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About Literature / Hobbyist Kate Seger35/Female/United States Recent Activity
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There are bones in this place, but there are also flowers. Brown-eyed primrose, lilac sunbonnet, and California poppies speckle this desert. These are my grave blooms, scattered amid the succulents, the joshua trees, the honey mesquites, and coyote willows.

My skeleton is a pile of sun bleached bones discarded outside an abandoned mine in the foothills of the Funeral Mountains. This name was long ago bestowed upon the jagged range whose peaks form the rain shadow that forever parch the Mojave. Fitting, then, that this is where my last ragged breaths escaped, that this would be my final resting place. Of course, there are more bones than my own buried amid the sandstone bluffs and jagged canyons.

With all of these bones come the other restless spirits. We have all escaped the embrace of our mortal coil, yet still cannot be free from the arid earthly place where our bones all lay. I have seen all variety of the walking dead trolling the Mojave dunes since I died. Most are even farther gone than I; pale wailing shadows shifting listlessly around the vast lands and scattering themselves into to dust as soon as I catch their eye. I have grown to loathe these shifting evasive things. If I, too, am to be trapped here, what is it that they have to fear from me? Why is it that they all disappear or flee?

Time is hard to keep grasp of in my spirit state. Have I been wandering, myself alone amongst the Mojave bones having retained any sense of self after death, for months, or centuries, or perhaps it’s only been days? I do not know I cannot say. It is time that has preoccupied my mind. It is eternity that I am contemplating when I first hear the throbbing of the drum. Wandering through the sage brush and yucca, it comes to me like the memory of my own heartbeat. It permeates every aspect of me, pounding out across the steep chiseled peeks and the vast golden expanse of the hillcrests of sand. At the sound, pinyon jays and warblers silence their songs. A kit fox freezes, twitches his ears once, and then remains motionless. Even the side-winder suddenly ceases his sleek serpentine motion at the sound of this drum.

All but hypnotized, I find myself following the sound, drawn as if by Kokopelli, as if bitten by a desert robber fly, my spirit becomes engorged with a single desire. I yearn, I burn inside, sensations I haven’t felt since I died. Whatever is left of my soul is drawn to this oasis, there is nothing that can deter me from finding this drum that sounds like a heart that beats in tandem with one that was once mine. I follow its unerring rhythm down along a cavernous gorge carved out by a long extinct river. After a long while, the gorge widens, opening up to a broad plateau dusted with arrowweed and rabbitbrush shrubs.

The drum beat is stronger. It is arterial rush, it is lifeblood pulsing to a heart, it is intoxicating and maddening. Wild eyed and desperate my eyes ply the landscape and finally locate the source. It is a man, tall with sleek plated chestnut hair streaming over one of his broad shoulders. He stands alone, beneath the rugged boughs of a blooming Joshua tree; his eyes the earnest gold of first light, his skin the hue of burnished bronze touched by ruddy sunrise. Around his neck hangs a talisman of wrought of turquoise and prairie falcon feathers dangling from a leather thong across his muscular chest.

“You have my heartbeat,” I say. My voice sounds strange to myself.  How long has it been since I’ve spoken the words that whisper inside my mind? I flinch, startled by this sound that is wholly mine. He cocks his head quizzically, as if assessing me.

“You have no heartbeat, for you have died.” His angular face is somber in expression, his voice is deep, but his tone is surprisingly kind. He does not stop pounding on the wood and hide drum resting on his thigh. While I recognize that, indeed I am dead, so clearly he must be right, I still can’t help but feel that this drum beat is distinctly mine.  

“I play all of the sounds that throb throughout the desert, dead or alive, in the deep of star splashed night and the soft whispers uttered during the rose and amber of dawn’s light. If it is your heartbeat that you hear, it is because the memory of your gone life is one you must hold dear.”
I try to conjure memories of my gone life and am met with a flash of disjointed, irrational images involving tears, knives, breaking glass and shattered teeth, a final glimpse of familiar wild blue eyes.

“I don’t want to think about that. Who are you and how is it you can speak to me when I am met with only silence from the others who I see?”
A smile spreads across his finely chiseled face, golden lips curling to reveal perfectly aligned white teeth, then moving upwards across his high cheekbones to crinkle the smooth skin around his eyes.

