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”

Failure to Fly

Sky blue.

I remember being young and seeing it from afar. That infinite mass of cool, kind blue. Watching as they rose to meet it—soaring far above me. Touching the white fluff as they went. Seeking out that calm, soft blue.

Steady.

Beautiful.

Accepting.

That blue that spoke for days upon days about the grandness of the heavens, the glory of the skies.

When I was young, I remember looking up and watching. Mesmerized as the others rose, greeting that serene baby blue.

And I remember thinking:

One day, I won’t just be looking.

One day, I’ll reach it, too.

That’s what wings are for, after all.

Reaching for the sky.

Continue reading “Failure to Fly”

Chimaera

Glowing yellow eyes.

Glistening teeth set to snarl, to snap.

Fur bristling, angry to the touch. Pointed, directed. Speaking clearly.

Stay away.

It bunches up its shoulders, the massive beast. I see more pink flesh as its lips pull further back, pearly in the moonlight. It’s jaw is slightly ajar, drool beginning to pool at the sides of its mouth.

Against its tongue.

Dripping from its massive, sharp teeth.

It snarls again, the sound jagged as it rips through the air. Warning me once more.

Stay away.

The beast’s claws snap a branch, reminding me that there’s more to him than fang and fur. More damage he can do. More ways than one to skin a cat, so to speak.

But I see what lies under the snarls, too.

Under the bristling fur, there’s a softer coat.

Those eyes that rove the landscape behind me, that sift through the trees, they’re not just suspicious, not just threatening.

They’re scared. Continue reading “Chimaera”

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”

Melody Beyond Imagination

There was a quiet song.

A lull in the void.

Static that, when focused, became edging. Drawing. Alluring. A song that gave promise to stars, and hope to blackholes. It punched through the continuum with gusto, displaying feasts and boasting of something sturdy on the edge of the horizon, something soft lurking at the very back of space itself. A river coaxing the fish out to something bigger, something better. A creek hidden in the foliage. A place to replenish when depleted.

There was a quiet song in the universe. One that I thought I heard only in my dreams.

But, that wasn’t so.

The song was real.

And it was beautiful.

It was loud.

And it was true to its word.

The song I followed into the universe…

It was you.

All along, there was only the one source. The one promise. Just the one.

It was you. Continue reading “Melody Beyond Imagination”

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”

Battle Born

I can feel the wind.

I have seen the clouds form and break. Seen the sky crack and crush thousands. Watched the earth shatter and split, spilling hundreds of lives right into the abyss. I have heard the war cries, heard the drums, the clanking of shields and the splintering of spears. Watched the dark beasts rise, and seen the dragons of blood and bone call us to Hades’s grip.

I have seen all these things. Watched death vomit its curse up, over whole fields, whole towns, whole cities.

I have seen many, many battles.

Fought in many long wars.

I can feel the wind rise, and die. It’s breath becomes just a whisper on my skin.

Dying out.

Just like the rest of us.

Just like me.

I have won this battle, but…

I don’t think I’ll win another.

I’m done for. Continue reading “Battle Born”

Bone Dragon

It rose.

From the dark that separated the lava’s dim light and myself. Rose up, from the burning earth. A tan color, singed at the edges, that poked through the folds of red, glowing earth. It rose steadily, meaningfully. It’s sockets were empty, dark. I could feel death seeping from them. Hades itself spilling from the empty holes.

It rose.

The bone dragon.

Continue reading “Bone Dragon”

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”

Be Still, Dark

Falling through the dark.

Face-first. Arms out. Stretching forward. Wanting to go deeper. Willing to dive further.

I didn’t fall as it wanted me to. As it’s tried so hard to get me to do. I didn’t stumble into the dark. Didn’t trip my way into this void. No, I didn’t fall.

I jumped.

I jumped into the darkness.

When it threatened to swallow me whole, I didn’t dare back down. Not this time. Not ever again. This has been going on for too long now. Weighed on me too heavily.

But no more.

I will not be afraid.

Continue reading “Be Still, Dark”