Black Dog

The Black Dog is stalking me, it has been sniffing after me for days. This Black Dog is substantial; standing on all fours, its shoulder comes to my chest. Right now, it is broad of back, paws the size of dinner plates, thick black fur – black as pitch – covers it, but that is right now.

Of all its forms – large/small, menacing/cute – two things remain consistent. The color of its fur is always the darkest, deepest black. The other is its eyes. No, they are not the clichéd glowing red eyes. That’d be far too easy. Red eyes could symbolize many things – passion, fury, evil even – all of which symbolize some sort of life. Where there is life, there is hope. Black Dog brings no hope.

A soul, no matter how twisted, can be seen.

Those eyes haunt me; waking or dreaming, they are terrifying. Sunken pits, surrounded by cracked, grey skin, they do not absorb or reflect light as an eye would, rather they are dead lights – devouring all life and light up which they fall.

Once I tried to embrace the Black Dog, to overcome my fear of him and accept it.

The experiment failed. With Black Dog at my side or occasionally leading, the paths we walked grew darker. Swiftly my sense of direction was overwhelmed. Black Dog began to blur indistinctly into the gloom.

Panic welled up when I thought we became separated. I listened intently but could hear nothing. So profound was the silence, my heart had no beat. Between the silence and the absence of light – the grave would have seemed raucous.

Lost – in the deepening wood – each step sinking into a rising tide of madness and despair. In this pre-dawn blackout, devoid of birdsong, it was then Black Dog came to me.

Silently, Black Dog padded to my side. I saw it only because the eyes; their somber obsidian pitch caused the surrounding pool of gloom to seem bright in contrast. Black Dog’s considerable tongue slipped from its jowls to lap at my arm.

The tenticular appendage caressed my arm, as a lover in the afterglow.

Each quiet stroke brushing my skin left me – thinner.

I was unable to tell if Black Dog was showing affection – or feeding.

As the moist muscle slid along my flesh the essence of my being became gaunt and longing, a pang of hunger even began to drive me.

Desperate in the fear of my ephemeral essence dissolving under this tongue onslaught, I lashed out.

Believing it had a docile meal under its sway, Black Dog was knocked back, stunned.

I shambled through the woods unseeing, uncaring. I can sense Black Dog stalking me, waiting for a chance to pounce; I cannot let it happen. If I succumb to Black Dog, I do not believe I could survive its affection. Yet, the promise of oblivion has an allure all its own.

When I contemplate surrendering to Black Dog and its promise to give me the sweet enticement of oblivion, the craving brings forth the anguish of longing, and I stumble onward.

I live, for now, in perpetual twilight.

In the distance there are lights. Snatches of revelry and merriment occasionally drift to me.

When they do, the hunger and desire intensify. If I strive to join the revelry, I am unable. I am outside looking in. I see the gaiety and mirth through windows, but they are barred, and I find no portal.

Black Dog will appear, tongue lolling to one side, the musky scent of tinctured rancid breath emanates from its maw. I cannot – I must not – succumb to it. For down, that path lies madness and its consort – oblivion.

My life has become a constant flight from Black Dog’s darkness and toward the lights beyond the woods.

Some nights I dream. A simple doorway allows me to enter a grand ballroom. People smiling, laughing, welcome me as a long-lost friend. Always, it feels awkward. There is a haze between us – we are focused differently. As Phineus, whose sustenance is so near yet is stolen or despoiled by the harpies as he approaches, so too does my connection to their reality.

In the distance, a baying. Everyone turns; I feel my façade melt away.

Horrified, the once merry band flees, their faces melting as truths are revealed – and I become the reviled.

A howl now. The source of the baying comes closer. It awakens me from my stupor. Doggedly, I get up and push onward to continue my (dream?) struggle, to walk the world between madness and death.

Shaking my head, for the last week I spent almost sixty hours at work collating data and creating timelines on thirteen accounts for one of the investors.
A tedious process at best because the information is scattered through different siloed systems and can cover 10 years.
This week I volunteered for a project with my publisher. No regrets to it, it has been very educational. No, I obviously did not learn that lesson in army about volunteering.
I have a single source and the project is to restructure the format of the data. I was to spend meager amounts of time in the evenings reading through the material. This allowed me to decide on a format easiest to read, manipulate and share. All I have had to do today is type.
It’s almost finished but the realization struck as I was reviewing it before moving to the next section.
It’s rewriting friggin’ timelines.

 

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Never enough spoons…

Packing the apartment is further along. We have two moving companies scheduled for Friday to come out and provide estimates.

Managed to run errands yesterday and this evening. After success in a back to school drive, our management team at the corporate gig gave us two hours off. It was definitely needed. The rest of the week I should be able to come straight home and buckle down.

The extra time was spent conveying books culled from my partners work library to the Half-Price Books mothership. My will power is supreme, for I actually managed to leave without the acquisition of more reading material. Sorely tempted by a Cthulhu coloring book, really.

My partner is away right now, it was a conversation with her which led to tonight’s poem. It will be September before we see each other for any length of time again. Plenty to keep me busy and out of trouble. (as if!)

The phrase kept running around in my head after our conversation:

“How gems of a moment can bring perspective to the kaleidoscope of events which form the picture of our lives.”

so a poem had to be written. A realization today may spur another poem, or may a bit of flash.

“Conference rooms are the office chair equivalent of the elephants graveyard.” Not sure what will happen to it but should be fun.

Tonight I worked on the next story for Captain Hazzard, adding about 500 words. A small volume, for which I am happy considering the time spent. This story is going to require more research. Some time this evening was well spent reviewing effects of high frequency sonic waves on the human body and how to counteract harmonic frequencies. Glad I have decent math skills. Everything about the story is set fairly well in mind, except the villain. Really have not solidified the villain yet though I’m certain that will come.

And somewhere in all this I have a book to read for a newsletter.  I will be writing a monthly spotlight column. I do not have enough details to share more than that, but stay tuned. I promise to let you know where to find it.

And this is the point I should truly cease my rambling and bid you a good night.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

 

Travel the stars! See the Galaxy!

Taking a break from our might hero to work on another project. Its a lot of fun too writing flash one page travel guides to other planets. Who knows, planting a lot of seeds for stories perhaps. But am writing daily and that’s my goal.

500 words tonight, a poem, a post and another page updated.. Not too shabby for three hours. Sometimes, just sometimes mind you, I actually think I can keep it all up in the air.

Thanks for Reading,

ernest

Dream Job

Meetings at my corporate gig are usually started with an icebreaker question. The idea is to get people to open up as a precursor to sharing ideas thereby, hopefully producing a more productive meeting.

A meeting today attended by telepresence included representatives of several departments scattered around the country.

The icebreaker question was, “If you could do anything, what would your dream job be?”

For those gathered in various conference rooms huddled around pod-like speaker phones, eye rolls make the room echo like a yahtzee cup. As different joke jobs creep statically out of the speaker, MMA commentators to Personal assistant to various celebrities, one brave soul in our room reaches out to unmute the line and add in their dream of being a professional video game tester. No, it wasn’t me, but as he mutes the phone again to many thumbs up and comments of way to take one for the team, I had to consider what would my dream job be?

And as the day has worn on I realized I am at a dream job. I make enough to meet my needs, along with a little extra, and I am beginning to sell my writing. The only way it could be better would be if I had more time to write. Hoping the future holds a way to change that apect.

 

Thank you for reading,

Ernest