Dead On Arrival

I smiled as my blood poured out of me

The wounds gushing forth life effortlessly

The priest frantically sewing me together

Neverminding my body now light as a feather

My soul slowly leaving as the light of my eyes dies

I found the death’s truths easier to bear than life’s lies

So I gave up my ghost of my own accord

Existence had a toll I could no longer afford

Don’t try to follow for you will never again see my face

I left behind the pale parody in the casket without a trace

Did you ever love me as you claimed?

Will my memory only ever evoke shame?

I can hear my voice becoming more haunting as I sing

It echoes into the dark void as a despairingly tiny thing

You all worked so hard to secure my soul’s survival

But you didn’t know it was already dead on arrival

-CL Fuqua

NINTH CIRCLE

We are all in the Ninth Circle.

The fat and flabby Satan, that devil of old

Beats his leathery wings of decrepitude

Summoning such a freezing blast of wind

Not even the wildest of fires within the heart can withstand.

Humanity together as one cohesive disease

We wallow in our own filth to the noxious stench

Of the Great Beast’s putrescent and matted fur.

Here we live and die eternally.

We exist perpetually in the frozen land of Hell’s non-being.

-CL Fuqua

The Future Was Too Late

Would that the world’s weariness would cease

That life would be left to herself in silent peace

Ne’er a day goes by without the scream of death

Ne’er an hour when we can’t feel it’s hot breath

In what book does a spell lay to end this pain?

Bearded men searched the centuries all in vain

Reasoned voices of faith can only pray for rage to ease

Men made of weaker stuff hope to quell it on their knees

No end in sight to the world shaking lies

Truth stares at its own impending demise

We can no sooner stop the end charging forth like a train

No more than we can stop the angels releasing the rain

So embrace the oblivion and let it cover all lands

Let fire and death reign as blood drenches our hands

Nothing of civilization and glory will survive the hate

Our lives will become history as the future was too late

-CL Fuqua

Continuum Series pt 1

“Call for reinforcments to the main entrance of the temple! Pull from every available squadron nearby!”

broken radio transmission

“Ye..s…ir! Doing….wh…t…can. Every squ…ron…figh..ng….throughout…..city!”

“God damn it, we don’t have enough to fight off a full frontal assault. They weren’t supposed to have this many troops.”

“SIR! LOOK!!” my 2nd in command yelled as I turned to see.

It was as if time slowed to spite me. I had a perfect view of the nightmare moving straight for us. The once bright blue sky of the capital city had been darkened to blood red mixed with the black smoke of smoldering fires. The Commander of the Temple Praetorian Guard had been right. Our armies were scattered throughout every part of the city. There wasn’t an alleyway, intersection or neighborhood were you didn’t see the muzzle-flash of gunfire, sparks of clashing swords and explosions. The Sacred City itself had become a battleground. But this blasphemous sight had been normal now for the better part of a full day. It had started in the dead of night continuing into midday and fast approaching the next night. What my 2nd had been pointing at was the column of enemy forces heading straight up the city’s main pathway leading to the Temple.

To us.

They were clad in black armor to signify they were part of Ember’s personal guard. Ember, God curse his name. Our forces on the ground nearest to them were too occupied to focus fire on them so they steadily marched forward almost unabated.

“PRAETORIAN GUARD! FORM LINES AND FOCUS FIRE ON EMBER’S PERSONAL GUARD! SHRAPNEL CANNONS FIRE FIRST TO FOCUS THEIR SHIELDS UPWARD!! FIRE!!!”

Even in the middle of a shit-storm with hell all around I knew I could count on the Praetorian Guard to be professional to the last man. I just hoped they would outclass Ember’s Guard on this dark day.

