Moving On…

This is probably finally, mercifully the last call for this blog.  Maybe an out-of-habit shill here & there whenever I launch new ventures or whatever, but yeah, this is intended to be the last meaningful post from me here.  Here is the key word.  While I’m not going to be posting on this blog anymore, I’m still going to be around now & then, making trades & hopefully taking commissions, and maybe even blogging a little bit.  But said blogging is going to be done on tumblr from now on (first post should go up sometime in the middle of the night).  I feel like it’ll be easier to post stuff there without the pressure of coming up with an angle to make a full, wordy post, and that might make me feel comfortable enough to post more regularly.  People might actually pay attention to my blogspace arena if I don’t randomly disappear for months on end, right?  Right?  Bueller?

Anyway, I’ll leave this here blog thing up for awhile, if not forever.  It’s a dodgy mess full of half-baked, unfinished series and weird random asides that happen once and are never about again, even by me.  Buuuut… there’s still plenty of cool shit on here worth rememberizing and someone might stumble upon it someday and find something that’s worth their while.

In closing, I just wanna say thanks to the handful of folks who semi-regularly stopped by & had nice things to say about my art & stuff.  Hopefully, once I get situated and the tumblr is showing up on the blog roll and everything, I’ll see some of you pop up in over there at some point.

I guess that’s all for now.  Hopefully my crappy little blog has only been a waste of your time in the best possible way. 😉

Until our next…

Not Much Blogging, But Still Arting

I’m probably never blogging in any meaningful way on WordPress ever again, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t still been collecting cards and doing stuff.  In fact, dedicating approximately zero seconds to this blog over the past several months has freed up enough time that even my uncannily lazy & hopelessly unfocused ass has been able to settle down a bit here & there to create a decent amount (for me anyway) of art.  So I figure I might as well show off a few of my better works from the “after I bought a tablet & started using Instagram” era (established early July, 2015).

Star Wars Sketch Cover..

Rey Star Wars Sketch Cover..

First up is the most recent, a Star Wars Shattered Empire #1 sketch cover of Rey from the upcoming Force Awakens.  I think I spent somewhere between five and six hours on this early Saturday morning.  Turned out alright. 😉

Kyle and Jake..

Kyle and Jake..

You’ll notice the faces are more accurate than a lot of my baseball sketch cards these days, because I just grabbed the reference photos off the internets instead of trying to work from a tiny baseball card.  Thanks, tablet!

Bo Jackson..

Bo Jackson sketch card..

See what I mean?  Not a terrible coloring job at least, despite using filtery, washed out A&G as reference.  Meh, I like this card less every single time I look at it.  Let’s just move on.

Lou Gehrig sketch card..

Lou Gehrig sketch card..

They turn out alright sometimes though. I’m not entirely displeased with my performance on Lou anyway.  Now might be a good time to remind everyone that, while technically I am doing this for my health (I’ve noted before, arting is good for my emotional state), I would very much like to turn my art around for a little extra cash, or at the very least, some nice new cards to add to my personal collection.  So if you see something you like, do not hesitate to leave a comment or email me or tweet me or something so we can work out a deal!

Kershaw!

Kershaw!

Moving on, we have this Clayton Kershaw I drew/inked up well before I had the tablet/Instagram, but didn’t get around to coloring until a little while after.

Mr. Terrific..

Mr. Terrific..

If you’ve ever noticed I do way more DC sketch cards than Marvel, the reason pretty much entirely is because my dad has way more DC books with excellent photo reference.  He does have lots of Marvel books too, but they aren’t nearly as photo-heavy as the DC ones, which was kinda important when I didn’t have any way to access the interwarbs over there.

Heel & Face Captains..

Heel & Face Captains..

I’m not sure why I leaned so heavily on dad’s books for reference after I bought the tablet, but apparently I did for at least a little while.

Big Barda sketch card..

Big Barda sketch card..

This Barda sketch card is a very rare and special occurrence!  It’s one of the only cards I’ve ever completed where I liked the pencils & inks well enough, but felt like my color job almost ruined it.

Charlotte/Becky Lynch sketch card puzzle..

Charlotte/Becky Lynch sketch card puzzle..

