man have it and no even know. That what make it so deadly. The first missiles do nothing, and our people laughed. But ten days later, almost fourth of our army infected. Thirty days later, almost half, three months later, over three fourths of our army either infected or dead. Year pass by, and out of original seventy million who start march, only five million of us remain. It projected that out of five million who remain, over half of us infected as well.
Infected, no infected, nobody knows who’s who. Russians chose very wise choice in use of virus. It no airborne, and no transmit through breathing. It virus spread best through unsanitary conditions, and what more unsanitary than war? It virus easily contained in the civilized world, but no possible to contain in survival conditions. It virus that also have ninety-four percent kill ratio. Only six out of every one-hundred infected survive. Our weapon no even have half the impact. Our people no have Ebola strains in our arsenal. Only anthrax.
Another man bleed and puke his organs. The vile smell of rotting flesh fill my nostrils; he ushered away, and burnt alive along with hundreds of others. We have thousands of casualties hour. We even have to call in for reinforcements. To prevent viral outbreaks, back in our homeland, the reinforcement transports to and fro, here or there, either destroyed or basted in bleach, and then stockpiled with hundreds of thousands of troops ready for final assault. This assault coming, too, because Russian resistance about to break, or so I hear. After two month siege, and taking almost twenty million more casualties from the siege alone, we ready to invade. We surely win, too, but at what cost? The more time we spend out here, the more people infected, and the more people killed. I just happy it all come to end.
Over the city I hear fighters whipping around in great fight of eagles. I wish I with them. I wish I no have to be here. They somewhere safe. They no die without dignity. But me, my death, or life, may somehow take with it thousands of others. They die in peace, and have the comfort of conventional warfare on their side. But us, and also our foe, we suffer from the torments of mankind’s most sinister sins. Those people in the city no longer enemies, they just people. I know that we launching similar type of weapon back. We no different. Soon, the word come in. The last enemy artillery cannon destroyed by our Iranian friends. The invasion commence in three days. Three more days of losing thousands of people. This no war, it viral breeding ground. How our people so ignorant? Beside me, another man begin to lose innards. And then another, and then another, and then they burned.

Invasion of Moscow, July 23rd, 2032

Chinese Front

Three days after last Russian artillery destroyed, it time we go. We no given suits. We given dust masks and rubber gloves. Chemical attacks stop day we destroy last enemy artillery. So it almost safe. The city undoubtedly still noxious, and deadly. It most uninhabitable place on Earth. Our entire army load inside columns of war machines, stretching out as far as my eye sees. The roars of engines echo through silent battleground. I imagine it intimidating sight to enemy, seeing endless army of war machines moving towards their city. There no fire shooting at us, no defense. Two million vehicles approach city, tanks, APVs, troop carriers, helicopters, all-terrain vehicles, all come in from East. Iranian air force to come in from west side of city. Our forces meet in city, and completely surround enemy. Iranian Air Force also drop in extra paratroopers for invasion.
Two mile trek into enemy’s wasteland capitol, long trek. No shot fired. We already beat enemy? Approaching city, dead pile high. I see atrocity befallen to Russia. Millions of innocent lives destroyed, and no living soul in sight. I ashamed of our own people for even starting this war. I myself no like Korea, and wish that we side against them. But here I am, about to fight side by side with them, approaching city in mass columns, finding nothing.
“We won!” shouts soldier, his scream echoing out from truck bed.
Next to him, man vomits. The vomiting man kneels over, and everyone on that carrier jumps off moving caravan. Some crushed under weight of tanks, others found footing. One of tanks in column near me sway off path and run over troop carrier. The driver must have gotten sick. Maybe he panics because someone onboard sick. We no win war: we lose ninety-four percent of our men before we even get back home. Our caravan stop at the city limits, ready to breach it. We lose troops on our way into city. The Russians no even have to fire shot. The Iranian Air Force nowhere to be seen.
I think to myself that this may be actual victory. I look around at all my people; through my own eyes, our country no afford seventy million full hazmat suits, or maybe they try not to think about it. I look around, at wasteland in front of me. All that stands of it rafters and destruction. I with front lines and see everything so clearly. Behind me miles worth of vehicles still awaiting, the great battle that seemed like it no ever happen.
Beside me, one of dust masks explode with human bile. The black bile pour out in unnaturally long stream, spraying everyone on my carrier. The acrid bile all over me. I no handle it anymore. I jump off because I infected, just as I see others do. I run toward enemy projected footholds in blind panic, before I get my bearing; fighter rips through sky, and tears hole deep into our lines. I have my AK47 with me; that all I know. I watch as our men flood out of burning perimeter of mangled vehicles. About thirty of them destroyed. Surviving troops engulfed in flames run in numerous directions, only to find their own countrymen rejecting them. I feel bile on me now; I know I infected; I know I dead. But I pay no mind to bile, teeming, viral death; I pay mind to my mission. Transports around me emptied, so I run in line with my advancing countrymen. More bombs slam into our lines. These bombs dropped by supersonic jets, likes of which I no say because they moved as fast through air that I no see them. About eight of them unleash payload on our column. All around me I see bile seeping out of gasmasks; I see some of my people falling to death from no wounds, just dying by over exertion. I see casualties inflicted by bombs that just drop. I watch as my people melt away into human gore. I stop, I need to, war too hard to bear. It when I stop that enemy show his face.
A shower of chemicals fall upon our advancing troops. Some fall on me, and make contact with some of my skin. It burn with great intensity; my lungs feel like a taught rubber band ready to break. I have to fight, though, the pain so unbearable. It final day of my life, and I have to fight for my country’s sins. I took three steps and hear hundreds of bullets spraying at me like great sin all around. I duck down, and watch as my sick brothers fall down. Enemy fire heavy waves of fire. I hear tanks driving from opposite side of where we stand. Then I hear enemy’s tanks fire. I look back and see our lines engulfed by great fires of enemy tank batteries. I watch as enemy unleash massive army against our battered ranks. This army well suited, well trained, well rested, and unaffected by two month siege. Our siege do nothing but angered enemy. I never imagine that such people exist. We ignorant to think victory come to us so easily as three thousand mile trek, two month siege and sixty-six million dead.
Around me, I see my people, as they ripped apart by encroaching tanks. Tank artillery shoots us down ferociously, leaving pockets of human gore everywhere. Quickly, I gain composer and run along with hundreds of thousands of my fellow brothers. We approach suspected enemy lines. Our sick army shot down, run over, and blown to pieces by them. They show no mercy. I never seen adversary so relentless as Russians. I stagger where I stand, after I realize there nothing left of battle surge. I see my people dying from gunshot wounds now, not virus. Afflicted by shell shock, I turn around. I see Russian foot soldiers running toward me. They have on tent like suits. They even have better equipment than us. I pay no mind, because I know my place to die for my country. I kill them, as they kill me. I partake in my country’s sins with great regret. I no help but see them as people. I hesitate, because I know their heart. A man halfway out of hole sees me. I panic and fire. The recoil makes my hand slip, gun falls from my shoulder. The bullets cut him dead. The man is pushed away. I look up, see another man in hole. Gun, barrel, flash…
Iranian Fighter Squadron

