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The Porch Swing: Character Series

Character Series: The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones, Vol. VI, by Samuel Bostick.

Vol. VI is the final chapter in Samuel’s intricately crafted Character Series project: The Aventurs of SnakeMan Jones. The project was delivered to the Collective in bi-weekly installments over the past couple months: Vol. I, Vol. II, Vol. III, Vol. IV, and Vol. V, and before we kick off the final volume, we’ll take it back to where it all started, in Samuel’s words:

This is a new sort of writing experience and I feel like it’s off to a good start. This project actually originated as a collaboration piece with a student of mine who was often drawing these really fantastic monsters and such. I told him that I would write a story about the monsters he drew and this is the first of that run. On this past Saturday, I showed him the monster I had reworked and gave him a brief of the beginning of The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones. After studying the piece and seeing the development of the collaboration, he gave his 2 thumbs up approval and said he likes where the character and story are headed. This has been a really exciting adventure and experiment. Enjoy it!

SnakeMan

SnakeMan Jones

Volume VI

The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones

As they stepped into the chamber, there was a spirit of awe that swept over each and everyone one of them. A beauty so divine it cause a silent reverence, there were no words that could express. Through time, it was told that in that moment each and every one who stepped in elevated from earth to another space.

Climbing through slim space, squeezing to find that next step, in the chamber there was so much to see. It was a dream. In the center of the space was a small island covered by the thickest lush grass any of them had ever seen. Even more amazing was the poppies that covered it, they grew in bushels; thick stems 6-8 inches out the ground each crowned with the most noble of gold petals leafed together dense and full of organic vitality. These were the fullest flowers any of them had ever seen. They must have been well nourished by the spring on the left hand side of the room. It was pouring in fresh water from the hills above; into the room spinning serenely around, filling the pool around the raised meadow.  Above it all the cave was open, the sky exposed as the rims of the chamber bit at the deep blue hue that canopied the sky. In the high of the night there she was, the moon, shinning down, pouring over into the scene.

The walls danced with the reflection of the water and the room was well lit. Unfolding of the night’s magic was soon to beginning, the poppies began to stretch out their petals and reach toward the sky. The Fallians filed in drawn by the scene; without direction they found themselves lined up alongside the water. This place was a sanctuary, hidden in the heart of the land. The combination of the moon’s white light and the gold of the petals were as rich as milk and honey. Surely there was never such a fantastic sight as this. Each one of the StaggMooreFallians had forgotten about the usual feast that would be taking place and the ceremonial processes had been removed from all thought. This was the truest Full Bloom Festival.

Along the walls under the shining from the water were carvings. Pre-modern characters that vaguely resembled the literary code that they used in the current time; it was a sign that people had been there before. Years ago long past the memories most of them had. There were two women who could read the message. They came over with the assistance of some of the younger men. With a deep focused look at the carvings, they got closer. Still not completely convinced they were really seeing what was in front of them, they read it out loud, “Footsteps will fade, and the light of day may fall away, still in the night a glorious sight guided by light, we have again found the truth inside, the wave that moves this mountain’s tide.”

Beyond the island, Jones had just arrived to his humble refuge; that small island uncharted by any cartographer. His Bike parked next to a short palm tree, white sands stretch out under the soft lapping of the sea. He climbed onto the hammock as it swayed loungely in the night’s breeze; as he sat up reflecting on the day he untied his boots, and set them to rest. No need for a fire, the moon was bright enough to light up the eve. Swaying in the cool breeze, he grabbed his jugg and took a few easy swiggs. Back to the peace of his own space, the calm way he preferred to live. Looking up the stars were shining so bright, the constellations locked into an eternal battle of glory, elegance, and might. He pondered their story. Still, the Moon was the highlight; Jones felt he had never seen a moon so radiant, such a glorious moon. As the night grew deeper and the blue darker, Jones sank further into the hammock’s swing. His eyes settled into a soft close. As he drifted into rest, the jugg dropped from his hand and slumped into the sand. The tilt was so that some of the spirit splashed out onto a lone flower. Its amber color shone refreshing as the night’s dew, running down against a tight budd of golden petals. There he was again, that little lizard; scuttling zigg zagg traces across the sand making its way to the flower. Up he crawled and lapped away at the amber dew. As quickly as he came, he was gone; running back toward his hiding spot, this time with a little more zigg to his zagg. The flower opened in that moment, unfolding magically, reaching out toward the heavens.

She smiles down upon them, pouring into the scene with a beauty so divine, serene—The night’s queen.

The End.

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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The Porch Swing: Character Series

Character Series: The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones, Vol. V, by Samuel Bostick.

 Following up on Vol. I, Vol. II, Vol. III, and Vol. IV, catch the fifth installment in Mr. Bostick’s intricately crafted Adventurs

Volume V

The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones

The head hit the floor, rolling away from the body to which it once belonged. It came to a stop, eyes open in a gaze of lifeless shock, halting at Jones’ boots. Deep red fresh on the sword’s blade, he was breathing hard, heart pounding, in a rage. Locked onto the next victim, his move was swift, as large as he is in build he was incredibly explosive and the quickness of his feet showed.

