Wash Out

I can feel you blinding me.

Brilliant, bright light. White against my eyes. Draining the color from the world, eating away the perspective. It seeps, that fluorescence, dragging my vision out from behind my eyelids. Merciless, as you try to disarm me. As you try to cripple me. As you try to force me to yield.

As you force me to face the light.

It’s…

Deplorable.

Senseless.

You suck the color out of everything.

You know that, right?

It’s harrowing, what you do. Pointless.

Cruel.

I’d much rather have washed out colors than this. Rather have nothing—have total darkness, because at least darkness can have variation. At least you can adjust to darkness.

This complete white-out though…

It’s tasteless.

A dull, pale void.

Don’t you think?

I know why you do it.

To desensitize me.

At least, you try.

I think that, in the end, it does the exact opposite of what you intend it to do. Rather than let it wash over me—bleed me out, make me blinding as the sun, blinding as you are—I cling tighter to my shadows. Grip tightening around the dark.

When you combat me with that vivid, piercing light, I don’t give in. Not an inch.

I fight back. Continue reading “Wash Out”

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”

Armored Dragon

“You could be brave.”

“I could be.”

“You could be strong.”

“I could be.”

“And you could be the champion.”

“I could be the champion.”

“So then… why not?”

I can’t help but laugh a little at how incredulous he sounds. How perplexed. It would make no sense to him, being a former champion and all, but:

It makes sense to me.

Turning from the ring of fighters, I walk away as I tell him.

“Not all things that could, should.”

Besides.

I have better things to do than win titles.

I have a king to slay. Continue reading “Armored Dragon”

All For Cause

In a world teeming with superheroes, the term “villain” gets tossed around too much. Applied way too often.

And, normally, it gets applied where it isn’t applicable at all.

What makes a hero a better than a good Samaritan? Better than a good citizen? More than just someone doing the right thing?

The answer might surprise you if you’ve never thought about it.

Additionally, the answer mirrors the answer to the question:

What separates a villain from a criminal? Someone nefarious? A no-good person? Someone who’s rotten?

What separates them? Where do we draw the line?

What’s the difference?

If you’ve never thought about it before…

Well.

I’m sure the answer will surprise you. Continue reading “All For Cause”

Stealing Stars

The sky was blackening, the exact reverse of a whiteout. All of it going dark, simmering away into nothing. Wisp-like. Smoke-like. Stars winking out all over the damned place. Giving in, giving up, giving out.

And he stood there, smirking. Eyes hollows, empty holes. Eviscerating anything that dared venture closer to those dismal openings. That hellish hunger.

He stood there smirking, beneath the dying stars.

And I stood there, too.

Glaring.

Staring him down.

Unafraid.

If this is the end… then…

So be it.

I’ll use it all—I’ll use everything.

I’ll give it everything I’ve got.

I won’t go down so easily.

I will fight.

Continue reading “Stealing Stars”

A Call From the Dark

For a long time, I tried not to remember. Because remembering was dangerous. Could lead me back to it. To that lurking feeling. What waits in the shadows. That knowledge.

It was him.

It is him.

He’s here too.

For a long time, I tried to forget that.

But sometimes…

Sometimes he just…

He takes over. Continue reading “A Call From the Dark”

Nightwalker

The thing about being a Nightwalker is:

You have to face the terror.

Visceral, pounding blood. Bones that crack beneath the weight of too much adrenaline. An impending knowledge that you, among these toothy tombs, are as strong as a twig against a mighty wind.

You are a Nightwalker. One who walks through the dreams of the despairing. Who can clamber up, and down—move among the dwelling horrors of the twilight hour.

A Nightwalker sees a nightmare.

And he can’t look away.

A Nightwalker, in order to survive, must keep moving. Must keep burning. Must keep fighting.

You must face the terror.

Or:

Perish. Continue reading “Nightwalker”

Kings and Thrones

A king is only as strong as his throne.

That’s why the Right of Kings is so important. Such a special, meaningful occasion. It’s a way for the king to make a declaration to the people. For him to show what it is that he’s about. What kind of ruler he will be.

The Right of Kings is when the king reveals his throne to the people. A throne that is of his own choosing, his own design, because, as I’ve said:

A king is only as strong as his throne.

And my throne?

It will be the strongest of all.

Continue reading “Kings and Thrones”

Battle Hound

He looked…

Rough, I guess.

That’s a light word for it, but that’s the only one I can think of. Scars dragging along his face, shattering the color of his eyes. Creating the most piercing stare I’ve ever seen, all wrapped up in sharp teeth and a snarl.

“You the new rider?” he asked, voice rumbling like a rock falling off a mountain.

“Yes,” I told him levelly. Proud of myself for looking him in the eye.

He snorted, though I’m not sure what it meant.

He said, “Then I guess I’m your wolf.”

Continue reading “Battle Hound”

Fixin’

Incomplete.

Which, in their book, translated to:

Obsolete.

Useless.

Worthless.

They were going to throw me out. As if I were trash.

As if I weren’t human.

Weren’t alive.

They were going to throw me out because I’d somehow become “incomplete”.

That’s how they saw it.

But, luckily for me, they weren’t the only ones looking. Continue reading “Fixin’”