Finishing up with some pro graps art.  First up, this dodgy, cartoony, hastily drawn puzzle of Charlotte & Becky Lynch, leaders of seemingly failed, yet actually technically successful, #DivasRevolution.  I started a Sasha & Bayley puzzle too, but it’s still at pencil stage.  And now for a wrestling rant.  Joy…

So if the idea was to be booked on the same level as the guys, well… they are consistently booked like shit too.  So as much as it sucks to say it, more frequent lengthier matches and a small handful of the women on the show getting even semi-defined characters is probably the best anyone could have reasonably hoped for.  It’s a damn shame mainline WWE is almost entirely unwatchable garbage (NXT is excellent, however), but on that sliding (circling the toilet bowl?) scale, the 8-12% of extra effort they’ve put into the divas since 3/4 of NXT’s Four Horsewomen were called up more-or-less puts the women on equal footing with the men.  Isn’t it a shame that the only really viable game in town right now is basically the Springfield Tire Fire?

NXT's Asuka..

NXT’s Asuka/the last thing you see before you die..

It isn’t all bad though.  Whereas mainline WWE is the most shitty wrestling show on the planet right now, their developmental system NXT is the very best (at least until Lucha Underground comes back in 2016).  Longform storytelling in wrestling is such a beautiful thing, and NXT does it very, very well.  The reason Bayley & Sasha Banks at TakOver: Brooklyn was such a huge deal is because that match had been for two years in the making (even if not quite entirely intentionally)!  They do right by both their men and women down there, and it is absolutely mindblowing that the main shows can’t even deliver the slightest hint of gravitas and emotional stakes that NXT does in only an hour a week + a two hour TakeOver special ever couple months or so.

Anyway, the well-traveled and pretty much universally beloved badass Kana recently debuted on NXT under the name Asuka, so I tried to capture the wonderfully terrifying glare she gave Emma & Dana Brooke at the end of her first appearance.

And that’s all I got for now.  Sorry about my not even remotely groundbreaking wrestling rant.  And remember, everything above is available.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our NXT…

Mediocre Twitter Poetry Theatre

I’ve done quite a few of these silly things in recent days.  Figured I might as well collect them here on the ol’ blog again.  I know there have been a few people who seemed to enjoy it when I’ve dropped rhymes on here in the past anyway.  It’s all pretty random, just what happened to be on my mind at any given time.  Enjoy.

When I look at you

I drink it in

Enjoy the view

Like it’s a sin

From your head

To your toes

A treat so sweet

Til the last drop flows

~~~~

Riding rough, the lonely trail

A jaded rōnin

With a battle-hardened soul

Following the money

Wherever it goes

A lamentable fate

For the once ideal

When all the while

She’s just looking

For a place to lay her head

That feels like home

~~~~

Both hopelessly romantic

Yet their views on love

Seem diametrically opposed

Is there common ground

For the one so intensely focused

All in, every time

And the one who wanders

Desiring to spread their love around

Can two beautiful, but disparate souls

Strike a lasting bond

~~~~

We are the last legion

Soldiers in a hopeless, endless war

For what we fought

And stood for fast & strong

Spanned centuries and star systems

Yet all that remains

Our sacrifice

Written in death & destruction

An ode to the ideals Of arrogant old fools

Whose night has finally come

