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Walking ShadowsThere was no moon the night my father died. He always said the darkest nights were his favorite because he felt like a walking shadow. People think they can’t be seen in the darkness, but I saw them.
My father and I were in the forest on a hunting trip. I made a circle around our fire, looking for extra firewood or anything else that caught my eye. I was behind a tree looking over at his face in the fire when two shadows came up behind him and started stabbing him.
I saw their faces in the light of the fire, even recognized one of them. Then I ran. It was a long time before I stopped running, and when I did, I hid in a bush.
Cowards, both of them. I thought as I cried. Sneaking up behind him, two on one; that wasn’t a fair fight!
I decided right then that when I killed them, it would be face-to-face.
Eight years in the woods taught me a lot of things, and I knew the sky as well as I knew my own face. It was a few days before the new moon, 10 years since my father’s
The Gauntlet28. Thwap, slam. 26. Smack, thump, thud. 23. Kill 23 more, that was the objective.
One more body fell under my weapon, and I took a momentary pause to wipe off the blood. The small break allowed me to look around at the carnage: a sea of corpses.
I didn’t want it to be this way, this was supposed to be the last resort. Plan A didn’t show up, and that left me alone. I heard the sound of more footsteps.
I steeled myself for the oncoming attack and raised my fly swatter.
Zombie PieThe “A” Area, B Chair contained it. Swoosh…bloop. The first feverish, bloodless cadaver stumbling far to get victuals fell across it. Splish went the pie…kerplunk. Mmm!
BootlessBilly came out of the womb looking for something. That’s what her momma said, anyway. Even as a child, Billy seemed unsatisfied with what she saw around her—she would stand at the edge of the yard, leaning over the gate, looking away in the distance.
Without meaning to, she made people uneasy. They always felt like she was looking past them, never at them. Billy was only ever sort of present in any given conversation; her mind was elsewhere.
When it happened, only Billy came out unsurprised, as she had expected the world to end for years and wondered why it took so long. “And after all,” she told the others, “the world didn’t actually end. We’re still here.”
It came on the wings of war, on the back of a hatred that stewed between nations for years until someone stopped walking around the elephant in the room and just bombed the heck out of it.
Billy loved the new world, though she didn’t say it. The one time she had, it almost got h
Best Friends ForeverSharon brushed her hands against her jeans, a reflex for the irritation from the dirt on her hands. She found the spot behind the boulder where she had stored the metal trash can and began to take off each piece of her clothing one-by-one, dropping them into the can until she was a naked woman in the dark desert.
The matches—four of them—fell into the can, and fire licked up from the bottom. The heat felt great in her current state of dress, and Sharon stood by the fire as if she were roasting marshmallows. For a moment, she wished for s’mores.
She poked her clothes with the end of the shovel, and when she was certain they were ashes, she put the lid on the can and looked around. Still no one here, thank goodness; she didn’t want to run in front of anyone naked.
Once back in the truck, she slid into her fresh sundress and flip flops, took a sip of water, and cranked up her country music. She sped out of the sand trap with a grin a mile wide on her face—the
A Spoke in the WheelI shouldn’t be here, he thought. It wasn’t supposed to last this long. Daniel shuffled toward the door of the saloon, drawing as little attention to himself as possible. The dust prickling his bare ankles—darn the pants he had borrowed—told him he had reached the door, and he pushed on it with his back.
It didn’t open. He turned his head half to the side, but before he could see anything, something pushed him forward. He hadn’t even straightened up when a hand came down on his collar and he felt himself being dragged outside.
“Now listen here, you stinkin’ flannel-mouthed four-flusher!” You come in here with yer potions ‘n got our women all fussed and now—LOOK AT MY HEAD!” The cowboy Daniel only knew as “Big Jim” took off his hat, revealing a mass of messy, bright pink hair. “Show ‘im, boys!” he bellowed.
The other cowboys reluctantly removed their hats, showing off their
Windows“It’s blue,” Henry said out loud to no one. “It’s not aqua, it’s not turquoise, it’s not cerulean. It’s just blue.” He looked out at the sky again, clearest he had seen in a long time. A few clouds drifted across the expanse, the thin, wispy kind he thought was cotton candy when he was a kid.
“You can’t eat clouds, Henry!” He could see the two of them in his mind eye, he and George, playing outside. George was 7; Henry, 10, and they were best friends. “Clouds are made of water!”
“Well that don’t make any sense,” Henry could hear himself saying. “How do they stay up there if they’re water? And how come they look white? Water don’t look white!”
“I dunno,” George shrugged. “They stick together somehow, my teacher said.”
Henry looked up at those clouds now and smiled sadly. George had stopped coming over one day. Henry didn’t kn
Thanks for the Memories“No no no, honey,” Sylia muttered, kneeling next to the crumpled body in the pavement. “You have to wake up now. It’s time to wake up, you have to.” She pushed the being’s gray face back and brushed away dirt and gravel. “Wake up now, please,” Sylia pleaded again.
Sirens raised a cacophony around them, but she knew they were safe for now. This was not the only one, this was not the only body that had rained from the sky—there were so many more. Sylia could see three from where she sat. None of them moved.
