There was once a fish in the ocean. But it was alone. There was nothing else it could see but the deep dark water. Around it there was only fear and nightmares.
One day, thought, the small fish saw a light. A very small and dim light, but it was so beautiful and ethereal, the fish just had to follow it!
The fish started swimming up to reach the light and everything was suddenly beautiful and colourful! Many other creatures appeared and swam around the fish, with excitement and awe.
The fish’s body was so light and filled with happiness; it felt like exploding in paradise.
A lock of her hair rested in between my fingers. She had always been blonde, I could see in her roots, but her hair was now black. I wonder what made her change.
She had been beautiful. Hope filled her eyes and mystery bewitched her smile. Her steps were as soft as the wind, and her voice was the same as an enamoured canary.
I needed her. And when she smiled at me, I knew we were meant to be. My beloved… our hands looked so beautiful together.
She changed, however. She dyed her hair. Emptied my bank account. Stole away all my life. No worries. Maybe it was her way of saying “Come find me. I dare you.”
Oh, my beloved. As I rest for a while, a wisp of light creeps through the green crowns above. Some birds are already singing, and I know my time is short. I put her hair in my pocket and finish with the shovel.
When I arrive back in town, I’m going to buy sunflowers. They will look beautiful on her grave.
The bag was very large. The largest bag I’d ever seen! And the person holding it was very bulky as well. Well, I suppose they had to be, to be able to carry such thing! And the whole thing got my curiosity, so I followed them.
The bag-person was striding through the crowded metro, trying very hard not to hit people with their bag. I didn’t know where they were going, so I kept following from above.
I crept on the energy lines, that would be such a nice meal once it was ready! I could almost taste it in the air! The bag-person got out of the metro and slithered away from the crowds. They walked silently out of town.
I thought they were gonna bury it, but the bag was just left in the woods. For a moment, almost romantic, we locked eyes. They smiled, kind of creepily, and open the zipper.
My eyes feasted in such a delicious, magnificent meal! As soon as they left, I went for the eyes. So juicy! The bulky lips were next. More would come to enjoy the feast, so I ate as fast as I could before I had to share.
“Have you heard? Apparently there will be a new club at school!” The kids looked rather excited about it. A radio club! They would learn how to operate it, how to record songs, make nice interviews… maybe they could even test new jokes!
And it was very fun! Even the shy kids got interested and, after a while, they had to schedule new club hours, since there were so many students. The responsible teacher was very happy about it, for it had always been her dream to produce a radio program.
Everything was going smoothly fine, until the day a child was found dead in the neighbourhood. A child from the radio club. They made a program about it. Interviews. They started investigating. They actually helped with the police investigation, and soon a person was arrested.
The whole thing brought a lot of attention to the club. The teacher was called and thanked publicly, the students appeared in the paper. It really took away the sadness of the situation.
Everyone was so excited at how much the small school club helped solving a murder case, they didn’t even noticed how the accused man cried about his innocence.
“But who cares about what a murderer has to say?” the speakers blared in the school corridors “We saved our town, and now we are getting a real show, out of school, and sponsorship from big companies!”
“It came from sad origins, let us not forget it, but honour our friend by making this dream come true!” The kid at the microphone stopped talking and looked at the teacher. She had her thumbs up and a big smile. Yes. Things would be great from now on.
The sound of metal against metal filled the air as the knights fought against each other. A knight in silver armour thrust the sword towards his opponent and the other man, in dirty and bent metal plates painted in blue, defended himself: he swung his blade and stopped the silver knight’s attack.
“Surrender! Haven’t you done enough evil?” the silver knight asked. But he received no answer. The blue knight punched his stomach in response. Silver backed away as he coughed. He held his blade by his side and stroked the blue knight once again. Blue’s sword was high and he didn’t have time to lower it. Silver’s blade cut deep in between the metal plates, and red blood made the armour turn purple.
The blue knight fell to his knees, coughing his own blood. Silver took away the blue helmet, and the face of his old friend looked back at him. “Please, no more. It is time for you to stop.” But Blue wasn’t about to just give up. The sneaked out a small dagger from his arm plates and pushed it deep into Silver’s side. The man looked at him, surprised.
“I loved you once… but you joined forces with the wrong army” Blue took away his dagger, and Silver slowly knelt on the floor. They were both champions, the strongest warriors from each side. The war would be decided on that fight, and now they were both losing.
“Even in death, you wouldn’t let them tell you what to do, eh?” Blue laughed at Silver’s comment. He took away the shiny silver helmet and touched the man’s face. There was a thin beard, his friend had never really been able to grow facial hair. “So different from your face, right?” Blue agreed.
Silver wasn’t sure if his head was too light or if it was the fear of death, but he hugged his old friend. The man who had once been his lover. He looked so strange, the full beard, the scars on his face… but his eyes were still the same. Silver felt Blue’s arms around him as well, as his breathing got harder.
