921 words (5 minutes)
The darkness insisted on its own finality. It didn't so much close around me as it devoured even the memory of light. It was as though darkness was all I had ever known.
It insisted I give up, lie down, and accept this ending.
Truthfully, I never did know how to do that.
294 words (1 minute)
Divination is not prophecy. You must understand the difference if we're to get along.
No, no, no, this is not a matter of an oracle's condescension for your practice. I'm sure your cards and carved stones and whatnot have their uses and guide you well.
They just don't hurt.
280 words (1 minute)
Love is pain.
Love is a knife in the gut.
Love is a slimy cord wrapped around your insides, swelling and tightening until you can barely breathe and you're doubled over, white-knuckling the toilet.
Love is holding your hair back while you vomit your life away.
460 words (2 minutes)
The day God died, rain poured down in heavy, wind-driven sheets, and nobody paid any mind to the child running through the streets of the city.
Her skin was scoured clean by the weather, but the bloody stains on her nightgown remained, more stubborn than the storm.
493 words (2 minutes)
"Why don't you try taking care of a houseplant?" they said. "It might help ground you in your day-to-day life."
I'd been planning to ignore that advice. What nonsense, right? It'll take a hell of a lot more than some petunias to fix what's wrong with me.
720 words (4 minutes)
"If you're heading out, I'm going with. Rules haven't changed."
"I'm a grown woman, Sev," I counter. "I should be more than capable of grabbing cigarettes myself."
"Still coming," he says, grabbing his coat.
I don't budge. "It's because I'm not real. Isn't it?"
337 words (2 minutes)
Your eyes resolve so few shapes under night's shroud, but you are content. There, bathing in golden light, is the most radiant creature you've ever laid eyes on.
When she dances, no gaze can resist her summons, least of all yours.
496 words (2 minutes)
Pray to the stars, for they are eternal.
Pray for your soul, that the stars may keep it safe when you pass on from this life.
Pray to them in life, if you value the sanctity of your selfhood, that the stars may swiftly find your pure spirit in death.
206 words (1 minute)
The night is quiet. Even the wind holds its breath.
It's never felt more like it's just the two of you, alone, your head tilted up to gaze lovingly at her.
She's bright and full, hanging in the sky and shining down on you, and you know it's love you feel in your heart.
504 words (3 minutes)
I plan for only a brief visit at your house. I have places to go, but somehow you've talked me into staying for dinner. For drinks. For drugs. And now it's so late, and I'm in an unfamiliar place…
940 words (5 minutes)
It's been a bad day. I thought I saw…Her. At the grocery store, picking out lemons, like a regular person. She would never, I know, but…
My therapist tells me it's normal, that I should remind myself I left that part of my life far behind me, and She can't take me back.
182 words (1 minute)
"I'll kiss her," I think, and then she's already gone, scant decades later.
I've lost count of all the people I loved who swept into my life and warmed my heart for a short while before death's pallid grasp drained everything from them and left me all alone again.
274 words (1 minute)
With a thumb, you push the hissing tooth into soft, tilled earth. Sadly, you hold little hope in your heart for it to sprout.
In a bygone age, the soil had wealth great enough to support the growth of anything at all, and gods grew like weeds here.
Now? It's thin. Weak.
335 words (2 minutes)
Her grave was not particularly deep, the coffin not particularly sturdy, the stone marker already overgrown. It was a burial in which every expense had been spared.
A mushroom sprouts through a wedding ring pushed to the surface by subterranean life.
450 words (2 minutes)
I fucking hate breakups.
You put your heart and soul into a relationship with someone, and in the end they betray your trust and leave you with a gaping wound in your chest. Every fucking time.
I'd just be better off giving up on love.
1148 words (6 minutes)
I get confused sometimes. I misremember instructions Miss gives me or get lost in the house or see things that aren't really there.
That's why right now I'm trying to sit still and enjoy my tea and studiously avoid looking outside the window at the shouting thing below.
291 words (1 minute)
Even from a distance, you know that she must be a goddess. Where she walks, shadows contrive to fall anywhere else than upon her figure. The flowers woven in a crown upon her head, tattooed on her skin, and stitched into her dress remain as lively as though freshly picked.
519 words (3 minutes)
The forest is dark. The clearing is remote. The location is perfect for a secretive meeting of witches.
One by one they approach the fire, toss back the hood of their cloak, and greet the others with a suitably grim nod of spooky camaraderie.
644 words (3 minutes)
One last step, and the broken creature who was once a demon arrives at their destination.
It must be so much easier, they think, for an angel to simply fall. A demon's slow trudge upward from the Infernal Demesnes is a rather more manual process.
676 words (3 minutes)
It was one of the most awful kinds of disasters, the doll thinks to itself. The kind of shipwreck that leaves no survivors and very little intact property like itself.
Tragic! How long before the families of the dead realize that their loved ones won't be coming home?
696 words (3 minutes)
There is always a Dark Monarch. There is always a Princess in Gold. There is always a Hero and always a conflict between light and shadow.
In defeat, in victory, in death—whatever the outcome—the cycle begins again with the coming of a new age.
But this cycle is different.
141 words (1 minute)
Limiting the use of her senses to sight alone makes this hunt somewhat more difficult than most, but never let it be said that the Goddess of the Hunt balks from a challenge.
Her prey this time is silent. Practically motionless. Blends in with the surrounding scents.
350 words (2 minutes)
The cameras watch her undress. They watch her brush her hair. They watch the rest of her awkward pantomime of her nightly routine.
It's a dance that she knows all the steps to, but there is, in her body language, some visible uncertainty about performing for an audience.
700 words (4 minutes)
The door's long, slow creak echoes through the large chamber filled with arcane relics, humming catalysts, and piles of recently consulted tomes.
In the center, a very bored demon perks her ears up and casts a curious glance toward her visitor.
468 words (2 minutes)
The temple of Lunera is overtaxed. Its resources—and priestesses—have been stretched to their limits caring for the crowd of villagers who lost homes, livelihoods, friends, and family.
Making things worse, our goddess has gone silent, our prayers left unanswered.
1524 words (8 minutes)
The thing about being in a hacker collective is that a lot of us get really competitive, but we still cooperate to elevate the whole group, you know?
It's in the spirit of both sides of that dichotomy that I've decided to try to crack one of those DroneCorp units open.
511 words (3 minutes)
It's just folklore.
You try to learn it anyway, even if it doesn't make much sense. After all, you're traveling to visit the land of your ancestors, trying to connect with some kind of heritage, and what's the use if you don't put the effort into it?
It's an invitation, don't you see? I just think you'd like it here.
My fingers dance along the ground, just on the other side from you, the boundary between earth and sky just another surface for me to skate along.
1039 words (5 minutes)
That the planet was haunted would never deter the executives running the galaxy's biggest mining corporation, of course. They weren't the ones who'd have to go near it.
No, they just send their most disposable employees there. Us.
862 words (4 minutes)
A coven must guard itself against the interloper that brings infectious false magic into its midst.
When it adopts a young thing that appears to have the gift, it is a kindness. When it later dumps the same girl into a pit to rot, that is also a mercy.
622 words (3 minutes)
The way it usually goes is this: you take your vitamins, you draw the door on glass, you speak your goodbyes, and then you slip through to the other side.
Then your life is hers to play with for a while, and oh, how her pleasure makes you smile!