Nightwalker

The thing about being a Nightwalker is:

You have to face the terror.

Visceral, pounding blood. Bones that crack beneath the weight of too much adrenaline. An impending knowledge that you, among these toothy tombs, are as strong as a twig against a mighty wind.

You are a Nightwalker. One who walks through the dreams of the despairing. Who can clamber up, and down—move among the dwelling horrors of the twilight hour.

A Nightwalker sees a nightmare.

And he can’t look away.

A Nightwalker, in order to survive, must keep moving. Must keep burning. Must keep fighting.

You must face the terror.

Or:

Perish. Continue reading “Nightwalker”

Lingering Awareness

Awareness is a commodity. Not something that everyone has. It’s a skill that can’t really be learned, so much as grown. If you aren’t born with an innate sense of awareness, then it takes years—years—to cultivate. And, believe me, it’s a skill that you want. Something you should aspire to acquire. A skill that is quite useful.

How so?

Well, the very nature of awareness is useful.

Awareness is the feeling of someone’s eyes watching you. Knowing there’s something lurking in the shadows. Awareness gives you sense enough not to walk into a dark alley in the middle of the night. To keep your distance from groups of strangers. To cross the street when there’s a ruckus up ahead. Awareness is the thing that keeps you—in most accounts—alive. If it weren’t for awareness, you’d simply walk into any dark corner and never make it back out. Awareness is knowing that you are not always the hunter. Sometimes, you are the prey. Awareness is what gives you a mind to think proactively in your own defense.

Quite a useful thing, if you ask me.

However.

There is a point.

A threshold.

A place where awareness deepens. Sinks into the very fabric of your soul. Causes your sense to dive further.

Awareness can keep you alive, yes.

But.

It’s not always a gift. Continue reading “Lingering Awareness”

Haunted Nevermore

There are cracks in the wall.

I can hear the creaking of the floorboards. See the rot from the water that leaks in. Here, the floor isn’t sturdy. You could fall right through—the boards are as thin as wet paper. Here, there isn’t much shelter from anything. This old, desolate house. Oozing and creaking and moaning along with the things that fill the walls.

Where do you think the cracks came from?

Obviously, they came from them.

They spill out some nights. Flooding the house, over and over again. Playing like a song on repeat. Scratching and screaming and scurrying over the ceilings. Wailing and terrorizing and eating away at the souls of others. Desperate and jealous. Creatures that haunt, that steal, that kill—all for pleasure.

These ghosts…

I was raised with them, you know.

I grew up here, in this house.

It screams at me.

These monsters…

And I hear the rhetoric again. The chanting that always filters through the screams. Words that float through the panic, through the muck, through the mire of spirits unrested. I hear their demand. The threat of what’s to come if I don’t heed them, if I don’t obey. I hear the words, carrying from the house to this faraway place, and I suppress a shudder.

Protect the ghost. Continue reading “Haunted Nevermore”

Heart of the Jungle

A jungle is no place for the faint of heart. No place for someone who doesn’t know—doesn’t accept—the law of the jungle.

Predators are kings.

And everyone else?

Prey.

Continue reading “Heart of the Jungle”

From Tartarus, With Love

A dark tide. Pooling and rushing forward, churning things up from the depths.

The mouth of Tartarus.

Not a pit. A pool.

They say once you get lost in it, you don’t come back out.

That’s what they say.

It’s why it was the perfect place for me. Chained and bound, tossed in a sack, thrown with an anchor around my ankle into the inky depths.

Tartarus awaited me then. Eager to swallow me up. Add another to its collection.

And they were more than eager to hand me over. To please the dark depths.

They say that when you get thrown into Tartarus, you don’t make it back out.

That’s what they say.

But they don’t really know much.

Do they? Continue reading “From Tartarus, With Love”

Abandoning the Rescue

“DIIIIIIIIIE!” he shouted as bullets barraged his target from the barrel of his gun.

He was enjoying this way too much. It wasn’t hard to see that.

It was the end of the world and Tanner Wilks was having a great time.

What an idiot.

That was probably why we were partners though. Why we made such a great team.

Someone had to do the thinking.

Or we’d all be zombie chow. Continue reading “Abandoning the Rescue”

The Reaper, My Love

We were kids. Couldn’t have been older than six, that’s all I know. That’s as far as my memory can reach.

It’s more than far enough.

We were kids, and we were sitting in the barn. Staring at a dead mouse. Well, it wasn’t really a mouse. Not quite yet, anyway. It was still fairly pink. Poor thing. It was trying to be a mouse. It really was.

But it fell.

Instead of crawling or walking or scurrying how mice do, it fell from the rafters. Without even a single sound, it fell.

Failed.

We were kids, and we were staring at the mouse, a giant lump in my throat and a stone in my stomach. An ache spreading through my joints as I thought about how such a small thing had died so soon. He hadn’t even really lived yet, the poor little thing.

And that was when he said it. Staring at the lost life before us, his expression receded in his sadness, he said it.

“One day, I’m going to be the Grim Reaper.”

It was a bit of a bombshell.

So, I’d said, “I thought you were going to be a lawyer.”

As somberly as he could—neither of us really understood it at the time—he said, “Mom says they’re practically the same thing.”

Continue reading “The Reaper, My Love”

Tiger Cage

“Look, I just got the nerve to get in the cage, so don’t bite me now. Alright?”

The creature I’m speaking to merely stares. Yellow eyes boring into mine.

A tiger.

I’ve just gotten into a tiger cage.

And I’m terrified. Continue reading “Tiger Cage”

Fairytale Endings

They have forgotten.

They’ve become so consumed by their endings. By the “happily ever afters” that they’ve forgotten.

Fairytales do not always have beautiful endings.

The hero doesn’t always win in the end.

Sometimes, the main cast doesn’t get what they want.

Because happiness is not what fairytales are about.

That is not why they exist.

They’ve forgotten all of that though. With their rewrites, and their moving pictures, and their upbeat songs. They’ve completely written out every bad ending. Anything that is not satisfactory. They’ve taken all the bite out of the beasts, all the fear out of fairytales. All the morals are upturned, tossed out. And for what?

Happily ever after.

As one of the cast, I’m sick of it.

I think it’s about time for a wake-up call.

Yes.

A wake-up call. Continue reading “Fairytale Endings”

Of Monstrous Mind

There’s a lot of unknowns in this world. A lot of things that you’ll never be able to grasp, to understand.

But it really sucks when the thing you don’t know—the knowledge that’s most out of reach—is knowing who to trust.

Talk about complicated… Continue reading “Of Monstrous Mind”