Stories tagged “SPECULATIVE FICTION”

  • Danger in the Dark

    At some point the redolent scent of moisture reached our noses, clinging to the air around us. Soon, it became apparent why.

    We reached a section of tunnel that was damp and cool, moist with condensation that itself brown and foul-smelling. We avoided to…

    Posted 1 month ago
  • Companions in the Dark

    We traveled again, the tunnel growing narrower and wider at sporadic intervals. At times we were able to walk side-by-side. At others we were forced to move one behind the other, and when we did, we each took turns leading the way forward. When you led yo…

    Posted 1 month ago
  • Aid in the Dark

    You were at my side in an instant, an angel of light and beauty so magnificent that even now I cannot put it to words. You fell to your knees and cradled my head in your lap. I barely heard the slight pop of a vial being uncorked, but a second later a liq…

    Posted 1 month ago
  • Wounded in the Dark

    We spotted dozens of other traps as we progressed, avoiding each with ease. They were not well hidden, seeming to be laid more as an annoyance than as to be any genuine threat. And yet we took no chances. We treated each one as potentially lethal, until f…

    Posted 1 month ago
  • Discernment in the Dark

    The floor leveled out and opened up into a cavernous space. We held our lanterns aloft, as high above our heads as we could manage, but even so there was not enough light to chase away the inky blackness. In the shadows around us we could hear things movi…

    Posted 1 month ago
  • Descending into the Dark

    We set out again, following the same pathway we'd been on before. The floor beneath us continued to slope downward. The ceiling of the tunnel dropped low in places but never so much that we needed to stoop. We weren't certain where we were headed. Such wa…

    Posted 1 month ago
  • Comfort in the Dark

    You reached out your injured arm, placing your hand on my shoulder while I wrapped and bound it. You didn't even wince as I pulled the bandages tight to help slow the blood flow. One of the Healers would need to tend to the wound once we returned to the H…

    Posted 1 month ago
  • Piercing the Dark

    Our blades flashed in the dark, sparks of light from our lanterns flickering off our weapons. The things were all around us, attacking from the sides, the floor, even the ceiling. We stood back-to-back and warded them off -- one, two, sometimes even three…

    Posted 1 month ago
  • Traversing the Dark

    We traveled like that for some time. Talking. Sharing. Laughing. It was always a joy to travel with you, and it was no less so this time.

    And as we walked, we noticed the ground beneath our feet begin to slant ever so slightly downward.

    The thing about…

    Posted 2 months ago
  • Sharing the Dark

    We found each other in the dark some time later. Or, rather, the semi-dark. A crack in part of the tunnel ceiling extended through the rock over our heads and let in just enough light that we didn't require our lanterns. It did little to dispel the gloom …

    Posted 2 months ago
  • Into the Dark

    The Watchers tell me you departed some time ago, that you walked into the tunnel by yourself armed with nothing but your pack, walking stick, and a lantern. An incredible risk, if you ask me, given what we both know lurks there in the dark. But I know you…

    Posted 2 months ago
  • A Horse - and a Gun

    Story is marked as mature

    Posted 2 months ago
  • Quoth the Raven

    I laid on my back on the forest floor, the deadfall beneath me striving vainly to push me closer to the sky. Perched above me a black raven rested on a branch, peering intently down at me, just as it had for the last two hours. The creature never moved, n…

    Posted 4 months ago
  • Deck Tremor

    Captain Adriana Milosovic felt the deck tremble beneath her feet. It was subtle, barely even there at all, and yet it was enough that her senses came to high alert. She glanced around the bridge at her crew, but they were all engaged in their own tasks. N…

    Posted 4 months ago
  • Smoke and Metal

    The Priest lifts the lid away from the box and sets it to the side. The smoke inside the box swirls before him like an angry storm but remains in place for the moment. He dips a finger into the smoke, drawing out a long tendril of grey vapor. Then, with h…

    Posted 4 months ago
  • One Side of the Looking Glass

    He can see her there, standing just on the other side of the glass. She's next to him, of course, there but not here. He can reach out with a hand and touch her shoulder. She smiles at him. Warm. Affectionate. But also sad. Because he is not truly there. …

    Posted 5 months ago
  • The Peak

    The wind gusted across the dusty peak, nearly blowing Zachariah off his feet. He pulled his weathered duster closer around him, pulled his hat down further over his eyes in an attempt to keep debris out of his eyes.

    The townsmen had said the climb would …

    Posted 5 months ago
  • I Rise, I Fall

    It is a moment of pure Zen, true transcendence. It is not something I plan, or expect, but it is not something I resist, either. One moment I am sitting in my personal, mobile zen-do, sitting zazen in meditation. The next I feel myself myself lifting off …

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Metal and Smoke

    He unfolds the cloth first, revealing the medallion hidden within. The face that peers back is profane and vulgar, but it is not unknown to him. It is the sigil of a creature whose existence has long thought to be past but whose influence garners follower…

    Posted 6 months ago
  • Into the Hands of the Smoke Priest

    One of the merchants produces the sigil, wrapped in cloth, from an inner pocket of his robe, and sets it in the Priest's waiting hand. The box follows immediately. Wisps of smoky vapor puff upward from the Priest's fingertips as they do so, but the mercha…

    Posted 6 months ago
  • Smoke Priest

    The smoke merchants pace along the streets of the Market. The cowls of their grey cloaks are pulled up over their heads, obscuring their features. Everyone who comes to the Market maintains a level of anonymity, but the smoke merchants even more so. The p…

    Posted 6 months ago
  • Frost

    He resists the voices, even as they wrap around him. He fights but is soon overwhelmed. There are simply too many of them. He feels them clawing at his mind, dragging at his psyche, pulling him down into unknown depths -- and suddenly he is very afraid.

    Posted 6 months ago
  • Memories Even of Memories

    He dips his finger into the smoke, and it clings to his flesh like tar, even as tatters billow up and swirl around his hand. He lifts his hand to his face once more, inhaling the smoke in one long stream. He leans back, head tilted upward, euphoria making…

    Posted 6 months ago
  • Smoke

    He licks his lips in anticipation, ignoring the searing pain of his torn tongue and the coppery taste of blood in his mouth. Carefully he reaches forward with both hands and takes hold of the box, gripping the top four corners between his thumbs and foref…

    Posted 6 months ago
  • Blood and Runes

    He wastes no time. Already the moonlight has crept across the box, and if he misses this opportunity, it will be weeks before another presents itself.

    He slips his tongue between his teeth -- and bites down, hard, severing the flesh. He takes the torn ti…

    Posted 6 months ago