~~~~

And this, baby

Is the perfect love

Between you and me

Our souls intertwined

Organic technology

Never felt so alive

In our flesh-wrapped circuitry

~~~~

I can feel it in my bones

My body is ready

Soon I will Shed this skin

Awaken the power

That lies within

So…

Let the metamorphosis begin

Until our next…

Gone, but not for Long

Looks like I hit my wall even faster than last year, unless the flurry of posts to close out 2014 count.  But I’ve no plans to disappear until the end of the year again.  Whenever I get around to scanning stuffs again, I’ll have fresh card posts to share.  In the meantime, I’ll see about getting around to more 30 Day Anime Challenge posts, and if we’re lucky/unlucky, depending on what you think of my work, maybe some poetry as well, to bridge the great divide.

I can at least say I’ve even been a little bit productive away from the blog this time out.  I have a bit of fresh art and, shockingly, even a little writing to show for my slacking off here.  The first several hundred words, as well as a new story bible, for Nexus Eternum are under way.

I really should have more to show for it, but you know how easily distracted I can be, even without the assistance of the internet and social media.  Still though, it’s amazing how much free time opens up when you aren’t really even thinking about cards at all for a significant stretch (going on two weeks now).  Once I know for sure if, and/or how badly, my checkbook is wrecked, I will get to work finishing packing up the handful of outstanding deals I have in the works, to be sent out as soon as I am able.

For the rest of today though, I have another hour or so of art in me, and a round of relatively intense cleaning to do.  Maybe I can work in a little food, and maybe even a shower too, if I really put my mind to it. 😛

Thanks for stopping by!  I’ll try to be back soon.

Here’s a random card from one of my last major scanning sessions.

Sincerely,

The Patron Saint of Lazy Bloggers

Collection Transactions, Part Whatever of Infinity

Finist Prodigies Yu Darvish..

Finist Prodigies Yu Darvish..

Since I don’t really have anything interesting or useful to add at the moment (haven’t scanned anything since 2/15), but still feel like I should put something on here, I’ll toss up a few scans from January’s COMC shipment that have don’t really have anything to do with anything, and make note of a few updates to the ol’ collection.

First up, now that Robinson Cano has proven playing 82 games a year in a ballpark not designed around his particular set of skills isn’t a hindrance in the slightest, thus strongly negating the Yankee taint of one of the few Yanks I’ve ever really liked, I have added him to the Single Page Sensations page.

The only card relevant to the post.  This is staying on the 2014 Canvas Collection Single Page though..

I’m also adding Kenny Lofton, because he had a stint with the Cubs and is on the all-time underrated team.  He is yet another Hallworthy player that got knocked off after his first shot on the ballot.  Not surprising, since it’s going to be a monumental struggle to get an even better player in Tim Raines in, but still total BS.  Nearly 70 career WAR?  Piss off, jabroni.  Screw the Hall of Fame.

Archives Frank Thomas Triumvirate..

Forget scanned, I don’t even own any pageworthy Loftons yet.  So here, have an Archives Frank Thomas Triumvirate..

I made quintet of new set additions to my Single Page Sensations wantlist: 1996 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallions, 2014 Topps Upper Class, as well as 2015 Topps Spring Fever, purple Toys ‘R Us parallels, and Gallery of Greats.  I’m also making my need of a page apiece of base for every year of Panini Golden Age (non-baseball subjects preferred) a priority, so if you got a pack of any of them laying around, hit me up, I might be able to use some of them.

After getting my hands on a couple, my lone full set addition I’d like to get my hands on is the 40-card, Walmart Exclusive Sting insert set from 2015 Topps WWE.

Gallery of Heroes Vladdy..

Gallery of Heroes Vladdy..

Finally, the big one.  Taking a page out of Gavin’s playbook, I want cards of any and all players named Caleb, as well as any variations on the name (Kaleb, Onterio McCalebb, etc).  There are a surprising number of players and a couple non-sport cards bearing the name, but none who have really done anything of note at the pro level, so this shouldn’t be a hard collection to do.  The reason I’m finally breaking down and doing this, without going into details, is a neurotic, therapeutic one.

The only players I know I have a card or two of are Gindl, Clay, and the aforementioned Onterio.  I have no set limitations or expectations on this collection yet.  I’m just going to wait and see where it goes for now.

Ending on a sexier note, with two very talented NXT gals on very different trajectories..

Ending on a sexier note, with two very talented NXT gals on very different trajectories..

And that’s all I got for now.  Will try to be less half-assed in the future.  Thanks for stopping by!

Gonna fly now…

2014 Final Tally

I had a different post planned for today, but it didn’t pan out so well.  So instead, I’m gonna look at my goals from the beginning of the year and see how things panned out (with intermittent pictures to fight the boredom).  I’m sure this will end well… >.>;

Finish Fergie Jenkins Career Run– Not quite.  Still no ’68 or anything from ’70s off-brand sets.  I think the league leaders from the ’70s and almost everything from the ’80s are taken care of though.

Progress was made..

Progress was made..

