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”

Shadow of the Stars

“Do you expect the light to return, simply because you wish for it? Should the earth bow so easily to your whims? Plunge others into discord to sate your despair?”

I flinched, convicted. Conflicted.

Part of me said yes. The part that was not made from stars. That longed for something other than the dark. That wished for the sun to return so I could warm myself against its gently sizzling beams. Those rays that would warm my soul like nothing else could. That part of me was foolish. That part affirmed.

Part of me said yes.

But, the other part?

Of course, it was more reasonable.

Even under the the heaving dark, amassing with stars. Corralling light and shadow together to create the beauty that dusted the heavens. Even as oppressing as the earth’s darkness was—as boastful, as ravenous—still.

Part of me said no.

…the correct part, more than likely. Continue reading “Shadow of the Stars”

What The Smoke Says

When I see the red smoke, I count the tendrils.

Every time.

And, every time, the number is smaller. The smoke climbing higher. The days drawing closer.

They will come for me.

Three tendrils.

Two tendrils.

Tomorrow.

They will come for me.

And, when they do, I’ll be waiting.

I’ll be waiting. Continue reading “What The Smoke Says”

Grim Light

I have wandered. For my whole life, in fact. First through the mountains, then down the river, and now, I’m here. In the dip of the valley. Huddled between two mountains. The night greets me as it always does—as it always has. With silence and shadow. Places to run, to hide.

I never meant to come out of that darkness. To step into the beam of light.

But…

She was hurt.

The small thing without fur.

On a cold night, she shivered against the itchy, dead grass. Life spilling from some spot on her body. The mountain cat still lingering nearby, frightened, though it’d done so much damage. Though it had fought—and won—against such a small, frail thing.

Silly cats.

Always so skittish.

I offered to take the small thing from him, and he quickly gave me permission. Gave me his thanks. Ran off, back into the higher parts of the mountain. Where the pinkish things didn’t often tread.

I never meant to step into the light.

Never.

But that night, because of that foolish scaredy cat, and this dying little furless thing…

I did.

And it seems to have shaken me to my core. Brought me from the shadows into a place where light can touch. Where things are not what I’ve thought. A place of reality, and yet, it feels like an illusion.

A place with flesh-things. Continue reading “Grim Light”

Silhouttes

The red ran from his fingertips, dripping onto the pavement.

It wasn’t that they didn’t deserve it. In all honesty, they probably did. What were the odds that I was the first to pass by here? That I was the first person they attacked? First person they tried to…

Well.

It was over.

For now, I had to push it out of my mind. Get home. Then I could let it sink in. Let the beast of memory burden me with bite. But, for now, I was still in an alleyway.

An alleyway with bodies in it.

I shuddered at the thought.

It wasn’t me who did this. And, upon inspection, I doubt anyone would think of this as something a human had done.

And they wouldn’t be wrong. Not really.

No human did this.

No human could do something like this.

No, it was definitely not a human.

It was him.

He drops his hands to his sides, and they drip. Oozing at first, and then tapering off into small smatters.

Looking at me, he cocks his head to the side, curiously.

I shudder again.

But not because I fear him. It’s for something else entirely. A nagging in my mind that I can no longer ignore.

I need to get home. Continue reading “Silhouttes”

Shadow Man

He bled.

I was not aware that they could bleed. That shadows had that capacity. That the creatures that haunt our waking days and our restless nights had the ability—no, had life enough in them for something so mundane. Something so normal.

But they do.

And he did.

He bled.

Teeth bared, blacked near the gums. His pearly whites glistened with saliva, clearly fatigued by something. His shadow hair was mussed, messy, as if he’d been tossed into a large headwind. His form was hunched, curling over himself. The outlines that were clearly his arms went to hide his midsection. To do something to them. To cover his stomach, it seemed.

And from his stomach?

The dark mass that marked the middle of him?

Red.

Oozing, just as it would from a person.

He bled.

And I couldn’t find it in me to turn him away. Continue reading “Shadow Man”

Dark Preys at Night

The woods are not a place for playing.

Not at night.

I tell every one of them that. Every one of them that comes by my hut. I do everything possible to make it clear to them:

Be home by sundown.

Go home.

Don’t stick around.

Don’t wait for night.

Don’t.

Because the night is waiting too. Continue reading “Dark Preys at Night”