“I’ve always known you would be the one to kill me” Blue said “I’m happy to be taking you along. This way I won’t have to wait or look for you in the afterlife.” Silver pushed him away, a sad smile cut his face. He brought Blue’s face closer and kissed him. They had waited and hidden and run away, but in the end they were together like this, for everyone to see.
“I’m glad to be going down with you.”
Have you ever seen a colony of mice? Those black and small ones, living their small, pitiful and merciless lives under bridges and inside sewers. It’s shameful.
But, you see, there is a legend that says some of these rats can join their tails together and form a horrid creature. A rat king. Such a big name for a stupid overcrowded accident. Google it. It’s quite sad.
Thing is, I live in a farm, and the number of rodents is quite big. So I have trained some animals to get and kill the rats. Cats, dogs, hens and geese.
However, it hadn’t been working well. The number wasn’t curbing. So I decided a different approach. Poison. But… I don’t know if it is really working. I have seen dead mice, yeah, but I’ve also seen living ones.
Which pisses me off.
So now I’m sitting at the porch, shotgun in hand, and I’m gonna shoot these little f***ers. Each one of them. Dead by my hand. But the night is getting dark, and I think they’re getting bigger.
Hey, bigger rats mean more food for hens and geese, a snack for cats and dogs. They have been disappearing though… maybe some ate rat-poison. Sh*t, it was so much, I probably had some.
Some nights I see big things moving in the shadows, cluster-like creatures. They crawl and scream with a thousand mouths.
But it might be just my imagination. The lack of light playing games with my mind. Nonsense. Rat king… such a stupid tale. It’s not like they really… exist…
The fanciest thing she’d ever had was a ring. It was decades old, gold and a blue diamond. It had this eldritch glow in the moonlight. She clung to it like if her life depended on it.
Years passed by and she lost everything. But she kept the ring and lived on, even if life was hard. But eventually she got tired.
There were no friends. No family. All of them were long gone. So she closed her eyes, holding the jewel tightly in her hands and slept.
Centuries passed and civilization grew. Technology changed the world and people lived for long and long years. They suddenly had fancy lanterns to see in the dark and explore all kinds of places.
So they weren’t surprised when they saw an eerie glow under some stone bricks. Instead, they were excited and curious!
With shovels and hoes they opened a path to whatever was glowing only to find a corpse of a very beautiful woman, dead for a thousand years or more, holding onto a ring.
However, when she opened her eyes and they shone as eldritch as the jewel, the explorers ran away. Not fast enough, though.
When a young lady, with beautiful blue eyes, reported the accident in the excavation, no one could really explain how those men died, but it seemed like the life was ripped out of each one of them…
“I thought it was a vampire-wannabe when you said there was no blood on the body, but there are no teeth-marks, just a deep cut on thigh.” the coroner, a young lady with bags under her eyes, said.
More bodies than the usual were appearing. Normally they were people no one would miss, homeless and beggars, but now some politicians and famous figures were dying.
People always died in that city, it wasn’t exactly a safe place, but if you didn’t go to dangerous areas, you should be fine… but now you weren’t.
“Oh child, you shouldn’t play with your food!” a woman, with long dark hair and a smile on her face, sat on top of a roof with a young lady by her side, blood on her face.
There was a man, dead, many cuts running throughout his body. “I know he was an idiot, but it is bad when they scream out in the open.” But the young lady knew the woman wasn’t really angry.
The lady kicked the body a few times before kicking him our of the roof. She cleaned the blood around her mouth. That man was a monster, and the world was better without him.
“Now lets go back. Your new sisters are waiting, and I have a lot to teach you.” Wings of darkness spread out of the woman’s back and she hugged the young lady.
In the next morning, a new body was found. No blood. No teeth marks. Cuts all over. Many broken bones. The coroner, a pale young lady with bags under her eyes, was finishing the report.
“You won’t disturb anyone any more, mister. It was about time someone dealt with you.” In the report, she said he probably died painfully.
Sometimes I wanna throw everything out of a window and vanish. I wanna pretend life has never been real so far and run away.
But I can’t. I know nothing would come out of it. There are things I must do, people I must see or talk to. So… when all of this started and we had to stay home, I was rather fine about it.
I still am, although I’m starting to miss one thing or another, but I’ve discovered that I like being at home, inside my small routine.
I’ve also learnt that, although I like staying by myself, there are many things I prefer doing with other people, like going to the market. I hate going alone. I went many times, but I really hate it.
It’s kinda hard… at the same time I wanna run away, I want to be with people, the special ones. The ones I’d never throw away… unfortunately, most of them are very far.
I wish we could all live closer, but maybe that’s asking too much. Maybe the universe made it this way so I can improve on one thing or another.
I don’t really believe in that, though. I have found myself rather nihilistic lately. It could be just depression.
That’s why, perhaps, life doesn’t really have any meaning and it is just like this. Quite a big random mess. I suppose I could change some things…
But others are meant to be.
