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.
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”
Whiskey burns the back of my throat as I exhale, settling my gaze on the placid man before me.
A shadow of what he was before.
Because, before, he had light. Had life. Something to look forward to. Something to hold on to. Back then, he thought he was tough-shit. Thought he was the bee’s knees. The cat’s meow. Thought he was something better than the rest of us, stepping on anyone and everyone to get his way. Rabidly pursuing any who thought differently, who dared to try and make him face fact.
Before, he was confident.
Stood proud. Stood tall.
Now he cowers, a glare dying in the corner of his eye. Weak, because he knows.
I am the one who snuffed that light.
The one he should’ve left alone.
The one creature that he wasn’t tougher than.
I was the one who showed him that he wasn’t anything special. That he was no bigger than a sneeze. And, I’ll be the one to seal his fate, too.
To steal the son. Continue reading “Consequences”
It isn’t about how strong the thing is.
It’s not about the body. Not about the mind. Not about the heart.
It’s not about that at all.
It’s all about the spirit.
Strength of the spirit, to be precise.
How strong is a thing’s spirit? That’s what decides what it becomes. Who it becomes.
Who it challenges.
Who it takes.
Who falls for its cunning.
The strength of your spirit decides whether you fall for the voice.
Or not. Continue reading “Strength of Spirit”
It wasn’t safe.
It had never been safe.
As I stare at the climbing trees and listen to the birds toss their remarks back and forth, I realize that.
It’s never been safe here.
And, honestly, I think I knew that all along. Because, really:
This is a jungle, after all.
A burning jungle. Continue reading “Burning Jungle”
When I was younger, the sea terrified me. Almost always, but, especially:
It seemed so… endless. So dark. Like a void had opened at the other end of the horizon, and, should I decide to set sail, I would be the one falling end over end into oblivion. When I looked at the sea at night, I could see nothing but dim stars. Heard nothing but never-ending waves, an ocean that never relented. Out there, on the open ocean, you were at the mercy of the dark sky. Completely at a loss should a storm sweep you under its wings.
And that’s how scared I was before I ever thought about what was out there. What could be lurking beneath the waters. What horrors sat under the surface, waiting for a chance to strike.
When it finally occurred to me, my cowardice increased tenfold.
The sea, and its monsters…
They were fierce, I knew that.
Back then, when I looked at the ocean, all I could feel was the fear. Overwhelming. Suffocating.
When I was younger, I was terrified. Too terrified to ever leave my home. That sinkhole of an island. Back then, I thought the quicksand was safer.
These open waters?
These lurking monsters?
This black hole horizon?
They will be mine.
Continue reading “Sea Monster”
When the cat split—it’s head growing, morphing, slowly tripling all of its features—that’s when I realized:
It probably wasn’t a cat. Continue reading “Splitting the Difference”
The landscape is loud.
Colors and shapes and shadows all merging together. Creating one giant, mess of a landscape. Vomiting rainbow pastels and flowers that bloomed with a literal burst. Busying your eyes with trying to sift through the strangeness. The colors this planet tries to portray as “natural”. Bright blues, and vivid pinks. A forest that visually screams.
This place feels so…
And yet, as I walk on, I can feel it. It’s palpable. If I wanted to, I could reach out and touch it, that’s how strong it is. How apparent.
Silence. Continue reading “Consuming Silence”
My grandfather was a trucker. Often, he’d be on the road for days at a time, sleeping in his truck for the sake of saving a penny. He traveled from coast to coast, in places that are well-known, and places that are completely unknown. From New York to the River Canto, sitting outside of Third City’s walls. My grandpa was a great trucker, and a well-versed traveler.
He took some notes about driving at night—doing long hauls. He wanted to make sure his family knew the dangers of driving at night, as well as the importance of a few—at the time—little-known tips and tricks.
Here are his notes:
Continue reading “Night Drives: Tips and Tricks”
I cleave the building.
Split it in two.
It crumbles, the giant skyscraper. Creaking like an ancient door, cracking like lightning. All of its stories falling, echoing thunder. The building roars as it falls, and people run from it. Completely terrified.
But I don’t stop.
I don’t stop.
I throw another bolt of lightning. Shake the earth with a kick. Yell, and the foundations all shake.
I am not done destroying, not yet.
I won’t be done for quite some time.
This must all come crashing down, you see. These terrors and raging beasts. The creatures that carve out destruction, that lay waste to each other and the beasts of this earth.
I won’t stop until they’re all gone.
Until all this ends.
Until there is nothing but a clean slate left.
This all must end. Continue reading “Beginning”
Whenever I passed the bog, I made sure to avert my eyes. Made sure to walk quietly, move quickly. When possible, I avoided the bog. Skipped that part of the woods altogether.
No one told me that it was dangerous. Nobody explained what lurked in the water. What kind of things belonged to bogs. No one had to. I just knew:
I didn’t want to find out. Continue reading “Bog Monster”