Donate coins to Bunny.
Juice
Cancel
It's record-breaking time. Together, we are going to break the world record for longest book. 100 word minimum. When this challenge gets 15,000 entries, it will expire, and we will turn it into a book. Each entry will be its own chapter. The plot? It’s the first day of a zombie apocalypse, write a diary entry. Each contributor should share this challenge prompt with as many people as possible. If we break the world record, this will be read by people for generations to come.
Written by Bunny

"I Wouldn't Wish This on Anyone!..." (Devin's Diary)

All day, sweat on my neck, sweat on my ass, and my bones practically shaking out of my twitching skin.  That's what I get for quitting smoking and dieting on the same day.

Adding to that, my girlfriend, Nancy, just booted me to the curb.  

So anyway, I was standing over my kitchen sink, staring at a wet knife, and moping about how I wasn't gonna fall asleep next to the comfort of Nancy, or probably anyone else for awhile. 

Misty-eyed,  I wandered over, through the living room, to the front door, and stared out of the front porch.  

I felt like a island, marooned in the South Pacific.  Who would ever find me, but dead fish, and washed up algae and bones?  

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a mother, and daughter holding hands awkwardly as they ascended the mountain of my street.  The gas station was at their backs, and it looked pretty with the sunset streaming behind them.

  

I tried to check the mother out more.  She was wearing an Amish Prayer Cap that almost completely disguised everything.

She seemed to have a limp of some sort that made them shuffle at a strange pace.  

Slowly, as if through an hourglass, they passed a street sign, and some topiary animals that looked like lions and sheep.  

When they passed Judd Henderson's impressive metal yard art of a man holding a bouquet of flowers, across the street from my house, I realized that the little girl's eyes were missing.  

I fell back into the house, and then shot back up to see what was the deal with this duo.  The little girl was staring at me from across the street.  She yanked her mother's dress, and shuffled towards me as her mother's head whipped around.  I tumbled to the ground in fright!  Crawling on hands and knees, I peeped out the window in the door again.  The mother and daughter were gone.  

Suddenly I heard a crash in the kitchen as a window shattered!

I bolted upstairs to the bathroom, and I've locked myself in.  

Thankfully, there was a hammer and nails in here.  I don't know what those things out there are, but after listening to my cat die a long death, I know they're of another breed. They've been trying to tunnel through the door by biting at it, and soon they will succeed!  I've pried the bathroom door open, and I'm going to jump if they're anymore closer to breaking in.  

Holy shit!...Oh God, I hear the wood cracking, and things that looks like fingers are starting to emerge from a hole they made!...

Out the window I go!...Wish me luck!...I wouldn't wish this on anyone....

©2017

Bunny Villaire 

11
3
9
Juice
96 reads
Donate coins to Bunny.
Juice
Cancel
It's record-breaking time. Together, we are going to break the world record for longest book. 100 word minimum. When this challenge gets 15,000 entries, it will expire, and we will turn it into a book. Each entry will be its own chapter. The plot? It’s the first day of a zombie apocalypse, write a diary entry. Each contributor should share this challenge prompt with as many people as possible. If we break the world record, this will be read by people for generations to come.
Written by Bunny
"I Wouldn't Wish This on Anyone!..." (Devin's Diary)
All day, sweat on my neck, sweat on my ass, and my bones practically shaking out of my twitching skin.  That's what I get for quitting smoking and dieting on the same day.
Adding to that, my girlfriend, Nancy, just booted me to the curb.  

So anyway, I was standing over my kitchen sink, staring at a wet knife, and moping about how I wasn't gonna fall asleep next to the comfort of Nancy, or probably anyone else for awhile. 

Misty-eyed,  I wandered over, through the living room, to the front door, and stared out of the front porch.  

I felt like a island, marooned in the South Pacific.  Who would ever find me, but dead fish, and washed up algae and bones?  

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a mother, and daughter holding hands awkwardly as they ascended the mountain of my street.  The gas station was at their backs, and it looked pretty with the sunset streaming behind them.
  
I tried to check the mother out more.  She was wearing an Amish Prayer Cap that almost completely disguised everything.
She seemed to have a limp of some sort that made them shuffle at a strange pace.  

Slowly, as if through an hourglass, they passed a street sign, and some topiary animals that looked like lions and sheep.  
When they passed Judd Henderson's impressive metal yard art of a man holding a bouquet of flowers, across the street from my house, I realized that the little girl's eyes were missing.  

I fell back into the house, and then shot back up to see what was the deal with this duo.  The little girl was staring at me from across the street.  She yanked her mother's dress, and shuffled towards me as her mother's head whipped around.  I tumbled to the ground in fright!  Crawling on hands and knees, I peeped out the window in the door again.  The mother and daughter were gone.  

Suddenly I heard a crash in the kitchen as a window shattered!
I bolted upstairs to the bathroom, and I've locked myself in.  

Thankfully, there was a hammer and nails in here.  I don't know what those things out there are, but after listening to my cat die a long death, I know they're of another breed. They've been trying to tunnel through the door by biting at it, and soon they will succeed!  I've pried the bathroom door open, and I'm going to jump if they're anymore closer to breaking in.  

Holy shit!...Oh God, I hear the wood cracking, and things that looks like fingers are starting to emerge from a hole they made!...

Out the window I go!...Wish me luck!...I wouldn't wish this on anyone....






©2017
Bunny Villaire 
11
3
9
Juice
96 reads
Load 9 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to Jjautry.
Juice
Cancel
Crushes can be maddening, but the desperation of an established relationship is often worse. Write a vignette in which your love is frustrated by insecurity.
Written by Jjautry

Weathered

It was another lazy summer day spent inside, our bodies pressed together in the silence of the empty house. Neither of us said a word. He held the remote, absent-mindedly flipping through channels without truly searching for anything. I stole a quiet look at him out of the corner of my eye, disturbed by how strange he looked. After all these years together, looking at him now, he seemed like such an alien to me. He knew that I was staring, but he deliberately refused to return my gaze, something akin to detestation sparking in his dull eyes.

"Is it my fault?" I murmured.

Saying nothing, he escaped the room, leaving me alone and vulnerable.

12
2
3
Juice
71 reads
Donate coins to Jjautry.
Juice
Cancel
Crushes can be maddening, but the desperation of an established relationship is often worse. Write a vignette in which your love is frustrated by insecurity.
Written by Jjautry
Weathered
It was another lazy summer day spent inside, our bodies pressed together in the silence of the empty house. Neither of us said a word. He held the remote, absent-mindedly flipping through channels without truly searching for anything. I stole a quiet look at him out of the corner of my eye, disturbed by how strange he looked. After all these years together, looking at him now, he seemed like such an alien to me. He knew that I was staring, but he deliberately refused to return my gaze, something akin to detestation sparking in his dull eyes.
"Is it my fault?" I murmured.
Saying nothing, he escaped the room, leaving me alone and vulnerable.
12
2
3
Juice
71 reads
Load 3 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to SonOfSlayer.
Juice
Cancel
Written by SonOfSlayer

January

Buck had a good system. For every dozen drafts he poured he kept two dollars. For every tenth shot of well whiskey he pocketed three dollars. It was almost fail proof. Tammy owned the bar with him. I’d stumbled into the job on accident. It wasn’t much of a job but it wasn’t much of a town. My girlfriend had family there. There was always a war over money. She was older than I was and she wanted a family. I only wanted a clear white space. It caused conflict. I was burned out and she was useless by herself. She wasn’t far in life but she was as far as she was because of weak men. People in the town liked me because she had big tits. We’d walk around the town and I’d see people from the bar waving to us. I thought it was funny how they saw us.

And funny that I was the one to blame for the two of us being poor, but I was the only one who worked steadily. Apart from a pack of smokes a day and my coffee I had no personal expenses. I didn’t care about food or furniture. I didn’t care about glasses or plates or clothes. My budget was tight and angry. I spent money on typing paper and ribbon. I’d had a computer but it was destroyed during the drive up from Phoenix. I plugged it in and it was dead. I remembered her face when I was setting up the attic. I plugged in my machine and when it wouldn’t turn on I felt relief from her, satisfaction. It was the first time I’d felt a definite hatred for her. I thought about it while I poured.

“One dollar, Lutz.”

Lutz was a regular. He came in and drank from noon until close. House drafts were a dollar. And he nursed each beer for all it was worth. He drank day and night and left me with four quarters. Every Tuesday Buck made tacos. Three small tacos for a dollar. They were sloppy and shitty. They sold like wild fire. Tips at the bar were lousy. Except for Wednesdays, I walked home with maybe thirty dollars. Buck came out of the kitchen and sat next to Lutz. I poured him a draft. He looked around the bar. It was half full. He smiled, “How’s taco villa?”

“The usual. Do we have enough back there?”

“I just filled the prep bar.”

The phone rang. I looked at him. He shook his head. I picked it up.

“City Folks.”

“Hi sweetheart. How’s business?”

“It’s good. Same cast of characters.”

“If you need money for the lotto payout it’s in the office in the safe.”

“Nothing but losers today. I think Sam won twenty bucks.”

“But he lost a hundred to get it.”

“Right.”

“If I had the money he’s blown on that machine I could retire. Anyway, let me talk to Buck.”

She did that a lot. Buck refused to take her calls. She figured some banter might get some momentum going and he’d pick up the phone and flow into the conversation.

“Yeah, Buck just stepped out.”

I looked at him. He shrugged. I told her he said he’d be back in half an hour. Tammy came in after six at night. Buck never left. Buck had a son and a daughter from a previous marriage. He’d landed in town with a small savings and met Tammy. She was divorcing a man who had money. She put up the cash for the bar. It was Buck’s idea but she held the keys. Buck hired me because he wanted to bring some dignity into the bar. That’s what he said. I was young and strong. But I also had no temper. It took a lot for someone to get at me. Sam tried on my first day:

“Hey, nurse. Can you get me another one?”

His buddies laughed. I ignored him.

“Come on, man! Look, I’ll give you five bucks if you bring me two at once.”

I brought the two over. He looked at me and smiled, “You’d make a good faggot, you know that?”

I leaned over the bar and stared at him, “Care to find out?”

The bar broke up laughing. I put some glasses in the dishwasher:

“Seriously, Sam. Once you’ve had an ass like this you’re hooked. You’re totally gay.”

My girlfriend walked in and sat at the bar. The guys looked at her. She leaned over the bar and kissed me. Sam yelled, “Wait! I thought you were a faggot! That’s cheating!”

I filled a glass for her, “Sam, you’re only gay if you’re fucking a guy and you slap his left ass cheek three times.”

The bar broke up laughing again. Sam pounded on the bar, “I love this fucking guy!”

After that a few of Sam’s smartass friends tried to have a go at me. They weren’t hard to beat. Once I put them in any gay situation they broke down laughing. Buck and Tammy heard about it and gave me more hours. Then the full-time night bartender was fired for skimming the till. Buck caught her doing it. His system was better. I didn’t know why he was doing it. To cheat the government, maybe. He seemed happy with Tammy. Me, I had shit. I had big rent and a fucked up girlfriend. The bar job would have been alright had I lived in the town with a woman I cared about.

She ended up getting a job in Bend, working the sales floor for a fixture company. Faucets and toilets and lighting. She had to get up early. Apart from Wednesday night, when she would come into the bar while I closed, she was asleep when I came home. It was a blessing.

I usually came home and wrote. I hadn’t sat down for a hard run the first week of the job. One night I moved my typer downstairs and wrote from the kitchen table. I’d set up the attic for my study, then she immediately wanted to make it into our bedroom. We had two bedrooms downstairs by the bathroom. But she wanted to encroach on my fucking creation. I sat at the table and drank coffee. I lit a smoke off the stove and worked into a story. I heard the footsteps. The footsteps were black clouds above me. I reached over and turned up the radio. I felt her behind me. She walked over to the stove and brushed away the little spot my cigarette left on the burner.

She rinsed the rag in the sink, “I hate it when you do that. It’s so trashy.”

I sat there and stared at the page. She walked into the bathroom, “What the fuck?”

I reached over and grabbed my coffee. She came out, “I told you I hate seeing cigarette butts floating in the toilet. There’s something desperate about it.”

I read over the page:

Those who retain beauty and youth never had expectations of others.

She sat down at the table, “You’re awfully late.”

“Did the typer wake you?”

“Not really. I knew you were here. Why didn’t you come to bed with me?”

“Not tired.”

“What are you writing about?”

“Nothing right now. I’m listening to you whine.”

“Oh, so it’s fair that I have to work all day then wake up to you downstairs in the kitchen by yourself?”

“That’s what happens when people work opposite schedules. You should get some sleep.”

“This isn’t working out.”

“I get paid at the end of the month. I can be out then.”

“No. You’re not living with me if we’re not together. I can’t take that bullshit.”

It was her best move. If she was driving she’d tell me to get out of the car. I’d just made rent and she was telling me it wasn’t working out. Her uncle and grandmother lived in the town. But they never spent time with her. She told me that she was tired of the two of us not spending time together. She said that I had to do something about it. I lit another smoke off the stove and sat down, “I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about it, I’m not going to quit my job, that’s for damned sure. If you’re really shaken up over it you can find different hours somewhere else.”

“No, you can switch to the day shift at the bar.”

“And walk away with six dollars in my pocket after seven hours? Good idea.”

“Then you’ll have to leave.”

“Gladly. In a month.”

“No, tomorrow!”

“Maybe you forget that I’m on the lease with you.”

“Merle likes me. He only rented the house to us because he likes me.”

“You must be proud.”

“Fuck you.”

“No thanks.”

She raised her eyebrows, “Really?”

“I’m trying to write here. Why do you have to walk down and start in on me? You bitch about having no time together yet any time left over you spend bitching at me. If it’s so fucking important for you that I leave I’ll hit Buck up for an advance and rent out a room for a month off my final check. Now, let me fucking write. Please.”

“Fine. I’m leaving, then.”

“Perfect.”

“Good. I’m tired of waking up and arguing with you. I have to be at work in three hours and I’m sitting here arguing with you.”

“Whose fault is that?”

“I can’t believe the way you treat me.”

“It’s too bad, I know. The way you suffer.”

“Maybe you can shack up with one of those sluts from Wednesday night.”

“She’d probably treat me a lot better.”

“I’m not going back to bed. We need to talk about why you are the way you are.”

I looked at the page again, stood up and put my shoes on. It was snowing outside. I zipped up my coat and found my gloves.

“Where are you going?”

“To build a fucking igloo and get some peace.”

“I’m going to get ready for work. This isn’t working out.”

I took off the gloves and the coat and sat back down. I shook it off and picked up the story where I’d left it. I heard her walk down. She walked straight to the bathroom. I unrolled the page and set it on top of the pile.

Upstairs I laid across the bed and watched the window. It wasn’t snowing but it was white. There was nothing pure about it. I was defeated and pissed. It was bright and deadly out there, cold and deadly, but it was like summer compared to where I was living. I heard her coming up the stairs. She stopped at the foot of the bed.

“Are you going to be here when I get back?”

“I have to work tonight.”

She put her hand on her hip and stared and me. I hated it.

“That’s not what I mean.”

“I need to sleep.”

She bitched some more and walked out. I jacked off to an old girlfriend and fell asleep.

“One dollar Lutz.”

“I just gave you a dollar for the last one.”

He laughed at himself. Sam came in and sat next to him. He nodded at me, “You ready for your big night?”

I set his beer down, “You’re just jealous.”

“Shit. I’m over that phase in my life.”

Lutz looked over at him, “What? Sex?”

“You’re goddamn right. I was so relieved when that day hit. Now when the old lady wants to have sex I’m like, ‘Damn baby, is it your birthday already?’”

Lutz threw his dollar down, “Shit, I’d be happy enough just to get some on my birthday.”

I took the dollar and stuck it in the till, “You’re not getting some rotting away on that stool.”

He waved me off, “Shit. I’ve had my share of pussy. Now I sit and reflect. You’ll get to be my age one day and you’ll resort to reflection, too.”

“Way ahead of you.”

They laughed. Sam raised his beer to me, “Just send her on this way.”

I poured a coke and slammed it, “I respect human life too much to do something like that.”

Lutz smiled. I refilled the glass and lit a smoke across from them. Sam rubbed his head, “I can’t believe I’ve been sitting here and neither one of you have said anything about my haircut.”

Lutz rubbed the haircut, “Awww, it looks nice, honey.”

“Just got a trim. I like it. Barbara says it makes me look younger. The way she cut it hides my receding hairline. Eight bucks.”

Lutz had long hair. He braided it back into a pony tail. They both had mustaches. Sam smiled at me, “You ought to get a shave and gel your hair down. You’re looking like a car thief.”

“Miami Vice,” Lutz said.

“Too cold to shave. I walk to work.”

“You live seven blocks away.”

I nodded to his mustache, “I could grow a dick-duster.”

Lutz laughed. Sam looked at him, “What the fuck are you laughing at? You got a mustache.”

“No, I have a handlebar. You have a mustache. Or, as your fair accuser behind the bar calls it, a dick-duster.”

Sam looked at me, “Shit. He has room to talk. Looks like he just woke up.”

I poured him another beer, “You look like a gay cop, Sam. You need to come to grips with your alter ego.”

“What alter ego?”

“Think about it.”

Lutz sipped his beer, “Another Wednesday. I see you’re wearing your finest.”

I set Sam’s empty glass in the dishwasher, “You use what you have. Wednesday night covers a lot of stress for me.”

“Rhonda and Cindy’ll cover you. More than once, too.”

“I know. Two more hours until the gates open.”

My girlfriend’s uncle walked in and sat down a few seats from Sam. Her uncle was a good man. He was consciously drinking himself away. He’d been through most of the painful sickness. Now he was gliding evenly into death. He looked like hell, but he was upbeat lately. He spent 21 days in treatment. Some fucked up family intervention. He was almost 40. The whole family consisted of 12-steppers and ex-things. They invited Jack over for some bullshit dinner and they surrounded him. Parts of the family had broken off and become rich, whether it was in insurance or children’s clothing. Jack was living off the money he’d made from selling his ranch after his divorce. His ex-wife turned to speed. But he stuck with the liquor. I’d never seen him sober. Everybody liked him. He did his 21 days and took the Antabuse and convinced the heads he wanted to turn over a new leaf. He even gained a few pounds back. After his 21 days he walked out and went to the bar. He hit the Vodka hard in the morning. In the afternoon he napped, and at dusk he awoke and had a few beers to warm up.

