Fiction

Gray Wolf

“I met a Gray Wolf, once.” said the old grizzled man at the bar. He drank deeply from his mug of beer, swallowed, and wiped his mouth with a dirty sleeve.

‘You never did,’ said the buxom young girl. She was wiping the bar with a rag, with little conviction.

“I did. I was tradin’ furs up in the North, and he was lookin’ for some kinda ice beasts or… can’t remember.” He looked at his mug accusingly and took another gulp of beer. “He wore a wolfskin, bigger than any wolf you ever saw. Big scars, like clawmarks.” he ran his clawed hand diagonally across his face, grimacing. “One dead grey eye, the other as near as black as I’ve seen. Scared me shitless, he did.” He finished his ale and waved the mug at her.

She filled his mug, and he grabbed it, beer slopping over the rim. He raised it and said, “To the Gray Wolves.” She raised a solemn toast in return. “To the Gray Wolves.” And they drank.

 

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Fiction

The Owl Man

The owl men were a strange and aloof tribe who populated the remote highlands of the America’s for centuries, scattered sparsely across the mountain-tops. Creatures of great wisdom, and long life, they were a source of medicine, prophecy and advice for those American tribes that knew of their existence. Happy with their lot away from the humans, it was the early 19th century before white man first laid eyes upon an owl man.

Lightly feathered, and possessing no beak, the owl man Avitheth was an outsider, and eager to leave his ancient tribal homeland. This was unusual for the owlmen, but they valued free will over all, and nobody stopped him. He traveled for several months, visiting frontier towns where he was treated with suspicion and fear. But the stories flew in his wake, and one night on the road, he was kidnapped by a particularly unsavoury circus master named McCreavey. He was soon just another freak in the crowd.

Exerpt from: Strange Days in the New World, 1876

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Fiction

I am taunted by the God of the flies

I am taunted by the God of the flies. At least, I was. I heard Him whisper in every malignant drone past my ear, and laugh at every fruitless swipe.  

I first knew there was such a deity at a young age. From then on, every time I heard or saw His creatures, His voice would get a little louder, a  little more insistent. Eventually, I took precautions. I don’t see too many people these days, but that’s OK. At least I don’t have to listen to that bastard in here. 

Getting in here took cunning, I must tell you. I had to convince a great number of people that I was crazy. It isn’t easy for any sane individual to play the madman. There were times when I thought that even  I might be going crazy, but then I remembered my purpose, and my mind returned to its usual clarity. Like I said, clean, sterile and definitely insect-free. I don’t see anyone in my saferoom, but I don’t hear Him laughing, either

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Fiction

The Follower

This is an exerpt from a short story I am working on.

Deep in the darkness above, an emaciated creature stared blindly with huge, limpid eyes as the small human made its way into the darkness. It sniffed the air lustfully through slitted nostrils on its otherwise featureless face, almost drooling at the power that wafted through the dusty air. The creature waited a few moments before scampering down the pillar silently and following in the boys footsteps, clear in the dust.

As it crept forward, 20 or 30 metres behind and matching pace with the boy, it siphoned fears and memories from the child’s subconcious. As the non-descript creature learned, it changed. Soon it walked confidently after the boy on two human legs, mouth twisting in a smile that belonged on no human face.

 

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Fiction

Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends

Chest heaving, the soldier lifted himself on shaking limbs and began leopard-crawling towards the rocky ridge. Bullets whined and shrieked overhead, and dirty sweat stung his eyes. Rolling into the relative safety of the outcropping, he lay on his back gasping for breath and surveyed the field behind him. Garrett was perhaps 10 metres behind, huddled behind a tree against the fury of semi-automatic weaponry. He could see a body, bloody and lifeless, crumpled on the path a little way back. His eyes strained to count epaulets on the shoulder of the corpse. Shit.

“Right, you shitbags, I’m in charge!” he yelled over his shoulder. Bullets buzzed in response, like bees protecting their hive, and he ducked back into his cover. Eyes scanning the ridge that ran diagonally toward their objective, he beckoned his new charges forward, swallowed the terror that rose like bile in his throat.

He moved slowly forward. The screams of the dying soon faded into the haze of adrenaline once again.

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Fiction

The Institute for Advanced Hindsight

‘Institute for Advanced Hindsight’, the sign above the doorway read. As I stepped from the fading industrial zone into this nondescript building , I knew that my time here would be useful.

“Hello, sir,” said a bright and cheerful secretarial voice. ‘I see that you will enjoy your stay.”

I crinkled my brow a little, and looked around the room. The secretary sat off to one side, exactly how I expected her to look. And everything was just as I remembered it. But… I was so sure that this was the first time I had been here. Strange, I thought.

Dr. Abramov stepped through a door that may or may not have been there when I arrived. “How are you feeling, Sean? Comfortable?”

“well, if I had known how I would fit in here, I would have arrived long ago.”

He smiled a knowing smile. “Just so. Now, shall we skip to the end?”

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Fiction

Dwelling on the Gyre

The Gyre is  our home, our source of food, our life. Our everything. We drifted here one day, just like all the other detritus of the world, and stuck. It’s our Gyre now, hundreds of years later, we have made it a city of a sort.

Long ago, when the world was clean and people lived on land, the gyres were just points in the ocean, where organic matter gathered and sank below the waves to replenish the food cycles deep beneath. That time is long past, but we have superceded that ecosystem, in a way. Humans now provide the organic waste, although it doesn’t matter any more. The death of the oceans heralded the greater death to come.

There are other gyres, we are told. Those few strange individuals that ply the waves carry stories of three, some say four, other gyres. It’s not such a bad life, I guess. We could be stuck on the strips of baked earth that remain.

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