Wednesday, July 25, 2018
The soles of the old high tops were smooth, but the yellow canvas was clean. And the white logo shined not unlike the day the shoes left the store. The laces had been replaced many times, sometimes due to damage and other times due to changes in fashion. The current ones had a black and white checker pattern and were neatly tied. The shoes had been in their original box, which was equally well cared for. The corners were undamaged. And once the dust had been wiped off the lid, the whole thing looked nearly new, waiting to be worn.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
When the remnants of the king’s army reached the castle, they found the bridge drawn up. The sentries laughed when the demanded admittance. In response, the army surrounded the walls and prepared to starve and batter the inhabitants into submission. Unbeknownst to them however, the defenders had sent out the call for aid. The clash of men that resulted was the first battle of the War of Two Lovers and Two Kings. The king’s army was repulsed. But as word of the fight spread, many people flocked to the banner of the fallen king, including his only son, a bastard.
Monday, July 23, 2018
The two lovers fell away from one another. It was several minutes before their exhausted panting faded, replaced by calm even breaths. They called for refreshments. Thought they made no efforts to cover them themselves the servants made no effort avert their eyes, so accustomed to the sight had they become. After the servants had departed, the pair fed each other from the silver plates and drank from the jeweled chalices left behind.
After finishing, the man stood and stretched the long muscles of his arms and legs. They were hardened by years in the saddle. And covered by scars.
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Though the bed was large enough for two, Sir Bedivere was the sole occupant. He lay on his side, cradling a sword in a plain, old scabbard. His arms were wrapped around it in the way that a man might embrace his sleeping wife. His hands however, clutched the handle to the point of turning white.
There was a crash somewhere else in the castle. He coiled around the sword, covering it with his body. His lips rested involuntarily on the pommel. Despite being well-used, the exquisite detail hadn’t faded. Gradually, he relaxed, and eventually rolled back onto his side.
Saturday, July 21, 2018
As I wandered through the submarine, I found my calls answered only by echoes. I felt no motion and the periscope revealed only darkness. When I loosened the hatch, water began leaking in, forcing me to quickly tighten it again.
We must be on the bottom. The thought set my heart pounding. I had to know.
I struggled into a deep-dive suit and clomped into the airlock. When the outer door opened, my headlamp revealed a kelp forest anchored to the sandy floor. The long, thick strands swayed slowly in the soft ocean current. Strange fish fled from the light.
Thursday, July 19, 2018
The onset of the thirst was sudden and all-consuming. I cast the sweat-drenched sheet off of my emaciated body and rolled out of bed, crashing onto the floor. I was so weak. But the thirst. The thirst crackled at every nerve-ending of my body. I dragged my wane body across the floor. Initially without destination, I gradually became aware of a scent tickling the tips of my nose hairs. I followed that electrifying odor down the many flights of stairs, until I was lying atop the cold basement stones, lying in wait for the scurrying rats, full of precious blood.
Monday, July 16, 2018
Carter held his handkerchief to his face and hurried through the coughing bunkhouse, eyes on the floor, and not for the first time cursed the architectural and bureaucratic incompetence that forced him to walk daily through that repository of the diseased. Some instinct made him look up. There was a narrow, sickly-shouldered man walking towards him. When they were closer, Carter observed a face replete with alien features. The man’s large, bulging eyes seemed to be looking in opposite directions and weird flaps of skin hung under either side of his jaw. He held a strange idol between wet-looking fingers.
Friday, July 13, 2018
I started of bed and crashed onto the floor, hitting my head on something. I looked up and saw a blurry mass of people blocking my view of my room. I rubbed my eyes and the mass coalesced into my friends and family. They stared at me expectantly. My head was starting to ache from whatever it had hit.
“It’s your birthday!” my mom declared.
“No it isn’t.” I shook my head.
“Yes it is. It’s September 10th.”
“That’s Steve’s birthday, Mom.”
I could see her brain working. She suddenly deflated when she realized I was right.
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
“Uff,” Pat said after finishing his long swig. “Whoever named this the Suffering Bastard knew what he was talking about. I’m feeling better already.”
Some of the pain lines on his face faded. But the dark circles around his eyes remained, and his skin was still pale.
“Ready to do it again?” Sarah asked, eyes twinkling.
“Not sure I can,” John said, holding his Bloody Mary against his forehead, which was sweating.
Pat stared down at his mug. It was carved in the shape of the strange idols that doted the islands. Its big eyes sat atop a lurid grin.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
After the submarine breached the ice, there was a moment of relief when the hatch opened. Our cries of elation were swept away by the roaring arctic wind however. We looked around. We saw nothing but a field of cracked ice, broken only by an enormous frozen pillar thrusting towards the clear blue sky some distance away. Within minutes, our teeth started chattering, despite our heavy coats. It seemed we had traded death by suffocation for death by freezing. The wind died suddenly and we could hear the shifting ice crackling, laughing at our plight.
“We won’t last the night.”
Sunday, July 8, 2018
The beach bar was just like they’d imagined it would be. Four bamboo poles supported a roof of dried grass. The bar itself was equally native in appearance; composed of what appeared to be local materials, more bamboo, wood, rope made of natural fibers, etc. It was surrounded by tables made of old-looking barrels and shaded by dried grass umbrellas. And staffed by locals selected for their comely appearance and affability as much as their ability to mix drinks. The modern infrastructure required for the bar that the visitors expected, refrigerator, CO2 lines, taps, etc. was concealed behind primitive trappings.
Friday, July 6, 2018
“Hey, has anybody seen Chad lately?”
They all looked at each other.
“Last I saw Chad he was leaving the party with that island hottie who started talking to him at the bar,” Lance said
Chet and Bret grinned at each other and high fived.
“That’s my boy!” Chet said.
“I don’t know guys,” Brock said. “I think something’s happened.”
“I be somethings happened! I bet it’s still happening!” Chet said.
“Yeah, man. Don’t be such a wuss.” Bret said, shoving Brock in the chest. “He’s probably learning all the native love-making secrets.”
The other boys laughed and clinked glasses.
Thursday, July 5, 2018
The Vicious Snarl wasn’t like the anger of a drinker, or a general ruffian. It originated deep inside me, and it wasn’t a simple desire to fight or dominate through pain or physical control, but a yearning to the hurt the target of my ire as thoroughly as possible. The broader and more horrible the application of the pain, the better. Living alongside the Vicious Snarl was the Sucking Voice. When it emerged from the depths of my psyche, it tried to draw any positive emotion or feeling back down into the depths with it, leaving me with only misery.