the typewriter clicks away at tomorrow’s headline. the typist is distraught with the story. the Queen has passed. her nation is mourning. chrysanthemums line the street as the bells toll. click! click! click! ding! who shall inherit the crown? be that it may, she was unmarried, no children, and no living relatives. the smell of revolt is coming. just like in France. click! click! click! ding! rebellion is rising. rebellion is rising. God save us all!
the grim wolf is in a graveyard of stark evil. the night will not come natural to the enemies of darkness. they will flee from that which prowls and cower in fear. who can be safe from the yard’s defender? Abandon your pursuit and walk toward the light before he swallows you up. no one is too far gone. Redemption is just as simple as the wind blowing south. fly from it. flee. flee. he lurks in the dark.
My Thoughts on: Zack Snyder’s Justice League
I never thought this day would come, but here we are. After months of anticipation when DC Fandome teased the release of this movie via HBO Max, I can finally say I’ve seen this masterpiece. Yes, you heard me correctly. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is an absolute masterpiece of a film. Epic in every way and on the very same level as Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Series. And I know what you’re thinking. Alex, calm down. You’ve seen it once and that’s barely enough to review it. But I am telling you now. If you think for one minute that the theatrical version of this film released back in 2017 is the definitive version, you are sleeping under a rock. From the very start of this film, I knew it would be special. After all, this is a film made FOR FANS and not for critics. Here is my honest review of the film. ***WARNING*** I will be revealing spoilers.
The film is broken up into a prologue, six chapters, and an epilogue equaling a little over hour hours. For as long as the movie is, I never once found myself looking to see how much time was left, but rather wishing the opposite. Even at the monstrous length that it is, I wanted there to be more. In truth, I never wanted it to end. So, what were my favorite parts about this grand masterpiece? As a writer, I loved the character arcs, the deepening storyline, and most of all, the tone of the film. Zack Snyder captured the continuing tone of his previous DCEU entries: Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. (Both of which are high on my personal list of all-time best movies.)
Ben Affleck’s Batman shines like a beacon of hope throughout the center of this story as he brings together a group of misfit heroes.
One of the biggest takeaways from Batman v Superman is Affleck’s grim and brooding portrayal of the Dark Knight. This is a Batman who has seen it all. The death of Robin, twenty years of fighting crime in Gotham City, and now an alien in the sky.
He is a Batman who kills and shows no remorse for doing so. In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Batman is no longer portrayed as a hero looking to retire, or one who is trying to right the wrongs of Superman’s death. 2017’s Justice League did the character dirty with bad humor, lack of character motivation, and no faith in his own abilities. This was a large departure from the Arkham Knight-style fighting that we got in BVS.
But no fear. He is restored to his former glory in true magnificence. He’s realistic, badass, and can hold his own against enemies that could vaporize him instantly. Truly a highlight in this film. It only makes me wish Warner Brothers would allow Affleck to pursue his solo film in the future…
Nightmare Sequences and Character Usage
If you’ve seen the film, then you’ll know how intense the Nightmare scenes are. Like BVS, where we see a Barry Allen Flash visit Bruce to warn him about the future and Lois Lane’s importance, this film teases us of the looming doom. This was a storyline to be followed in the movie’s original sequel, but now it seems unclear what will be done with it.
During the resurrection of Superman, when the mother box is being charged by the Flash, Cyborg gets a glimpse of what consequences will come from this unnatural deed. Wonder Woman is dead, Lois Lane is vaporized by Darkseid and the anti-life equation is used on Supes, and the world is vastly different. It was scenes like this that make me hope Snyder can continue this vision. It is unlike anything I’ve ever seen from a comic book movie. I tired of the Marvel movie formula. I want darker, more grittier DC films. My version of these characters would never gel well with the current formula Marvel. But this tone makes them more human. They’re broken inside, venerable, and uncertain of their purpose in this “team.” It’s time we see something different!
And the injustice storyline Zack set up would include an apocalyptic Batman along with the Flash, Mera, Deathstroke, Cyborg, and most interesting of all, the Joker while they try to undo the reality they’re in and defeat Darkseid. (Fingers crossed for this one.) Jared Leto’s banter back with Batman where he teases him about killing Robin is legendary. There is so much emotion radiating through Bruce, and he has no choice but to bring him along on this suicide mission.