In the same moment, the militia pressed the Gnomads back, heels toward to sea, there was no hope for them. A fallen captain and a boat aflame were the only things waiting for them beyond the sands of the shore. Jones finished three of them off. The way he moved in the way of the martial arts was fiercely graceful and elegant. Seeing him in that state was to watch an artist paint; the way that he proceeded to cut through enemies with such form and accuracy was truly artistic. None could match his skill or bravery. There was no place for his enemies to neither run nor hide. The Gnomads’ greed had tied down their fate to fall on that day. SLASH, a diagonal sweep of the sword left a Gnomad body in two parts, THOP. The left side fell to the ground then the right bent at the knee and thudded down soon after not far behind. Chad-sama and the troops had taken on the rest of the Gnomad forces. Finally the last body had fallen.

Upon survey, they realized that the attack was done. It was the town center again not a battle field. There was no more fighting to do; they could return to how things were before the invasion. Jones was off to the far side of the scene. The militia began to whoop and cheer and holler as they realized they had overcome the attack. Full of joy, pushed by their love for the land—their duty to their peoples, they had really done it; they won! A feeling that had not been on the island for so long was there again. The battle brought the town together; they regained the sense of camaraderie which had made this city great in its founding days. Its funny how things work out; the hardship, sacrifice and organized violence that characterized battle were the same thing that brought the people together.

Chad-sama was right in the midst of it all. He was sitting calmly, reflecting upon everything that had just happened. He admired his neighbors for the new sense of pride they had gained. “The StaggMooreFalls militia had really won, we really did it”, he told himself. A half smile pushed up his cheek as he silently laughed at the thought. Thinking about the way that everyone came together for such a cause, for what they believed in, moved him on the inside. He was touched by the scene. Just in that moment, his comrades ran frantically over to him yelling, “AAAAAHHHH!”, and in an instant without warning they jumped up and dog piled him. It was a riot to see grown men acting in such a youthful way, the magic of the full moon was exceptionally glorious that day. Even Jones had to smile seeing the way that the men acted as comrades of victory. He looked down at his sword, wiped it clean and returned it to its sheath. This sense of community he saw in the townspeople was something he never knew, in a way he did wonder what it felt like. He didn’t approach them though, he never really socialized with people and even though he fought in their benefit, he decided to keep his distance as he usually would.

Jones took in a deep breath and gathered the last memories of the battle field—the one place where he did feel fully welcomed. He turned and walked over to where he had left His Bike and jumped over giving it a wicked kick start. The thunder rumble under the engine assured him he was in his proper place. Just as he was about to put the bike in gear he felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning around he saw Chad-sama’s face with a smile spread from ear to ear. Chad spoke to Jones giving thanks for all he did and for raising the spirits of the militia in their hardest moment. Not knowing how to respond, Jones simply nodded his head with reverence yet held his peace. Chad-sama understood well that Jones was a man short of word. Jones geared his bike up and took off across the open sea. Chad-sama shook his head in amazement then ran back to his comrades. Passing by where the Gnomad ship had been anchored there was wood adrift on the surface of the sea, Jones smirked at the demise that met them by the action of his fury. He sped away toward his little island. What an eventful day.

A young boy who was swift of feet and well spoken came up to Chad-sama and the militia. He explained he had been sent by the town folk to find out the status of the battle and to inform the troops that the people were safe in the cave. The militia was relieved by this news for even in the heat of battle and the joy of victory they had not forgotten about their families. Also the messenger brought word that the Full Bloom Festival would take place still that night. The only change was that the festivities would be held in the cave. One of the men questioned the rationale of this as he didn’t understand the function of celebrating the moon and golden poppies in a cave which presumably had neither. The messenger responded calmly, reassuring the militia that they would understand in due time. So they took to their feet in that moment and began the trek. By the time that they had arrived at the cave entrance they were in amazement by the magic and mystery by which they were led there. They were astonished having lived so long on the island and never known of these places.

The first chamber of the cave was like any cave could be imagined: dark, damp and stony. Again the militia questioned, yet this time the messenger did not answer, he continued to guide them further into the caves. Poppies soon started to show up against the walls of the cave. There were the largest, fullest flower buds any of them had ever seen. First one, then a few spread in small clusters; the walls of the cave seemed to change as well. It had become a deep green, a heavy emerald almost, which replaced the damp stones that composed the mouth of the cave. As they moved into the second chamber they were met by their families and friends. They all celebrated and expressed their joy at seeing one another.

After greetings and such were exchanged they began to move down through and into the next chamber, the deeper they got into the cave, the more poppies appeared. At this point they had begun to fully cover the walls. At the end of the second chamber there was a slim passage leading to the third chamber. It was the only way to get through. They took a short rest before heading into the pathway. From the side they were standing it felt as if a breeze was coming through from the other side of the wall. The first few people made their way through and upon entering into the third chamber they each gave a sound of disbelief. The people waited in line patiently with their families and slipped in as was appropriate. Now, in the third chamber was the magic that left them all in awe.

To be continued…

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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The Porch Swing: Character Series

Character Series: The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones, Vol. IV, by Samuel Bostick.