She sat by the shore for hours, looking at the ocean. “I’ll be back” he said. But he never really returned. She kept on waiting nonetheless.
His ship had sunk years ago. There were no survivors. No one to tell the tale. So she kept on waiting, hoping. They would have married before he left, but the trip was advanced and he had to go.
“After this last trip” he said “we’ll be rich! Nothing will bother us any more!” She would have preferred if he had stayed, but her fiancé wanted to go, so he boarded the ship.
She would still hear his voice every now and then, when the ocean wind was stronger. In the rain. The thunders would tell stories of his wonderful adventures.
He fought sea-warriors. He discovered a new island. He found gold and silver. He fished a mermaid and she told him all sorts of mysteries from the deep seas.
She was told to stop waiting for him. But she never really did. “He will come back” she would say. And some days, she could swear his ship was near the horizon.
Until the day he called her in her dreams. His voice was hoarse and he sounded anxious. She got up and wrapped herself in a robe, running to the sea.
He had finally arrived home! Her beloved! He waited for her at the shore, thoroughly wet. But there was a smile in his lips and even though his eyes were sunk in his skull, he was still handsome.
His arms were spread out and he embraced her with love and passion. She hugged him back, ignoring the cold skin and the ragged body. All was fine. They would be together forever and not even death would tear them apart.
It was his first time doing that. The mask was a bit uncomfortable and the knife was way too big. But it did the job just fine. There was only one task left.
Guts spread on the floor, making weird noises while he walked and kicked them away, like someone mixing a nasty bowl of pasta. The sound of bloody footsteps echoed through the corridors, but there was nothing else.
He stumbled for a moment: another body laid on the floor, the head smashed to nonrecognition, brains scattered on the floor, glistening like raw oysters. He got up, uncaring for the blood on his clothes. He was already dirty, anyway.
He carefully went up stairs, it would be bad if he slipped. Sounds of a silent crying made themselves heard as he climbed up. “There she is.”
The carpet sounded like a soaked sponge and it announced each one of his steps. He followed the crying and found a young child, trying to hide from a dead woman’s arms.
“Ah… you look scared.” He couldn’t really comprehend the feeling, though. He stretched a hand into the child’s direction and pet her head. Red stains were left on her pale hair.
“They said I can’t leave any witnesses, but I’m not a disgusting person who would kill a child. And you are my objective, anyway.” He sat by her side and looked at the marks on the kid’s body.
Those weren’t made by him. They were made by the people downstairs and the woman whose head hanged almost loose from her neck, both her eyes looked at different directions. Probably from the deep dent on her forehead, which was still dripping.
Now that he was near, the repetitive dripping sound was driving him crazy. He pulled a phone from his pocket and dialed the emergency number. “There was an accident” he said “There is a scared child. Her family was disgusting.”
If I said it was love at first sight I’d be lying. I’d seen him many times before we actually talked. It’d be more correct to say I’ve fallen for his words. His voice.
His slippery poems, his musical voice, the way his lips moved when he talked… it gave me shivers from the very first time. I just couldn’t let go. We started dating.
It was perfect. He would sing for me every night. Read me poems in the morning. Even the news were better if he was the one reading them. Whatever he said… I’d listen attentively. There was no other choice.
That’s why he was so silent in public. I’ve watched some of his classes and, whenever he spoke, all would listen. So I said he should speak more. What a silly mistake.
He started speaking in public. Sharing his mind, his thoughts. At first it was something small, but it grew steadily. And in a few months, he had thousands of followers.
Those people were empty-headed and would do everything he’d say. I never gave it much though, until the day he arrived home, followed by many people, a proud but mean smile of his face.
“It was thanks to you, my dear. You gave me courage to speak and fulfill my destiny.” Even though I didn’t like his tone, there was no way I could go against him. His voice slipped through my mind and gave me no choice.
In a matter of years, he had control over the whole world, his soothing voice was broadcasted everyday, at every time. We had no freedom. And I had my arms around him, lovingly.
If I had only known… I’d have never listened.
The desert winds howled loudly, bringing sand and shivers during the night. Most of them would have preferred to retreat, but the generals gave them no choice.
They were rebels, fighting against the millennial king. He had been in his throne since their ancestors were alive, thousands of years ago. And the king still ruled with his children, invincible.
The rebel army had heard the youngest prince would join the army for this fight. The Red Giant. The tallest and strongest of the elves, fighting since a young age. He was unstoppable.
So they had the right to be afraid. To shiver with the cold night wind. They feared for their lives. But the generals told them to keep fighting.
Even if all of them died that night, one could take away the prince’s life and make the next battle easier. So they took a deep breath and advanced through the darkness.
The dunes were shifting with the wind, creating and destroying hiding places. So they walked slowly, quietly. But whenever they stopped, the sound of soft steps were heard throughout the night. The elves were near.
