Stories tagged “SPECULATIVE FICTION”
A Horse - and a Gun
Story is marked as maturePosted 5 years 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 5 years ago
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 5 years 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 5 years 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 years ago
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 years 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 lifting off the gro…Posted 5 years 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 5 years 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 5 years ago
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 years ago
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 years 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 years ago
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 years 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 years ago
It is night now, and moonlight pours through the one open window in the room. The moon outside is full, the light it casts bright and rich. Almost the moonbeam reaches the table. Almost it reaches the box. The moment he has been waiting for has very nearl…Posted 6 years ago
The Red Box
The box rests on a small, round table, perfectly centered on its rough surface. The man who purchased it stands across the room, leaning with one shoulder against the wall, staring at the box without really seeing it, lost in contemplation. Before him lie…Posted 6 years ago
He winds his way through the chaos, trying to avoid bumping into anyone. Such a thing is nigh impossible here. But it hardly bothers him. Here, anonymity is paramount.
Finally, he reaches a dark corner where two grey men sit. He sits across from them, a…Posted 6 years ago
One final question escapes her lips.
"WHO ARE YOU?" Her own voice is deafening, enhanced by the Weight she bears. It thunders down the alley, bouncing off the walls. The ringing returns to her ears, nearly drowning out his answer.
"You'll know soon enou…Posted 6 years ago
"But, Bearers are supposed to be heroes," she stammers, that note of confusion returning to her voice. "We don't fight each other. We fight monsters. We fight evil. We push back the darkness wherever we find it. That is our purpose and our calling. …Posted 6 years ago
She turns to face her assailant, who stares her down mere steps away in the alley, smug expression fixed on his face.
"You," she says, a puzzled tone to her voice. "You're a Bearer?" His response is to spread his arms wide and grin even wider, as if to s…Posted 6 years ago
Olivia hits the ground with a sickening crunch, but she barely feels it. Her vision is swimming, her ears ringing, and it takes her a moment to realize she's landed left hip on the pavement, her arms supporting her upper torso. Her jaw throbs with a dull …Posted 6 years ago
Weeping in the Willows
The child sits at the base of the tree, silently weeping. Her arms are crossed over her upraised knees, her face buried in her arms. Tears fall from her cheeks, staining her pants and the soil on which she sits. A few even land on the tree roots.
A gentl…Posted 6 years ago
It soared out of midnight, all gas envelope and aerosolized Nightmare, propelled by only God knows what. It carried a tiny bomber bay, loaded with a lethality that would have made any nation quake to its roots, if any knew it existed.
The airship was bla…Posted 6 years ago
Flames of the Fire
"Orthael!" she spat. "Protector of life, servant of the All-Consumer." Her voice dripped disdain. "Summoned by a local parish, no doubt." Orthael nodded. "To protect us." He nodded again.
"Well, holy man, where were you when my village was destroyed …Posted 6 years ago
An Introduction and a Challenge
"I ask you again," Malika said. "Who be you, and how be it you come to be here, just at this very moment? Be you a final test, holy man or not, to confirm my resolve, to baptize me in the fire of purification against the forces of Ashmar?" She could feel …Posted 6 years ago