Faint of Heart

“It’s… eerie.”

Fog coated the ground, oozing from some unseen place. Skirting along our feet as it snaked its way over the dead, dry ground. Souring the earth further with its muggy breath, leaving a chill to nip at my spine as leisurely as it pleased.

I hated it.

Honestly, I did.

This place…

You could hear something in the air. Whispering to you. Or maybe it was something yelling. Screaming. I couldn’t be sure. It was just a whimper of a sound, nothing more. Skating by my ear so quickly, so quietly, that I couldn’t be sure what it was.

Except:

It sounded pained.

Agonized.

The trees here were decrepit. Creepy. All gnarled, knobby branches. Naked and lifeless. Dragging their twigs across the air like tiny, desperate, old hands. Clawing their way out of the bark—

It was eerie.

Very eerie, indeed.

At my remark, The Master scoffed. His glowing purple eyes were hard to decipher usually, but, in that moment, I saw something clearly within them.

Doubt.

“If you find this eerie, you’re going to want to stop now. There isn’t a single thing about what I do that isn’t eerie, creepy, or grotesque. You might as well quit while you’re ahead.”

But…

I didn’t.

Instead, I straightened my shoulders. Ignored the voices. Got a firmer grip on the bag I carried.

And followed The Master into The Grave. Continue reading “Faint of Heart”

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”

Night Drives: Tips and Tricks

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.

Well-versed indeed.

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”

What The Smoke Says

When I see the red smoke, I count the tendrils.

Every time.

And, every time, the number is smaller. The smoke climbing higher. The days drawing closer.

They will come for me.

Three tendrils.

Two tendrils.

Tomorrow.

They will come for me.

And, when they do, I’ll be waiting.

I’ll be waiting. Continue reading “What The Smoke Says”

Spirit of Halloween

Cold wind bristles the trees. Leaves scatter as the children move like sheep, walking from house to house. Collecting their treats.

Not understanding.

Cute princesses and adorable pirates. Kids dressed as faux vampires, scruffy werewolves, and pop-star zombies. Silly costumes, trivial things.

Things that won’t trick.

Not in the slightest.

They’ve no idea why they’re dressing up. What the goal is.

But I do.

I know.

And I partake properly.

Not because I’m stingy. Or because I’m some crazy “purist”. But because I know.

I believe.

Tonight—and tonight only—it’s happening. They’re here.

They’re out.

Continue reading “Spirit of Halloween”

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”

Heart of the Jungle

A jungle is no place for the faint of heart. No place for someone who doesn’t know—doesn’t accept—the law of the jungle.

Predators are kings.

And everyone else?

Prey.

Continue reading “Heart of the Jungle”

Submerged

Captain’s Log: Day 3212.

We found it. We finally found The Mission. We’ll be climbing aboard soon, doing our best to glean what we can from the surveillance and from the wreckage. But, we know it’s alive.

The Mission…

It’s still here.  Continue reading “Submerged”