Swamp Thing

There’s a certain stench that accompanies stagnant water. Waters that have risen and fallen with the same stretch of green floating across the top. With the same moss hanging off the trees. With the same plants rooted in the muck. There’s a certain stench to swamp water—waters that don’t churn very often.

And the stench is horrendous.

Uncomfortable.

I claws up, into your nose, whether you like it or not, and it tends to linger long after you’ve left the swamp. In the smell, you can sense the old age of the water, the different types of mold that creeps along tree roots, the green muck that adorns the backs of the gators you pass by—their beady eyes lit up in the light of my lamp, glowing like dying coals.

Swamps, to put it nicely, are disgusting. Places to go and stay stagnant. Places to be when one wants to smell what dying is like. Places that have nothing new to offer.

Places that hold old, old waters.

And the old beasts that come with them.

Continue reading “Swamp Thing”

No Fool

“And? What did you end up telling him?”

“Hmm? The merchant?”

“Yes! What did you end up telling him?”

I was desperate to know.

Lorent smiled at me, taking a sip from his goblet—gold glinting wickedly off his irises as he took his time.

He sipped, and he grinned. Wicked, like a sidhe cat, before he spoke. Continue reading “No Fool”

Drift

For eons, we’ve been like this.

Striving for ways to go faster. To do things better. What used to take us centuries now only take a few minutes. With the help of our machines, we can speed things up. Skip through time. We can cheat the system. Grow crops in days. Cook food in seconds.

Reach the stars.

That’s what we were always clambering for. To be able to walk other planets. Rove through asteroid belts. Brush against the stars. Going fast—moving at the speed of light—that was the only way to achieve that.

And we did.

Centuries ago, we did.

And it wasn’t enough.

It’ll never be enough.

Faster, faster.

Faster.

We always have to go faster.

Sometimes, I think it’d just be nice to…

Turn the power off.

Slow down a little.

Drift. Continue reading “Drift”

When We Fall Apart

“It’s falling apart.”

“It’s always been falling apart.” As I walk away from the glass dome, I poke him in the head, doing my best to smile as I call him, “silly goose.”

And then, I feel it.

The ship gets rocked with the blast. With fire cracking tectonic plates to bits. Crumbling lives, calling for rescue. A million things left behind.

Destroyed.

I feel the shockwave. Tremors of love and loss. Of desperation and pain. Of joy.

Of hope.

Beneath the glass dome of the ship, he stands and watches as it happens, and I can’t blame him for not looking away.

The world beneath us burns. Continue reading “When We Fall Apart”

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”

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”