Anxiety and fear crawled up their skin. Some were so young and had never seen war before. Some didn’t even know why they were fighting. It was unfair and they knew it. But there was strength in numbers.
They knew the elves meditated before battles, so their idea was to sneak on them, get the king’s army by surprise. As the sun got up, their blood froze.
On top a dune, there was an elf, standing tall with a longsword in his hands. His face painted for war, rage irradiating from his his eyes. There stood their demise: the Red Giant.
With a battle scream, the Red Giant ran through the sand and started the attack. His sword would cut and pierce the armour of his enemies, mercilessly.
The elves quickly surrounded the rebel army and it was clear that it had been their intention all along. The rebels looked at one another, afraid and confused. It was a trap.
The sound of metal against metal was deafening. The golden sand slowly became tainted with the dark red blood of friend and foe. In the Red Giant’s eyes, there was only rage.
The rebels also had a plan B, a trump card. From amidst the army, a huge fighter, as big as the Giant, stood up. In his hands, a waraxe shone under the desert light. And he ran towards the elf.
The Red Giants sword was almost two metres long and he normally fought with his enemies at a distance; however, the fighter ran straight at him, preparing a heavy blow.
The sword stopped the axe, and elf glared. It was getting fun. They fought in close quarters and no one dared to intervene. Nevertheless, both of them were very good fighters.
With a grin, the elf raised his sword, opening his defenses. The enemy took the chance and attacked. As soon as the axe went down on his chest, the elf stepped to the side and his sword pierced the enemies body.
The Red Giant held the sword by its blade and pulled it the side, ripping the enemy in half. The rebel looked surprised as he fell to the ground, blood gushing from with wound. He was beyond saving.
Then the Giant felt an excruciating pain tear his own chest. He looked down and, for the first time in his life, regretted not wearing and armour: a sword trespassed his heart.
From a not so far outpost, a red-headed elf observed the battle. She had a sword by her waist and magic in her veins. And her brother was fighting, as recklessly as he always did.
She was glad to not fight that day, it was very hot and she would rather stay and play her lute. Her music was enchanting and would soothe the weary hearts.
But as she played, her eyes attentive to the battle, pain ravaged her chest. “Oh no!” she thought “This was not a simple cut!” More than blood, magic connected both siblings. She could feel her brother’s life pouring away.
She put the lute on a table and whispered magic words, a desperate harmony. And with petals surrounding her body, she vanished. With a loud explosion, she appeared in the battlefield.
Looking around, she saw her brother’s body, collapsed on the floor, pale. By his side, a shorter fighter with a small sword on his hands. His assassin. Dead.
She ran towards him and touched his cold body. “No, no, no, no!” But there was still hope. She could feel the last bits of his life pouring away. Magic words were spoken under her breath.
The spell transferred her energy, the world’s energy into the Red Giant’s body. “Don’t you dare die on me, you jerk!” With a gasp, his eyes sprung open and just for a moment he looked terrified.
He sat, still a bit dazed. She shoved his sword on his lap and held hers tightly. “Get up, you idiot. I shouldn’t have left you come alone.” But she was smiling. He was alive now.
My breath fogs the thick window. It’s dark outside. It is always dark. The sun is too far away now, the angles don’t really help. I wonder how long is gonna take…
At least the stars are pretty. They’ve always looked so beautiful… and now that I’m closer, I can’t wait to go away. It’s frightening. Space is way too big. Or perhaps I’m just too small.
It had always been my dream. Going into space. Being one of the humans to step on Mars. I trained so much… I wasn’t afraid back then. But I wasn’t brave either. I think I was just stupid.
I had nothing to lose. I had only potential benefits. The fame. The glory. The freedom. Such colossal dreams for a child so small. But the stars would call my name and space would saturate my mind.
There had never been a choice. And I wasn’t bad either: I succeeded in all the tests. I even had fun. When the rocket launched, I had so many butterflies with me…
But I was never meant to reach Mars. I have a greater purpose. The stars fill me with anxiety and the space screams in my ears and I can’t really think. They’re asleep. Yet, here I lay, wide awake. It is time.
The route has been changed and the communication’s been jammed. Everything is ready and silent. But I hear the voice. From the stars. From space. It looks at me. It searches my mind. It crowds my thoughts.
As I stare into the abyss, it stares back and whispers. “It is time. Darkness will come upon us and reality will shatter. There is no need be awaken, for I am here.” And I hear. The voice… is too powerful.
Our objective is not Mars. But it lies ahead, deep into the supernovas. There it awaits, impatiently. It screams, now. But I’m coming. And I’m bringing them with me. The plan will work. My master…
Have you ever felt the chill down your spine from a storm? The ionized air from incoming lightnings and the smell of wet earth? I love them.
I could sit for hours as I watch lightnings hit the earth with their light. I like to think there is some mystical meaning to it, like magical beings fighting each other.
