Dawn of The Dragons

Invictus

Sonbather

The Snowman

In The Throes Of Elegance

BLACK FIRE LEAGUE

band-pic-1-for-throes.jpg

 

Black Fire League is a band that consists of Warlock and Witch, a hovering madman and a levitating muse; conjuring their debut album “In The Throes Of Elegance” out of an interdimensional abyss. Waves of enticing perfume, swirls of fog, distant cries, nature’s moan and the marriage and divorce of space and time–a roaring rapture of life and death that transcends existence. Here is music for the elite, echoing in the halls of a hidden clubhouse somewhere beyond the pines.

https://blackfireleague.bandcamp.com/releases

Fortress Of Solitude

ADRIAN VINO

The dereliction etched transiently without the usual innocuous sentiment once feigned; her touch blazoned with a hundred bruises at the child who sat watch, in his strange stare atop a disheveled bed, breath sustained, unmatching socks, mouth slightly ajar, breath releasing ruthless rage incumbent upon the slow walk she had whilst fading out of frame. He was a hundred years old enslaved to a vessel of vicious bones and flesh furtively bleeding within. Eyes solicitous and slowly wanting. Short legs swinging just above old soda stains and cigarette-burned carpet. The shifting breeze outside danced excitedly above potholes on the near-vacant lot of the hotel, through bowing branches, amid dust-covered automobiles. Traffic in a distant freeway reminded him of a feverous dream he had the night before as he slept in the bathtub curled inside himself. One day he would find the correct concoction of kitchen and bathroom cleaning supplies that would grant him super human powers. The last couple of times were unsuccessful and ended in vomit and then tears of frustration and melancholia. The rest would be easy–the color of suit and cape–red and black, of course. He would, with his mind, debilitate his father into a freezing, whining subject as he raised him off the floor and throw him through the cheap walls of whatever motel he found them in.

***

“Lex, I told you, I am not going back there. The cops are sick of my complaints. You are not changing. You promise me and promise me and every time you go back on your word, and here we are.”

“Lou, baby, don’t talk this way. You know I ain’t nothing without you, girl–nothing!”

“You swore you would never lay a hand on me again. I swear Rosa can tell my front tooth is a fake; she stares whenever I’m yacking with her. That woman gets on my nerves.”

“Forget that bitch right now. It’s you and me, Lou…it always has been. Just hear me out, please.”

“No, Lex, you’re always pulling this shit with us. No more.”

“You’re fucking crazier than I thought if you think you’re gonna take my child away from me. You hear me?!”

“You start screaming at me and I swear I’ll leave right now.”

“See…c’mon, baby…let’s talk, for christ’s sake. Please? Do you remember the time we used to talk and smoke some of your dad’s stash while he was driving that rig across the state back when we was in highschool?”

“Lex…”

“I’m serious…”

“Yeah, what about it?”

“Shit, girl, I was fucking nuts about you.”

“Oh,” she said sighing and reaching for a cigarette and pulling herself up on the restroom sink. “You really were, weren’t you? The next day you beat up on Manuel Clark for asking me out at work. How the hell did you find out anyway?”

“Your momma told me. She said you were all excited and all.”

“Excited? More like creeped out. I swear that woman likes to start shit ‘cause she’s got nothing better to do.”

“Is that where you get it?”

“You asshole,” she said then smiled warmly and releasing a long cloud of smoke into his face. “I can’t stand you.”

“There she is. There’s my girl.”

“Whatever.”

“C’mon, sugar dumpling, get your stuff and bring it on home to me,” he said shifting his cigarette between his teeth. Her reflection on his aviators. Dimples and prison tattoos–just some of her weaknesses.

***

The boy knew there was no escaping. His body would have to catch up with his mind so that one day he would be able to defeat his arch nemesis. He crawled into bed and wept gently into a bleach-smelling pillow and threw the covers over himself.

“I am safe in here,” he thought, “in my fortress of solitude.”

Three Blind Mice

ADRIAN VINO

“Look at the at the spotted one in the corner.”

“Yes, I see what you mean.”

“He appears as if he’s learning. He is becoming quite familiar with the layout.”

“And he was the slow one at first.”

“The white one loves to share. It’s peculiar–it’s as if he won’t allow his well-being until the others are taken care of.”

“Truly confounding.”

“The grey one seems indifferent.”

“Indifferent or detached?”

“Good point.”

                                         ***

“You assholes still here? Frank, for crying out loud…your wife is gonna leave you if you continue to seek the company of rodents instead of her. I wouldn’t keep her waiting. Not with those legs. Man, can she walk in those heels!”

“Hey, Saul, just observing here…their personalities are really coming through now.”
“Harry, isn’t your mom waiting for you? Then again, she might be asleep now–only so many I Love Lucy episodes a person can watch, I suppose.”

