Lost Dimensions of Time: The Journey 

Lost Dimensions of Time: The Journey 

The Pages

The Journey Is Now

12 Apr 2023

God in the Works

“God in the Works”

Is heaven for real?

I really don't know!

Every day a movie reel

Static on the TV of life, what we used to call snow

It seems like there should be more to this life

Dragons flying high in the sky, mermaids under the water

But day after day, I see nothing but strife

Some days I even feel like a squatter

I've got nothing to give but this heart in my chest

The origins of peace, I finally found

But I want to know where I can find the rest

I am tired of the bitterness going round and round

Is life nothing but an endless cycle of hate?

Why is there so much love unrequited?

For the end of this world, is there a date?

I'm ready for the end, I've finally admitted

A joyous day when God takes His rightful place

The angels rejoice, and the demons bow down

And you will see a smile upon the saints’ face

God will reclaim His rightful renown

That day will be a happy day indeed

I pray this poem plants the seed

12 Apr 2023

Tougher Than Iron Chapter One Excerpt

April 12, 2023

            Here is the first except from my first fully written novel, Tougher Than Iron. I spent almost a year working on this between 2012 and 2013. I have yet to publish this, but only (I believe) due to incarceration. As many of you know, I've been locked up or homeless the majority of the last 10 years. I'm going to continue to work on this book until I am capable of publishing, but unlike back then, I am now considering self-publishing. Anyways, if you enjoy this piece, please share it with others.

                    Joshua Dansby

                  First © April, 2012

             Second © April 10, 2023

                 Tougher Than Iron

                         Chapter 1

[A few months later. Fort Sill, Oklahoma.]

            The spirit of the men gathered at the barracks was dismal; they looked as if they had just come from a funeral, but the pain felt even worse. Many of the soldiers were ready for action, but they all had training left to endure. A radio somewhere in the barracks brought news of the Ma'Qualian attacks to the soldiers as they lay in their bunks reading, writing, or playing cards—news of what might be going on at home, but they hoped that their families did not have to endure. Several of the soldiers had already been told the horrific tales of lost loved ones through letters sent by family and friends. It was the same around the planet.

            “The Ma’Qualian front on Earth continues to rage,” the radio personality announced. “Even today, the Ma’Qualians have continued their endless assault on some of our most populated metropolises, including Tampa Bay and Miami. Our efforts to thwart what seems to be an agenda of bloodshed and squandering of Earth's resources have been in vain. Our only hope lays in the slim chance that our top scientists may find a weakness within the Ma’Qualian’s biological system. Research on the Ma’Qualian anatomy continues today at Harvard Medical School, with further medical findings. It would appear that their biological systems are not so different than our own. This is truly a slim hope.”

            “I can't stomach this bullshit,” Bobby shouted across the crowded barracks. He slammed both fists into the bottom of the top bunk, not caring whether his bunk mate was in bed or not. They were on decent enough terms that Bobby's outbursts had become almost expected. “We should be doing more. We should be fighting these, these things! We should be out there working to bring them down—not in here cooped up, infighting! We should be fighting!”

            Someone near Bobby's bunk snorted, and shook his head. Bobby looked up to see Thunker straightening up his own bunk. Thunker was a scrawny but taut man in his early twenties. He had short, curly blonde hair, almond brown eyes, and a face that seemed to make the women wet by sight. “I hear you, Warner. Believe me, we all want to see our part of the action. We'll get our chance, but we have to wait. Not that it would matter if we were fighting or not. We're losing, and we'll continue to lose as we fight a losing war.”

            “Thunker, don't make me smash your thick skull,” someone from across the barracks spoke, eavesdropping on Thunker's ramblings. Thunker enjoyed rambling, but his ramblings were enough to anger a saint. “We can't help but to go to war, when our whole damned planet is under attack. You do realize that is exactly what's going on, yeah? We either fight, or we die. Drop the bullshit.”

            Bobby lay looking at the bottom of the top bunk and the picture of Lillian that he had taped up as soon as he was given quarters. They hadn't been in contact in several weeks, and he could only pray that she was okay. Bobby knew that with the amount of attacks that had already been made against the nation by the Ma'Qualians, there was a good chance that her letters weren't able to get through. The news reports claimed that the Ma'Qualians were destroying everything in their path. He reached up and stroked her cheek with his finger, wishing that he could hold her. The scent of her hair lingered in his memory, but he knew that there was a good chance they would never see each other again.

