Shooting For Normal

It was a rough day.

Six people had called in sick at work, four of my classes had their finals today, my car broke down, and now?

Now I have to do dishes.

And fix the broken lamp that my cat knocked over.

Great.

Sighing, I get out the broom and dustpan, ready to give in. Throw it all away.

And, in that small moment of weakness, I say it.

I say it.

“Okay Dad, you can come take me away any time now.”

It was a joke. One-hundred percent, I was joking.

But, wouldn’t you know it—

That’s sayings got some truth to it.

Speak of the devil.

Right? Continue reading “Shooting For Normal”

Boxed Value

The key to scavenging is:

Recognizing something with potential value.

If you’re ambling around a wrecked city, you can’t stop to look at everything. Wrecked cities are chock-full of nasties. Monsters that have been mutated, people that are hungry enough that they’ll eat anyone, falling debris. Havocked Cities—or, as we call them, HC’s—are extraordinarily dangerous. Especially if you’re unfamiliar with that planet’s history. And, as a scavenger, it’s not that often that you can get your hands on a reliable, sturdy, in-tact history of a planet. So, instead of muck around, we get right to business:

We make assessments.

Eyeball where the valuable things are, and head out for those. Taking apart the whole city is a waste. HC’s are way, way too dangerous to play around in. You’re likely to lose a life or a limb trying to pick the whole place apart.

So.

We learn a few tricks.

After all, it’s always been said:

A scavenger’s eye can’t be beat.

Continue reading “Boxed Value”

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”

Churning

Rest will come soon.

It’s the only thing that keeps me going. Makes me able to take the next step, or any step at all, for that matter.

Soon.

The wind is chilly today. Biting from the back of its own throat. Gnawing at my sleeves, at my boots. Covering over my coat.

It burns my nose. Stings my eyes.

Good.

It just means that I’m still making it. That I’m not there yet.

I’m still alive. Continue reading “Churning”

King’s Jungle

I don’t understand it. Not at all. Not in the slightest.

And still

I can’t ignore it. Can’t.

Not when it calls. Not when it’s waking me up in the middle of the night. When my body is on fire, and my sheets are soaked in sweat and heat. When it calls, it doesn’t do so gently. Doesn’t whisper for me to wake, or rap on my door.

It screams.

With the breaking of bone and burdening of blood, it screams.

How can someone ignore that?

And when it wakes me, and it calls, it also reaches.

It beckons.

It beckons me.

And when the blood is like a river, my body a volcanic mess, and my rest unsettled like a rough wind.

How can I say no? Continue reading “King’s Jungle”

Blood For Atonement

I am the one who knocks. Who breaks the town gates down. Tears their security to pieces as I remind them that there is a curse with a claim on them. Remind them that they spilt blood. Regardless of how long ago it was, they spilt blood.

And they must pay.

Again and again and again.

Not until the debt is repaid.

No.

There is no way to pay for the life of someone so precious.

No.

They will pay until they understand what it is that they’ve taken. Until they understand.

What is a life worth to them?

Continue reading “Blood For Atonement”

Audience of One

Do you know what mankind’s greatest sin is?

The very thing that causes the continuous fall of man?

It occurred that day in the garden. It occurred when you passed me by on the street, eyes fixed straight ahead. It occurred last night, too, somewhere out in this cold and brutal world.

And it’ll occur today.

I am not a restless spirit. I am not some undead beast, raised for pleasure. Nor am I confused, lost.

I am hunger.

I am justice.

I am vengeance. Continue reading “Audience of One”

Killer via Carrot

You know what’s terrible? What makes you feel like the absolute worst?

When something goes wrong, and you know, with absolutely certainty that it’s one hundred percent your fault.

It’s awful.

You get this festering in your stomach. This sort of hollow, ache. Thoughts circulate worse than a whirlpool, and it takes you under. Thoughts about how it’s your fault. How awful this thing you’ve done is. And then comes the real kicker: Continue reading “Killer via Carrot”

Beast of Myself

It’s alright.

People are running away from me, screaming. Scrambling to get away. To get across the street, to get inside a building, to get away. Their panic makes cars screech and honk and then peel out, away from the sidewalk where I’m walking. Taking my casual stroll.

It’s alright.

Even if I’m lost. Even if all I want right now is some directions. Even if the sirens are closing in.

It’s alright.

It just means that they know who I am now. That they know what I’ve done. That I’m being taken seriously.

Hah.

Finally. Continue reading “Beast of Myself”

Thief of Age

As my eyes began to open, I realized that I felt groggy. Really, extraordinarily, groggy. And, in my experience, that only meant one thing:

I’d been drugged.

“STOP KIDNAPPING ME!” I roared as I came to.

The person next to me laughed. “It isn’t kidnapping. I got your parents’ permission.”

“I’M EIGHTEEN.”

“But, you’re still in high school, so that means you’re… not a legal adult? I guess? I mean, in school you need parents to sign permission slips still, so, yeah? I’m not really sure how it works actually, but, either way, you’re here now, so stop bitching.”

I groaned. “I have to throw up,” I informed him.

The car slowed steadily down to a crawl before it stopped completely. The moment it did, I opened my door, leaned out and…

Threw up.

Once I felt I was done with vomiting, I sat back, closed the door, and nodded.

My cousin took off again.

“You know, I don’t understand why you always drug me right before a gig. Don’t you think it’ll effect how I perform or something?”

Continue reading “Thief of Age”