“I am called Mastamaho. I am one who walks the very fine, invisible line. One foot rests in your spirit world, the other in the world life. Some call me a shapeshifter, some call me divine. I have been thus so long that I am probably older than time.”

I might have found this odd and improbable, if I wasn’t a dead woman, my bones at the body of an abandoned mine shaft, my spirit wandering around the Mojave Desert for reasons unknown. Instead, I decide I have no reason not to believe this majestic being who can play all the lost longings of my hearts blood upon his drum. I open my mouth to say something but Mastamaho silences me with a broad sweep of a long fingered hand.

“You are here because the time to decide draws nigh. I can send you on, to whatever lay beyond, but I cannot tell you what that is, if it’s better or worse than this – the in between, which is choice number three.  You can wander in limbo eternal, discovering all the secrets that only the desert itself is old enough to know. Each choice has risks that even I do not know.”

I know I must now make a choice… but which path leads to bones and which path leads to flowers?
Mojave Bones
Another rough draft.

Because I was supposed to be revising and rewriting the rough draft of my last story...

The ending is too abrupt, I think.

So, in typical me fashion I just wrote something else instead to add to my list of things to revise.
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The reaper raises his scythe and the hunger bleeds us dry. Still we stand and still we fight. With the harvest, with the slaughter, we battle for our lives. We raise our sickles and we sharpen our axes. We bleed emaciated pigs, pluck feathers from increasingly scarce and scrawny chickens. We defy our extinction.

We cull meager crops from sodden fields. Few of them thrive, always going to rot long before they are ripe. We pick the last grapes from every straggling vine. We cut our hands in a desperate quest for stray berries hidden in bloodthirsty brambles. All the while we sweat beneath a livid and stormy sky.

We number our days on a calendar devised in a bygone time when there were four seasons – when there was more to life than this one long dying season. Fall, winter, spring... I still remember the colorful cacophony of falling leaves and the slick frozen beauty of ice encrusted trees. These are gone. We have only the cruel summer, this dying season. Every year there are less mouths to feed. One by one the old, the young, the weak, the innocents fall in defeat.

Still there is never enough to sustain us. There is never enough to get by.

On calmer days, when the storms do not rage, when the waters do not rise, birds still emit their wordless cries. Their harmonies are like roses blooming amid ruins, something lovely that remains in the remnants of what was. These fleet winged things could soar over this derelict landscape, could fly far away from this watery grave that was once burgeoning with life. I wonder why it is that they stay. Perhaps our downfall has been devised to entertain these small creatures who remain. I wonder if they feel sorrow for our plight, or if they laugh, recognizing that we brought this blight upon ourselves.

The elders tell us to pray, but we have lost the old Gods. Gone are those omniscient beings who once floated around in the sky and in our minds. Those mercifully just entities who preached things like “thou shalt not kill,” “peace comes from within,” and “do not turn your face from others with pride,” have fared no better than ourselves during the end of times. Now we worship only Luna, the Queen of the Tides.

They say if we worship her properly she will return the world to the way that it once was. We still have ephemeral shreds of memories of that peaceful time. We still have small hopes, each of us, for things we’d like restored. So we leave Luna the trinkets that we find sunken in the shallows or buried in the vines – valueless coins emblazoned with dead men’s faces, strands of shimmering pearls that once adorned our throats, smooth fragments of colored glass, silver spoons engraved with the initials of someone left behind. We pray nightly to a cold pale face that waxes and wanes.
They say if we relinquish our treasures, she will spare our lives.

But I know something they don’t know.

I know Luna lies.

It was a quiet day, no storms in the sky. The hour was just before eventide – the cruel sun was just sinking, mercilessly red beneath the water line. I followed their rules, I did everything right.

I left her a silver bell and a cockle shell. Tokens from a rhyme I recalled from a past life. A sweet song once to me in a time long ago when pretty maids still stood in all in a row. Now maids like me are only buried in rows. Rows that rise from the sodden earth when the swamps overflow, reemerging as ugly corpses, rotting, and swollen with bloat.

