No Fool

“And? What did you end up telling him?”

“Hmm? The merchant?”

“Yes! What did you end up telling him?”

I was desperate to know.

Lorent smiled at me, taking a sip from his goblet—gold glinting wickedly off his irises as he took his time.

He sipped, and he grinned. Wicked, like a sidhe cat, before he spoke. Continue reading “No Fool”

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”

Drift

For eons, we’ve been like this.

Striving for ways to go faster. To do things better. What used to take us centuries now only take a few minutes. With the help of our machines, we can speed things up. Skip through time. We can cheat the system. Grow crops in days. Cook food in seconds.

Reach the stars.

That’s what we were always clambering for. To be able to walk other planets. Rove through asteroid belts. Brush against the stars. Going fast—moving at the speed of light—that was the only way to achieve that.

And we did.

Centuries ago, we did.

And it wasn’t enough.

It’ll never be enough.

Faster, faster.

Faster.

We always have to go faster.

Sometimes, I think it’d just be nice to…

Turn the power off.

Slow down a little.

Drift. Continue reading “Drift”

When We Fall Apart

“It’s falling apart.”

“It’s always been falling apart.” As I walk away from the glass dome, I poke him in the head, doing my best to smile as I call him, “silly goose.”

And then, I feel it.

The ship gets rocked with the blast. With fire cracking tectonic plates to bits. Crumbling lives, calling for rescue. A million things left behind.

Destroyed.

I feel the shockwave. Tremors of love and loss. Of desperation and pain. Of joy.

Of hope.

Beneath the glass dome of the ship, he stands and watches as it happens, and I can’t blame him for not looking away.

The world beneath us burns. Continue reading “When We Fall Apart”

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”

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”

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”

When the Sky Opened Up

It was the end of the world, they said.

Burning acid rain spewed from the hole the sun had bitten into the atmosphere, searing the surface of the planet. Scorching a line across the equator, merciless as it combed its rays over the land closest to it. More than likely, to the sun, the lands at the equator felt like an offering—so close, so dense, so populated.

Lots of people lost their lives that day.

Lots.

And yet, somehow…

We survived.

Mankind, as a whole, I mean.

Honestly, everyone thought that that would be the end of it. When the sky opened up, nobody expected to survive—no one. We thought that was it for all of us. That the planet was doomed.

But.

Clearly:

That wasn’t the case.

That day, I stood, watching the sky. Feeling the heat waves engulf the planet. Rolling over us, though we were so far north—so far from the sun’s gaze. I stood and saw the glare, the sweltering fingers that razed the land, that evaporated portions of the ocean, that decimated our numbers.

I saw it.

I saw the sky open up.

And, just as it was then, it’s the same now:

I’m not afraid. Continue reading “When the Sky Opened Up”

We Wicked Few

You could hear it.

Thumping along the tracks. Churning out noise, cracking along. Rattling wood, bones.

Chains.

“Sing louder,” I muttered.

They’re coming.

The train—

It’s almost here.

I can feel it rocking the building. A great beast that comes calling. That roars, again and again, every week. Knocking into our shack, demanding to be heard—that it not be ignored.

It’s coming.

Sing louder. Continue reading “We Wicked Few”

Last Hope or the Edge of the World

There was an island.

Lonely, isolated. Off to the east, right before the world dropped, there was an island. A waypoint.

Last Hope, they called it.

A place where one could turn back, turn away from the edge of the world.

If you let yourself survive it. Continue reading “Last Hope or the Edge of the World”