The Thirteenth ManThere's a saying; a red dawn brings bloodshed.
Unfortunately, from where I was standing, that red dawn seemed to be guaranteed. We were in orbit above Aurvandil's Toe, drifting above the night-side of the planet. But the system's star - a red dwarf - was starting to make its presence known. The first sliver of the sun was creeping out from behind the world, splashing a sanguine light across our humble defensive fleet, and through my ship's bridge.
We numbered no more than a dozen, and the Dain's Legacy must have carried half our guns. The archaic cruiser set me in mind of some ancient beast from the primordial ocean's depths; his hull was egg-shaped, and made up of a patchwork of re-fitted armour plates, while his main battery trailed from his stern, mounted on half-a-dozen, immense mechanical tentacles.
The rest of us were no more than gunboats or monitors, huddled behind the Legacy like fish trailing in the wake of a storm-whale.
I caught myself r
I Exist for YouYour hand is on my chest. "I can't feel your heartbeat." you say.I Exist for You4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I nod, staring out the window, my mind on other things. I can feel your fingers, working their way under my bra, hot, burning my hidden skin. But it's just fat and flesh to me - even as the pulse in your tiny veins accelerates, excited. The backs of my thighs are sticking to the faded and frayed vinyl of the bus seat, because, for some reason, the heaters are on in late May.
"I love you." you say.
"Me too." I'm still not looking at you. The truth is, I can't feel my pulse either, and that scares me, more than you scare me.
Then your fingers are suddenly on my chin, forcing my head in your direction. "What are you thinking about?"
Without hesitation, I answer. "Children's names. I can't think of any good ones for girls."
You laugh, and it's like the Earth being born. "How about Miranda?"
I smile, and giggle, just for you. You need it, after all. "I like Adrianna better."
"You and your old fashioned names."
I tap you on th
time-spinning, frail organsdecembertime-spinning, frail organs5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
i signed the form today, the dark clouds beyond your window--swollen with rain, bruising the sky--echoing the mood trapped behind closed doors. at six, i took your bandaged hand--careful, dear, you told me six months ago. don't bump the i.v.--and whispered goodbye with my tears. i whispered my secrets before you let yourself go.
do you remember growing up? we were twenty-four, fresh out of college, and you were beautiful. your crimped-up, decked-out, rust-red-tinted hair smelled of black licorice markers and cups of chai tea. i buried myself in its webs that night. begged you to take me away.
and you did, love. the sway of your hips kissing mine stopped the world, and for ten seconds, i forgot what you told me. for a moment, i forgot you were already moving on.
your eyes were yellow, feverish, the frailty of your failing organs much too
VindicationThe good news was, he was telling the truth; Rusty really wasn't the werewolf. The bad news was, the silver bullet still killed him instantly.Vindication3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Thief - Part 3There were a lot of stairs down to the basement, and their problems began before they even reached ground level.Thief - Part 34 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Ssh!" hissed the selkie. "Hear that?"
The servants' staircase had none of the fine decoration of the rest of the manor house. In the bare, windowless space, every footfall and sound from the house seemed magnified.
"Joanna," chimed a voice from somewhere beyond the barren walls. "Where are you, Joanna?"
Joanna opened her mouth, but Wren clamped a hand over it.
"Don't," he hissed. "She's seeking you. If you speak, they'll know exactly where you are. Then we're all screwed."
"I know you can hear me, Joanna." The voice was like caramel spread over silk. "Please say something."
Eyes wide, the girl nodded her understanding. Wren released her and the group continued down the staircase, a little more carefully than before. Nanook led the way, Joanna in the middle and Wren bringing up the rear.
"Joanna," said a new voice, stretc
The Book of MechanicusIn the beginning, there was Man. (sysDef://curious>>chaotic>>primitive>)The Book of Mechanicus5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Man toiled, warred, and evolved. Man learned, forgot, and changed.
And at the height of Man's progress, Man created Machine, in his image and likeness. (sysRef://1936a.d.>>Z1>>filepath15a26)
And Man looked upon its creation, and saw that it was good.
Man used Machine to change, grow, adapt. In return, Man helped Machine to evolve, learn, and develop, until both Man and Machine reached the Limit of Binary. (sysRef://2632a.d.>>terminal_population_size>>filepath61b33)
Man turned to the stars, seeking adventure, power, and knowledge. Man took Machine beyond the Rim, and Machine learned Gratitude.
Machine aided Man in colonizing the stars, exploring new worlds. Man expanded its influence, adopting new ideals and variables into its swirling, undulating reach, ever striving for a higher purpose. And where Man found limitless potential
...Makes the Heart Grow FonderThere's a girl out there that I seldom see,...Makes the Heart Grow Fonder5 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Erring somewhat, but caring for me;
I glimpse into her eyes and from time to time
Our impish spirits rise, and she is mine.