            “You miss her, huh?” Thunker asked, sitting down on Bobby's bunk and glancing up at the picture. The picture showed Bobby holding Lillian between his legs at a Senior bonfire shortly before graduation; they were lit only by the flames of the fire. “She is pretty. You're a lucky guy.”

            “I'd be luckier if I knew she was alright,” Bobby spoke, trying to fight back his concerns. “I haven't heard from her or my family in about a month, and it's beginning to worry me. This damned war has to turn around for us, or I'm going to go nuts. I can't stand being so isolated.”

            “You're not the only one,” someone spoke from close to the nearest window. The light of day poured in through the open window, preventing sight of the soldier. “We all have loved ones, and not ever'one is getting post at mail call. Don't be so damned self centered, Warner.”

            Bobby didn't say anything, but instead stood up and walked back towards the latrine, passing through the Army green maze of bunks and lockers. Maybe I should show him it’s a bad idea to cross me, Bobby thought. On most days, he only wanted to get as far away from the rest of his battalion as possible. Living in such close quarters with a hundred other males made the days draw on and on, when they would be a lot shorter. His father had warned him that the military would not be the glamorous picture he had first assumed, but Bobby did not care about the glamor. He did care about the constant bitterness that had seemed to set in over his entire battalion since the arrival of the Ma'Qualians. He had expected the units of the military to be much more capable of working together, but what had seemed to set in was something different. Most of the time, the soldiers would rather tear out each other’s throats than listen to each other. That’s the problem. We’re lacking comradery. We're supposed to be like brothers and sisters—family. Bobby knew that something needed to be done about the morale of the troops, but he was not in control to do anything.

            Bobby gazed into the latrine mirror. He looked much different than he had fifteen weeks ago. His upper body was now as hard as his legs had been in the past. Lillian had commented on how buff he was getting in her last letter; she had shown up to his graduation from BCT. What had been a greasy nape of hair was now squared according to military regulations. Bobby flexed, revealing muscles that he had never before seen. All the muscles in the world can't stop the Ma'Qualians, he told himself as he picked up his toothbrush. Fucking aliens.

            “Mail call!” another soldier called. Excitement and anxiety flooded Bobby every time that he heard those words. The announcement of mail call was like being told that you were going home, then being shot shortly after. He held on to the hope that he would receive something in the mail every time it came. In those hopes, he dashed out of the latrine and ran to his bunk.

            He stood in parade rest at his bunk, assuming that the Sergeant on duty would be delivering his mail as per usual. The barracks's door opened and let in a cold splash of dry air and sunlight, causing the Army greens of the bunks to look like a lost forest. Bobby wanted to cover his unadjusted eyes with one hand, but had been trained not to do so. A radio meteorologist had announced for the past several days that Oklahoma had been experiencing record lows. Lieutenant Campro followed the MP that had announced mail call.

            Why the fuck is an MP bringing our mail, anyways? Bobby asked himself. And why is the Lieutenant here?

            The battalion snapped to attention at once, but Lieutenant Campro dismissed it with a simple, “at ease.” It wasn't usual for officers to deliver mail, and even more unusual were they accompanied by two military cops.

            The officer was an attractive woman in her thirties. She had shoulder length red hair pulled back in a braid, and wore the ACUs that everyone else wore. The difference in her uniform was the jet-black beret that held the insignia of her rank. Double silver bars. Her eyes sparkled sky blue in the afternoon light let in by the open door. Her skin was of a dark tan, and her complexion was clear as glass. Bobby knew the officer, and he also knew that several of his battle buddies had drooled over her memory in the wee hours of the morning. She was the most attractive sight on the post, or at least the most attractive they had seen.

            Lieutenant Campro stopped just inside and dropped a heavy mailbag on the floor. “When I call your name, step forward and take your mail. Several of you will be receiving a special government letter. You will recognize this by the return address. If you are selected, you will promptly read this letter – you will not discuss this letter with anyone at all – and you will report directly to me after reading this. Is this clear?”

            “Ma'am, yes, ma'am!” The soldiers shout.

            Perfect synch, that’s right, just the way we were taught, until the Lieutenant is no longer around, Bobby thought. And then it's fuck you and die.