Get Ryno’s other RCs– Nope.  The only other ’83 Sandberg I landed this year was his Topps sticker.  We’ll call it his 5th RC in the same way Billy Preston is considered the 5th Beatle.  He was absolutely the reason the group held together near the end of their run, and a complete run of Ryno RCs is not complete without his Topps sticker.

Complete 12 Trades– I don’t think I quite made it, but the two I got myself into at the end of the year might have gotten me into double digits, which is honestly better than I was expecting.  I will try to get better at posting my trades in the coming year.

A couple biggies found their way to me via trade, including a Jerry Rice RC!

A couple biggies found their way to me via trade, including a pretty decent condition Jerry Rice RC!

Complete Three Sets– Failed.  Hard.  I abandoned like half my set page over the course of the year, though I don’t think any of the trio I mentioned as likely candidates in the original post were officially abandoned.  But I still ended up with nothing from them.

The only set I made any progress on.  And I only just broke the 30 mark after Christmas..

The only set I made any progress on, and I only finally just broke the 30-card mark after Christmas..

Complete the Following Single Page Sensations

2011 Topps Legend Variations– Nope.  Don’t think I added a single one.  Made a little headway on 2009 Update though.

'09 Reggie Update..

’09 Reggie Update..

2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Legend Variations– I picked up Harmon Killebrew and Paul Molitor.  Only one more needed!

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cuts– YES!  The Winfield Single Page was decommissioned again (for the third or fourth time in my blogging career), and he returned to fill his old hole in the page.  The final piece came when I decommissioned my Adrian Beltre page, and the Diamond Die-Cut I had of the future Hall of Famer completed the page.

2012 Bowman Chrome Legends in the Making Die-Cuts– Yes, and then I abandoned the page and decided to only keep a couple.

2012 Topps Finest Faces of the Franchise– Same as above.  What I don’t want is available for everything I’ve abandoned over the past year.  Inquire and acquire within.

2013 Museum Collection Canvas Collection– Yaharr, this was so easy I was even able to replace a few I decided I didn’t like as much.  RA Dickey, Tom Seaver, and whoever the other one was are available for sale or trade.

As an aside, I’m still at 8/9 on 2012 and, pending shipment, 5/9 on 2014.  I am also at 8/9 on the 2013 football version.  I’d be finished already, but I’m holding out hope for a Deion Sanders to get close to the $0.60-1.38 range I paid for the rest that I picked up over the second half of the year.  Aikman & Andre Johnson were on the low end, Russell Wilson & Megatron were the most expensive.

Victoria/Tara– Nope.  Was too busy going overboard and accidentally turning Gail Kim into a full collection (2 new autos and two #’ed cards and a several early base cards cards).

Oops..

Oops..

Luol Deng– Nothing.  Completely forgot about him, aside from that weird sleazy racist scouting report brouhaha during the offseason.

Carlos Santana– I’m still three short.  Four if the sweet Topps Tribute WBC patch #’ed /35 I picked up for around $3.40 doesn’t fit in a binder page.  My other addition to his page was a sub (if just barely)-$10 Bowman Platinum printing plate.  An expensive addition for one of my less important pages, but it was there, and still relatively cheap for an at least borderline superstar player.

This is one of those scans don't do the card justice cards..

This is one of those scans don’t do the card justice cards..

Any five others– Unbelievably, this is a yes.  It was almost entirely stuff either I eventually abandoned (2012 & ’13 Dynamic Die-Cuts, Rod Carew also available FT), decided to go back to the drawing board on later (Robbie Alomar), just pared down to a single page (Randy Moss), or eventually overdid to the point they are full collections now (Darvish, Jorge Soler, and the above mentioned Gail Kim) but I think I actually did this.  Pending shipment, Javier Baez and 1975 Topps Minis (George Foster and Dock Ellis are the final additions) pages will also be complete for the time being.  Winner-winner, sexy sinner!

Complete any two Sketch Card pages– Yeah, pretty much.  They ended up not quite being what I originally expected, but I have a full page of She-Hulks and a full page of Women of Marvel 2 sketch cards.

Sketch Cards!

Sketch Cards!

Add 10 more key RCs– Blew this one away.  A single trade almost did the deed by itself, and a later eBay lot purchase would have easily done it on its own.  I even landed three of the biggies I listed: Nomah, Gwynn (’83 Fleer), &  Boggs sorta (also a Topps Sticker).

Key RCs was easily the most successful pursuit of the year..

Key RCs was easily the most successful pursuit of the year..

Complete five more trifectas– I didn’t make them a priority.  I think I managed a couple though.  Brandon Phillips and Alshon Jeffykins were completed this year, I think.  Maybe three if Booker T counts, since I might be in possession of his oldest card now.

It's the oldest WCW set, post Booker T's 1993 debut that I know of, so maybe it counts as his RC?

It’s the oldest WCW set, post Booker T’s 1993 debut that I know of, so maybe it counts as his RC?

30 new 1960 Topps– Abandoned set.  Everything but Vic Power, because that was my first ever vintage card, is available.  Even Gil, Maz, & the high number commons, if you bring it with your trade offers.

Break 100 cards with another player– Surprisingly, it was Nomar Garciaparra, because I bought a ginormous 200+ card lot of him on eBay.