She believes in many, excepting herself
Being blessed aplenty, and neglecting help-
Her tender embraces
move my heart in different ways
And render our faces
so close, yet so far away.
There are lips on her that I've ne'er touched-
Th'air that whips past her tongue is much
More blessed than I in this respect-
For its kiss is unrestrained- and yet
Not an inch may it reach above that's not
Gott'n by my soul when her presence is sought;
For as omnipotent the atmosphere may be
More potent is the attraction between her and me.
Words placed here
Will go and she,
Eyes open and true
Will hold them dear
And know that we
Can live without "I love you".
FragmentsYou're a broken soul, the most beautifulFragments4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
broken soul I have ever known.
There's a glow crowning your every lie,
like silver filaments concealing the truth.
In your mouth, all things are renewed.
Eerie is beautiful and beautiful is holy.
From your words uprises a whole new rosary
made of fiery prayers to a new pagan deity.
That must be why I keep coming back to you
as if you were the original essence of all things.
You slowly become the center of my gravity,
the axis on which my love and hate both revolve,
the starting point of my past
and the conclusion of my future.
The slivers of your shattered mind
reflect my quivering light like love prisms.
Myriads rainbows explode in the dark.
Colours flow from your broken soul
to the heavenly pond in which
the fragments of my own crushed heart
are enshrined, waiting for your messianic era.
Thief - Part 1It was just after midnight when Wren slipped through the railings, his narrow frame scraping flakes of black gloss onto the front of his polo-neck. The night was a cold one, especially so far away from London's warmth, but the clouds that cloaked the sky helped take the edge off. Even better, they gagged the treacherous stars, leaving the torches of the patrolling guards to stand out like spears of light in the gloom.Thief - Part 14 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Keeping low and smooth as a cat, Wren slunk across the rolling lawn towards the warmer lights of the manor house. The caution was perhaps unnecessary. His patchwork outfit of greens, browns and dusky greys made him as much a part of the landscape as the fruit-tree shadows, laid out like darker pieces of night on the precision-trimmed grass.
He reached the outer wall without exciting incident from either inside the house or out, and paused to gently unwind the scarf from his face. The night smelt starched and taut, full of alert minds and with a hint of salt that vanished
That Is The QuestionTo be...That Is The Question4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
...or not to be.
I never had any patience for Hamlet. He never asked the right questions.
Live or die. Do it or don't. Man up or back down. Jesus, make a choice. Either make a move or remove your influence from the gene pool. Better yet, ask what you really want to know.
Would it make a difference? Is there a right way to go about this?
Life and death, right and wrong. You can call it whatever you want, but it's still the same thing. When the time comes for you to fall, one way or the other, the impact will hurt the same way. The ground over there is just as hard as is it over here.
At the time, it was simple.
If you want to know the truth (most people don't), I knew it was wrong. All those little ribbons floating in the water were supposed to stay inside. They tied all the pieces and chunks together and I just let them unfurl out of me.
In that moment, I fancied myself a magician.
It just keeps coming. And you don't know how it got there. After al
If I Were a PoetIf I were a poet I'd spin you a lineIf I Were a Poet5 years ago in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
An embroidery of words etched in silvery twine
A tapestry woven of rhythm and rhyme
And stitch it all up with each tittle and jot
If I were a poet but a poet I'm not.
If I were a poet I'd cook you a stew
A lyrical soup, a most nourishing brew
With couplets for gravy and iamb for my rue
And boil it in a pentameter pot
If I were a poet but a poet I'm not.
If I were a poet we'd take to the seas
With paragraph sails and a literate breeze
And sail on our starship to far galaxies
We'd keep captain's logs of the treasures we sought
If I were a poet but a poet I'm not.
If I were a poet I'd write you a page
Full of musical wisdom so rhyming and sage
A verse to let open the door to your cage
And give you the taste of the freedoms you've sought
If I were a poet but a poet I'm not.
Another ManI enter the city wearing another man's face and surrounded by another nation's soldiers. The sun is high, like our spirits, and the limestone walls shine bright and immovable as a god. As I march through the gate with the rest of my 'comrades', I observe the mechanism that works it.Another Man5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Inside, the city is a bustle of colour and a riot of noise. Women throw flower petals and children run to tie strips of bright fabric onto the spikes of our armour. We have met the savage wildlings in pitch battle and returned victorious, so the crowd crown us heroes. Amongst nine-hundred such brave men, one savage smiles along with them. The sun has dried the blood on my face. I hope it will last.
