Grey Spade’s The Tomorrow Knight – HD 16:9 Wallpaper

Grey Spade's The Tomorrow Knight - HD 16:9 Wallpaper

HD 16:9 Wallpaper for Grey Spade’s new album The Tomorrow Knight.

Design and Layout by Joel Nickel
[ ]


The Eye of Affluence – A Short Story

The Eye of Affluence – by Joel Nickel


They do not understand how closely I watch them. That amuses me. I’ve been watching for centuries; for eons. Watching intently. I have drunk in the complexities of their petty interactions and the tawdry dealings with which they delude themselves by infusing with a kind of elitist self-importance that irks my benevolent sensibilities. They label themselves rulers and that moniker disturbs me greatly. They wrongly believe their adeptness at, essentially, herding their flock makes them worth their indulgence in self-congratulatory excess. Incorrectly, they believe their deeds have been hidden from all save a few like-minded puppet masters who share a space at what they believe is the top. But there is always a layer higher; just as I have layers adjacent to my own. There are those above me who know what I see and those above them too seeing that they see what I see. For one to think anything to the contrary is egotism and incredible ignorance.

For a long span of time I’ve been watching with interest the Randale family. From their beginnings as largely benign moneylenders, I followed the path over generations of scheming and plotting so as to advance their line; and their ultimate cause as they refer to it among themselves.

That amuses me too.

But amusement turned to astonishment alarmingly quickly as their lineage grew darker and their means to attain their desired ends became more and more malevolent and distasteful. Alas, I cannot intervene and that saddens me, though I have long ago released myself from my misplaced guilt and ownership over any sort of responsibility. I can only watch, as those above can only watch me. I watch others too, I watch all, but I watch the Randale’s most closely. Of course, I see ahead too. And I see what is coming for them. That is at least something.

For the time I have watched, I have seen various incarnations of their line engage in acts of barbarous iniquity. Their wanton need to acquire more and more of that objectively meaningless material [in all of its physical and ethereal forms] seems to direct every action, every choice throughout their bloodlines collective narrative. Countries toppled. Empires destroyed. Millions slaughtered. And over what? Simply a concept that exists solely as a means for control.

They cannot see the adjacent levels of reality as I can. They do not see below as they have not seen me above and in their current state they can never ascend. But surely they will descend.

Any who learn of the Randale’s past and current actions and their ultimate cause [and have had the unfortunate fortitude to stand against them] have ascended to meet me before they could alert any others. Or, if they are lucky, the ones who espouse the change so urgently needed are shamed and marginalized into meaninglessness amongst their greater brethren. They are given labels like cooks, conspiracy nuts, crazies, but they are ones who have seen as I have seen and am seeing.

The Randale’s control the information and in the current incarnation, Vermillion Randale, leads the clandestine army of influencers toward realizing his family’s legacy of their ultimate cause. But I know. I know what’s coming. And I shall never see them ascend to meet me. But I will watch them descend below with measured delight. 

Happiness In Slavery – [excerpt] – Miss Ambrosia Skye

Chapter 1


Above the door for apartment 406 was a sign that read:




The superintendent hadn’t told her to take it down, but it had only been up a month or so. The interior of the apartment was decked out in New Age décor. She had numerous books on tarot, spiritual healing, angels, the afterlife, and communicating with departed souls; and that was just the top shelf. She was sitting at her kitchen table with a spread of tarot cards in between her and her current clients, Mr. and Mrs. Everett. Mrs. Everett was really engaged and interested in the reading, but it was overtly obvious that Mr. Everett was only there because his wife was.

      Miss Ambrosia Skye drew a card from the deck and put it down on the table.

      She stared at it, intently. “Hmm,” she bit her lower lip for added effect.

      “What?” Mrs. Everett straightened in her seat, coming closer to Skye and her cards.

      “I just drew the Tower Card,” Skye said in a purposely ambiguous tone. 

“Is that a bad thing?”

