Consequences

Whiskey burns the back of my throat as I exhale, settling my gaze on the placid man before me.

A shadow of what he was before.

Because, before, he had light. Had life. Something to look forward to. Something to hold on to. Back then, he thought he was tough-shit. Thought he was the bee’s knees. The cat’s meow. Thought he was something better than the rest of us, stepping on anyone and everyone to get his way. Rabidly pursuing any who thought differently, who dared to try and make him face fact.

Before, he was confident.

Stood proud. Stood tall.

But, now…

Now?

Now he cowers, a glare dying in the corner of his eye. Weak, because he knows.

I am the one who snuffed that light.

The one he should’ve left alone.

The one creature that he wasn’t tougher than.

I was the one who showed him that he wasn’t anything special. That he was no bigger than a sneeze. And, I’ll be the one to seal his fate, too.

To steal the son. Continue reading “Consequences”

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”

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”

Woven Fate

Knitting is no easy task.

It requires a lot of forethought, a lot of focus. A lot of careful analysis of what you’re doing, and when.

Or, you could not care. Knit whatever you knit. Be it mittens or blankets or hats. You could be careless with the color scheme, careless with design, careless with how tight the cloth was bound. You could be careless.

But that’s not the way of fate.

Continue reading “Woven Fate”

Devil’s Well

I’m not a people person. Everyone in this desolate wasteland of a town knows it. It’s glaringly obvious. Like an old oak standing alone in the desert. This town is small enough that they all know I’m gruff. Grumpy, even. A little surly. But, that’s only because I don’t interact with people much. I’m harmless really, but still.

Yeah, I’m not a people person.

But, who can blame me?

When this is the price to be paid for interacting with others…

If this is what comes attached with people…

Why would I be a people person? Continue reading “Devil’s Well”

Dragon’s Fire

A dark story about murder, and also, complacency.

The first time I saw him for what he was, it was nighttime.

I was out for a smoke on the porch. Enjoying the summery breeze. Listening to the cicadas scream and the owls give the occasion protest. I was smoking, imbibing in my worst habit.

One of my worst, anyway.

When I was halfway through my smoke, he pulled up in his red pickup. Pulled up, parked, turned off his headlights. Got out with a fire under his ass, moving real quick, his movements clipped in a way that showed his focus. His extremely narrow intent.

He pulled something out of the back. Slammed the tailgate down, dragged something out, then slammed it back up.

And dragged it.

A burlap sack that was large. Quite large. Probably weighed a buck fifty or so. Maybe more. A sack that, as he dragged it up to his porch, was illuminated by his motion sensor light. A sack that, once in full view, looked as though it might stand at about five foot five. A sack that looked long as he dragged it. Lumpy. A sack that was not just the dingy brown of burlap.

But it was blotched with shades of red.

Red that ran out of the sack, up his porch.

Red that stained the ground with dark streaks of pooling liquid.

Red that was coming, most certainly, from whatever was within the sack.

I saw what he was then.

Saw him for what he truly was on that humid summer night.

At his front door, he paused. Turned sideways. Noticed me.

I nodded to him, nearly done with my smoke.

“Hot out tonight, ain’t it?” I asked him.

His face was… hollow then. Shut off. As if none of his skin were real. All of his bones were blades under the thin facade.

He nodded to me. “Too hot, I’d say.”

“Definitely,” I agreed. “I best be getting inside, much too hot out here for me. Not like anything interesting is going on anyway. Goodnight.”

I put my cigarette stub in the ash tray.

Walked inside.

Locked my door.

And, that night, I shut my eyes. Went right to sleep. Because, even though I saw him for what he was, I figured:

Why poke the dragon? Continue reading “Dragon’s Fire”

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”

Lost Passion

The world moves onward.

That’s what we know. If nothing else is certain, there is that one, tiny, constant.

The world moves onward.

There was a time when we ravaged the land. When we raided from the sky. When humans fought us with all their might, because of our inner fire. Because we…

We were other.

Not part of them.

There was a time when we soared. When we fought alongside the people. When we weighed mountains in hand and cast them aside, simply for the sake of making bridges. To give peace, or to bring prosperity. Humans praised us. Thanked us. Loved us dearly.

Both places exist in time.

As old as they are, they exist.

Both times exist.

Though not in this place.

Because this time is a different time. Separated from the previous. This time is the time that is in the future. The time that is forward.

This is the time in which the world has moved onward.

Forgotten.

But.

We have not forgotten.

We remember.

We move forward.
Continue reading “Lost Passion”

Facing Fall

There is a time and a place for everything they say.

And, if that’s true, then the time and the place at which something happens is meaningful, has purpose. I don’t know if it’s because the stars align, or the moon gravitates to our souls, or if it’s because someone sneezed, and that sneeze was the most important exhale that humanity has ever heard. I have no idea why things are important, why they take place when they take place.

But they do take place, in times and at certain places, for a reason.

Placement. Time.

Opportunity.

They’re oh-so important.

Things happen when they happen for a reason.

There is a reason. Continue reading “Facing Fall”

Whole Pieces

It was not a complete painting.

Everyone says that. Tells me that all the time. Nearly everyone who walks by the painting, tells me:

It’s missing a vital piece.

But, you know what?

You’re not the artist.

I am.

And that missing piece?

The one everyone so desperately wishes were still there?

It’s not what you think. Continue reading “Whole Pieces”