Family Lost. A poem.

There are rabbits in my back yard
Each day they rise to greet the light
With eager noses, seek daily bread
While the alpha, tall and bright
Watches oh, so protectively
Together, the family eats again

I had a family once like them
It now feels like so long ago
I loved them so, my family lost
The rabbits are reminders then
With faith and hope
I’ll survive the cost

No Sleep for the Wicked. A poem.

Close my eyes
Sleep the sleep of angels
Until l can’t
Rude awakening
Brought back to life
Defibrillated from dreams
And held
Status update: insomniac
Mental tides
Washing over tired eyes
Why won’t
You let
Me sleep
Damn brain
3:00am meeting with the board
Micro managing
My many personal investments
My kingdom for a hammer
To knock me out
(In a placid way, of course)
So I can ski those dream snow slopes again
But no
I guess not tonight
So many sheep
To keep me company
10,20,30,100,1000
Bah
I hate sheep, anyway
Don’t check Fb
Blue light reinforcement
Night is day
I find the vale of dreams
Eventually
And then the alarm
Harsh reminder
Snooze
Too short
Late for life
Grrrrrr…

The Sale. Part 10. A short series.

Climbing down the ladder we came to the ground floor, with the passage leading to the pantry. “Should we stop here?” said Aisha, taking the iPhone out of her mouth and shining the torch light up the dingy corridor.

“I really think we need to check out the basement.” I tapped my foot impatiently on the rung above her head. “We don’t know if Crazy Junifer is waiting in the kitchen.”

Aisha looked up at me and frowned. “She could be anywhere.”

“Can we just get going? The faster we get to the basement the faster we can get out of here.”

Aisha started moving downwards again, her iPhone back between her teeth. I could hear her mumbling in the dimness. Within a few minutes she had reached the bottom and lowered herself to the floor. I came down after her.

“How’s the phone charge?” I said.

Aisha checked. “Not good. It’s down to 22%. That torch app uses a lot of power.”

“We need to find another light source. There must be a light switch somewhere.”

The basement was larger than expected, maybe thirty feet to a side. The light from the iPhone pierced the darkness, revealing numerous crates and boxes stacked against the walls, along with what looked like furniture under dust sheets. The ladder was at the centre of one wall. Directly across the room were two doors on separate walls. I could just make out what looked like a light switch near the first door.

We walked over. The door was made of steel, with thick bolts rimming the edges. There was no door handle. “Well that’s just perfect,” said Aisha.

I flicked on the light switch. A neon globe sprung to life in the ceiling. “Let there be light,” I said.

“I hope you’re a better salesman than you are a comedian,” said Aisha. She checked her phone for signal (none), then switched it off to save the battery. I pushed on the door, but it didn’t give.

“All right, mister ‘let’s check out the basement so we can get out’, what now?” said Aisha.

I started checking the boxes. After opening a few, success. “Flashlights,” I said, holding aloft two medium-sized Maglites. I tested each and tossed one to Aisha. “Just in case.”

She was standing at the second door. It was the same make as the other, but had a handle. “Looks like we can either try this, or go back up the ladder and try the pantry,” she said.

I walked over, smiling. “My vote’s to try that one. This house can’t get any worse, can it?”

Aisha shrugged. She opened the door.

Then things got worse.

 
To be continued…
 

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

Pass. A poem.


I want to hold your hand
Just like The Beatles said
But I’m shy, insecure
And feeling down
So I’m sure you’ll understand
If I pass for now

Hate Life. Live Life.

Almost three years ago, everything changed. I lost my family, my job, my reputation, my possessions, my whole world. Everything came crashing down and I took the one step I thought could solve it. I attempted to take my life.

Carbon Monoxide poisoning was my weapon of choice. Poor research was my saviour. I saw my aged mother, tears streaming down my face, explaining what I’d done. I promised her I wouldn’t do it again. I saw a psychologist, who made me realise what an impact it would have had on my remaining family members, and especially my son.

About six months ago I hit rock bottom again. Not hard to do when you have no sense of self-worth and suffer from life-long depression. I decided I would take a leap off a cliff this time. I had it all lined up, all perfectly planned. But the timing was all wrong. The area was full of people and I didn’t want to be on public display. Saved again.

Today I felt just as low as I had before. I was isolated, alone as always, feeling sorry for myself, as always. I sat there dwelling on the past as I often had, the missteps, the mistakes, the complete fuck ups. The hurt and pain I’ve caused others along the way. I imagined going to the bathroom and opening my wrists. The house was empty, I probably had about two hours before anyone got back. Probably not enough time to bleed out completely. Saved again.

The only other time I thought seriously about killing myself was when I was in my mid-20s. Alone and depressed, as usual. I had a plan. I even outlined that plan to a psychologist, who was really concerned because I was so sure of myself and what I planned to do. I ended up buying a new car. The idea was, I didn’t want to leave anyone to pay off my debts, so I had a stay of execution. For a while, anyway.

If you’re still reading this, you might be wondering why I’m writing about it.
Every time I wanted to attempt suicide, I stopped myself. Even when I almost succeeded three years ago. I stopped myself, because in the end, no matter how shitty everything was, I still wanted to live. No matter how depressed, no matter how lonely, no matter how repugnant I felt about myself, I wanted to live.

And so I’m still here.

Still here. Still standing. Yep, that’s why the blog’s called that.

I don’t know what the future holds for me. Who does? I know there will no doubt be many more times when I feel like taking my life. But I also know that my survival instinct will kick in and stop me, as it has every time before. I hope so, anyway.

I may hate my life, but my life doesn’t hate me.

And I guess that’s good enough.


Suicide Prevention

Land Locked. A poem.

I looked alone far out to sea
And in the distance, miles from shore
I saw you sailing

The waves surrounded you like walls
But you, it seemed, didn’t care at all
If only I could join you

But I was left upon the beach
I’m still standing here, land locked
Staring out to sea

The Laid Back DM #5 – Foiled again!

Don’t know what a Dungeon Master is? How uncool. Click here to find out. 

So what happens when that wonderful adventure you put together, with all its interesting surprises and nasty traps, gets circumnavigated by the party because they have some nifty spells and additional tricks up their sleeve you didn’t think about?

Aside from taking it on the chin and continuing in the spirit of fun, there’s not much you can do for that session. But it can give you some ideas to prevent said players from getting out of similar traps next time:

1)      Use a trap that breaks concentration. Something that projects loud noise, for instance. Have them save each round in order to keep their concentration up (you have to be fair, after all).

2)      Make traps only respond to human/humanoids, or have a weight limit. Using the poor mascot or familiar to activate a trap is just nasty, but some parties do that sort of thing. Think about your trap set up for next time: perhaps the mechanism is too complicated for an animal or it’s too light to activate it.

3)      Surround your mechanically-based traps with an Anti-Magic Shell. No magic works inside its 10 foot radius sphere. Take that, player characters…

4)      Trap the walls or the air. Now this is really evil. If the characters climb up the walls to avoid the trapped floor, the wall trap triggers. If they fly over the floor the air trap triggers. Bwah ha ha!

5)      Make their spells go haywire.  If the characters cast a Fly spell in the trapped area, make the spell go crazy and fly them straight into the wall, damaging them and possibly breaking their concentration. If they persist, have the spell go crazier still. You can ad lib the various effects if needed. You’re the DM, after all.

In the end, the whole point of traps is to challenge the players and let them have a good time figuring it out. Yeah, you can make them hard, but they shouldn’t be impossible. You want some of them to survive to play another day, don’t you?

You can find more Laid Back Dungeon Master posts by clicking here.