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”

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 Useless Jump

It happens every time, without fail:

Right when I’m about to fall asleep.

That moment where I’m dancing with dreams, my mind slowly succumbing to the beauty of rest. To the warmth of it, the necessity. It’s right when my mind is starting to go blank, right when I’m about to slip away. Away from the waking world and all its problems. Forgetting all the things that are bothering me, all the tasks I need to accomplish, all the orders I need to fill.

Its then that it always happens.

I’m on the verge again. Darkness whispers sweet nothings into my ear, assuring me that it can give me rest. That I can relax—

And there’s a knock on the door.

Every time. Continue reading “A Useless Jump”

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”

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”

Splitting the Difference

When the cat split—it’s head growing, morphing, slowly tripling all of its features—that’s when I realized:

It probably wasn’t a cat. Continue reading “Splitting the Difference”

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”

Consuming Silence

The landscape is loud.

Riotous.

Colors and shapes and shadows all merging together. Creating one giant, mess of a landscape. Vomiting rainbow pastels and flowers that bloomed with a literal burst. Busying your eyes with trying to sift through the strangeness. The colors this planet tries to portray as “natural”. Bright blues, and vivid pinks. A forest that visually screams.

This place feels so…

Loud.

And yet, as I walk on, I can feel it. It’s palpable. If I wanted to, I could reach out and touch it, that’s how strong it is. How apparent.

Silence. Continue reading “Consuming Silence”