Mustang

2:32 minutes

Mirror, Mirror

In the world that lies within me
I’m witness to a crime
I see the gaping wound
Cry for the pain that is caused
I am angry! My energy focuses
This is cruelty
No human should ever be called upon
To endure.
I share the hurt,
Divide the pain,
‘Til it is diluted away.
I call upon love’s healing powers
To erase the scars
So carelessly inflicted.
While upon closer inspection
One discovers
Naked, ugly scars,
Gaping wounds
In the countenance
Of the attacker.
Is my love sufficient?
Maybe not.
But there is
One
Whose love heals all wounds;
Forgives all who carelessly
Assault another…
Even me.

Terrie Teare 4-20-1992

Holy

2:27 minutes

by Jade Rawlings

HOLY

Salvation doesn’t taste like light,

It tastes like burning coals,

Holy wine isn’t so delightful

as it drips thick crimson from the alter,

Those angels you color so beautifully,

Have thousands of eyes and they are made of fire,

This wisdom of Solomon is not crystal clear,

Is drenched in the black baptismal water,

You kissed a prophet once,

and had nightmares of cities burning

For months after,

To be a martyr is to be sacrificed

To be sacred is to be made of splintered bone,

Rosanna, rosanna, rosanna, to our God in the highest,

Rings in your bleeding ears,

We weren’t made to be holy.

PRODUCTION NOTES

Kdenlive open-source video editor

Assets

Stills: black-sparrow-flying-design.jpeg, Jade.PNG credit, Steve.PNG credit

MP3: dizzy-logo, holy-motion.mkv

Voiceover: holy-VO-final.mp3

Music soundtrack:
Outro: Pouring Out – Aasher Fulero.mp3
Fortunate Note – Silent Partner.mp3

BENEXUS episode 11 – Alive

8:53 minutes

They met the Scarab militia soldiers in the street.

In front, Somer stood near a forlorn curly-haired dog.

Somer’s skin was darker, contrasting with his white hair. His eyes golden eyes. On the side of Somer’s head, pale scars ran parallel to his face and connected with his iron-gray beard.

“It’s good to see you safe,” He said in his bass voice embracing Zingara with a side hug.

After a quick salute, Somer and Yew Rue clasped hands. Somer feigned a smile.

“I hope you took care of her, captain.”

“She took care of me, sir,” Yew said.

“No surprises there,” Somer clapped Yew’s shoulder.

He squinted for a moment. “Commander Iyo?”

“Royal Bodyguard now, sir,” Iyo corrected.

“You look like a new man.”

“I am a new man.”

“I hear you have information for me,” Somer said.

“Yes sir,” Iyo said, then shifted uncomfortably. “But first, sir, my brother Driver was to meet your company. Has a young kid joined with you recently?”

“Driver…? No. No one’s met us.”

Iyo paled. His stomach clenched. He staggered and leaned against a building with one arm. His stomach held by his other. He slipped around the corner out of sight.

“Yew Rue, fill the eraser weapons. I’ll be back.” Somer shouted.

The Wise Old Man came around the corner and stood tall next to Iyo. The slow black dog slinking around the corner after him.

“Keep walking,” Somer commanded.

He extended an arm. Iyo leaned on it. They walked down an alley away from the army. The dog remained sitting – puzzled.

“I’m sorr-”

“Don’t do that,” Somer said sternly. “Your brother’s missing. I understand.”

Somer glanced around and said, “I need to know what you know.”

“What do you mean, sir?” Iyo asked.

“You’re a Royal Bodyguard now. You’ve got their braids. You didn’t do those yourself. You’re wearing a jungle uniform – in the desert. Bloodguard weapons injured you.” he paused, “Talk to me, Iyo.”

“We found the lost princess,” Iyo declared.

Somer’s arm tensed under Iyo’s hand.

“She and her bodyguard, Arrow, came to the old jungle ruins where I was stationed. They needed a safe place to hide. The princess pretended injuries.”

Somer grew agitated.

“My brother, Driver, and I let them in. The entire station betrayed us — sold out to Lamia. Mutiny. So we ran.”

Somer raised an eyebrow and scowled.

“Driver distracted our pursuers. We said we’d rendezvous here. So, we crossed the desert and stayed in Anchor’s cave shelter. Then we proceeded here.”

Somer stopped and shifted his weight from foot to foot. He stared at Iyo.

“We encountered the Bloodguard. But we fed them false information about our destination.” Iyo said.