A young woman steps forward and hands me a posy of yellow flowers. She retreats back into the crowd, but not before I notice her drawn face and twig arms. On closer inspection, there are many in the crowd who appear less fed than they should be. The cost of a long conflict.
Signs of the war are more apparent once
Your Fading FrecklesI'm gliding across your red-head frecklesYour Fading Freckles4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and grazing the oceans of your eyes with my fingers,
dreaming of you
in a duality of opalescent tear-streaks
and translucent laughter.
I've been trapping myself in your arms
for so long,
I can't recall
what living outside of your phantom ever meant.
And you're no longer mine to hold on to,
but my heart is stuck on you.
I'm spending my days
keeping track of my memories,
but they've already forgotten me.
You've already forgotten me.
And if I had any choice,
I'd let you fade into silence by yourself
instead of screwing my eyes shut with your face in my mind
and turning out all the lights.
NadezdaToday she found no peace amongst the lilies. They only stood to remind her of sorrow; even the ocean's strongest monsoon could not hope to wash away all the blood spots from them.Nadezda4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"I felt her death."
He stood silent for a moment, the whisper of grief spiraling through the distance between them. Blinking out a hushed apology he knelt beside her, "She always thought of you as a sister."
"There has been too much loss."
She shook the suffering from her eyes but the tears of one thousand years of pain would not be overthrown so easily. The trees remained quiet as time settled into its monotonous rhythm, but they knew they were decaying too quickly.
"We can not stay here any longer. This is a dying land, we are a dying people."
"I must stay, Evzen," her thoughts seemed to traverse on a suspended heartbeat, "I can not leave the trees, they have been here as long as I have."
"She would have stayed with you."
A heavy fog began laying its misty fingertips along the ground, and the for
RevengeRevengeRevenge5 years ago in Horror More Like This
"The barren escape that lies within death's door cannot withstand the hands that will bestow mercy based on God's judgment upon those that sin. He will relieve his might upon you, but his true indignation will possess my body. The blood of my own runs from my hands, and stream before me, yet my tears withstand this flame upon my soul. The love that we once shared, is but a sword with the power to drag you to hell, as I grip its handle. The red that stains my body, of flesh to my own, cannot be cleansed by the purest water. The demons only await my final wrath that will tremor the heavens true. The only haven of protection you will find will be in the lake of the malicious. I hear the seeds of Satan's pride and joy forever fun themselves by providing a torture fit for the potential Antichrist Do not worry my love, for I will soon know the thrill and excitement that flavo
Mission“Your mission, should you choose to accept it...”Mission2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Choose, you said. I never got a choice before. I don’t want to do it.”
“You don’t get a choice.”
“I lied. Your mission, whether you choose to accept it or not, is to venture to the dread caves of Rh’th’g’th’fl’th’gx...”
“Thanks. Where was I? Venture... caves... kill Certain Death Demon Monster... bring back tusks. I think that covers it.”
“I did say.”
“What was the other option you mentioned?”
“So it’s death or Certain Death?”
“Still, gosh, a choice!”
Flesh and BloodThe party at City Palace was already warming up as Cobalt scanned his palm at the security barrier. The doorman was an eight foot pillar of hardened steel and anti-shock plastic, crudely shaped into human form and topped off with a face that Cobalt could only assume he'd got at a discount. A heavy discount.Flesh and Blood5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Robert Cartwright," the doorman mumbled, presumably reading off his cornea display. "Computer says you're not on the guest list."
Cobalt tried a smile and hoped the weighty doorman didn't have bio sensors among his enhancements. The body-metric displayed in Cobalt's own right cornea was telling him quite clearly that the Palace's atmosphere wasn't the only thing getting warm. Not for the first time, Cobalt briefly regretted not paying for the heart regulator that would have allowed him to slow its tell-tale pounding. But only briefly.
"Are you sure?" he asked, all-too biological mouth getting drier by the moment. "I should be under journalist."
