My love I write to you as a man already dead. I live now only inside your heart where my eternal soul will rest from here on only to be identified in faint glimmering reflections deep in your beautiful green irises. Others may remember me then and even you shall remember me should you stare into the mirror in adoration as I was gifted the privilege all these long years.
In my last moments I am writing to you from the deserted cabin of the former captain Eli Ravenswold of her Majesty’s warship the Savant. Thirty two gun strong in her prime she is now not but a cargo hold for snapped rope failing to corral loose cannon balls. Banging and chipping away at her hull slowly they destroy her from the inside. Every dip and rise of the bow unleashes another clatter of assaults. The bang and rattle of unsecured cargo alone is enough to chill any man.
As I am yet her last crew, here, far out at sea riding a ghost ship to hell -I will remain loyal to whatever end.
We should have never went into those waters my love. Captain Ravenswold all but had a full mutiny on his hands when the quartermaster made the announcement to the crew. Shouts and growls rang out in support and condemnation of the Captains’ plan. Where he lead us to tread was the rumored home of a great Leviathan. No one dare speak or even whisper its name for fear of being gagged and bound to the anchor for bringing bad luck on the voyage.
As soon as we entered that wretched part of the map we were bathed in a twilight fog and the wind gave up on us. Drifting along like some oars-less skiff on a still pond it was three days before we heard anything but our own breathing. Without not but a small tremor in your own bones as warning we were set upon without mercy.
I tell you now Addaline, find it we did. The Leviathan is real. All men standing on the mighty deck of the Savant casting there gaze skyward saw nothing but a massive tempest of thick muscled limbs ripping down upon them as friend and foe were equally torn to pieces as brothers. Stinking hot breath rattled our sails with life but the creature snapped the masts easily enough rendering us all dead men.
I hid. Your dead husband the coward watched as the Savant’s last crusader ran up the quarterdeck sword drawn screaming in blood lust at the loss of his shipmates.
My cowardice forced me to stand still messing myself over and over again until I could stand the stink no more. Silence had befallen the ship for many hours now. The fog had lifted slightly and I noticed small tremors in the water caused by faint breaths of wind. I hazarded my way to the nearest skyward opening.
My boots slipped in the thick mud created from black powder and blood of the dead.
I was deceived Addaline. The beast was waiting for me. An eighteen pounder was swiftly ripped from Savant’s side tearing a great wound. Blood from her dead loyal subjects began to run among her splinters. Rushing out of the opening in great streams of crimson the droplets wept into the water turning the sea red.
I was quickly resolved to my haunches looking into a great blue and green eye.
Addaline it was unlike any great radiance a living man has seen. I bared witness to the awesome power of the universe with my own human eyes. I stared into twin galaxies Addaline. One green and one blue. Both were tangled in a cosmic dance of everything past, present and future Addaline! Oh, Addaline the Leviathan chose me. God chose me.
I bid you leave my love.
I go to die.
To live as a specter and spook among the prophets of old. Although I do not yet know what may become of the Savant and her true last Captain I am blessed to find out.
Be at peace.
Your eternal loving husband,
This letter brought to you by Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian’s page 29 word “Leviathans” and also the band Alestorm.
Danny Machal April 23rd, 2015
Othorn stared closely trying to catch a glimpse of the space between spaces. His nose was inches from a vast expanse of blinding white that now flooded his vision.
He swore the faintest call for help was carried through the air to his ears as tiny structures in the desolate landscape began to take form.
“Othorn!” a voice jolted him from his trance. “You going to finish making that latte or kiss it?”
Grasping the shaker of cocoa powder he dusted the white landscape lightly whispering to himself solemnly, “Sorry friends.”
Danny Machal April 22nd, 2015
A voice from everywhere and nowhere talks to you calmly like a Father comforting a child.
“As you effortlessly tread the warm cave water take a look down. See your naked wiggling legs slightly obfuscated by the crystal clear ripples from your kicks. Not far ahead of you there is a warm white glow coming from an opening to an underwater chamber. Take a deep breath and let yourself sink into the gentle pool knowing that everything is okay and you are free -safe to explore.”
“Swim easily through the tunnel and back up again to emerge on the other side.”
“As you break the silky surface you hear nothing but your gentle rhythmic breathing and the small twinkle of the drops beading off your body. You can stand here on a smooth stone shelf decorated with an awesome set of equally smooth stairs.”
“The rock walls around you are glowing to illuminate this new chamber in which you see a large dark wood podium. Freshly stained and shiny with an ethereal craftsmanship you have never know it calls to you. For there atop this podium, laid out to the page of your life as you know it, is the large book of your Akashic Records. Everything you have ever been. Everything you will ever be. It is all contained in this book. Go to it with purpose.”