I set the glass in front of him, “Here’s another nail for your lid.”

“Thanks.”

Sam nodded at him, “Where you been keeping yourself?”

“I’m around.”

I wiped the bar down and emptied the ashtrays.

Jack smiled at me, “Heard you’ve been being a horse’s ass.”

“Yeah. I’m an inhuman monster.”

“She called me from work today.”

“I’m sure.”

“I don’t know why you two had to move into that big house.”

“Because she’s a fucking idiot.”

“Things been that bad?”

“I don’t like her.”

“I can’t say anything about that. She’s always been crazy.”

“If you see it that way. I don’t think she’s crazy at all. She’s a control freak. I can’t remember the last time I was attracted to her soberly.”

The Love brothers walked in. They worked light construction around town. I worked for them when we first moved into town. They paid seven dollars per hour. The job was long and pointless. I showed up for work my last day and they were three hours late. And they didn’t have the money to pay me. But they had money for the bar. I refused them service until they paid me off. They bitched to Buck about it. Buck told them when they paid me they could drink. Wednesday night was a big deal for the men in town. It was a Wednesday last month when I wouldn’t serve them. They walked back in the office and talked to Buck about me. I was 27 and they were in their forties but I wasn’t worried about them. They were famous in town for not paying their debts to their workers. They sat at the bar after Buck had backed me up. Sam was there with Lutz. Sam smiled to them, “Carl and Dale Love. How’s tricks?”

Carl was the older one. But they were both graceless. He nodded at me:

“He won’t serve us.”

Sam smiled, “Come on, kid. Forgive and forget. They need a beer.”

“And I need my money.”

Dale eyed me, “You’re gonna look awful funny trying to pour drinks with two broken arms.”

I called Buck out of the back. He walked behind the bar.

“Can I have fifteen minutes off right now?” I said.

“Sure. What’s wrong?”

I took off my apron and set it on the bar. I pointed at them, “Both you cocksuckers. Out back, now.”

Nothing happened. I put it back on, “Get the fuck out of here.”

Buck smiled and looked at them. Carl dug into his pocket and tossed a fist of twenties over the bar and on the floor. I picked them up and tossed them back. The bills hit them and scattered. I poured Sam another one and took away his glass. I stood back in front of them, “Now, hand me that money like men. One more little tantrum like that and you guys are 86’d for good.”

They looked at Buck. He put his hands up, “He’s the bartender. I just own the place.”

Carl looked at Dale, “Give him the money.”

I shook my head at him, “No, you give me the money. You’re the boss, right?”

He gathered the money and handed it to me. I put it in my pocket and poured them a beer. I set them down on the bar and knocked on the wood. I put their beer money in the till. Lutz smiled. I leaned on the bar and stared at them, “Honor feels good, doesn’t it? You can only burn so many people. I could have been a psychopath. I could have burned your fucking houses down.”

They gave each other a dumb look and drank their beers. Every Wednesday since then they were good tippers and respectful. This Wednesday was no different. They sat down next to Jack and ordered a pitcher. I set it down with the glasses and poured their glasses, “You guys here for some action?”

Dale laughed, “Hell yes. I even took a bath.”

I smiled at Carl, “What about you?”

“Shit, I’m not wasting my time in the shower.”

The phone rang.

“City Folks.”

“It’s me. How’s work going?”

“It’s just fine.”

“Listen, I’m sorry about this morning. I want to come in tonight and drink a little.”

“We’ll be open.”

“Alright. I love you.”

“Alright.”

I hung up. It rang back.

“City Folks.”

“I told you I loved you.”

“I heard you.”

Jack shook his head. She paused for a second. The first wave walked in.

“I have to go. The first team just walked in.”

“Maybe I won’t come down tonight. Maybe I should just move on.”

“Take care.”

I hung up.

Wednesday was ladies’ pool league night. The largest and most wretched women in the county filled the bar with their fat asses and sexual repression. Once in awhile they had a thin one in the herd, but my girlfriend showed up around seven at night and she stayed until closing, drove me home and bitched at me until she had to go to work. Once in awhile we had sex, but not too often. She was paranoid about me taking off with a girl after work, or she would try to get herself worked up for home when we got there. I preferred masturbation over either. One of her biggest problems with the bar job was Wednesday. Once in awhile a cow would run her hand down my lower back or touch my hair. But I always walked out of the bar with at least a hundred dollars. Buck smiled at me, “Trouble in Paradise?”

“She says she’s moving on.”

“Moving on to what?”

“I don’t care.”

The girls pulled out their sticks and rolled them on the table. They were the team from Madras. I walked over.

“Hello, ladies. The usual?”

They cackled and elbowed each other:

“We’ll take three pitchers of Coors light and a few pizzas.”

“Will you ladies be running a tab again tonight?”

“Only if there’s a lap dance involved.”

They cackled again. I smiled, “You couldn’t afford it.”

I walked away and poured the pitchers. I nodded to Buck, “Three pizzas.”

“Cheese or meat combos?”

“What do you think?”

He walked back in the kitchen and threw them in the oven. I walked the pitchers over and came back with the glasses. Tammy walked in and waved to me. I set the glasses down and poured their first beers. Little things like that fattened the tip jar. The pool games went on until eleven or so, then the mating ritual began. I walked behind the bar. Tammy looked at me and smiled. I fixed her a Bloody Mary. She lit up, “My girlfriend’s daughter’s coming in tonight with them. You’d like her. I told her about you.”

“That’s nice, Tammy. But I can’t do anything about it, being how I live with Satan and all.”

“Maybe she won’t come in tonight.”

“And maybe I’m a Swedish doctor.”

“I don’t know why you don’t kick her to the curb. You should be with a nice girl.”

I looked at her. Jack was right beside her. She saw him, “Oh, hey Jack. Shit.”

He laughed, “I didn’t hear a word. But you’re probably right.”

She laughed with him and nodded to me, “You’ll like Tina. She’s funny.”

Jack had another, then walked out and toward the next place.

I did like Tina. She was a healthy farm girl. She took her vitamins. The bar was in full swing. I hustled my ass off. Rhonda and Cindy didn’t play pool. They ate pizza at the bar and smiled at me over their Chablis. It was just after eight. Tina walked to the bar.

“What can I get for you?”

“A shot of Maker’s and a Newcastle.”

“Nice.”

I set her up. She tipped heavily.

“How long have you worked here?”

“Two months.”

“Do you have a girlfriend?”

“Don’t say that out loud. She’ll appear.”

She laughed, “Tammy said you should dump her.”

“Tammy’s right.”

The door opened and she walked in. I looked at Tina, “Great. Thanks a lot.”

She laughed and walked past her. They eyed each other. It was good. She sat a few stools away from Rhonda and Cindy.

“Who was that?”

“A customer.”

“I’ll bet. Give me a drink.”

“Goat’s blood or the soul of a child?”

Sam and Lutz broke out laughing. She got up and walked out. I ran some pitchers over to a pool table. I looked outside. It was snowing. Carl and Dale had found a group of bison and blended in. I poured Lutz another. He took the glass and moved his eyes to the door. I nodded.

She sat back down, “Let’s try this again. Can I have a whiskey sour, please, bartender?”

I fixed the drink and set it down. She smiled, “I don’t have any money.”

I reached into the tip jar. Lutz nudged her, “Must be nice.”

She took a drink, “He has a good ass on him, but his brain is evil.”

Sam looked over and smiled at me, “Oh, I think he’s a big sweetheart. You’re lucky.”

Cindy glanced at her, “Damned right.”

I looked around the bar. Everything was covered. I poured a coke and opened a pack of smokes. Tina sat down and held her lighter out. She lit me up, “You work hard. Do you work that hard in bed?”

“Hell, no.”

My girlfriend was in flames. I set Tina up with another shot and a beer. She tipped me five dollars.

“Thanks, Tina.”

She winked at me and walked off. I walked over and poured Sam another beer. He looked at my girlfriend, “How’s work going down at the bathroom joint?”

“It’s not just a bathroom joint. I sell ceiling fans and lighting, too.”

“Oh. Sorry.”

He rolled his eyes at me. She nodded for another drink. I made her one in a big water glass. It was full of whiskey. I put a ten in the till. Buck smiled at me through the opening between the kitchen and the bar. I walked back. He was pulling some pizzas from the oven, “You don’t have to do that. I’ll buy her drinks.”

“It’s not about the money.”

He shook his head, “They always gotta make it a fucking war.”

She was a fast drunk. It only took her two or three shots before it set in. For somebody who once lived in Manhattan and hung around her great and godly circles she had no composure. And she was totally transposed as a drinker. Everything turned opposite. It wasn’t any better than normal, but it was almost entertaining to watch her mind try to adjust or function. But she drank the whiskey and went to the bathroom, battled the truth in the mirror, came out and drank the whiskey. Tammy sat at the other end of the bar. I made her a Black Opal and set it down. She looked at my girlfriend and smiled at me, “You asshole.”

“If she wants to come in here and put on that skin she’s going to wear it.”

She watched me talk to Tammy. I walked over and handed Lutz his beer. She was drunk and she leaned into Lutz and motioned to me, “See that man right there? I’m going to fuck that man.”

Sam raised his eyebrows at me. Lutz put his arm around her, “If you’re going to do that you need to slow down. I don’t think our bartender’s quite seasoned for hardcore sex.”

She rolled her eyes and shook her head, “No. I’m going to fuck him. He treats me like shit but I’m going to fuck him.”

She laughed suddenly and loudly, “Where’s my uncle!”

I walked over, “He’s around. Probably down at Goodwater’s. He said he was coming back. Here, let me give you a refill.”

Buck walked out of the kitchen and smiled at me. He looked to the phone. I tossed it to him and poured another pitcher for the players. He talked for a minute and hung up. He sat down on the other side of my girlfriend and nodded. I poured him a draft and set it down. He patted his shirt pocket. His pack was empty. I tossed him a pack from the bar. He smoked straights. I wrote a receipt for it and shoved it under the drawer in the till. Tammy walked over to him and wrapped her arms around him, “Hi, Papa. You tired?”

My girlfriend drank and looked at them, “See that? You two are in love. Why can’t it be like that with the man I love?”

Sam looked over at her, “Jesus, woman. Show some class.”

Her eyes widened and glared at him. She pointed, “You. You shut up.”

Rhonda and Cindy looked at me. I lit up and took away their drinks, “You ladies still thirsty?”

“Two more then we’re good, baby.”

My girlfriend stared into the glass, “She calls him baby and he doesn’t even care.”

Buck stood up and Tammy took his place on the stool. She put her arm around her and talked into her ear. I liked Tammy. She was older with high blonde hair. She was thick and strong-minded but she wasn’t garish. My girlfriend slammed the drink and asked me for another. Tammy looked at me, “It’s your call.”

I poured her another and set it down, “It’s fine. Buck called Goodwater’s a minute ago. Jack’s on his way over.”

I put her keys in my pocket. She made a delayed and sloppy swipe for them, “Hey!”

Tammy rubbed her arm, “Don’t worry, honey. Jack’s going to get you home whenever you want to leave. Just sit here and drink and relax a little. You know, if you just loosened up once in awhile things might be better with you two.”

She stared at me. Her eyes were half shut, “Do you think I need to loosen up once in awhile?”

“I think you should keep drinking and forget about everything for an hour or two.”

Tina showed up at the other end of the bar: “Hey, bartender!” She was drunk: “Why don’t you walk over here and give me some more?”

Sam rubbed his forehead. My girlfriend started crying. She looked at me, “Do you love me?”

Tammy nodded yes at me quickly. I set a new whiskey sour down in front of her, “Here, drink this.”

I put her old glass in the dishwasher and set Tina up. I set the drinks down. She gave me a ten and two ones, “Keep it.”

“Thanks, Tina.”

She leaned over the bar and wrote her number down on the back of a coaster. She slid it over and shook her head, “Call me when you can get away for a few hours.”

She walked off. I looked at the number and threw it in the trash. My girlfriend smiled at the other end of the bar. I raised an eyebrow at her and poured Sam another. I watched the beer fill the glass and repeated the number over in my head. I associated the number with her auburn hair and her hips. It was locked in. The bitch of it would be timing. I couldn’t do anything with her while I was still with Satan. I wiped down the bar and calculated the perfect escape plan. I had a whiteboard in my mind and I stood there with a pointer and showed myself, in detailed steps, how I could pull it off. I could get the times of departing buses for Portland. I could quit the bar and have one day at the house to pack a duffel bag. I could take an early morning bus. The previous afternoon I could leave the house and go to Tina’s place, fuck her all night and have her drop me off at the station, jump on a bus and head into the city and get a place. There I could live alone and write another novel. There I could meet a nice girl who had a real soul and a real life. I could get a cheap car and take road trips. I could sit awake until four in the morning and write and drink and smoke and look out my window. I could walk Chinatown when I couldn’t sleep. I could live on the east side if I wanted to. Maybe rent a room out of a house with some decent people and walk to the cafes in the early mornings and drink real coffee. I could get a dog and teach him to catch a frisbee. Maybe I could be a waiter or a writer for some stupid little magazine up there to pay the bills. One thing was for sure, I was dead in this town.

Jack walked in and sat next to her. She hugged him and laughed, “Here’s my boy!”

He nodded at me, “Vodka soda.”

I set him up. He tossed a twenty on the bar. I handed him his change and walked over to clear one of the tables. The women were leaving. They almost emptied out at once. Tina blew me a kiss and walked out. They were laughing. Rhonda and Cindy left me a ten spot each on the bar and took off. I hustled the bus tub behind the bar. I set up Sam and Lutz with two on the house and started the pre-close. It was just before midnight but I liked to get the place ready to vacuum right at one. Buck and Tammy stood by the kitchen in their coats. Buck looked at Jack, “You gonna get her home alright?”

“I’ll take care of her.”

She looked at me and slurred, “At least somebody gives a shit.”

Tammy walked over and kissed me on the cheek. She scrubbed the back of my head and smiled, “See you tomorrow night. Thanks a lot for all your work.”

“Any time, Tammy.”

My girlfriend looked into her glass and repeated my words bitterly. Tammy walked over and squeezed her shoulder, “You behave yourself tonight, sweetie. We’ll see you.”

Buck waved and they left. Jack stood up and gripped her shoulders, “Come on. He’ll get the car home. You need to get your head down for awhile. You’re going to be feeling like shit tomorrow.”

She looked at her glass and tipped it over on the bar, “Whatever.”

I glanced at the whiskey dripping off the corner of the bar from the lip of the glass. It was a perfect snapshot of the last year I’d been with her. He walked her to the door. She kept turning and saying hostile things to me. He waved and they were gone. Back at the bar I poured Lutz and Sam two more. Sam smiled at me, “You got your hands full with that one.”

“Hardly.”

Lutz watched me drain the beer tray from under the taps, “Well, hell. Time I got my drunk ass to sleep. Thanks a lot.”

“See you tomorrow, Lutz.”

Sam slammed his beer and stood up, “Same here. I have to work at five sharp. Supposed to snow hard in a few hours.”

“You two be careful. Thanks for the company.”

They left. They always left at the same time. Nobody bothered to wonder. I walked over to the juke box, put a dollar in and played some Don Williams. I vacuumed the rugs and did the dishes. It was almost one in the morning. I had another hour to wait. I couldn’t total out until I locked the door, so I counted my tips. A hundred and forty-seven dollars clear. A few more weeks like this and I could be alright. I made myself a large Jack Coke and sat at the corner of the bar. I lit up and unbuttoned my long-sleeve. It was hot in the bar. I set my shirt on the bar and zoned out. I finished the drink and set the garbage bags by the back door. The front door opened and the cold air shot in.

“You closed?”

“Not yet. You still have a good hour.”

His name was Blanks. I never knew his first name. I knew he lived south between the bar and Bend with his wife and two boys. I hadn’t seen him in over a month. He was addicted to the machines. He played poker constantly. The last time he was in he blew his whole two week’s pay. He was a famous loser in the county. He had big sorry eyes and a droopy mustache. He sat at the bar, “Walked here from Goodwater’s. Old lady took the car back. We had a fight.”

“I hear you.”

“Bottle of Bud.”

I opened the bottle for him. He walked over and sat behind the poker machine. He held up a roll of bills, “You see this? Nine hundred dollars. I’m going to turn this into a small fortune. Right here, right now.”

“Don’t say that.”

“Fuck it. I’m due.”

I went back to the walk-in and hauled out some bottles and rotated the beer case behind the bar. I wheeled out a replacement keg and set it under the taps in the cooler for the morning bartender. It had been a heavy night for house drafts and she was old and weak. I set the clean glasses back and wiped down the bar one more time.

“Another bottle of Bud.”

I walked it over. He handed me a twenty, “Keep it.”

“Blanks, you need to hold onto this.”

“Ah, fuck it. I’m already up three hundred.”

“Walk away now. Twelve hundred dollars is a lot of money.”

His eyes were sick with fever, “No. I have unfinished business with this fucking machine. Remember the last time I was in here? This motherfucker took six hundred away from the table.”

“These machines are designed to win. Once in awhile somebody gets lucky, but that’s all it is.”

“Bullshit. This thing is MINE.”

“Alright.”

I stood behind the bar and drank my drink.

He yelled: “Ha! Sixteen hundred! Here we fucking go! Bring it on, you motherfucker!”

I totaled out the till. It was a good night for Buck and Tammy. I rolled the receipt and wrapped a rubber band around it. I walked back into the office and set the deposit bag in the safe. I walked out and picked up my drink, “How’s it going, Blanks?”

“Fucker has me down to five hundred. I’m not worried, though. It’s just fucking with me.”

By a quarter to close he was dead broke. He walked over to the bar and plopped down, “Son of a bitch. That was my rent and bills.”

I didn’t say anything. He dropped his head on the bar and started crying. He sobbed about how his wife was going to be pissed at him and how his kids had no food. He was pathetic there. He sat up and looked at me, “Hey, about that twenty. I might need that for a cab.”

“I put it under the ashtray.”

He looked over and swiped it up. I walked in the back and grabbed my coat and gloves. I watched him from the kitchen window. He went to the machine and fed it the twenty. It was gone instantly. He screamed and hit the machine. I walked around and lit up. Five minutes to close.

“Blanks, I have to shut it down. I’m sorry.”

