Grey Morning

Quiet, uneventful, and Grey. Serene, almost. Waiting… or rather an hour of autumn stillness. It is cold. I’ve missed this.

Welcome back, Old Friend.

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Flash fiction: Nocturnal

In a coastal town in southern Scandinavia, Daniel roamed its streets as he had gotten into the habit of doing when he could not sleep. The sky above had kept its promise of rain, like it so often did. Daniel braved a faint smile, it was that promise that had brought him there. For as long as he could remember, the feeling of raindrops on his face and the muted roar that accompanied it had been his only solace.

Between concrete buildings, cobbled sidewalks, and the steady crashing of the sea against the pier down at the harbour, his nocturnal promenade did not exactly heal the ache that kept him awake. Rather, it lulled him into the pensive melancholy he’d come to accept as his new normal.

Daniel was by no means sad, nor did he consider himself depressed. What his psychiatrist had to say on the matter was of no consequence. During his promenades he had found a way to cope, he had made peace with his afflictions. In acceptance, he had found sanctuary.

Besides, what else was a man to do when the sky always reflected his soul?

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She had heard tales of these strange, short-lived creatures,
that looked so much like her own kind.
Eerily similar, indeed, aside from odd-looking ears,
and melancholy eyes.
Peaceful, the creature before her,
soundly asleep ~
Curiosity won her over, she had to sneak a peek.
Attuned, aided by the Great Spirit,
a glance into its mind.
Jolt, coursing through her,
pain ~
In its mind she saw, its species’ history,
etched like memory, into its cells.
Violence, metal, sword and arrows,
disease, plague and mass extinction.
War, machines, bullets and bombs,
things she had never known before ~
cruelty, savagery, and ruthless ambition…

Horrified she pulled back her hand,
but not before it was too late.
In the creature’s mind,
she had gleaned ~
what it was to be human.

A curse, she then knew existed,
stronger than any spell ever woven,
by Elven hands,
Mankind’s inhumanity ~
toward man.

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The Ghost Named Stagnation

An old ghost had returned to him, he could not see it but he knew it was there. He could feel it following, observe his every move and thought. Once he might have found it frightening, but the time for fear had come and gone long ago.

In spite of his lack of fear, he found the presence no less haunting. if this particular ghost had a name, it would have to be Stagnation. It twisted and perverted serenity, sowed frustration and let it fester.

He found himself at a loss for what to do. Nothing he did seemed to be able to cleanse his existence of it. What was even worse was that it had begun to to stir his demons – and there was no telling what could happen once they woke up.

Thus he lay in bed, unable to sleep, plagued by the stale breath of this particular ghost. Twisting and turning, he searched for a position that did not frustrate him.

Eventually, though, his body broke the deadlock and sleep came to him. The ghost did not seem too bothered by this, content to continue observing as it always had. It noted, with some degree of curiosity, the counteracting effects of an open window and the cold air it brought in.

With an ethereal breath, and a spectral touch, it closed the window soundlessly. Then returned, to watching him sleep.

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Sleeping Space Beauty

About: This time I was prompted to write an interpretation of a classic fairytale. Word limit was 500 words, no other particular restrictions. My choice was Sleeping Beauty, since I felt I could tie it in nicely with a set of sci-fi shorts I’ve been working on.

The distress signal had been almost undetectable with all the static interfering with the comms, which no doubt had to do with the relatively close proximity of a nearby black hole. In spite of risking significant time debt, it had taken Locke Pavel very little effort in convincing the rest of the crew to investigate. After all, there was no telling what kind of profit a hundred-year-old derelict ship would yield, especially a military grade vessel. As he drifted toward the object of their greed, Locke’s gaze was involuntarily drawn to the dying star far off in the void as it was being devoured by the black hole. It was almost as if the star and hole were frozen in time, a still inferno lighting up the dying solar system. August’s static-mingled voice over the comm snapped him out of the enthrallment.

With gentle bursts from the thrusters attached to his suit, Locke traversed the remaining distance and found himself facing an open airlock. He took a steeling breath to calm his nerves, but not even knowing what he might face did much to diminish the gruesome reality of the vessel’s past. Frozen bodies hung suspended in the dead stillness of zero gravity, along with bodily fluids from ruptured lungs. A moment of silence followed his report. Locke did not linger long, but set about performing his task. Trying the main console proved futile, which was disappointing if not surprising. The vessel would have had to be out of both power and fuel by now. Sooner or later it would end up being pulled into the black hole, unless they towed it away.

It did not take long for Locke to find the armoury. Thankfully, ship design had changed little aboard military vessels in the last century. He made another attempt to report back but heard only white noise and interference. In spite of the tension lock felt straining on his sanity, he smiled, at least the excursion had been profitable. Staying still, however, was too much for him with only a static-muffled comm for company.

His smile broadened after inspecting the engine room, but his heart-rate did not go down. FTL Drive aside, he still had one more room to investigate. There were other dangers than gravity-monsters outside of Federation space.

When he entered the final room, August’s voice returned as the comm cleared up. After a quick inspection of the chamber Locke breathed a sigh of relief. His heart slowed down, until he noticed a blinking green light. Out of twenty pods all but one had powered down. Pushing his way over to the active pod, his eyes opened wide.

“All clear,” he announced over the comm. “Send over the docking tube, and bring the back-up generator. We’ll need to pressurise the ship and restore the oxygen. Over.”

“Excellent news, Pavel,” came the captains voice. “I take it she’s fully operational then? Over.”

“Yes,” he replied. “What’s more… cytogenetic chamber… woman in fugue. We’ve got a survivor. Over.”

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100 words: Execution

About: This is a response to a challenge issued to me. Write a 100-word story consisting of only monosyllabic words. There’s only once catch – each word can only be used once. Repetitions not allowed. I found it surprisingly frustrating! Certainly had me scratching my head! You guys should give it a shot too. : )

You took her from me. So I’ll take my due – cut and carve, until no more is left. Bones will break, hearts must weep, pain the toll paid by those we reap. Fear us, Filth, love’s ghost and I. On our souls, an oath to keep, you must die. Thine heart burns with zeal, but that kind of faith… a curse. It’ll aid this blade, slake its thirst… for blood.

Lo, snakes now coil ’bout your soul. Their name, fear. Noose tight ’round weak neck… squirm, moan, cry. Bleed, feel each drop leave as time has come…

Death tolls.

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Those who speak of silence as if it is a singular thing,
Don’t really know what it truly is.
It has as many faces as there can be distances between people,
Sometimes comforting,
Sometimes awkward…

But there is a visage it possesses ~
A face we fear more than any other.
It reveals itself once the echoes,
Of despairing isolation,
Fade away…

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