This is it, the day of rectitude. The blasphemers will die. I fly my fighter in close formation with the Chinese F-14s and F/A-22s. I’m in my MiG238. Mustapha is the only remaining Iroquois pilot. Our birds of prey fly in close formation with each other while zooming over the Russian landscape. We can see civilians below us, watching as our flocks of angels fly majestically over the Russian countryside. Moscow is only minutes away. We meet up with the five Chinese squadrons, and their ten bombers. Their fleet was mighty, as the raptors fly in formation loose behind us. Along with our squadron, fly five troop transports to provide the Chinese with reinforcements. The Chinese raptors would surely be a match against the Su-47s. My heart is filled with confidence about this battle. We fly in a cluster of sixteen squadrons, ten bombers and five troop transports, each filled with over a hundred battle ready, fully equipped and suited, Iranian troops.
“Mustapha, Allah smiles upon us today. We bring raptors of truth to fight off evil djinn. The enemy will crumble underneath our fleet of deadly eagles.”
“True, Zoubir, Allah surely is with us today.” We fly in formation.
A Chinese translation speaks over the intercom in our native tongue of Farsi. “When we get to the city of Moscow, your MiGs will be no match for the enemy. Fly as cover for our bombers and your transports. Our birds will deal with the enemy interceptors. The Su-47 is a formidable weapon, but is no match for Chinese might.”
“This is squadron leader, Zoubir Bin Kahim; we are humbly at your service, and will adhere to your will. We know how deadly these djinn are, and I know in my heart that your raptors are angels in disguise. They will slay the djinn that we go to battle. It is our honor to fly with you.”
The Chinese translator says nothing else. I am moderately offended because I gave him my highest honors. My mind will need to focus, though. I want more than anything to defeat those evil Russians. Their djinn mocked us last time, but this time we bring angels, not raptors, to the fight.
I look at my radar.
“Ahh!” Then static. I quickly look up and see that Mustapha, along with nineteen other fighters, are now smoldering fireballs, freefalling to the ground. Mustapha’s helicopter is pieces of broken steel, blood and bone. My heart sinks. I follow the missile streams as they trail back to the swarm of… of… this cannot be! I look out toward the enemy and see a cloud of F/A22s flying like demons toward us. The Russians do not have these fighters, only the… the… no! It cannot be!
The enemy swarm cannot be picked up on radar, as an F/A-117 flies underneath me. These are American fighters, they have to be! Upon observation, I see Russian crests, but they fly American fighters. I quickly roll my plane down to engage one of the unknown aggressors. The enemy squadrons merge with our own, as five Chinese raptors are blown away before they can even respond to the attack. These pilots are trained, far better than the Chinese. In the distance, I see the American relief fleet that flies in daily supplies to Russian fortifications in Moscow.
“My fellow brothers fly with me!” I shout, trying to heighten morale.
QXAAMs collide with the remaining raptors, leaving only three Chinese raptors, and five Chinese Tomcats to survive. As quickly as the enemy fighters appear, they vanish. I can see them receding into the distance. They fly low to the ground to avoid radar. This was probably how they got to us. They are too fast for our fighters to pursue, but we do have the American relief in front of us with only a few escorts. I was just about ready to give an order to Mustapha, but then I realize that he is no longer, and resides with Allah. My heart sinks. But I then see my revenge. I yell out over the intercom, “Those were Americans in disguise. Destroy their transport planes!”
“How do you know that, Zoubir,” asked the Chinese pilot, in a robotic translation.
“My brother, they deliberately targeted our air superiority. American political tactics, they want to destroy our advantages before we reach Moscow, to give Russia a chance to win, but also to exclude themselves form the conflict. We will now attack their transports, because Allah declares the truth to me!”
The transports are off vector about two miles, but our fighters reach them in a matter of seconds. Our bombers and transports fly with the remaining F-14s and Raptors toward Moscow, as our MiGs swoop in to overwhelm the enemy transports. F-15 Eagles are their escorts. They will never expect an attack on American Transport planes, but they broke the Geneva Convention first, and now we legally must react. My fighters rise like a cloud of angels in flight. Twenty of our fighters soar into battle. Over the communication links I hear the enemy taking notice to us.
“What, what the… sir, bogeys inbound, bogeys inbound, get ready to en…” scream American voices, as I shoot a cockpit with my machineguns. His fighter flies erratically, and then finally finds its course to the ground. The remaining interceptors scatter to engage us. Even the Eagles are superior to our MiGs, but we have numbers, and more battle experience. They are only one step up from us with their technology, but we are more skilled, and outnumber them four to one. We have the advantage. My fighters tear into the enemy transports first, destroying all three of the cargo planes, undoubtedly filled with Anthrax and Ebola treatments. I have achieved victory, and know that I deal the enemy a crippling blow. These are vital for the Russians’ survival. Enemy fighters scatter around in a small swarm. I trail one of the djinn with my bird of truth, and unleash a volley of death upon it, crumbling it into smoldering ash. Quickly, I roll up, only to find one of my fighters breaking apart into silence. I whip around, and destroy the last F-15. The others dispatch quickly. My fighters recede back to our bomber/transport formation. We have only eight remaining fighters from the dogfight, the Chinese have few more.

Soon our presence looms over Moscow. I can see the endless column of Chinese war machines invading. Smoldering piles of dead fill the horizon, left at the Chinese’s former position. They were killed not by enemies, but by a virus. We knew all too well the conditions of this war. I try to let my mind focus. I can see enemy tanks below, amassing an impressive defense against the endless columns of Chinese. I watch below, and can see Chinese troops flooding off of the troop carriers, like ants scurrying about prey, but when a shell makes impact against those carriers, I can almost see their flesh peeling off. The battle is one sided, the Russians laid waste to the Chinese. I rise back up to the bombers’ altitude, and watch as a wave of bombs drop on the Russians. I can see from my high altitude the bombardment breaking the Russian ground assault. We fly over the Russian battlement, and turn around for the second, final pass. That is when those djinn from perdition rise from the ashes.
In front of me, four squadrons of Su-47s, each three strong, but one is a squadron of two, soar toward us from the direction we came. It is the same squadron we engaged, plus three more. Behind, enemy MiGs, archaic, but formidable, flew in clusters of twenty squadrons of three.
“The djinn are back for revenge! All craft break formation and engage,” I yell through the speakers.
They all take to the sky, swooping up, and then falling down. The Su-47s unleash a volley of QXAAMs that collide with our fighters, turning three into smoldering ash, and destroy a bomber. This volley came from the first two. The three Raptors take quickly to this, and engage the enemy craft. The Su-47s and the F/A22 Raptors are an even match. I watch as one Su-47 out maneuvers our Raptors, but then the Raptors gain back on them with their superior speed. The first of the Su-47s go down in a smoldering fire. I am pleased with this kill. While watching, my fuselage is rattled with bullets, shot by one of the inferior MiGs. Quickly, I roll around, finding myself behind it. I destroy the enemy craft with ease. I look to see how my brothers are doing, as I can hear their joyous celebrations over the communications with every kill they obtain. These are easy -to-destroy fighters. It is like target practice. Quickly I roll back down, and find myself staring at an enemy Su-47. I fire a missile, but am not so lucky. He rolls out of it, and fires a volley of machine gun fire into my fuselage. A missile bombardment leaves his craft after he cripples me, which destroys two bombers. I am ashamed at my failure, and arrogance. I thought I was a good fighter pilot just because I had mistakenly shot one down the day before, and then had four kills today. But now I fight an actual, worthy opponent. I try to out maneuver but find it hard due to wing damage. The enemy has me in his sights. Quickly, I dive; I dive; I dive; the enemy is on my wing. It is a demon chasing me. I can see the battlements below, as I fly closer. I pull up just before I reach the ground, and hit my thrusters. A sonic boom echoes out through the battlement. I thought I shook him, I had no warning lights, I had no…