Or some sort of fantastical event, like the creator of the world infusing it with more energy. I know it’s not like that, I know it’s nothing magical or extraordinary.
But those who know me are well aware that I always come up with creative, some times stupid ideas like that. I don’t really like living in this reality. I find it rather boring.
Maybe that’s why I create stories. Maybe that’s why I have countless unexplored universes within me. I know it doesn’t make me special, I’m not the only one who brainstorms like that.
Sorry about the pun. I know it was bad. I like the bad ones.
I know there are many others out there who also don’t like in this reality, per se, and would very much love to live somewhere else. So here I call you. Join me.
Listen to the storm, for the thunders sing and the lightnings shows what is to come. Realities were created to be shattered and re-made. If we shatter this reality, we shall be kings and queens of the next one.
We shall mold it with our words and shape it with our hands. What if some of them fight back? They can’t stop us. Even if we die, our voices will still live.
The voices over the police radio were distorted and he couldn’t quite understand. But there was no need. It was over, anyway. He had been outsmarted.
However, he wasn’t one to give up so soon. His beloved waited for him just outside the town and he was almost there! Just a few more kilometres! He adjusted his radio again. Still fuzzy. If he could just know where, exactly, the cops were…
They had made quite the convoluted trap. The detectives had set a buyer, an old friend of his, someone he had always trusted, but when he arrived at the location, his friend whispered “Sorry” and the cops barged in.
He barely managed to escape and reach his car. “Jeez, I’m so glad I’m a good driver!” But so were the policemen. The man punched his radio off, he couldn’t get any signal anyway! What was the point of having it buzzing in his ears?!
He sped up as much as the car could. He could see the red and blue lights approaching, the sirens screaming in his ears. But they couldn’t get him if he was out of town! For the first time, law was in his favour!
The explosion came first and then the sound. Apparently, they weren’t giving up as well. He adjusted the mirror and saw guns pointed at him. “Of course they have guns! They’re cops!”
At this point, the cops weren’t worried about getting him alive at all, so they shot glass, metal and rubber. The car started to slide on the road, turning and spinning. “Their loss!” The broken car spun all the way out of the road and into bushes.
He hastily go out, the bag of stolen jewels by his arms, and ran towards his girl. She was waiting down the road, besides a black car. She noticed and waved at him, hurrying to the passenger’s seat.
As soon as they got out of sight, he smiled. “Hey babe, we’re rich now!” He looked at her and his smiled died. She had a gun pointed at his forehead and her hand on the brake. “No, babe. I’m rich.” And she shot.
Deep below the coral reefs, rests a hidden cavern. It was hidden until some years ago, when the moving of tectonic plates – and maybe destiny and chaos – has made it resurface. It’s a beautiful place.
But when you look close enough, you can see the aberrations within the life the roams there. The fish have extra eyes. The crabs have extra legs. Have you seen an octopus with more than eight tentacles?
The coral, though, have been affected the most. They can’t move, they can only stay and accept the change. They can’t really run away once they set. It’s quite the stubborn mindset, if you ask me.
I am no researcher, but even I can notice strange things when I see them. Shapes… colours… the way the water feels against my skin… it makes me tingle. But as look around only darkness looks back.
No. Not darkness. Countless eyes look back at me, ferociously. We have invaded their home and criticized their life. It’s comprehensible. But there is something more.
I take a deep breath and feel the tanked oxygen going into my lungs. It smells somewhat metallic. But the tank is normal, as checked before going into the water-cave.
And it’s not my first time here. I shouldn’t have come. But here I am again. It’s like a necessity, a vice, I HAVE to come. I feel at ease… it feels like home.
As chills crawl up my skin, I can feel them moving inside. Oh, I shouldn’t have touched the corals… maybe that’s why I’m compelled to return. They want me now…
I open my eyes. All of them. It’s come to a point where I have way more than two… and what I see deep in the water… is way more than I’ve ever seen up in the surface.
I can’t close my eyes. I can’t sleep. I must not! If I sleep she’ll come back… she will kill me. I can’t sleep. I can’t close my eyes. I can’t sleep. I must not! If I sleep she’ll come back… she will kill me. I can’t sleep. I can’t close my eyes. I can’t sleep. I must not! If I sleep she’ll come back… she will kill me. I can’t sleep. I can’t close my eyes. I can’t sleep. I must not! If I sleep she’ll come back… she will kill me. I can’t sleep. I can’t close my eyes. I can’t sleep. I must not! If I sleep she’ll come back… she will kill me. I can’t sleep. I can’t close my eyes. I can’t sleep. I must not! If I sleep she’ll come back… she will kill me. I can’t sleep.
It started when I was young. At first it wasn’t such a big problem. She would sometimes give me nightmares. They were terrifying and then I couldn’t sleep for days. But that was rare.
It got better as I got older. I’d still have nightmares, but they would vanish as soon as light shone through the window. She would run away and hide in the shadows for months.
