Brutally Slain




Featuring art by Jason Stieva



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Depeche Mode “Policy of Truth”




Honesty really is the best policy. And, I can honestly say that I can smell a spray of bullshit a good country mile away as the crow flies. May not see fit to challenge this depending on parameters but, when it comes to bullshit, I’m the furthest cry from amateur. When I started on this journey, I swore oath to set a precedent for truth which is self-evident and implement injunction on lies. Had the very best intention and no end of comprehension of the end goal I was heading to and tools that were required to stand attention dignified. Pride of place secured, I began to cast my eye back to the pain that I’d endured throughout two decades, maybe more, of recklessly abandoning on both my hands and knees amidst the low tide of a thousand dashing dreams.


Bursting at the seams to set the scene for something better, I directed my address through heartfelt sonnet to the skeletons impressing on my closet. Never less than therapy, this evidently settled me and seemingly exceeded expectations. Could it be this Englishman was onto something here? Would it be so difficult to set my course for fed thoughts of empowering a nation? Fuck it, this would take foundations sturdier than herd of bison. Bloody roots that dig in deep, absurd amounts of enterprise and no place for the faceless lies disgracing those who populate the multitudes. Having been so destitute of blessings, dressed in curses, every verse led from the darkness then towards the light.



Seemed only right to invite a brighter climate to any soul inclined to buy into this vow of broken silence. With convulsions ultra-violent, I provided eye-witness to the sickness strain with which we are persistently stricken. Our skins commence to thicken and this quickens our affliction as per cynical prediction that, for all our hidden wisdom, we are better off becoming numb in prisons. Naturally we cannot be berated for our vision, but this isn’t necessarily subjective to reflection. Maybe this is why I cried the tears of crocodile, and all the while, felt strung out, wrung out with unnecessary tension. We tend not to see fit to question our suggestions, when directing them at everyone with solitary exception of ourselves.


Jagged little pills get lodged in throats and we then choke upon the lozenges of sorrow that gradually recline our eyes to hollows. Seen it happen time after time. However, there did come a time when I chose to sign a treaty blind with faith I had refrained from calling time on. Brutal honesty, our pledge. Hand in hand, we knew the ledge. In less than a second, we duly leapt. Mirrored in reflection, we then picked away the scabs revealing cold hard facts that promptly had us reeling. Lying had come easy, never once with sense of treason, simply hitting on the bitter edge of reason.


Long since seasoned in the art of bullshitting, it seemed fitting that we’d outwitted ourselves for so many desperate seasons. Keeping that within was sin and punishment in utero. Stunting growth of souls that had more than earned paroles. Truth would know precisely how to set us free from chains that bound us. Light in play and all around us grounds for celebration, regardless of our bare-faced lies to hide away the essence in self-exile. For we had found a place to have a say no longer partial to disgrace and chased away all packs of lies. These were our foundations. And from the embers of that one fine day and late November night, we shall rise once again. Truth in our eyes as we state with the brave of 300 in mightiest shade – honesty really is the only policy. All else and we’re brutally slain.






Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of The Crimson Quill



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