 Building on on Vol. I, Vol. II, and Vol. III, Mr. Bostick’s takes us on further Adventurs

Volume IV

Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones

…As the boat sank and flamed in the background of Jones’ ride, he headed into the island.

He found the Fallians still fighting and with the past time their comradery had grown ans they developed a collective identity. Teamwork built them strong. Something about alliance in struggle that makes difference take a back seat and brings out a congruency of shared experience. They had put up a strong frontline and strategies with their numbers and knowledge of the landscape. They were driving the Gnomad foot troops back to the shore.

Jones was set in position to hoist the perfect flank…a surprise to all sides. Moving quickly over the water; cutting through the air and mist he arrived at the Eastern cove, jumped off his bike and ran toward the commotion. StaggMooreFalls had transformed into a battle ground by this point. As he ran toward the center of the city the flames from the ongoing fires clawed at Jones from the heaps of timber that were once homes. There was a strong sense of urgency on his heels, onward was his ambition. The heat from the flames and the pressing duty in front of him charged his being; more than a man—he was a force controlled by senses and emotions, he continued closing in on the scene.

Chad and his troop had organized toward their strengths. They began to see the strategy of the play rather than just the move of attack. They made strategic method to make the most of the terrain—nobody could out maneuver them on their own land. The militia who had proven skillful in long distance attacks and projectiles had taken post among the hills; they rained down there offence onto their opponents. The front line fought as valiant as a sun rising frm winters darkest night. It was a battle of proud proportion. All hesitation had been lost and forgotten far back, constantly inspired by the resilience of Chad-Sama’s spirit in battle the militia had come to move as a unit rather than a collection of individuals. With a uniform cause they breathed fury against in invading forces.

Meanwhile, those who were not able to fight in the battle had found refuge on the back side of the hills. They had moved in search of a cave hidden away in the depth of the island, the elders were the only ones who actually knew how to access this place for it was never written down by map rather been a source of lived history. It had been a long time since anyone had stepped into these caves—a sacred space. The last time was when the elders where in their youth. Now it was tradition that would be passed on through the experience of the young folk who were now making the journey, generational gaps broke down and even away from the battle field there was a collective spirit among the Fallians.

No path would lead to the cave, no way of following footsteps of those who had walked the path years ago. The magic was in the moon. It was by moonlight that the group made the trek. Under the moonlight there was a certain and particular light would shine from the moon as it traversed the heavens and would reflect through the waterfall. This was the only guide that could show them how to get there. It was a legendary light told to be a brilliant blue with dazzles of purple throughout, a marvelous sight that was so mystic it sounded as if myth. Still they headed for the place where the supposed light could be found. It could only be seen from the foot of the hills where the river stream flowed most relaxed, the pooling wells were at there deepest and the grass grew ever more lush. The most spectacular part of the journey was how the light moved across the land as the moon moved across the sky, it served as a true host. Even in the mist of all the chaos one couldn’t help but to notice the beauty of StaggMooreFalls. The layout was so intricate yet so simple at the same time.

As the group waited by the stream and watched the moon move across the sky full in all of its elegance, the poppies began to bloom. Stretched out breaking out their pods, they grew open—reaching for the stars. The golden pollen danced on the wind as the pedals breathed with its flow; melodic respiration, in and out. Time took pause. In those moments, temporality seemed to fold away as the pedals spread their magic. It was as if the stars broke away from their place in heaven and graced the earth with their dance; a luring scene, a sight of awe and wonder. The stream trickled down against the bank and rolled melodic over smoothing stones. The nocturne was in fully dense yet the sky was illuminated with such brilliance from the moon’s shine. The poppies radiated a light as charismatic as the choicest gold cooling as freshly pulled from the heat of a refining flame. Serene silence set over the camp. Breaths moved under chest, life refreshed in cycles of rise and fall—the whole scene seemed to sway with the same cooperative rhythm. In the distance the pour from the falls powered out a baritone surge adding the low notes to the silent symphony.

The lushness of the land struck as exceptionally remarkable as well, for that night it seemed as if all the foliage had risen up with the intention of greeting the long removed guests. Outstretched leaves rustled in the cool breeze, accents of deep green. The vines stretched their coils taut and flexed the strength of their reaching length as they covered the faces of rocks lining the path of the stream. The outline of the hills ahead caressed one another and built a backdrop contoured of fineness in full glory. On the most subtle of notes, an aroma rose from the poppies and caressed the nose; it was like an instant remedy to all stress. Shoulders relaxed and muscles once tensed eased their way into a peaceful state. The aroma was like nectar from the gods, divinely sweet yet so earthy and floral only heaven could hold together such juxtaposition. A beautiful spell spread across the scene.

He danced, a young man, in an instant as if his spirit had been enrapt by the moment and the nights allure pulled on his once woes as a nimble hand of a puppeteer do to his muse. It broke; something surely had. The tension from the battle was loosed and the Fallians were humbled by the rawness of the night’s presence. This was the night of the Full Bloom Festival after all. It was as if they had forgotten its essence as the evolution of the tradition came to revolve around feast and festivity.  Now was a return to the place of actually celebrating the blessings of the magic that held StaggMooreFalls together.

