Jack slept fitfully after the procedure was done and his impromptu physicians had retired for the evening. Fred lied on a thin stack of blankets and alternated between watching his friend, staring at the ceiling, and looking around at the strange baubles Charles seemed to collect. Sometimes he would close his eyes and hope for sleep to take him, but it was always in vain. When Jack finally woke, Fred was quick to sit up and greet him with a friendly smile. Jack groaned and mumbled, “You’d think I’d get used to pain by now.”
The slow tick of liquid hitting stone echoes through the dungeon cell. A winged man hung suspended in the middle of the room by a chain connected to a spike that had been plunged through the man’s torso and split into two curled tendrils around his sides. Occasionally a drop of blood fell from the split spike onto the stone floor and into a small pool that never quite made it to the drainage grate. Every once in a while the man took a quick, rattling breath, then let it out in a long, low hiss. The skeletons manacled along the wall watched in frozen, timeless interest at the man who doesn’t die.
Winner of the Holcomb College Award year…something or another….
Sparkling like dew,
Glowing with an aura
Falling in the tempest,
Crashing on the roses,
Lying under the roses,
Not hearing the crash
Of the crimson rain.
Crystal rose petal,
Ruby with rain,
Falling under the rose,
With crimson and ruby,
In shards on the emerald grass.
Illusions of stained glass.
Maybe if he’d known just how she liked her coffee, she’d still be alive.
Maybe in another life, she would have been able to live how she wanted. Maybe in the years past she would have lived in this presented servitude of the higher beings without question. Unfortunately, she despised servitude, and the gods would likely grant her reincarnation as a dung beetle if she were to try to end her suffering. Then again, beetles never looked out on the wide world and longed to experience it. They seemed pretty content where they were.
The third story printed with Fire in the Sky
Kris sat sideways in her favorite chair, reading a book and waiting for her visitor. The antique clock on the mantle showed 11:57pm. Kris turned the page and listened to the sound of the fire in the hearth, along with the quiet tick tock of the clock. A deck of tarot cards lay on the coffee table in front of her. She closed her book to glance at them. Just that morning they had confirmed the arrival of her guest, though they were not her first hint of his visit. That had come to her last night.
Another story printed with Fire in the Sky’s first publication.
Wind rustled the trees, whipping around the buildings surrounded by the high fence. The storm was nightmare-turned reality to some of the tenants of this place. They tossed and screamed and begged the voices to save them. One prisoner was completely unfazed by the sounds, for they did not reach her. Lying on the floor, she counted the numbers the faces, the names, that only she could see. They called out to her. Always calling.
Careful footsteps down the white hall.
Counting the numbers by the doors.
Check to make sure she’s there.