Cancer is a Bitch

A silent, mysterious predator, She lies in wait.

An ever tightening coil of despair that closes in with age, and the cries of another one down.

Cries that echo all the evil things you’ve ever done and not done, as She eats the person next to you alive.

Then turns to you.

Bitch

Alien – H. R. Giger Pitch by Dan LuVisi

Cancer is a Bitch.

She makes you wish for a past you never valued, because the promise of a loved one’s future is now gone.

Then hate yourself for knowing if tomorrow came again, it would probably look the same as it did yesterday.

And there She has you, paralysed in a pool of poisonous regret.

Tracing back to the precise moment She showed up. Only to realise it was probably a moment just like the one you’re having now.

Right there with her ugly, unhatched spawn.

Where’s Sigourney Weaver when you need her?

(Barely two months out from her 70th celebration, my mother’s twin was diagnosed with a massive, malignant brain tumour. The prognosis is not good. There were few signs, apart from what the doctors thought was a debilitating depression. Turns out there was a reason, after all.)

If you knew how you were going to die, would you change anything?

Road Map

Since my last post, when I discovered no one else wants to go to Mars, I’ve been pondering the source of this ever present need for escape.

You’d think a wholesome upbringing in the country, with home grown vegies and hand made saw mills, might have set me straight.

But maybe I forgot to mention the part where my family was less garden-variety-hippie and more monogamous-Juniper-Creek-meets-Nostradamus freaky.

Growing up, the future my father had mapped out for me was one that would assuredly end.

391px-Leonids-1833

1833 meteorite shower – A Great Disappointment

The Truth, according to Dad, was that the world should have imploded back in 1844 (or was it 1833?) after the sky fell in somewhere over North America. So now we were literally on borrowed time. A fact, I felt strongly, that he resented on account of having hungry mouths to feed.

As for Y2K. Pfft. We’d be long gone by then.

In eighth grade, we moved interstate. My new English teacher set us an assignment. We had to draw a timeline of the future.

Mine went something like this.

Someone clever would invent an electronic device that would replace our windscreens. So when we drove around, we’d be looking at dots on a moving map, instead of cars on a road.

Road Map to Future

Then, sometime before the Year 2000, the world would end. And we’d all go to heaven and watch the evil undead burn for a thousand years before we made it back to earth for a fresh start.

After I handed in the graphically illustrated project, my teacher came up to me, “Do you really believe all that?”

“Yes.” I said, without a blink. I didn’t understand then why she walked away looking mentally disturbed.

After that, she kept offering to take me on her family outings. I think she was trying to get me away from my parents. But alas, we moved states again and that was that. I never did get my assignment back.

Year 2000 came and went.

With it, this feeling, like you’re standing in a silent, unfamiliar universe, wondering what comes next.

You wouldn’t think so, but there’s something freeing about that space.

Dreams don’t always work out. It’s not the end of the world (unless that was your dream, and then yeah, that kinda sucks).

But moving on to the more positive spin. It’s a chance to start over. Again.

HeavenWTF

On those days when I feel like my life’s an epic failure, I think about the Year 2000.

Next to an apocalypse, somehow it doesn’t really seem to matter quite so much. What matters is what’s left – and that is You.

No road map. No future. Just You at the end of the earth.

You could do nothing. But, then again, you could do anything, as well. It could be heaven, if you wanted it to be. What have you got to lose?

Where’s your road map taking you? Does it have a reset button?

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Credit for images is as follows:

‘Flaming gold’ by Paloetic
‘Earth horizon’ by DonkeyHotey

Skeleton in the Closet

Since many of you in the Northern hemisphere are celebrating Halloween this week, I thought I’d break from the norm and offer up a ghost story.

Sadly, I wasn’t born with a sixth sense, so I can’t really say I know what its like to see ghosts.  However, what I lack in psychic abilities I seem to make up for in my freaky dreams.  If they’re anything to go by, I’m rather glad I missed out on that sixth…

Dad and I arrive at a place a long way from nowhere – bare paddocks of dry grass and thistles.  And as Dad proceeds to share his vision, I feel a rising sense of unease.

It’s not bad…it’s got a good outlook.
The ground’ll need a bit of work, but – bit o’ lime an’ blood an’ bone – away you go!
A market garden here, an’ some fruit trees over there.  Maybe a bramble bush or two…
The house is not too bad, either – a bit of patching up, that’s all.  Good as new…

By now we’re standing among the ramshackle remains of an old farmhouse.  And by that I mean, ruins.

There are remnants of an old stone chimney, and nearby, half a house where the roof, in parts, has fallen in.

“Are you sure you want to go to all that work?” I ask.

It had potential, maybe.  Once.  A century or so ago.

We wander through the house as Dad dreams the Great Australian Renovator’s Dream.

There’s a dark dining room, and a servery window to the kitchen – a place for Mum to serve the meals, it seems.

“Where will you live in the meantime?”  I ask.

Absentmindedly, I pull out a long drawer from under the servery window.

“…elp me, help me…” come the pathetic cries of a sinewy body, dressed in a white bonnet and frock, that lies in the trundle shaped drawer.  Boney fingers claw at my face, too weak to lift her frame, “Help me!”

I shriek, jumping back from her reach.  She slumps and rolls her sunken eyes at me, fingers weakly grasping at the air.   “Help m-.”

I slam the drawer shut, unable to breathe.  We have to get out of here.

I rush through a gaping doorway to what once might have been an open, thriving kitchen.

Half of the room adjoining an outhouse is now a weed infested courtyard.

The other half – the corner with the servery window – still has a roof.

Dad stands there.  He talks as if nothing is wrong.

It’s quite alright.  A roof over our heads, that’s all you need…

But in the corner, below the servery window, where a benchtop should have been, is the sinewy body of a woman lying in an exposed drawer, dressed in a bonnet and frock, clawing at the air and crying, “Help me!  Please, help me!”

“Dad, you can’t buy this place,” I say.

Only, in his own trance, he was deaf to the tune that invaded my waking nightmare.

I realised then what happens when we find ourselves trapped in someone else’s dream…

Work your fingers to the bone, whadda ya get?

Boney fingers…
Boney fingers…

-Hoyt Axton, 1974 

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Do you see ghosts?

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Images under public domain by Vincent Van Gogh, courtesy wikipaintings.org, appearing as follows:

Barn with moss covered roof (1881)
Kettle over a fire and a cottage by night (1885)
Head of an old peasant woman with white cap (1884)
Skeleton (1886)