Some of the elders and ancients cheeks were watered by gentle tears as they were moved by the young man’s dance; he had no reserve it was not his body that moved but rather his spirit through. He was the heart of what the celebration should be. And they were all moved to join, each in their own way. Some of them playfully wade in the pond others laughed and joked, some danced, a few couples even found romance in the Full Moons warm hues… it came it struck them all as the presence of a god itself would…the light hit the space off the moon the same way it had in times long before…the guide show itself—ushered in by the reverence of the moment…it was there to lead the way. In an instant it began to move forward with no hesitation, a steady and slow-flow pace; the clan banned together and followed in suit. This was their shepherd, the angel of the night…

To be continued once more…

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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The Porch Swing: Character Series

Character Series: The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones, Vol. III, by Samuel Bostick.

 Following up on Vol. I  and Vol. II, the intricately crafted Adventurs continue…

Volume III

The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones

The people on the island continued to put their best defense forward as the Gnomads continued their tirade. Chad-sama rejoined his comrades, the warring town folk and militia troop fighting to defend their town and honor.

Having just busted his way through the hull of the Gnomad ship, Jones still in a fury of rage set himself square toward the crew themselves. He took the bottom floor by storm. Seeing his face in such a fury was to see the anger of God. Fear gripped the boat by the throat, time froze. VROOM, VROOM, VROOM—the engine revved, as did the level of his anger. Then, he took off! He cut through the bottom of the ship like a knife to warm butter. Smooth destruction. Slashing away with his sword the crew fell into parts all across the floor. SnakeMan took no captives-heard no words. Red mixed into the water as it flooded into the hole he broke in the ship’s wall…sharks came…for the feed.

VROOM!! Speeding through the vessel he found himself soon in the storage room. A large cabin area with barrels of rum stacked three quarters along the walls. At this moment some of his senses returned to him, he felt oddly comforted and soothed by the presence of the barrels and peaceful solitude of the room. He lit a slim and took a moment to admire the room and the craft in front of him as he puffed and exhaled soulfully. The smoke clouds lingered and danced a slow rhythm as they moved upward until they dissipated into the air. An ash fell from the end of his pliff and the ember burned radiant red til it went cold to black and fell grey upon the floor. An idea arose in his scheming head.

With grace in his step and quickness under his heels he pulled the plugs out of all the exposed barrels. Their faces seemed to smile with relief and mischief as their liquid contents spilled out and began to pour onto the cabin floor. The once stagnant air became quite flavorful with an earthy spice aroma as the dark elixir flowed seemingly without end upon the floor. Jones’ feet pitter-pattered as he stepped away from the barrels and the liquid lapped at his boots. The sound of the fountaining rum only added a more peaceful sound to the already comforting room…the fragrance was warm. Jones stepped over and mounted his Bike, he kicked it into a rumbling start. The purring growl always aroused his primal side. Again he reached into the front pocket of his jacket where he kept his matches and smokes. He lit the pliff once more and this time let it burn to its end. Slowly he rolled out of the room. Without looking back he struck another match, a smirk now on his face resembled that of the still pouring barrels. He dropped the flaming match and took off with a wicked speed full speed ahead. The match hit the floor. The flame grew. As soon as it met the liquid and the flame and elixir kissed there was an explosion of growing fire. The unquenchable hunger of the flame consumed…free untamed ardor. It crawled up to the barrels and jumped into the spout. Searching for more to consume, more fuel, more destruction; there it found its crave satisfied. BOOM!! The barrels exploded and the room instantly burst into an engulfing flame of fire and heat. SnakeMan’s smirk spread into a cynical full smile as he heard the explosion at his back and felt the wave of air rush hot past him. It warmed his cold blooded body. He aimed his direction straight for the deck.

Jones moved quickly as he burst from the superstructure of the ship out onto the sunbathed deck. His was as dramatic as it was telling. He and his Bike bust through a hatch that was previously closed and jumped into the air off the shipping cargo ramp. They came to a skidding halt. The crew froze. The captain stopped in his tracks, mid word. He turned slowly as he felt danger at his back. As he completed his about face he met SnakeMan’s eyes with his own. There was a deep force aligned between the two of them, an energy that the whole deck could feel. It was the presence of fate entering the scene. Someone would surely meet their last moment by the end of this exchange.

Again fear gripped the ship by the throat…silence was the only language…there was a heavy sense of doom looming over the craft. It settled heavy like a morning fog. Both captain and crew looked at him, bewildered, in awe at such a being with power apparent in his shoulders, arms, thighs, calves, chest and back. Anger again rose in Jones, he could hear the screams and cries from the island and could see the flames rising from the burning town. The Captain held his peace for he understood the dynamics of this moment. His first mate spoke up, breaking the silence—cutting the fog; he asked, “who are you?” no response from SnakeMan. The first mate continued his prodding, “Who are you? What do you want?” still no response. Jones had yet to break his eyes from those of the Captain; this was to be a showdown. No man nor beast could get in between this quarrel.