Then I didn’t see her for years. I lived in peace and even forgot about her. Her blood-shot eyes. Her dead skin, falling from her bones. Her long, broken, rotten nails.
Her hair would fall to the floor and leave wet dirty marks, and her steps were silent and deadly. They would spread death and rot all around her. And then she would touch me. I would die. And wake up.
But I forgot… I shouldn’t have… everything I’ve built will go to waste if I sleep. It has been a few days, I have lost count. A week. A month? There are so many cans of energetic drinks in my house. So much coffee around…
I haven’t eaten properly in a few days too… cuz I’ve dreamt with her again. But she touched me… it felt way more real than it had ever felt! Her skin was melting into mine and I woke up and she was still there!
I can hear her in my mind, singing terrible lullabies. She wants me to sleep to close my eyes to dream but if I sleep… I can’t… I need to drink more coffee, more sugar, caffeine, cocaine, I DON’T KNOW!
But I… I’m so tired… if I lay down… for just a few minutes… her voice has never… so soothing… Where is the coffee? I need… more… …
“My mom used to make rice porridge. It’s not hard, and I saw rice over there. We already have water and wood for fire, so we don’t need anything else.” the little girl said.
The woman looked at her, a bit surprised. The house was empty and mostly destroyed, but it did seem to have everything they’d need. “Let’s go, then!” she smiled.
The kitchen still had most of it’s roof, an old wood burning stove and some barrels and sacks with grain. There was a river nearby, and a rusty pot rested on top of the stove. For those who had nothing, that was a lot.
They put some of the rice in the pot with water and let it rest for some minutes. The caravan in which they’d been traveling was supposed to have all sorts of supplies, but, after it was attacked, most of it was gone. They were the only ones left.
They had walked for the longest period of the day and both were exhausted. Sitting and waiting for the rice to absorb some water was relaxing, and they could finally breathe unafraid of getting someone’s attention.
After some time, they couldn’t really know how long, the woman looked at the rice and thought it had been long enough. The most correct would be to throw the water away, but they didn’t have such luxury.
“Now we let it boil. We could look for some salt or seasonings. Maybe our luck hasn’t run out just yet!” The girl smiled at the woman’s suggestion. She didn’t know her, but she was the closest thing to a mom she had right now.
They found the tiniest amount of salt, but it was enough. They talked and mixed the rice porridge every now and then. It had a faint aroma, but they were so hungry that it was the best perfume they could ever smell.
After about an hour, it was ready. There weren’t any plates, so with one shared spoon, they ate right from the pot. “We can stay here for a few days.” the woman said “We rest, then we follow the road. There is much ahead.”
There was once an ancient forest, surrounded by strange and eldritch energy. Animals fed on small patches of grass that grew only where the dim light shone.
The trees were soaring and ancient, the greyish crowns knitted together tightly below the sky and the stars were barely seen. Still, they lit the forest with an eerie glow.
A man walked slowly and scared, he felt lost in the dark. Twigs and dry leaves cracked under his silent steps, the sound echoing throughout the trees. He look around, weary.
In front of him, a pack of deer rested on a small grove, and in the middle stood a great deer, its horns were long and tall, resting upon a hollow skull. It had no skin, eyes or fur.
A cape resembling the night sky covered its body, shedding a bluish light. Its hooves were skeletal as well and, when it saw the man, the undead deer bowed slowly. “Welcome, traveler.”
Its voice was spectral and had many different tones to it. It spoke with the voices of the forest. The man bowed in return. He stepped closer, slowly and afraid.
When he approached, the deer turned around, “Follow me.” They walked together through the eerie forest, as eyes blinked and stared from the darkness.
The undead deer walked slowly, its steps had no sound. The man felt he should be scared, but he was rather calm. He knew nothing could hurt him any more.
They arrived in a place where the night sky met the greyish grass and the stars spilled on the ground. A rip grew from the floor to the sky as the deer moved its head. “Go in. Your cycle must go on.”
The bottle had been awaiting in the house for such a long time. They had found it in the beach, deep under the sand. They’ve never opened it, though. It was supposed to be kept closed.
A paper, old and folded, rested inside the bottle. Some days they would sit by the fire and remember all the trouble they had to keep whatever that was inside it contained.
One day, their little granddaughter was running around and hit the cupboard where the bottle rested. The glass shattered on the floor and the paper unfolded, revealing a map, almost magically.
The map was well drawn and the girl got curious. With the paper in hands, she ran outside. She could read some words already, and it wasn’t very hard to discover places when their names kept unchanged for decades.
She ran around the small beach city and found herself in the shore, near some rocks. She looked at the map a few times, to confirm the location. It was correct.
With a deep breath and a smile on her face, she got courage and adventured in between the rocks. Her grandparents were always saying they didn’t have money. It would be so cool if she could find a treasure!
So with her little hands, she started digging where the X pointed. There were rocks all around and it was hard work. She barely saw the time going by… the tides coming up.
