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Monday, January 23, 2017

Project Emerald: Part 1 #scifi #freereads

Skye awoke with a pounding headache inside a Faraday cage, suspended over obsidian air.

“Well it’s a good thing I’m not afraid of heights,” he muttered. His fingers clutched the grid of wire floor as he stared between them into the darkness. No ground below the cage. No anything, really.

“No vat of lava,” he said, keeping positive as usual. “I could have been suspended over a vat of lava.”

That’d already happened to him four times this year, in variation: molten iron, toxic waste, bubbling chemicals that’d burned some supervillain’s face and now he wanted revenge...

Totally not trembling at all, Skye tore his eyes away from the abyss to inspect the room around him. The lenses in his mask adjusted to infrared; in the pitch darkness he wouldn’t have seen anything without them. As dorky as mask lenses had sounded to him, Skye had to admit, again— Carl had been right to install them.

There wasn’t much to see, though. More darkness...in the far distance, walls, gears, and dangling chains.

“Holy—!” A hooded figure floated in the darkness just outside the cage, staring in at him.

“Well hello there!” Skye said, totally not freaked out at all, and totally not reconsidering his belief in ghosts. “What’s up?”

“You are.” The figure’s mouth twitched; he smirked. “But what matters more is what’s down.”

“Always nice to meet a kidnapper with a sense of humor,” Skye said, looking down again and pretending not to. “What’s your name, man?” When you’re friendly with your captors, they sometimes start sympathizing with you and mess up—everybody likes to beat down a defiant little snot or a sniveling crybaby, but you feel bad torturing a regular nice guy.

But the hooded man didn’t offer his name. He smiled, and disappeared.

Crap. Skye put two and two together: with the fuzzy infrared he couldn’t see right, but the smooth jazz voice and the disappearing thing—he’d only encountered that once before. And that guy didn’t f ’ around.

That guy was supposed to be dead.

Skye opted not to remember more than that.

The other parts of this story are available for Indiegogo perk members only--you can get them for just $1.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Minny: The Curse of Sentience

There was something different about that car.

Skye blew hair out of his eyes as his boots touched down with a sccrrrrtch on the cement building-top. He peered over the edge of the roof to watch the Mini Cooper parked under the tree below him.

Something was off. It smelled like the exhaust had perfume in it? Or maybe it was the shine--no one kept their car that clean in this part of town. It was practically askin' to be jacked.

A figure got out of the car, closed the door, walked around it, and then got back in, as the engine started.

"That's weird."

Skye adjusted his mask and followed as the car left. You couldn't be too careful. Since his fifteenth birthday--the day he mentally called "The Scary-Ass Universe Shift"--the world had suddenly become a much scarier place for no reason: supervillains who used to make him laugh now made him want to curl up in a closet and scream. The whole world seemed painted with darker, grittier colors. Oh, and ice cream tasted saltier now.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Journey of the Soul Linker 11: You Get Your Unicorn

It's his fault when you get lost.

But it's your fault that you don't know why you're here.

The sun shines on the sea to the right as your hiking boots crunch on the sandy rocks and fresh leaves underfoot on the trail along the cliff. A soft breeze tickles the dust off the wall of rock to your left; your hand presses against it, but you resist the urge to grip and claw. This rock's not terribly stable, and to your left it drops off into the woods below.

You just want to get down to the town. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Darlings: Mark Is a Psychopath (Flash Fiction, Process)

I am what you might call a psychiatric hypochondriac. It's not a real term.
You know what is real? You know how sometimes, when you're depressed, you wish you had thyroid cancer, or some awful virus, to explain how tired you are, how your back hurts for no freaking reason, how you feel pissy like a girl, how you keep getting fatter and slower, and losing concentration, and you feel stupider and sometimes in class they ask you a question and nothing comes out of your mouth? “I have cancer,” you wish you could say. It'd be a great excuse for when you just want to sleep all the time and never open your eyes again.
But that's f'd up, so I don't think those thoughts. Often. Instead I read my mother's old textbooks, from when she still lived with us, before she decided it'd be better for her mental health not to have a man. Or a kid. I think, and I think the books think, that I am depressed. That I got antisocial personality disorder. I don't know for sure. I'm not a doctor, and I'm not eighteen, and you cannot have ASPD before you're 18. Only thing I know for sure I don't have is bipolar disorder. Never had spikes of energy like that. Wish I did.
Or maybe there's nothing wrong with me, and I'm just a terrible person thinking terrible things.

So that's why I'm a psychiatric hypochondriac: the only thing wrong with me is I think there's something wrong with me.

Excerpt from the upcoming story anthology about the Guardians. This is The Mark, and his origin story. It's one of the Darlings I had to cut. If I can't find another place to fit it in, I thought at least I'd leave it here.