Friday, 4 March 2011

Extract of the Moment: TJ McIntyre

"Extract of the Moment" is our regular feature showcasing the work of the Philistine writers.

This is taken from Isotropes: A Collection of Speculative Haibun by TJ McIntyre.

This ebook can be read in full online or downloaded for free here.


The airships billowed overhead. The formation eclipsed the bright afternoon sun. I let go of my wrench, wiped the sweat from my brow with my grease-stained arm, and looked up. I saw the massive video grid displays. I saw a familiar face. Her face.

just this morning
we lay entangled and close
now so far away

Gerri told me to try and forget her, to go to work and remain silent. I did as she asked. Not out of cowardice but out of respect. She knew the risks, but, to her, it was worth it. She spoke of it all the time, read the forbidden books, studied the ancient encrypted sites on the Net.

forgotten knowledge
the holy books long silent
they meant everything

She said God spoke to her. At first, I was worried she was insane. No one believed in God anymore. It would have been laughable had she not been so sincere, had her eyes not had that sheen. There was something in her eyes. Whatever it may have actually been, it looked a lot like truth.

no words to dissuade
it meant everything to her
words brought new life

It was her job to spread the Gospels, she declared. I sighed, I shook my fists, and refused to hear her out at first. But soon, I saw her passion would not die. It overtook her body, her very being, and the woman who was my wife became someone else, someone better than me.

no more feuding
she would hug her enemies
win the world with love

“Through love,” she said when I asked her how she would do all this. “Through love.” I wanted to believe by then, really I did, but it all seemed so insane. The dusty old books, the encrypted files. It had all been discredited long ago, hidden away. The world had been promised peace then, but it did not take long to learn it wasn’t religion that caused the wars -- it was us.

with empty lives
nothing to look forward to
we all grew depressed

The wars raged on in spite of our beliefs, or lack thereof. The fighting, in time, actually increased. Corporations formed battalions. Bullets and bombs became the new currency as we all fought to control technology. In spite of all this, who was I to say she was crazy? Because of this, it appeared perfectly logical to imagine that Gerri might be sane.

she asked me to join
but it was her faith, not mine
I couldn’t believe

There were others who saw her eyes. They saw the light there and wanted to have some of what she preached. They wanted to feel what she had to offer: Hope. There was hope in her words and the words of those books. There was something in them that made sense, but I refused to believe. I am a mechanic. I work with my hands. I move a wrench, and the nuts and bolts lock into place. This is a simple thing, and I am a simple man. I like what I have and never asked for more. Her followers always wanted more.

her face in the sky
wanted for spreading false hope
police ships blaring

I know they will find her one day. The Euro-American Corps will track her down. They probably have already infiltrated her followers. There will be a corporate Judas at her last supper. Already I can hear them asking me if I knew her. I deny her already, just by not being there with her, and the proverbial rooster hasn’t even begun to crow.

unwavering faith
she was burned without a trial
saying I love you
burning tears wet my face
I fell to my knees and prayed

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