Standing Storms

“Are you ready?”

It was a shout over the winds. Clarity cutting through the chaos of the wind, the rain.

The thunder.

It rocked the sky. Bellowing a challenge above us. Barking through waves of lightning—dangerous, sparking smiles that made the hairs on my legs stand up. Clouds coming together, forming a mutiny above us. Cackling at the open ground below.

At the terrified people.

Cowering beneath the dark, bruised skies.

Looking up, I felt that fear. Felt the wicked grin of the storm pressing on me, pushing me. Urging me to roll over. To lay down and die.

But.

That wasn’t what I came here to do.

So.

As the wind roared, and the thunder croaked, and the lightning tickled the earth—tagging the earth’s surface—I nodded.

“I’m ready,” I yelled back.

Unafraid of the storm. Continue reading “Standing Storms”

Failure to Fly

Sky blue.

I remember being young and seeing it from afar. That infinite mass of cool, kind blue. Watching as they rose to meet it—soaring far above me. Touching the white fluff as they went. Seeking out that calm, soft blue.

Steady.

Beautiful.

Accepting.

That blue that spoke for days upon days about the grandness of the heavens, the glory of the skies.

When I was young, I remember looking up and watching. Mesmerized as the others rose, greeting that serene baby blue.

And I remember thinking:

One day, I won’t just be looking.

One day, I’ll reach it, too.

That’s what wings are for, after all.

Reaching for the sky.

Continue reading “Failure to Fly”

Stealing Stars

The sky was blackening, the exact reverse of a whiteout. All of it going dark, simmering away into nothing. Wisp-like. Smoke-like. Stars winking out all over the damned place. Giving in, giving up, giving out.

And he stood there, smirking. Eyes hollows, empty holes. Eviscerating anything that dared venture closer to those dismal openings. That hellish hunger.

He stood there smirking, beneath the dying stars.

And I stood there, too.

Glaring.

Staring him down.

Unafraid.

If this is the end… then…

So be it.

I’ll use it all—I’ll use everything.

I’ll give it everything I’ve got.

I won’t go down so easily.

I will fight.

Continue reading “Stealing Stars”

A Useless Jump

It happens every time, without fail:

Right when I’m about to fall asleep.

That moment where I’m dancing with dreams, my mind slowly succumbing to the beauty of rest. To the warmth of it, the necessity. It’s right when my mind is starting to go blank, right when I’m about to slip away. Away from the waking world and all its problems. Forgetting all the things that are bothering me, all the tasks I need to accomplish, all the orders I need to fill.

Its then that it always happens.

I’m on the verge again. Darkness whispers sweet nothings into my ear, assuring me that it can give me rest. That I can relax—

And there’s a knock on the door.

Every time. Continue reading “A Useless Jump”

A Call From the Dark

For a long time, I tried not to remember. Because remembering was dangerous. Could lead me back to it. To that lurking feeling. What waits in the shadows. That knowledge.

It was him.

It is him.

He’s here too.

For a long time, I tried to forget that.

But sometimes…

Sometimes he just…

He takes over. Continue reading “A Call From the Dark”

Red Snow, Warm Sands

The snow used to be clear. White. Clean-looking. Crisp, airy tufts that graced the landscape. Bunched together in a kind, soft array.

Before we got here, it wasn’t hard-packed.

Wasn’t disturbed.

And it most certainly wasn’t running with red.

Continue reading “Red Snow, Warm Sands”

Chimaera

Glowing yellow eyes.

Glistening teeth set to snarl, to snap.

Fur bristling, angry to the touch. Pointed, directed. Speaking clearly.

Stay away.

It bunches up its shoulders, the massive beast. I see more pink flesh as its lips pull further back, pearly in the moonlight. It’s jaw is slightly ajar, drool beginning to pool at the sides of its mouth.

Against its tongue.

Dripping from its massive, sharp teeth.

It snarls again, the sound jagged as it rips through the air. Warning me once more.

Stay away.

The beast’s claws snap a branch, reminding me that there’s more to him than fang and fur. More damage he can do. More ways than one to skin a cat, so to speak.

But I see what lies under the snarls, too.

Under the bristling fur, there’s a softer coat.

Those eyes that rove the landscape behind me, that sift through the trees, they’re not just suspicious, not just threatening.

They’re scared. Continue reading “Chimaera”

Fail or Fly

“So… you’re—what? Just going to try it out? Right here? Right now? On yourself? No beta, no guinea pig? Just you jumping from a cliff with a pair of fake wings strapped to your back?”

“Yep!” I replied, tightening the strap around the back. The one that would keep me in control of the contraption.

My flying, wooden contraption.  Continue reading “Fail or Fly”

When the Sky Opened Up

It was the end of the world, they said.

Burning acid rain spewed from the hole the sun had bitten into the atmosphere, searing the surface of the planet. Scorching a line across the equator, merciless as it combed its rays over the land closest to it. More than likely, to the sun, the lands at the equator felt like an offering—so close, so dense, so populated.

Lots of people lost their lives that day.

Lots.

And yet, somehow…

We survived.

Mankind, as a whole, I mean.

Honestly, everyone thought that that would be the end of it. When the sky opened up, nobody expected to survive—no one. We thought that was it for all of us. That the planet was doomed.

But.

Clearly:

That wasn’t the case.

That day, I stood, watching the sky. Feeling the heat waves engulf the planet. Rolling over us, though we were so far north—so far from the sun’s gaze. I stood and saw the glare, the sweltering fingers that razed the land, that evaporated portions of the ocean, that decimated our numbers.

I saw it.

I saw the sky open up.

And, just as it was then, it’s the same now:

I’m not afraid. Continue reading “When the Sky Opened Up”