Pay off old debts– Completed one, added one.  My original package for the dude on twitter never turned up, so I’ll have to go with a replacement package in the coming year.  Meh, I should’ve done better. :/

Now onto the blog, where things get even dicier than the cards themselves.  I started off strong, then posted pretty much nothing for at least nine months for no good reason, then ended with a nice little flurry.  And even though I added nothing else, my art got a good a percentage of focus, so I’m not terribly disappointed by my effort during the small fraction of time I was actually here.  Now if I could just find some focus to actually hang around all year.

What about me in real life?  I never did hit the gym, and it’s just been the past several weeks that I started running with any degree of regularity again, but this godforsaken place I live made it so I was going out and walking constantly all year long.  Eating healthier has still been spotty at best (in fact I was in stomach distress from overdoing it on probably the most unhealthy regional brand of potato chips you can buy as I was typing this, which is why it’s going up Sunday morning instead of Saturday morning), but I am still maintaining my weight.

Finish old sketch cards– Not many.  Mostly just the more recent of my old stuff, and I’m staying on top of newer work as well as can be expected.

30 realistic portraits– I don’t know for sure, but I feel like I have to be very close on this.  I managed to do a couple in the early morning hours before I had to do stuff just in the past few days, and I think I have at least one more in me in the waning days of this year.

50 new sketch cards– I expect to be around 40 by the time the year is out.  My arting is up significantly overall even if 50 sketch cards won’t happen though.  I think I probably drew somewhere between 100-125 things total this year.

Decent effort, kid..

Decent effort, kid..

Finish first draft of novel– I failed so miserably at writing this year.  To be fair to this and my lack of blogging most of the year, my computer situation was in serious flux the entire year, and I was too broke to do anything about it.  I was also leaving constantly due to noise.  However, there was more than enough downtime that I should’ve been able to do plenty of both.  So while there were mitigating circumstances, my first sentence still stands: I failed so miserably at writing this year.

Lynna Sage from something I'm writing, currently under the working title Nexus Eternum..

Concept sketching went better than expected though..

Travel– Nope.  I’ve never been this ridiculously tight on money so constantly for an entire year before.  Not hopeful for 2015 either.  My money will be likely be at least as tight, though more focused on the things I need to get on with my life rather than things that I want or are necessary for an immediate specific purpose/moment.

Watch more anime– Only marginally more successful than the other things on the list.  Mostly just Space Dandy, a couple random movies, and a little hentai.

The Space Dandy gang are so disappointed in my lack of anime viewing..

The Space Dandy gang are so disappointed in my lack of anime viewing..

More video games– Again, only just a slight uptick in activity.  A lot of it was done in the week & a half I went without a computer in late November/early December.

So there you have it.  I’m still a mostly useless wreck of a human being, but I can point out things that are actually improvements over years gone by.  That should give you an idea how hopelessly broken I’ve been, the incremental improvements I’ve made, and the many, many light years I still have to go before I could ever be considered functional in any meaningful way.

That’s it for now.  Here’s to a better 2015!  Thanks for stopping by.

We have come to terms…

Dream Story

So I just woke up from this crazy dream that seemed to mix all the things processing through my mind in recent days, in a bizarre, semi-coherent post-apocalyptic setting.  It was cards, the fact that collecting keeps me broke, but also sane, yet is probably ultimately pointless, and possibly of the pointlessness of life in general, Amiga longplays on Youtube, desperation to get out of this godforsaken place I live and see the world cropping up again… And rather than just talk about it, I decided to try and turn it into a little story.  I dunno, I can’t really make much sense of it either way.

Also, I wouldn’t count on it, but if it sticks with me long enough, I may try to add some illustrations to it at some point.  But anyway, enough jibba-jabba.  It’s storytime!  (Oh, fair warning, I am really bad at writing short, succinct sentences.)

In a series of cave-like structures rising out of the desert somewhere on the barren husk of a planet its inhabitants once called “Earth”, a pair of young scavengers bring in a new box of artifacts for the caretaker of this place.  Several long stone slabs in this place are dedicated to them.  The caretaker meticulously catalogs the tiny rectangles of (mostly) cardboard with pictures on them, before sticking each one in an individual-sized hard plastic containment unit.  Then the old archeologist or historian of a sort affixes them to these massive stone slabs.  Not that any unit of time has much meaning when the clock on the life of humanity rapidly dwindles to zero, but it would be fair to say he has done for this decades now… Ever since he ended up at this place when he was a small child.

