Wash Out

I can feel you blinding me.

Brilliant, bright light. White against my eyes. Draining the color from the world, eating away the perspective. It seeps, that fluorescence, dragging my vision out from behind my eyelids. Merciless, as you try to disarm me. As you try to cripple me. As you try to force me to yield.

As you force me to face the light.

It’s…

Deplorable.

Senseless.

You suck the color out of everything.

You know that, right?

It’s harrowing, what you do. Pointless.

Cruel.

I’d much rather have washed out colors than this. Rather have nothing—have total darkness, because at least darkness can have variation. At least you can adjust to darkness.

This complete white-out though…

It’s tasteless.

A dull, pale void.

Don’t you think?

I know why you do it.

To desensitize me.

At least, you try.

I think that, in the end, it does the exact opposite of what you intend it to do. Rather than let it wash over me—bleed me out, make me blinding as the sun, blinding as you are—I cling tighter to my shadows. Grip tightening around the dark.

When you combat me with that vivid, piercing light, I don’t give in. Not an inch.

I fight back. Continue reading “Wash Out”

One Raging Lion

He was older when I took his pelt.

That’s why it was an easy kill. Why tearing his jaw off wasn’t as hard as it should’ve been. In that moment, I wasn’t akin to Hercules, not like I wanted to be. Instead, I was only proving that I was a brute. Strong, yes.

But not like a god.

Not like the son of a god.

Not yet.

People stopped believing in the beasts forever ago. Lost faith in the lore. Took to science, to thinking that superpowers were a thing of biology. Left mythics behind. Left it to crumble, to rot. Do whatever it was that old, abandoned things had to do in order to cease.

But.

They were fools.

In their lack of understanding—their strive for solid, concrete knowledge—they cut themselves off at the knees. Made themselves weak. Turned off a faucet that granted power, that granted real, true understanding.

Fools.

But, not me.

Not me.

When I killed the lion, I still had to rip the fur off his body. Still had to skin him. Still had to prove I had enough strength to pull even the invincible apart.

On that day, my proving began.

And it continues.

Even now, it continues. Continue reading “One Raging Lion”

Armored Dragon

“You could be brave.”

“I could be.”

“You could be strong.”

“I could be.”

“And you could be the champion.”

“I could be the champion.”

“So then… why not?”

I can’t help but laugh a little at how incredulous he sounds. How perplexed. It would make no sense to him, being a former champion and all, but:

It makes sense to me.

Turning from the ring of fighters, I walk away as I tell him.

“Not all things that could, should.”

Besides.

I have better things to do than win titles.

I have a king to slay. Continue reading “Armored Dragon”

All For Cause

In a world teeming with superheroes, the term “villain” gets tossed around too much. Applied way too often.

And, normally, it gets applied where it isn’t applicable at all.

What makes a hero a better than a good Samaritan? Better than a good citizen? More than just someone doing the right thing?

The answer might surprise you if you’ve never thought about it.

Additionally, the answer mirrors the answer to the question:

What separates a villain from a criminal? Someone nefarious? A no-good person? Someone who’s rotten?

What separates them? Where do we draw the line?

What’s the difference?

If you’ve never thought about it before…

Well.

I’m sure the answer will surprise you. Continue reading “All For Cause”

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”

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”

Inferno

It was dispassionate.

People lived their lives, moving like ants. Robotic, focused. Standing in line, following orders, doing what they were instructed. Moving wholly and completely within the confines of what was created for them.

As I said:

Like ants.

Moving through an ant farm.

This world created falsely. A controlled environment.

Fake.

The world isn’t like that.

Not at all.

The world wasn’t meant to be so dispassionate. So hungry.

Man was not mean to be so greedy.

And when the skies fell?

When the earth shook?

The mountains flowed with bubbling, roiling rage?

They realized that.

Or:

They perished.

We were not meant to be so dispassionate.

We were meant to be more.

We weren’t meant to watch for saviors, or wait for hope to be delivered on a platter. Weren’t meant to be idle, or vacant.

We were meant to be heroes.  Continue reading “Inferno”

Battle Born

I can feel the wind.

I have seen the clouds form and break. Seen the sky crack and crush thousands. Watched the earth shatter and split, spilling hundreds of lives right into the abyss. I have heard the war cries, heard the drums, the clanking of shields and the splintering of spears. Watched the dark beasts rise, and seen the dragons of blood and bone call us to Hades’s grip.

I have seen all these things. Watched death vomit its curse up, over whole fields, whole towns, whole cities.

I have seen many, many battles.

Fought in many long wars.

I can feel the wind rise, and die. It’s breath becomes just a whisper on my skin.

Dying out.

Just like the rest of us.

Just like me.

I have won this battle, but…

I don’t think I’ll win another.

I’m done for. Continue reading “Battle Born”

Gryphon’s Disciple

“That’s not my name.”

Those were the first words you said to me.

To me.

The Mighty Gryphon. A beast like no other. Lord of Magic, Watcher of the Mountains. Harbinger of Fall and Beast of the Rising Tide. Timeless Warrior. Champion of Valken. Raiser of Scourge.

I gave you a name.

And you—a tiny, puny human without a single light in your sky— you tell me:

“That’s not my name.”

Forgive me for laughing, but, I know.

This is going to be one long, hard task. Continue reading “Gryphon’s Disciple”