Category Archives: Stories

Flight

He soared.

He had always wanted to fly, and now he was doing just that. He had no feathers, no wings, but he was flying just the same. The special magic that fathers possessed had made this possible. He laughed with the euphoria of the moment.

The wind blew his hair back, and he closed his eyes, reveling in the pure joy of the experience. He threw his arms out, tried to catch the air, tried to use it to his advantage. It was a thrill beyond belief.

Tumbling over, the last thing four-year-old Jacob Brown saw before the ground broke his tiny body was the figure of his father standing at the top of the cliff, arms still outstretched.

[Originally posted on Ficly.]

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Delivery

Fog drifted, wet and heavy, over the short mall between the Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry and Stanley Coulter Hall. Six tall lampposts bathed everything in an eerie, orange glow. The hour was late, and the campus was deserted — deserted but for one.

She stood at the south end of the mall, seemingly in contemplation, a small bundle clutched under her arm. Her other hand rested lightly on the fountain there, its lion face spewing water in a thin stream into the stone basin below its chin.

The fog swirled, and a cloaked figure appeared. She approached it, cautiously, the fog parting like a veil before her. Drawing to within three paces of him, she bowed slightly, a greeting.

“Your delivery as requested, Professor.” He spoke not a word in response, merely tipped his bearded chin in thanks as he collected the items into the deep folds of his robe.

Her task complete, she turned on her heel and strode quickly back to the edge of the mall, glancing only once over her shoulder. Only mist and vapor remained.

[Originally posted on Ficly.]

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Golem

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Golem

Rain lashed down on that ravaged plain in furious sheets. The broken earth drank it up through ragged cracks that went down forever.

At the center of the plain, a gaping maw of a hole sucked down water in great, sodden gulps. Perversely, gouts of flame licked up out of it, unnaturally green and purple. A lone figure stood at the edge of the pit, unaware or uncaring of the tremendous heat. Its lips moved, inaudible over the combined roar of rain and fire.

Smoke and steam heaved from the pit, and up rose a great clay monstrosity, towering dozens of feet over the figure below.

“What would have of me, my master?” it bellowed. The figure looked up at the beast, allowing her hood to fall back. Her features were fine and fair, hair so blonde as to be almost white.

Her voice was cold as ice. “Your time of sleep has come to an end, my dear. I have need of a titan.”

The golem pulled its massive bulk out of the pit. “Then let us be on our way,” it replied. It scooped its master up and lumbered out over the plain.

[Originally posted at Ficly.]

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Clean Underwear

Didn’t your mother ever tell you, “Make sure you put on clean underwear because you never know when you might be in a car accident?” Mine sure did. I don’t really know why it matters, though. If you’re in a car accident, underwear is probably the last thing anyone’s going to be worrying about.

In fact, I know it is because, here I am, pinned under this damn truck, and my lower half looks like it’s been put through a bloody meat grinder.

Always put on clean underwear.

Oh, right, Mom. That’s just fucking hilarious.

[Originally posted at Ficly.]

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Blood Rite

The albino stood on the platform and dragged the knife down his forearm. Blood ran in scarlet rivulets over his hand, his fingers. It dripped the sidereal pattern of his god onto the wooden planks around his feet.

Before him the air shimmered as it struggled to call forth his deity. The hot sun bore down full on his naked back, dampening the potency of the blood. Day was not the time for such magic, but there was no choice for it.

With each heartbeat, more of his life pulsed away, more of his power to prolong the spell ebbing. His was a complex gift, a dangerous magic. Each practice of the blood rites risked death, if the ritual could not be completed before last blood flowed.

The albino chanted, his voice barely a whisper, conserving energy, yet he felt his strength diminish.

He slashed again, savagely, desperately, hoping more blood would fuel the spell’s completion. Still it foundered, and he sagged to the platform.

The albino wept his final breaths. His failure meant that his people would die.

[Originally posted on Ficly.]

Clanks at Midnight

The place smelled like shit and piss.

“I thought these things didn’t have bodily excretions,” I called out to my partner.

“They’re not supposed to,” she replied. “For some reason this one does. Someone’s been hard at work making a clank that can process food the way humans do.”

The clank was a junker, alright, especially since someone had unloaded several rounds of buckshot into the thing. Oil and grease spattered the wall around where it was slumped, and a puddle of very human sewage was leaking onto the floor around the thing.