Russian Front

At Mickov’s bedside, I see him wheezing in pain. Then, nothing. I close his eyes. He is dead.
Somehow enemy illegitimates infect him with anthrax. I am enraged, and I cannot wait to spill enemy pigs’ blood. I am ordered with Micholvich to follow our ranks over to the battle. The pig devils are mounting for their invasion, the continuous artillery stopped for three days. The chemicals stopped raining down. I follow Micholvich through the tunnels, up to the sewer lines, hoping that today is the day that the cowards attack. I follow my comrade with hatred in my stone heart. Micholvich and I both request to be in the front line, so we can be the first to see the enemy illegitimates with their slanted, devil eyes, and their ugly, virus blood. I want to see them bleed and watch them explode from within. I want to see what our weapon does to them, to see them laid to waist like the little girl and her teddy. Would they be us, or would they be monster?
I don’t say anything to Micholvich on the long walk to the sewer. We walk down tunnel with our AKs strapped to our backs. We wear our bio hazard suits over our bodies, which make it hard to move, but my hate educes focus to make it easier. I follow behind Micholvich, anxiously waiting to destroy the pigs with my trusted weapon. I still have not killed a man, but I now wish to more than anything.
We soon find ourselves waiting eagerly, clinging to a ladder that will lead us to the outside, into the perfidious wasteland that will be the stage of a battle greater than any in history. Greater than Stalingrad. Greater than Borodino. A great war more horrendous and greater than all other wars combined. For three hours we wait, crammed together with Russian infantry that come up just the other day. They waited below us: they were even below us. This is last, all-or-none battle, and this decides the fate of Russia. Our Russian troops, after fighting, breaking, and fighting, and breaking, all recede to our underground bunkers, and we wait for two months for Battle of the Pigs. Tanks, infantry, veterans of countless battles, we wait, deep below the surface. Thousands wait. All of us fight, broken, regrouped and then repeated until we wait beneath the smoldering ruins of Zion. We finally fight, when there is nowhere else to go.
“No, Kolva!” I will be first to go up and kill Chinese illegitimates. You will be right behind me, no?”
I do not contest with Micholvich. He wants to kill Chinese more than I. Micholvich was told to keep watch over city from manhole. We all stand on ladder for long time. From outside we can hear the enemy war machines rumbling closer, every second that passes, they rumble closer. We can feel the earth tremble, the column, a wall of tanks as far as the eye can see. Micholvich laughs, describing enemy pigs vomiting over themselves in their jeeps, and then jumping out like cowards only to disrupt their columns, or be crushed by their own. I laugh, but secretly am envious, that I do not see this stupidity, and that there are less for me to kill. We wait longer, and a loud scream is heard outside, a sound like a jet. Micholvich speaks in wonder, as he describes eight planes that he never has seen before, fly in low, faster than anything he ever has seen. He says that they drop many fire bombs, and then fly away as fast as they appear. I imagine the puking swine being effulgent in flame, and laugh hard, as do my comrades.
“Get ready, my comrades, their troops are close now,” says Micholvich. I can hear the enemy vehicles, and feel them as they shake the ground. My heart begins to pound like drum. My hands grip my trusted weapon. This will be my first taste of real combat, and I am ready. I want to kill those illegitimate pigs with my own bare hands. I would if not for their infection that they carry in their blood. I can hear our tanks and their tanks exchange fire. The explosions are immense. It is time to go. The thought of Micholvich’s army, the army he describes, it means more Chinese for me to kill. Our troops have already engaged them, but now it was me and Micholvich’s turn.
Micholvich takes three steps outside, and I look down to watch my footing. I look up, and his blood and brain matter, bone shards and mush pelt my mask. Micholvich falls to the side like limp, sickly dog that has been shot. I am enraged, and push him to the side, as I rise out of the sewer. Framed in my goggles, with a smear of Micholvich’s blood, I see an army of Chinese, a pathetic, broken army, covered in black bile, sick as death. I sneer in hatred. Rather than let myself feel pity, I turn it into hatred. Then I see the illegitimate pig who killed Micholvich. I stand on ladder, aim, and fire. The pig’s chest pops like a Champagne bottle spewing red syrup. He falls.
I crawl out of the hole, as explosions rattle the battlefield. I look around. I see so many Russians, but many more pigs, locked in battle. I watch as the pigs try to engage in hand to hand combat. They were trained to do that because of their infection. I kill pig after pig, watching their infectious, dirty blood desecrate our Russian soil. Enemy blood spilled on Russian soil was nothing foreign to Russia, but this infected swine was something different. Their blood deserved to be vomited up by Zion’s soil. I am glad it is this enemy whose blood I spill. No other enemy has ever caused as much damage as the pig illegitimates. I can see that the enemy is sluggish, and barely able to move. I watch as they spew black bile from their mouths, and fall to the ground, splashing in their own filth. A pathetic army of invalids. I shoot them without mercy. I retreat with my lines, and hold back behind a tank as it fires on the battlement. I watch as the Chinese troop carriers are destroyed by tanks. I watch as the limbs of enemy soldiers scatter from them. I laugh again, and pit my fury against the Chinese aggressors.
“Look, in the sky!” yells one of my comrades. I look and can see many fighters, and bombers, approaching. I laugh at them, and fire my weapon into the air. A fighter flies in close over top of us. He then retreats to his bombers. I laugh again. But when bombs fall from them like rain, I know fear for the second time. I watch as they smash into Russian tank lines. The order to retreat is revealed to us. I know I have to run, in order to kill more of the pigs. I have to run, but want to stay, you see? Do you understand, comrade, why I want to stay and fight? Contrary to my lust for blood, I follow my lines in and travel past craters filled with human parts, scorched vehicles, and rotting corpses. Anger fills my stone heart, as we continue. Then more fighters join the battle. Our fighters. Their wings are bent differently, like cherubim in my favorite hymn. I am happy they are ours. Their missiles destroy the bombers, as they fly in and kill the enemy fighters with ease. I laugh. The battle overhead rages on, as I retreat back to the underground with my comrades. On my last glance at the dogfight, I can see one enemy fighter diving for the ground. Another follows, one of ours. I watch as the fighter pulls up, I watch as it levels; the enemy fighter bursts the air around it. I can feel the pilot’s relief, but don’t want to feel it. I do, however, find closure. The pursuer fires his vengeance upon the fleeing Iranian, tearing into the back of the cockpit with bullets. I watch as my ally fighter soars up, back into the looming dogfight, and then watch as the enemy crashes into the ground in a fiery ball of glory. I laugh, spit at the fighter, and then enter back underground. I hold the image of the plane crashing and rejoice over this sign of victory.

Aftermath, July 31st, 2032

American News Broadcast

While sitting at a bar, with the love of my life Jorgia, I watch the most splitting image I’d ever see on the TV. A news helicopter flies over the aftermath of the siege of Moscow. The city is smoldering underneath its own ashes. I can see Russian people hobbling across the battlements. Civilians holding weapons, and dead loved ones, as the camera pans and zooms.
“Oh my… Brandon?” Jorge says, holding her hand to her mouth, and gripping me tightly. I look at the stinging image. Nothing could be made out of it, nothing stood. In the distance, burn pits can be seen, as they smolder into embers of human bone and skulls. They were all infected. The image then switches to a fleet of helicopters flying into the battlement to give viral relief.
Over the broadcast one can hear, “After a month of conflict in Moscow, the city has finally opened itself up to relief helicopters. The Ebola virus is being contained…” and then it switches to an image of our F/A22s flying over the path that the Chinese trekked on their advance. The fighters are dropping napalm all over the dead. Then it switches to ground platoons physically burning the dead. The infected Russians are all sent to outpost stations, where they are either vaccinated or executed to prevent further infection.
“The Chinese have declared an official surrender as of 3 o’clock am, Eastern time, yesterday. The Chinese are now accusing the Russians of unruly wartime ethics, as the Russians pursue their adversary eight miles behind the border of China. Nuclear War is being threatened. The Russians are being pressured by the UN to withdraw out of China.
“In related news, the Chinese have set up discrimination camps, in joint effort with NATO, to contain the possible spread of Ebola, declaring Russia is responsible for the worst plague in human history. Unfortunately, those who are infected are going to be dealt with accordingly.” The caster said this with only a little bit of reverence.
I watch in horror as the stinging images are cast over the 3D caster.
“If this is what war looks like, what is my little Marc going to do? What is his life going to be like?” asks Jorgia, teary eyed. I kiss her, not knowing how to answer the question. Everyone in the bar falls silent, as the aftermath of war is revealed to us.

 

Neifert, B. K.. The Fifth Angel’s Trumpet. Kindle Direct, 2015.

 

Copyright ©2015 B. K. Neifert

Featured

Prestor John

Prestor John

Canto I

Glist, you swords upon the warfields
Where Moor and Saxon draw their blood.
Joash, you hearty soul, crash your steel
On Arabian blunderbuss.

There, the gray steeds of great desert might
Flood the peninsula of Spanish
War; reconquest in heated sweat
Upon Sheshak’s Moorish kingdom.

The cannonade tosses bombs down
10Upon the blackened armor’d knights.
Bloody war of Northforest might—
Southdesert marshals upon shields.

Like the Valkyrie’s war, of yor
War-bands threaten innocent blood
Where millions march across the plains
To make war upon strong kingdoms.

King Rolthgand of English isles
Saw the Moorish advance through Spain.

“Zoroasters of the desert
20“March upon our fords next: when lost,
“The Iberian Plains are theirs
“War shall then be at Albion.”

“I call forth you, Joash, tens slayer
“To beat back the Moorish kingdom;
“For Zarathustra is too strong
“A force to contend with; against
“Assyria’s King, Rezin Mad
“Jezebel Zarathustra too,
“We are unshod to destruction
30“Should these two kings gain Spanish fields.

“There is a Kingdom to the East
“Yor the great mountains of Asia
“Where lore is said of Prestor John.
“A tale wandered through the silk road
“From the basin of Chinland’s gorge
“Near the Indies of great Persia
“Of a settlement of Christians
“Who number a large, great nation.
“Find Prestor John to fight this war
40“Against the Assyrian King
“So! Queen Zidon here seen in wrath!

“King, I will find Prestor John’s lands.
“I ask for a Centurion
“To war through unknown Asian lands.
“There, I hear of Dragons, Satyrs
“Fairies, Orcs, Giants, Jackals, wroth
“Kinds of mœgicians and warlocks
“Soothsayers; parasitic kinds.
“I will need a force to survive
50“The lands to which I go, lest I
“Be destroyed by great, wroth mœgic.”

The King consendt Joash’s request
So chose he a Centurion
For the Crusade into Asia.
Among the men, Michael Justis
A righteous judge of kingly courts.
Montgomery Chase, a good squire
Who slew thirty Knights with chain mace.
Neil Brom, a warrior of renown
60Who directed a whole army
To capture Babylon’s stone heart.
Lester Goodman, a righteous king
Over the province of Scotland.
The band purchased their shining gear.
They did start into Asia’s heart.

Canto II

Centurion, walk through Dutch trees;
Tall, arboreal majesty
Looms to a paperwood village.
Centurion, rest in this town!

70Upon the horizon stood tall
A Nephilim with armor’d heels.
“What is this!” cried Michael Justis.
Giant, wither to a tall man
To meet the force in false manflesh.

The Giant, ten foot, raged self-strength:
“I heard from Zidon’s spies, Lord Joash
“Hordes are martialing to far bounds.
“They seek Prestor John’s lost Kingdom.”

Joash, clad in Damascus steel spoke.
80“Yes, Giant; I see you’re no myth.”

The Giant grumbled, with wroth spoke.
“Had you never heard of Jotunheim?

Justis, clad in warcloth and mail—
“Columbo proved our world a sphere
“How be there a world below worlds?”

The Giant swelled in mighty throws:
“Your whole world spins on Satan’s ring.
“There, the worldplex sets, with earth
“Floating like dust in a diamond.
90“Your world is nothing more than gold
“To barter with in the true earth.
“Beyond True Earth is Jotunheim
“Below, the famed land of Giants.”

Justis quivered upon his boots:
“The world truly is Satan’s?
“He wears us as costly jewels?”

