Category: Emy


beyond

beyond the yolk of silent sunrise
beyond the song of matutinal birds
beyond the whisper of your breath
beyond the quiet of midnight clear
beyond the bridemaid’s thought of tomorrow
beyond the pain of yesterday’s lost
beyond the last page of word scribed
beyond the dew on twinkling grass
beyond the note of afternoon rain
beyond the warmth of sheets slept
beyond the green of clover deep
beyond the marigold of sunset shimmering
beyond the edge of rainbows smooth
beyond the ocean lullaby
beyond the milk of a young mother’s teat
beyond the eyes of adoration meet
beyond the worry of thoughts ignored
beyond the wages of karma rendered
beyond the doorway yet unknown
beyond the path not worn
beyond the comfort of knitted sweaters
beyond the forgiveness of aged leather
beyond skin smooth in innocence
beyond the crevasses of tribulations
beyond the fear of barren wombs
beyond the laughter sought too soon
beyond the infinite blackness in view
beyond the orbs of green and blue
beyond the fire of novas cast
beyond the companion known at last
beyond the white of mountain snow
beyond the supplication of bended knee
beyond the echo of bitter judgment
beyond the concept of you and me
beyond the honey and the bee
beyond the sway in a chorus of trees
beyond the blue of a witnessing sky
beyond the ground under our feet
beyond the flowers giggling in the breeze
beyond a hand reached in hope
beyond the fingers holding tight
beyond the bounce of hair curled
beyond the smile on lips upturned
beyond my heart and yours
beyond the curtain of our souls
is where I want to walk with you . . .

love,

em

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Trev: Driven by unspeakable shame, he inexplicably heads back to see Sal. Rain slashes his face as a vicious wind whips a steel gray sky. He doesn’t notice.

Mairi: Unconscious on the cold floor, her head in a small pool of dark blood. She tried to stop Trev from going. He punched her in the face.

Emy: Her new found sensitivity to sound is driving her insane. She is currently floating her agitated arse in an isolation chamber. She holds her brooch in her hand, realizes she can no longer see her mother and starts to punch the side of the chamber. No one can hear. Blood drips from her knuckles. She starts to smile as salt stings her open wounds.

Cait: Sitting in the study with the Commander and Tom. She has been informed of the circumstances and looks on as the Commander outlines his plan. When the Commander mentions Kyra, Cait stands up and yells, “I will not have that bitch in my house!” Ariel appears in the doorway and all three adults turn in unison toward the small child.

Kyra: On her way to Duckhead. She is the plan. She sits in meditative silence on the private transport oblivious to the multi-hued lights flashing by.

Von: Refused to take no. He is with Kyra. His left hand has a firm grip on his right. It shakes anyway.

Rog and John: Making idle conversation. The Matutinal Mercy has not yet been delivered. The room is ice cold. Neither notice.

Yul: Still in hospital. Too high to wonder why. Too low to care.

Kieran: Closely watching events unfold.

The Unknowns: Closely watching Kieran.

Living and Dying

Kyra knocked on the door. “Em, can I come in?” A small red light turned green and Kyra felt the familiar rush of air as the door swished open. Em was sitting in a chair, back straight, with hands palm down on knees together and staring straight ahead as those without sight are prone to do. She was as still as a monk in meditation, eerily so thought Kyra. Pulling up a chair she sat beside her, her eyes searching for mood as her mind searched for words.

After what seemed like forever and all the pre-planned words were found lacking in the moment, Kyra took a deep breath, slowly and gently placed her hands on top of Em’s and said, “I want you to know, we will find the doctor who will restore your sight.”

Em sat without responding other than a slight tilt of her head which seemed to indicate a return from some place else at the sound of Kyra speaking.

“I mean what I say Em.”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Anything Em.”

“Remember when we took those red pills?”

“Yes.”

“Remember the peace we felt?”

Kyra squeezed her hands. “I do.”

“Why can we find so much peace in death and yet find so much pain and struggle in life?”

Kyra knew the answer but pondered whether an answer was being asked. “An eternal question Em. What do you think?”

