The river was an onyx mirror. It looked motionless on the surface, yet under the thin-film of visibility hidden currents pushed the water swiftly between the high banks. Like a violent swipe of a pen, heavy with ink, the flow cut through patches of willows and cattails and around bends onwards, always onwards. At one point in time, there was probably a map of the body of water, a highly detailed topographical rendering, showing every turn and varying depth within an inch margin of error. Ben didn’t have that map though, as far as he was concerned, the river went somewhere different.
He knew his obsession with different was unhealthy. It had been that way back home and the ailments only multiplied tenfold when he reached The Rampant Lands. He figured it was this way because something different and new was always so near. New people, new places, new experiences, those were the promises and for the most part the world he had found himself in had kept them faithfully. It was a plague of blessings. Like Thoreau at his lake, Ben had found his escape from the constant threat of homogeneity only to tumble violently into a routine of constant searching. Continue reading
-From The Journal of Big Denny Walsh-
I’m not sure how many days or weeks had passed since my time with Juno. I also can’t remember exactly how many nights I thought about the promises that we made and how many I was distracted by something else. I am pretty damn certain though that the ratio favored the latter. The group I was travelling with and I passed the time trying to convince each other that the things that we found ourselves interested in was worth the others being interested in as well.
They took turns boring each other and me with fantasies they had created but had tricked themselves into believing were truths. If the scenery hadn’t been changing consistently, I would’ve sworn that we were walking around in circles: Prophets, perfect women, and heroics. The topics ran around, rabid, in circles and knots. I wish I could’ve convinced them that we needed to stay focused on the town with the guitars and the mountain drums. Continue reading
An Accounting of The Rampant Lands By Rita Tagey-
I’ve been here for about a year now and this is the first time I’ve written anything, because I finally have something to write about. Sure, if I wanted to tell stories about lunatics, slobs, bastards, and various other people going absolutely nowhere, I’d have volumes of notebooks. That’s not what I came here to explore though. I came to find the reasons behind the term “Overnight Shift”. I was beginning to have fears that those wine soaked morons were those reasons.
I remember thinking about names when I first came upon a place I will call The Enclave. I was thinking about how strange it was that so many of us, and those who came before us changed their names when they reach The Rampant Lands. They’re cowards who are far too afraid of what they’ll do without eyelids constantly dictating what they do with blinks and squints. It’s as if they honestly believe that they think their actions will be forgotten or ignored because they were done by some silly moniker.
The truth is that they’ll most likely betray that fake name anyways. I can’t believe that my experience is only mine when it comes to the endless boasts and stories told by those who come home. They’re all just too stupid to observe that it’s those regurgitated days are what caused them to need a pseudonym anyways. It’s a ridiculous cycle that all starts with names. Continue reading
It wasn’t hard to find, or even necessarily hard to enter The Veiled Main Street. It’s the time spent there that more than makes up for the troubles not received. It was unassuming, like all treacherous places were. A long stretch of pavement, about a mile long. It twisted a bit at the end, hiding most or just a few buildings depending on which end of the street someone was on.
It never seemed odd that a majority of the people wandering The Rampant lands took a stroll down that street. The concept of supernatural influence had long been dismissed in the world. But the draw that the yellow dashes down the center of that street made a good case for the opposition. Perhaps it was the way that dividing line was spaced, hypnotic in some way. Continue reading
-From The Journal of Big Denny Walsh-
I had told them South. That’s where we’d find the town where everyone played guitar. I thought it was understood that that’s where I wanted to go. But their love affair with democracy won out and we headed West first. They said they wanted to see snow. As if we couldn’t see that back home. They obviously don’t get why we’re here in the first place.
My brother told me about the place when he got back from his trip. He really lived it up while he was gone. All his stories were great, but that town with the guitars is what stuck. It’s where we need to be. With the skies that stay blue all day until they tattoo themselves with reds and purples. They thought that the beach we were on before was something to remember, just wait until they see the beaches down south. That’s where we need to be, it’s going to be great. We’ll fuck tanned women and then sing the songs that ignite those LED vivid skies. Continue reading
Lily wasn’t her given name. She had chosen it after the five year time limit came and went. The Cadillac part came later after an offhand comment made by a kid who was part of the group that followed her own. The truth was that there weren’t any more Cadillacs than any other type of car.
There was no one there to explain to Lily why the cars had been abandoned in the field. No one who came afterwards had a plausible theory either. When it became clear that there’d be no more of her own group passing through and that her boat had left for the new batch, she set out to create an excuse.
There was very little order to how the cars had been arranged. Old International pick ups mingled with the economic frames of Yugos and Hondas. It helped that the rains fell evenly on the Cadillac fields and the rust had spread in similar circles across the steel. The only ones that stood out were the plastic coated frames of the newer cars. Lily tried to ignore those ones. Continue reading
(For an introduction to just what the hell this is, click here)
No one ever mentioned how everyone would be shipped. There were plenty of technologies that could’ve performed the task admirably, so the choice of large boats seemed odd.
Rita couldn’t remember the last time she was on a boat. She knew for certain she had never been on one so large. Somewhere along the way she heard that when vessels were this large they were called ships. She didn’t particularly care about the exact difference.
Watching the crew operate the ship was a good way to pass the time. Adults scurried all over, pulling levers, tying ropes, tending to different machines. Every once in awhile one of her fellow passengers would find some ounce of ambition in their chests and offered their services. Each time they were politely asked to take their seats again with assurances that while the responsibility of the ship was not theirs, there might be a task for them on the return trip.
When The Rampant Lands first came into sight, the excitement was marked by the buzzing of skin and widening of irises. Rita felt a bit of shame as she joined in with the others as they called out for more speed. The remaining water was only an obstacle that needed to be ignored and conquered. Continue reading