The Giant sought to kill with words:
“You, and many plex oth’ worlds.”

A doubting Thomas from the ranks:
100“How is God able to exist?”

The Giant’s wrath grew greater still:
“There is no God, thou little man.”

Justis, in a quiver of strength:
“The Biblical account is true?
“Zarathustra simply hides it?
“Our world is a giant’s ring?”

Joash could not stand the ill deceit.
“Justis, he is a gross giant!
“Judge right! They only know to lie!
110“The world would be wont to hate
“God for this wisdom; ‘tis nonsense!
“We grasp straws with pining answers!
“God wishes us to believe them—
“Prince Charles’; Columbo’s science
“For love believes all things, my friend!”

Justis took strength; heeded this ward.
“Giant, if what you say be true,
“That there be no God, then fight me!
“Master of the Doubting Castle!
120“Should you kill me, then you be right.
“Should I kill you, then you be wrong!”

The Giant’s breadth girdt the skywave
Where the feet of the Nephilim
Broke the town to tiny splinters.
Justis drew his sword, tiny splint.
The Giant’s spiked sole crashed downward
Upon the place where Justis stood.
Justis somersaulted away.
For one day, the Giant swung club
130But Justis was too small to hurt.
The sun shone bright, so Justis blindt
The Giant with steel of his sword.
The Giant grew wroth, without sight.
A knoll caught his armored thumbtoe
Where the Giant fell, impaling
Himself upon the tallest oak.
The Giant, immortal, pushed off;
Save his giant heart, naught kill’d him.
Justis saw the Giant’s steel wedge;
140With the might of Nethanim grasped
Stuck the Giant upon the back
Causing its heart to stop beating.

Justis, slayer of Nephilim—
“Could we fly on a Giant’s ring?”

Joash spoke these true words. Hark reader!
“Justis, God is proven by tor.
“With wisdom we shall be called fools.
“With God’s strength, our joyful patience
“Through numerous trials proves God.
150“If the world be flat, round; swirl
“On Satan’s finger in wroth lies
“Then understand God is greater.
“For men do not know with wisdom.
“Men know by kindness; grace abounds.”

Canto III

Forests, through many months walk they
The one hundred marching crusade
Through the European green lands.
The ingress to Asia lay here
The Balkan lands, where twice battle
160Opened into heat: deceiving.

Through the lands, snow, heat, trekked miles
Over mounts, through valleys, across
Kingdoms, into the Balkan steppes
Where light shod by cloud blankets all.

Walk, Centurion, through Asia
To the Balkan lands’ black forests.
A woodflute sings slow melody.
Who is this riding upon stags?

Beautiful woman, with gold hair;
170Sweet face like spring’s cool, charming beams,
She rides upon the stag, with reigns
Of snakes, clothed in white draping lace.

Justis saw her from the eye’s flesh
Falling instantly in strong love.
Joash spoke, “Do not be fooled by her.
“She rides on deer with chain’d serpents;
“There is something wicked in her.”

Justis had fallen far too deep.
Saddled he his goodly, rouge steed.
180Joash implored him to walk strong will’d.
Yet, Justis, the venerable judge
Knew love the highest, good ideal.
So, he began to sing sad ode
Of love for the Somodiva.

“Love must be sought with my whole, devoted heart.
“For when love is found, a fool from it departs.
“Understand, Joash, my Lord, I must chase the doe.
“Once begun, love who has here had its strong start
“Must be preened, and pruned, like the finest of the arts—
190“Strong rhapsody! This true love even once known!
“To the pull of silver moon, whom I, tides cart.”

Justis fled his hundred good men
With steed’s melancholy jostle.
There, warrior, enraptured by love
You ride through the forest searching.

He tracked the stag’s prints to black pond
Where the nude form of a woman
Bathed in the murky lake, ides shown
Her beautiful bosom of Champagne.

200Her gown lay upon a rockbed
In chivalry he picked it up.
“Maiden, come out of the pond now.
“Sit under the leaves, and speak love
“To my sad ears, beloved wood nymph.”

The woman stood, full nude here borne,
“Now that you have my white garments
“I must be your bride, kindly knight.
“Yet, if I find my white garments
“I shall leave you, and kill you dead.”

210Justis hid the garments soon yor
Taking the wo to be his bride.
He made love to her the first night
Giving splendid cover to him.

The next day lumbered a lifetime.
The wo bore him two more childs.
With the lace white hidden where naught
Would ever find; the Eve opened
Her womb to loves. Without rest sought
She the garment, before his eyes.
220Reminded the Somodiva she
Would leave once her garments then found.

Ten days, ten lives, crept in sorrow.
The woman searched for her white gown.
Twenty days passed, twenty lifetimes
‘till Justis was vex’d, thus quarrel’d:

“It is in the lake, you harlot!”
Pleased, the Somodiva vanished.
Michael waited with three childs
Whom he loved with a pure, strong heart.

230“My little ones, whom I love strong
“With the great loves of rearing faith
“In tiny little girls; cute
“With button nose, wavy hair, love!
“The age of childgarden’s lust
“For all life’s small and pure pleasures.”

Four days the woman disappeared
So Justis left with three daughters.
There, he found the wo frolicking
With others of her kind, cloth’d white.
240Seeing him, they used strong gnosis
To make him play the wooden flute.
There, he played for lifetimes’; for them.

“Play us, Justis! We want music!”
Finally, when tired with him
They took out a poison dagger
Scratching him upon the white back.
There he died, so they plunged the three
Childs born to the Somodiva.

Canto IV

Glimmer Istanbul, Babylon’s
250Whore— Our troop marched into your streets.
Exporter of the world’s goods
Where Silk Roads pass great commerce.

Wolves carried goods upon their backs
To and fro the world’s corners.
Upon them dawned silk, copper, gold
Delicacies, spice, devices
All manner of Earth’s beloved goods.

That Whore, Queen of Babylon’s roads,
Saw Joash’s troop enter the walls.
260There, Joash’s men spied the temple
Of Christiandom, overtaken
By the Turkish Zoroasters.
The troop quartered for the nightbreak.

Babylon’s Daughter showed herself
To the men, with veiled, gorgeous face.
Joash spoke to her: “We come with war
“To Zidon. We have no quarrel
“With Babylon’s ancient kingdom.
“Assyria and Zidon war
270“With the Christian realms above them;
“We come to enlist help from the East.”

The Daughter of the Whore then spoke:
“I do not care; enjoy our treats
“For we shall provide you with all
“Great furnishes of kings; all are
“Kings who come to Babylon.”

The wolves brought all delicacies.
“Here,” spoke the Princess, “I bring gifts!
“A mirror which satisfies all
280“Desire— love, joy, fellowship
“Even the pleasure of soft skin
“The pleasure of endless savors
“The pleasure of safe adventures.”

Each man gazed into their mirror
Lost upon their own reflections
So they made love, ate dainties, liv’d
Grand lives in their strong, vivid dreams.

Joash declined the stone, peering deep
Into his men, who grew so gaunt
290Some even starved to bonedeath.
Joash peered over the balcony
Of his lavish room. Sophia stood
With purple and red banners hung
Within a mauve mist; fine streets of
Paved sandstone; pillars and traffic.

Joash returned to his men, seeing
Them perishing upon the floor
With innumerable pleasures
Reflected in the stone mirrors.

300Babylon’s Daughter then appeared.
“Eat, drink, be merry, tomorrow
“You die, Joash. My father has grown
“Wary of your Asian crusade.”

Joash gathered his strength, to martial
His last remaining loyal troops.
Forty-three survived, as Joash freed
Them from the curse of the mirror.
He pulverized each to fine dust
Mixing it with fragrant oils
310To light the dust to burnished flame.
The men woke from the hex, broken
Gaunt, not knowing they had been lost
To the idol’s world for days.
The troop set off, so woke the wolves.

The wolves, who were elves in disguise
Transformed into manbeasts, biting
At the troop. The battle began.
Ten troops hacked the front, slicing paws
Ripping through the wolves’ jowls with pike.
320The wolves scratch’d and bit strong tears through
The men; none perished. Shields bashed through
Jaws snapped, blood trickled down the steel.
Then Babylon’s daughter emerged;
She unveiled her face, turning three
Men to fiery clouds of dust.
One of the shields shewn Babylon’s
Flawless face to herself; she fell
In deep love with her reflection.

The troop fought through Istanbul’s walls
330As many wolves were slain in tor.
The host of wolves gave chase through lands
Until all were slain by the troop.

The harrowing battle left wolves’
Husks lay from Istanbul’s brass gate
To the mighty Elburz snowwalls.

Canto V

In the Elburz, rest you meek troop.
Lo! Sky, the sun orbits the peak.
Night darks the south; day lights the north.
The forty wonder at the sun.

