Pron

Mankind has gone digital and set the worst corners of the internet adrift to fend for themselves.  A lone woman descends on one of these cesspools, eyes censored by a black bar, armed with a deadly cursor.  There are other women trapped there, and they need her help…

(reading time: 1 hour, 6 minutes)

Pron

A thousand links rested silently in the gray air.  This world was past dust, so the only sign of the field’s age was its stillness.  A thousand benches in a thousand styles: Victorian, art deco, 1990’s mail order catalogue, ferris wheel car, smooth bubbles meant to evoke the physical future that never happened…  Each one draped in heavy cables with frayed ends, like serpents with heads blasted to smithereens by lightning.  Without the cables the links could go nowhere.  Without the links the nearby town, the nearby pit as the civilized net would call it, was completely isolated.  The town became a pitiful little world that curled in on itself; culture became masturbation and love became a dream with no minds big enough to dream it. Continue reading

Timeless

Dogwood the magician is less of an expert and more of a dumpster diver, but when someone new in town offers a big payday to find a magic relic that can sever emotional bonds, he takes the job.  How hard could it be to help him divorce his enchanting wife…

(reading time: 1 hour, 20 minutes)

Timeless

The saddle topped the newest gross of garbage funneled out of Fernico’s mansion like a flake of chocolate grated onto red velvet cake.  Dogwood reached down and pulled the red chunks of a destroyed carpet off it.  When held up in the day’s dying light, the saddle’s rare markings betrayed its true purpose.  The ordinary brown leather gave way to a pewter rim imprinted with inward facing blue triangles, designed to trap a certain type of magic like bear trap teeth.  A ghost saddle, he thought.  Should fetch at least four gold and six silver. Continue reading

Panic in the Mumgrass

Modified animals with human minds roam the jungles and savannas, each kind generally keeping to their own, but the trailcutter of the mighty water buffalo-like brohoov must explore other options when he learns there’s a traitor in their midst, causing fatal stampedes at every turn…

(reading time: 1 hour, 12 minutes)

Panic in the Mumgrass

“Stampede!” a voice shouted.  Hundreds of others joined in calling out the word and took off running.  The herd’s countless hooves pounded the mumgrass they were grazing on moments before into a thick choppy pulp.  Calves called to their mothers in the confusion, unsure where to run.  One of the older beasts tripped and rolled onto its side; a second later it was trampled to death by its distracted kin.

The calls to flee took a moment to reach the back of the herd, since this group of Brohoov was over six hundred strong.  When it did, the herd’s leader, Dodarka, growled to himself, Not again!  He was forced to join in as the horns of those behind him pushed and shoved forward.  It didn’t matter how much authority he carried as TrailCutter, it would take an act of god to stop a stampede before it ran its course.  That meant an hour of running until everyone’s legs burned and their breath came in great gasps of mist that shot from their wide nostrils like jets of volcanic gas.  It meant everyone would need a little more food to recover their strength.  It meant innocent dead, crushed in the storm surge of stupid fear. Continue reading

Born-again Birth Defect

A botched baptism left her with facial scarring, but god always took care of the faithful.  She believed that, even as her brother ran off and became a heretical terrorist.  When she accidentally commits blasphemy by modifying one of god’s helper machines she finds herself on the run in search of a place where she can simply be left to her own devices…

(reading time: 1 hour, 8 minutes)

Born-again Birth Defect

Humans walked a dark Earth for thousands of years.  They were ravaged by disease, the teeth of great shadow beasts, and the cogs of their own societal machinery.  When their suffering was sufficient it moved Honweh, almighty god, to reveal himself.  He descended to the plane of man and brought with him astonishing gifts to prove his divinity: magnetism to pull the metals of the Earth, coalfire and steam to drive winter’s bite away, trapped lightning to immolate the dark predators and the nightmares, mirrors so man could see his own soul, and plastic to coat the works of man and starve out the diseases that dwelled on Earth’s moist surfaces.

Honweh also brought with him his great justice that organized the races and creeds of humanity.  All were united in worship of him.  Honweh guided this adoration like an artist guiding a paintbrush and built incredible cities of bronze, brass, and lead.  As his concern for the humans grew, Honweh made the decision to move his Ancyclopedrae, his book of immutable records, to Earth along with his other belongings, making Earth his home.

And so he remains, ruling the kingdom of man with kindness, wisdom, and discipline.

-First Summation, Honweh’s Glory Continue reading

The Neofates

In the vast space before life, spirits try to build their own world from dredged up memories of past lives.  They’ve made progress, even able to recall animal forms, but any contact with the wandering ‘blooms’ dooms them to another life on Earth.  Things get even worse when a mad neofate arrives, promising all the carnal joys and sinful satisfaction of the human world…

(reading time: 1 hour, 22 minutes)

The Neofates

The room offered no comfort.  The air blasted cold and constant, spreading out across the blue rubber of the examination bench and sinking to the ground.  Diagrams of the female reproductive system were framed like public service announcements with key phrases underlined.  Every corner that wasn’t sharp was probably waiting to be stuck into someone.  Even the light felt sterilized.

Separated from her clothes, which were folded neatly on the counter, the young woman dried her tears with the edge of the patient gown.  She sat, feet dangling from the edge of the bench and growing numb, opposite her doctor who dreaded what she had to say.

“There’s a twenty-four hour waiting period before we can perform the procedure.”  She saw the girl’s eyes fog up.  Her bare toes, painted with cracking purple polish, rubbed against each other anxiously as if trying to start a fire. Continue reading