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Late Night Haiku V

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:58 AM

Softly night falls here,
The sound of the computer
Mourns the passing day.

The wind blows to, fro,
My mind too goes for the ride,
Where does it lead me?

Quiet, the cars drone on,
The soft sounds of a city night,
Someone heads t'ward home.

Sonnet IX

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:38 AM

The days grow long and trees do anxious bloom,
Warm breezes flow and conjure up the flowers.
A flower small does wish for warmth to loom,
Returning coldness would his life so sour.
Summer's prophet does gain my attention rapt,
My mind, day dreaming, does ask of future,
But Sping's foretelling doth end up all capped,
Past pending warmth the Spring would telling err.
And so I settle in to watch the birds,
Whose long southern sojourn deprived us so,
And write patient, anticipating words,
As time, ne'er ceasing, does slowly still flow.
    Let the Spring come and happy joy bring here,
    To all those who for this did lend a ear.

Late Night Haiku IV

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:53 AM

Clock ticks slowly on.
More time goes, ne'er returning.
Cats are unaware.

Unworthy I am,
Edwards rings so true tonight,
Refreshing is Grace.

Worry less about myself,
Time indiff'rent, for good reason
Soli deo gloria.

To bed I go now,
The sound of crickets lacking,
Just the tick of clock.

CYOA 4.5: Gregorian Chants

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:32 AM

Riley tried to steady her head as an FBI agent named Mark Stevenson droned on about the situation. How had Jon gotten himself involved in this?

“Mrs. Turner, I’d like to say I know who has Mr. Turner and your son, but I’m afraid the local detective has proven less than cooperative in providing us with information. Fortunately, I had a wiretap installed on the department’s phone line and was able to get some key information that my associate is processing at the moment. It seems a group named the Variant Alliance is involved.

“Unfortunately, your county’s detective happens to be the FBI’s former man in charge of Alliance activity, a post that was not filled after his resignation from the agency. I’m afraid if he doesn’t cooperate, finding your family is going to be quite difficult, but I’ll be darned before I’m going to beg a county detective to cooperate.”

“Sir, with all due respect, we’re talking about my family here. If you have to prostrate yourself before the jerk, do it. I just want to know where Jon and Isaiah are… before, before…” Turner’s voice broke up and she started to weep.

Stevenson had a strange sensation come over him; he actually pitied the sobbing woman in front of him. He flipped open his phone and dialed Herrick. Maybe he could intimidate Herrick into cooperating. “Stevenson here. You’re in a lot of trouble, Detective. I took some liberties to listen into your conversation with Mr. Dakmoore and see you’ve been keeping a lot of information to yourself. What exactly are planning to do – play Mr. Hero and save the day? I’m going to talk to Chief Jonson and ask that you be suspended.”

“I’m not surprised you did that. Look, Stevenson, I had my reasons… I’ll meet you at 1700 hours and I’ll brief you on what I know. But I need your assurance that you’ll keep me on the case and play by the rules I know will work in dealing with Dakmoore. They’ve just taken… they’ve taken another person.”

“I’d be interested in your briefing, but I’m afraid I’m still going to have to talk with Jonson. You’re clearly not a team player, so I have no room for you on my team.”

“Look, Stevenson, they’ve taken my fiancée. I need to be on this case.”

“The last thing I need is to have someone with a personal cause on this case, detective. I’m going to have to take over this case. Your behavior has only reinforced my dim view of local departments and frankly your sudden willingness to cooperate is quite telling.”

“So we agree on something – I’m not exactly thrilled with you either. But listen, you know I’m the only one who knows how the Variant Alliance works. They have some demands that need to at least appear to be satisfied; this is something I cannot accomplish alone and you know good and well that you’re never going to get this case solved without me. Leave Jonson out of this – you know you need my help and, while I hate to admit it, I need yours.”

“That’s not my style, detective.”

Riley glared at Stevenson. What was he doing? It sounded like he was refusing to work with the detective that he had just finished saying he needed help from. All of these agents were alike – big heads and no compassion for those actually being affected by crime, she thought. “What’s wrong with you, you, idiot, do whatever he wants,” she blurted out. She couldn’t believe she had just said that to an FBI agent.

Stevenson turned and cast a surprised look her way.

“Look,” Herrick said, “I never kept the information from you to hurt Mrs. Turner – I know I know this group better than anyone else, and I made a call that I could work better alone. Dakmoore is keeping an even closer eye on me than I expected, however, and without some serious action occurring, I think he is going to kill all three of his hostages tomorrow. Let’s save these games for later and stop the Alliance before they proceed. OK?”

Stevenson sighed, he didn’t like being put in a situation where he must cooperate with a defiant local detective, but Turner’s exclamation made him feel a bit guilty. Perhaps he was acting just like Herrick. At the very least, he was not sure how he’d solve the case if he didn’t garner Herrick’s cooperation.

