Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Month: October, 2014

Guest Post – News from i117

Hello friends!

It’s that time of year again–no, not Halloween. Widow’s Christmas Party!

In all the busyness of life it’s easy to forget about the hardships of people on the other side of the world. All the little things that make life in Canada comfortable and ‘safe’ tend to clutter up our attention. It is hard to keep the poor in mind when our hands are so full with work and school and kids and Halloween parties and whatever else we fill our lives with. Our goodies distract us.

Our widow friends have started to ask if the gathering is on for this year. I want to say ‘yes!’ And I want you to be a part of that ‘yes!’

With $600 we could throw a great party for these marginalized people of Sindh. Like each year, we will feed them, give them gifts of much-needed supplies and clothing, and share the love of Jesus. It’s a small sum of money that can be turned into a huge sum of love.

If you’d like to take part, go to i117’s Paypal site. Or message me through Facebook or e-mail.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, … For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
– Matthew 25:34-35

Lord Greer Builds His Own Tomb

The expedition had taken its toll. Lord Greer delved deep into the far reaches of his kingdom, painstakingly setting his eyes upon every desert, every mountain peak. He had hardly noticed the pains, then. His eyes had been filled with sugar-coated dreams of grandiose map rooms. He dreamt of walls covered with maps of cities, provinces. One grand map of the Nine Provinces, woven together as one. He sent the Cook, recently elected mayor of Lower Celestrome, to Eastwatch with an edict to subdue, pillage, and map those realms. Lord Greer himself looked toward the north.

Perhaps he had been hasty. Perhaps he should have waited for a better horse.Zet5nji

The first horse bred for Lord Greer had been a midnight charger, valiant in speed and smirk. It died in a tragically avoidable creeper mishap. His second horse was a dappled mare that suited well for a time, though it was not as fast as the charger. It died somewhere in the City of Celestrome, and was never spoken of again. The last of the tamed horses was hardly worth his Greer’s Lordship. Slow and of ill health it was. Posthumously named Le Miserable.

For three days did Lord Greer drive his Miserable through hostile wilderness, filling his delicate maps with the joyous sweetness of information. Nights were no danger, Lord Greer thought as his hunger grew unnoticed. He kept moving all night long and his enemies had but time to turn their heads as he trotted by. Vast mountains and arid deserts and fruitful swamps were all claimed under the ever-reaching banner of Celestrome. Until he came at last to Lear’s Forest.

Night had fallen. Oak and birch grew cheek by jowl. Lord Greer began to notice his hunger. It threatened to sap his admittedly prodigious strength. But his maps were nearly full, and beyond this forest, he knew, was the northern wall of the City. Home and a hearth. Food and empty crates waiting to be filled by the goodies crammed into his saddlebag. He only had to get through the woods. He pushed Le Miserable as hard as it would go. His head was perpetually stuck in tree branches. He could have gone faster had he been on foot, if he had had the strength to run.

Then he heard it. The familiar tapping of bone on bone. The pained growl of the undead. He was not alone in the dark woods.

He tried to force Le Miserable into a gallop. Then his head struck a block of foliage. He was ignobly thrown to the ground in the passive voice. Getting to his feet, he saw Le Miserable rearing in fear and panic. The green men and the walking bones drew close for the kill. Lord Greer pulled his shining sword from his sheath. With a fearsome, “Ho!” and “For the glory of the radiant kingdom!” he attacked the undead.

Gentle came the reply, whispered on winds of malicious intent: “Shhhhhh.”

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The forest exploded in a flash of light and pain. Le Miserable’s sufferings were put to a merciful end, and the undead were disoriented. But, oh, the blood which flowed from Lord Greer.

He crawled away from the battlefield, but where was he to go? The forest was vast and the night, full of terrors. Each way he turned the voices sang their dirge from behind the trees. An arrow struck the oak behind the great king, and his bowels loosened in terror. He turned to run, and a green man mauled him with a rotting fist. He fell back, and was forced against a tree. Too weak to fight so many foes, the inventive king prepared to build.

He threw cobblestone around his feet, above his head. It bought him time. Arrows embedded in the walls. Green men reached in vain. His roof blocked out the moonlight. In the dark, he looked out the last window and paused for a final moment to look at the stars. In that instant, a bone man loosed an arrow. Sent from a fel bow, yet did it fly true. It struck the Lord Greer. And the dark death swept over his eyes.

No one ever found the body of the king, though many did look in both rain and sun. There was no one to bury him. But no burial was needed. Lord Greer had built his own tomb.

Koheleth on Finding Something for My Hand to Do

There are Many Things I’d like to write about today. And most of them are rather large.

I’m writing an epic fantasy trilogy about faith, love, and zombies.
I’m writing a sci-fi novel about interstellar wormholes and MMO empires.
I’m writing a novella about a girl growing up in a place that hates what she is.
I’m writing a short story about subterranean Olympians.

Dore_Solomon_ProverbsWith Many Things comes Choice. And Choice asks me, “What do you feel like writing?”

It’s a devilish question. I can’t figure out what I’d like to do. Every moment of my life I have fleshy urges that push me in one direction or pull me from another. When I ask that question during writing-time, it does little more than distract.

Then I remember what Koheleth said about it:

“Whatever your hand finds to do with your might, do it.”

That reminds me that whatever I find to do, I might as well do it. But there’s another way to translate that line:

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”

That reminds me to see whatever it is trough to the end. And the conclusion reminds me of the stakes:

“Because there is no working or planning or knowledge or wisdom in the grave to which you are going.”

One day I won’t exist, like I didn’t before I was born. So I might as well do something, and do it well, while I have the chance.

A Few Lines on a Warm Afternoon

I am not just lying, stretched out under this tree in the warm afternoon of early autumn.
I am not just listening to the ever-unique chatterings of birds and squirrels who argue and flirt with each other in the branches.
I am not just breathing this air made fragrant with the warm decay of the shifting season.
I am not just watching the leaves as they lose their delicate grip to tumble down and rejoin the dust they sprung from.
I am not just drifting in and out of idle thoughts and half-dreams this sleepy afternoon.

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I just am.
And I don’t need a photo
or a sketch
or these words on a page to make it so.

Even so,
I write the words
and slip a leaf into the brim of my hat
as I slip off to my next class.