“Resistence.” Em spoke the word in a voice Kyra didn’t recognize or at least didn’t recognize coming from Em. She had heard the tone before, where, she couldn’t quite put her finger on.

“Resistence?” asked Kyra.

“When we took those pills, we dropped all resistance to the present moment. We stepped into the flow without looking back, without questioning, without fighting the current. And I have never felt such peace and tranquility before or since.”

Kyra listened. She rubbed her thumbs in circles on Em’s hands.

“And now, I find myself unable to let go. I want my sight back. I refuse to believe it is not possible. And I’m confused. I’m sad. I’m depressed. I’m angry. I’m afraid. I’m lost. And I’m alive. Where did the peace go?”

Kyra sighed. “Can I ask you a question now?

“Yes, please.”

“I felt that peace too and I also want it back. Will you join me? I think together we can find it.”

Em stood up, trying not to lose her balance and releasing Kyra’s hands, opened her arms. Leather embraced cloth. “Yes. I would like that very much.”

Von, Rog and Em sat without talking, each lost in their own world as they waited for the doctor as children wait to hear their name read from gifts under tree. John had had his bandages removed the day before and his sight was now as it was before. Today was their turn.

The nurse called Von. He entered. Sight restored. Next she called Rog. Again, darkness was left behind. Last was Em. She entered in darkness, and after what seemed to Von and Rog like a awfully long time, she returned still in darkness. Smiles turned south. Laugher vanished quicker than the snap of fingers. Em stood, her arms by her side, her head struggling to maintain posture.

“Frail the doctor. I will regain my sight.”

Von and Rog stood speechless.

Em held out her hands. “Let’s go. These frailing aliens don’t give a shiott about us,” said Em using language Von and Rog had never heard her use.

Von looked at Rog and Rog looked away, his face bloodless. He had his sight back. Em did not.

“Von,” commed Kyra, “how’d it go?”

“Not good.”

“What happened?”

“Em is still blind.”

“Oh my Janus. Is she okay?”

“It’s not Em I’m worried about.”


The concern over Kyra notwithstanding, the crew had much to celebrate. After all, prayers had been answered, how had not been discussed, but six days became seven and seven eight and everyone was just a little too overjoyed to tempt fate with questions.

John poured four glasses of amsec and handed one to Rog, one to Von and the last to Em. Lifting his crystal flute to the center, the others followed suit, the four golden glasses shinning like a chandelier as eyes looked upward for words to be spoken. A toast, he said as his voice trailed off.

What started as a slight vibration, a disturbing ripple across nectar held high, held firm, grew, exponentially; and in an instant, amsec rained down with shards of crystal and their small vessel rocked as if the hand of a giant had slapped the hull. As the four struggled to get to their feet, a second concussive wave knocked them down again as a young boy might shake a box of toy soldiers. Lights blinked and klaxons wailed and as quickly as the vessel was hit, stillness returned.

Rog yelled, although he didn’t need to, “I thought you said we had shields?”

John yelled back. “We do!” Picking himself up, his sea-legs betrayed him and only his strong arms kept his head from banging the control panel. “Our systems must be down?”

“What?” asked Rog.

“I said our systems must be down. Not a threat within a parsec, the screen is blank.”

“Blank?” said Von.

“Nada.”

Rog took the pilot’s seat. Then a low vibration, almost a moan wafted over the comms followed by a sickly gurgling sound. “What the—“

The hair on the back of Von’s neck stood up. Before anyone could react, a blood curtling scream, unmistakable in tone, permeated the room.

“My Janus,” cried Von. “Its Kyra.”

Unknown #1: We put her at great risk.

Unknown #2: We have no choice.

Unknown #1: Are you prepared to lose her?

Unknown #2: (with hesitation) Yes.

“Open the frailing door!” screamed Rog, his nerves frayed by the unworldly cries from within Kyra’s room, his hands bloodied from effort.

“It won’t budge,” screamed John back.

“Move!”

“Won’t do any good,” interjected Von.

“What?”