What will you do? Show you are the superior agent that you know you are and agree to work with Herrick for the good of Mrs. Turner. (5.9) Hang up on Herrick and go see about getting him taken off the case and the force. (5.10)

How to Continue CYOA
The first two people to comment here requesting to do so will get to continue the story on their blogs. Just pick which story direction suits you and run with it. Why not give it a try?

As Christopher explains on his blog entry about this, you will probably want to link backward to the previous part (or perhaps both previous parts) so that someone new can read the whole story. Also, it will be helpful if you title your piece with your option number, and likewise provide numbers to correspond with the options at the end of your segment of the story so that things continue in an easy to follow fashion.

Christopher has given permission for participants to “steal” his CYOA graphic (featured at the beginning of this piece), so you may want to include that in your entry for easy identification. Have fun!

If All Else Fails...

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:32 AM

I cannot seem to get myself to finish the various bits of posts I've started writing for this blog. I have one of the critical study of religion as well as my oft promised reflection on Sixpence None the Richer. I have a few others on the burner too, but they just aren't getting done. So, for tonight, I'll just post another sonnet. This one was started on December 13, when I drove past a field in Maryland Heights filled with puddles lit by the setting sun.

A field barren, the harvest long complete, Ponds formed, glimmer in the early evening.
So as the soul can feel so hard a defeat,
Half drowned below the cold water pooling.
The growth of summer past still remembered,
Spring sprouts still months under the dark, cold ground.
Though sun does shine on water’s jewels now gathered,
Frost’s war continues ‘gainst the glowing round.
Invoking summers past and yet to come,
Lose all impact amidst the icéd earth.
The path so long, so cold leaves one all numb,
Has the still earth morphed to hostile turf?
    Show me, Almighty Liege, the way to go,
    That I might know before fields again grow.

Sonnet VII

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:24 AM

Happiness rushes like a mountain stream,
Rocks fill the creek before submerging down;
Through you, the water cycles back it seems.
But how the rains, o'er powered, do also drown,
Untaught, and caught by stronger current,
Pulled wayward to the craggy edge of doom.
Can what goes down the brook be unlearnt;
Condensed return weaved through Wisdom's own loom?
Precipitate the path a'top the vista,
Let me this happy cycle see in time,
Pouring downward so long a jaunt have moi,
Been carried off in backwards movéd climb.
    If this be wrong and I take ash for rain,
    Then off to sea for me is now ordained.

Late Night Haiku

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:04 AM

Why do I doubt it?
Crickets at night do not worry.
God takes care of things.

Snow falls gently down,
The roads like frozen slick ponds.
A night to stay in.

Joy comes to me now,
Like the soft snow to the ground.
God leads if you wait.

CYOA I: Part 2.2: The Dakmoore Connection

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:11 AM

Harrison County Detective Benjamin Herrick fiddled with his badge as FBI Special Agent Mark Stevenson briefed the department on the case. It had been one very long day, and it looked like it was only going to get longer. The patronizing attitude of the FBI only made it worse – just because he was a local detective didn’t mean he was less capable than Stevenson. He had worked on the Federal level but had resigned his post for a quiet job in a small town after being nearly killed by a bomb planted by the shadowy crime syndicate Variant Alliance.

“Jon Turner’s job at the IAEA gave him access to a lot of technology that many hostile nations would love to get their hands on,” Stevenson declared, while bringing up a PowerPoint of Turner’s job description. “By examining call logs over the last few months, we believe the temptation to sell knowledge of that technology overwhelmed Turner. We found that he had made calls to numerous embassies in Washington and to various foreign nationals scattered around the U.S. and Canada, some of whom we found in our database. We believe he was dealing primarily with Syria, but indirectly through third parties.”

“And you think his ‘clients’ then decided to take him and his family out?” Herrick was a bit skeptical. “If he was providing information to them, wouldn’t they want to keep him around?”

“It seems Mr. Turner started to get cold feet. We were able to crack several encrypted messages that had been caught by our surveillance systems over the past few weeks. Turner had initially insisted on only providing information about countries under IAEA surveillance, but apparently that was not what they really wanted; they wanted the technology.

“When they confronted Turner with their real desire, he started stalling. Apparently he didn’t mind hooking them up with our diplomatic enemies, but he did have some qualms about being directly involved in the transfer of several key schematics of advanced fission devices.

“This morning,” Stevenson continued, waving his hand in the air, “Turner received an e-mail telling him incentive for cooperation would occur today. It was two hours later —”

“When Mrs. Turner called dispatch,” Herrick questioned.

“Exactly. Once the Mid-County Fire Protection crew was able to extinguish the remnants of the house that were still burning, I did some investigation and found a wire tap on the phone line, just a few hundred feet from the house. When they intercepted her call and realized their effort might be found out, they activated a remote explosive device to silence her.”