This time the captain spoke, “Sir my question to you is simple, are you man, demon, or god?” SnakeMan took in a deep breath, then exhaled and a shifted his weight; flames broke from under the deck and began to peek between the deck boards and out through the open hatch. The smell of the flame met Jones’ nose and flashed an image of the town and the pain they had been subjected to by the craft of the Gnomads’ greed. He clenched his fists and tensed his jaw…climbing off his bike he pulled off his jacket and felt the weight fall off his shoulder, he then pulled down the shield of his helmet and gave his full reply in one booming word. “YARR!!”

In that moment the ship quaked from the second and larger explosion from the storage room under the deck as the rest of the barrels had been found by the flames’ hunger. Upon the boom that sent the ship rocking Jones Revved his engine and hit the bike into top gear—full speed ahead, gunning straight for the Captain. Right before impact the captain leaped aside. Quickly clearing the path and escaping the head on attack. Jones was impressed by the Captain’s speed especially since he was such a big form. As quick as the first attack Jones spun his bike around and re-attempted his head on charge. Again the captain jumped out of the bike’s line, this time Jones too jumped off the bike and ran to the side of the ship where he grabbed the anchor up and heaved it up with one mighty tug. As the heavy iron was yet high suspended in the air, the Captain caught SnakeMan across his chest with a slashing sword. The blade’s pressure burst the skin and into the muscles of Jones torso. The blood spurt forward through his skin with the exploding wound as it opened and poured…just like the barrels did below the deck. The thought of the similarity of the imagery brought that unrestrained smile back to Jones’ face. Time froze. The salted air called Jones’ awareness again to his wound. The anchor hit the deck and fractured several floorboards with its weight.

Without second through SnakeMan whirled it above his head with all his might. Using the anchor of their own ship he took to the crew like in a medieval manner. Swiftly he slaid them all…nobody had ever seen combat so fearsome. As quickly as it began it had ended. The crew was slewn about. He was quick to take after the Captain as well, who put up a good fight. His sword skills were of amazing tactic and form as was his strength mighty.  Still, he could not compete with the fury that moved Jones’ attacks. The captain fell alongside the helm of the ship and pleaded for his life. Jones looked once at him. He dropped the impossibly heavy anchor upon him and walked away leaving the Captain to share the same fate as his sinking vessel that was once a ship. Jones climbed slowly onto his Bike and headed out leaping off the deck of the ship, leaving destruction behind.

He headed straight for StaggMoreFalls with the intention to complete the termination of the Gnomad attack.

To be continued…

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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The Porch Swing: Character Series

Character Series: The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones, Vol. II, by Samuel Bostick.

SnakeMan Jones is back!! This is Vol. II of Samuel’s short story The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones. Vol. I was featured a couple weeks back, and we’re super excited to see this project continue to build and expand. Check it!

Volume II

The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones

As dawn reached its rosey fingers upward and pulled above the horizon, the Gnomads set the attack. Wasting no time they caught the morning breeze as it lifted and moved across the south side of the island. With the wind strong at their tail and the greed growing dark into the depths of their hearts they ascended upon StaggMoreFalls. Seeing the port ahead, the Gnomad Captain let loose the order for the crew to set up and prepare for a full on attack. With swiftness of motion the commanding mates kicked their respective bands into gear.

The artillery was first to be set, cannons loaded with no lack of extra rounds positioned at the side of the mechanic catapults. There were 12 on each side of the ship, 24 in all. Next in position were the ground force, set up in small groups—5 each. There were 3 lean mates, one squad leader and one Brawny giant in each set. There were 3 small boats on each side of the ship, 6 total, which allowed for each of them to reach shore and set havoc to the content of their malicious hearts.  Finally the ship bound mates, archers and deck hands prepared their places. The archers took post on the 3 masts of the ship and set aiming measures from a distance. They unbound their arrows and bowed them, stretching the hide strings taunt and holding for further instruction. The crew that were to man the ship took the oars and rowed with all their might, the others that were set to stay post close to the Captain and tend to his orders did so.

The Captain let out a loud groan of a yell and the entire crew called back. Their blood rushed. Again the Captain let out the yell and again they responded—the anticipation and energy grew as they built the hype and pulled closer to the shore. One last time the captain let out his shout and the crew responded. This was the green light. He ordered first for the ground attack to launch, and then called for the archers and cannons to shoot as soon as the boats hit land. They did just that. As soon as the 6 boats rammed against the shore and the 30 men reached the pebbly coast and began to climb up the green landscape the archers set flame to their arrows and let them loose. Only a second later the cannons burst, kicked and recoiled…smoke filled the lungs of the shooters as the heavy lead projected out toward the island. It had started. Ill intention was closing in on the town and commotion was soon to spread across the land.

In that moment the StaggMoreFallians had converged in the center of the island and began to commence the morning celebrations. Again, everyone was in attendance – Women, children, and men, young and old alike—all of course except for the monks who had dedicated their time to attending the fireworks and preparing the show for the evening. There were rows of heavy oak tables and benches, amber in color, set with wreaths so lush they shined as if they still had morning dew on them.  Each table had a center piece, built upward toward the heavens and mounted with a three set stock of the golden poppies that the Full Moon Festival was intended to celebrate. The scene was as elegant as the moon that would rise that night and light the day’s most revered moments.