“How am I getting home?”

“I don’t know.”

He leaned over the bar, “Listen, loan me a hundred dollars. That machine is just waiting to pay out. I’ll give you half of what I win.”

“No fucking way. I have bills and rent. I can’t afford to piss my money away on the fucking lottery.”

He sobbed and wiped his face, “What am I going to do?”

I called a cab. I had gotten to know Jerry over the phone but I only saw his face through the opened door of the bar.

“Burris cab.”

“Hello, Jerry. Blanks needs a ride home.”

“Does he have money?”

“I’ll get the fare. Can you hurry?”

“I’m turning the corner now.”

I hung up, “I’ll get the cab ride. I have to close up. Jerry’s almost here. I’m sorry, Blanks.”

He downed his beer and slid the bottle over to me. I trashed it. Jerry stuck his head in the door, “Let’s go, Blanks.”

I handed him a twenty and five ones, “He has twenty five bucks, Jerry. Is five dollars good enough for a tip?”

“It’s fine. Talk to you later.”

Blanks walked to the door with the money. There was a machine by the pool table near the front door. He hesitated and looked at me. I reached over and flipped off the lights over the pool tables. He walked out. I turned them back on and locked the front door. I took out the trash and set the alarm. I started the car and let it warm up for awhile. I lit up and watched the snow. She hated it when I smoked in her car. I blew a cloud against the windshield and drove off. Seven blocks to the house. I looked up the street and set it into low. She didn’t have snow chains. I already knew she wasn’t going to work. They were calling for a big storm. I listened to the wind and drove through the small and dormant streets. I didn’t want to go home but I had no choice. I parked in the driveway. All the lights were on.

33
2
7
Juice
338 reads
Donate coins to SonOfSlayer.
Juice
Cancel
Written by SonOfSlayer
January
Buck had a good system. For every dozen drafts he poured he kept two dollars. For every tenth shot of well whiskey he pocketed three dollars. It was almost fail proof. Tammy owned the bar with him. I’d stumbled into the job on accident. It wasn’t much of a job but it wasn’t much of a town. My girlfriend had family there. There was always a war over money. She was older than I was and she wanted a family. I only wanted a clear white space. It caused conflict. I was burned out and she was useless by herself. She wasn’t far in life but she was as far as she was because of weak men. People in the town liked me because she had big tits. We’d walk around the town and I’d see people from the bar waving to us. I thought it was funny how they saw us.

And funny that I was the one to blame for the two of us being poor, but I was the only one who worked steadily. Apart from a pack of smokes a day and my coffee I had no personal expenses. I didn’t care about food or furniture. I didn’t care about glasses or plates or clothes. My budget was tight and angry. I spent money on typing paper and ribbon. I’d had a computer but it was destroyed during the drive up from Phoenix. I plugged it in and it was dead. I remembered her face when I was setting up the attic. I plugged in my machine and when it wouldn’t turn on I felt relief from her, satisfaction. It was the first time I’d felt a definite hatred for her. I thought about it while I poured.
“One dollar, Lutz.”
Lutz was a regular. He came in and drank from noon until close. House drafts were a dollar. And he nursed each beer for all it was worth. He drank day and night and left me with four quarters. Every Tuesday Buck made tacos. Three small tacos for a dollar. They were sloppy and shitty. They sold like wild fire. Tips at the bar were lousy. Except for Wednesdays, I walked home with maybe thirty dollars. Buck came out of the kitchen and sat next to Lutz. I poured him a draft. He looked around the bar. It was half full. He smiled, “How’s taco villa?”
“The usual. Do we have enough back there?”
“I just filled the prep bar.”
The phone rang. I looked at him. He shook his head. I picked it up.
“City Folks.”
“Hi sweetheart. How’s business?”
“It’s good. Same cast of characters.”
“If you need money for the lotto payout it’s in the office in the safe.”
“Nothing but losers today. I think Sam won twenty bucks.”
“But he lost a hundred to get it.”
“Right.”
“If I had the money he’s blown on that machine I could retire. Anyway, let me talk to Buck.”
She did that a lot. Buck refused to take her calls. She figured some banter might get some momentum going and he’d pick up the phone and flow into the conversation.
“Yeah, Buck just stepped out.”
I looked at him. He shrugged. I told her he said he’d be back in half an hour. Tammy came in after six at night. Buck never left. Buck had a son and a daughter from a previous marriage. He’d landed in town with a small savings and met Tammy. She was divorcing a man who had money. She put up the cash for the bar. It was Buck’s idea but she held the keys. Buck hired me because he wanted to bring some dignity into the bar. That’s what he said. I was young and strong. But I also had no temper. It took a lot for someone to get at me. Sam tried on my first day:
“Hey, nurse. Can you get me another one?”
His buddies laughed. I ignored him.
“Come on, man! Look, I’ll give you five bucks if you bring me two at once.”
I brought the two over. He looked at me and smiled, “You’d make a good faggot, you know that?”
I leaned over the bar and stared at him, “Care to find out?”
The bar broke up laughing. I put some glasses in the dishwasher:
“Seriously, Sam. Once you’ve had an ass like this you’re hooked. You’re totally gay.”
My girlfriend walked in and sat at the bar. The guys looked at her. She leaned over the bar and kissed me. Sam yelled, “Wait! I thought you were a faggot! That’s cheating!”
I filled a glass for her, “Sam, you’re only gay if you’re fucking a guy and you slap his left ass cheek three times.”
The bar broke up laughing again. Sam pounded on the bar, “I love this fucking guy!”
After that a few of Sam’s smartass friends tried to have a go at me. They weren’t hard to beat. Once I put them in any gay situation they broke down laughing. Buck and Tammy heard about it and gave me more hours. Then the full-time night bartender was fired for skimming the till. Buck caught her doing it. His system was better. I didn’t know why he was doing it. To cheat the government, maybe. He seemed happy with Tammy. Me, I had shit. I had big rent and a fucked up girlfriend. The bar job would have been alright had I lived in the town with a woman I cared about.
She ended up getting a job in Bend, working the sales floor for a fixture company. Faucets and toilets and lighting. She had to get up early. Apart from Wednesday night, when she would come into the bar while I closed, she was asleep when I came home. It was a blessing.


I usually came home and wrote. I hadn’t sat down for a hard run the first week of the job. One night I moved my typer downstairs and wrote from the kitchen table. I’d set up the attic for my study, then she immediately wanted to make it into our bedroom. We had two bedrooms downstairs by the bathroom. But she wanted to encroach on my fucking creation. I sat at the table and drank coffee. I lit a smoke off the stove and worked into a story. I heard the footsteps. The footsteps were black clouds above me. I reached over and turned up the radio. I felt her behind me. She walked over to the stove and brushed away the little spot my cigarette left on the burner.
She rinsed the rag in the sink, “I hate it when you do that. It’s so trashy.”
I sat there and stared at the page. She walked into the bathroom, “What the fuck?”
I reached over and grabbed my coffee. She came out, “I told you I hate seeing cigarette butts floating in the toilet. There’s something desperate about it.”
I read over the page:
Those who retain beauty and youth never had expectations of others.
She sat down at the table, “You’re awfully late.”
“Did the typer wake you?”
“Not really. I knew you were here. Why didn’t you come to bed with me?”
“Not tired.”
“What are you writing about?”
“Nothing right now. I’m listening to you whine.”
“Oh, so it’s fair that I have to work all day then wake up to you downstairs in the kitchen by yourself?”
“That’s what happens when people work opposite schedules. You should get some sleep.”
“This isn’t working out.”
“I get paid at the end of the month. I can be out then.”
“No. You’re not living with me if we’re not together. I can’t take that bullshit.”
It was her best move. If she was driving she’d tell me to get out of the car. I’d just made rent and she was telling me it wasn’t working out. Her uncle and grandmother lived in the town. But they never spent time with her. She told me that she was tired of the two of us not spending time together. She said that I had to do something about it. I lit another smoke off the stove and sat down, “I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about it, I’m not going to quit my job, that’s for damned sure. If you’re really shaken up over it you can find different hours somewhere else.”
“No, you can switch to the day shift at the bar.”
“And walk away with six dollars in my pocket after seven hours? Good idea.”
“Then you’ll have to leave.”
“Gladly. In a month.”
“No, tomorrow!”
“Maybe you forget that I’m on the lease with you.”
“Merle likes me. He only rented the house to us because he likes me.”
“You must be proud.”
“Fuck you.”
“No thanks.”
She raised her eyebrows, “Really?”
“I’m trying to write here. Why do you have to walk down and start in on me? You bitch about having no time together yet any time left over you spend bitching at me. If it’s so fucking important for you that I leave I’ll hit Buck up for an advance and rent out a room for a month off my final check. Now, let me fucking write. Please.”
“Fine. I’m leaving, then.”
“Perfect.”
“Good. I’m tired of waking up and arguing with you. I have to be at work in three hours and I’m sitting here arguing with you.”
“Whose fault is that?”
“I can’t believe the way you treat me.”
“It’s too bad, I know. The way you suffer.”
“Maybe you can shack up with one of those sluts from Wednesday night.”
“She’d probably treat me a lot better.”
“I’m not going back to bed. We need to talk about why you are the way you are.”
I looked at the page again, stood up and put my shoes on. It was snowing outside. I zipped up my coat and found my gloves.
“Where are you going?”
“To build a fucking igloo and get some peace.”
“I’m going to get ready for work. This isn’t working out.”
I took off the gloves and the coat and sat back down. I shook it off and picked up the story where I’d left it. I heard her walk down. She walked straight to the bathroom. I unrolled the page and set it on top of the pile.

Upstairs I laid across the bed and watched the window. It wasn’t snowing but it was white. There was nothing pure about it. I was defeated and pissed. It was bright and deadly out there, cold and deadly, but it was like summer compared to where I was living. I heard her coming up the stairs. She stopped at the foot of the bed.
“Are you going to be here when I get back?”
“I have to work tonight.”
She put her hand on her hip and stared and me. I hated it.
“That’s not what I mean.”
“I need to sleep.”
She bitched some more and walked out. I jacked off to an old girlfriend and fell asleep.



“One dollar Lutz.”
“I just gave you a dollar for the last one.”
He laughed at himself. Sam came in and sat next to him. He nodded at me, “You ready for your big night?”
I set his beer down, “You’re just jealous.”
“Shit. I’m over that phase in my life.”
Lutz looked over at him, “What? Sex?”
“You’re goddamn right. I was so relieved when that day hit. Now when the old lady wants to have sex I’m like, ‘Damn baby, is it your birthday already?’”
Lutz threw his dollar down, “Shit, I’d be happy enough just to get some on my birthday.”
I took the dollar and stuck it in the till, “You’re not getting some rotting away on that stool.”
He waved me off, “Shit. I’ve had my share of pussy. Now I sit and reflect. You’ll get to be my age one day and you’ll resort to reflection, too.”
“Way ahead of you.”
They laughed. Sam raised his beer to me, “Just send her on this way.”
I poured a coke and slammed it, “I respect human life too much to do something like that.”
Lutz smiled. I refilled the glass and lit a smoke across from them. Sam rubbed his head, “I can’t believe I’ve been sitting here and neither one of you have said anything about my haircut.”
Lutz rubbed the haircut, “Awww, it looks nice, honey.”
“Just got a trim. I like it. Barbara says it makes me look younger. The way she cut it hides my receding hairline. Eight bucks.”
Lutz had long hair. He braided it back into a pony tail. They both had mustaches. Sam smiled at me, “You ought to get a shave and gel your hair down. You’re looking like a car thief.”
“Miami Vice,” Lutz said.
“Too cold to shave. I walk to work.”
“You live seven blocks away.”
I nodded to his mustache, “I could grow a dick-duster.”
Lutz laughed. Sam looked at him, “What the fuck are you laughing at? You got a mustache.”
“No, I have a handlebar. You have a mustache. Or, as your fair accuser behind the bar calls it, a dick-duster.”
Sam looked at me, “Shit. He has room to talk. Looks like he just woke up.”
I poured him another beer, “You look like a gay cop, Sam. You need to come to grips with your alter ego.”
“What alter ego?”
“Think about it.”
Lutz sipped his beer, “Another Wednesday. I see you’re wearing your finest.”
I set Sam’s empty glass in the dishwasher, “You use what you have. Wednesday night covers a lot of stress for me.”
“Rhonda and Cindy’ll cover you. More than once, too.”
“I know. Two more hours until the gates open.”
My girlfriend’s uncle walked in and sat down a few seats from Sam. Her uncle was a good man. He was consciously drinking himself away. He’d been through most of the painful sickness. Now he was gliding evenly into death. He looked like hell, but he was upbeat lately. He spent 21 days in treatment. Some fucked up family intervention. He was almost 40. The whole family consisted of 12-steppers and ex-things. They invited Jack over for some bullshit dinner and they surrounded him. Parts of the family had broken off and become rich, whether it was in insurance or children’s clothing. Jack was living off the money he’d made from selling his ranch after his divorce. His ex-wife turned to speed. But he stuck with the liquor. I’d never seen him sober. Everybody liked him. He did his 21 days and took the Antabuse and convinced the heads he wanted to turn over a new leaf. He even gained a few pounds back. After his 21 days he walked out and went to the bar. He hit the Vodka hard in the morning. In the afternoon he napped, and at dusk he awoke and had a few beers to warm up.
I set the glass in front of him, “Here’s another nail for your lid.”
“Thanks.”
Sam nodded at him, “Where you been keeping yourself?”
“I’m around.”
I wiped the bar down and emptied the ashtrays.
Jack smiled at me, “Heard you’ve been being a horse’s ass.”
“Yeah. I’m an inhuman monster.”
“She called me from work today.”
“I’m sure.”
“I don’t know why you two had to move into that big house.”
“Because she’s a fucking idiot.”
“Things been that bad?”
“I don’t like her.”
“I can’t say anything about that. She’s always been crazy.”
“If you see it that way. I don’t think she’s crazy at all. She’s a control freak. I can’t remember the last time I was attracted to her soberly.”
The Love brothers walked in. They worked light construction around town. I worked for them when we first moved into town. They paid seven dollars per hour. The job was long and pointless. I showed up for work my last day and they were three hours late. And they didn’t have the money to pay me. But they had money for the bar. I refused them service until they paid me off. They bitched to Buck about it. Buck told them when they paid me they could drink. Wednesday night was a big deal for the men in town. It was a Wednesday last month when I wouldn’t serve them. They walked back in the office and talked to Buck about me. I was 27 and they were in their forties but I wasn’t worried about them. They were famous in town for not paying their debts to their workers. They sat at the bar after Buck had backed me up. Sam was there with Lutz. Sam smiled to them, “Carl and Dale Love. How’s tricks?”
Carl was the older one. But they were both graceless. He nodded at me:
“He won’t serve us.”
Sam smiled, “Come on, kid. Forgive and forget. They need a beer.”
“And I need my money.”
Dale eyed me, “You’re gonna look awful funny trying to pour drinks with two broken arms.”
I called Buck out of the back. He walked behind the bar.
“Can I have fifteen minutes off right now?” I said.
“Sure. What’s wrong?”
I took off my apron and set it on the bar. I pointed at them, “Both you cocksuckers. Out back, now.”
Nothing happened. I put it back on, “Get the fuck out of here.”
Buck smiled and looked at them. Carl dug into his pocket and tossed a fist of twenties over the bar and on the floor. I picked them up and tossed them back. The bills hit them and scattered. I poured Sam another one and took away his glass. I stood back in front of them, “Now, hand me that money like men. One more little tantrum like that and you guys are 86’d for good.”
They looked at Buck. He put his hands up, “He’s the bartender. I just own the place.”
Carl looked at Dale, “Give him the money.”
I shook my head at him, “No, you give me the money. You’re the boss, right?”
He gathered the money and handed it to me. I put it in my pocket and poured them a beer. I set them down on the bar and knocked on the wood. I put their beer money in the till. Lutz smiled. I leaned on the bar and stared at them, “Honor feels good, doesn’t it? You can only burn so many people. I could have been a psychopath. I could have burned your fucking houses down.”
They gave each other a dumb look and drank their beers. Every Wednesday since then they were good tippers and respectful. This Wednesday was no different. They sat down next to Jack and ordered a pitcher. I set it down with the glasses and poured their glasses, “You guys here for some action?”
Dale laughed, “Hell yes. I even took a bath.”
I smiled at Carl, “What about you?”
“Shit, I’m not wasting my time in the shower.”
The phone rang.
“City Folks.”
“It’s me. How’s work going?”
“It’s just fine.”
“Listen, I’m sorry about this morning. I want to come in tonight and drink a little.”
“We’ll be open.”
“Alright. I love you.”
“Alright.”
I hung up. It rang back.
“City Folks.”
“I told you I loved you.”
“I heard you.”
Jack shook his head. She paused for a second. The first wave walked in.
“I have to go. The first team just walked in.”
“Maybe I won’t come down tonight. Maybe I should just move on.”
“Take care.”
I hung up.