“The door will open when it is ready to open. You’d just as soon change the fabric of reality as to pry it apart.”

“Are you suggesting we just sit here?”

“I’m not suggesting anything. I’m telling you the matters at hand are beyond our ability to influence. Take that as you will.”

“So what do we do?”

“Bow our heads and pray we see our girl again.”


Ed note: The following bits and pieces surfaced on the flight yesterday. They may or may not have happened in the story. The image is what I call “Place Your Bets,” an allusion to which bits below you think really happened.

Internal Affairs visited Cait. They wanted to know where John was. Said something about a chip.

Mairi finds Trev. He’s a mess. Camera pans away with Mairi holding Trev in her arms like a frightened child, her hair blowing in the wind. She is wearing a long pleated skirt with a mustard colored blouse offsetting her auburn locks.

Dr. X discovers that Châtelaine’s undergo three months of training to communicate with their eyes.

The signal Rog recognizes comes from Kyra’s Zing Tao ring.

Taren is forced to destroy the ring, and under duress has to do it in front of Kyra.

This unleashes a side of Kyra never seen and she destroys the entire compound.

When no one is left alive, she collapses in a heap as a light is seen around her–Kieran.

When Mairi finds Trev he has blood caked on his upper lip, his eyes stare unblinking, lifeless; he can’t form coherent words or thoughts. His body feels strangely cold and he trembles uncontrollably.

Mairi puts hands on his head, closes her eyes and has flashes of his mind. She cries, something a hardened Châtelaine would never do.

Kyra spares Taren, barely. The number of dead in the compound count into the hundreds as she moved of body and mind.

Von said it was the most terrifying and beautiful birth he had ever seen.

Emy couldn’t talk about what she saw for months.

Mairi feels guilt at encouraging Trev to sow his oats.

BC is pissed Lil’ let Trev go and not kill him.

Kieran holds Kyra as Mairi holds Trev–tells her he has someone that wants to say hello, someone that did not take the last ship out of dodge.

John writes in his journal that “After the Kyra Incident” he is losing his moral compass with Cait.

Mairi looks to the heavens and cries out, “My Janus, what have they done to you.” Tears streak down her cheeks and she looks back down at Trev’s blank stare and through her tears she utters, “My dear child.” She wipes his hair away and shaking her head says, “How will you ever forgive me?” She is rocking back and forth as a mother might rock a frightened child to sleep.

“Papa?”

Kieran says she can’t directly connect with him but that he can act as a conduit.

Message from Papa: “We can still get there from here.”

Von: (Looks at Rog) I hope you brought some snoot?
Rog: I did.
Von: Good Hynerian.
Rog: I drank it–all.
Von: (deadpans)
Rog: But I have a plan.
Von: Yeah?
Rog: Looks at John.
John: What?
Von and Rog: (Start laughing)

I Love You, I’ll Kill You by Enigma is the Soundtrack for “The Kyra Incident.”

Interview from Earth:

T: Can you explain what happened?

K: Taren’s hammer was like a pickaxe. The down stroke to Papa’s ring broke, and I shiott you not, to my mind’s eye, I saw it as clear as day, but broke layer upon layer of inhibition and doubt while harnessing a synergistic melding of practice, theory and application that took years of pieces and in an instant painted, how would you say it, a Mona Lisa.

T: Wow.

K: Don’t ever say that word again in response.

T: Okay.

K: (starts laughing) I’m just shiotting you. Bring more whiskey–nine glasses.

T: (just smiles)

The Blessed One


Three days before:

Em slipped the pill into her mouth, slapped her faceplate back down and twirled it around her tongue before swallowing. She unzipped her thigh pocket and pulled out a piece of paper, which she neatly unfolded. Without breaking eye contact she said to Kyra, “Tell me again what she said.”

“Who?” asked Kyra.

Em rotated the paper in her hand and cocked her head to get the light from her helmet in just the right position. Speaking softly she handed the paper in her hand to Kyra and said, “Your sister. Remember? When she was in hospital. You told me the story.” Em’s cheeks began to quiver. “Please, tell me again what that little girl said.”