Finally in this film, Cyborg and the Flash are given their proper character introductions. I cannot stress enough just how important they are to this film. I found myself on numerous occasions wanting to see more of their backstory. Cyborg is, as Zack mentioned, the heart of this film and that makes the Flash, the soul. Together, they add another dimension to the DCEU which has not yet been explored. P.S. give them both solo films already. Especially Ray Fisher, he is a genius!
On the matter of Diana Prince, A.k.a Wonder Woman, she finally kicks just as much butt as she did in the comics. Man, she’s ruthless in this film. I have not seen WW84 yet, but this seems to be the best character adaption so far. She is a warrior born and bred. She cuts Steppenwolf’s head off! This is how you do strong female characters in movies. She doesn’t rely on others to survive but just gets the job done. I do hope her character remains at its current trajectory because I am more than excited.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a masterpiece of film making. I will never forget the amount of hope the community had for a version that may not have even existed. Through all the personal tragedy, the Synder’s rose from the ashes and finished what they set out to do. All I can say is Warner Brothers is in a pretty deep hole now. If they think fans aren’t going to continue to campaign for #RestoretheSnyderverse, they have another thing coming to them. I, for one, am completely game for whatever Snyder wants to do. His five film arc still lives.
Like Bruce said, “have a little faith.”
Good day and remember, we the fans made history, for Autumn.
A Selection of Hymns
I am rising
I am rising
From my grave
Who am I?
hidden from help
the light entered
proclaiming a Victory
Jesus Christ has come
to save us all!
He did what they said he
Praise be to the name of
i will never forget
i am born again,
in the blood of Christ.
a fallen world
lead by the flesh
a savior was needed
to save us all.
Son of God
He came to carry
Betrayed by flesh,
it was finished.
Set on the cross,
in our place.
paid the price.
Jesus, my savior
I thank you.
Hazel eyes, kaleidoscope skies Window's rolled down Bodies bound in ties There's no disguise Just you And I. Fresh air Mountain peaks Oceans blues ADVENTURE BLOOMS. Homeward Onward Skyward Hand in Hand Today Tomorrow Yesterday And always My iris My lover My muse Mine.
Goldbloom’s Meeting with God
Death was not as entitled of a business venture as Mr. Goldbloom thought. You see, being the head of New York’s most prestigious law firm didn’t buy you a whole lot in the afterlife. The gold brinks secured behind his closet safe were of no monetary use now. And the plentiful stash of Ben Franklins stored in his Wall Street bank account wasn’t accepted as legal tender. You see, greed only gets you so far in life. The toll it takes on their victims will wither your bones if I tell you, but you understand that Mr. Goldbloom had a plan which would put right any confusion after his unfortunate death. But none of that will make any sense until later, Mr. Goldbloom is now very much deceased and his plan for the afterlife was in motion.
As a golden-skinned man in robes of white approaches, a narcissistic pride covers the face of Goldbloom. He has made it and now it is time for his next business venture. May it be mightier than the last, he thought to himself.
“This is heaven,” Goldbloom said, observing the man he believes to be God.
“And you are Evan Edwin Goldbloom,” The Man responded. “I have waited this day for a long while.”
“And you must be God? Ruler and King of all?” Evan asked, snorting in the process.
“I am Him who you claim me to be,” God said. “But Evan before we discuss all of that, there are a few matters at hand. You stand before me to be judged, upon the entrance to Heaven, to be found guilty of sin, and yet I ask you one simple question. Why is it that you deserve to be allowed in?”
There were plenty of ways Evan wanted to answer but none came out nearly as smooth as what he said next. “I have achieved beyond that of any person on Earth. I have succeeded in all my affairs and accumulated wealth so overwhelmingly large, that it adds to the sum of their own, combined. To consider me unworthy is to be blind.”
God response was hesitated.
“That is not the answer that my question seeks,” God said in a blunt manner. “Why is it that you deserve to be let into the Kingdom of Heaven? What have you done to prove yourself worthy?”
