Devil’s Well

I’m not a people person. Everyone in this desolate wasteland of a town knows it. It’s glaringly obvious. Like an old oak standing alone in the desert. This town is small enough that they all know I’m gruff. Grumpy, even. A little surly. But, that’s only because I don’t interact with people much. I’m harmless really, but still.

Yeah, I’m not a people person.

But, who can blame me?

When this is the price to be paid for interacting with others…

If this is what comes attached with people…

Why would I be a people person? Continue reading “Devil’s Well”

Hunter in Progress

“Ugh, disgusting. It smells like a thousand pigs ate a bunch of muck, died, and then gave birth to zombie-rats.”

Honestly, it was a fairly accurate description.

I nodded, wading through the muck. Listening intently for what I was looking for. Not wanting to disturb the sewer more than we already had.

But, of course:

The rookie was completely unaware.

“So, what are we looking for, exactly? I mean should we—”

I spun. Heel digging into something grotesque as I did. Shotgun pointed just to the left of the newbie.

I sighed.

A sound that became menacing through my mask’s filter.

“Listen Bucky, I know this is your first time out in the field, and I get that you’re excited, but, do us both a favor: zip it. Alright?”

He looked a bit hurt at that, but said nothing.

Good.

“Just take note of everything you see, and I’ll take questions at the end, alright? I’ll tell you what’s important afterward.”

“Uh, okay?”

“It’ll be a good way to tell if you’ve got what it takes to stay alive in this job, too. So don’t flub it up,” I ordered, turning and marching off into the muck.

“Wait,” I heard him mutter. And then, louder—in a faux-whisper—he said, “What does it take?”

“Details,” I muttered, intent. Listening.

Ah.

There.

A sound ricocheted off the wall. Pricking my ears with alarm.

I cocked my gun, pointed it like a bloodhound on the trail.

“And guts,” I finished telling him.

Before I marched further into the sewer.

Continue reading “Hunter in Progress”

Lion Rising

Rise.

I’ll never forget the last words of that man. The one who stood above the rest. Who called himself a man, while others claimed him a hero. He was the type of man that would stoop to tie your shoe for you, even if you were older than five. The type of guy who didn’t mind picking trash out of parking lots, even if no one asked. He was the type of guy who listened before he spoke, thought before he acted, and only raised his voice to shout encouragement.

Rise.

It was only one word.

In the end though, that’s all I needed to him from him.  Continue reading “Lion Rising”

Dark Secrets

“It’s not that bad this time, I swear.”

“Oh yeah? Well, I guess that could be true. I mean, compared to last time, anyhow. That was really bad.”

“It wasn’t—!—it wasn’t that bad,” I finished, my fire downed down as I mumbled the words.

Really, last time had been awful.

Just not as awful as it could have been, that’s all.

Which didn’t matter. Not now, not then, not in the future. Bad is still bad, right? And, either way, Howard didn’t know how bad it could get.

He just knew this was bad. Continue reading “Dark Secrets”

Rubble Rouser

I’ve always had a lot of fight in my bones.

When I was born, they say I picked my head up. Yep. Right out the womb, I had my whits about me. Had to have a look. Had to squirm, had to move. If I could’ve, I probably would’ve punched out at someone. Hit ’em square in the jaw or something. Anything, really.

Because I’ve always—always—had a lot of fight in my bones.

Always.

And, if you were born with something in your bones, you might as well be remembered for it.

Right?

Continue reading “Rubble Rouser”

Holes

There are inevitable things in this world.

Sunlight. Day. Night. Rain. Air. Water.

Things that exist, and persist. Things that keep going, and that keep the world going. There are things that spin onward, regardless of our hand in them.

There are questions.

And there are answers.

But, occasionally…

There are questions without answers.

And that’s a big difference. Continue reading “Holes”

Lost in the Jungle

You’ve always thought that the wild was out there. That it was escapable. Something you could hide from or shy away from. Something tangible. Something you could go out looking for or avoid entirely.

It’s not.

That’s not how it works at all.

You don’t move into the jungle.

The jungle moves into you. Continue reading “Lost in the Jungle”

Spin

Sandhill cranes are seriously strange creatures. They’re freakishly tall, have extremely pointy beaks, and are lankier than a teenage Gumby.

But they’re also interesting.

Sure, they sound like velociraptors, and I’d never go near one, not even to save my own life, but they generally travel in pairs.

Honestly, it’s kind of cool to watch them walk around together. Keeping pace with one another. Taking off together.

Unless, of course, they’re heading toward you. Making angry raptor noises. Flapping their wings.

Then it’s kind of scary.

But I like their dedication. The way they look out for one another.

They don’t move on without their pair.

And that’s something I can wrap my head around. Continue reading “Spin”

Across the War

Wars do not have happy endings.

I don’t care if your side won or lost. If your people got what they wanted or not. If you benefitted or not. It doesn’t matter.

For someone, even on the winning side, something was lost.

And that usually means a life.

Regardless of what you won from the war, there were losses. Losses of grand proportions. Losses of life.

And, for some, that’s too much to lose.

War is tragic. War is a divider. War is a killer.

Just because you survive doesn’t mean everything is good.

Yeah…

Things still aren’t good. Continue reading “Across the War”