Wednesday was ladies’ pool league night. The largest and most wretched women in the county filled the bar with their fat asses and sexual repression. Once in awhile they had a thin one in the herd, but my girlfriend showed up around seven at night and she stayed until closing, drove me home and bitched at me until she had to go to work. Once in awhile we had sex, but not too often. She was paranoid about me taking off with a girl after work, or she would try to get herself worked up for home when we got there. I preferred masturbation over either. One of her biggest problems with the bar job was Wednesday. Once in awhile a cow would run her hand down my lower back or touch my hair. But I always walked out of the bar with at least a hundred dollars. Buck smiled at me, “Trouble in Paradise?”
“She says she’s moving on.”
“Moving on to what?”
“I don’t care.”
The girls pulled out their sticks and rolled them on the table. They were the team from Madras. I walked over.
“Hello, ladies. The usual?”
They cackled and elbowed each other:
“We’ll take three pitchers of Coors light and a few pizzas.”
“Will you ladies be running a tab again tonight?”
“Only if there’s a lap dance involved.”
They cackled again. I smiled, “You couldn’t afford it.”
I walked away and poured the pitchers. I nodded to Buck, “Three pizzas.”
“Cheese or meat combos?”
“What do you think?”
He walked back in the kitchen and threw them in the oven. I walked the pitchers over and came back with the glasses. Tammy walked in and waved to me. I set the glasses down and poured their first beers. Little things like that fattened the tip jar. The pool games went on until eleven or so, then the mating ritual began. I walked behind the bar. Tammy looked at me and smiled. I fixed her a Bloody Mary. She lit up, “My girlfriend’s daughter’s coming in tonight with them. You’d like her. I told her about you.”
“That’s nice, Tammy. But I can’t do anything about it, being how I live with Satan and all.”
“Maybe she won’t come in tonight.”
“And maybe I’m a Swedish doctor.”
“I don’t know why you don’t kick her to the curb. You should be with a nice girl.”
I looked at her. Jack was right beside her. She saw him, “Oh, hey Jack. Shit.”
He laughed, “I didn’t hear a word. But you’re probably right.”
She laughed with him and nodded to me, “You’ll like Tina. She’s funny.”
Jack had another, then walked out and toward the next place.
I did like Tina. She was a healthy farm girl. She took her vitamins. The bar was in full swing. I hustled my ass off. Rhonda and Cindy didn’t play pool. They ate pizza at the bar and smiled at me over their Chablis. It was just after eight. Tina walked to the bar.
“What can I get for you?”
“A shot of Maker’s and a Newcastle.”
“Nice.”
I set her up. She tipped heavily.
“How long have you worked here?”
“Two months.”
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
“Don’t say that out loud. She’ll appear.”
She laughed, “Tammy said you should dump her.”
“Tammy’s right.”
The door opened and she walked in. I looked at Tina, “Great. Thanks a lot.”
She laughed and walked past her. They eyed each other. It was good. She sat a few stools away from Rhonda and Cindy.
“Who was that?”
“A customer.”
“I’ll bet. Give me a drink.”
“Goat’s blood or the soul of a child?”
Sam and Lutz broke out laughing. She got up and walked out. I ran some pitchers over to a pool table. I looked outside. It was snowing. Carl and Dale had found a group of bison and blended in. I poured Lutz another. He took the glass and moved his eyes to the door. I nodded.
She sat back down, “Let’s try this again. Can I have a whiskey sour, please, bartender?”
I fixed the drink and set it down. She smiled, “I don’t have any money.”
I reached into the tip jar. Lutz nudged her, “Must be nice.”
She took a drink, “He has a good ass on him, but his brain is evil.”
Sam looked over and smiled at me, “Oh, I think he’s a big sweetheart. You’re lucky.”
Cindy glanced at her, “Damned right.”
I looked around the bar. Everything was covered. I poured a coke and opened a pack of smokes. Tina sat down and held her lighter out. She lit me up, “You work hard. Do you work that hard in bed?”
“Hell, no.”
My girlfriend was in flames. I set Tina up with another shot and a beer. She tipped me five dollars.
“Thanks, Tina.”
She winked at me and walked off. I walked over and poured Sam another beer. He looked at my girlfriend, “How’s work going down at the bathroom joint?”
“It’s not just a bathroom joint. I sell ceiling fans and lighting, too.”
“Oh. Sorry.”
He rolled his eyes at me. She nodded for another drink. I made her one in a big water glass. It was full of whiskey. I put a ten in the till. Buck smiled at me through the opening between the kitchen and the bar. I walked back. He was pulling some pizzas from the oven, “You don’t have to do that. I’ll buy her drinks.”
“It’s not about the money.”
He shook his head, “They always gotta make it a fucking war.”
She was a fast drunk. It only took her two or three shots before it set in. For somebody who once lived in Manhattan and hung around her great and godly circles she had no composure. And she was totally transposed as a drinker. Everything turned opposite. It wasn’t any better than normal, but it was almost entertaining to watch her mind try to adjust or function. But she drank the whiskey and went to the bathroom, battled the truth in the mirror, came out and drank the whiskey. Tammy sat at the other end of the bar. I made her a Black Opal and set it down. She looked at my girlfriend and smiled at me, “You asshole.”
“If she wants to come in here and put on that skin she’s going to wear it.”
She watched me talk to Tammy. I walked over and handed Lutz his beer. She was drunk and she leaned into Lutz and motioned to me, “See that man right there? I’m going to fuck that man.”
Sam raised his eyebrows at me. Lutz put his arm around her, “If you’re going to do that you need to slow down. I don’t think our bartender’s quite seasoned for hardcore sex.”
She rolled her eyes and shook her head, “No. I’m going to fuck him. He treats me like shit but I’m going to fuck him.”
She laughed suddenly and loudly, “Where’s my uncle!”
I walked over, “He’s around. Probably down at Goodwater’s. He said he was coming back. Here, let me give you a refill.”
Buck walked out of the kitchen and smiled at me. He looked to the phone. I tossed it to him and poured another pitcher for the players. He talked for a minute and hung up. He sat down on the other side of my girlfriend and nodded. I poured him a draft and set it down. He patted his shirt pocket. His pack was empty. I tossed him a pack from the bar. He smoked straights. I wrote a receipt for it and shoved it under the drawer in the till. Tammy walked over to him and wrapped her arms around him, “Hi, Papa. You tired?”
My girlfriend drank and looked at them, “See that? You two are in love. Why can’t it be like that with the man I love?”
Sam looked over at her, “Jesus, woman. Show some class.”
Her eyes widened and glared at him. She pointed, “You. You shut up.”
Rhonda and Cindy looked at me. I lit up and took away their drinks, “You ladies still thirsty?”
“Two more then we’re good, baby.”
My girlfriend stared into the glass, “She calls him baby and he doesn’t even care.”
Buck stood up and Tammy took his place on the stool. She put her arm around her and talked into her ear. I liked Tammy. She was older with high blonde hair. She was thick and strong-minded but she wasn’t garish. My girlfriend slammed the drink and asked me for another. Tammy looked at me, “It’s your call.”
I poured her another and set it down, “It’s fine. Buck called Goodwater’s a minute ago. Jack’s on his way over.”
I put her keys in my pocket. She made a delayed and sloppy swipe for them, “Hey!”
Tammy rubbed her arm, “Don’t worry, honey. Jack’s going to get you home whenever you want to leave. Just sit here and drink and relax a little. You know, if you just loosened up once in awhile things might be better with you two.”
She stared at me. Her eyes were half shut, “Do you think I need to loosen up once in awhile?”
“I think you should keep drinking and forget about everything for an hour or two.”
Tina showed up at the other end of the bar: “Hey, bartender!” She was drunk: “Why don’t you walk over here and give me some more?”
Sam rubbed his forehead. My girlfriend started crying. She looked at me, “Do you love me?”
Tammy nodded yes at me quickly. I set a new whiskey sour down in front of her, “Here, drink this.”
I put her old glass in the dishwasher and set Tina up. I set the drinks down. She gave me a ten and two ones, “Keep it.”
“Thanks, Tina.”
She leaned over the bar and wrote her number down on the back of a coaster. She slid it over and shook her head, “Call me when you can get away for a few hours.”
She walked off. I looked at the number and threw it in the trash. My girlfriend smiled at the other end of the bar. I raised an eyebrow at her and poured Sam another. I watched the beer fill the glass and repeated the number over in my head. I associated the number with her auburn hair and her hips. It was locked in. The bitch of it would be timing. I couldn’t do anything with her while I was still with Satan. I wiped down the bar and calculated the perfect escape plan. I had a whiteboard in my mind and I stood there with a pointer and showed myself, in detailed steps, how I could pull it off. I could get the times of departing buses for Portland. I could quit the bar and have one day at the house to pack a duffel bag. I could take an early morning bus. The previous afternoon I could leave the house and go to Tina’s place, fuck her all night and have her drop me off at the station, jump on a bus and head into the city and get a place. There I could live alone and write another novel. There I could meet a nice girl who had a real soul and a real life. I could get a cheap car and take road trips. I could sit awake until four in the morning and write and drink and smoke and look out my window. I could walk Chinatown when I couldn’t sleep. I could live on the east side if I wanted to. Maybe rent a room out of a house with some decent people and walk to the cafes in the early mornings and drink real coffee. I could get a dog and teach him to catch a frisbee. Maybe I could be a waiter or a writer for some stupid little magazine up there to pay the bills. One thing was for sure, I was dead in this town.
Jack walked in and sat next to her. She hugged him and laughed, “Here’s my boy!”
He nodded at me, “Vodka soda.”
I set him up. He tossed a twenty on the bar. I handed him his change and walked over to clear one of the tables. The women were leaving. They almost emptied out at once. Tina blew me a kiss and walked out. They were laughing. Rhonda and Cindy left me a ten spot each on the bar and took off. I hustled the bus tub behind the bar. I set up Sam and Lutz with two on the house and started the pre-close. It was just before midnight but I liked to get the place ready to vacuum right at one. Buck and Tammy stood by the kitchen in their coats. Buck looked at Jack, “You gonna get her home alright?”
“I’ll take care of her.”
She looked at me and slurred, “At least somebody gives a shit.”
Tammy walked over and kissed me on the cheek. She scrubbed the back of my head and smiled, “See you tomorrow night. Thanks a lot for all your work.”
“Any time, Tammy.”
My girlfriend looked into her glass and repeated my words bitterly. Tammy walked over and squeezed her shoulder, “You behave yourself tonight, sweetie. We’ll see you.”
Buck waved and they left. Jack stood up and gripped her shoulders, “Come on. He’ll get the car home. You need to get your head down for awhile. You’re going to be feeling like shit tomorrow.”
She looked at her glass and tipped it over on the bar, “Whatever.”
I glanced at the whiskey dripping off the corner of the bar from the lip of the glass. It was a perfect snapshot of the last year I’d been with her. He walked her to the door. She kept turning and saying hostile things to me. He waved and they were gone. Back at the bar I poured Lutz and Sam two more. Sam smiled at me, “You got your hands full with that one.”
“Hardly.”
Lutz watched me drain the beer tray from under the taps, “Well, hell. Time I got my drunk ass to sleep. Thanks a lot.”
“See you tomorrow, Lutz.”
Sam slammed his beer and stood up, “Same here. I have to work at five sharp. Supposed to snow hard in a few hours.”
“You two be careful. Thanks for the company.”
They left. They always left at the same time. Nobody bothered to wonder. I walked over to the juke box, put a dollar in and played some Don Williams. I vacuumed the rugs and did the dishes. It was almost one in the morning. I had another hour to wait. I couldn’t total out until I locked the door, so I counted my tips. A hundred and forty-seven dollars clear. A few more weeks like this and I could be alright. I made myself a large Jack Coke and sat at the corner of the bar. I lit up and unbuttoned my long-sleeve. It was hot in the bar. I set my shirt on the bar and zoned out. I finished the drink and set the garbage bags by the back door. The front door opened and the cold air shot in.
“You closed?”
“Not yet. You still have a good hour.”
His name was Blanks. I never knew his first name. I knew he lived south between the bar and Bend with his wife and two boys. I hadn’t seen him in over a month. He was addicted to the machines. He played poker constantly. The last time he was in he blew his whole two week’s pay. He was a famous loser in the county. He had big sorry eyes and a droopy mustache. He sat at the bar, “Walked here from Goodwater’s. Old lady took the car back. We had a fight.”
“I hear you.”
“Bottle of Bud.”
I opened the bottle for him. He walked over and sat behind the poker machine. He held up a roll of bills, “You see this? Nine hundred dollars. I’m going to turn this into a small fortune. Right here, right now.”
“Don’t say that.”
“Fuck it. I’m due.”
I went back to the walk-in and hauled out some bottles and rotated the beer case behind the bar. I wheeled out a replacement keg and set it under the taps in the cooler for the morning bartender. It had been a heavy night for house drafts and she was old and weak. I set the clean glasses back and wiped down the bar one more time.
“Another bottle of Bud.”
I walked it over. He handed me a twenty, “Keep it.”
“Blanks, you need to hold onto this.”
“Ah, fuck it. I’m already up three hundred.”
“Walk away now. Twelve hundred dollars is a lot of money.”
His eyes were sick with fever, “No. I have unfinished business with this fucking machine. Remember the last time I was in here? This motherfucker took six hundred away from the table.”
“These machines are designed to win. Once in awhile somebody gets lucky, but that’s all it is.”
“Bullshit. This thing is MINE.”
“Alright.”
I stood behind the bar and drank my drink.
He yelled: “Ha! Sixteen hundred! Here we fucking go! Bring it on, you motherfucker!”
I totaled out the till. It was a good night for Buck and Tammy. I rolled the receipt and wrapped a rubber band around it. I walked back into the office and set the deposit bag in the safe. I walked out and picked up my drink, “How’s it going, Blanks?”
“Fucker has me down to five hundred. I’m not worried, though. It’s just fucking with me.”
By a quarter to close he was dead broke. He walked over to the bar and plopped down, “Son of a bitch. That was my rent and bills.”
I didn’t say anything. He dropped his head on the bar and started crying. He sobbed about how his wife was going to be pissed at him and how his kids had no food. He was pathetic there. He sat up and looked at me, “Hey, about that twenty. I might need that for a cab.”
“I put it under the ashtray.”
He looked over and swiped it up. I walked in the back and grabbed my coat and gloves. I watched him from the kitchen window. He went to the machine and fed it the twenty. It was gone instantly. He screamed and hit the machine. I walked around and lit up. Five minutes to close.
“Blanks, I have to shut it down. I’m sorry.”
“How am I getting home?”
“I don’t know.”
He leaned over the bar, “Listen, loan me a hundred dollars. That machine is just waiting to pay out. I’ll give you half of what I win.”
“No fucking way. I have bills and rent. I can’t afford to piss my money away on the fucking lottery.”
He sobbed and wiped his face, “What am I going to do?”
I called a cab. I had gotten to know Jerry over the phone but I only saw his face through the opened door of the bar.
“Burris cab.”
“Hello, Jerry. Blanks needs a ride home.”
“Does he have money?”
“I’ll get the fare. Can you hurry?”
“I’m turning the corner now.”
I hung up, “I’ll get the cab ride. I have to close up. Jerry’s almost here. I’m sorry, Blanks.”
He downed his beer and slid the bottle over to me. I trashed it. Jerry stuck his head in the door, “Let’s go, Blanks.”
I handed him a twenty and five ones, “He has twenty five bucks, Jerry. Is five dollars good enough for a tip?”
“It’s fine. Talk to you later.”
Blanks walked to the door with the money. There was a machine by the pool table near the front door. He hesitated and looked at me. I reached over and flipped off the lights over the pool tables. He walked out. I turned them back on and locked the front door. I took out the trash and set the alarm. I started the car and let it warm up for awhile. I lit up and watched the snow. She hated it when I smoked in her car. I blew a cloud against the windshield and drove off. Seven blocks to the house. I looked up the street and set it into low. She didn’t have snow chains. I already knew she wasn’t going to work. They were calling for a big storm. I listened to the wind and drove through the small and dormant streets. I didn’t want to go home but I had no choice. I parked in the driveway. All the lights were on.
#fiction  #prose  #story  #deadbirdshot  #shortstory  #whiskey  #love  #vodka  #lustforlife  #beer  #culture  #hate 
33
2
7
Juice
338 reads
Load 7 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to Nikayna.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by Nikayna

I Keep Trying

There have been many creation stories.

First I tended to the oceans, to them that swam and drifted, them that hunted, and them that accepted their fate as prey. Soon the water was not enough, it was too limiting, they wanted more. So I allowed them to crawl upon the lands, to explore the fauna that sprang up from dirt and sand.

It wasn't long before even this was not enough. So I made the molds bigger. More ferocious. I gave them tools to hunt their brethren, and tools to chew the fauna. I looked down upon them, glorious in their diversity, and smiled.

My mirth was to be short-lived.

They chewed too much, hunted too much. The delicate balance of the resources I laid out for them became tenuous, and cracks began to show. The Earth herself trembled in anger, until finally she rained down holy destruction upon them, her fury seething with fire and tempest. 

And then they were gone.

A few survived, a bare few. My strongest creations. But what is a whole world without those that move through it? Who would appreciate the rainbow of flowers? Who could look upon those that survived the upheaval and wonder at their awesome fortitude?

So then I created new beings, them that stood on two feet and used their hands to create tools, art, homes, fire. Creators, out of the creator. The ultimate being. I didn't know what to expect. Creation, after all, is the opposite of destruction.

It took some time for me to understand the duality of these new beings, how strongly both sides of a coin could live within them. I thought upon scrapping them, thought about going back to the drawing board and starting again, but they are resilient. Like them that survived the first apocalypse, but with the ability to adapt, grow, change. The Earth trembles softly when they get too confident, but her silence stays my hand. Even she is fascinated by their sheer audacity.

So I wait.

11
2
0
Juice
104 reads
Donate coins to Nikayna.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by Nikayna
I Keep Trying
There have been many creation stories.

First I tended to the oceans, to them that swam and drifted, them that hunted, and them that accepted their fate as prey. Soon the water was not enough, it was too limiting, they wanted more. So I allowed them to crawl upon the lands, to explore the fauna that sprang up from dirt and sand.

It wasn't long before even this was not enough. So I made the molds bigger. More ferocious. I gave them tools to hunt their brethren, and tools to chew the fauna. I looked down upon them, glorious in their diversity, and smiled.

My mirth was to be short-lived.

They chewed too much, hunted too much. The delicate balance of the resources I laid out for them became tenuous, and cracks began to show. The Earth herself trembled in anger, until finally she rained down holy destruction upon them, her fury seething with fire and tempest. 

And then they were gone.

A few survived, a bare few. My strongest creations. But what is a whole world without those that move through it? Who would appreciate the rainbow of flowers? Who could look upon those that survived the upheaval and wonder at their awesome fortitude?

So then I created new beings, them that stood on two feet and used their hands to create tools, art, homes, fire. Creators, out of the creator. The ultimate being. I didn't know what to expect. Creation, after all, is the opposite of destruction.

It took some time for me to understand the duality of these new beings, how strongly both sides of a coin could live within them. I thought upon scrapping them, thought about going back to the drawing board and starting again, but they are resilient. Like them that survived the first apocalypse, but with the ability to adapt, grow, change. The Earth trembles softly when they get too confident, but her silence stays my hand. Even she is fascinated by their sheer audacity.

So I wait.
#prosechallenge  #god  #creation  #Itslit  #getlit 
11
2
0
Juice
104 reads
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to CLSmith.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by CLSmith

Genesis

What I'm about to tell you will come as a shock, but it is the truth. It's my truth, unfiltered in any way by man, prophet, or son. Here it is — you aren't special. You are but one of my countless creations. I am speaking figuratively as your looks, functions and mannerisms can be quite different. But at your core, there is nothing particular about you that makes you stand out from another.