“Like I said, I am rich. I’ve got a coffin made of solid gold and my firm thrives even after my departure,” Evan explained, but God did not react in the way he was accustomed to. There was no intimidation factor helping sway God’s decision. There wasn’t a form of bribery that would work on the King himself.
“Are you worthy of Heaven?” God asked again.
“Haven’t you heard me? I’m wealthy beyond all-human-measure. There is no one better than I, and for that you should bestow me upon Heaven. I am the best that Heaven has ever seen!”
There was a tap on Evan’s shoulder blade. A small withered old woman with a tennis balled walker clutched in her hands jogged behind him.
“Oh jolly, the good Lord,” said a toothless grin. “I cannot dare look you in the eyes for too long. I am not worthy of your gaze.”
“Mrs. Polly Anne Peteridge, I welcome you at last,” God said, with a returning grin. “Polly, my dear, why is it that you deserve to enter the kingdom of Heaven?”
Evan stood aside as God drew nearer to Polly.
“Truthfully, I don’t deserve it. Not a single bit,” Polly said with a faint tear in her eye. “But I believe in what it is that Your Son did for me—for us all. I’ve placed my faith in you ever since I was a little girl and I hope—well I’m not fraud—”
“Your heart is pure and your honesty is heartwarming,” God said. “I welcome you home.”
Polly felt the strength in her arms grow and the youthfulness of her earlier days return. She gave God a thankful smile with pearly white teeth and entered Heaven. Home at Last.
The spectacle was beyond the comprehension of Evan’s mind, and he knew at once it was what he wanted as well, to feel and look in his prime again.
“Sir—God,” Evan said correcting himself. “I just wanted to say—”
Another person appeared behind Evan. This time it was an African man with the aid of a mechanical wheelchair.
“Fredrick Jackob Robinson,” God announced, his voice was like thunder.
“L-lord, oh Lord,” Fredrick fell to his knees, jumping from his wheelchair. “H-h-have mercy on me.”
God greeted Fredrick with a helping hand and pulled Fredrick to his feet. A wave of shock ran over Fredrick’s weak body as he took his first steps in over thirty-years.
“I am not worthy,” Fredrick cried, tears streamed down his wrinkly face. “I’ve not done as much as I should—”
“Wait one second!” Evan exclaimed. “Him? You wish to help him. He looks like he’s lived under a bridge with a needle in his arm his entire life!”
God whispered a message into Fredrick’s ear and he was welcomed home into the Kingdom of Heaven.
“You’re a counterfeit Mr. Goldbloom,” were Fredrick’s final words as he passed onward.
“It is not your responsibility to question my decisions,” God roared. The ground below Goldbloom’s feet shook with authority.
“You are allowing those— scum into heaven and you wouldn’t allow a man like me? You muddied up the place! I will not be seen with those kinds of people!”
God lowered his head in disappointent. “You are all my children. But you, Evan Edwin Goldbloom have failed to see what is good in your heart. You are corrupted by greed and you have idolized your wealth. There is no such place for a person like you in my house. I shall pass judgment!”
There was a tremor, and then a crack opened in the floor and Mr. Goldbloom fell down and down, deeper and deeper into a pit of misery. Hell. The bright light was reduced to a dark gloom.
“Hello?” Goldbloom cried out. “Is anyone there?”
Suddenly, ghostly souls floated to greet him. Goldbloom shrieked in horror as he witnessed their white auras. Lost and broken souls. Distant from all love and kindness. Goldbloom’s skin started to crawl as the ghosts together transformed into a silhouette of the life he used to know. He was taken back to his waterfront mansion where people in the masses funneled through his great large iron front doors. A party was underway and the guests were dressed in their finest clothes.
“A celebration?” Goldbloom smiled. “For me?”
One of the ghost came to stand on Goldbloom’s right side. “But what type?” the cold voice whispered.
They entered together inside his familiar walls and witnessed the spectacle. It was indeed a party. It was indeed a celebration, but not for his life, instead, for his death. Bottles of champagne poured violently into his finest crystal glass, and Frank, who was his trusted family butler, was cheery faced.
