Tender Dismemberment

Featured artwork by L.H. Grey

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Nine Inch Nails “The Mark Has Been Made”

Three hundred and sixty-five reasons to slay
That’s a whole lot of days to dismember
A whole lot of gain from a whole lot of pain
And a whole lot of names to remember

We never forget a face. Never let good food go to waste. Never taste defeat as retreat equates to surrender. Never trust the shady vendor on Angel street or drag our feet as we venture deeper into unknown territory. Never long for short-term fixes. Never play Pooh-sticks in our new kicks although we’ve been known to skim stones over broken bones. Never fret over taking out loans with sharks or asking them to chance an advance. Never fail to take a number of chances when the odds are stacked opposingly. Never confuse fear with loathing. Never act queer when the walls start to close in. Never become chosen lords without endorsement from the source. Never forget where that source is. Never forget how to source this vitality. Never question our sanity as it’s unlikely to answer.

We never rest on our morals. Never test out burning bed springs. Never work up a sweat that amounts to nothing. Never bluff a bluffer or stuff a camel through a needle’s eye. Never doubt the line of sight of a swooping eagle’s eye. Never bleed without a spotter. Never feed the cannon fodder. Never make obscene gestures to court jesters. Never trust a woodchuck who wouldn’t chuck wood. Never, for a second, think it ain’t up to no good. Never lift the hood of a wise guy’s Chevy. Never argue the toss with a waste of space. Never get up in its face as it will just change anyway. Never feel disgrace by simply walking the opposite way. Never entertain taking that glaring opportunity to make them pay, no matter how much they bait us. Quietly wait. For one fine day, our good friend karma will come around again. And save us the trouble. More than likely make it a double.

We never once kill in the name of fame. We never claim to possess all the answers. But, just so you know, we never said we didn’t either. We never strive for perfection as it’s flawed, you see. Never bow to convention as it bores us to snores. Never pause for rebellion but never fight a lost cause. Never care for the sharing of political views. Never attempt in vain to tame a shrew. Never lose a rap battle to a baby rattle. Never straddle a leather saddle without paying respect to the animal that died to craft it. Never ask for permission to speak. Never make an incision too deep. Never play Radiohead’s Creep just before we go to sleep. Never get up on the wrong side of the bed as there isn’t a wrong side of the bed. It’s all in our heads, you see. Suggestible perversions of the curve ball persuasion. So, never a better time to slay then.

Three hundred and sixty-five reasons to slay
That’s a shit ton of days to remember
A whole lot of gain from a whole lot of pain
And a bucket full of limbs to dismember

The question is – who should we slay on this very day? After all, we’ve read the ledger and it clearly states crime doesn’t pay. But we never really did believe what they say anyway. It all ultimately reads the same and this is where skimming comes back into play.

We never made it through the prologue as we dozed off long before that. Never mix our Zolofts with our Prozacs. Never hack into a server that doesn’t damn well deserve it. Never jack it in when Jill got ill halfway up the hill. Never spill the Frito beans as that would be obscene. We’d never get the carpet clean. Never waste good elbow grease on bad attitudes. Never confuse our longitudes with latitudes. Never happen to be conveniently passing a crime scene. Never factor in the next morning’s headlines on account of said crime sprees. Know our enemies. And let them fall upon their own swords. Revenge may well be a dish best served cold, but it’s a hot meal that we came for. And greykeeper got what we came for. Never let it be said we are wasteful. They would never believe you anyway.

Three hundred and sixty-five reasons to slay
That’s a whole lot of dismemberment to tender
A whole lot of gain from not a whole lot of pain
And a whole lot of never say nevers

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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