Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eternity Burning: Chapter 7

Cain reached into his jacket pocket and slowly retrieved his pocket watch. After exposing it to the air, he gave it a cursory brushing with his hand to get off all of the lint that had collected on it.

He took a good look at it. It was a very fine watch. It was gold, but it was tarnished with age and no longer bright and sparkling. It seemed to be a very dull, gloomy color. It had been carved with an intricate network of flowery furrows and trenches. Cain then opened it, revealing the face of the watch. It was very, very old, even older than Cain could remember. Some distant ancestor in the Cain family tree had passed it down until finally reaching him. Being so old, the watch was primitive, but it was as reliable that the watch told that right time as it was that all men will die, or that the sun will come up every day. It seemed to groan and complain under the stress of it’s gears. Just ticking seemed to be a burden to it. It was like an old workhorse, no longer fit for it’s labors, but, having known nothing else, unable to stop it’s drudgery.

Cain was thinking hard about the watch. Then he noticed the time. He took a glance at it’s analog face and then clicked it shut. He didn’t put the pocket watch away, though. He held it out and shook it at his audience. The audience which stood before him live was huge. He had taken the stage in Veterans Stadium, which the Fellowship had booked for a giant show. There had been fireworks and a concert to promote the Fellowship, and now, as the conclusion for the night, Cain was to give a speech. It would also be broadcast nationwide, he had seen to that.

"Some men say that there is not enough time in the day to get things done. 'I haven't got enough time.' 'There wasn't enough time.' "You didn't give me enough time!' These are the battle cries and the slogans of the lazy slackers and lollygaggers who drag this world down from it's pedestal to a slothful quagmire of bureaucracy. They smash this world and this country's greatness with the hammers of their apathy, with the bulldozers of their incompetence, and with the wrecking balls of their stupidity! They've made America into a place where every action has to be confirmed by ten miles of paperwork, where men and women actually waste time, instead of seizing that precious God-given gift, and using it for all that it is worth!

"It wasn't always this way. There was a time when everyone had to give their all, and work their damnedest just to stay afloat, and most people worked even harder so that they could make things better for themselves, their families, and their countries. Every single second was spent with a purpose, and that is the way things should be, now, then, and forever! There were once great men and women, people of action, people who actually got things done, rather than complaining about how things weren't getting done! That breed died out long ago, and our country sank into an abysmal state of mediocrity.

"Well, I am here to change things! I am the resurrection of those great men and women who did things, I am the child of hard work, the follower of a doctrine which people have ceased to care about as existence became steadily more and more comfortable. I am a man who seizes hold of opportunity, I grapple with reality, and I squeeze all that I can out of potential. I turn potential into spectacular results. You know why? Because I recognize the enemies of progress, the foes of change, the hate-filled gnawing evil that is weakening the foundation of our society. Those people are the homeless, the bums, the poor, the welfare takers. They are leeches sucking away at America's very lifeblood!

"I hate them because they do nothing with their time. They sit and wait for someone else to feed them. Decent people take advantage of time, they have a chance to do something, and they don't just frivolously piffle it away because they know they'll live, they turn that chance into something concrete. Bums throw time away. As for me, I take the most I can from my opportunities.

"Time is mine to command. Time is my plaything! To hell with history. I make history. I am history. My dreams are the future, my memories are the past, and my will is the present. I pour sweat and blood into some goal, and I accomplish it. My goal now is to change the world! To cut out the fat, and leave only the greatness. Who will help me?"

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