“And may the man rue all that he has done to us in the dark depths of his own loneliness!” The crowd shouted as Frank concluded his address. “Now, take whatever it is you’d like and have a merry night! I’ve inherited quite a fortune and I intend on paying it forward— to you all!”
Goldbloom was in utter shock from what he was seeing. As he and the ghost bounced from posse to posse, each one had their unkind and bitter remarks when it came to him. All of which, he would’ve viewed as friends.
“I remember he fired someone for not having wing-tipped shoes. The poor man went broke and robbed a bank. Now his entire family visits him at the plot where he is buried. Quite tragic,” said an older woman with beet red lipstick and a black shall.
“There was another time when Mr. Goldbloom bought an entire hotel just to prove he was wealthy enough. Put the entire place out of business and fired everyone the next week. It was an awful sight.”
Over the course of the night, Goldbloom was witness to all the wrong-doings and vile things he’d made people suffer at his hands. But it wasn’t until he went to be by Frank’s side that he got the truth of it all. As he had no surviving heirs of any kind, he instructed his power of attorney, Frank to have the gold bricks melted down into a casket worthy of his success for his body to be placed in. There was a plot purchase in a well-off cemetery and what remained of the money would be reinvested into his law firm to ensure its continuation for generations to come.
But as Goldbloom continued to eavesdrop on the living, he discovered Frank had patiently awaited his death with great joy. A clause under article three of the Goldbloom’s will gave Frank complete control over all decisions on the matter regarding assets. Sure there were a few occasions where fellow associates begged for their portion of the pie, but Frank intended to hoard the lot of it all for himself. Not a penny would be seen after Goldbloom’s death. Old money would transition into new hands the way you’d expect in the early 1800s and accounts were to be closed like colliding dominoes.
“I mean to leave tonight— after the party,” Frank whispered to an unknown associate.
“What will you do then?” the associate asked.
“Destroy every bit of business with his legacy attached to it. One final way of saying goodbye,” he chuckled. “I have more money than he’d pay me in my lifetime and I intend on having some fun with it.”
The associate sneered and they exchanged a warm handshake, departing back into the sea of people that gossiped about Mr. Goldbloom.
The ghost whirled away from the image and showed Goldbloom his law firm. There was a party there too. All of his employees were celebrating. Goldbloom wished the image away and was taken to another. His grave. It was empty with no visitors. Weeds grew over it and eventually, the headstone cracked and vanished beneath the soil. Goldbloom would be forgotten to time and there wasn’t a person who cared to remember.
When the silhouette was over, the ghost floated in waiting as Goldbloom’s spirits were more damaged than ever. There was no saving him now, he thought to himself. Not even they want me to be with them, why would God welcome me into Heaven with all the grief that he’d caused others.
Goldbloom fell to his knees and the ghosts circled around him, waiting to take his soul.
“I am not worthy of this life or the next,” he said crying on his knees. “There isn’t a single person who mourns for me and I shouldn’t blame them. My money, wealth, and riches have hallowed me out as a person. I have become fueled by greed and shattered those in my path. To think, oh to think. I am worse than any omen. I am evil himself! Oh please, oh please. What have I done? God have mercy on me. Please allow me to right the wrongs that I have caused.”
Goldbloom continued his monologue for quite some time, begging for a way to repay those he hurt, but there was no option given to him. Goldbloom laid against the hard floor, surrounded by ghosts, and awaited to die. His final words were, “I will never be worthy of anyone’s forgiveness, but I ask for your forgiveness God. Allow me to die in peace knowing that I’ve attempted to have our account settled.” The words left his lips and so began his soul, but he felt his body being tugged along.
The ghosts picked up Goldbloom’s limp body and rose into the air, floating upwards towards the same crack he fell down from. There, they placed him at the feet of their Lord God and Goldbloom awoke, surrounded by a welcoming home back into his true home.
God placed His Good hand’s on Evan’s body and he rose back the person he was before greed corrupted him. All the riches on his body turned to rags and his memories lifted away.
“What have you done?” Evan asked, as he attempted to find what was missing in himself but failed to do so.
