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His EyesIt has been three months since we heard from the mainland.
Speculation abounds. Some catastrophe has befallen them there; a plague has ended them, or a war, or perhaps something so dreadful that we cannot even imagine it. We are left here to starve, slowly, as we wait for news and supplies.
This morning we saw a boat on the horizon. Through the spyglass we saw that its occupant is a lone boy, and that his skin is patterned with lesions. Sula saw something in his eyes, he said, though he did not say what it was; but he was so shaken by the sight that he begged us to shoot the boat down before it reaches us.
We have no choice but to obey. We may pity the boy, but if he carries a plague a show of mercy might doom us. We will fire the cannon as soon as he comes within range.
We burned the flotsam brought in by the tide. There is no sign of the boy's body. With luck the current carried it away.
Sula woke with fever today. He sweats in rivers, and he will not open his eyes. He begged f
For the BoatmanCharon, I still keep the constellations in jars. You will not take me across the Acheron, so I wait on the river bank, trying to steal pennies from other passengers. I hear them clinking in your hull, ferryman, forgotten and oxidized. You call me by my name, even now.
"Persephone is dead, and her king never heard you crying out as I have."
I sang a hymn for you, Charon, but you only smiled and turned away.
Charon, have you met the slighted king? When he called, I answered, but his memory was just as rotten as mine. I had loved him with my own shadow, once. Ferryman, have you ever been in love?
"Stay on the shore. There are those who would see you swallowed whole. Little one, stay on the shore."
No one told them they couldn't swim to Tartarus. Sometimes, I believe I knew them better before you refused my paper stars.
Charon, am I drowning again? Or has there always been saltwater here? They never said anything.
"The inbetween is purging itself of you."
No one's joi
FFM 25: The Delivery BirdMom pressed her feet into the stirrups with all of her might, tears of joy and agony streaming down her face. The last push was the hardest, working out the shoulders and wings that followed the long, slender neck. After that, the rest of the stork slid out easily.
Mom and dad wrapped their arms around one another and looked upon it with a combination of euphoria and crippling exhaustion, eagerly waiting to see what the white sack in his beak held. But the messenger only looked back sympathetically, bowing its head in a solemn apology.
The pouch was empty.
In the Valley of the DevilsThis is how we prepare for winter in werewolf country: by lighting all the torches on the ramparts around the encampment, because werewolves fear fire, and so that we can see them when they come skulking in the dead of night. Sometimes, beneath the flames, we see the werewolves in our midst, the ones standing beside us. This makes the winter longer, and darker.
This is how we prepare for winter in the forest outside the camp: by catching rabbits and deer and possum, and roasting them on spits on our little fires, which we keep small so that the village will not see the smoke. If they locate us, they will come with guns and silver shrapnel, and tear us to bloody bits.
By first frost, we have finished digging the ditch around us. It is filled with blades pointing up, and hemlock and mistletoe, which the werewolves avoid as a vampire avoids garlic. We toss in the cut branches, and also some parts of their brethren, a skull or tooth, or a hand, which was once a paw
Fruitful FrankThrough June, Frank Stein's cloak hid a grotesquely disfigured body. If one didn't know better, one might even think the shape resembled that of a spare head, but of course that would be freaking ridiculous. Nobody approached the derelict building, and Frank, frequently caught in bizarre situations, gradually deteriorated. He threw fruit. The villages watched from a respectable distance, forming opinions: their eyes wide and their mouths whispering rumours.
Frank Stein was well-known for being unique. He kept to himself, talking only to his butler - a man with a penchant for dried figs, and a predisposition to solitude. He threw fruit. He could frequently be heard muttering to himself. When the butler disappeared, the villages assumed he had fled. Nobody fretted, and life went on. Frank took to wearing a cloak that made him resemble a double hunchback.
Under the burning of the August sun, Frank Stein laboured. His thick cloak left him sweating, but the grotesque sight beneath would hav
Do You See What I SeeRed.
It starts with a simple color. A simple color that results in the end of everything that was. Everything that would be. A simple color that destroyed the futures of so many. Who would have thought the world could be ended by the simplest of colors in the eyes of one girl.
She jumps from broken rooftop to broken rooftop. She glances back every other second. She pants and sprints, her auburn hair flying behind her in the wind. She has been running for only a couple of minutes, but the jumping has taken a toll on her body.
She looks up to the sky, the sun had been gone for years now. Darkness and plague raved the world. This was her fault. She tries not to think about it as she runs for her life. Haunting memories of what she did. She can still hear the screams of people whose lives she took. She begins to cry, each tear is hot and heavy of her face. She begins to stop, slowing with
The Ghost Dear Diary,
Today, Lizzie made a new friend. She says I should come play with them, but I’ve seen the scratches on her arms and the smile that tells me she’s hiding her pain. Felix doesn’t like the new friend either – he hisses every time the boy comes near him.
I don’t think anyone else can see him. Just me, Lizzie and Felix. It’s almost like we’re at war – Lizzie and the boy against Felix and I. The grown-ups try and tell us that it’s good to have an imaginary friend, and that it will help us become friends with other people, but I think they’re wrong. I don’t think the pale boy who walks through walls and wears a scary grin is Lizzie’s friend. Friends don’t hurt each other – Miss Eddy said so.
Felix has gone missing. The last time anyone saw him, he was with Lizzie. I think the boy had something to do with it – the mar
Morning RitualIt was a known fact of life that Arnold could not function without his morning coffee. Thankfully, he had married a woman who made an amazing brew. Jessica was amazing, and Arnold knew that a shlub like him didn’t deserve an angel like her. He made sure she felt duly appreciated, too—after her coffee elevated him above his zombie state.
The weekend had come and gone, and once again Monday was making its forceful presence known. Not that he had to go in to work today… instead, he would have to attend his mother’s funeral. Not that he was grieving. In fact, it was going to be all he could do not to dance on the woman’s grave once the last scoopful of Earth was atop her. Six feet was not enough. She had always tried to control his life. And she had downright hated Jessica. Perversely, as horrible as she had been, she had also always insisted she was a good mother even to her last breath. No one in the family missed her.
Arnold navigated his house my memory, n
FFM 2014 31 - The Cerberus of Demons"You'll never find me," I said, "and if you do, you'll never be able to kill me." The fell voice that came from my lips was not mine. The stake plunged into my heart, and I screamed for release from life. The demon inside fled my body, and I had moments of peace before death, staring serenely into the sunset that now marked my last breath. The hunter fled.
"I need a new host!" I screamed into the ether, flailing through the mote sea for a new entrance onto planet earth. I floated to where it was brightest, and found a beach where humans sunbathed. Gleefully, I crossed over and frolicked (to them, rampaged) to a suitable host, leaving many dead in my wake. In my new body, I hungered for flesh, and devoured the nearest corpses.
Somehow, the deaths on this remote beach went fully unnoticed. I retched, kicked the fitful human's soul out, then caught it and devoured it. Full of souls, I howled through the ether, calling any demon who would come to me. In a flash, they did; joining ou
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