“Bite me, Saul. Some of us have family and friends, you know, not just a passing piece of ass. Besides, the doctors don’t think it’s a good idea her living alone. Not with her eyesight failing her now on top of everything else.”

“Passing’? Some of them come back you know? If they leave an article of clothing behind or an ear ring. Of course, at times I think they leave these things on purpose. I brought a pizza if you guys are hungry. Sorry, just cheese.”

                                   ***

“So, what’s new with our little friends?”

“Well, Mr. White has somehow taken it upon himself to ensure the other rats get fed just as much as he does or more so. Surprisingly to the risk of his own well-being.”

“And Mr. Brown–our spotted friend?”

“Yes, Mr. Brown. He is the productive one; always busy, busy, busy, on the go, constantly moving within the maze. It appears as if he doesn’t care in what he does as much as he just wants to do.”

“Mr. Grey seems at peace. Or detached, like he has something figured out. He will visit the others from time to time but functions well without them. The others are the ones that usually seek him out. Remind you of somebody, Saul?”

                                      ***

“Too bad Lilith isn’t here to see this.”

“I heard she got a better paying job elsewhere. Like eight figures better.”

“Oh, shit, Frank, maybe she’s smarter than all of us and ran for her life. This goddamn place.”

“Whatever happened to Mr. Black, you guys here anything from the lab? I really liked the little guy.”

“I thought you knew.”

“Me? I thought one of you assholes was taking care of it.”

“Geez, Saul, honestly. So where the hell is he?”

“I brought him back a few days ago, Harry. You were out to lunch, I suppose.”

“So, where the hell is he now?”

“Great. Don’t panic. Let’s all of us go around the maze and take a closer look.”

                                   ***

“Fuck.”

“What is it, Frank?”

“There’s a hole in the corner of the maze over here!”

“The little guy made it out?”

“But…he was so quiet. Shy.”

“Don’t be so loud. Grab some of the tape from the back and help me seal this hole.”

“It’s a good thing they’re sleeping.”

“Speaking of which, it’s about that time fellas.”

“Yeah, we were just about to call it a day.”

“Long day tomorrow.”

“I hear you, I have to take mother to church in the morning.”

Eight And A Half Stories High

ADRIAN VINO

Somebody told me I would die at a young age. For the death of me, I can’t remember who that was. I began the trek there mentally, eyes closed and the sound of crashing waves moan on and moan on; the roar plushes through time to reach me, seagulls kite above, the glare of the sun hits the right side of my nose as I look down banefully through Marcelloesque Ray Bans and I’m eight and a half stories high. Children giggle in the haze of a distant nowhere. Grunting third world buses inch along coughing up cruel amounts of pollution.

“What’s it like up there?!”

I exhale and point at a spot in the sand where a woman’s leg wiggles its way out. “Mother, is that you?”

“Mi Bambino! Where have you been?”

“Mother, is it really you?”

“Who else could have legs like your mother, foolish child?”

“You said you would never leave me nor forsake me.”

“That was a different liar.”

 

“Sir, would you like to buy some gum? It is real tasty, Señor. I have all flavors in world. You will love all my flavors. Nobody carries the flavors like Paco does, Señor. Guaranteed or your handshake back.”

“I don’t need any gum, kid, thanks.”

“Well, I didn’t want to wake you, Señor, but those men over there in the leather vests kept staring at you ass and talking in low boys.”

“Those assholes over there?”

“Jess, the ones with the big radio. Man, that double-cassette is the chorro!”

“Chorro?”

“Chorro means the runs in espanol, Señor.”

“I need a different kind of flavor, kid. ”

“Sheet, like what, Mister?”

“El Slowdive.”

“Awww, you want to snort or shoot?”

“Stab.”

“My uncle Jesus has the best in town. And his spikes are all clean, swear.”

“Take me to him.”

 

The house sat silent and planted perfectly amid a cemetery of automobiles once driven with delight circa phone home. Jesus slept on the couch as we walked in and chickens almost ripped my face off as they blurred past me at eye level; his long dark-brown hair laced his eyelids and left side his face. Shirtless and corduroyd. He smiled in his slumber.

“Should we–”

“What do you wan?”

“Hey, uncle this pendejo wants that new droga all the gringos want.”

“I see,” he said as he stood up and yawned. He froze mid yawn as a cigarette levitated and reversed slowly to his lips. “You been listening to all that crazy music, too?”

“What music?”

“Don’t fuck me, Holmes. That skinny whiteboy, goofy noisy pretty shit from the other side of the pond.”

“Okay, maybe a little,” I replied staring at my shoes.

“How much you got?”

“Not much, it took a lot just to get here.”

“That’s not my problem.”

“How about this?”

“Fuck is that?”

“You know what it is.”

“Yes, but it’s still pumping!”

“How else would it be?”

“Shit, holmes, I can’t do anything with that. Come back when it’s no longer beating.”