“So where’s Jon Turner?”

“He’s missing, although we believe he has been kidnapped by the organization he was dealing with. Jon was in New York preparing a briefing at the UN for the secretary general at the time, and a camera outside of a Manhattan coffee shop shows someone with his likeness being charged at by two men in black and carried away.”

“Have you heard anything from Parkway Med’s ER concerning Mrs. Turner’s condition? Maybe she would know something more…” Herrick was interrupted by the secretary’s voice coming in over the intercom.

“There’s a Mr. Adams on the line that wants to talk to you, sir. Line one. He says it is urgent and concerns the Turner case.”

“Thanks, Maria,” Herrick replied. Herrick punched the blinking button on the phone as he glanced over at Stevenson and the agent gave him a knowing look. As soon as any crime like this one hits the media, everyone thinks they have an urgent scoop. “Herrick,” he said into the receiver in an annoyed tone.

“Mr. Herrick. Well, it is finally time for us to talk again. The pleasure, of course, is mine. We have Turner and his son and plan to use whatever means we can to get every bit of information we want from him. I think this is going to be a treat,” the voice that had talked to Riley responded.

“Dakmoore – if only I can see the day I never hear your filthy voice again.”

“Glad to see you still have your exquisite sense of pleasantries, Benny. Let me cut to the point. We want one hundred million dollars by noon tomorrow – no make that euros, you know, with the exchange rate and all.” Dakmoore chuckled for a moment. “Remember the good old Alliance days? Good days, Ben, good days – you almost had us before you resigned from the Bureau, not that you ever would have actually been able to put the remaining pieces together.” Dakmoore sounded amused.

“Get to your point,” Herrick interjected.

“I see you aren’t the reminiscing type, Ben. You need to quit being so rushed all the time. Well, as I was saying, one hundred million Euros by noon tomorrow or we will use the technology we’ve acquired in a big way. No tricks this time, Benjamin; you amuse me, but I won’t spare you if you get in the way.”

“Aren’t you being a little presumptuous in assuming that Turner will speak that soon?”

“Oh, tsk, tsk. You don’t really think we depend on only one contact, do you? I’m hurt that you would underestimate me, detective. We want Turner’s information for future ‘use,’ sure, but we’ve already obtained everything we need. Turner was too dumb to realize that the information he was left out might be filled in by a more cooperative underling.” The phone went dead.

What will you do? Tell Agent Stevenson the whole story and then go with him to fill Washington in about your knowledge of Dakmoore. (3.1) David continues the story with this option. Explain to Stevenson that it was really nothing, because you know that no one knows Dakmoore like you do and you can pursue this much better by yourself. (3.2) Christopher takes the story in this direction.

How to Continue CYOA
The first two people to comment here requesting to do so will get to continue the story on their blogs. Just pick which story direction suits you and run with it. Why not give it a try?

As Christopher explains on his blog entry about this, you will probably want to link backward to the previous part (or perhaps both previous parts) so that someone new can read the whole story. Also, it will be helpful if you title your piece with your option number, and likewise provide numbers to correspond with the options at the end of your segment of the story so that things continue in an easy to follow fashion.

Christopher has given permission for participants to “steal” his CYOA graphic (featured at the beginning of this piece), so you may want to include that in your entry for easy identification. Have fun!

The Commercial

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:15 AM
(Or Ode to Milton's Fallen Hero.)
“Step right up and order now,”
Cried he with the miracle cleaner on tee-vee.
“It'll clean off anything, I'll show you how.”

“I was as dumb as a cow,
No longer, thanks to this fruit - you see?
Step right up and order now.

But she protested, “we aren't to touch this bough,
It would be a sin, that's key!”
“It'll clean off anything, I'll show you how.”

“Sin,” laughed he, “just use this, I vow;
Spotless and smarter you'll be.
Step right up and order now.

So she, and he too, ate the chow.
They saw the sale 'twas faulty.
“It'll clean off anything, I'll show you how.”

What a trick, but the trick's on thou,
Never listen when they say slyly
“Step right up and order now,
It'll clean off anything, I'll show you how.

Well, this is a bit more substantial than my haiku from last night, although whether it is any good is an entirely different question. I actually thought it up while writing Haiku II last night, but I was too tired to write it out at that point. I guess this could be called a metaphysical poem, although Donne need not worry that I will be taking his place any time soon.

Late Night Haiku

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:19 AM

Hear fountain babble,
Time for sleep has grown past due.
Winter dooms crickets.

PowerBook hums softly,
The keyboard clicks under fingers.
Look! Ideas form now.

My foot numb, asleep.
Pins and needles arise inside.
Sleeping birds care not.

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