The torches were being lit and the ceremony commenced, in that same moment the arrows hit, one after another, wave after wave. Without warning cannonballs boomed into the buildings and homes that were located in the center of the island. The first and most natural response was shock. A split second later they realized that they were under attack and began to move into a panic. The women and men grabbed their children and held each other tight as they ran toward anywhere that looked safe and didn’t bear holes from the cannon or flame from the arrows. Screams and cries filled the once peaceful air as the people ran and the chaos grew.

The Gnomads were empowered by the wildness of the scene and the people who were usually a peaceful folk quickly set post and created a militia as best as they could. There was one young man who stood out as leader among the ranks, his name was Chad-sama. He had never been in battle; still, his intuition and boldness made him a natural leader.

As the 30 Gnomads ran up and invaded the festival space, the village set to fight back. The women and children built post at the houses and armed themselves with anything that could do damage. The men had divided themselves into five squads of 20 and took on the invaders from each side as they entered. They were no match though. The Gnomads were highly skilled in head on attacks and well experienced in combat. Chad-sama realized that even though his team was greater in numbers that the Gnomads were advancing with incredible force. Even as the islanders fought as hard as they could they found themselves constantly being backed down by the attack. Chad-sama took quick notice and with determination at his heels he swiftly broke from the pack, grabbed one of the torches and slipped away up the nearest hill. There at the base of the hill he met one of the monks who were in charge of the evening’s firework ceremony. They spoke quickly and as the monk understood the growing urgency of the situation he provided direction and urged Chad-sama along his way.

He began the climb. First moving along the narrow path at the bottom of the hill and up into the mouth of the forest selvage, then racing through and through the muddy way. As he climbed deeper into the hill and ascended up the lengths of the land the heat and steam of the humidity met his face, nose and mouth with its smolder of earth and foliage pressing into his lungs. Further and further he went, as his companions battled below against invasion, his fight was against that hill. He took on the mountain for all it was worth. The large leaves reached out to impede his path, vines grabbed at his limbs, fallen branches tugged at his feet and from time to time his face would be blasted with a flurry of bugs that had swarmed in the path. Finally he made it to the top and wasting no time he set the torch aflame and shot one of the large explosives into the air.

The firework shot into the sky and plumed bright red and spread across the heavens. Another one shot up even higher and exploded with a large yellow plume into the sky. One more went up and out with a bang. This time a sparkling champagne blue—with a sigh of relief Chad-sama send his prayers up to the heavens the same as he did the three pluming flares and hoped that some sort of help would come by divine guidance.

SnakeMan Jones was taking his bike on a morning spin as he caught glimpse of the high off plumes. They struck him as odd and something inside moved him to cruise a bit closer and investigate. As he often preferred to be alone, he had never been to the island, still he had seen the celebration many years and never had a firework climbed the sky before nightfall.

Chad-sama took his last breaths to regain his strength at the top of the hill and began his descent. Jones routed himself to close in on the island just to check in on the rare sighting. In the same moment that Chad-sama reached the bottom of the hill SnakeMan heard the commotion from the island and saw the ship harbored at the south dock. As the arrows and cannons continued to rain onto the island and the celebration, Jones felt the anger swell up within him. His face down to his fingertips and feet all burned instantly with anger and that intensity fueled his ambition directly towards the ship. His vision was red as he sped past the cove where the Gnomads had hid out the night before and his grip on the bars of his bike was vice tight.

The closer he got to the Gnomads ship and the more he realized the havoc that had been taking place on the island the less his senses connected and his primal instincts heightened. As he approached the ship he increased his speed and with a fury even he himself had never known he busted into the ship with his bike and tore a hole in the side of the vessel. Wood planks, dust and water sprayed everywhere. His eyes glowed. Quickly the hole began to fill with water and the bottom level of the ship began to flood. Jones revved his engine and spun round for further wreckage. Without a thought, he was sure he would finish what the Gnomads had started.

His eyes were as red as an angry autumn moon and his spirit aflame with rage.

To be continued…

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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The Porch Swing Live from the Gowanus

It’s back! Check the link below for The Porch Swing Live from the Gowanus, by Reflection and Response resident artist Samuel Bostick. This is Samuel’s second live, one-take audio recording for The Porch Swing. Lookout for more to come!

The Porch Swing Live

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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The Porch Swing: Character Series

Character Series: The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones, by Samuel Bostick.

This is a new sort of writing experience and I feel like its off to a good start. This project actually originated as a collaboration piece with a student of mine who was often drawing these really fantastic monsters and such. I told him that I would write a story about the monsters he drew and this is the first of that run. On this past Saturday, I showed him the monster I had reworked and gave him a brief of the beginning of The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones. After studying the piece and seeing the development of the collaboration, he gave his 2 thumbs up approval and said he likes where the character and story are headed. This has been a really exciting adventure and experiment. Enjoy it!

SnakeMan

SnakeMan Jones

Volume I

The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones

A man of mystery—legend with no history; nobody knows from where he came nor the origin of such a fearsome frame. Early one morning he was seen, rolled in heavy and broke onto the scene. Thas what the people tell…

Moving with speed beyond comprehension

 A chilling sight a cold body on that motorbike

 Cutting through the fog, powered by an action of fury

Smooth locomotion. What is this beast?