As she sat there, she heard a sizzle and a loud pop, and looked up to see a newscaster appearing on one of the huge display screens in Times Square. Somehow, they had piped in volume, because she heard him say, “…threat has been neutralized.”
Neutralized? Such an inhuman word—ironic, considering, she thought.
The screen flipped to a woman, somewhere in Times Square as well, holding her coat together
a time to rise, and a time to fallI have never asked her what it is that she misses so much. Whatever it is, it turns her eyes blue mid-winter and chases the heat from her cheeks. The truth is, I never thought it was my place to ask: after all, I'm nothing but a stranger in her quiet heart. And even now, years after we first met, I do not ask her.
She stretches one morning, all smooth edges and warm spaces. She looks at me as she always does before she tumbles out of bed, and her eyes are blue. Again. The weeks melt away and I am staring at six years worth of winters, all rolled into one. It chills me and my teeth chatter. She doesn't say anything but I know that she has caught me looking, has inhaled my shiver and tasted old winters in it instead of fresh laid snow. There is no fooling her, there has never been any chance of that: she always knows.
I give up all hope of further sleep and step out of bed and onto rich, plush carpet. It is a violent hue, bu
Awaiting the StormShe awaited the storm. She’d been waiting all winter for a good storm. Bring on the thunder, she thought, bring on the lightning. She craved the crash and boom of thunder, the electric streaks of lightning. She’d heard a roll of thunder. Not a crash or boom as she craved, but a rolling across the sky, deep and long, but not shocking or loud. The lightning was just a brief flash of light, no distinct bolt.
It seemed the storm would disappoint her. It was silent; the moon peeked out of dark clouds, its silver light diluted. She sighed, it seemed she’d have to wait longer for a proper storm. Still, she watched the sky, nose pressed to the glass of her window, her blankets spread around her.
She should be sleeping, she had work to do tomorrow and it was after midnight. But she couldn’t tear her gaze from the ever shifting clouds. It wasn’t raining, and, save for a few gusts, the wind seemed calm. The thunder and lightning must have just been a tease. Mother Na
The Black CatNew York in July can at times be rightly described as a hell hole, the heat so oppressive that your utility bills have to soar or you bake even at night. In the old days, the trade in ice blocks to cool the air was immense, but these days air conditioning has taken that place.
Even with that, however, some people prefer to sleep with the window open, and on this particular July night Cissy Barker had the window of her apartment open and the air conditioning going full blast. Even with that, however, she slept restlessly, as she kicked the covers off and lay in her grey silk top and shorts.
She mumbled something in her sleep, reflecting the dreams she was having – unaware of the shadow that passed her window, or the rustle of the curtains as they were moved to the side and a figure came in.
The woman wore a black leather jacket zipped up to her neck, tight black leggings and mid-length suede boots. Soft leather gloves covered her hand, and a stocking was pulled
Artyom (1)The crack of metal on wood split the heavy silence of midday as Artyom’s fist pounded the door, protected by a half-inch of brass. He grunted and punched the door again, splintering the wood. He punched one more time, gritting his teeth with the effort, and the door gave way, sliding an inch or two forward and opening a gap wide enough to push his arm into. The first thing the Russian did, however, was pull the combat knife off of his hand, flip the safety off of the G3 he was carrying, and scan the wasteland of a neighborhood behind him. Sharp, blue-grey eyes picked out details from behind the red visor of his pre-war helmet: the dust blowing through the skeletons of houses, the click of the Geiger counter attached to his belt, the massive, limping tracks of some poor bastard, too mutated to even call natural, let alone human, who’d passed though maybe a week ago. Artyom sighed, still alert but at least no longer uneasy. He turned back to the library and pushed his hand in
Bling“Carry me across the threshold,” she told me. “It’s tradition.”
“Well, dear, it’s a simple question of weight ratios. A five ounce bird cannot carry a one pound coconut, after all,” I quipped.
“Are you calling me fat?”
“It’s impossible for you to be any other size, love.”
“Just what are you saying?”
I realized at this point that perhaps I hadn’t thought this through enough. “Nevermind, dear. Up you go!”
My knees shook as I lifted her, shuffled forward, then sat her down.
“Now that wasn’t so bad!”
What could be done? I was in love with a robot.
Abandoned ChapelThe parish waits now,
the loneliness of corners
crawling outward on walls--
chipped away by the wind,
and held together
by silk spindles;
cobwebs align them like the membranes of memories,
the cut of a jewel in an broken window
against the sun
where beads of rain
gather in a mesh of strands
a new Mosaic
against the backdrop of a cemetery;
My eyes seek out the sermon
in close proximity,
paint no distance
between headstone and cloud;
elegies topple each other
in their climb to heaven
as light trickles
over the shade,
breathes a new glow over snuffed candles.
I feel the weight in these empty rows,
how a breath couldn't cease to be breath
in the midst of prayer.
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Bluefley has a gallery filled with artwork that whisks you off in to a Sci-fi daydream, and keeps you captivated for hours. Marc has been a member of our community for over a decade and has achieved nothing but success with his astounding commitment to interacting with the community, sharing a prolific amount of video tutorials and generally being an all round rockstar deviant. It is no joke that we are absolutely delighted to award the Deviousness Award for April 2014 to ... Read More