      “Well,” Skye paused, taking in how alertly Mrs. Everett was drinking in her every word and gesture, and how disinterested Mr. Everett looked, slumped back in his chair. “The Tower Card is very similar to the Death Card–“

      Mrs. Everett gasped.

      Skye continued: “–in that it’s a card of destructive and creative power. Just like a building that is condemned and must be torn down to make way for something new, so too is the purpose of the Tower Card. Is there something old, something that you’re holding onto that you need to let go of before you can move on?”

“That’s funny, isn’t it, David! The kitchen.”

      Trying to hide her surprise, Skye inquired: “Your kitchen?”

“Yes. I’ve wanted to knock out the kitchen wall for years and make it open to the living room so that it’s more of an open concept thing. David always thought it was too expensive, but if the cards are telling you . . .” Continue reading

The Puppet Shaman – An Ouroboros Short Story

“Einstein proved that time is relative and that there’s no reason why time should always be moving forward. There’s the time’s arrow thing; that something happened before and it caused this. But, what if they’re not sequential moments in time but are momentary snapshots that we, because we have memory, phase into and out of in a linear way,” Alex said excitedly.

“Okay, maybe I’m just high, but I didn’t understand any of that, Alex,” Greg giggled. After the service, those of the Mokeyists who indulged in hallucinogens stayed behind for a kind of second service. Usually, it was only Alex, his girlfriend Faith, and Greg. Nathan and Laura usually attended the second service but he hadn’t heard from Laura since the breakup and Nathan would only just be arriving in Korea.

“Okay,” Alex paused. “What if every moment in time exists simultaneously however we can only experience one snapshot at any one time and after we phase through that one snapshot it goes back to the whole where every snapshot in time exists simultaneously.”

“Sweet!” Greg’s unfocused eyes were almost completely dilated. Alex knew Greg had grey eyes. But the three of them had just taken mushrooms so now the colour was swallowed by pupil. Part of Alex wanted to check the mirror to see if his eyes looked like Greg’s but he knew that mirrors were often unfriendly on psychedelics. While all that was going on inside his head, he’d forgotten that he had a body outside of his thoughts and just sat there with a slack spine, staring into Greg’s eyes.

“Posture!” Faith reminded him sweetly, stroking his shoulder lovingly. Continue reading

ARCH – the complete short story

A.R.C.H. – Applied Research and Controlled Habitat

by Joel Nickel

He couldn’t figure out how it could’ve happened, and how it could’ve happened to the ARCH’s armory and a select few CRYO-pods. The ship’s Security Officer, Greg Scott, figured it was sabotage. There was no one on board except those on the ship’s manifest and EVE1 would’ve told them if there had been any stowaways though that idea in itself was ludicrous. They were in CRYO-suspension for the last seventy-three years and only a skeleton crew had been removed from the CRYO-pods ahead of the others to manually land the ARCH. Indeed, they’d only just started waking the others.  He couldn’t think of any way it could be mechanical, but he couldn’t comprehend any scenario in which the cause could be sabotage.

Brenin Klihp was the Chief Engineer in charge of the Hyperspace Tunnel but with Arty North, the Pilot and Critical Systems Technician for EVE1, still and smoldering inside one of the destroyed CRYO-pods, Brenin now found himself in charge of far more than he’d agreed to. He’d never physically piloted something the size of the ARCH outside of simulators and so naturally the landing was dicey. EVE1 helped a lot. It seemed to Brenin that EVE1 had already developed a care for the crew’s safety, and especially for Kit.

When they woke Scott, Brenin wished they hadn’t. He could still hear Scott’s acerbic voice ringing behind his temples. Scott was one of the two concessions he and the rest of the expedition had to deal with as a Military presence on such a venture was par for the course. The other was some civilian asshole sent by corporate to insure their investment proved profitable should the expedition come across something which the company could patent, possess, and proliferate. That, though, was now a moot point seeing as one of the other damaged CRYO-pods held the remains of that smarmy dick. At least something good had come of what Scott was still convinced was sabotage.

“Am I expected to have sexual intercourse with all the men on this ship?” Continue reading