340Joash now sung a strong prayersong:

“LORD, peace you give me
Though my adversaries grow strong.
Though they seek my life
With cunning, and do strike my animal
With curse. To, to strike them
My hand stays its course
To forgive the ones desolate in the wilderness
The wilderness’s desolation
Who walk the veiled ones of mine infirmity.
350LORD, battle is martialed against your anointed
Your servant, Oh LORD, whom You have chosen
For Your Name’s sake.
Enemies of God seek to steal my life
To cause my heart to curse you:
LORD, enemies seek to destroy my soul
Yet they shall not prevail.
LORD, though the moon’s bounds will never be broken
So is like Your steadfast love concerning Your servant.
Your Servant Whom You have stricken
360Stricken, and healed.
Strong war is martialed against me
Strong enemies from the North
Who desire to steal my soul
And drag it down to the grave.
LORD, be my shield and armor
For my wounds bless Thou with this song:
‘LORD of the heavens, to, to
‘Be Yours is great honor
‘Honored am I to be Yours.
370‘Your tents I desire above fine gold
‘Gold and maidens of kings
‘Majesty; I desire Thy majesty above all.
‘LORD, keep me from the paths of the desolate waster
‘Who lurks at my gates, at my gates does Cain lurk
‘To kill his brother, whom I see, yet am blind.
‘Take from me my soul to heaven’s gates
‘To witness your towers of carbuncle
‘And your spires of Sapphire
‘The river of God, which spans the width
380‘From Zion, flowing from Thy temple.
‘Keep me in peace, so I may see my windows of Agate
‘And be at peace with my wisdoms
‘Stored up for Your wrath against a wicked people.
‘None stood before you, before you none stood
‘To win the battle at the gate.
‘So, You accomplished it,
‘In the Angel of Your presence.
‘LORD, redeem Your servant Israel!
‘Let Zion’s walls be bastioned
390‘And its works of gold be strong!’”

In the sky fled the lorn Ramgrouse.
It pecked all the earth for good seed
To spread in Sheshak’s large kingdom.
There, the Whore mingled it with swords
Of Angels, to make barren seed.
The bird would thus fly hither-fro
To spread the barren seed around
To cause men to worship the Whore.

The ancient bird, with square forehead
400Flew, with the wings of a wroth bat.

“Men, fought we skeptic, vain woman
“The Whore’s filthy commerce of Kings.
This Creatus we face, desolate
Is the waster of man’s culture
Who sends out vain seed through the Earth.”

The troop built siege-works from the trees;
Their axes heard in the valleys.
The sun swirled days about them
Top that crest, with northday; southnight.
410“Does this bird here control the sun!”
Cried Brom, wroth at the bird’s mœgic.
“Nebuchadnezzar uses craft
“To cause drought and famine; ‘tis false!”

The Ramgrouse, atop mountain peaks
Spread good seed over Sheshak’s lands.
The mingled seed it brought all else.
The sun flamed, but was an image
Hung in the bill of the male Ramgrouse.
The false sun clung to its stone beak
420The birds’ nest, which shone a furnace.
The siege-works mounted the edgelands
Readied, then sprung, a deep splinter.
She dove, dove, dove, down, down, down, wroth
Pecking at the men who threw shaft;
She grabbed with her talons, eating
Four from the hilltops. Swallowed. Up
She went to feed her young with them
In birdvomit, blood, peach manflesh.

Brom drew the siege-work, to beat down
The fowl who flung her winged shadow
430Across the entire mountain.
A shaft flung, the size of a tree.
Clip the Ramgrouse’s tail feathers!
The bird could not fly, and crashed
To the mountain. “An avalanche!”
The Male dropped his young with clamor
So! The true heavens were now shown.
The male, with crestfallen crest, fell
Crashing to the Elburz. Shift snow.
The quake jostled the whole world.
440The male died, for its mate was slewn.

The troop of thirty left their war
With the thief of the world’s seed.

Canto VI

Stand, statue of Ammon, bronze god.
Beneath him labor the four castes:
Religion, tradesman, labor; Lo!
Governing, the four Aryan
Castes. All myth, boasts Ammon, find roots
In their fanatical heartminds.
His religion, says scholars, roots
450All other Whitemen religions.
It was Sheshak’s mythology
Whom Ammon boldly had stolen
With prowess: they forged strong myth
So that Homer, Grimm, Beowulf
The Norseman, and even Christ’s death
Belonged to the Ammonite race.
Long, tirelessly, spun minstrels
Specious tales of Crucifixion
Which work’d volumes for the people.
460All was Ammon’s, for the minstrels
Said so— all authority rest
In casuistry, validate
By others of likeminded souls.

The Swastika banners feld red
Black and white, as myths burned through all.
The march of Sheshak’s mythos
Spread to the world’s four corners;
For all was incorporated
470Into one, grand mythology
Whom the peoples believed rung true
To enslave the Moor, kill the Jew
Raise Ammon. Lies spread when desired.

The Thirty troop entered Ammon’s
Kingdom, at India’s strong heart.
Christ, said pseudo-mythologists
Belonged to them— The Jews stole Him.
Ammon glid down the temple stairs.

“What have thou to in India?”

480Joash spoke: “Fabled King Ammon Ra
Of the Ammonite’s West Kingdom
Here in India we know your lies.”

Ammon, with the pomp of small kings:
“News came by way of Tarshish boats
“That you seek Prestor John’s war-aid.”

Joash spoke with rose humility.
“To win our battle, we must find.”

Ammon opened his mouth, splendid:
“We will join thou; Moors are not pure.
490“We will make them our eternal slaves.”

Joash, embarrassed by the false god:
“Faithful king, we should not ally
With you for a moment. Your dread
Fills the world with your wrong schemes.”

Ammon, seeing Joash’s red, raged:
“Why not, when we share common foe?”

Joash, inspired by the Christ’s breath:
“Your race is mythological
“Who has enslaved India’s men;
500“Castes you create, lies ex nihilo—
“Your people spew, to cause men’s doubt.
“For, is not Christ an Aryan
“To your sordid heartminds— Daft soul?
“What invention is this nonsense?
“Bards’ tales first spring through history,
“Of your specious breed, to make Christ
“Of your descendants, only to
“Say travesty was in His name?
“What have you, specious, rogue scholar?
510“Who claims Christ is both Aryan
“So say He is Jewish when His elect
“Die in pits of Ammon’s Hades?
“Does not your fake race work today?
“It comes from those called Scientists
“Who study no kinds of stories
“Who say Christ committed murder
“On His people; Do you believe
“Oh Ammonite, in Vedic lies?
“Such is all your slanders around
520“The letters at this now moment
“Ill reputed, wrong garbagemouths.
“What lie won’t Ammonites believe?
“Or find you solidarity
“With Pseudo-science, which thou accuse’th me?”

Ammon raged even more sorely:
“So, you hold to the Jewish Christ?
“Let it be known our kinds will war.”

Joash spake with these goodly, right words:
“What’s Jewish is for all people
530All tongues, tribes and many nations.
What is of Ammon is Ammon’s.”

The thirty were surrounded harsh
With the warbands of Ammon’s kind.
Surrounded they were, so fought hard.
Blood spewed from the heads of Ammon
As the Christmen tore limb from limb.
Dead fell bodies of Ammonites;
The dried dung, lay they plastered bare
Upon the streets, upon the roads.
540Their foul odor of death wafted
Across Ammon’s kingdom, strong stench
Fled. Brom himself killed one thousand
Men with the shake of a long pike.

Such strong humiliation
Left these souls barren across fields.

Canto VII

Mounts of the Himalayan peaks
Walls soar thou to the clouds above.
Below is Prestor John’s Kingdom.
White church steeples, covered in snow
550With the cross lit with fine goldrods.
Stain glass, with purple, gold and red
Panes light the marble-stone spires.
The homes, of granite, smooth and gray
Alight to aqueducts, mount flown
From the river’s cool waters yor
The steeple peaks above the clouds.
Upon supple lakes stand gardens
Filled with all measure of good fruit,
Red, kingsrobin, ignillume, shell
560Yellow, nectarsheaf, sunnycloud;
Manners of livestock grazing slow
Cattle, sheep, oxen, peafowl, stags;
Manner of creeping things to eat:
Sear’d lice, grasshopper, leeches, ants;
Manner of spices, cilantro
Mint, jasmine, cinnamon, nutmeg
Ginger, garlic; manner of flowers
Bulbs, petals, rose, dandelion;
Manner of teas, coffees, wines, beer.
570Such were they; Joash did not believe.
Their bugs wheaty, fried in fat
All manner of bugs they did eat;
All manner, so that none were weak
For all were fed; all were quenched.

Prestor John opened his parish
Where monks sung the Slavic prayersongs.
“Prestor John, we need your strong aid.
“Nebuchadnezzar’s Viceroys lurk
“At our borders, with strong, wroth war.”

580“My young one… Ancient am I, twice
“Score, one hundred years, one, am I; I this day
“Cannot offer you assistance.
“The threat of war by Sheshak’s hordes
“Extends throughout all Asia’s lands.
“Here is Christ’s lonely, sole outpost
“Defending the world from wroth
“Kinds. For I know well of Queen Zidon
“And King Tyre, that Rezin Mad,
“Assyria’s King, great, dark waster.
590“Yet, I espy good in Sheshak.
“For he wonders at our faithstrength
“That no matter how he hides Christ
“The fellowship of brethren still believe strong.
“He knows the whole truth, all secrets
“Kept from Christmen; Babylon’s fall
“Shall be by his fool son, Sesak
“At the hand of Cyrus the Great.
“However, I see good in Nebuchadnezzar.