When Luna rose that night, her face was a bright crescent smile. In accordance with all their rules, my offering had sufficed, for they say that when Luna smiles it is a message to the tides. A silver crescent is the Goddess’ way to stay the ocean’s violent rage, to spare our lands from the destruction of the waves. At least that’s what they always say.
That night I sat, perched upon an outcrop of concrete washed up by the sea. I watched the seabirds slip from sight into the night, confident that I had done my part to save our lives. Then the Goddess betrayed her promise to me.

First he birds silenced their cries. Then came the rumble from deep within the earth. The ground shifting like the very core of the world had shattered deep inside. And then, again, I watched the ocean rise.

I don’t know how many died that night and I don’t know the value of a life. I only know that when I sat and prayed with my silver bells and cockle shells, I saw Luna smile… yet still she took so many lives.

When I tell them my story, they say it cannot be. I must be mistaken; Luna would never betray my offering, my repentance for our sin. My eyes must have deceived me, or else I was blind.
But I know something they don’t know.

I know Luna lies.
Luna Lies
Totally unedited rough draft. Any and all insight is welcome. 
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NaNoWriMo 2015:

Zadia La’Croix, the tormented Queen of Lau’Dai, will do almost anything to make amends for the curse she believes she has been cast upon her lands by her infidelity that defied the Blood Law. Following the guidance of both the soldiers and the sages in her council, Zadia instigates a brutal war against the neighboring Kingdom of Summerlynn. With only a prophecy to guide her, Zadia hopes to the relocate her desperate people to untainted lands and put an end to the Blood-Curse the only way possible--through bloodshed.

Arianette Amory, the dispossessed daughter of a robber baron who has fallen from grace and lost both her lands and her family to Zadia’s Lau’Dai army, is hell bent on revenge – and more. Enlisting the help of a bounty hunter in the Borderlands city of Lysd, Arianette vows to depose of Zadia.... but Arianette was raised by an ambitious father who used his guts and guile to elevate himself to nobility. She quickly realizes that assassinating the queen is just the beginning and formulates a plot to reclaim not only her own lost lands, but to stake her claim on Lau'Dai and the rest of Summerlynn, as well.

Intrigue, love, and betrayal are interwoven in an epic tale of two kingdoms – and two women – fighting for both dominion and  survival... of themselves and those they love.
The Gloaming
NaNoWriMo Synopsis
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Kate Seger
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I like chianti, bamboo, colored pens, and anything that is taboo.

Current Residence: Buchanan, NY
Favourite style of art: Pre-Raphaelite
Personal Quote: "There is always hope; if only because it is the one thing no one has figured out how to kill.
Interests
Mildly  amusing  that OWS  was  the  hot  topic  last  time I  graced  these  parts  with  my  presence. 

A lot  has  changed. In  the  wide  world  and  in  my  small  humble c quadrant  of  existence. 

 But  hello  again. 
  • Reading: The Stand
  • Watching: Game of Thrones
  • Eating: salads
  • Drinking: whiskey & bud light

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:iconsrsmith:
SRSmith Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016   Writer
Happy one more revolution around the sun day!
:)
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:iconspoems:
spoems Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016   Writer
Thanks again for stopping by and reading. :)
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:iconyouinventedme:
YouInventedMe Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014   Writer
Have your cake and eat it too Happy Birthday!
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:iconxokpet:
Xokpet Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
Thank you for favoriting Persistencia de la Memoria!
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:icontempestazure:
Tempestazure Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
Happy Birthday! :cake: :party:
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:iconyouinventedme:
YouInventedMe Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013   Writer
happy birthday! :cake:
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:icontitusboy25:
TitusBoy25 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday Kate!:cake::party:
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:icontrainertaik34:
trainertaik34 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your poetry has a delicate voice.

P.S. I was meant to write "You're Awesome", but that one will do.
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:iconakarra:
akarra Featured By Owner May 13, 2012  Student Writer
Loved the last lines of "How to Make Love Stay:"

"But we must all love if we are to live,
So life, to one another, is what your love gives."

It's really sound advice that both takes away the unnecessary romanticism and emphasizes what's necessary and good and ultimately very pleasant.
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:icontigermoth99:
Tigermoth99 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012
Happy Birthday!
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