The square-faced doorman sto
SambrookAs if to a lodestone, he had been drawn to the old mill in a way that he could not fully fathom. Certainly he had been seduced by the juxtaposition of its austere beauty with the pastoral idyll over which it appeared to stand sentinel. Monolithic it surveyed the land through its many watchful eyes; the mill race that tumbled into the river to join its gently meandering course through acres of lazy meadows. Along the river banks, the supplicant willows that bent in reverence to its resplendence and the bulrush frilled mill pond where dragonflies danced and swans glided upon its reflection. But there was also something about the tall redbrick building that haunted him. Perhaps it was the age of the place. History exuded from the library of its walls, each brick a book containing the narrative of the many lives that had passed through. If only he could find a way to read them. To him the mill was a living thing when inside he felt dead, entombed within his own mortal flesh. He had been coSambrook4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Deal With the Grey OneScathed, was the night under an easy moonDeal With the Grey One5 years ago in Other More Like This
Crept seethingly over, an injured breath
Faint, such a creature, and it did swoon
"At last," said he, "I'll catch my death"
It was his wish, at such a time
He knew himself, no more than swine
No more than dirt, no more than dark
When candle'd lit, he doused the spark
with dreams a'frayed, he hence set forth
Not he, feel weary against price to pay
Humbled fingers that touched not the earth
He looked for light and knew its worth
Black eyes, sunk cheeks, lips puckered still
Brow bent in shame, tensed since such berth
Of whence the grey man took him ill
But he would not let his mind wander
In such a atrocities and nuisance squander
He knew, it was not him to blame
There be other reasons, for his own shame
Torn against tides of a weathering heart
He took the waves in shameful plunder
His soul, drawn paintings of wicked art
For all about him, he looked down beneath
A mirror, reflecting every painful a look
And whence he look'd in such eyes of grief
live wirethe live wirelive wire4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in a storm.
on a stream.
that wild music,
the electric pulse that
twists limbs with need,
sets teeth on edge,
laps bones like fire,
drives life to the very foot of the ledge.
a restless soul
bites and snaps
at borders and steel bars,
at flesh and bone,
To OthelloCome, my lord,and we will makeTo Othello4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that legendary beast -
your dark against my light
among these shadows
on the wall.
Let me soothe that livid pucker
from your doubting skin
and rend the jealous knit
of your jerkin
like a slow weave against my breasts.
Let me sweeten the wine -
honey singing in the gourd,
drowning his false words
in a stupor,
just a viper lost at duskling
that my lips can ease
into an afterthought.
this handkerchief is pure,
chaste as the light
that beats upon our names,
threatening this house;
and the envy of lesser men
weighs upon me here
like war drugged children
left dreaming in your fingers.
Satan's Little HelperIn my stain of mindSatan's Little Helper5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
There is no light.
No happy endings.
Only a dark abyss
of savage feelings.
of knowing I instill fear in others.
I crave the souls of the damned.
I rejoyce in the blood
shed by the corrupt.
Blood stained hands.
blood of the lives i've condemned.
Blood of the lives i've taken.
Dare to do you best
I so love to hear them beg.
My demonic essence long
to have the power
Paralized upon the ground,
Hate has burned a gaping hole
welcoming me, taking me in
In to the abyss that is non-living.
8. NightA speckled pain soothes, as arches of stone and vine mark my path8. Night4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
That fabled night is much calmer than dreamy foresight
Calm but for my heart, which I left in witches' bramble
so long ago
An unfaithful freedom can be heard in the distance
that creature that refuses domestication
Peace weighs heavily on my shoulder
resplendent as any candid day bird
I could pluck a frozen tear from the sky right now
if only I preferred
The awe infringes upon my soul
and the cooling leaves of a well known autumn
touch my ankle as I pass them by
making sure I don't forget
Paper rich history provokes my memory
and I know I never will.
Last OrdersLast Orders4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
And I looked and behold, a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was Death
And Hell followed with him.
"Time at the bar, gentlemen!"
Gary rang the bell, signalling closing time at the Pale Horse. He loved to ring the bell it was his nightly ritual. Twice nightly, actually. Sometimes, when the regulars like Lloyd wouldn't leave, he even let himself ring the bell a third time.
That wouldn't happen tonight, though. It was Monday night. No-one ever stayed late on Monday night. One day, something interesting would happen on a Monday. Gary knew this: just as he knew that Lloyd would appear at 6 o'clock every evening to prop the bar up. One Monday, the bar would collapse on him. Or Lloyd wouldn't turn up. It hadn't happened tonight, though. Nor the Monday before. In fact, something interesting had failed to happen on every Monday in Gary's memory: which was probably why he hated Mondays. Even the word was rubbish heavy and charmless, like a sack o
American HeartAmerica sat in at his desk with his head in his hands. He'd just listened to a recent speech his boss had given. And now his usual jovial personality was replaced by a deep distress.American Heart4 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
His boss had already denied his existence, this shouldn't hurt him much more but it did.
Had he, America, not been able to stand on his own two feet for over two hundred years? Not only that, but he started by kicking Englands butt! Even though America meant no ill will towards England (he was just fun to pick on) he didn't think he really needed his help! Didn't America kick him out because he didn't want his help anymore? Americans are fully capable of doing heavy lifting, when weren't we? And when we are in over our heads, we never bow our head. We keep them up and except help.
America grimaced. Yeah, maybe he'd been a little overbearing a little over the top. But no!