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wear me like your winter coat
i’ll keep you warm
like texas in the summertime

fuck me to melt banana
i need dissonance
i want to feel your pinch harmonic

your bed is a city
and i am your neighbor

Cody Can(not)tu also has a band called Sexual Jeremy. You can find their first album here on bandcamp: https://sexyjerry.bandcamp.com/releases

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Interlude- Ireland Part Two

August 4th 2014 – Molly

At first it was just one man’s quiet moaning. Then a second, younger, voice joined in. The third voice was a little girl, giggling at a joke only she could hear. With each new voice, a shadow flickered across the tent in front of me. In one moment, the shadow of a man the size of a bear loomed over the entire tent. The next, the silhouette of a young girl with pigtails stood facing me. With every rise and fall of the shadow’s chest, I could feel a cold wind, her breath, on my neck. A cold breath coming from behind me. I swung around, bringing the tiny little flame between us, but she was already gone. She giggled again, at me this time.

More and more shadows poured into the crowded little tent. They came from all walks of life. Some spoke English, others Gaelic, and still others languages I couldn’t hope to identify. They clamored, desperate for attention.

“Why do you hide little girl?”

“Join us.”

“Nil me saille.”

“Where’s Seamus?”

“Don’t be afraid, I love you.”

With each new voice, the world around me seemed to get darker and colder. The cozy little tent seemed to grow as more and more spirits poured in. The shadowy corners of the tent loomed in the distance, and the door seemed impossibly far out of reach. Even though the walls were far out of the reach of the lighter’s little flame, they were still illuminated by the warm light. And more and more shadows danced across them by the moment.

“Swear fealty to Connacht!”

“Don’t trust them, they’re all liars!”

“Tawm ngra leat.”

“What did you do to Seamus!”

“I won’t hurt you little one.”

The voices shouted over each other trying to be heard. The noise was deafening, and the warped world within the tent had grown large enough that their cries had begun to echo. I shut my eyes, I didn’t know what to do. The voices just got louder.

“Feall ar tu an laochra de na Fianna!”

“I loved you like a brother!”

“Seamus!”

“How dare you! Do you know who I am?”

“Don’t worry, you can trust me.”

I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Shut Up!” I screamed. And they did.

I could hear my voice echoing through the vast expanse my cozy little tent had been transformed into. The shadows vanished from the walls. After a moment, even the echoes of my voice faded. In the vast space, the silence was oppressive. The tent was freezing now, I could see my breath in front of me. My lighter flickered, struggling to stay lit in the darkness. I bolstered it with magic, feeding the tiny flame scraps of mana through my fingertips. I didn’t know what would happen if it went out, but I had never been so terrified of the dark as I was in that moment. I huddled naked beneath my blanket, holding the fire close to my chest. I felt like a little girl, but the monsters weren’t under my bed anymore. They were all around me, circling, even if I couldn’t see them anymore. The light on the walls began to fade, the darkness closing in all around me. The massive space became a void, even if I had dared to move, I could no longer see the floor more than an inch in front of me.

When they spoke again, they spoke in unison. I heard, loudest among them, my own voice.

“We won’t hurt you little one. Join us, cast off your chains. Run the nights with us. You will never be cold and hungry again. Forget what you were, forget where you came from. We will be your family, we will defend you, we will avenge you against the world.” The chorus of voices said. And it pissed me off.

“If you think I want to forget who I am, you clearly don’t understand me half as well as you think you do. I went through Hell to get here, and I’m not about to give up my identity to run around this backward-ass country with a bunch of ghosts who lack the fucking decency to haunt a single place! You think I’m cold and hungry? I’ve got cookies, something you idiots will never have again. As for the cold…” I gave the fire more power. In a moment, it had grown too large for the lighter. I transferred the nascent fireball into my right hand. “Why don’t I show you just how hot I can make it!”

I threw the fireball down onto the ground in front of me. The fire surged into a circle around me, following the lines of power I laid out for it.  Then I let loose.

I poured every drop of power I had on tap into next burst of mana. The circle didn’t just expand, it exploded outward in a storm of flames. The massive warped space around me was thrown into lurid relief by the light of the fire. The canvas on the floor twisted and melted where the flames burned hottest, the impossibly high ceiling sagged under the heat. I kicked the flaming blanket by my feet into the fire. I twirled around for effect, the reflected light from the fire coloring my pale skin.