Somer squinted.

“I thought we were safe here.”

“Where’s this princess of yours now?” Somer asked.

“The enemy took the princess. Her bodyguard, Arrow, pursued – and is still missing. I was stuck here. I need to find them.”

The general contemplated in silence.

Iyo heard claws clicking on cobblestone. The great dog followed them again.

“Repeat the princess’ name, please,” Somer said.

“Anchor, sir,” Iyo answered.

“That’s not her,” Somer said resolutely.

“What do you mean?”

“There was only one princess who made it out that night. I was there. This other girl is a pretend impostor. Why? … Why? Especially when it endangers her life.” He scratched his beard.

“Sir. Anchor is her self-made name. She invented it herself. Arrow, her bodyguard, helped her escape Lamia. She was later captured by Morgan. He tortured her,” Iyo said.

Somer furrowed his brow. Deep lines darkening his forehead.

“Does that make any sense?” Somer growled. “I was an adviser to our dead king.”

“Yes, of course.”

“I carried the only surviving princess out. That is Zingara. The other princess was in the courtyard. She couldn’t have made it out.”

Somer paused and thought in silence.

“… with the help of the bodyguard? How old is the woman?”

“About my age, sir,” Iyo said.

“The bodyguard could only have been a child then. Iyo, this is difficult. Unbelievable.”

“Sir… you said you carried one princess out…”

Somer nodded. He glanced behind him. Only the dog was listening.

“Iyo, betray my trust and I’ll cut you to the ground bleeding to death. Understood?”

Iyo’s face froze.

“Sir? Yes, Sir.” Iyo said quietly.

“Zingara is – Lamia’s daughter,” Somer whispered.

Iyo blinked.

“How can that be? She looks just like… you. Oh, Iah.”

Somer closed his eyes. “Yes, I know,” He stared at Iyo again. “That’s why the king sent me to study with Bennu.”

“You and Lamia….”

“Yes, Iyo,” Somer said harshly.

There was silence between them.

“Is the second princess – your daughter, too?” Iyo asked.

“Yes. But she didn’t look like me. Or her mother for that matter. She’s different.”

“Lamia?”

“Yes, Iyo!” Somer grabbed Iyo’s shoulders.

Then he whispered. “Yes. Lamia. Keep your voice down.”

“Could Anchor be this other princess? Who’d risk their life so recklessly?”

Somer’s eyes scanned the sky as if he were reading. “I don’t know. I suppose… I don’t want to – hope.”

“Somer, sir, isn’t hope what we’re fighting for? Fight the crown. Restore the ocean. Put a new princess on the throne,” Iyo said earnestly, “We dare to hope.”

“Wise words – young man,” Somer smiled, his leathery face wrinkling. Tears seeped into his eyes.

He sucked in a breath and held it.

“By Iah, what if she – is alive?”

 

Sparrow

3:43 minutes

Poetry by Jade Rawlings

SUN

Tell me about your existence,

Do you shine or do you sear?

Melt the wings from my back,

Just to feel your warmth,

To love you is to hurt,

To lose you is to die,

Tell me a secret,

Any secret,

Whisper in my ear,

“It burns, it burns, it burns

To exist from nothing,

The breath of god;

A spoken word,

It burns.”

 

A PORTRAIT OF INSINCERITY

How come,
I can sit on the floor
Of a dirty bathroom,
And convince a stranger with a knife shes pretty?
She’s beautiful,
She is worthy of love.
Her bloody arms in my hands,
As i rinse them with sink water.
Pull out the band-aids from my purse,
Scribble the number of a suicide helpline on her notebook.

Those words refuse to be spoken to a mirror.
Why can i help everyone but myself?

How come i can stay up all night with a friend
and convince her to believe in something bigger than herself,
That there is a meaning behind all of her struggle,
Crafted by the hands of a God
She was made on purpose with purpose,
I watch her almost glow as she emerges from
Her backyard pool,
Baptized at 3 AM.

Where is my faith when i need it most?
Why can i help everyone but myself?

How come i can stand up for the girl
Being kicked in the back of the school,
Get in the faces of her bullies and tell them where to shove it,
Help her off her feet,
Walk her to the nurses office,
hold her hand while she calls her parents crying.

Why do i let him hurt me?
Why can i help everyone but myself?

BENEXUS episode 10 – Jungle Dream

14:53 minutes

 

“Oh, Iah. The blinkin’ red light is on!” Driver said pointing at the console.