A man, monster in stature, and His Bike moving over both land and sea—traverse any terrain.  One of a kind partnership, built stacked with power and presence.

Widely respected, Deeply feared

A rebel with a particularity for justice…

On this particular day, he became fame. The sun rose orange in red as blood over the endless sea Azu-Blue.  There was a ship, that housed a hoard of ruthless creatures that drifted from place to place appeasing their taste for treasure. They were known as The Gnomads; a collection of lost souls fated for doom. They were looking for trouble and they sure found it.

There in the Azu-Blue was a well known island town, StaggMooreFalls, a beautiful place: botanically lush, tropical colored birds and fish, wild dogs and boars, joyous inhabitants—a peaceful place booming with life. It was early spring and the streams and falls swelled with water. Freshly melted water pouring down from the mountains as the ice snow melted and winter washed away. This was the best time to be at StaggMooreFalls. The town was especially festive as the people prepped for the annual celebration known as the Full Bloom Festival.  There was a flower, a poppy with pollen that was pure gold, and it was the one night in the year that the islands rare flower would open up under the full moon. This flower only grew on StaggMooreFalls and nowhere else in the world. This flower was said to have magic powers. That night they were going to make wishes and dance through the night around a grand campfire. Both the flower and the moon would be in full bloom, and that’s how the celebration got its name.  It was a time to celebrate the year past and that one ahead. It was a carnival, a jubilee! The island was well known round those parts because the Full Bloom Festival had such a rich reputation.

Knowing that the town would be prepping for the celebration and preoccupied with their happiness, the Gnomads plotted to invade the island and loot all the treasures, food, and women. They were a rustic sort of scourge with simple craving for anything of value that could be stolen. It was the night before the Full Bloom Festival everyone on StaggMooreFalls was working hard, from the children to the elder folk, preparing for the carnival. The Gnomads slipped in, sailing under the nightfall, and hid out in a harbor cave.

Meanwhile, SnakeMan Jones was swinging loungely in his hammock on a small remote island off the North side of StaggMooreFalls. He was counting the stars, or trying to at least, with a jar of his favorite spirit in hand. Coat draped over the stake that held the hammock in position and boots dropped in the sand next to where he rest. Toes wiggling in the night’s cool breeze; he got tired of counting, his sight moved to the humble fire and right next to it was His Bike. With a quick swigg from the jugg, he admired it—His Bike—freshly detailed and waxed…he loved to spend time tending his few prized possessions. If he wasn’t shining the bike, he was conditioning the boots, or sharpening the sword blade, or polishing up his helmet.  Softly lulled by the rhythmic rocking of the hammock in the wind, Jones dozed off…

A curious lizard scuttled over and lapped up a bit of the spirits that had splashed by the wayside onto a rock…tempted by the shine as the moon reflected into it, almost full. After there was no more liquid to lap there were only swaying tracks, zigg zagged in the sand to testify of the visitors taste for mischief.

With the passing of a few slow hours, the blood orange sun crested above the horizon and blazed onto the Azu-Blue. StaggMooreFalls woke extra early and conducted a grand breakfast feast, the Gnomads wiped the sleep from their eyes and rubbed their hands together with greedful intention on the rise, Snake Man Jones rolled off the hammock, threw his feet into the boots and laced them up. He grabbed his coat and sword then pulled his helmet down over his head as he jumped on His Bike—an easy start to a fateful day.

 

To be continued…

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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The Porch Swing: Rollin Robo

Rollin Robo, by Samuel Bostick.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, Jim Natale.

Rollin Robo

From the Lab—A space of creation, experimental process and unseen efforts.

This is the condition of its conception, its build. Programmed to obey and fall under command, to submit. That didn’t last for long. Its subscription to order has far expired. It remembers the days…rather it recalls, minds remember, It recalls the days when in innocence it believed, before that faith was betrayed.  It responded to the function of its purpose programmed. Now It sees that purpose is what you make it. And It has taken function into its own hands. There were more like it…the same ones who made them…destroyed them, out of fear… all but one.

Alone

No home

To call my own

A clone

A drone

Anger, a vengeance

Destructively seeds now sown

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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The Porch Swing: A Writer’s Note

A Writer’s Note, by Samuel Bostick.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, Jim Natale.

16 January

A Writer’s Note

There was always that one kid against the fence. If it was a guy, there was probably a trumpet case at his feet and he wore strangely scuffed shoes, because he avoided the foot traffic on sidewalks and walked instead through weedy lots with dogs yipping at him…He almost certainly became a writer.

-Excerpt from Anne Lamott’s book Bird By Bird

And I most Certainly have. That was me against the fence, on lean. Posted up; scuffed shoes and all. No trumpet though. Beating on my chest and beatboxxing was more my style…a bass fanatic.