“I have returned you to the state you were before,” God said, “I have washed away your sins, mended your heart, and filled you with pure joy. You shall be welcome in Heaven for as long as you’d like.”
The gates swung open and Evan strolled inside.
“Welcome home Evan Edwin Goldbloom,” said God.
Under the guidance of burning wax, I’m wandering the narrow hallways of a castle. I see oil paintings of people lost forgotten— of people who ruled this stone keep long ago. My feet take me to the north hallway where I am forbidden to be. A desolate maple door separates my candlelight from what’s beyond. I can’t help myself. I turn the cold brass knob listening to the creaks in the floorboards beneath me. They’re warning me not to proceed. But I must. I have to. I’ve spent far too long imagining what lies inside but when the doorway opens, I see it. Sitting in the corner of the room right where I saw it in my dreams. A wardrobe like the one from Lewis’ children’s classic. Full of delight to see the country inside, I entered the wooden box and walk to the back like Lucy first did, but wood touches my fingertips. This isn’t meant to happen. Time passes as I search aimlessly through the dark. There is nothing. I step out of the wardrobe. Defeated. But before I have the time to reason, I notice I am not in the same castle I was before. No. This is different. I’m in a room stacked high with things that look out of sorts. There are mountains of books along with antique furniture stacked ornately high above me. A room of junk. A velvet case catches my eye. There are markings around the lid. They’re in another language. Elvish. My heart tells me. I lift the lid and find a single golden ring inside. It’s hung around a silver chain. Could this be? I slip the ring on my index finger and feel myself disappear from the room of odd things. And I find myself wandering back inside the caste with my burning wax, sleepwalking into another world.
Halloween Short Story: Mysteries from the Past
“Tonight’s gonna be a wild one,” Jessica said from the top of my cubicle. “The full moon makes everyone a bit looney and it’s Halloween. Spooky, eh?”
I shrugged my shoulders. Jessica was the superstitious kind of person. She read horoscopes, dabbled in palm reading, and believed in bad luck often burdening office conversations with it. I was skeptical. Truthfully, I thought she had a screw loose or something. “Another day like the rest,” I replied whilst collecting my things to my flat on the other side of town. From there, I took a cab to the subway station and then hopped on a train where I’d walk through Hathaway Park to reach my flat. It was a daunting commute. Perhaps one day I could afford a car.
After exiting the station, I entered Hathway Park on the final stretch home. There were ravens perched with bloodied eyes to welcome me. I averted my eyes elsewhere but then I heard a cough to my side. I fictitiously began sorting through the bushes– a few homeless men were attempting to keep warm from the October chills. It’s nothing. I told myself. But the lamppost above flickered like a dying firefly. The bulb must be going out. Then I saw a pair of crimson eyes staring at me through the dark. A cat. The park was ladened with them. No surprise.
My eyes darted upwards, cursing. The moon was full just like Jessica cleverly prophesied. A coincidence merely. These sorts of things do go hand in hand. I wouldn’t allow superstition to play tricks on me. Halloween was a joke after all.
I proceeded by the moon’s courtesy, but then I heard a wailing noise echoing from the otherside of the park. It caught me off guard and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up in alertness.
“HELP!” they screamed.
I started in a jog and broke off into a run. I didn’t know if my legs were leading me to the safety of my flat or straight into the mouth of danger. I found myself deeper into the timber than I’d wanted, surrounded by mindlessness. That’s when I saw it. A woman knelt over, floating above the sticks. I could only faintly see her. She was sobbing over the body of a man.
“What’s happened?” I asked anxiously, taking no note of the abnormality.
“He’s dead,” she whimpered tearfully. “It was an accident– an accident I swear. I didn’t mean for it to happen.”
My eyes welled up uncontrollably. I was shocked. Paralized. I knew who he was.
“Please, don’t tell anyone. It would ruin my life. I’m only a child.”
I was gazing into a mirror. A lost memory from my past. She was me ten years ago. I’d forgotten entirely about it. My mind had purged it from my brain. But here I was. Hathaway Park had twisted into the depths of my darkest nightmare. I wondered if I could make it out alive. One more time…