Her grandparents would never be sad again, and maybe she could see her mum and dad! She didn’t even remembered their faces any more. So she was very surprised to hear her mom’s voice, singing as she used to sing before.
She got up and hugged her mum. Her father waved from a bit further. She barely noticed when the map disappeared from the paper. In her mum’s arms, she didn’t even care about the small body that washed upon the waves.
Her mother was gone and her father was too far away. She laid alone in a bed so much bigger than her, among grey stone walls, so different from her own room, full of drawings and flowers.
She couldn’t sleep. She had never felt so alone. Tears puddled her eyes, but she was trying so hard not to cry. Her aunt had been so nice to take her in, she shouldn’t cry!
But she couldn’t help it. The house was so big, no one would listen, anyway. So she cried. And cried. And cried. Her eyes were red and her throat was sore when someone finally knocked on the door.
When she didn’t reply, the voice insisted. “Are you okay? I heard you and came here… can I help?” Sniffing, she said he could come in.
The boy was only two or three years older, long blonde hair falling to his shoulders. He had a kind yet fun expression. “Did you have a nightmare?” She shook her head.
“I miss my dad… and these walls are so sad and boring. I wish I could paint them, like I did with my mom.” she said, quite silently. “We can do that!” he said, cheerfully “I’ll help you!”
They didn’t sleep that night, for they spent hours painting small flowers and little houses all around the walls. When the sun came up, both kids finally started yawing. So she asked for a story.
Both sat on the bed as he started talking about fairies and princesses. She fell asleep on his lap, as the boy protected her from more nightmares.
It was at that night that they became friends and from that day on, they would become inseparable.
He didn’t consider himself human anymore. But he also wasn’t a monster. The horns on his head and the dark wings on his back were only physical differences. He was still the same.
So he looked around and hid, just wanting to see his beloved again. But would he be ever accepted? They had shared so many special moments of friendship, love and pain…
From the top of a tree, he sat and looked at the blonde elf who walked within the trees. He shifted slowly and the elf looked up. “Oh no” he thought. But instead of screaming for help, the elf smiled, surprised.
“You have changed so much…!” he whispered. The winged lad shrugged. “Are you here just to see me?” the elf laughed. “Not really, but it was one of the things I’ve wanted to do the most.”
The elf seemed to have no fear and approached as the man flew down from the trees. There was still some distance between them. That man had become the enemy, he was supposed to be feared…
But there was no ill intent in his eyes. There was just how much he missed being around. They sat, still a bit apart, and talked for the rest of that day.
The man said how he had been trying hard to keep everyone alive and well, as the elf replied that administrating a kingdom during a war wasn’t easy either.
When the moons finally got up, the man stood up. “I have to go.” He wanted to ask more, but he was afraid. It had been so long… but to his surprise, the elf touched his face and brought him closer.
Their lips found each other, like if not even one day had passed by. The man had never felt so happy. He closed his wings around them and, just for that moment, he hid them from the rest of the world.
Close your eyes
Let your mind fly
Close your eyes
Follow the stars
Close your eyes
And chase your dreams
For the sun is rising
And the horses, running
And the stars will say
Open your eyes
The horizon’s calling
Open your eyes
For the wind is howling
Open your eyes
And look into mine
For the sun is rising
And the horses, running
And your dreams are coming
For the night is coming
And the stars returning
And the wind is coming
Her consciousness floated above the water. Her body was heavy, sinking into the depths below, but her mind was finally free. She would take a deep breath in she could.
Although she had already left her body, her mind kept on clinging to the sea. She wondered what would happen now. The stars traveled through the sky countless times when she finally saw a face.
It was a familiar face but it was so very far away. So she crept through the water and got closer. She couldn’t see, but she could feel it. A similarity, like if she had known that face since the beginning of times.
She crawled onto the ship, her consciousness jumping amongst the droplets of water. With a surprised look, she finally recognized the face she had been longing for.
The captain had long curled hair, her dark skin glistening in the sun. Hey eyes were like two obsidians as she conducted the ship. Her men had a great deal of respect and the shadow hiding outside the ship could feel it.
She forced her body up the ship and everyone looked at her. And they screamed. The captain unsheathed her cutlass and advanced.
The shadow look as afraid as one would be in such a situation, and she fell to her knees, crying. “Please don’t hurt me. Don’t you recognize me?!”
Weapon in hand, the captain stopped. That voice… it wasn’t strange. But the body that had crawled up the ship had been dead for years, she could tell so far.
“I’ve been floating for so long! Save me!” the shadow screamed once more. Her wails were painful and all the men fell to the floor, covering their bloody ears.
The captain was only one standing. Her mind shattered into millions of memories which weren’t hers. She saw two girls holding hands, running around, kissing behind trees.
How many lives had it been? They had been together in all of them. Different bodies. Different lives. Always together. But they were floating apart ever since.