With the loud rapid succession of BOOMS of hand-cannons and then crackling like fireworks I could see the strategy worked. The black column instinctively raised their heavy shields up to brace for the sharp metal barrage raining down on them. Then 2nd line began firing on them from straight ahead with focused automatic burst-fire towards the center in the hopes of scattering the column. They were beginning to finally face resistance. Black armored troops began falling here and there. But they were holding formation while still moving steadily forward. A piercing explosion lit up the sky just to the right as one of our aerial fighters was shot down by a pursuing enemy fighter, crashing into a distant part of the city like a bolt of lightning.

“Even the air fighters are too busy to spare a strafing run for fuck’s sake.”

My 2nd stole a quick concerned glance at me as he understood the gravity of our situation. My voice projector had been damaged some hours ago in hand to hand combat so I had to scream over all the gunfire and explosions:

“FOURTH AND FIFTH LINE!! FOURTH AND FIFTH LINE!!! BLADES AND SHIELDS AT THE READY!!! WE WON’T STOP EMBER’S GUARD FROM REACHING US BUT THIS TEMPLE WILL NOT FALL! THIS TEMPLE WILL NOT FALL! DO YOU HEAR ME?! CUT DOWN EVERY LAST MOTHERFUCKER THAT COMES UP THESE STEPS!!!”

The roar of my troop’s affirmation could surely be heard by Ember’s Guard. And almost as if to confirm it they began a jogging pace. Shields still up and forward like some metal centipede scampering toward us, the gunfire from our barricades was deafening. But Ember predictably placed his largest fighters-bruiser types, upfront with heavy shields to absorb most of our resistance. So they kept charging while the metallic clang of bullets pounded against their armor. Then the inevitable was upon us.

“BRACE!!!”

With a deafening roar my Guard and Ember’s Guard clashed like a clap of thunder. The stronger among the fighters were dismembering and decapitating with their blades even through the armor of their opponents. The stench of blood, sweat, and puke filled their air mixing with the smoke to create a concentrated hell upon the steps of the holiest site in our Kingdom. I turned hearing an ear-piercing scream of agony as multiple bursts of gunfire riddled my 2nd in command before another 3 round burst slammed into the face of his helmet releasing a red vapor into the air as his body collapsed. I yanked back on the lever attached to my heavy warbelt. The Droneblade detached from my back and took flight. I gave it its target with the two-finger signal as it zipped through the violent maelstrom of armored bodies to my 2nd’s killer. He barely had time to register a panicked expression before it descended on him like a wild animal. Spinning its blades in a fury all over, cutting through his armor like paper. He screamed and pleaded as his flesh, guts and bones erupted into the air before the Droneblade mercifully mangled his face into an unrecognizable slop leaving him a bloodied and disfigured corpse. It was a small consolation.

As I recalled the Droneblade and locked the lever back in place I heard his raised voice over the crowd…

“Still playing with toys, old friend?”

Ember smiled through the gap in his helmet before taking it off completely and dropping it to the side. A couple of men engaged in an all out wrestling match nearly shoved into him before he grabbed the Praetorian Guard by the shoulders lifting him up and choking the life out of him as his own guard slowly staggered up catching his breath then running back into the fighting. Ember’s eyes were on me the whole time as my Guard twitched and flopped like a fish out of water. He was daring me to signal the Droneblade. But I knew he could cut it down and I may need it soon. After he snuffed the life of my Guard out, he tossed him aside.

“Nothing? After all this time? Is this how you greet your old comrade?”

Holding up my blood-stained and battle worn sword, I gazed at it admiringly.

“My blade will greet you.”

He smiled before assuming his animal-expression and we ran into each other shield-first, blades at the ready.

End Pt 1

-CL Fuqua

Space Travel

So long ago I escaped Earth it seems. I was looking for a place I’d find unrecognizable. I didn’t want to find aliens. I wanted to be the alien. Everything I left behind had lost all luster and appeal. There was nothing substantive in the relics of my human past. I bid farewell to Rome and its power, Russia and its drama, Africa and its pain, Palestine and its strife, America and its decadence. I looked upward and onward ahead to the stars which had not been charted by man. A new ocean with galaxies and suns more numerous than the sand of Earth’s seas awaited me.