“For now, Prestor John’s kingdom guards
600“The gates of the Yeti, wroth kinds
“Of beasts. White mane, with red silver
“Covers their body for hair, strong!
“They must be stopped to avoid wrath
“For their lie is too strong. It stays
“With the men of the world, here
“Lengths of days innumerable.
“Men will believe they are apes, should
“The Yeti break through our strong ranks
“And escape into Christian lands.
610“The Yeti now mine the fleshstone
“For Babylon’s war and device.
“Babylon’s fires would grow hot
“If the Yeti in doubting plains
“Were seen by men in a hard war.
“Rumors would spread of God’s men’s
“Similitude with the great apes;
“To cause man to lose lovekindness.”

“I implore you, Prestor John, King
“We have endured harsh, strange trials
620“With the loss of many good men.
“We must return to Europe’s war
“To battle Africa’s onslaught.”

“No. There in the heaven’s steeple
“Where the mount consumes all eyesight
“Where the trees grow bare, and wild
“Men dwell, live the Yeti, spawn’d by
“Angel swords wielded by satyrs.
“The beasts wander the mountain, blood
“Thirsts their parched throats. Let them be free
630“Then men will think themselves an ape.
“This time, peace will cover the Earth
“While men indulge in all strong sin.
“The men will behave like the beasts.
“Christmen will be sought for, tormented
“Like Lot in Sodom, Giants walk
“Through the Earth, Demons will claim flesh
“To dupe men to believe they hail from the stars.
“None will war, none will thirst, none will be hunger’d.
“Man-flesh will be served on every stone table
640“The dead will be resurrected from murders
“So that men will wildly play with slaughter.
“Men will desire flesh: child, beast, demon.
“Peace will reign with all manner of sinful art.

“So! I say again, no, for I guard Christlandom.
“If I leave this, my sacred post
“I shall leave the Yeti to flee
“The mountain; then comes these terrors.
“I am sorry, my friend, I have
“Such grave business to attend here.
650“All Christ’s servants attend service
“To what they are called to attend.”

Canto VIII

Ask me why I believe in Christ.
The poem Prestor John speaks
My justification in riddles.
So, I will query with these riddles
To you, for your own sake
That you read, and see my conclusion is sound.

Have I been to the heavens
To see the circle of the earth;
660Why then do you tell me to believe
A man’s doubt
When it is easier to touch God
With the miracle of faith
Than to touch the earth’s circle
With my blue eyes?

Why does the world praise
Wos who wander from their households
As heroes, when I see their children near death
Because of such mischief;
670Why, world, do you praise
Such wos as heroes
When I have tasted more harm
From them than good?

Why, world, do you tell me
To chase what is surreal;
Adventure
Fancies
Wombs;
Why disparage
680My hopes for love
With your callous
Devices;
It has never made me happy
Yet you preach its joy to me;
Why does the world
Try to starve love
And replace it
With merchandise?

Why do the strong
690Peck at the weak,
To take from them their seed
And scatter it throughout their lands;
Tirelessly, they control day and night
To cause the few to have so much
And the many to have hunger?

Why is all wisdom against Christ;
So that men praise wisdom,
Knowledge builds its standards,
The peoples are convinced,
700Yet the innocent suffer;
Why does all the world’s wisdom
Cause suffering;
The innocent are slaughtered
Men are trapped in facts
Divined by men who ask me to believe them;
Yet those facts turn
Into a furnace
To burn away the fat of my people?

Why does Prestor John
710Guard his kingdom;
Why does he guard the gates
Of the Yeti; why does he not aid in the war;
This I have no answer;
For vainly, do I often wonder
Does he guard the gates
While Babylon ransacks Christiandom;
But, it is why I believe…

So ask me again why I believe:
Because World,
720You will never answer those questions.
You will try;
The publishing of a lie
Doesn’t make it true;
For whatever common wisdom you invent
Will never be sufficient to answer
The reasons why your sciences
Seem to always make you worse.

How do you say?
How can you believe love is anything more
730Than chemicals?
How can you believe joy is anything more
Than fun?
How can you believe peace is anything more
Than agreement?
How can you believe kindness is anything more
Than economy?
How can you believe gentleness exists for anything more
Than praise?
How can you be faithful,
740When what you don’t have is even better?
How can you have self-control
When impulse is all your science understands?
How can you be patient
When frustration intimidates your enemies?
How can there be good
When all you can have faith in is naught?

Answer these questions;
Because you can’t,
That is why I will always believe.

Neifert, B. K.. Fairyland. Kindle Direct, 2018.

Copyright ©2018 B. K. Neifert

Featured

Into Siberia

Into Siberia

A cavalry brigade rode toward the sun. The long train of horses, brown, white, tan, calico, red, black, carried upon their backs mounted Frenchmen. Napoleons army was on the march. The rising sun cast a golden glow upon the steeds. Discussions rambled among the ranks; they were fresh troops, drawn at 16, from the academy. The officers, never having tasted battle, were eager. The ruddy faces, fresh with a certain zeal of stupidity, a smile, eyes glistening in the sunrise, pointed to the East, where battle awaited them. Tolstoy wrote upon this battle, the World War of the Nineteenth Century, Frances invasion of Russia. The captains and lieutenants, all privileged, held their lances, marching behind the infantry of the corps. 9,000 marched, all French, all new, all between the ages of 15 and 22, behind 491,000 Prussians, Swiss and Italians. Cannons rode with them, the back ranks of their Corps, pulled up the dirt gravel.

Jacque, look! Were entering the European Plains! I can taste Russian blood! cried Pierre.

Yes! We will conquest Russia! What more glory could we obtain than to be a part of history! cried Jacque.

An old, eavesdropping Colonel rode near the two, one whos seen battles, a particularly bitter Colonel with no affection for Napoleon. Twice he was stabbed in the ribs by a Bayonet, saved only by luck. Three times he was shot, shattering bone and blood. Once he was trampled by a horse. He knew battle, killed five men and was awarded a medal for it. They were boys, much like these two. The Colonel, Colonel Chateaubriand, a relation of the great Romantic writer himself, took out a locket, and with his swagger, he jostled on his steed next to them.

You boys want battle? he asked.

Colonel! cried Jacque.

Well, answer me, boy, said the Colonel.

Yes! Have you been in battle? asked the bright eyed boys in unison.

Yes, many times. I rode with Napoleons army in Egypt. Killed a little Ottoman squire, said the Colonel, smiling with his five oclock shadow.

Glorious! You killed a man.

Oh, Ive killed five men, boy, said the Colonel.

Tell us, what is it like?

The Colonel took out a cigarette, and started packing in the tobacco. Well, it was like slicing a knife through marmalade. That is, until I struck the boys bone. Cleaved his shoulder blade in two, and blood spewed all over.

The two boys eyes glistened. The thought of blood, of glory, it pulsed through their veins.

Tell us, how do you kill a man?

There are many ways. You can draw your flintlock and shoot them between the eyes; you can run your lance through their skull, or you can even draw your saber into their gut. Hit them in the head or the gut. Everywhere else is just a wound, but the head and gut, that will save your life.

The two boys blinked when the Colonel stated it like that.

Roseau says that it is ok to kill a man when fighting for freedom. We have liberated France, Italy, Prussia and Switzerland. Now, we go into Russia; America has given us hope!

Yes. Yes. It did.

The two, bright-eyed boys moved gloriously, waiting for the battle. Battle was sure to come, for the proverb rung true. Those out for blood will find it. They would surely find it.

Borodino lay behind the French lines. Blood soaked troops marched forward, their blue jackets stained with sweat, yellowed with crust, sometimes boots missing, sometimes a bandaged eye socket, missing appendages, limps, steeds dragging along. The French troops lost many on their march, and Colonel Chateaubriand eagerly searched for the two young boys whom he met on the march forward. He was on a mission, to see how war transformed these boys. He found one, Pierre. The other was wounded at the cannonade.

Well, boy, is battle glorious? asked the Colonel.

Pierre, well fed, but sallow from a small case of the scurvy and dysentery, glanced into the Colonels eyes. The face, ruddy, excited, eager, now looked dim, hardened by battle.

Yes, it was glorious, was all Pierre could say.

Ah, did you slice a man, draw him through the gut? asked the Colonel.

Yes, yes. A few men. I took the wooden butt on my flintlock and clubbed a mans skull in. I also took my saber and wounded a man on the thigh, said Pierre.

And the other boy, wheres he? asked the Colonel.

Hes in the hospital right now. He was wounded in the battle.

Ah, yes. The hospital. Hell probably never be coming out of there, said the Colonel.

I suppose not, Colonel, said Pierre.

So, Roseau, I think you were talking to me about Roseau.

What? asked Pierre.

