The Spectrum Glows
The Wolf Salivates
Will Angelos of Autonym
Edited by Lauren Nordsiek
Inspired Lyrics for Shall We Skip To Excessive Celebration? (Release Date: February 20th on Alarmor Records) by Autonym
John projected himself as one of courage and valor while also being one who remained humble and approachable. His tall, not too tall, broad, not too broad, stature indeed helped project such an image. His wavy brown hair, neither too long nor too short, and his hazel eyes, shifting between brown and green, seemed to let strangers know that he was indeed the common man. His personality reflected his normality, but from him a bright shine always seemed to emanate. The people of Johnís town knew he would one day go far, far away from them and they would hear greatly exaggerated tales of John and his single-handed victories over great battalions of barbaric, merciless animals wearing menís skin. John had gained such a reputation quickly as his Father Obsipitus was a hero of many wars, never the general, always the soldier. You see, leaders may have gained land and respect among fellow world leaders through victory, but the hearts and minds of the people were reserved for the common men who knew only of living and helping friends live, while defeating the enemy. John remembered being quite intimidated by a name so grandiose and, quite frankly, pretentious, as Obsipitus. However, Obsipitus raised his son to always be humble, to be the common man with a loving wife and family, to treat the left foot as you would the right. However, Obsipitus also taught his son that whosoever he encountered in the perils of war, John was no longer the common man; he was the soldier who became for an instant a fire breathing dragon whose thirst to defend the nest could never be satisfied. Then, you return to being a man, for a dragon cannot live and prosper in the world of men. Such fables were uncommon in such modern times and perhaps this shaped the way in which John felt differently from his people who loved him so.
The cries for battle against foes near and far echoed, as ever-changing rulers with the poor quality of life remaining stagnant. The leader, disguised as a soldier, rallied troops atop his tower declaring each invasion a blessing, an opportunity to set precedence of right versus wrong. Of course, the victors shall always write the history books and, thus, join the saintly heroes of old. John knew all of this. His intuition told him that in a world overrun by coups and constantly warring countries, the ideas of good and evil resided only within individuals who loved and cared as best they could. The leader spoke of peace through war, but John likened such ideals as forming water from fire. Still, John pressed on as the soldier, remembering his Fatherís words, always wishing to become the dragon. Through many battles, John drew the blood of enemies not so different from his fellow warriors. He also watched his fellow warriors fall at his feet, life failing them as the blood drained, each wound always slightly different but often just as fatal. The deceased were left looking so cold and alone, staring off into the distance. Battle became one large parade of courage, as either side firmly believed in duty to oneís country, although John became increasingly apathetic towards this duty as he watched leaders rise and fall in his land. In these now commonplace coups, John became one of the few soldiers to live through so many battles on the frontlines, refusing to move to the higher ranks out of harms way, as a tribute to his courageous Father, who saw little value in being the chess player. Johnís Father wished always to be the pawn, standing proudly alongside the other pawns, challenging the larger knights and rooks, who would attempt invasion of the first line of defense. John always appreciated this aspect of his Fatherís character, not only because the idea was so uncommon in days where men became machines starving for the next big thing. His Father stood taller than any man when John was a boy and it was John and few others who knew the real reason behind this appearance. Johnís Father never ran and never left a battle. His conscious, for the most part, was clean.
Most men that avoided battle often cited family as a concern for leaving the ranks of their fellow pawns. This facet hindered John less than the others. John married his wife young and they were so in love and remained as such. Mary, Johnís wife, failed however to mention to John prior to their marriage that she could have no children due to the fact that Mary had been one of the many to suffer from radioactivity during one of the nuclear exchanges in recent times. Mary had mutations that kept her from conceiving. When John was told, he certainly was initially devastated, concerned his legacy would falter and fracture with his own body. However, John was grew increasingly resigned to and almost content with the situation. The speed with which he found this peace with a wife others called barren surprised the people around John and even John himself. The family always seemed to be important to him but now that he knew he could not have one with his wife, whom he loved but had knowingly deceived him, he felt a sense of relief. John came to realize that this sense of relief came not from the fact that the mystery as to why Mary had not yet become pregnant had finally been revealed, but in fact he felt as if the weight of bringing children into the world and somehow forming them into moral people in a society so lost was off his shoulders. Mary, however, carried the sadness of her inability to conceive with her and, as the years grew on and she watched her friends have children of their own, Mary became increasingly lost within herself. Minds that cannot find the answer shall never end the search, no matter how fruitless the effort may be. Finding solace in loneliness became her forte and John drifted in the distance of her mind. However, he became one of the few things, though in the distance, to remain in her mind and keep her connected to reality. Her despondency blamed many things, but never chance. She blamed the wars, her parents, human beings, but most of all, herself. Mary always convinced herself long ago the inadequacies inherent in her mutation defined her very being and solely she created this definition. She created this definition, unholy and unsatisfying.