“Is this the best you can do? I’ll burn your pathetic little world to ashes!” I shouted. Then I gave them my best insane cackle. It wasn’t half bad, I’ve had a lot of practice.

Unfortunately, the world didn’t collapse. I really hoped that the Slaugh wasn’t actually reshaping the world or pulling me into a demesne. I probably couldn’t break the latter, and I shouldn’t even be trying to break the former. At this point, I was committed to the committed to my initial plan though. I drew more power in from the space around me. I started to sweat, and not just from the heat. My eyes began to water from the strain, and I began to lose feeling in the tips of my fingers. The human body wasn’t meant to draw in power this quickly.

I fed the fire every scrap of magic I could find, the flames climbing to impossible heights. The tent had to be an illusion, no pack of scavenging ghosts had the kind of raw power it took to remake the world like that. And there was only one way to beat an illusion, to deny it. I’d burn it to the ground, or knock myself out trying.

I could feel my body giving out under the strain of channeling this kind of power. There was no longer a world beyond the circle of ground I kept clear of the flames. Scraps of the impossibly massive tent crackled and twisted all around me. I couldn’t see anything other than the fire, there was no longer a tent, there had never been a world outside the tent.

Black crept in around the edges of my vision. I didn’t know if it meant that the illusion was breaking or if it meant my body was. The pleas and whispers of the ghostly host had devolved into a cacophony of screams. I didn’t have the energy left to think anymore. I fell forward, and the last thing I saw before my vision went black was the fire blackening my numb flesh.

With a jarring snap, everything changed. I was back in my tent, which was no longer large enough to fit an entire circus. Nothing was burned, I wasn’t utterly drained of magic. In short, it was like nothing had happened. Well, not quite.

I sat in the middle of my tent, the unburnt blanket around my shoulders, cookie crumbs in my lap. I still held my lighter in my hand. My shadow flickered on the wall before me. It was cast in the wrong direction. I remained sitting. It stood up.

“If you will not join us, you will feed us.” The shadow spoke with my voice. Even in the tiny, real, tent, it’s voice echoed. This was no ordinary swarm of wandering ghosts. It had ignored the runes on my tent as if they didn’t exist. It had created an entire separate world that had nearly killed me.

This wasn’t over yet, not by a long shot. Round two was coming, and I might just be in over my head. I scrambled through my bags, looking for something, anything, that might help me fend off the Slaugh.

My shadow laughed at me. Behind it, a host of silhouettes gathered. And I had a sinking feeling that these shadows were cast by some very real bodies.

A Piece in June

“its about chances. changes. its about screwing up and doing the same thing a thousand times until it kills us. its about finding something that is so undoubtedly a terrible idea, and doing it just to figure out if it was a terrible idea. its miserable and twisted but its ours. and its all we have to share.”

Interlude- Ireland Part One

August 4th 2014 – Molly

If there is one thing you should remember about Ireland, it’s this. It’s really fucking green. There’s a bunch of other interesting stuff about the Emerald Isle. Ireland has a long history, a relatively high level of ambient magic, several native traditions of practitioners, and some very strange fauna, including a few fauns. It also has a pretty staggering unemployment rate, excellent beer, and a drinking age of 18. But mostly it’s just green. Anything that isn’t a road or a building is covered in grass or hedge. I cannot stress enough how much they weren’t kidding about the whole Emerald Isle thing.

Anyway, unreal levels of greenery aside, there actually was a reason why I was in Ireland. I was going to raid a tomb. No idea who’s tomb, or what I was raiding it for. Now, I’m not a total novice, I’ve done some research. The tomb in question was located in County Sligo, about thirty miles south of Carrowmore. Unfortunately, that didn’t really tell me much, Ireland has a long past, and Sligo has been inhabited by humans off and on for over four thousand years. And, according to the Wikipedia article on Irish mythology, by other things for much longer than that. From the Fomor to the Tuatha De Danaan, Ireland has no shortage of mythological humanoids.