He thought it a hobby, but maybe it was an obsession.  It kept him sane as the world died all around him, and had kept him fit some 30 years after the fact.  Knowing he wouldn’t be around forever, he taught the younger scavengers who found their way here the craft and why he used to believe it was so important.

“This is the story of our history!” the kindly caretaker would beam. “Even if it is lost to us, maybe someone will someday find this place and have some idea of what we were all about.”

The caretaker used to go out into the world to forage for supplies and artifacts with rest of them.  He was hopeful and often even exuberant in his quest.  But even he couldn’t feign hope forever in a world that no longer seemed truly capable supporting life as we knew it, and indeed one day the light finally extinguished in his eyes.  From then on, he buried himself in his legacy.  The cards.

But these days even that couldn’t mask the hopelessness and despair consuming his heart.

‘What good have I actually done?’ he often found himself wondering when he allowed himself the time to think.

It was hard to lie to himself about the emptiness he felt.  The seeming pointlessness of this monotonous endeavor.  It kept him sane for the longest time, but that was it.  There was nothing more to it, no legacy or actual importance.  Just some old man attaching these little colorful pictures, mostly depicting the sportsmen of their day, onto giant stone slabs.

He was so jaded but he never let it show.  To the other dozen or so residents running around this half-buried little monastery-like structure in the shifting sands, he was still the kindly old caretaker, full of homespun wisdom and a warm smile.

The old caretaker pulled down the hood of his ragged robes and ran his fingers through his long silver mane of hair.  He adjusted his glasses examined his latest wall of work.  Finally he knelt down before the latest box, but stopped before opening it.

“I want you fellas and your sister to do this,” he looked at the young men, smiling.

They stared down at him, confused.

“This is a young person’s game,” he dragged himself back up. “It is not in my heart to do this anymore.”

They seemed confused and tried to protest, but he raised his hand to silence them.

“Now I taught all of you how to do this at one point or another,” he spoke more gruffly than usual. “You can still go out in the world to hunt.  I did both until I became an old man myself.”

“You know the process, how it all works,” he reassured them. “It is time to start the next slab.”

He spoke softly as he walked passed the duo, one of whom was fighting back tears, “Please keep up my work for me wall I’m away.”

After informing the others of his decision to leave the encampment and offering his words of encouragement and saying his goodbyes, he packed up his few belongings an the few days worth of food and water they could muster, hopped a windjammer (think surfboard + sail + small engine), and was never seen again.  No one at the underground compound would ever know what exactly happened to him, but he somehow managed to kick around out there in the desert wastes, surviving for many years.

The old man was many mostly, but not constantly, lonesome adventures and thousands of miles away from his place in the cards by the time his ancient and weary frame had finally fallen into such disrepair that he could no longer continue his journey.  Through the dissipating remnants of a raging sandstorm, he saw two big bright lights in the sky nearby loudly jet away.

Desperately he called out to the lights as he futilely dragged his broken body towards where they had been.  The old man collapsed atop the ridge in the crater whatever was connected to the lights had caused in the burned out land.  He gracelessly slid and rolled and tumbled and crashed and burned down to the center of the surprisingly deep crevice.

“Ow…” the ancient explorer deadpanned after laying face first in the sand for a moment.

At last he summoned the strength to drag his broken carcass up for what he knew was probably the final time.  He couldn’t believe his eyes at what stood before him.

“A… a potted plant?” he stared in amazement.

He wondered if he was hallucinating, but the aroma the flowery, bushy, fledgling tree gave off was too real to be mistaken.  He hadn’t smelled anything like it since his youth, when the dying world he inhabited was still modestly capable of creating life.  It was just so out of place, a bizarrely innocent reminder of somewhat less hellish times.

All the broken down old man could do was laugh riotously as his strength faded and his body gave out.  His manic laughter sputtered into pained wheezing and he collapsed over the pot holding the plant, willingly giving himself up with joyful tears in his eyes…

~~~~

Some millennia later and you can feel it all around this lush and beautiful world the original inhabitants once called “Earth”.  From the Tree of Life that reignited this lonely little planet with the enrichment of one little spark, to those now meticulously preserved old caves full of cards thousands miles to the south and east.  To everything in between and far, far beyond…

Strange beings now inhabit this world.  They aren’t quite human, but not quite those that left that silly little plant all those eons ago either.  They seemed something of an amalgamation.  Their head and ashen skin tone were more like that of the extraterrestrial interlopers, but they had smaller, smoother, less angular bodies like humans were believed to have had.  An odd mix indeed, and very few, if any, of either original species is believed to still exist.  Their conflict is what nearly destroyed both of them anyway.  But hey, this world lives again.  And I guess that’s something.  Right?

I don’t even know…