Rise Again

For a while, I believed I was forgotten. That my skill and my hammer and my forge were all lost, somewhere beyond myths and legends. Dark in the minds of man. For a while, I believed that they’d stopped telling the tale. Stopped speaking of my works. For a while, I thought I’d never have another visitor.

And then, he showed up.

Him.

And when he walked into my forge, he knew where he was going. What he was doing. I realized then that it wasn’t a matter of being forgotten, but, rather, a matter of being feared.

Why else would you memorize a land not of your own?

For the sake of keeping your head, yes?

As he approached my forge, his eyes shifted around the room. Cataloguing everything in sight. Ready for something to pounce, to jump at him. To make an attempt on his life.

He walked into my forge—my home—fearful.

Terrified.

Determined, and yet:

Very much afraid.

…good.

At least they’ve got that much right.

My works are nothing to scoff at. My hands building only the finest of beasts. My forge brutal, a fire that shows no mercy.

Mercy makes for weak metal, anyway.

For making creatures that are not-quite-so-mythical beasts.

There is no room for a cool fire.

Not in my forge.

He walked in, afraid, and yet…

He knew exactly what he wanted.

Though I don’t think he realized what kind of hell I’d have to make first, in order for him to get it.

Ha.

Foolish mortals. Continue reading “Rise Again”

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”

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”

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”

Flying, Falling, and The In-Between

It’s not that I’m afraid.

…I’m not.

…really, I’m not.

It’s just that…

Well.

What happens if it doesn’t work? What happens if I fall and I don’t catch myself?

What happens if I jump, and don’t fly?

Continue reading “Flying, Falling, and The In-Between”

Ghost Fire

It was on fire.

Again.

In an instant, the smoke alarm was protesting. Yelling at me from above. Judging, like a tiny, angry, petty god. Screeching before I could fix my mistake. Refusing me a chance to right my wrong.

Waking my mentor.

Disheveled, he burst through the door—his bluish white hair all askew, and his beard half-smushed from sleep—his eyes going wide when he saw the scene before him. When he saw the flames, and smoke, and chagrined look on my face.

“Damnit Beatrice, I told you: no summoning fire-sprits! And definitely not in the house!”

“Yes sir,” I intoned, saddened as he grabbed the fire extinguisher.

And, with one blast of continuous white fog, he put the fire out.

Dispelling the spirit. Continue reading “Ghost Fire”

The Stellar Path

“How can you be sure that that’s the right path?”

When she asks, her eyes are focused far off. Lingering in the dark. Clinging to the blank spots in space that neither of us can see into. That neither of us—her, with her newfound knowledge, and me, with my vast experiences—can see into.

We are blind out there in those places.

Tucked between the stars.

The darkness that those places are purveying.

But not winning.

Not if you don’t want it to.

That’s what I can see in her eyes as she looks. Not curiosity. Not wonder.

Fear.

I shake my head at her. Already, she has made a critical error.

You don’t look between the stars for knowledge.

You look there for guidance. Continue reading “The Stellar Path”

Burning Oceans and Scorching Seas

A blinding light that takes over the horizon. That singes the sky. Smoke tendrils curl upward, clawing at the night. Blotting out stars with its thick, angry grasp. With its red hues that dust the bottom of the skyline. That, when followed to its source, turn into something brighter. Something insistent.

Something more.

This is what we’ve avoided for so long. These burning seas and darkening skies. This lethargic smoke that curls slowly, cruelly, toward the heavens. Humans have steered clear of the edge of the world for so long. Have been afraid of it.

And this is why.

What can we do against seas of fire?

Against black angry skies?

What can we do with such light?

What can we do?

Is it worth it? Whatever lies beyond, is it something to be used? Something we’d want to find?

Who can we find in the throes of this hell? Continue reading “Burning Oceans and Scorching Seas”

Wings of Disbelief

If there was one thing in this world that I believed, it was:

Nothing should be believed wholeheartedly.

If you believed in something with all your heart—be it someone else, like a friend or a spouse, or be it a creature like the Loch Ness Monster, ligers, or the Tooth Fairy—it made you a bigger target for hurt. For disappointment.

Never believe in something with all your heart.

It’s safer that way.

Plus, who believed in anything with all their heart? That’s just… weird. Bizarre. A completely foreign concept.

How could anyone be so confident?

So wholly certain?

You have to have a little bit of doubt… right? Continue reading “Wings of Disbelief”

What the Star Brought

Everything is constant. Moving forward, and never backward. Progressing toward an end that no one can see, that none of us know in any quantifiable extent.

Everything moves on.

Onward, though not always upward.

Unfortunately, for me.

Not always upward. Continue reading “What the Star Brought”