What?,” Iyo said. The red light only ever lit as an emergency alarm. Sometimes a yellow light blinked if sensors detected motion. But the red light never blinked.

What does it mean?” Driver asked.

Iyo scanned the surface images from the periscope. A young woman sprinted through the ruins, hefting a bundle in her arms.

She’s got a baby,” Iyo said.

That’s no baby. It’s too big. Must be a wounded soldier,” Driver replied.

Iyo frowned at his little brother and nodded. “You’re right. Let’s signal her.”

What’s she running from?”

Iyo examined the screen. “I dunno.” He twisted the knobs. The woman wore hard to identify desert coverings.

She’s marathoned wearing desert clothes,” Iyo muttered, “–from way past the desert ledge.”

An enormous robotic monster burst through the crumbling wall behind her. Old stone crumbled to the ground. The young woman curled her body around her bundle. Small shards of rubble danced across her back.

Oh man,” Iyo breathed. “Driver, you see her braids?”

Driver was silent.

The mark of a royal bodyguard,” Iyo thought. The mechanical beast stopped. The statuesque girl stood resolute and still. Flawless. The girl stared up like a boxer at the machine’s pilot. The spindly vehicle stood twenty Imperial units above the ground.

Robot’s royal origin, too – from the markings,” Iyo said.

Behind the deadly machine, the crumbling wall cracked and broke again. A small troop of Queen’s Bloodguard poured out with bayonet rifles gleaming

The bodyguard lowered her held bundle to the ground. The Bloodguard’s rifles raised up. Her palms went up in surrender. The enemy weapons trained on her. A Bloodguard tossed a pair of shackles toward her. They clanked on the hard surface.

Shoot the mechanical,” Driver said pointing at the robot.

OK,” Iyo said. The defense guns up top swiveled under his command. He targeted the large machine beast. His steady hand squeezed the trigger. Iyo anticipated an explosion.

The projectile ricocheted off the wall behind The Bloodguard.

“Direct miss,” breathed Iyo.

The braided bodyguard seized the nearest distracted man. She whipped him in front of her pushing him as a shield while charging the rest. Her rapid punches and kicks toppled armored guards like limp dolls. Seven lay on the surface. The fight was over fast.

Whoa,” Driver exclaimed — saying what Iyo was thinking. The girl tore away her desert disguise, revealing a blue officer’s uniform. Blue like the flag of Shiloh. As the loose material fell, it caught on the golden hilt of a hidden sword. She drew the sword from its scabbard – and rushed the vehicle. The robot scuttled away from her crab-like on four multi-jointed legs. The girl pounced forward with new energy slicing through a metal robot limb.

Whoa!” Driver repeated. The walker’s automatic guns fired spasmodically. The rounds getting closer to the bodyguard. She rolled underneath the machine and skewered the front end. Black lubricant spilled out like gored blood. The frantic pilot maneuvered the mechanical beast. In one slice, she hacked off the front two legs and slid back to her bundle. The mechanical beast toppled forward cracking onto its head. A puff of vapor filed the pilot chamber. Then flamed.

Driver, give her a signal,” Iyo barked. Driver flicked a switch and looked into the periscope. A laser dot blipped to life in front of the bodyguard. She froze. But then relaxed, if the laser light was hostile she knew she’d already be dead. She scooped up her protected bundle. Driver spun the dot – a Scarab rebel-militia signal. The sign said, friend. Her shoulders relaxed as she sheathed her sword. She looked for the unseen source.

Show her where we are,” Iyo said. Driver moved the joystick in a more jagged movement meaning underground. The bodyguard furrowed her eyebrows and looked around again.

I don’t think she’s Scarab,” Driver muttered.

Yeah,” Iyo said. “Try something more public.”

Driver signed for food then pointed at a maintenance cover. The young woman didn’t hesitate. She pulled the lid cover off with little difficulty. Tired, but strong. Something only years of training could do to you.

Ok, she’s coming,” Iyo stood up, hands sweaty. “It’s OK. Driver, run to the mess hall. Get people prepping the medics station.”

Yes-sir!” Driver grabbed his bag and ran down a short hallway to an elevator. Iyo headed in the opposite direction towards the entrance of their hidden bunker. Dim lights and creeping wall moisture gave the hallway a green other-world color. He sputtered to a halt as he reached the ladder. The bodyguard dropped to the ground, bundle held in one hand, long five-barrel pistol in the other. Iyo suspected she was a blonde on the night vision screen. But standing before him in living-color was a redhead. A tall muscular redhead holding a gun.