The time was 12:03 am. The phone rang and woke two turtle doves. Once soundly lying, they now flew from their nest to the highest perch of Johnís roof . John knew what a call at this time meant. Phone calls had not been allowed after 11 pm for years now with one exception. A call rang John to arms. John answered the call and walked down the cold steps of his modest home to get a drink of water from the refrigerator. Such a call used to mean a time to silence the strays from the herd. Now the calls John received still signaled a time to silence strays but he needed no longer be the same as the sheep he killed. Forever now, the witness, John guarded the wall as an Autonym, the guards of the Gate.
Mary walked down the stairs and embraces her husband from behind. Her long blonde hair fell down at his sides. She held him, trying so hard to disconnect herself from her own guilt. She pressed her face squarely against his back as he pressed her hand against his chest. The sound of ringing echoed throughout the house while they held each other in the dark. John then left the embrace and answered the phone by simply pressing the receiver to his ear and awaiting the prerecorded message. As expected, the voice, calm and steady, assigned John to his location and duration of duty. John walked back up the stairs, lighting up the halls and rooms as he walked. John did not have to leave until morning but he knew that neither he nor Mary would be able to sleep again tonight. John entered his bedroom and sat on the edge, holding his head in his hands, looking toward the floor. John took one hand and clasped the ankle bracelet the Head Counsel insisted new Autonyms wear in order to track their movements until trust is established, or so went the logic.
War still governed Johnís actions, even if he may no longer be directly involved with the conflicts. Once again, a war had broken out between two small countries and allies and allegiances made such a war anything but small. Thus, an increase in Autonyms at the Gate was required in order to keep deserters from crossing over to the other side. Autonyms were ordered to question and then kill deserters. John always wondered the purpose of the questioning if deserters were to be killed anyway. The only proper explanation John could gather was that it must be some sort of method to make the people feel as though they had received some sort of trial, be it flawed, before they were killed.
Mary came to the bed and held Johnís head to her chest. John was a broken man after years of war, broken and lost. Mary had never loved John more than this very moment. Mary now felt a connection through isolation to John. However, Maryís love did not provide her with solace in her own existence. Mary did not hold unto herself a sense of personal purpose. She often attempted to be the support of John, trying to bear the cross John seemed to carry. However, this often resulted in more breakdowns personally for Mary as she tried to carry her own cross while carrying Johnís cross with the other shoulder. The crosses weighted far too heavy a burden and Mary fell all too often. The emptiness inside her echoed far too loudly and she would often scream aloud, attempting to drown out the sound of her own ghosts, never leaving her alone to think for just one second.
John felt Maryís squeeze tighten and every haunting feeling washed over him once again. John wondered how he came to such a place in which simply existing seemed so futile when only a few years earlier, life seemed so bright.
ďCome inside, John! At least, put on a jacket if youíre going to stand out there all night.Ē
Johnís small house was quite an achievement at his young age. He stood in his yard and took in every cold breath as he watched the clear, white moonlight shimmer off the wooden two-person swing, hanging above their front porch. The yard was small but it was more than enough for the two of them. Sadness relinquished its crown when the silence and peace of nature settled over John. John had not felt peace such as this since childhood. The night air blew and with it came a noise, distant but in his presence, in his home.
John had earned such a night with many more to pay his debt in full. The warring never seemed to end and the promises of reward often felt empty but John had begun to believe for a short while that perhaps all the death he had seen was for some purpose. John kept his wife Mary through years of war. As a soldier, he respected the loyalty reciprocated from her. At the young age of 16, John enlisted, much to the chagrin of his Father, as an Autonym. The years wore on and John had but a single friend through it all: Mary. On a short trip home, he had finally gathered the courage up to ask her hand in marriage on his 18th birthday. The letters they exchanged were so passionate, as it is often easier to spill your inner fears and dreams when put to ink. The two fell in love thousands of miles apart: one to the sound of silence in the setting of boredom, the other to the sound of screaming in the setting of the end of the world.
Six long years had passed now and John had been in and out of war all the while, never spending more than a month at home. Men around him died defending the homeland from the greed of other powerful leaders. However, after six years of defense against invaders, the attempts to invade decreased and morale among the defenders grew, especially those who fought to see an end to the seemingly never-ending war. John had now reached what many thought was the end. John knew this was far from the truth. The same Leader that had led them so heroically through the difficult times would lead them right back into hell. Ironically, this would be for the same reasons the Leader served as such a valiant hero in defense of the State. The leader already had begun spitting his euphoria-inducing diatribes to the masses, telling them, ďDefense has led to the wars with Tiertopia and Valion! The wars with Millacal and Vernon: products of isolationism!Ē The Leader proposed a counter-strike and this break that John so richly deserved was simply the calm before the storm. John knew that factories far and wide in the State was churning deep into the night building fantastic new bombs, no longer to be used just outside the border of the State against invaders. ďAll invaders driven out have now lost their right to exist! It is the State who will exact this punishment at the behest of justice!Ē *Cheers* RADIO DEAD.