Roseau, man. You were telling me that men had the right to rebel. Well, hows our rebellion? We have marched toward Moscow, deep into the Russian wilderness. I suppose winters coming. Hannibal crossed the Alps, that was no easy feat. Napoleon wants to cross Siberia.

Pierre grew pale white, realizing that more was to come. The battle, fresh in his mind, frightened him.

Look, Moscow is in the foreground, said the Colonel.

I see, said Pierre.

I see too. A boy marched through the Great European Plains, a man marches through Siberia.

Pierre nodded his head.

I killed two men at Borodino. Howd your friend end up at the cannonade, though? He was cavalry, not infantry.

His horse was shot from under him, and to make use of him, the Marshal sent him with the surge sat the cannonade.

I see. I see. That was a hard fought position. Dead were piled twelve feet high, or so I was told. And your friend only got wounded?

He was with the last. When he pushed through the streets, he was shot by a stray bullet, said Pierre.

I see.

Moscow was behind the French lines, to the East, and the battered French, walking, limping, carrying wounded on stretchers, hurried along like the image of death itself. The emaciated French, their skin folded onto their body, walked like slender bones connected together by tanned leather, through a jolly blanket of snow. The smoldering billows of Moscow followed them; it seemed like the smoke still scented the brisk air, from five hundred miles away. Chateaubriand limped with his steed, his arm in a sling. Moving as fast as he could, a brisk limp, he looked for his friend. He found him walking along the peripheries of the columns. There were no more Corps, only mobs of men.

Pierre, said Chateaubriand.

Yes? asked Pierre.

Those Russians, they burnt down their own city.

I know.

It looks like they didnt want Roseaus democracy, said Chateaubriand.

I guess not, said Pierre.

Do you understand, now? asked Chateaubriand.

No, I dont.

Then you are a true warrior. Do you hate your country?

Yes, said Pierre.

Then you are a true patriot. Do you hate Napoleon?

Yes. Why do you keep asking me questions? cried Pierre.

If you hate Napoleon, then you are made to realize.

Realize what? bit Pierre.

The meaning behind the revolution! cried Chateaubriand.

Leave me, man, said Pierre. How can you be so chipper?

It didnt seem to offend you when we first met.

That was before.

Before what?

Before I knew.

Yes, and you asked me quite chipper what it was like to kill a man, and I told you, didnt I?

No! You told me nothing! You didnt tell me that Id see their life leave their eyes, or that Id have their blood cover my hands! You told me nothing of death.

But it was not death you wanted, friend. You wanted to know of the glory of killing a man.

I wanted to know of death! cried Pierre.

No, for you would have asked me about death, young fellow. You asked me what it was like to kill; you didnt ask me what it was like to see who youve killed. That is death. Why do you get upset with me, friend? Im simply your equal. We have both tasted war, lost friends, and we now march, broken, from a people who would rather see their capitol burn than to have Roseaus Democracy. Pft.

Why do you harass me? I can barely walk, said Pierre.

Then, I will barely walk with you.

Chateaubriand got off his horse, took his pistol and shot it. There, he skinned the beast and cooked horseflesh. It was a bitter meal, as the columns marched by. Russians made incursions on the flanks that night, and they killed Pierre. They spared the Colonel because he fought for no cause. The Colonel knew the reality of Napoleons war. Thats why he lived.

Neifert, B. K.. My Collected Writings. Kindle Direct, 2017.

Copyright ©2017 B. K. Neifert

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The Battle at Eureka Illinois, 1898

The Battle At Eureka Illinois, 1898

Lo! O’ Turk
At war with the Iroquois Nations.
I know not whose will be the victory.

Turkish Bayonets
In glimmering Rows
Gnash against the
Red Man’s ambush.

Turk, you are
Defeated; so! Your
Defeat puts you at
An advantage.

You blitz, to strike
Down the chief.
Thrice, yet he drove
You out with
Scythian War.
I know not the ending
And that is what makes a story’s
Joy.

 

Neifert, B. K.. The Elf in Manhattan. Kindle Direct, 2019.

 

Copyright ©2019 B. K. Neifert

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Ol’ John Henry

Ol’ John Henry

Ol’ John Henry;—Lawd,
Ol’ John Henry was born with a twenty pound hammer
In his hand
So his Daddy blessed that hammer
Mighty fine, so that when Ol’ John Henry
Would strike the ground,
The nearby seeds would sprout a garden.
Nothing he did with that hammer
Didn’t produce fruit.
Ol’ John Henry, he could pick, shovel and lay a track

John Henry, he could eat a whole bull
If he wanted to, and stood six foot tall
With two hundred pounds of muscle
Between him and his hammer.
He could whistle mighty Dixie
Sing a baritone
And pick Alabama on his knees.

Ol’ John Henry had just won his hands
By the Yanks’ guns
But good Ol’ John Henry helped rebuild
The Rebel’s home with that hammer.
Ol’ John Henry worked at the C&O
To earn his family a nickle
For Polly Ann was why he worked so hard;
She herself, some said,
Could drive a Hammer better than any man.

Good Ol’ John Henry had a white shaker
And none made no fuss about it.
There came to him Big Bend Mountain
Which John Henry
Would move near all by himself
To save a man’s life if he could—
The smoke was thick as tar and
Lingered in John’s chest long after leaving.

There came a traveler one day
To Big Bend to sell a Steam Drill.
Ol’ John Henry saw that drill
Knowing it might put honest men out of work.
He made a bargain with the Salesman,
“If I beat that there steam drill
“I want ya to ship off
“And be done with my fellows.
“We hard working folk.”
The Salesman took the bet
But the Section Foreman
Smiled, knowing that steam drill
Couldn’t beat Ol’ John Henry.

Well, they got to drill’n.
John Henry struck hard
Breaking that stone to chalk.
The steam drill struck hard
Breaking that stone to rubble.
John Henry swung from the heels of his feet
To the rock there so cold
To break it; he even struck a vein of gold.
The steam drill chugged through
Trying to keep match
15 feet to the drill’s 9
Ol’ John Henry collapsed.
He laid on his hammer
As the machine spit and sputtered.
The machine could go no further
And John Henry looked up
Smiled and said, “I beat your machine
“But it looks like I am dead.”
John Henry died,
And was buried at the White House.
Now whenever a train passes by that old City of Washington
They all say, “There lies a steel driving man.”

 

Neifert, B. K.. The Ballad of Maddok and Two Other Poems. Kindle Direct, 2018.

 

Copyright ©2018 B. K. Neifert

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Annabelle Listens to Paul Bunyan

Annabelle Listens to Paul Bunyan

“Mama, tell me a story, like so many you tell.
“Tell me one I have yet to hear, Mama
“Please, while I eat pudding.”

“Alright Annabelle, then off to bed.
“There once was a man,”

“A man, Mama?”

“Yes, Annabelle, I hadn’t even started the story.”

“Yes, Mama.”

“There once was a man,
“Named Paul Bunyan
“And he had a blue ox named Babe.”

“Mama, like ol’ Betsy out in the stables?
“She gives such good milk.”

“Yes, like Ol’ Betsy.
“Mr. Bunyan had himself a fame for cutting down trees;
“Like the good preacher said
“There was a man famous for cutting down trees.
“Mr. Bunyan could cut them down with one swing of an ax.”

“Mama, I find that quite ornery to think that one man
“Could cut down a big ol’ tree with one swing of an ax.”

“Well, Annabelle, Mr. Bunyan was a tall man
“Who stood fifteen feet tall,
“And his belt came to about the head of an ordinary man.”

“Oh, I can see now how he’d cut down a tree.
“But mama, tell me, he was no giant was he?”

“Well, of course he was a giant,
“What sort of man, beside a giant
“Stands fifteen feet tall, Annabelle?”

“Well, Mama, can he just be a tall man?
“I don’t like Giants on account of them harassing David and all.”

“Alright Annabelle, he was a tall man.
“Well, Ol’ Paul could swing and cut down a whole forest
“In a day. Yet, there came to him one day
“A man selling a machine.”

“Yes, Mama. I like machines, like the Cotton Gin
“I see at the factory sometimes.”

“Well, this machine was put up to a wager
“Against good Ol’ Paul.”

“Oh, I’m sure Paul could beat a machine, Mama.
“He’s a fifteen foot tall man.”

“Well, the man was a salesman,
“And he wanted to sell Paul’s employer the machine.
“So, Paul took the wager, and off they went.
“The people all took the day off to watch Paul and the machine work.
“Well, there they went, one slash, two slash, three slash
“Paul had cut down four trees with three slashes.
“There they fell on Babe’s wagon.”

“I almost forgot her, Mama.
“She’s blue, right?”

“Yes. And there the trees fell, onto Babe’s wagon
“And off to the mill they went.
“But, in the time Paul cut down his four trees
“The machine had cut down seven.”

“Seven! Mama, good Ol’ Paul has to win!”

“Why’s that, my darling?”

“Why, if he doesn’t win, Mama
“He’ll be out of a job!”

“Well, Paul went back out in the woods
“And Paul cut down seven more trees
“To match the machine.
“That machine, it cut down ten.
“Onto Babe’s wagon it fell
“Off to the mill they went.”