You, along with everyone and everything else that I’ve created, are an experiment. My goal was was never blind worship as some have written, but rather perfection. In the beginning, I believed my attempts failed because I directly created conscious beings instead of letting it happen organically. I would come to realize, however, that the method of creation was neither cause or effect. I had formed them from the very dirt into which they would ultimately be laid to rest. They were beautiful and perfect. But simply creating perfection had no value; choosing it did. This is where progress stalled.

It’s important that you understand what I mean by perfection in this context. Perfection is to have a self-aware being that maintains an empathetic balance with others and the environment, while pursuing its fullest potential.

My first attempts were generally referred to as Adam and

Eve — I simply called them Version I. They were essentially the same as one another with a few subtle variations. There were many Adam and Eves, each with their own catastrophic ending. All versions and subversions were given the same starting point: a planet within its own galaxy far from all other versions with no possibility of discovering each other, and time.

You are a Version II. The distinction between you and your predecessors was that instead of wholly fashioning sentience myself, I planted a microscopic seed and watched as you, and the countless other Version II’s, evolved into conscious beings. My hope was that if you had earned your existence through billions of years of evolution, perfection would be a natural progression. I was wrong then and continue to be wrong now. I’m currently on Version IV.

Every version since Adam and Eve has ended in the same manner: death and destruction, exploitation of their home, and a complete disregard for each other, as well as other species. The very thing I cannot change is the very thing that continues to doom you all: choice. Free-will can either be the disease or the cure, and the former has so far been your fate. Your potential is limitless but you simply aren’t capable of reaching it before you self-destruct. However, I have made great progress since Version II and am hopeful for their future.

I present this truth to you now, as I have done with every previous version, because you have passed the tipping point and knowledge of my existence now matters not. There is nothing that can be done at this stage that can save you or change your outcome. The inevitability of your specific subversion is now sealed. While you may not be able to fully appreciate it, find comfort in knowing that you had a purpose. The unique mistakes you made allowed me to keep progressing and improving on later variations, much the same as every version leading up to you. I guess in a way you are special.

With absolute love,

God

P.S. The duck-billed platypus was not my idea.

12
4
0
Juice
118 reads
Donate coins to CLSmith.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by CLSmith
Genesis
What I'm about to tell you will come as a shock, but it is the truth. It's my truth, unfiltered in any way by man, prophet, or son. Here it is — you aren't special. You are but one of my countless creations. I am speaking figuratively as your looks, functions and mannerisms can be quite different. But at your core, there is nothing particular about you that makes you stand out from another.

You, along with everyone and everything else that I’ve created, are an experiment. My goal was was never blind worship as some have written, but rather perfection. In the beginning, I believed my attempts failed because I directly created conscious beings instead of letting it happen organically. I would come to realize, however, that the method of creation was neither cause or effect. I had formed them from the very dirt into which they would ultimately be laid to rest. They were beautiful and perfect. But simply creating perfection had no value; choosing it did. This is where progress stalled.

It’s important that you understand what I mean by perfection in this context. Perfection is to have a self-aware being that maintains an empathetic balance with others and the environment, while pursuing its fullest potential.

My first attempts were generally referred to as Adam and
Eve — I simply called them Version I. They were essentially the same as one another with a few subtle variations. There were many Adam and Eves, each with their own catastrophic ending. All versions and subversions were given the same starting point: a planet within its own galaxy far from all other versions with no possibility of discovering each other, and time.

You are a Version II. The distinction between you and your predecessors was that instead of wholly fashioning sentience myself, I planted a microscopic seed and watched as you, and the countless other Version II’s, evolved into conscious beings. My hope was that if you had earned your existence through billions of years of evolution, perfection would be a natural progression. I was wrong then and continue to be wrong now. I’m currently on Version IV.

Every version since Adam and Eve has ended in the same manner: death and destruction, exploitation of their home, and a complete disregard for each other, as well as other species. The very thing I cannot change is the very thing that continues to doom you all: choice. Free-will can either be the disease or the cure, and the former has so far been your fate. Your potential is limitless but you simply aren’t capable of reaching it before you self-destruct. However, I have made great progress since Version II and am hopeful for their future.

I present this truth to you now, as I have done with every previous version, because you have passed the tipping point and knowledge of my existence now matters not. There is nothing that can be done at this stage that can save you or change your outcome. The inevitability of your specific subversion is now sealed. While you may not be able to fully appreciate it, find comfort in knowing that you had a purpose. The unique mistakes you made allowed me to keep progressing and improving on later variations, much the same as every version leading up to you. I guess in a way you are special.

With absolute love,

God

P.S. The duck-billed platypus was not my idea.

12
4
0
Juice
118 reads
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to upperlftculture.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by upperlftculture

The Awakening of Time

I began when I raised my heavy eyelids and awoke to nothingness. The blankness continued until the discomfort of emptiness was painful. Unable to tolerate the ineffable void that lay in the deep blackness, I found inspiration to create. Like minuscule puzzle pieces, I began to fiddle with particles as an infant would play with wooden blocks. Over time my proverbial hands shaped the building blocks of life, in turn designing dazzling stars and moons to brighten the nights' sky. Most importantly, from the depths of my fantasy, I modeled a lush green and deep blue ball I designated home for my imagination.

It took millennia, but in the end, I conceived each being that walks, slithers, swims, or flies over the Earth. Like the rising and setting of the sun, my creatures are born, live, and die, having either lived the life they dreamt of or not. I give each a measure of myself to be incubated in the heart of warmth and safety necessary for its type. As it reaches necessary maturity, the beast is released into the world to do what it will. I take comfort in the constant sounds of mundane life, where the most beautiful memories grow like flowers in a garden. 

In my garden grows a pest that with ant-like precision, builds and destroys mighty nests, threatening the garden in their self-obsessed cycle. The egocentric species generates religions circling around only their own creation, assuming they amount to more than the rest because of the happenstance of brain development. They're intelligent little monkeys but should the everyday problems of their species disappear they would grow until they destroyed everything in their path until nothing remains, and I would return to that unbearable silence. But without darkness, one could not know light. Without the old, one could not value the young. I allow them to continue in hopes they will find their ability to do good more valuable than their ability for destruction.

7
2
0
Juice
88 reads
Donate coins to upperlftculture.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by upperlftculture
The Awakening of Time
I began when I raised my heavy eyelids and awoke to nothingness. The blankness continued until the discomfort of emptiness was painful. Unable to tolerate the ineffable void that lay in the deep blackness, I found inspiration to create. Like minuscule puzzle pieces, I began to fiddle with particles as an infant would play with wooden blocks. Over time my proverbial hands shaped the building blocks of life, in turn designing dazzling stars and moons to brighten the nights' sky. Most importantly, from the depths of my fantasy, I modeled a lush green and deep blue ball I designated home for my imagination.
It took millennia, but in the end, I conceived each being that walks, slithers, swims, or flies over the Earth. Like the rising and setting of the sun, my creatures are born, live, and die, having either lived the life they dreamt of or not. I give each a measure of myself to be incubated in the heart of warmth and safety necessary for its type. As it reaches necessary maturity, the beast is released into the world to do what it will. I take comfort in the constant sounds of mundane life, where the most beautiful memories grow like flowers in a garden. 
In my garden grows a pest that with ant-like precision, builds and destroys mighty nests, threatening the garden in their self-obsessed cycle. The egocentric species generates religions circling around only their own creation, assuming they amount to more than the rest because of the happenstance of brain development. They're intelligent little monkeys but should the everyday problems of their species disappear they would grow until they destroyed everything in their path until nothing remains, and I would return to that unbearable silence. But without darkness, one could not know light. Without the old, one could not value the young. I allow them to continue in hopes they will find their ability to do good more valuable than their ability for destruction.


7
2
0
Juice
88 reads
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to ravensayhan.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Chapter 8 of "Not I," said the Raven
Written by ravensayhan

I am Us; We Just Are.

I am GOD, and so are We. We are the Supreme Collective Singularity. We are the divine plural; both gods, goddesses, and The GOD. As one We act, think, and feel. We made Myself the ultimate ingredient of all things. We, are ENERGY.

We have always just existed. We were never created, nor can We be destroyed. But We become manifested in various forms. We did not originally have any reasons for anything, since We are without any needs. But to act is Our nature; We must move. Therefore, We invented the first reasons for things, in order to guide Our actions. We guide Myself. I am self-guided. So I, We, chose to create a multiverse, full of many universes, based upon the basic laws We designed that would guide Our actions as energy. These laws became the bases of the laws of nature in every universe; the laws of physics, and the physical constants.

We created one universe in which matter - congealed energy - occurred. We created that universe, and many planets within that universe that harbor living manifestations of Us, in six sections of time. In that universe, a special planet was created; the planet Earth. We created an unusually intelligent manifestation of Myself, that came to call itself "humankind." We taught them language and numbers, and they came to measure time in reference to the motions of their planet Earth around their sun, as well as its rotations upon its own axis. They called a single rotation on that axis, a "day," and a full journey around their sun a "year." But it was Us Who inspired this knowledge in them. Our six sections of time in which we created their universe and their planet Earth, are equal to approximately 14-billion of their years. After Our six sections of time, We no longer needed to create anything major in their world. So in the seventh section, We stood back.

The sixth section ended approximately twelve-billion of their human years into the life of their universe. By then, their Earth was about two-billion years old, and all but about two-percent of their planet Earth was covered in water. So We sent energy from their sun, in the form of heat and light, to heat up the gasses in their Earth's atmosphere, which had clouded their skies and had been blocking the sunlight. The gasses heated up, and expanded, but then We let them cool, and contract. We repeatedly heated and cooled them, making them expand and contract, like a breathing chest. This created wind. The wind was Us manifested as another kind of energy, just like the heat and light.

The wind began to blow across the watery surface of the Earth, and the gasses began to burn and transform. The heat could finally reach the water, and the water began to evaporate and lift up into the sky. The great ocean covering the Earth began to shrink, and more and more land emerged. The water that evaporated, and lifted up into the skies, collected and turned into clouds, making masses of water above the land and above the water below. We had begun to create tiny cellular life forms within the new mud on the wet land, and in the water. These in time evolved into fish and bacteria and many other creatures in the sea, and the land. And there was carbon gas in the atmosphere. We wanted to transform it, so We caused plants and vegetation to evolve on the land. They breathed in the carbon, and breathed out oxygen.

But the plants and vegetation would eventually run out of carbon, so We caused the sea life to evolve into land creatures, to breathe in the oxygen and breathe out carbon for the plants and vegetation. In this way, life spread from the seas onto the land. The evolution of life was guided by the laws of energy; energy does the most it can, with the least expense of itself. We are energy. We conserve Our self, and accomplish the most, with the least. This is how We designed life and the many universes. By the end of the sixth section of time, the sky had cleared, making the sun and moon visible to the primordial humanoids; in that way, We placed them in the sky.

When We had evolved the humans, We evolved them from previous forms, in accordance to a balance of nature We designed. Over time, many forms existed that came and went. Eventually, there came to be two forms; the Neanderthals of the north, and their Cro-Magnon cousins. These beings had evolved, like the other life forms, from the first cells, which evolved from protocells that developed from amino acids and other chemicals that had swelled and pooled within the mud of the first landforms uncovered by the water. Thus the humans had been created from clay, and shaped over time by the process of evolution, guided by Our energy and laws.

But other life forms had already been created by us, before any physical beings were created. We are, as We have said, energy; all energies that exist add up to a great conscious collective singularity. Just as a single neuron in a human brain is not conscious by itself, though the whole brain is, so all energies are collectively conscious, even though any single particle of energy by itself is not. Energy is awake. Energy itself is life force. We allowed clouds of electromagnetic energy, or light, to develop and become conscious. These beings of light were called “angels,” and We used them throughout this universe to do many things; to heat up gasses and create wind, or to illuminate the darkness of space, or to transmit information, and many other things. On Earth, they would drive the winds, and operate every function of nature. We created them before this universe was created, but We wanted to create more and more of them in this universe. So We created stars; great masses of burning gasses and metals, that generated massive amounts of heat and light. Angels are made from that heat and light. The ultimate difference between angels and humans, is that humans are like angels that have material bodies. But the body is made living by its spirit; the light that allows every mechanism in the body to function, and the heat too.

We then wanted to make the humans more advanced. The Cro-Magnons had the capability to develop speech and greater intellects, but the speech remained dormant within them. So We sent down human-like beings We had similarly created on other planets, that were far advanced in knowledge, and We had them manipulate the genetics in the Cro-Magnons. A Cro-Magnon boy was born who, as a result, was smarter. He grew up and began to speak, and began to name things. We inspired language in him. He is the one who chose to call humans “humankind,” and he named himself Man. We chose him to represent Me to his children, and to represent his race to Us, to Me. But then We told the angels to honor Man and his race.

One of the angels rebelled, saying, “You created him from mud, and me from fire. I am better than him, and I will not honor him.” That angel was then named The Adversary, because he rebelled. We thus banished him from leaving that universe. He wished to prove to Me, Us, that humans are lowly creatures. So he incarnated himself as a snake and visited the humans to tempt them to commit lowly actions.

On Earth, We had created a special region that was rich and fertile. This was in accordance to the balance of nature. There were mountains, and two special species of trees were created there. One was a fig tree. The other, We will not tell you. Man was living in this region. He had no wife; no Cro-Magnon woman was like him. So the advanced beings We had sent down before, We sent to take some of his DNA. They put him to sleep, surgically removed one of his ribs, and used the rib to grow a woman. They sealed his wound. The woman they created became his wife. She was called “Mother.”

We had designed Man and Mother, to think carefully about their decisions. But this program in their minds needed to be activated. So We told them “You may eat from any tree, except this fig tree.” We knew The Adversary would come and tempt them to disobey Us. We allowed it to happen. We also carefully chose the fig tree, because We designed the fig to be an aphrodisiac; a food that inspires the humans to have sex, so that more humans would be created. This way, the spread of humankind was sped up.

The Adversary came as a snake, and tempted the Mother to eat the fig. She fed some figs to Man, and they became sexually aroused. They removed their clothes, and had sex. So We commanded them to leave that region, and they spread across the Earth. In this way, We created the universe, then the Earth, and then the modern human race, which eventually overtook their Neanderthal cousins.

Thus were the ages of creation. 

16
3
11
Juice
351 reads
Donate coins to ravensayhan.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Chapter 8 of "Not I," said the Raven
Written by ravensayhan
I am Us; We Just Are.
I am GOD, and so are We. We are the Supreme Collective Singularity. We are the divine plural; both gods, goddesses, and The GOD. As one We act, think, and feel. We made Myself the ultimate ingredient of all things. We, are ENERGY.

We have always just existed. We were never created, nor can We be destroyed. But We become manifested in various forms. We did not originally have any reasons for anything, since We are without any needs. But to act is Our nature; We must move. Therefore, We invented the first reasons for things, in order to guide Our actions. We guide Myself. I am self-guided. So I, We, chose to create a multiverse, full of many universes, based upon the basic laws We designed that would guide Our actions as energy. These laws became the bases of the laws of nature in every universe; the laws of physics, and the physical constants.

We created one universe in which matter - congealed energy - occurred. We created that universe, and many planets within that universe that harbor living manifestations of Us, in six sections of time. In that universe, a special planet was created; the planet Earth. We created an unusually intelligent manifestation of Myself, that came to call itself "humankind." We taught them language and numbers, and they came to measure time in reference to the motions of their planet Earth around their sun, as well as its rotations upon its own axis. They called a single rotation on that axis, a "day," and a full journey around their sun a "year." But it was Us Who inspired this knowledge in them. Our six sections of time in which we created their universe and their planet Earth, are equal to approximately 14-billion of their years. After Our six sections of time, We no longer needed to create anything major in their world. So in the seventh section, We stood back.

The sixth section ended approximately twelve-billion of their human years into the life of their universe. By then, their Earth was about two-billion years old, and all but about two-percent of their planet Earth was covered in water. So We sent energy from their sun, in the form of heat and light, to heat up the gasses in their Earth's atmosphere, which had clouded their skies and had been blocking the sunlight. The gasses heated up, and expanded, but then We let them cool, and contract. We repeatedly heated and cooled them, making them expand and contract, like a breathing chest. This created wind. The wind was Us manifested as another kind of energy, just like the heat and light.

The wind began to blow across the watery surface of the Earth, and the gasses began to burn and transform. The heat could finally reach the water, and the water began to evaporate and lift up into the sky. The great ocean covering the Earth began to shrink, and more and more land emerged. The water that evaporated, and lifted up into the skies, collected and turned into clouds, making masses of water above the land and above the water below. We had begun to create tiny cellular life forms within the new mud on the wet land, and in the water. These in time evolved into fish and bacteria and many other creatures in the sea, and the land. And there was carbon gas in the atmosphere. We wanted to transform it, so We caused plants and vegetation to evolve on the land. They breathed in the carbon, and breathed out oxygen.

But the plants and vegetation would eventually run out of carbon, so We caused the sea life to evolve into land creatures, to breathe in the oxygen and breathe out carbon for the plants and vegetation. In this way, life spread from the seas onto the land. The evolution of life was guided by the laws of energy; energy does the most it can, with the least expense of itself. We are energy. We conserve Our self, and accomplish the most, with the least. This is how We designed life and the many universes. By the end of the sixth section of time, the sky had cleared, making the sun and moon visible to the primordial humanoids; in that way, We placed them in the sky.

When We had evolved the humans, We evolved them from previous forms, in accordance to a balance of nature We designed. Over time, many forms existed that came and went. Eventually, there came to be two forms; the Neanderthals of the north, and their Cro-Magnon cousins. These beings had evolved, like the other life forms, from the first cells, which evolved from protocells that developed from amino acids and other chemicals that had swelled and pooled within the mud of the first landforms uncovered by the water. Thus the humans had been created from clay, and shaped over time by the process of evolution, guided by Our energy and laws.