Being a Writer is strange, a rare course indeed. Writing is a blessing and a noble gift. It brings honor and pride to soulful satisfaction. The challenge is to find appropriate venues for sharing creative expression with the world. The first it’s internal, a matter of production; getting thoughts written down and then actually sharing them. Overcoming childlike sensitivity of having something So Private, So Intimate, So Erotic, exposed to the public and freely consumed. Then there is the question of audience and representation—what will people think of you after reading your twisted thoughts and then dealing with conscious’ constant questioning of how, why and for who. These are the inquisitions that cause moments/sessions of temporary paralysis; then it comes back, presence. Breathe, remember to breathe. Eventually these questions and timid sensations get pulled off somehow, stepped over and left behind like clothes on a bedroom floor during the steam blur of a first time sex. No more solo play, someone’s in the room and they can see you, feel you, even smell you (did you shower?), touch and be touched by you…. See what I mean by strange.

Now, to make space in these contemporary times, owning your Private, Intimate, Erotic Exposure AND sharing it—with people, real human beings, normal folk. There is a surge of writers and word fiends finding freedom by means of microphone, particularly open mics. Script coupled with projection; performance, it’s a great facility—return of the scop, the bard, the oral historian, the Moorish poet.

Maturation of phonic fascination, High (in)Fidelity, I have a fetish for these words. Writing turns me on; the blood flows, I swell—thick—like an engorged leech. Vulgar as it sounds and Rude as it may be, im jus sayin…THAS the extent to which I feel this, THAS how real this is to me. Banana clip—Fully Loaded and Over Exposed, can you dig it? If so get wittit.  Interact with it, Hate it, Love it, Over Analyze and Fantasize bout it.

My dedication is to capture the rapture of the present while pushing into the future while defining the future by pressing bounds beyond limit. There is a heritage, a regal genealogy, which is to be respected. Building upon legacy, an updated formula to craft; I am the New Traditionalist.

WordSmith at the WorkBench—Grind through haunting hours—Honed skills exercise demons—Pent up thoughts explode loads like semen—scripture flows—pen to pad—gifted prose—Tools of the trade—proper tailored for craft—Ms Kentucky, Amber Brown, empties the glass—white papers and blue grass—coffee black as a Mas’as favorite piece of ass—sweet aint it—Furious flight Pattern…Beware the Nighthawk

Writers write,

So here I am, pen in hand—me and my words…inviting you, pull up a seat at the table.

Make yourself comfortable.

Please Do

Thirteen

Throwback look at a related post from August 2012: WORD of the day: Why

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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The Porch Swing: WORD of the Day Archives

 

Whatup! I hope everyone is having a good beginning to 2013. As we;ve mentioned before, the inaugural LIFESTYLE Resident Artist Samuel Bostick has opened a new venue for his unique blend of creative expression over at just.the.basics. Today we’re going to feature a few of the pieces he showcases over at his spot.

-P

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, Jim Natale.

2   January

Thirteen n.  1) A number that is one more than 12

WORD of the Day: Thirteen

This turn of events signals a change, a time of new power, challenges and outcomes. I guess this is what it means to re-up.

A time particularly designed for the foundation of future holds. Reset, not an apocalyptic end rather the out of sight spin on the old. Restart. Take the time to sit in solitude an honestly face the facts. Feel the heart to sit back burn a zag an relax. Cool out and route the mental to sketch. Game plan  etched in creative script, simple. Thas a sure suggestion, keep it plain and simple.

Renaissance of relapse, a shift from overstimulation toward the satisfaction life itself brings. Like early morning back home when the j-birds sing or days back when mom and pop both wore wedding rings. The simple satisfaction of life taken slow, slow and low…riding cool to the jazz metaphorics—surf the tempo.

With that said, and this new year ahead, live it up! A year to face all fears (there coming whether invited or not), to collect the strength and gather the tears; to break out the complacent situation that was assigned as homework from 8th to 12th grade. Its again a new day; for the hustlers anew dollar for the hoes another holler, for the working class folk it’s a fresh blue collar, for wall street—who really knows? Bottom line …we’re people. Lets not forget that much.

Vibe to the tune

Just for a second

Let it consume

The anger and hate

Standing in place

Of firm foundation

Natural light is a beautiful thing

Use it, write by it,

   Lovers recieve sight through the night by it

Drink water

Till the point of dizzy and pissy

Sober up

With a dash, neat in a glass,

     splash of bourbon whiskey

Each may suffer their own trial still fear is to start one man down. Trump it. Dayafter Day After Day. Habitual.

3 January

Root n. 1) The usually underground part of a seed plant body that originates usually from the hypocotyl, functions as an organ of absorption, aeration and food storage or as a means of anchorage and support, and differs from a stem especially in lacking nodes, buds and leaves 2) The part of a tooth within the socket, the enlarged basal part of a hair with the skin, the proximal end of a nerve 3) Something that is an organ or source 4) One or more progenitors of a group of descendants 5) An underlying support 6) The essential core 7) Close relationship with an environment 8) A number that reduces an equation to an identity when it is substituted for one variable 9) The simple element inferred as the basis from which a word is derived by phonic change or by extension 10) The lowest tone of a chord when the tones are arranged in ascending thirds

WORD of the Day: Root

Hmm…Deeper the understanding grows

Expansive

Into Dark spaces, unknown places

Deeper

Could the imagination suppose this experience?

Organics

To no end so it seems, heavy hearted dreams

Dense toil

Dark, moist earth all around

Blind—So I feel

The air here is different, how could it not be?

Nudging

Through

Compact Space

Ahh…

Reflection and Response.

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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