Lingering Awareness

Awareness is a commodity. Not something that everyone has. It’s a skill that can’t really be learned, so much as grown. If you aren’t born with an innate sense of awareness, then it takes years—years—to cultivate. And, believe me, it’s a skill that you want. Something you should aspire to acquire. A skill that is quite useful.

How so?

Well, the very nature of awareness is useful.

Awareness is the feeling of someone’s eyes watching you. Knowing there’s something lurking in the shadows. Awareness gives you sense enough not to walk into a dark alley in the middle of the night. To keep your distance from groups of strangers. To cross the street when there’s a ruckus up ahead. Awareness is the thing that keeps you—in most accounts—alive. If it weren’t for awareness, you’d simply walk into any dark corner and never make it back out. Awareness is knowing that you are not always the hunter. Sometimes, you are the prey. Awareness is what gives you a mind to think proactively in your own defense.

Quite a useful thing, if you ask me.

However.

There is a point.

A threshold.

A place where awareness deepens. Sinks into the very fabric of your soul. Causes your sense to dive further.

Awareness can keep you alive, yes.

But.

It’s not always a gift. Continue reading “Lingering Awareness”

Spill

The river runs, and it runs, and it runs.

Right through the building. Washing over every floor. Coating all the walls, and filling every hall.

The river runs.

Black tar, river runs.

It builds on the walls. Closes off the doorways. Makes open and shut impossible for them. For us.

For you.

Time is running.

Running river, black tar.

Run from the river. The river is running for you.

It runs for you.

Run, run, run from the river.

Run. Continue reading “Spill”

Demon in the Mattress

Used furniture is never a good idea.

I told her that. I definitely, absolutely told her that. You have no idea what happened on that couch. No idea what kind of creepy-crawlies could be lurking inside that cabinet.

But, what does she do?

Does she listen to me?

No, of course not.

She goes out and buys a used mattress.

used mattress.

How the hell am I supposed to sleep? Huh? How can I sleep not knowing?

How can I sleep when the mattress moves?

How am I supposed to live with that? Continue reading “Demon in the Mattress”

Bone Reckoning

It wasn’t raining. Wasn’t night. The sun was shining through the window, beaming through the curtains to bring him the slightest ounce of light.

He didn’t want it.

He had no right.

A monster, a beast. The blood stained his house, beckoned at every door. He’d hunted, and he’d trapped, and he’d ripped them to shreds. Threw out their peace to bring favor for their dead.

No.

The light was not his. Certainly, he had no right.

He picked up his pen, squinting at the sun. The thoughts haunting him, the terror of night.

And with his thoughts swirling, the dead rising in their call.

He began to write:

Journal entry 74, book 1189.

More than likely, this is my last entry. I hope to survive this ordeal, but I don’t believe I will.

If God is true, and just, and mighty, then I will not.

If God is truly mighty, then surely:

I must die. Continue reading “Bone Reckoning”

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”

Discussions at Camp

I’ve heard it said that there are two types of stories to help us understand:

What is evil?

Everyone sits around the fireplace, surrounded by other young ones, and they watch and listen to the old man. The wise one. The guy with experience, with understanding. With battle scars. With knowledge. They sit and they listen.

And this is where the story diverges.

In the first version, the old man points into the forest. Into the wild. Into the dark night surrounding the campfire, encroaching on them. He points outward, toward nature. Toward the “other” in the world. Toward the unknowns that plague mankind through the dark.

Evil is out there.

That’s what he’ll tell the kids. He might talk of aliens, of demons, of monsters. He might talk about beasts or the paranormal. Either way, the story ends with them. With that thing. That creature. That entity.

The unknown.

That is what’s evil.

And the second type?

The second sort of story?

The other half of this tale of divergence? Continue reading “Discussions at Camp”

Of Monstrous Mind

There’s a lot of unknowns in this world. A lot of things that you’ll never be able to grasp, to understand.

But it really sucks when the thing you don’t know—the knowledge that’s most out of reach—is knowing who to trust.

Talk about complicated… Continue reading “Of Monstrous Mind”

Hell of my Own

“If we can make it to our rooms before the stairs disappear, we’ll be safe,” he said.

I wasn’t sure why I wasn’t expecting that.

All I know is that, for some stupid reason, I wasn’t.

I sighed.

“This house is a nightmare.”

Raph gave me one of his trademark chagrinned grins. “Yeah, I know.”

But, that was about all we could say.

In this hellscape, it was the only safe haven there was.

Despite the disappearing stairs, the bone monster in the basement, the random doors that impossibly led you back outside, and all the zombies that were corralled into the attic, it was the safest place here.

Which, says a lot. Continue reading “Hell of my Own”

An Inner Demon Speaks

There is rain and there is wind and there is fire in this world. And they rage and they roar and they drown us. They run rampant. Out of control. Everything you’ve built in your lifetime can be trampled entirely to dust so easily by these monstrosities. These natural foes that wage their wiles. These wiles that they impose on us.

And what can you do but drown?

But be blown away?

But burn?

And what can make things better? What can heal what the world itself breaks? What could possibly even hope to give you strength to move forward? To continue?

Hmm…

I wonder.

I look through the wind and the rain and the glass to see them sitting and laughing and I wonder.

I wonder… Continue reading “An Inner Demon Speaks”