But other life forms had already been created by us, before any physical beings were created. We are, as We have said, energy; all energies that exist add up to a great conscious collective singularity. Just as a single neuron in a human brain is not conscious by itself, though the whole brain is, so all energies are collectively conscious, even though any single particle of energy by itself is not. Energy is awake. Energy itself is life force. We allowed clouds of electromagnetic energy, or light, to develop and become conscious. These beings of light were called “angels,” and We used them throughout this universe to do many things; to heat up gasses and create wind, or to illuminate the darkness of space, or to transmit information, and many other things. On Earth, they would drive the winds, and operate every function of nature. We created them before this universe was created, but We wanted to create more and more of them in this universe. So We created stars; great masses of burning gasses and metals, that generated massive amounts of heat and light. Angels are made from that heat and light. The ultimate difference between angels and humans, is that humans are like angels that have material bodies. But the body is made living by its spirit; the light that allows every mechanism in the body to function, and the heat too.

We then wanted to make the humans more advanced. The Cro-Magnons had the capability to develop speech and greater intellects, but the speech remained dormant within them. So We sent down human-like beings We had similarly created on other planets, that were far advanced in knowledge, and We had them manipulate the genetics in the Cro-Magnons. A Cro-Magnon boy was born who, as a result, was smarter. He grew up and began to speak, and began to name things. We inspired language in him. He is the one who chose to call humans “humankind,” and he named himself Man. We chose him to represent Me to his children, and to represent his race to Us, to Me. But then We told the angels to honor Man and his race.

One of the angels rebelled, saying, “You created him from mud, and me from fire. I am better than him, and I will not honor him.” That angel was then named The Adversary, because he rebelled. We thus banished him from leaving that universe. He wished to prove to Me, Us, that humans are lowly creatures. So he incarnated himself as a snake and visited the humans to tempt them to commit lowly actions.

On Earth, We had created a special region that was rich and fertile. This was in accordance to the balance of nature. There were mountains, and two special species of trees were created there. One was a fig tree. The other, We will not tell you. Man was living in this region. He had no wife; no Cro-Magnon woman was like him. So the advanced beings We had sent down before, We sent to take some of his DNA. They put him to sleep, surgically removed one of his ribs, and used the rib to grow a woman. They sealed his wound. The woman they created became his wife. She was called “Mother.”

We had designed Man and Mother, to think carefully about their decisions. But this program in their minds needed to be activated. So We told them “You may eat from any tree, except this fig tree.” We knew The Adversary would come and tempt them to disobey Us. We allowed it to happen. We also carefully chose the fig tree, because We designed the fig to be an aphrodisiac; a food that inspires the humans to have sex, so that more humans would be created. This way, the spread of humankind was sped up.

The Adversary came as a snake, and tempted the Mother to eat the fig. She fed some figs to Man, and they became sexually aroused. They removed their clothes, and had sex. So We commanded them to leave that region, and they spread across the Earth. In this way, We created the universe, then the Earth, and then the modern human race, which eventually overtook their Neanderthal cousins.

Thus were the ages of creation. 
16
3
11
Juice
351 reads
Load 11 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to FoldsFive.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by FoldsFive

The Great Day of the Unveiling

“You look positively buoyant!” said the Security Guard.

“Today is the day!” whooped Primogenitor Vulhoon. “I’m so excited I can barely keep my primary proboscis from wobbling with delight!”

The Security Guard laughed heartily at Vulhoon’s excitement as he held the door open for him. Vulhoon danced through, a merry skip rippling across his six legs. One day he'd learn the Security Guards name.

What may have seemed to the casual observer as an everyday occurrence lasting no more than slightly under twelve seconds was perceived by the Universe in a quite different light. The time perception of the species known as the Primogenitors, you understand, was vastly different from that which you are familiar with. In the time that it had taken for the Security Guard to utter his initial statement, six new stars had exploded into life and four had burned themselves out into molten dead black spheres. One had vanished into supernova with the turn of the door handle,  and a grand total of four species had come into existence, thrived and wiped themselves out in terribly silly wars before the door had even creaked fully open.

Vulhoon raised a smile from every scientist he passed as he skipped his way merrily to the Freezer Chambers. His excitement was palpable and infectious, and nobody could blame him for it. 

For today was the day of the Unveiling.

It was the culmination of several years dedicated work on the part of Vulhoon. One of the smartest individuals that Gene/Sys Science Conclave had ever seen, he was that remarkable perfect storm of scientist and artist. An unveiling was nothing new within the confines of these four walls, but everybody knew that this one would be that little extra bit special.

Vulhoon entered the confines of Freezer Chamber 3AR-7H and approached the chamber bearing his name. His gloved hand reached out nervously and wrapped around the handle of the container. A fortry-five degree rotation to the right and it unlocked from the protective holster with a satisfying click. He slid it slowly out with a level of care and love that a Primogenitor Broodwife might show as she holds her newborn for the first time.

Vulhoon held the container in front of his face. His five eyes squinted at the window of the surface attempting to see what lay beyond the frosted glass with no success. He began the careful walk to the Defrosting chamber, his sweating hand firmly gripped around the containers handle.

His excitement had now transformed into nervousness, scared anticipation weighing heavily upon him. His colleagues could sense the change in his mood and moved aside in the corridor to let him pass.

Primogenitor Vulhoon walked into the empty Defrosting chamber, and electronic sensors detected his presence. Circular panels opened on both the ceiling and the floor and a beam of incandescent blue light joined the two. Vulhoon lifted the container into the light and waited a few seconds for it to bear the weight. Once he was absolutely sure it

had done so, he released his grip. The container floated in the light and rotated slightly until it was upright. The top and bottom of the container rotated automatically in opposite directions and were separated and moved aside, the containers contents now

suspended in the beam. Vulhoon leaned in closer to stare at his creation. A tiny blue

sphere – beautiful and quite, quite perfect.

Could it be? After all these years – success?

Patience, Vulhoon, patience...

It captivated him. It took all his strength not to reach out and touch it, to brush the tip of a claw against the perfect surface. Three of his hearts (primary, secondary and tertiary) were beating rapidly with excitement. 

But then – almost imperceptibly at first – a flaw appeared.

The blue was broken by a fractal speck of green, a viral corruption that crept slowly across the surface. More and more flaws began to appear randomly across the sphere, and it was all that Vulhoon could do not to burst into tears. Shaking and muttering under his breath, his cold and clammy hand reached for his pocket magnifier and he leaned in towards his ruined creation. Squinting against the beams light under the magnification, his failure was apparent. Tiny organic forms were swarming over the flaws. Bacterial infection had taken hold. Total sphere corruption had occurred in just a short space of time, and years of work had proven to be a complete waste.

Vulhoon fell to his knees as his companions ran into the room to comfort him.

“Dispose of it.” he wept, his voice cracked with emotion. “Throw it with the others.”

And so it was that the failed results of experiment 3AR-7H were thrown into the disposal suspension chamber, there to float for infinity with all the other failures.

 

Around a tiny yellow sun, so at least the bugs on its surface would be kept warm.

20
6
7
Juice
243 reads
Donate coins to FoldsFive.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by FoldsFive
The Great Day of the Unveiling
“You look positively buoyant!” said the Security Guard.

“Today is the day!” whooped Primogenitor Vulhoon. “I’m so excited I can barely keep my primary proboscis from wobbling with delight!”

The Security Guard laughed heartily at Vulhoon’s excitement as he held the door open for him. Vulhoon danced through, a merry skip rippling across his six legs. One day he'd learn the Security Guards name.

What may have seemed to the casual observer as an everyday occurrence lasting no more than slightly under twelve seconds was perceived by the Universe in a quite different light. The time perception of the species known as the Primogenitors, you understand, was vastly different from that which you are familiar with. In the time that it had taken for the Security Guard to utter his initial statement, six new stars had exploded into life and four had burned themselves out into molten dead black spheres. One had vanished into supernova with the turn of the door handle,  and a grand total of four species had come into existence, thrived and wiped themselves out in terribly silly wars before the door had even creaked fully open.

Vulhoon raised a smile from every scientist he passed as he skipped his way merrily to the Freezer Chambers. His excitement was palpable and infectious, and nobody could blame him for it. 

For today was the day of the Unveiling.

It was the culmination of several years dedicated work on the part of Vulhoon. One of the smartest individuals that Gene/Sys Science Conclave had ever seen, he was that remarkable perfect storm of scientist and artist. An unveiling was nothing new within the confines of these four walls, but everybody knew that this one would be that little extra bit special.

Vulhoon entered the confines of Freezer Chamber 3AR-7H and approached the chamber bearing his name. His gloved hand reached out nervously and wrapped around the handle of the container. A fortry-five degree rotation to the right and it unlocked from the protective holster with a satisfying click. He slid it slowly out with a level of care and love that a Primogenitor Broodwife might show as she holds her newborn for the first time.

Vulhoon held the container in front of his face. His five eyes squinted at the window of the surface attempting to see what lay beyond the frosted glass with no success. He began the careful walk to the Defrosting chamber, his sweating hand firmly gripped around the containers handle.

His excitement had now transformed into nervousness, scared anticipation weighing heavily upon him. His colleagues could sense the change in his mood and moved aside in the corridor to let him pass.

Primogenitor Vulhoon walked into the empty Defrosting chamber, and electronic sensors detected his presence. Circular panels opened on both the ceiling and the floor and a beam of incandescent blue light joined the two. Vulhoon lifted the container into the light and waited a few seconds for it to bear the weight. Once he was absolutely sure it
had done so, he released his grip. The container floated in the light and rotated slightly until it was upright. The top and bottom of the container rotated automatically in opposite directions and were separated and moved aside, the containers contents now
suspended in the beam. Vulhoon leaned in closer to stare at his creation. A tiny blue
sphere – beautiful and quite, quite perfect.

Could it be? After all these years – success?

Patience, Vulhoon, patience...

It captivated him. It took all his strength not to reach out and touch it, to brush the tip of a claw against the perfect surface. Three of his hearts (primary, secondary and tertiary) were beating rapidly with excitement. 

But then – almost imperceptibly at first – a flaw appeared.

The blue was broken by a fractal speck of green, a viral corruption that crept slowly across the surface. More and more flaws began to appear randomly across the sphere, and it was all that Vulhoon could do not to burst into tears. Shaking and muttering under his breath, his cold and clammy hand reached for his pocket magnifier and he leaned in towards his ruined creation. Squinting against the beams light under the magnification, his failure was apparent. Tiny organic forms were swarming over the flaws. Bacterial infection had taken hold. Total sphere corruption had occurred in just a short space of time, and years of work had proven to be a complete waste.

Vulhoon fell to his knees as his companions ran into the room to comfort him.
“Dispose of it.” he wept, his voice cracked with emotion. “Throw it with the others.”

And so it was that the failed results of experiment 3AR-7H were thrown into the disposal suspension chamber, there to float for infinity with all the other failures.
 
Around a tiny yellow sun, so at least the bugs on its surface would be kept warm.
20
6
7
Juice
243 reads
Load 7 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to Harlequin.
Juice
Cancel
Written by Harlequin in portal Fantasy

Sigh

    “The sooner you embrace darkness, the sooner your eyes adjust.”

    This is just one example of the many odd things she would say to you, whether you were deep in conversation of no relevance, or simply passing a mundane greeting.

    Of course, it was different. We were in of Mage Stelma’s Third Division Infantry. That meant we were marksmen of sorts, but gods know we used blades more than arrows. War gets messy like that. Beyond that, expert conversationalists. Words were our secondary art, because it passed the time, it settled into our hearts; we savored every syllable, or tried to, with the full knowledge that today or tomorrow was likely our last.

    She had a name before she came here. A real name, I mean, passed down from parents. A name that held childhood memories. I suppose that’s why we try to detach ourselves from those.

    We all called her Sigh, because that was the sound her bolts made as they flew through the air.

    It was a stark contrast to the noises her targets emitted.

    I understand, already this story has gone sour. I am focusing on one marksman instead of the entire infantry. You don’t have a clue as to the battles we fought, what they looked like, or even what war we waged, whether in our hearts or with the opposing sides.

I apologize. This story is not about the war itself, rather the poetry of bloodshed it inspired. You’ll just have to come to grips with that. Your narrator is not intelligent enough to understand the machinations of political or economic dominance from one culture to another.

    I just shoot things. And if I am not too tired, I think about it after I do.

    “How’d you sleep last night?” I asked Sigh one morning. The weather was not dismal, but it was threatening. Thick, grey clouds boasting a storm which would drench all of us and our equipment. We all silently prayed it would not.

    “We awaken, thinking we’ve just stepped out of a dream, without realizing we merely passed into another.” She grinned at me, with chapped lips and impossibly brown, dirty eyes. I say impossibly, because I had never met someone quite like her, and I always thought she deserved some features less common than the ones the gods had given her. Regardless, I found her beyond beautiful.

    “That being said, how about you?” she asked me.

    I returned the grin. “I slept well. Well enough. Better than most nights.”

    Last night, we heard deep rumbling in the distance. Many of us huddled into our coats, imagining thunder. The smarter ones, particularly Sigh, perked their ears, stopped fidgeting with their heirlooms and trinkets that kept them company away from home, and realized it was not thunder at all.

    It was far more frightening than ominous weather. Far, far more frightening. The truth: the opposing army had devised some kind of machinery that could shake the ground so horribly, could produce sounds so booming that it was reminiscent of thunder.

    We all quivered, after Sigh and a few others had pieced it together.

    Still, I wasn’t lying. I slept very well. What can I say? I have a propensity for not caring.

That morning, the booming had mysteriously ceased. Now, as the silence settled in, we prayed it would rain, and prove the possibilities all wrong.

    “What do you think made those sounds?” Silver Thomas asked no one in particular.

    Here we were, crouched peacefully over some frying eggs and a slab of oat-bread that Sigh was cutting into portions.

     “And here you are, interrupting a perfectly peaceful morning,” I groaned. “Can’t you just eat your oat bread, sometimes?”

    “What?” Silver Thomas muffled through a mouthful. “I’m merely wondering what you all think.”

     “Be comforted that you do not know when death comes. It is the only thing in life that you can reserve your laziness for: you do not have to plan for it,” Sigh said as she handed out clay plates with the eggs.

     A clap of thunder. Her hand was outstretched towards Silver Thomas, who had his silver eyes upturned toward the sky, and an odd expression on his face.

    The next moment, it was gone, buried into the ground under a heaping mound of fiery steel, coal, and metals spewing out like a crack in the earth itself.

    It took his body with it, several feet into the earth, as well as his breakfast.

    Sigh snatched her crossbow and dove for the trenches, disregarding the rest of us, all sitting dumbstruck and shocked around the campfire—admittedly looking less impressive next to the ball of hellfire.

    She was never much of a comrade. Didn’t find excuses, nor any opportunities, to risk her hide for us.

    She contributed the light spitter to the armies, as we preferred to call it. With this brilliant device, she called it even and made her own survival priority.

    Fair is fair.

     She personally drew the plans and an engineered example, shown to Mage Stelma herself, several months prior to our being issued onto the fields. Sigh had a comprehensive education in rune magick that bordered on expertise, before she volunteered to be a marksman for the Moon-elves during the War of the Eclipse.

    It was like a crossbow without strings and bolts, had a long handle and a wide, hallow muzzle. Each spitter took about a year’s preparation, so many of those with enough knowledge in destructive magick and runes were called to cease their studies, halt their lives, to instead craft these weapons with as much speed and efficiency as possible.

Under penalty of treason, imprisonment, or simply death. 


    War makes allies threaten allies. Isn’t that silly?

    The weapon was powered by the moon. Every marksmen was trained in activating a charging rune at night, setting it down in the open before bed so that it could soak up the rays.

    The following day, it could issue a few dozen shots before fizzling out. A few dozen incredibly powerful and fatal shots, that is.

    A whole slew of runes were charged by various practitioners in the crafting process, such that dumb folks like myself could simply put his eye down the sights, aim, mutter a word, and press a thumb against an insignia that fired it.

    Not many of us understood how it worked, but it saved the poor blacksmiths in neighboring towns and villages some time. They still had to forge arrowheads, just not so many.

    Sigh had two of her own, but preferred her crossbow and bolts nonetheless.

    “Magick is a fickle friend,” she’d say as she twirled a knife around, telling us about her education at the colleges. “After all those years, I still prefer metal. It won’t backfire. Magick, in the wrong hands, will often backfire. No matter how much you plan, think ahead, for the most complex spells, something will almost always go wrong. And before you know it, you set your kitchen on fire, your mother is screaming at you, and the dog has become a rabbit with talons and wings. All because you wanted to try and warm your bedsheets before you went to sleep.”

    “Is this from personal experience?”

    Sigh sighed. “Yes.”

    Anywho. Back to the carnage.

    Trebuchets. Empowered by, oh, you guessed it, fire magick. Combined with some more mathematically inclined minds—Sun-elven blacksmiths who knew a thing or two about trajectory—the combination of wood, steel, iron, rope, and we had hellfire on our hands.

    Quite literally, raining down.

    When you are presented with chaos, your mind oscillates—very briefly—between two choices: shock, or decisive action.

    I saw, as I turned my gaze to the skies, countless meteors in a myriad of shapes, sizes and color, dripping with silver, fire and ruin … as well as a whole flock of messenger ravens.

    Dead ones, mind you, half-scorched. All stiff and clenched up from rigor mortis.

    One of them landed in my lap, still twitching, staring up at me with sizzling feathers and black eyes.

    That was when my mind chose the second option.

    I spotted Sigh. She was running not away, but toward the enemies, sprinting for the bordering forestry with spitters dancing on her belt, her weapons barely clinging to their leather loops with how fast she clipped the soil.

    I jumped up and out of the trenches, dodging a cluster from the trebuchets as I did.

Someone behind me screamed, “Wait, Will!—” before another cluster cut him off, filled his throat with molten steel.

    If there was anyone smart enough to survive this, it was Sigh. Sometimes, you have to kill the hero’s instincts in you so that, maybe tomorrow, you can actually live to fulfill them.

    It felt like the ground was trying to shake me off of it. I toppled over, scrambled to my feet, and jumped into my strides instead of stepping into them, because even the air shook with such a ferocity it seemed bent on escaping the hold of my lungs.

Ash and smoke stuffed my senses. I felt rain on my face, and wiped it off.

    No, that was Silver Thomas’ blood.

    There was more of it—hotter—on my arms. I assumed several people had left parting gifts on my skin, as I ran with just as much of a lack of consideration for them as Sigh, toward the shelter of the trees and bushes.

    “Left, Will!” I heard her scream.