            The urge to look around and try to figure out what was going on had crept up on them, and Bobby grew ever suspicious of the officer's reasons for being there. Bobby was almost certain that he was not going to get any mail again—from the U.S. Government or otherwise—but hoped for the contrary. He wondered what was hidden in those letters, and knew that they had to be something special if Lieutenant Campro delivered the post.

            “Brighton,” Lieutenant Campro intoned, pulling a thick packet of letters out of the mailbag. Bobby watched as Brighton stepped forward and took the packet of letters. He couldn't help but wonder if Brighton had received one of the mystery letters. If he received any mail, it would be at the very end. Mail call always descended alphabetically, and “W” was the last letter represented by Bravo Battalion. Bobby's heart thudded out a steady rhythm of pure nerves. Lieutenant Campro continued to call out names, until arriving at Thunker, then Vincent, then, “Warner!”

            Bobby stepped forward, and realized that there were only two letters for him. Better than expected. One he recognized as the scrawl of his grandfather; the other was typed and had a government return address. Bobby stuffed his grandfather’s letter into his cargo pocket, before turning his attention to the other. He tore the envelope open, and gazed down at the letter to read,

“Specialist Bobby Warner,

You have been selected for a trial program. This program is voluntary, and you are free to reject the opportunity to volunteer. If you choose not to volunteer for this program, do not mention this letter to anyone and discard of it immediately. If you volunteer, you may be in line for an immediate promotion. Please keep in mind that this program may directly result in the end of the Ma’Qualian advance on U.S. territory and possibly even the world.”

Bobby skipped over the signature of some general whom he did not know.

            Bobby looked up at Lieutenant Campro with skepticism. You're fucking kidding, he thought. He wondered if the program could actually benefit him, and wondered even more if he would be beneficial to the program. As he continued to gaze down at the letter, he wondered if he should volunteer as the memorandum had asked him to do. Do it. It’ll get you out of here and away from the barracks, his inner voice urged him.

            Bobby looked up at Lieutenant Campro with a set jaw and squared shoulders. He had made up his mind, already. Bobby could not stand the thought of the entire Earth being overrun by the Ma'Qualians, and the love that he had found with Lillian destroyed through death. When the Ma'Qualians had first made their presence known to humanity, Bobby had decided that he was willing to do whatever it took to end to Ma'Qualian's invasion of Earth.

            Whatever it takes, he told himself.

            Lieutenant Campro looked around the room with interest. “If you have been selected, please follow me.” She turned, and Bobby watched as Thunker and Brighton both followed her out the door. He grabbed the picture from under the top bunk, stuffed it into his pocket alongside the letter from his grandfather, and followed the rest of the chosen out of the barracks.

12 Apr 2023

The Softening of Heart

"The Softening of a Heart"

Love unrequited will turn a heart black

It will harden a heart like obsidian

A person may even pray for a heart attack

Or welcome the nothingness of oblivion

Love unrequited brings the worst kind of pain

It feels like a knife deep in your gut

You may pray for healing rain

And hope like hell you don't lose your strut

Thankfully we know there is someone out there

They say God made someone for everyone

Someone for your heart who will care

We will know it is true when we find the one

It may take the rest of our life

Or God only knows that it may be tomorrow

In their love, we won't find strife

They will come to relinquish our sorrow

We will find joy at last

No more regrets of days gone by

Love unrequited will be a thing of the past

And in our lover's arms we will fly

The perfect mate for a future of love

They will love us unconditionally

Our heart will soar so high above

We will find this love eventually

12 Apr 2023

New Worlds, New Horizons

I'm finally back at work on my poetry. I've been writing poetry for less time than I've been writing prose, but it is still joyful to be able to express my emotions in this way. Within the next few days, I plan on opening the curtain for some of the work that I did between 2012 and 2013. I know it is older work, but currently I have nothing new. This will soon change as I've written several new poems in the last few days. I will also be revealing these new poems in the next few days. The first will be available by midnight tonight. I hope you enjoy these new poems. I bring these to you with great love and wish you happy reading!

10 Apr 2023

Lost Dimensions of Time: The Journey

This journey started when I was seven years old. I'm now thirty-six. I will be bringing you content and original works that are close to my heart. Please bare with me, and I will show you things that nobody else can. I've still got a lifetime to pursue; my pursuit is my passion, and my passion is the many works that I've created and continue to create. I do hope that you enjoy!

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Joshua C Dansby