Kyra was dumbstruck as she watched Em’s eyes glisten in the dim yellow light. And then she smiled, her cheeks rising like twin moons under the pristine lakes forming in her deep sapphire eyes as she surveyed the sketch Em had handed her. “Well,” answered Kyra, trying hard to keep her voice from cracking, “she said a lot. Was there a particular bit you wanted me to recall?”

Von moved in closer. “What is this story you speak of?”

“When my little sister was six she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The night before she passed away she gave me a couple sketches and shared with me the wisdom that can only come from one so young. About six months ago, I shared that story with Em.”

“Please,” said Von. “I’d like to hear what she said too. If you don’t mind that is? Em?”

“It’s okay Von. I would be honored. Stand by me will you? Kyra, since time is short, start with the part where she said she loved you with all her heart.”

Von moved beside Em, placing his arm around her shoulder. Kyra began. “When she whispered those words into my ear that she was the luckiest litlle girl in the whole world to have had me as her big sister I just lost it. Couldn’t control the tears. And that’s when she told me that just as Papa nourished his flowers with water that my tears nourished her.”

Kyra paused, lost in thought.

“Don’t stop,” said Em. “Please continue.”

“That’s when she pulled out two sketches she had drawn. One was of me and one of grand. I started crying again and she asked me to hold her hands. Then she smiled and whispered, When you go to sleep at night and close your eyes, think of me and I will be there, always, forever because I love you Kyra and no thing, no person, not even this illness will keep me from living in your heart. Kyra stopped. Von starred straight ahead, lost in his own world.

“Tell Von what you told me.”

“My sister passed in the night. Those were the last words I heard her utter. I told Em that that little girl, my sister was the blessed one, that she was the giver.”

Em fought back a yawn, the first sign the pill was working. They were down to only minutes before the sweet kiss of slumber took their hands to places only imagined. “You never told me her name.”

“I’m sorry, what did you say?” Kyra tried to rub her teary eyes before realizing how silly it looked when her balled fists collided with her faceplate.

“Her name. You never told me your sister’s name?”

Tears exploded from Kyra’s eyes. “Her name.” Kyra looked up as if guidance would be found in the heavens above. “Her name was Emily.”

Von looked up. Em stood frozen.

“So now you know why it took me so long to warm up to you. I’m sorry Em.”

Em opened her arms and as before, the two embraced. “You know what?”

“What?” asked Kyra.

“In just a few minutes, you are going to introduce me to that little girl and the three of us are going to hold hands and we are going to dance and laugh.” Em yawned again. “We are going home Kyra. And we are going to meet the blessed one.”

Categories: Story, Kyra, Emy, Von

Three Red Pills


Six hours ago Bravo ceased producing breathable air. Donning their suits, Kyra, Von and Em looked like paratroopers ready for a drop, but there was no drop. So they sat and watched their gauges. For six hours no one said a word before Kyra broke the silence. “Thirty minutes,” her voice distant and tinny through the helmet comm. “How much time do you have remaining Von?”

“About the same, perhaps a little less.”

“Em?”

“Same here.”

Kyra held out her arm and rotated her closed fist palm up. Opening her fingers all eyes locked on the three small red pills huddled together in the center of her hand. Von was the first to take his. Em hesitated, glancing down at the brooch in her left hand before reaching forward to take her pill.

“I know,” spoke Kyra, “this is not the way any of us ever contemplated we would meet our maker. The pill is—“

“We know,” said Von. “I have witnessed death by asphyxiation.” Looking directly at Em he continued. “I would not wish that death upon my enemies, not even the Javalinas that tortured me.”

Kyra nodded. Em held her pill at arms length as if it could bite her. “How does this work?” asked Em.

“Like a sleeping pill, Em,” responded Kyra. “In about ten minutes you’ll start to get sleepy. Within fifteen you won’t be able to keep your eyes open and by twenty, well, you’ll be home with family.”

“Is it gonna hurt?”

“Nope. You’ll not feel a thing,” said Von.

“How do you know that?”