State your name and rank,” She said and cocked the pistol hammer. And that’s when Iyo felt deep trouble. Her beautiful voice sent his heart into a flurry. He cleared his throat.

Forward Scout Iyo of the Scarab militia,” He said, straightening up. “Also an enemy of Queen Lamia and the Bloodguard.”

I know what the Scarab militia is,” The bodyguard said, not lowering her gun.

I sent another scout to prep the med room,” Iyo said embarrassed. Of course, she knew what the Scarab militia was.

Lead the way… Iyo.”

I’m unarmed,” He said raising his hands in surrender. “You don’t have to point that thing at me.”

She hesitated.

I saw you take down seventeen guys and a giant robot, you don’t need a gun. You could kill me with your ankles,” Iyo said.

She smirked then released the hammer and stuffed the pistol into a holster at her back. “Does that intimidate you?” she said.

He was silent – love struck.

She wrinkled her nose. And sneered.

You Belong

2:53 minutes

When I heard that my first day was dawning

When I saw the morning clouds falling

When the stars of the nighttime were fading

You were there with me

In my mind

OOh OOh oo

You’re my everything

now you’re gone

voyager with air

Now I’m in despair

Why does life have to be so unfair?

I would wait for you

my whole life long

Oh why won’t you say

you belong

The Library

2:47 minutes

you wear the smell of death and rage like perfume,
he smells like an abandoned library,
a grand piano in the corner,
stunning,
you long to run your fingers over the keys,
but would the blood on your hands taint its beauty?
there is sort of a soft cider in his eyes,
the kind you sip by a fire,
listen to it crackle,
it brings soft memories,
yours rumble a warning.
the sky is darkening,
there’s a storm brewing somewhere
off the corners of the map of the world,
if he is a star, then you never knew they had flavor,
they taste like ambition,
and ancient wisdom,
but what does that make you?
some sort of abyss?
and what if he finds your darkness beautiful?
what then?

 

Bring blue skies back
show me around
perfect imperfection
shed your skin
yielding
show me
help me now.

I lay my burden down
time moves alarmed
nothing sets me free
like your creativity
You’re home to me.

Exciting journey
Timely untamed
Miracle reflection
Hold me tight
knife my pillow
in the night.

Alone together
stunning electric
energy angel
be happy too
diamond shining.

Do you think of me?
I won’t lie to you
sweet breathing
walk through my door
touch my mind
feel the hush?

Stillness
focus on me
soul heartbeat
rescue me
love your company.

Fingers

3:47 minutes

FINGERS

is there solace in idle conviction?

what brought us here to begin with?

among the ruins of a crippled empire,

our fingers scramble at crumbs of redemption,

hand bruised and bleeding,

the blood under my nails will stain, and collect,

we aren’t heroes any longer,

were we ever?

tragedy’s of firelight and flesh,

hands like these, they shake, fingers twitch

they remember what they’ve done,

knuckles of spite,

nails splintered,

unholy sacraments of broken bodies,

watch our fathers shake fickle fists at calloused deities,

watch our mothers fold flags with their trembling fingers,

what use do we have for feeble hymns of wasted faith?

our names written in sordid songs of feeble glory,

but look at us,

look at us.

our hands ready the cannons,

they clutch our dying brothers,

our fingers pull the triggers,

they bury our friends,

these hands, these hands,

they remember.

by JADE RAWLINGS

Touch

4:48 minutes

In Spanish, you don’t play a guitar. You touch it (tocar).

Now if you feel that you can’t go on
Because all of your hope is gone
And your life is filled with much confusion
Until happiness is just an illusion
And your world around is crumbling down, darlin’

Come on girl reach on out for me
Reach out for me
I’ll be there with a love that will shelter you
I’ll be there with a love that will see you through

When you feel lost and about to give up
‘Cause your best just ain’t good enough
And you feel the world has grown cold
And you’re drifting out all on your own
And you need a hand to hold, darlin’

Come on girl, reach out for me
Reach out for me
I’ll be there to love and comfort you
And I’ll be there to cherish and care for you

I can tell the way you hang your head
You’re not in love now, now you’re afraid
And through your tears you look around
But there’s no peace of mind to be found
I know what you’re thinking
You’re a loner, no love of your own, but darling

Come on girl reach out for me
Reach out, just look over your shoulder
I’ll be there to give you all the love you need
And I’ll be there you can always depend on me
I’ll be there