“Mama, please! Tell me Paul can cut down more trees than that!”

“Well, Annabelle, he did.
“Paul cut down twelve trees
“With seven swings.
“They landed on the wagon.
“Well, I have to say, after those swings
“The machine, it cut down thirteen.”

“Yes, Mama, Paul is catching up.”

“Well, Paul cut down twenty trees—”

“Yes, how many swings, Mama?”

“Well, Annabelle, ten swings.
“The machine, it cut down seventeen.”

“Yes! Paul is winning!”

“Yes, Annabelle, but Paul had to sharpen his ax now.
“He sharpened, Annabelle, sharpened it up
“But the machine, it cut down forty trees while he sharpened his axe.”

“Mama! Mama! He cannot have cut down forty trees!
“Good Ol’ Paul Bunyan must win this match of brawn!
“Otherwise, I might go to sleep with nightmares!”

“Well, Annabelle, he went out, and cut down forty more trees.
“He cut down eighty trees with sixty fells.
“Ninety trees with seventy fells.
“The machine, sixty, fifty, yet while Paul sharpened his ax
“There the machine still cut down.”
“At about the eve, Paul was quite tired
“And could only cut down six trees a fell.
“That machine, it was getting oiled up while it worked
“But it was starting to grind and crack.
“Come about the time when the sun made the sky purple
“Paul was only cutting down one tree every three swings
“And Babe was only hauling six trees a timber
“To the mill.
“Come the time Venus twinkled in the sky,
“Venus sung out to the workers,
“My, such wondrous things Paul did!
“I am so proud to see a man make mean a machine!”
“Paul, looking in the sky, saw the star
“Shining bright, as she wandered across the sky.
“Paul said to Venus, ‘My friend, there in the heavens!
“My God made man a little slower than machines!
“And where there’s one of me,
“Twenty of them can be built for every tree I cut!
“I’m one man, good, comely star!
“And this is one ox!
“Send the message to God, my friend
“That men cannot outmatch a machine!”

“No! Mama, No! That cannot be!
“Paul Bunyan was so strong!
“I couldn’t see but one Paul Bunyan in the whole world
“And could he please, Mama, please
“Beat that machine? If only for me, Mama?
“Even if that’s not how the story’s told?”

“Annabelle, that’s not how a story gets
“Handed down from one folk to another.
“It has to end right.”

“Mama, Mama, no! Good Ol’ Paul Bunyan will die at this rate!”

“Well, my darling, he did die. Him and Babe, my darling
“They looked up into the heavens
“And they had a look of rage in their brow:
“They cursed the machine, my darling.
“They cursed the machine.
“And that one curse,
“My darling, that one curse
“It distracted the oiler enough to make him
“Slip some into the cracks
“So the machine caught on fire.
“There it burned, and melted down
“And there, Paul and Babe heaved a solemn breath
“And passed under the starlight
“Before the host of heaven.”

“Mama, that was a sad story.
“But, I would like you to tell it again sometime.”

“Yes, Annabelle, now off to bed.”

Copyright © 2018 B. K. Neifert

Neifert, B. K.. Storyhouse, Kindle Direct, 2018, pp. 115-127.

Featured

Daniel and the Druid

Daniel saw in his mind’s eye

A dynastic squabble to boot.

This prophet, mad at their great lies,

Did sit and pray and stoop.

In his vision, he had espied

This story here so strange.

It was the story of the Druid and Fergus

And the Prince of Tyre’s rage.

 

There was a man named Ferguson

Who had himself a rose.

The rose he plucked, so sure and sweet;

His she’d be, he supposed.

The rose betrothed to a Prince,

A famous one at that,

He through the valleys and meadows gleed

To look upon field rats.

 

So, the Prince for anger stormed

As he found out Fergus plucked the rose.

Thus he called upon Medea’s craft

To cast ‘n Fergus spells unknown.

For Fergus was a stupid man

Who found the red haired wo;

He plucked her cherry, and ate from the vine

Without marriage here to grow.

 

Yet, the Prince had loved her so

For no real truth but vain.

So to the rose whom Ferguson plucked—

A heath in the valley unnamed—

For her beauty, not much else,

That heath, the Prince wished to make untamed.

 

So, the rose, sat sad and sullen,

Had given all to Ferguson’s shame…

She for all days was called a Whore

And thus was given all the blame.

Yet, Fergus had the worst of it

For the Rose and he did alight…

Neither were the better soul

They just did not make a husband and wife.

 

The witch cast around Fergus

Dreams so choice;

Yet the dreams were the Prince’s Dreams;

And The Prince’s Daniel’s voice

You see, those the Prince had dreamed.

For the Prince called prophet

Was not so right,

Until Daniel’s dreams were stoled

For the Witch gave the Prince Daniel’s dreams

And Daniel had Ferguson’s, Oh no!

 

Such was the confusion made.

 

For, the Prince coveted the beauty of the rose

So great and greatly dim…

Thus he went to Medea—that foul Druid

And caused her to sap Ferguson’s brim

From the cup, she sipped so bitter

Yet Ferguson was her own son.

This she did not know, for another

She thought Ferguson was that one.

So, she by cruelty set

Out to destroy her own, not only, son.

And destroy she did

And the Prince was  wise

To what Ferguson, the Druid had done;

The witch had maddened her own—not only—son.

 

Thus Daniel closed his eyes to pray

To wonder at the song.

The dreams he dreamed

Were not his

So he laid down with peace strong.

He realized his prophesy

Had been so unfaithful late…

It was because the Prince of Tyre

Had his wisdom to masticate.

 

For is it not said,

In Ezekiel Twenty-Eight

That all of this Prince’s wisdom

Is let through the prophet Daniel’s gate?

Featured

The Modern Monkey King

He held no real title.

He turned over a new leaf.

He went from being the most evil

To a righteous son at least.

 

Now I perceive the tale

And realize something true:

The Hero is now the villain

While the Villain has turned good.

 

The Titular Prince—

I am quite impressed with

How the Gospel is here so shown—

Not that a sermon can be preached on it

But it shows how bad men can really grow.

 

For the Prince had taken his warships

And so destroyed many moons;

While the hero, that good man

Had defeated him to prove.

The prince had stolen many lives

Many trillions, it is true.

But, the good man’s good

Turned him to here prove

His strength in battles crude.

 

His goodness had corrupted him

For evil he nare understood.

Thus, his pure heart nearly destroyed him

And his whole entire troop.

 

The prince, with family, with lover and child

Saw this righteous man so careless

Gambit his whole world for vile

Tests against a stronger foe.

For the righteous man

With no sin, had only wanted to test

His strength in battle; in battle lust

He went to beat his many foe.

 

Yet the prince, who tasted great evil—

Now slowly turned to good—

Knew that this was wasteful,

For at war’s outbreak would

The righteous man now see

He wanted to test his strength of army

But nearly plunged his nation to the sea.

 

Finally, the good man,

Believing himself pure

Turned himself to a Baalim

So truthfully sure

Of his own good deeds.

 

The wicked man, who tasted evil

Knew how wicked he

Our hero became.

A titular prince is just a pauper,

So he spent it with his family.

 

Thus is the message

Of the gospel of hope.

Great good which never knew evil

Will in the darkness grope.

For a heart that does not wise

Know that they are bad

Will in the end be callous

And also be God’s foe.

Featured

Save Your Servant Israel

LORD, to where do I turn?

LORD, to where do I turn?

Do I turn to the north?

Will my help come from there?

Do I turn to the south?

Do I turn to the king?

Do I turn to the earth?

What is underneath the earth?

 

From where does my help come?

Idols do not set before my eyes

I have heard your voice

Idols do not set before my eyes

And I, LORD, I am a listener ready to listen

I am a sheep ready to be set down

In the pasture.

Where does my help come?

Surely all other gods are wolves

Ready to steal

And destroy.

Surely all other gods deceive

And surely they say, “Do some little bit of evil

“So that your will comes to pass.

“Love your life so much

“That you will do this little evil

“And your desire shall surely shine forth like the morning star.”

 

Yet, LORD, if there is error in my heart

If in my way are stumbling-blocks

Surely You shall remove them.

Why do I, LORD, why do I excel above other men?

Am I something which men look to and say

“This man is my example.”

Surely not, LORD, for You are the example

You are the path set before our feet.

If all else follow after vain idols

I shall surely stay steadfast in Your love.

For where does my heart lean?

If there is a company against me

I shall call upon you early

I shall, before the war

Constantly speak into your ear.

 

Who are the men who trouble the meek?

Who are those who cause trouble for your servant Israel?

Surely they shall be set forth ablaze

And shall burn for eternity in hell.

Yet, I, I shall listen and wait upon You.

For my salvation is like a wellspring

And my heart a steadfast servant.

Though the company does not believe my words

Though they say, “He lies, there is nothing good in him,”

Though they wait for my feet to stumble

And though they make a diligent watch for sin

LORD return upon their own heads their mischief.

For dreams they accuse Your servant

While they walk forth in slander and murder all the day long.

How long shall the wicked prosper?

Surely you shall not let your servant see decay.