Before Von could answer, Kyra jumped in. “Em, no one is forcing you to take the pill. It’s your choice. It will take about twenty minutes to work. How much time do you have remaining on your gauge?”

“Twenty-five minutes.”

A hush of air sounded in the cold command center as first Kyra and then Von and finally Em retracted the faceplates on their helmets. Gasping at the lack of air, each placed a pill on their tongues and swallowed before quickly closing the faceplate again.

“Give me your hands,” said Kyra, the only light coming from the two small lights at either side of her helmet, which fell softly on Von’s stoic old wrinkled face and Em’s frightened countenance. “Papa always told me I entered this world in love and I’d like to think I’m going to leave it the same way.”

Von tried to smile. Em was not capable.

“Feel the warmth?” asked Kyra.

They both nodded.

“Papa taught me this little trick. He said it was love. I suppose in a few minutes I’ll find out just whether that old geezer had been pulling my leg all those years now won’t I.”

Em fought to keep her eyes open. She lost. Von was determined he would be last. He was wrong. Kyra looked at her two friends in slumber. A tear slipped from each eye before she too succumbed to the hands and minds of scientists from a land long left behind. Approximately three hours later the last known lights on Bravo, the lights on Kyra helmet, flickered before giving way to the darkness.

Categories: Story, Kyra, Von, Emy

The Fall of Em


K
yra rubbed her burning eyes with the back of her hand as cesious smoke hung silently in the cold bay, the vestige of violence paid. What once was threat was done. What once was three more days was rendered down to one.

“Von, I’d ask you what this was, but I know you don’t know anymore than I do and I suspect you care even less.”

Von just stared. Kyra wondered for a second why he didn’t answer her. Then she realized he wasn’t looking at her, probably wasn’t even listening to her. Turning to the left, she caught sight of Em, las canon in her arms, the full weigh pulling her shoulders down as a small trickle of blood ran from her nose and over her lip. She just stood there as if her legs were pinned to the floor with no expression on her face as first one drop and then another escaped to the floor.

The thud, when she fell forward, was as cow struck by carnifax. The weight just fell, hard. The sound was not a sound as much as it was an indelible memory, a moment forever linked not to what was seen without but what was felt, or as in this case, not felt within.

Neither Kyra nor Von moved and Kyra mulled the inaction. Why did she not immediately run to Em’s aid? Why was she just standing there, watching Em’s limp body, crumbled by Janus only knows what? Yet, she debated, what was the point? What was there to save? She looked so peaceful, so at rest.

Von walked past Kyra; neither fast nor quick. Kneeling at Em’s side, he powered the canon down, fully conscious that his first concern was the weapon, not Em. Placing his hand on the back of her head, he closed his eyes and mumbled something Kyra could not hear. Slowly, he let the back of his hand slide down the side of her face and then cupping her chin, turned her still face toward his. Her eyes were open a little wider than normal and they glistened without blinking. Her upper lip was covered in blood and her lower lip hung open as if it didn’t have the strength to close. Von let his fingers touch her scarlet lip. The blood felt warm and he rubbed it, her life, between his dirty fingers. Her eyes just stared, not directly at him, but off to some imaginary point over his left shoulder, perhaps, he thought, to a better place.

Von gently rotated his fingers over her round cheek as father to daughter saying good night, his eyes tracing each contour of her face as one does in disbelief. Moving to her brow, he hesitated before pulling his hand over her eyes to close them.

“What are you doing?” whispered Em. “I’m not dead yet.”

Von jumped. “My Janus girl, are you still alive?”

“No pampusweed, it’s my ghost talking. What the frail do you think?”

Von laughed. “I thought you were dead.”

“I know.”

“And you—“

“Yep.”

“Why you little—“

“Hey, what’s going on over there?”

“She’s alive.”

“Psssst. Von.”

“What?”

“She already knows.”

“What?”

“That I’m not dead yet. Why do you think my nose is bleeding?”

Categories: Story, Kyra, Von, Emy

Sam

Em’s sketch of Sam

Categories: Story, Emy, Paintings