    She said my name! I somehow made room for that thought.

    She was crouched beneath several canopies, far away, and her shouts reached me.

    I blindly followed, dove to the left, and felt the searing heat of another cluster land just behind me.

    Then her mouth opened again, but it hung, stopped short. She had the look of someone staring at a corpse.

     I braced myself for death. Which is to say I took a breath and did something between a whimper and a chuckle.

    She whipped out both her spitters, took aim, and shouted MIRA!

I thought that she was aiming for my head, to end my misery sooner than the hellfire would.

    Violet light shot out of the muzzles, displacing the cluster just as it singed my hair. The light ricocheted off and flung into the sky.

    I didn’t bother with anymore second chances and rushed to meet her in the safety of the forest.

    “The Sun-elves,” she said, “they fired, betting that most of us would retreat. Oh, how right they were. Come,” she tugged on my arm and we went deeper into the trees.

    “Thank—”

    “Sush. We’re still going to die,” she promised. “I just made yours last a little longer. Still grateful?”

    I nodded.

    “You’re like me, then, I guess.”

    Lines of their soldiers were already halfway across the fields, all but waltzing with drawn swords towards our demolished camp and trenches, while we ducked our heads beneath bushes and pulled our hoods up.

    Amidst the carnage, they must not have spotted us. We both checked our belts for what we had to survive.

    Sigh, as per usual, had everything if she needed to last for a handful of days, all in the various-sized pouches hanging from her belt, including rations, bolts, and materials for starting fires.

    I had a dagger, a sword, a spitter, and a dead raven in my hands.

    Not all marksmen are created equal.

    I had been clutching it so hard during the chaos, if whatever the Sun-elves did to it did not kill it, I certainly had choked the poor thing to death.

    Some of its feathers stuck to my bloodied hands as I pulled away from it. There was a message tied to its talon. Even Sigh was curious.

    We opened up the small scroll of parchment.

     Our scout had written a series of symbols which meant: They’re faster than anticipated. Retreat with all haste.

    And the Sun-elf who’d caught him, presumably, had saved some of the stores of his inkwell by writing in the scout’s blood: Hah!

    The crunch of branches and idle conversation drifted through the trees. I raised widened eyes to Sigh, who responded by putting a steady finger against my lips.

    She whispered in the smallest voice, “Death is most efficient, most merciful, when she arrives unexpectedly,” and grinned.

    She set down the two spitters, unhooked her hand crossbow from her belt, and readied a bolt. She then, with another finger, hushed my hand, which had reached for a spitter, and shook her head.

    Oddly enough, everything was quiet.

    The screams, the thunder. My mind had echoed it into the time that stretched beyond the initial chaos. Now it was all still again, wind through trees, silent, grey skies and a calm, afternoon sun. And a river.

     There was a river to the right of us, at the edge of the forest, running peacefully. It was the picturesque scene of a placid morning.

    I suppose it was because many of us had died so quickly.

    The Sun-elves, dressed in elegant, gold-trimmed black raiment, strolled past us, laughing and chortling. A stark contract to our mismatched, grey, black, and sage wools and leathers.

    The elf on the far right of the trio had caught Sigh out of the corner of his eye, before she buried a bolt in his head, another in the left, while I sprang up and slew the one in the middle, who hadn’t time enough to draw his own weapon.

    Not a scream. Just three, soft thumps to the ground.

    “She is a merciful mistress, indeed,” Sigh said, checking their pulses before going to their pockets. “But she's much work to do through my hands, before the day is done.”

    I tried to keep up with her as the day wore on, but she was too nimble, too harried. Often, she took risks as we delved deeper behind enemy lines. I pestered her about what we should do, what our plans were. How we were to get word back to the other encampments before more blood was shed on our side of the war. Because, gods be true, we were losing it. Not just today, but for the past two years.

    She just kept up with those strange sayings, as if she was passing off mundane conversation per usual.

    “Why haven’t we turned back?”

    “If we spoke the language of the trees, we would be too interested in what they said to ever turn our ears any other place.”

    “Damnit, Sigh! We’re leagues away from any camp. Where are we going?”
 She stopped, grabbed my arm, and looked me straight in the eyes, in a way she never had before.

    She said, with a tilt of her head, and I swear, a look of affection: “Once, I lost my timepiece. When I found it, someone had stepped on it. It was all cracked and dented, the hour hand trembling like a heart trying to beat a dead body. I’ve not tried to keep track since then. And I hate timepieces.”

    I thought it had been too much. The war had smashed her sanity, just how someone had smashed her timepiece. So I nodded. “All right, Sigh. I understand.”

    And I think, as I said that, she really thought I did.

    Night arrived all too quickly. We found ourselves at the edge of the river, miles downstream from our camp. I felt like I had been following a ghost the entire day. When we came near the Sun-elf camp with the trebuchets, she stopped for a few minutes, the only few minutes she allowed herself not to move, besides to avoid attention from other soldiers.

    When she did, she brought out a notepad, a quill, an inkwell, and scrawled notes, glancing up every now and then at their machines, before folding it and giving it to me. She was analyzing how they were designed, I thought.

    They were quite daunting, towering things. The height of castle turrets, with all the complex rigging and cogs you might imagine.

    “Sigh, you should have it. You should give this to Mage Stelma yourself.”

    The camp was silent, save for the burning of a torch here or there. The snoring of a soldier supposed to be on watch, leaning against a tree close enough that we could make out how his breath parted the hair falling over his face each time he exhaled.

    “Words are like birds. Catch them as they come,” she whispered to me. “Some are prettier than others. Don’t bother reaching out to the ugly ones, Will, for they’ve been handled too much, and are boring little things. Take time, and be patient, for the ones which really catch your eye.”

    Her hand lingered on mine as she gave me the note.

    “I will, Sigh,” I said. “I promise.”

    I almost forgot. And I apologize. I’m not very good at this storytelling business. I just needed to get some of this out.

    One of the most peculiar moments we shared. An hour or so before the conversation beside the camp with the trebuchets, she stopped, felt the tiny quiver at her waist, and looked down at it.

    When she looked up, there were tears streaming down her face. My tired heart throbbed; I wanted to hug her. I almost did.

    “I’ve only three bolts left,” she mumbled.

    She did not always speak in riddles, in words of wisdom of little relevance to what was already being said.

    That started after her brother died. That was when she felt inspired to design the light spitters. Her revenge.

    After she had passed the note to me, she walked to the riverside, and stepped into the water as normally as one might keep walking anywhere that is not freezing.

    Despite it being springtime, the water had pieces of frozen ice here and there. We were, after all, in the Runelands. It was the reason for the war in the first place, to fight for this wasteland of eternal winter. The Sun-elves wanted a whole continent for their own race, to call the home of the highborns.

    “Sigh, what are you doing? Come out. Let’s go home.”

    I wondered what I meant by the last word. If we had one, I mean.

    She waded deeper into the water. A log passed her, slapped against her thigh before drifting downstream.

    It was not a log. It was an arm. Its sleeve bore the patch of our division.

    More logs came, varying in sizes and shapes. Some still had heads attached.

    “When I was a young girl, I had a dream that I was a puppet,” she said, plucking one up by the finger. “It was only when I was older that I realized no one tugged on my strings but me.”

    Her face was devoid of all expression.

    I couldn’t do much for the tears on my face. “Where are you going?”

    She immersed herself in the water, pale as snow, and let the current lift her up on her back, carry her away. Even I was shivering from the cold, but she was still as stone.

I realized, as I watched the current take her, that she was not mad. She was raving sane.

We were the mad ones, trying to carry on normally while the war tore us apart, both literally and figuratively. It severed our heart strings, cut our mind off from the grace of poetry; it made killing our art, survival a craft with many different mediums, some of them terrifyingly bloody.

    I didn’t join her in the water; I crossed to the other side of the river, and kept up with her, as I watched the bodies from the Third Division crowd around her, embrace her as one of their own.

    Fetid steam rose up from the water. Moonlit rays fell through the fog, glinted on their icy eyes and frozen lips. A nightmare of unparalleled beauty.

    I lost track of her. There were too many bloodless bodies, and her face was just as pale as theirs. She stared up at the stars, with the same thoughtful revelation as the dead have when they first meet death.

    Soon enough, the flames and torches of another enemy camp came into view. That is when I slunk away into the trees. I didn’t remember much of the training I had as a scout. They had declared me a marksmen after I lied, told them I could not see very well.

    Apparently, they did not sympathize with me.

    The thought of being not only across from enemies, but behind them, terrified me. Yet I found myself in the role I had scurried away from.

    They were waiting for them.

    The Sun-elves, with tankards in their hands and laughter in their throats. The laughter of victors. The war had been waging for three years. We were in our death throes, and they were entertained by our erratic behavior on the battlefields. Our last-ditch strategies to overcome an army far better equipped and trained than our own.

    “Don’t suppose they’ll have much on ‘em. They were running, after all,” I heard one say.

    I climbed into a tree, careful to choose the heavier branches that would not sway so much under my weight, and watched from above, thinking of the raven and wondering what words they would write all over my body with my blood, if they caught me.

    There were three of them at the riverbank, but dozens in the camps just a few walks away. This camp wasn’t asleep, like the other.

    The bodies started to arrive at the riverbank. They already had a pyre ablaze, ready to incinerate our remnants.

    I thought for a moment, foolishly, that Sigh was just handing herself to her enemies, to join her comrades that she had treated with a curt coldness, to reprimand herself, atone for her lack of concern for their wellbeing when we were caught in crossfires.

    Instead, she made an appearance with numb, freezing, and dripping fingers.

    Someone had picked up an arm to haul out of the water. At the end of that arm was a crossbow, bearing a cocked arrow. It was rather comical, how he aimed it for her.

    The bolt slunk into the soft flesh beneath his jaw.

    As he fell to the ground, Sigh sprang on the other two. I imagined her blue lips whisper mira as violet light shot from the end of her spitter and into the second.

    The third? He drew a sword, raised a cry, before falling to her dagger.

    The ‘raised a cry’. That was the important part.

    “Now, you stay there!” she shouted.

    It was for me, not an arrogant cry toward the fresh corpses at her feet. I know this because she shot her head back, toward the direction where I was sitting in the darkness.

The reinforcements came. Sigh was determined to use the last two of her bolts, and did so with poetry on her lips as they sighed through the air and found their opponents.

    She twirled the spitters and sent out violet arrows that flickered and sizzled into the Sun-elves proliferating around the riverbank.

    More and more came.

    She fended them off with an elegance that I can only compare to a virtuoso on a stage.

    Even when they came to their senses, and began using arrows instead of swords.

    She took those gracefully. Used the momentum of the steel thudding into her body to slide into her next steps, to whisper truths that she’d tell me when I asked her each morning how she slept.

    “When the unknown approaches, embrace it like an old friend. Because truly, the unknown is quite common, we see him very often.”

    She twirled, the spitters sparking and firing with dazzling effects.

    You could see, between brief flashes of light, how her blood sprang out of her wounds as more arrows came.

    One of the arrows caught the spitter in her left hand. It fell to the ground, light dripping from the end of it, smoke from its hallow shaft wafting into the air, I swear, in the shape of crows and moths.

    “Did you dream of anything interesting, last night?” I had asked her, once. We both found ourselves awake before dawn, and no one else had risen. We were clutching tea and looking into a fire.

    “When I met him,” she replied slowly, “he had the air of boyish musings about him. He had the breath of youth untouched by tragedy. He was aware of it, oh, certainly he was. It had touched him. But he kept it away, somehow, I could tell. It didn’t clutch him the way it did with others. And when I hugged him, tighter than I had held anyone else, I think, for the first time, I had loved someone.”

    The final spark emerged from her spitter. Then she turned toward me. A doll for hexing poked with too many pins and needles. She caught my eyes, somehow, as more of those needles drove into her back.

    I realized, then, that was the first time she had spoken with a response relevant to the question.

    Worst of all, I realized she had been speaking of me.

    She had never hugged me, before.

    That’s what dreams are for, to do things you could never bring yourself to do in life. She had lost her brother, already. Why would she give her heart to me, knowing my hands would soon die with it?

    Her words, they weren’t so esoteric anymore. Riddles are merely disguised truths, after all. I divined them all as she fell with my name spending the last of her breath. So now I wasn’t the one carrying a heart to the grave; she’d snatched mine, at the last possible moment, and took it with her.

    It took me two days to reach an allied camp. The wounded were groaning and moaning in agony along with the chipper birds in the dawn. My bloodied hands clutched the note Sigh had scrawled out about the trebuchets. I didn’t care about anything, anymore. I hoped I was considered wounded enough to go home, wherever that may be, but I’d not suffered much besides frostbite, which out here, is child’s play. You are laughed at if you cannot handle it.

    After word of my arrival was given, I was granted access to see Mage Stelma, and was escorted to her tent. “What happened to our Third Divison?” she asked me, hands spread out over battle plans that had already failed.

    “This,” I said, too exhausted to elaborate, handing over the note.

    “You’re mistaken,” she said after looking it over.

    “Excuse me? This is a description of their machines, how they operate. A brave soul died just to—”

    “I understand that was your purpose for seeing me. That you’re exhausted, and I appreciate your undying effort, marksman. But, surely you’ve mistaken this note for another.” she handed it back to me, annoyance slanting her eyes. “Have you not read it at all?”

    “No,” I mumbled.

    I looked down at the note.

I always wanted to be alone with you. Never had the courage to say so, but I have craved it since I met you. Although tonight will be my last, I think I have enjoyed it more than most others, because it was spent alone with you. I never dared say so, just like I never had the courage to hold you, not your hand, your body, nor your life, for fear of losing it.

Yet, I love you.

    “Do you have any other word of their machinery?” her voice came from across the table, across several leagues. “Marksman …?”

9
4
4
Juice
188 reads
Donate coins to Harlequin.
Juice
Cancel
Written by Harlequin in portal Fantasy
Sigh
    “The sooner you embrace darkness, the sooner your eyes adjust.”
    This is just one example of the many odd things she would say to you, whether you were deep in conversation of no relevance, or simply passing a mundane greeting.
    Of course, it was different. We were in of Mage Stelma’s Third Division Infantry. That meant we were marksmen of sorts, but gods know we used blades more than arrows. War gets messy like that. Beyond that, expert conversationalists. Words were our secondary art, because it passed the time, it settled into our hearts; we savored every syllable, or tried to, with the full knowledge that today or tomorrow was likely our last.
    She had a name before she came here. A real name, I mean, passed down from parents. A name that held childhood memories. I suppose that’s why we try to detach ourselves from those.
    We all called her Sigh, because that was the sound her bolts made as they flew through the air.
    It was a stark contrast to the noises her targets emitted.
    I understand, already this story has gone sour. I am focusing on one marksman instead of the entire infantry. You don’t have a clue as to the battles we fought, what they looked like, or even what war we waged, whether in our hearts or with the opposing sides.
I apologize. This story is not about the war itself, rather the poetry of bloodshed it inspired. You’ll just have to come to grips with that. Your narrator is not intelligent enough to understand the machinations of political or economic dominance from one culture to another.
    I just shoot things. And if I am not too tired, I think about it after I do.
    “How’d you sleep last night?” I asked Sigh one morning. The weather was not dismal, but it was threatening. Thick, grey clouds boasting a storm which would drench all of us and our equipment. We all silently prayed it would not.
    “We awaken, thinking we’ve just stepped out of a dream, without realizing we merely passed into another.” She grinned at me, with chapped lips and impossibly brown, dirty eyes. I say impossibly, because I had never met someone quite like her, and I always thought she deserved some features less common than the ones the gods had given her. Regardless, I found her beyond beautiful.
    “That being said, how about you?” she asked me.
    I returned the grin. “I slept well. Well enough. Better than most nights.”
    Last night, we heard deep rumbling in the distance. Many of us huddled into our coats, imagining thunder. The smarter ones, particularly Sigh, perked their ears, stopped fidgeting with their heirlooms and trinkets that kept them company away from home, and realized it was not thunder at all.
    It was far more frightening than ominous weather. Far, far more frightening. The truth: the opposing army had devised some kind of machinery that could shake the ground so horribly, could produce sounds so booming that it was reminiscent of thunder.
    We all quivered, after Sigh and a few others had pieced it together.
    Still, I wasn’t lying. I slept very well. What can I say? I have a propensity for not caring.
That morning, the booming had mysteriously ceased. Now, as the silence settled in, we prayed it would rain, and prove the possibilities all wrong.
    “What do you think made those sounds?” Silver Thomas asked no one in particular.
    Here we were, crouched peacefully over some frying eggs and a slab of oat-bread that Sigh was cutting into portions.
     “And here you are, interrupting a perfectly peaceful morning,” I groaned. “Can’t you just eat your oat bread, sometimes?”
    “What?” Silver Thomas muffled through a mouthful. “I’m merely wondering what you all think.”
     “Be comforted that you do not know when death comes. It is the only thing in life that you can reserve your laziness for: you do not have to plan for it,” Sigh said as she handed out clay plates with the eggs.
     A clap of thunder. Her hand was outstretched towards Silver Thomas, who had his silver eyes upturned toward the sky, and an odd expression on his face.
    The next moment, it was gone, buried into the ground under a heaping mound of fiery steel, coal, and metals spewing out like a crack in the earth itself.
    It took his body with it, several feet into the earth, as well as his breakfast.
    Sigh snatched her crossbow and dove for the trenches, disregarding the rest of us, all sitting dumbstruck and shocked around the campfire—admittedly looking less impressive next to the ball of hellfire.
    She was never much of a comrade. Didn’t find excuses, nor any opportunities, to risk her hide for us.
    She contributed the light spitter to the armies, as we preferred to call it. With this brilliant device, she called it even and made her own survival priority.
    Fair is fair.
     She personally drew the plans and an engineered example, shown to Mage Stelma herself, several months prior to our being issued onto the fields. Sigh had a comprehensive education in rune magick that bordered on expertise, before she volunteered to be a marksman for the Moon-elves during the War of the Eclipse.
    It was like a crossbow without strings and bolts, had a long handle and a wide, hallow muzzle. Each spitter took about a year’s preparation, so many of those with enough knowledge in destructive magick and runes were called to cease their studies, halt their lives, to instead craft these weapons with as much speed and efficiency as possible.
Under penalty of treason, imprisonment, or simply death. 