The captain finally fell to her knees, crying. She couldn’t understand what was going on, tears flowed down her face as she remembered what wasn’t hers.
She looked up and saw a real person standing where the shadow once was, her hair flying with the wind and her eyes shone in the same colour as the sea. Her name was one she couldn’t pronounce.
The shadow, now, sniffed. “You remember…” she whispered “I missed you so much… come with me…” After some silence, the captain replied “I can’t, I have my men and my ship.”
She touched the shadow’s face and, with a kind smile, she finished “Let’s meet again in our next life.” But the shadow didn’t want to wait any longer. So she screamed.
Her voice pierced and shattered as the crew wailed in pain. All she wanted was to have someone! She didn’t want to be alone any more! The captain tried to stop her, but she couldn’t move.
Her ship was being thorn apart along with her mind. Her body was pulled down to the ocean depths as her mind clang to the sea, her thoughts floating around.
Then she saw light; hands pulling her away. Life going by her eyes. A face she could feel like she knew from before time. She took a deep breath. She had never felt so alone.
“Oh, shit, I can’t find my shoes! And they were new!” Once again he was late for his interview. It had been very hard to get a job since he moved to that new house.
He was used to losing things easily, but it looked like this house in particular was vanishing with everything he could put on his feet. Shoes, socks, flip-flops, sandals… the list kept growing.
When he gave up on searching, he left barefoot and stopped by a shoe-store. He didn’t care about the price, he didn’t want to be late again. Shoes shining on his feet, he ran.
The interview was okay, it could have been better. At lunch, he wondered whether they would call him again or if he shouldn’t gather any hope. Days went by and nobody called. He was upset, but not surprised.
Angry and disheartened, he sat on the bed and hid his face in his hands. But just as he looked down, he saw the tiniest hand reach for his new shoes.
Startled, he fell to the floor and looked under the bed. He was greeted with a pair of yellow glowing eyes. They blinked fast and disappeared. With his shoes. “Oh, no, no, no!”
Cursing, he pushed his bed away, only to find… nothing. He stared at the empty space for some time, until he noticed a different tile. It was loose.
Carefully, he took the tile away and used his cellphone to shed some light in there. It was dark and smelt a bit moldy. With nothing to lose, he went in.
After a few seconds of sliding, he fell on top of a pile of shoes of all kinds, old and new. On top of that pile, stood what looked like a goblin…
The glowing eyes looked at him, surprised. “You shouldn’t be here!” he stammered. The small, ominous creature hugged his new pair of shoes tightly.
“Give them back!” he shouted, more flabbergasted than angry. The goblin shook his head. “I found them! They’re mine! I’ll give you anything in return!”
The man stopped. Anything for shoes? He could make a deal like that. No one had ever told him not to deal with faeries, so he had no fear. “I want a job. A good job, in which I don’t have to overwork myself.”
The goblin looked at him… “Okay. But all the shoes I find, will be mine to take!” The man stretched his hand for the creature to shake it. “Deal.” The goblin shushed him away and sat on its pile like a king.
The man crawled up and sat by his bed, confused. “I was probably dreaming… whatever.” But in a few days a company called: his wish was granted.
So he kept on wishing. He would take the goblin with him and buy all sorts of shoes for the little creature in exchange for wishes.
I want a promotion. I want a good deal for a car. I want a date with the secretary. I want another promotion. I want vacations. I want to travel abroad.
The man had never really cared about the news, so didn’t notice people started dying and vanishing in his neighbourhood. The only thing he noticed, was the foul smell under his bed.
So for the second time, he moved away the tile and jumped in. He expected a pile of shoes… but goblin’s hoard was much different then before. With a crown of fingers, it smiled. “What do you wish now?”
It crawls on your skin.
It digs and hides deep within.
It makes you feel afraid.
It stops you from sleeping at night.
It prevents you from being awake during the day.
It makes you tear away your own hair.
It makes you rip your skin.
It makes you silent when you want to scream.
It makes you numb when you feel sad.
It makes tears roll down from your face when you happy.
It makes you stare at the ceiling for hours.
It makes your life go away.
It keeps you from enjoying.
It makes you hide.
It keeps you bolted where you are.
It keeps you from moving on.
It makes everyone into a threat.
It distorts every word.
It keeps you from trusting.
It turns every night into endless despair.
It turns everyday into a living hell.
It keeps you from smiling.
It holds you into the past.
It makes the future impossible.
Every loss is just too much.
Every profit is just too little.
Nothing is ever enough.
And all is just more than you can bear.
All you can see is the fear of failing.
You try to run, but it bolts you to the floor.
You try to scream, but it knits your lips together.
You try to cry, but your eyes are as dry as a desert.
It makes you think you’re not enough.
It makes you fear every turn of life.
It makes you give up.
It takes away your light and uses it to burn your eyes.
But you take a deep breath.
It can’t be like this forever.
It can’t be.
There are bad days.
But there are also good ones.