Would there be a new planet for me to call home? A new Earth in which to roam?

I imagined flights of the utmost cosmic fancy. I want to be the alien. I want to be the strange one. I want to be the outsider. I want to be the ugliest part of an endlessly beautiful vista. It’s been thousands of years since I left the mud and rock my species emerged from. This craft made by tainted and industrious hands has held and weathered the solar storms. I’ve reached far beyond what we ever dreamed the universe extended to. I do not think it has a boundary. If I keep traveling it will forever stretch out before me in a beautiful curtsy awing me with its fantastic appeal.

Never to coming back to the place I knew. Always forward to things interstellar and new.

Spirit of the Wood

I had entered the Forgotten Forest days ago wandering farther into its interior than any man before me ever had. But it wasn’t for courage that I pushed on. It was for fear. I wasn’t an intrepid explorer of new worlds. I was a fugitive on the run from Death herself. I had pulled off quite the trick in escaping her but she is relentless as she is merciless. She demanded my life. I was due to enter her realm of the dead. But I clung so greedily to life that I refused to go out on her terms. So here I am in the only place I could think of to give her the slip. The Forgotten Forest is so thickly wooded and soaked in so much ancient magic as well as mythical creatures, that any mortal man or woman with a shred of common sense knows to stay well away. But circumstances circumstances….

There was also that legend. The one about the guardian of this place. I didn’t know if it was true. It was by far the greatest deterrent to any potential trespassers. It was the reason these woods remained untouched by the industrious minds of men. There was supposedly a spirit, THE Spirit of the Wood. It stalked about its domain as a ruler overseeing its kingdom. As to the nature of its mood, who can say? Was it to be found ornery? Amiable? Did it even exist? I found myself to be an amputated member of the human race. Not only was I the one person running from his Deathly fate, I was the only one running INTO the Forgotten Forest HOPING to find the Spirit of the Wood.

Sigh….

I had set up camp in a decently sized open plot of the forest, setting up my animal skin tent propped up on sticks (not from these trees) and had a fire going when the atmosphere began to change. It had been relatively peaceful with just the occasional grunting and howling of who-knows-what magical creature somewhere off in the dark distance. But I heard a soft sound like rushing water slowly ascending in volume. It was coming toward where I sat by the fire. No, it wasn’t water it was…wind? Was she here? Had Death found me after all? I sprang to my feet waiting, scanning in the direction of where the sound was flowing. I heard branches from the ancient trees cracking and snapping as they bent with the force of the wind. It was here.

“Traveler why have you come trampling into my land?

Answer me quickly or punishment of you I shall demand!”

H-hello? I hear your voice, Spirit, but I cannot see you. Pray, come forward so we may converse one to another more simply for my sake.

“You fleshly creature making requests for your sake.

Do you not see it is the same sake which is now at stake?”

Yes, forgive me Spirit. I have come here seeking sanctuary from another Spirit. Lady Death seeks my life and chases me endlessly. I came here to hoping to escape her clutches and beg your protection if you can offer it.

“Death, yes I know her well.

My own sister born from hell.”

As she said the last line the trees began bending and swaying in unison as if in an alien dance. Then in a sight which I can scarcely describe the branches began bending and cracking as they pulled together from several trees to form the outline of a body! A female form with eye sockets and mouth formed by spaces between all the twigs and branches.

“She always craves and her appetite has no end.

Ever crying out for more souls than life can lend.”

The Darling

The darling girl who was so sweet to me

Look how quickly she has fallen into misery

Like Babylon’s best harlot for turning tricks

Burning down what we were beyond a fix

My darling girl who has bewitched you to be so petty?