Personally, my money was on the tomb being one of theirs. I was kinda hoping it belonged to the people, the Fomor would probably be more likely to leave behind nasty surprises in one of their burial sites. Not that any of my money was really riding on who’s tomb it was. I just knew where it was, and that I would be paid five thousand U.S. Dollars for retrieving any and all personal effects interred in the barrow. All I knew about the tomb itself was it’s gps location, that it was entirely below ground, and that it displayed clear traces of active magic. So, basically nothing.

Anyway, that’s how I ended up slogging through miles of mud-soaked foothills with grass up to my knees. Oh, there’s one thing I neglected to mention about Ireland. It’s always raining. I was wearing a poncho and had boots, but they were no match for the sheer volume of water falling from the sky and the sheer depth of the mud. Under my poncho, all my clothes were thoroughly soaked. And I didn’t bother to pack a spare set in my (Thankfully) waterproof backpack. After around eight miles of wet, muddy, and miserable hiking, it was finally starting to get uncomfortably chilly as the sun went down. I kept on walking, following the tiny gps beacon provided by my employer. For the trillionth time that day, I wished I had a car.

Unfortunately, you need to be 25 to rent a car in Ireland. And I can barely pass for 18, let alone 25. I’m also not all that great at enchantment. I had asked my anonymous employer to rent a car for me and leave it in a convenient location, but he had pretty much laughed me off. I think. The only communication we’ve had has been through email and spy-movie style safety deposit box dead drops. The tone of his email suggested he laughed at my request though. Asshole.

Since I didn’t have a car, I took a bus from Sligo to Ballysadare, and then I started walking. The first couple of miles weren’t bad, but then the roads started to turn into dirt paths. Then the paths stopped, and my only company for the the next six miles of hills were the occasional sheep. Some of which were nearly my size. Luckily, I didn’t encounter anything even remotely magical on my hike. No territorial druids, no mobs of Slaugh, no pre-christian ghosts, not even a leprechaun. It would have been nice if I wasn’t soaked, dirty, and itching in places I didn’t know I could itch. It was however, finally over. Or, about a third over I guess. I still had to raid the tomb and then get back to civilization, but I had at least gotten to the tomb. It didn’t look like much, but it was clearly a barrow. Cut into the side of the hill in front of me was a stone door-frame. It was covered about a third of the way with debris, but unlike everything else I’d seen today, it was clearly magical. I couldn’t really tell anything more specific about the spells on it at first glance.

So, I put it out of mind and started setting up camp. Even though it was only about ten miles of walking total, getting to the tomb had taken me most of the day. Thankfully, I had planned for that. My flight home from Dublin wasn’t until Friday, giving me three days to raid the tomb, walk back to civilization, take a bus back to Dublin, and get drunk enough to forget that I just desecrated a grave. I also had brought a tent. It wasn’t a big tent, it was only designed to sleep one person, two if they were my size. However, it was waterproof, non-flammable, and airtight, and therefore completely awesome. It also had some basic protective runes on it, which had come in handy on more than one previous camping trip.

Before I started to set up my tent, I took off my poncho and set it between some rocks to collect rain. If I went to sleep with this much mud on me, I’d probably wake up a terracotta soldier. Then I set to finding two square feet of hedge without rocks to pitch my tent on. It was impossible, so I found a mostly clear spot and piled the rocks off to the side. I could use to make a circle later. Or I could just leave them there. I wasn’t sure if laziness or paranoia would win out on that one. It didn’t take me long to pitch the tent, it was a canvas tube with clearly labeled holes for the fiberglass supports. Completely idiot-proof. I’d also practiced, you never knew when you’d end up in a situation where your life depended on assembling a shelter before nightfall. Especially in Europe, this continent has too many goddamn vampires.

I threw the rest of my stuff, a blanket, some food, and assorted magical gear, into the tent. Then I went to shower. It was still raining, I had a poncho full of water, and I really wasn’t all that worried about peeping toms since I left behind civilization miles ago. Ireland is weird like that, just a few miles off the road and you wouldn’t guess you were in an inhabited nation. Eventually I got the mud off me, it took a while, and I slammed my head into the rocks several times trying to wash my hair in the poncho-sink. While I washed, the sun finally started to dip below the horizon. The atmosphere changed almost the moment the bottom edge of the sun touched the horizon. Ireland is an old country, places like these aren’t safe for practitioners to be outside after dark. I hurried into the tent. After a quick wring, I zipped up the tent and hung my clothes on some little cloth loops attached to the ceiling on the tent. The tent was pitched on a bit of an incline, and the clothes hung over the lower side, so hopefully I wouldn’t get too wet tonight. Satisfied with my laundry, I cuddled up under my blanket and looked for dinner.