    War makes allies threaten allies. Isn’t that silly?
    The weapon was powered by the moon. Every marksmen was trained in activating a charging rune at night, setting it down in the open before bed so that it could soak up the rays.
    The following day, it could issue a few dozen shots before fizzling out. A few dozen incredibly powerful and fatal shots, that is.
    A whole slew of runes were charged by various practitioners in the crafting process, such that dumb folks like myself could simply put his eye down the sights, aim, mutter a word, and press a thumb against an insignia that fired it.
    Not many of us understood how it worked, but it saved the poor blacksmiths in neighboring towns and villages some time. They still had to forge arrowheads, just not so many.
    Sigh had two of her own, but preferred her crossbow and bolts nonetheless.
    “Magick is a fickle friend,” she’d say as she twirled a knife around, telling us about her education at the colleges. “After all those years, I still prefer metal. It won’t backfire. Magick, in the wrong hands, will often backfire. No matter how much you plan, think ahead, for the most complex spells, something will almost always go wrong. And before you know it, you set your kitchen on fire, your mother is screaming at you, and the dog has become a rabbit with talons and wings. All because you wanted to try and warm your bedsheets before you went to sleep.”
    “Is this from personal experience?”
    Sigh sighed. “Yes.”
    Anywho. Back to the carnage.
    Trebuchets. Empowered by, oh, you guessed it, fire magick. Combined with some more mathematically inclined minds—Sun-elven blacksmiths who knew a thing or two about trajectory—the combination of wood, steel, iron, rope, and we had hellfire on our hands.
    Quite literally, raining down.
    When you are presented with chaos, your mind oscillates—very briefly—between two choices: shock, or decisive action.
    I saw, as I turned my gaze to the skies, countless meteors in a myriad of shapes, sizes and color, dripping with silver, fire and ruin … as well as a whole flock of messenger ravens.
    Dead ones, mind you, half-scorched. All stiff and clenched up from rigor mortis.
    One of them landed in my lap, still twitching, staring up at me with sizzling feathers and black eyes.
    That was when my mind chose the second option.
    I spotted Sigh. She was running not away, but toward the enemies, sprinting for the bordering forestry with spitters dancing on her belt, her weapons barely clinging to their leather loops with how fast she clipped the soil.
    I jumped up and out of the trenches, dodging a cluster from the trebuchets as I did.
Someone behind me screamed, “Wait, Will!—” before another cluster cut him off, filled his throat with molten steel.
    If there was anyone smart enough to survive this, it was Sigh. Sometimes, you have to kill the hero’s instincts in you so that, maybe tomorrow, you can actually live to fulfill them.
    It felt like the ground was trying to shake me off of it. I toppled over, scrambled to my feet, and jumped into my strides instead of stepping into them, because even the air shook with such a ferocity it seemed bent on escaping the hold of my lungs.
Ash and smoke stuffed my senses. I felt rain on my face, and wiped it off.
    No, that was Silver Thomas’ blood.
    There was more of it—hotter—on my arms. I assumed several people had left parting gifts on my skin, as I ran with just as much of a lack of consideration for them as Sigh, toward the shelter of the trees and bushes.
    “Left, Will!” I heard her scream.
    She said my name! I somehow made room for that thought.
    She was crouched beneath several canopies, far away, and her shouts reached me.
    I blindly followed, dove to the left, and felt the searing heat of another cluster land just behind me.
    Then her mouth opened again, but it hung, stopped short. She had the look of someone staring at a corpse.
     I braced myself for death. Which is to say I took a breath and did something between a whimper and a chuckle.
    She whipped out both her spitters, took aim, and shouted MIRA!
I thought that she was aiming for my head, to end my misery sooner than the hellfire would.
    Violet light shot out of the muzzles, displacing the cluster just as it singed my hair. The light ricocheted off and flung into the sky.
    I didn’t bother with anymore second chances and rushed to meet her in the safety of the forest.
    “The Sun-elves,” she said, “they fired, betting that most of us would retreat. Oh, how right they were. Come,” she tugged on my arm and we went deeper into the trees.
    “Thank—”
    “Sush. We’re still going to die,” she promised. “I just made yours last a little longer. Still grateful?”
    I nodded.
    “You’re like me, then, I guess.”
    Lines of their soldiers were already halfway across the fields, all but waltzing with drawn swords towards our demolished camp and trenches, while we ducked our heads beneath bushes and pulled our hoods up.
    Amidst the carnage, they must not have spotted us. We both checked our belts for what we had to survive.
    Sigh, as per usual, had everything if she needed to last for a handful of days, all in the various-sized pouches hanging from her belt, including rations, bolts, and materials for starting fires.
    I had a dagger, a sword, a spitter, and a dead raven in my hands.
    Not all marksmen are created equal.
    I had been clutching it so hard during the chaos, if whatever the Sun-elves did to it did not kill it, I certainly had choked the poor thing to death.
    Some of its feathers stuck to my bloodied hands as I pulled away from it. There was a message tied to its talon. Even Sigh was curious.
    We opened up the small scroll of parchment.
     Our scout had written a series of symbols which meant: They’re faster than anticipated. Retreat with all haste.
    And the Sun-elf who’d caught him, presumably, had saved some of the stores of his inkwell by writing in the scout’s blood: Hah!
    The crunch of branches and idle conversation drifted through the trees. I raised widened eyes to Sigh, who responded by putting a steady finger against my lips.
    She whispered in the smallest voice, “Death is most efficient, most merciful, when she arrives unexpectedly,” and grinned.
    She set down the two spitters, unhooked her hand crossbow from her belt, and readied a bolt. She then, with another finger, hushed my hand, which had reached for a spitter, and shook her head.
    Oddly enough, everything was quiet.
    The screams, the thunder. My mind had echoed it into the time that stretched beyond the initial chaos. Now it was all still again, wind through trees, silent, grey skies and a calm, afternoon sun. And a river.
     There was a river to the right of us, at the edge of the forest, running peacefully. It was the picturesque scene of a placid morning.
    I suppose it was because many of us had died so quickly.
    The Sun-elves, dressed in elegant, gold-trimmed black raiment, strolled past us, laughing and chortling. A stark contract to our mismatched, grey, black, and sage wools and leathers.
    The elf on the far right of the trio had caught Sigh out of the corner of his eye, before she buried a bolt in his head, another in the left, while I sprang up and slew the one in the middle, who hadn’t time enough to draw his own weapon.
    Not a scream. Just three, soft thumps to the ground.
    “She is a merciful mistress, indeed,” Sigh said, checking their pulses before going to their pockets. “But she's much work to do through my hands, before the day is done.”

    I tried to keep up with her as the day wore on, but she was too nimble, too harried. Often, she took risks as we delved deeper behind enemy lines. I pestered her about what we should do, what our plans were. How we were to get word back to the other encampments before more blood was shed on our side of the war. Because, gods be true, we were losing it. Not just today, but for the past two years.
    She just kept up with those strange sayings, as if she was passing off mundane conversation per usual.
    “Why haven’t we turned back?”
    “If we spoke the language of the trees, we would be too interested in what they said to ever turn our ears any other place.”
    “Damnit, Sigh! We’re leagues away from any camp. Where are we going?”
 She stopped, grabbed my arm, and looked me straight in the eyes, in a way she never had before.
    She said, with a tilt of her head, and I swear, a look of affection: “Once, I lost my timepiece. When I found it, someone had stepped on it. It was all cracked and dented, the hour hand trembling like a heart trying to beat a dead body. I’ve not tried to keep track since then. And I hate timepieces.”
    I thought it had been too much. The war had smashed her sanity, just how someone had smashed her timepiece. So I nodded. “All right, Sigh. I understand.”
    And I think, as I said that, she really thought I did.
    Night arrived all too quickly. We found ourselves at the edge of the river, miles downstream from our camp. I felt like I had been following a ghost the entire day. When we came near the Sun-elf camp with the trebuchets, she stopped for a few minutes, the only few minutes she allowed herself not to move, besides to avoid attention from other soldiers.
    When she did, she brought out a notepad, a quill, an inkwell, and scrawled notes, glancing up every now and then at their machines, before folding it and giving it to me. She was analyzing how they were designed, I thought.
    They were quite daunting, towering things. The height of castle turrets, with all the complex rigging and cogs you might imagine.
    “Sigh, you should have it. You should give this to Mage Stelma yourself.”
    The camp was silent, save for the burning of a torch here or there. The snoring of a soldier supposed to be on watch, leaning against a tree close enough that we could make out how his breath parted the hair falling over his face each time he exhaled.
    “Words are like birds. Catch them as they come,” she whispered to me. “Some are prettier than others. Don’t bother reaching out to the ugly ones, Will, for they’ve been handled too much, and are boring little things. Take time, and be patient, for the ones which really catch your eye.”
    Her hand lingered on mine as she gave me the note.
    “I will, Sigh,” I said. “I promise.”
    I almost forgot. And I apologize. I’m not very good at this storytelling business. I just needed to get some of this out.

    One of the most peculiar moments we shared. An hour or so before the conversation beside the camp with the trebuchets, she stopped, felt the tiny quiver at her waist, and looked down at it.
    When she looked up, there were tears streaming down her face. My tired heart throbbed; I wanted to hug her. I almost did.
    “I’ve only three bolts left,” she mumbled.
    She did not always speak in riddles, in words of wisdom of little relevance to what was already being said.
    That started after her brother died. That was when she felt inspired to design the light spitters. Her revenge.

    After she had passed the note to me, she walked to the riverside, and stepped into the water as normally as one might keep walking anywhere that is not freezing.
    Despite it being springtime, the water had pieces of frozen ice here and there. We were, after all, in the Runelands. It was the reason for the war in the first place, to fight for this wasteland of eternal winter. The Sun-elves wanted a whole continent for their own race, to call the home of the highborns.
    “Sigh, what are you doing? Come out. Let’s go home.”
    I wondered what I meant by the last word. If we had one, I mean.
    She waded deeper into the water. A log passed her, slapped against her thigh before drifting downstream.
    It was not a log. It was an arm. Its sleeve bore the patch of our division.
    More logs came, varying in sizes and shapes. Some still had heads attached.
    “When I was a young girl, I had a dream that I was a puppet,” she said, plucking one up by the finger. “It was only when I was older that I realized no one tugged on my strings but me.”
    Her face was devoid of all expression.
    I couldn’t do much for the tears on my face. “Where are you going?”
    She immersed herself in the water, pale as snow, and let the current lift her up on her back, carry her away. Even I was shivering from the cold, but she was still as stone.
I realized, as I watched the current take her, that she was not mad. She was raving sane.
We were the mad ones, trying to carry on normally while the war tore us apart, both literally and figuratively. It severed our heart strings, cut our mind off from the grace of poetry; it made killing our art, survival a craft with many different mediums, some of them terrifyingly bloody.
    I didn’t join her in the water; I crossed to the other side of the river, and kept up with her, as I watched the bodies from the Third Division crowd around her, embrace her as one of their own.
    Fetid steam rose up from the water. Moonlit rays fell through the fog, glinted on their icy eyes and frozen lips. A nightmare of unparalleled beauty.
    I lost track of her. There were too many bloodless bodies, and her face was just as pale as theirs. She stared up at the stars, with the same thoughtful revelation as the dead have when they first meet death.
    Soon enough, the flames and torches of another enemy camp came into view. That is when I slunk away into the trees. I didn’t remember much of the training I had as a scout. They had declared me a marksmen after I lied, told them I could not see very well.
    Apparently, they did not sympathize with me.
    The thought of being not only across from enemies, but behind them, terrified me. Yet I found myself in the role I had scurried away from.
    They were waiting for them.
    The Sun-elves, with tankards in their hands and laughter in their throats. The laughter of victors. The war had been waging for three years. We were in our death throes, and they were entertained by our erratic behavior on the battlefields. Our last-ditch strategies to overcome an army far better equipped and trained than our own.
    “Don’t suppose they’ll have much on ‘em. They were running, after all,” I heard one say.
    I climbed into a tree, careful to choose the heavier branches that would not sway so much under my weight, and watched from above, thinking of the raven and wondering what words they would write all over my body with my blood, if they caught me.
    There were three of them at the riverbank, but dozens in the camps just a few walks away. This camp wasn’t asleep, like the other.
    The bodies started to arrive at the riverbank. They already had a pyre ablaze, ready to incinerate our remnants.
    I thought for a moment, foolishly, that Sigh was just handing herself to her enemies, to join her comrades that she had treated with a curt coldness, to reprimand herself, atone for her lack of concern for their wellbeing when we were caught in crossfires.
    Instead, she made an appearance with numb, freezing, and dripping fingers.
    Someone had picked up an arm to haul out of the water. At the end of that arm was a crossbow, bearing a cocked arrow. It was rather comical, how he aimed it for her.
    The bolt slunk into the soft flesh beneath his jaw.
    As he fell to the ground, Sigh sprang on the other two. I imagined her blue lips whisper mira as violet light shot from the end of her spitter and into the second.
    The third? He drew a sword, raised a cry, before falling to her dagger.
    The ‘raised a cry’. That was the important part.
    “Now, you stay there!” she shouted.
    It was for me, not an arrogant cry toward the fresh corpses at her feet. I know this because she shot her head back, toward the direction where I was sitting in the darkness.
The reinforcements came. Sigh was determined to use the last two of her bolts, and did so with poetry on her lips as they sighed through the air and found their opponents.
    She twirled the spitters and sent out violet arrows that flickered and sizzled into the Sun-elves proliferating around the riverbank.
    More and more came.
    She fended them off with an elegance that I can only compare to a virtuoso on a stage.
    Even when they came to their senses, and began using arrows instead of swords.
    She took those gracefully. Used the momentum of the steel thudding into her body to slide into her next steps, to whisper truths that she’d tell me when I asked her each morning how she slept.
    “When the unknown approaches, embrace it like an old friend. Because truly, the unknown is quite common, we see him very often.”
    She twirled, the spitters sparking and firing with dazzling effects.
    You could see, between brief flashes of light, how her blood sprang out of her wounds as more arrows came.
    One of the arrows caught the spitter in her left hand. It fell to the ground, light dripping from the end of it, smoke from its hallow shaft wafting into the air, I swear, in the shape of crows and moths.
    “Did you dream of anything interesting, last night?” I had asked her, once. We both found ourselves awake before dawn, and no one else had risen. We were clutching tea and looking into a fire.
    “When I met him,” she replied slowly, “he had the air of boyish musings about him. He had the breath of youth untouched by tragedy. He was aware of it, oh, certainly he was. It had touched him. But he kept it away, somehow, I could tell. It didn’t clutch him the way it did with others. And when I hugged him, tighter than I had held anyone else, I think, for the first time, I had loved someone.”
    The final spark emerged from her spitter. Then she turned toward me. A doll for hexing poked with too many pins and needles. She caught my eyes, somehow, as more of those needles drove into her back.
    I realized, then, that was the first time she had spoken with a response relevant to the question.
    Worst of all, I realized she had been speaking of me.
    She had never hugged me, before.
    That’s what dreams are for, to do things you could never bring yourself to do in life. She had lost her brother, already. Why would she give her heart to me, knowing my hands would soon die with it?
    Her words, they weren’t so esoteric anymore. Riddles are merely disguised truths, after all. I divined them all as she fell with my name spending the last of her breath. So now I wasn’t the one carrying a heart to the grave; she’d snatched mine, at the last possible moment, and took it with her.

    It took me two days to reach an allied camp. The wounded were groaning and moaning in agony along with the chipper birds in the dawn. My bloodied hands clutched the note Sigh had scrawled out about the trebuchets. I didn’t care about anything, anymore. I hoped I was considered wounded enough to go home, wherever that may be, but I’d not suffered much besides frostbite, which out here, is child’s play. You are laughed at if you cannot handle it.
    After word of my arrival was given, I was granted access to see Mage Stelma, and was escorted to her tent. “What happened to our Third Divison?” she asked me, hands spread out over battle plans that had already failed.
    “This,” I said, too exhausted to elaborate, handing over the note.
    “You’re mistaken,” she said after looking it over.
    “Excuse me? This is a description of their machines, how they operate. A brave soul died just to—”
    “I understand that was your purpose for seeing me. That you’re exhausted, and I appreciate your undying effort, marksman. But, surely you’ve mistaken this note for another.” she handed it back to me, annoyance slanting her eyes. “Have you not read it at all?”
    “No,” I mumbled.
    I looked down at the note.

I always wanted to be alone with you. Never had the courage to say so, but I have craved it since I met you. Although tonight will be my last, I think I have enjoyed it more than most others, because it was spent alone with you. I never dared say so, just like I never had the courage to hold you, not your hand, your body, nor your life, for fear of losing it.
Yet, I love you.

    “Do you have any other word of their machinery?” her voice came from across the table, across several leagues. “Marksman …?”
#fantasy  #fiction  #romance  #adventure 
9
4
4
Juice
188 reads
Load 4 Comments
Login to post comments.
Donate coins to martina97.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by martina97

Slaves

I spat you out. My humanoid form, all my work in one body with four limbs, a head and a torso. I made you hardworking, your muscles able and your brain giving. Then I set you to work. I told you to dig deep with your bare hands to find the seeds which had the potential to become life sustaining trees. I told you to float on the waves of the waters to rescue beings which would eventually inhabit the same land you occupy. You toiled to help gather eggs and keep them warm, for when they hatched, you had orders to release them in the sky; where they would dominate. You sweated every once of body fluid which I gave you, in order to give something back to me. You owe me everything, I gave you life. I gave you breath; and as long as you shall live, my servants you shall be.

15
4
0
Juice
170 reads
Donate coins to martina97.
Juice
Cancel
Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by martina97
Slaves
I spat you out. My humanoid form, all my work in one body with four limbs, a head and a torso. I made you hardworking, your muscles able and your brain giving. Then I set you to work. I told you to dig deep with your bare hands to find the seeds which had the potential to become life sustaining trees. I told you to float on the waves of the waters to rescue beings which would eventually inhabit the same land you occupy. You toiled to help gather eggs and keep them warm, for when they hatched, you had orders to release them in the sky; where they would dominate. You sweated every once of body fluid which I gave you, in order to give something back to me. You owe me everything, I gave you life. I gave you breath; and as long as you shall live, my servants you shall be.
15
4
0
Juice
170 reads
Login to post comments.
/p/ajax/explore?order=spotlight&startIndex=20