“Makes you wonder what happened here,” I said thoughtfully. No answer. I looked around. “Mel?”

I found her in the next room looking at a scrap of paper she’d found on the desk. I looked over her shoulder and read: Nobody loves a clank at midnight.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“Hell if I know, Joe. Nothing about this makes sense. We still haven’t found Mr. Peabody.” She sighed. “Maybe when we find him, we’ll have our answers.”

Maybe, I thought, but I wouldn’t count on it.

[Originally posted at Ficly.]

Meat-Eater

In hindsight, Trista realized she probably shouldn’t have fallen asleep under that tree.

Pus dripped into Trista’s eyes from the multiple infected sores on her scalp. She wanted to wipe it away, but the tree held her fast, pinning her arms to her sides, arms she could no longer feel. Feverish and frequently delirious, Trista couldn’t struggle. She’d lost track of how long she’d been trapped here. Days? Hours? She couldn’t remember.

Her body was coming apart. She was covered in sores as the tree slowly digested her. Her skin was sloughing off in greasy sheets, exposing bone and muscle that had turned black from the tree’s corrosive sap. Strands of flesh and tissue were all that was holding her organs in and that not very well. Already thick coils of bowel stretched from her abdomen to the ground, where insects feasted on them.

In her rare moments of coherency, she longed for death. She had suffered for so long.

Her final thought was a wish – a wish that she had never ventured into this hateful forest.

[Originally posted on Ficly.]

Skin Deep

He works quickly, his deft hands flitting over the instruments with a skill that comes from a vast history of experience. He talks while he works.

“You are my failure,” he says. “I blame only myself.”

He sets one tool down on the tray, picking up the next.

“I raised you better,” he sighs. There is melancholy in his voice. “But alas, the damage is done.”

He pauses for several long moments, intent on his work. Large beads of sweat stand out on his brow. He pays them no notice. He grunts with the exertion of one particularly difficult area, and after a moment he resumes his narrative.

“Do you know,” he asks, “that vanity is considered a deadly sin? Well, it goes with pride, at any rate.” His chuckle is raw and coarse. “I tried to break you of it, but of all my daughters, you were always the one most taken with her looks.”

He makes one final cut and the last of the girl’s skin springs free, stretched taught on the frame above her.

He gestures. “And you see? I warned you. Beauty really is only skin deep.”

[Originally posted on Ficly.]

Magic In Unexpected Places

Claire found the hat half under a bush, half out. It was the sort of hat one might wear while working in the garden — woven straw and wide-brimmed. Claire turned the hat in her hands. The top had been torn out, leaving ragged edges and a large hole.

She flipped the hat over — and it took a moment for her mind to resolve what she saw. All around her it was broad daylight, but looking down through the hole in the hat revealed a landscape cast in night’s shadow. Night, in a place that was other.

It was like a window into another world, or maybe more like a periscope. When Claire moved, that other landscape moved in concert. When she turned, that other place turned, and she saw a world much like her own and yet different in some indefinable way.

She brought the hat down to the ground so to reach through, pluck a blade of grass, and pull it back when a voice, solemn and sad, caused her to gasp and nearly drop the hat.

“I wouldn’t do that were I you. Stuff really shouldn’t cross between our two worlds.”

[Originally posted on Ficly.]

Attacked

He helped her up from the floor. She was bruised, bloody, and shaken. Whatever had happened here, it had been violent and traumatic. The room was a study in chaos.

“You alright?” he asked. No response. Her gaze was distant, focused on something far from here. He tried again. “Hey! Look at me!”

She did.

“Are you alright?” She nodded, tentative at first, then more emphatically. “Good,” he said. “What’s your name?”

“S- Sarah.” Definitely in shock.

“Ok, Sarah. It’s ok, now. I’m going to get you out of here.” She sagged against his shoulder.

“Can you tell me what happened?”

He felt her nod. “Attacked.”

“By what?” No response.

Something crashed in the other room. He made her look at him again, helped her focus.

“Ok, Sarah, this is important. The thing that attacked you, it might still be here.” Fear flashed in her eyes. “Can you tell me what it looks like?”

Her face clouded with confusion.

“I- yeah, but it doesn’t make sense.”

“It’s okay. Just tell me.”

“It looked like a pair of folded purple socks.”

[Originally posted at Ficly.]