Throwing pity parties all alone with cheap confetti

I would have saved us but you locked me out so tightly

Not even the hand of God can soften you even slightly

Who was she you may ask as I wax on poetically

She’s not much more now than a mere memory, pathetically

Could she haunt me in the afterlife I do inquire

Perhaps more morbid writing she could inspire

My darling girl is dead as history

Her resting place just a mystery

Goodbye to my darling girl the muse of my heartache

Remember in the end it is I that you did forsake

-CL Fuqua

Christ & Cthulhu podcast

For those who may be unaware I host a podcast called “Christ and Cthulhu” which focuses on the literature of HP Lovecraft, specifically his Cthulhu mythos. I take a unique approach to it as an Orthodox Christian and while it is not a “theological” show by any means as I’m not qualified, I try to show points of intersection or more often diametric opposition in Lovecraft’s fiction and Orthodox Christian teaching. I haven’t uploaded a new episode in the last few weeks as I’ve been someone sapped of motivation due to this extended quarantine. But I will probably be working on uploading the next episode within a week or so. If this sounds like something you may be interested in please tune in! It’s available pretty much wherever you listen to podcasts. Just search “Christ and Cthulhu” and if you enjoy please consider liking and sharing to increase the audience. I will continue writing for this blog as well because as long as there’s music there’s more to spill out of my soul and onto the page.

The Land

I approach your dwelling oh so cautiously while still holding back

You beckoned with promises of living forever and ever without lack

So beautiful is the land you inhabit, warm and full of life

Can I really count myself here among those with no strife?

If you don’t mind may I bleed on your fields of flowers just a bit?

I haven’t healed quite yet and with time I hope to be re-knit

This pristine land with its mountains is so pure and perfect I feel I don’t belong

Yet you tell me come closer still while it is what my soul has wanted for so long

If you let me be imperfect for now I promise I will try to be like you in time

I am stumbling in this daylit harmony after a lifetime in darkness without rhyme

I want you to see me in all my ugly glory, the king upon a throne of shame

I want to be known for my true self yet rise from the waters with a new name

There are hauntings still from the ghosts of my gloomy past

If you hadn’t come the day you did it may have been my last

Yet here I am on my knees surrounded by wild flowers and wind flowing gently on face

May I please weep for I feel the symphony of existence erasing my sins leaving no trace

Do I belong do I belong?

Am I wrong am I wrong?

Let me just lay here among the creatures of the field

I’ll awake to find my bloody wounds have been healed

-CL Fuqua

Misanthrope

“They really are the dregs aren’t they?”

?

“I mean just look at them. Waddling along like overweight bags of meat and bone without a substantive thought between their misshapen ears. If they moved any more inefficiently they’d be literal zombies. They really start to resemble the undead when they scamper and drool before their almighty television. To watch grown men throw and kick a ball around, to see self-righteous actors doing what they do best; pretend to matter. The cosmos could do us a favor and swallow the whole lot. Let the void come and erase this human mistake from existence.”

You know something? I’ve been listening to you a long time but I can’t remember when I ever achieved anything because of it.

“What’s that?”

It’s just I mean, you judge and mock, criticize and lambaste all the people that come into sight. I’m not saying you’re always wrong either. Sadly and quite disturbingly, you’re often right.

“Then what are you..”

What I’m trying to say is you don’t seem to offer any solutions. No upward movement. “Excelsior”, you know? I’ve done the frightening work of peering down the path you have prodded me on to see where it might lead. It’s a violent sight.

“Welllll, that’s speculation. A lot of it. You’re beginning to sound like these fanciful liberal types, the ones we’ve been seeing destroy everything good around them for years! You said yourself I’m right. Because we’ve established long ago that truth is of ultimate priority.”

Yes I know truth can never be compromised. But I’m not sure you’re revealing or viewing it correctly. It’s truth without mercy isn’t it?

“Mercy? For the reprobate? The degenerate? The irreverent?”

I mean, are we any better?

“Yes!”

I don’t know. I just don’t know anymore.

“You’ll see.”

-CL Fuqua