Stories tagged “UNP”

  • The Burden of Denial

    Banging exploded across the breadth of the door as people tried to break in. My worry was fleeting. It wasn't impossible to break down a VouchSafe steel door but you'd need specific tools to do it.

    “Let us in, you bastard!” Voices shouted in waves, muffl…

    Posted 1 month ago
  • Family Pride

    That's how I became a part of the Cold Hail Battalion (Give 'em Hail!). I was never carried into battle but I was often carried out of one. My dad, the one who accepted me, tried hard to get me transferred to an orphanage or a host family, but there was n…

    Posted 2 months ago
  • On the Edge

    Rain fell hard, threatening to drown the city but never quite committing to finishing the job. Tonight there was no wind and people felt safe using their umbrellas. All of them moving slow under black domes gave the streets the air of a funeral procession…

    Posted 2 months ago
  • The Tower and the Path

    The tower is coming along nicely. It's defensible with thick walls and even though I can't see them, I take great comfort in knowing that they are there. I imagine it's tall enough that if I climbed the stairs to the top that I could see for miles in ever…

    Posted 2 months ago
  • The Last Trip Together

    I roused from my sleep enough to hear the low tones of conversation from the front of my car. It was stuffy under the blanket and I hadn't slept well besides. Worming my way slightly toward a more upward state, I adjusted the my pillow against the window …

    Posted 2 months ago
  • Shadows

    There's a darkness in you. It hides in our whole family. It's a sickness that must be fought and accepted in equal parts. I know it. You won't, not until you look inside yourself without flinching and recognize that your darkness shares your face. It's in…

    Posted 4 months ago
  • Visible Consequences to Invisible Burdens

    I watched as a deep, dark, gulf widened between two people leaning against the same Honda Civic. Papers had been served, the process of divorce started. It wasn't too late to stop but it was too late to stop without consequences. My sister's whole body wa…

    Posted 5 months ago
  • An Exchange of Gray

    Behind the shimmering curtain of rain, made bright by passing headlights, a stately house appeared. Faint at first, its thin translucence swallowed the house that had been built in its absence. As the rain splashed against the walls and roof, the house be…

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Like Answering a Payphone

    In the dark my hands made twisted shapes, more through intuition than direction. They danced like they belonged to a conductor, while my fingers played the air in long strokes like a pianist's. I was aware of their movements but I couldn't see them. They …

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Fractal Realities: Waking Paralysis

    Hurrying to the bathroom, I felt like I was going to burst. I prayed that no one was in it and reached for the handle. It was open. I locked it and rushed to the toilet, dropping my pants as I did so.

    I had to bending down to raise the seat up. My face…

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Fractal Realities: Symptoms of Separation

    The cool of the window pane seeped into Roger's skin, bringing blessed cold. In a few minutes it would be too much but for now it felt like relief. Anything to bring down the fever that was overheating his body and stealing his energy. It was worse at nig…

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Fractal Realities: The Sound of Fear

    Cicadas sang in the heat of the day. Mostly. But it was well past sundown and the night was far from silent. It overflowed with strange sounds, as if the darkened woods themselves were awake and agitated. It wasn't just the pulsing buzz of the cicadas e…

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Lower Your Shields for My Next Trench Run

    Story is marked as mature

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Fractal Realities: Lost and Found

    The last thing I remembered was driving . . . somewhere. Somewhere important. I think to meet somebody. Through one window, the rocky face of mountain frowned at me in slow motion. Through the other, the sea nodded in groups of white-capped heads that mur…

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Fractal Realities: Thrill of the Fight

    The two fighters were clumsy. They didn't know that before but they knew it now. Winning a fight was something they'd both taken for granted. With size and power on their side, they hadn't bothered to learn finesse. Mastering a fighting style took time an…

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Fractal Realities: Funneling

    Story is marked as mature

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Fractal Realities: Suffering Builds Character

    It's difficult to grow up. Shoot, it's difficult to even figure out what that means. I suspect that the act of growing up is rooted in pain. Pain that is unfair, unique to you, callous, and solely your responsibility. From the white-hot shard of ice whose…

    Posted 6 months ago
  • Fractal Realities: Siren's Call

    I'm in a fun house. I've always like how the good ones play with perception. It reminds me of the Get Smart opening: expectation and subversion in a fun way. And they're so enthusiastic. Not the operators necessarily, who've seen this millions of times, b…

    Posted 6 months ago
  • Fractal Realities: Through the Door

    I have a screen door that doesn't open. The sliding glass door sit between the kitchen and the backyard patio, little more than a translucent wall. At the edge of the property is a chain link fence that separates my property from a steep grass-covered hil…

    Posted 6 months ago
  • When Water Kills

    Story is marked as mature

    Posted 6 months ago
  • When Friends Have Already Met

    I returned to the camp and let them know the good news. “Kharon agreed to help. He hates what the new governor has done as much as we do and will be here momentarily to guide us through a secret way under the walls and back into the palace.”

    Civitas stoo…

    Posted 7 months ago
  • Vulture Chic Among Fiends

    "Ah that's a real nice boon there, a standout miracle of blessings that any priest-liar's tongue would envy. Many thanks for this warmth, my fiend, that you've bestowed upon me in drink-form. She is a real beauty that touches me loving-like, a whisper tha…

    Posted 7 months ago
  • The Agony of Awakening

    Light.

    It was too hot.

    Uncomfortable.

    If I could just worm my way deeper into unconsciousness I wouldn’t have to face . . . anything.

    Something nuzzled against the top of my head. My skin crawled. Not daring to open an eye too wide lest I see too clea…

    Posted 7 months ago
  • Sluggish

    The girl took a step back from me, a hand creeping to her mouth.

    “Umm, is that normal?” she asked, nodding toward the blood streaks running down the spears of grass.

    Normal? I tried to connect anything to that word but nothing came to mind. Trying to th…

    Posted 7 months ago
  • Re-evaluating Strangers

    I couldn’t help but groan. Standing up had not been a good idea. Everything hurt.

    “Do you know that guy?” the girl asked.

    An icy spike shot up my spine. Panic swarmed at the edge of my vision like beating wings. I hunched down and grabbed her arm. “What…

    Posted 7 months ago