By dinner, I really mean two packs of those chocolate covered ‘digestives’ that Europeans call biscuits even though they’re clearly cookies. I’m pretty much the poster girl for why kids shouldn’t be allowed to buy their own food. I think I put some sausages in the bag too, but I really wasn’t all that keen on looking for them. Because chocolate. Between my ridiculously fuzzy blanket and those biscuits, today was finally looking up. Then I heard something rustle outside. I froze for a moment, then recovered and pulled out my lighter. I flicked it on.

The small flame cast eery shadows inside the tiny tent. The side of the tent I faced was brightly lit, but I could see the shadows I cast on the wall out of the corners of my eyes. Every time I turned my head, they shifted slightly. I tried to ignore the shadows and focus on my biscuits.

That’s when I heard the moaning.

i want there to be flowers

i want there to be flowers in my hair and grass between my toes. i want trees to encompass everything i am, and embrace me. i want the first frost of winter to come towards me as a whisper, as a song. i want it to touch me. i want the words in books to leap off their pages. i want the ideas in my head to come out of hiding. i want to be seen. i want peach colored roses on my doorstep. i want my name written in a text book. i want the sunset and the sunrise to meet eachother and find the end of the earth with their lips. i want little eyes to look up to me and wonder. wonder about all the wonders of the world. i want to be a mother, to braid her hair and sing her to sleep. i want to put her artwork up on the fridge like her own personal gallery. she’ll be famous, i’ll say. i’ll teach her to dream. to always hope for the flowers. to always swim to the shoreline. to always gasp for breath at the sight of everywhere. i want there to be roses. roses in the place of tears when i die. i want her to smile. i want the world to look at her and wonder, wonder what her mother was like. i want a place among the trees. to be a voice among the leaves. i want to be heard. to be felt between your toes, to grow against your legs, to wrap you in my song. i want to live among the wildflowers. i want you to pick me up and take me home. i want to be the wind in your hair. the breath in your lungs. the love on your lips when you kiss your baby girl goodnight. i want there to be flowers. 

“…an empty soul”

i’m terribly hot, alone, i have eaten way too much fast food, i read the 543 paged book i never read for my english class in about an hour, i still have yet to write the essay upon which my salvation depends, i feel the desire to write and sleep and complain, contemplate the meaning of life as we know it, recall the recent memory of deceased strangers and analyze it until i have figured out where we go when we die. My priorities in life are severely out of order as i sit here alone in my bed with a pretty face and an empty soul.

Ten Dozen Chances

Sometimes I wish I would get struck by lightening. To leave myself behind. Sending me spiraling, drowning in electricity. A timeless misery. Power in my viens, a story to feed my soul. Giving me a reason to stay awake. I wont go outside tonight. Invincible intuition creeping out the separation. We’ll all be in shock. Locks on our mouths to prevent a person proud. Ten dozen chances, lining up at the door, by the long metal pole at the end of the hall. Waiting for you to carry yourself away and fall. A rainstorm and a rally, a risky rancid reprise. hiding in your left mind. See, I saved you this time.

not enough

I don’t have enough money in my pockets, I don’t say enough, preach enough, I don’t work hard enough, I’m barely tall enough, barely strong enough. I don’t pray enough, eat enough. I don’t do enough homework, try enough. I don’t laugh enough, sleep enough. I’m not courageous enough, I don’t care enough. NOT important enough. I’m not emotional enough, social enough. And even though I try, nothing will ever be

good enough.

A Tumultuous Mind

Most days are rainy. the city lights are infinite, revealing the stains on your clothes, the dirt on your hands, and the smoke in your breath. The fog doesn’t help much, forming whirlpools of regret like an ominous cloud. You’re taking a walk through central park like you do everyday. You’re searching for who you’re supposed to be. You think you might be miserable. So you take in the fresh air and exhale slowly, just to be sure. Remind yourself you’re still there. It’s merciless and cold. You feel like screaming at nothing, because nothing’s there. Or rather no one. You keep walking, your steps in perfect rhythem with your turmultuous mind.