Whenever I have been lost or feel I am broken beyond repair I always turn to myself. The passage above is a paraphrased section of a guided meditation that I have used to look deep within. I believe most decisions we are forced to make are actually made almost instantaneously. Some call it the “gut feeling.” But really -we know rather quickly what “feels right” and what “feels wrong.” The rest of the time we spend making decisions is really just convincing ourselves of what we already know is truth.
Addiction, depression, anxiety, habitual self harm are but a few of the things we use (sometimes involuntarily) to avoid the pain of making decisions. All of these afflictions have one commonality in that they are trying to create solid links in our broken mental chain.
You are thinking, “But Danny aren’t some of these things PAIN in and of themselves?”
Yes they are. They are a different type of pain. They are “quantifiable pain” used to fill the gaps caused by pain we cannot identify. We can see and feel tears (albeit a bit blurry). We can feel our heavy sinking stomach and chest when a stranger knocks on our door or we are at a party expected to “mingle.”
Those pains are REAL.
Ripples of pain pulsing through your body caused from that time in middle school someone called you fat or you told a lame joke and were shamed are much harder to identify today. Time has made you forget when that pebble was dropped in your pool. But your whole life they have never stopped beating themselves upon the strong stone walls of your mind and heart. They have eroded you slowly from the inside so much so that you “got used to it.” Isn’t this who you are now?
Who you are today is a choice you made when you opened your eyes this morning. How you feel is a choice you make right now.
I know it isn’t as easy as all that. Anyone who tells you it is, doesn’t care about you and is just trying to pacify you so they can move on with their own agenda.
With all the horrors that can befall a person in this world some of this may seem rather trivial. But there is one universal truth in that YOU are a strong person who can make decisions. Even when you feel yourself at your weakest –
You have the ability to call forth the power within, to seek help and to find new tools (there is an infinite amount of tools so don’t ever feel like there is nothing left) while casting aside what “hasn’t worked.” THAT IS HOW YOU FIND YOURSELF AGAIN.
Danny Machal April 22nd, 2015
“They followed the buffaloes and their babies along the trail heading into the woods.”
“Why would the Indians do that and not just kill them right there Gunny?” Private Goober’s eyes glazed over as he turned his head to whisper. He was in his ‘thinking mode.’ Goober is good guy but sadly wouldn’t last long in the field. Just doesn’t have the head for it.
“Devil Dog you are dumb as shit. I’m glad we have bullet catchers like you to protect the real recon marines,” Gunnery Sargent Rodan (GRD to most of the company) spoke quietly staring down the sight on his M4.
GRD spoke very softly again, “Watch your sector Goobs and keep your mouth shut.”
Goobers big eyes turned toward the tree line. Both bearded and rugged recon marines were in heavy ghillie suits invisible among the shrubs and rocks of the Afghan highlands.
They laid there prone hour after hour not moving an inch and seeing no one. Goober pissed himself twice and GRD only once. The damp spots between the backs of their thighs evaporated quickly but the moist uncomfortable groin area that was pushed to the ground remained.
Goober’s eyebrows raised with corners of his mouth as the light bulb went off.
“Swift, silent, deadly. The Indian’s are just like…,” a muzzle flash from the tree line. Silence.
Danny Machal April 20th, 2015
I plunged my Buck knife into the deer carving out a piece of meat for my dog to eat. Lady’s golden tail wagged as she laid on her front paws setting to work on the offering. I shot three arrows straight into the lungs and heart of the creature like I was taught. It came down easy as it was just a big refrigerator box on which I had drawn a stag looking figure with a Sharpie. My dog didn’t mind chewing the cardboard to play along.
She was a great dog and we ran around the forest for years together as explorers, hunters, treasure seekers, fishermen and woodland settlers. Even as I write this I can still imagine what it was like to wrap myself around her giant frame and bury my face in that comforting golden fur. Silent and strong she never strayed from my side. I can still smell her special flea and tick collar mixed with tomato sauce. We took more than one bath together bathed in that thick red anti skunk smell remedy.
When I was twelve I was in the thick of budding adolescence high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Our five acre property was heavily forested with Oak, Fir, Cedar and Ponderosa Pine trees. I remember telling my parents –
“I’m never living in the woods. I’m outta here to the city as soon as I can.”
Of course what I didn’t realize at the time was that the adventures I had as a boy would run way deeper than teenage rebellion ever could. As an adult the only place I find peace and tranquility is among the swooshes of wind swept bows, the trickling of streams and the gentle songs of visiting birds.
I’ll be seeking refuge in the forested woodlands wherever I am for the rest of my life.
Danny Machal April 20th, 2015