Tag: fear

One Last Time Around

It was dark. Dark and wet. Although, by now the rain had stopped. It was chilly too, now that summer was turning slowly into winter. ‘It’s dark.’ ‘Yes,’ Signaur agreed. ‘And wet.’ ‘Yes.’ Signaur hissed. ‘I’m supposed to be being quiet.’ ‘Sorry.’ ‘It’s-‘ Signaur turned. ‘Who are you?’ He turned a bit more. ‘Where are you?’ ‘Ah.’ ‘Ah. What’s that supposed to mean?’ ‘It means,’ said the voice from somewhere in the shadows of the alleyway, ‘that it is not quite that simple.’ ‘What do you mean?’ Signaur peered into the darkness and saw more darkness. ‘Who are you?’ ‘That’s…

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Just One More Lifetime

‘I do know. I was young once too.’ Penna had actually been young more than once. Quite a few times actually. But these were simple folk with a simple outlook on life who tended to set fire to things – or people – they did not understand. Penna had found that out a few of those times in the past when she’d been young – although, at the time as it turned out, not for long. These days she was much more careful, cautious about what she told people about her powers, her abilities. ‘I’m sure we’ll find them.’ Penna…

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Another Morning in the Sun Empire

‘Mornings.’ The emperor looked out from his palace balcony at the city below. ‘Your majesty?’ Pelgrin sighed. It wasn’t going to be one of those days, was it? The emperor had once glanced at a couple of pages in a book and therefore occasionally fancied himself an intellectual. The emperor turned as if he was about to impart some great pearl of wisdom, but - in turning – he must have forgotten what he was about to say. Pelgrin exhaled in relief. The last thing the Sun Empire needed was an emperor who believed he knew what he was doing,…

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Making a Living

Henry peered around the corner. There was nothing there. Which was disconcerting. Henry didn’t like stepping out onto a new page without at least a sentence or two of description, especially this early in a chapter. Who knows what will eventually fill the blank page, particularly so early in a story. So far, he had been in an ordinary, nondescript room. That didn’t mean much. There could be aliens, monsters, zombies, ghosts, demons, politicians, or all manner of evil and deadly things waiting for him further along in the narrative. So far, it did look like realistic fiction, maybe a…

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A Homeland and Other Such Lies

Often the wind would blow from the east, bringing a taste of the far lands on its breath. When she could, Shalia then stood up on her lonely hill and turned towards the wind, letting it blow into her face bringing, she believed, the scents of her homeland back to her. Not that she remembered much of her homeland. She had been young when the Northmen rode out of the strange mountainous regions in the cold north to steal her and the other women and children from her village. They had taken her back north at first. Later, they brought…

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Equal Rights for All

This time it was different. ‘Hang on.’ What? ‘How different?’ Just different, that’s all. ‘I’m not sure about this.’ Why not? You are the protagonist in this story, what could happen to you? ‘That’s just it.’ What do you mean? ‘This could be one of those stories where the protagonist doesn’t make it out alive. You’ve done that before.’ So what? You are only fictional. ‘Only fictional? Are you saying that fictional people don’t matter?’ Of course, you matter. Where would I be, where would the stories be, without fictional characters?’ ‘Exactly.’ What do you mean by that? ‘I mean…

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Lost in the Woods

For a long time, all Seka had known was dark, loneliness and fear. Now they were taking her to the stake in the village centre. ‘I’m going to fall, stumble on this uneven ground, soon,’ Glom, one of her guards, and an old friend of her father, whispered in her ear as he helped drag her towards the stake piled high with dry wood that would burn easily. Seka looked down at the smooth dusty ground worn flat and hard by many generations of villagers. ‘I’ll probably stumble into Henk, and we’ll both let go of you,’ he continued, the…

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All the Reasons

Reasons. There were always reasons. Halput was sick of reasons. When it was dangerous, deadly or – often – stupid, there were reasons why it had to be done. When it looked like it was something that would help, save lives or – even - shorten the war, there were reasons why it could not be done. So, Helput and his men sat out in the rain, watching the damp gutter their fires. All wishing they were anywhere else but here. But they were here because there were reasons for them to be here and not any other elsewhere they…

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She Knows Darkness

Her name? Just the echo of some sounds in her mind. She is not even sure if she ever had a name. But everything has a name. He must have a name, even though he never speaks. The things he brings her to eat, drink, to clean herself – all of those have names even though at the moment she struggles to remember what they are called. She knows darkness. She and darkness became friends a long time ago when he kept her eyes hidden from the light. The word blindfold comes from somewhere deep within her mind where the…

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You Cannot Have a War Without Mud

The shadows creep across the end of the day like wounded crawling from the battlefield, knowing the dark night is catching them up. Once the darkness takes them, they know they will never see the light again. Sometimes, though, especially in the cold grey mists of morning, it does feel like we have lived too long. Sometimes the thought of that eternal darkness is welcoming, especially in the cold, the rain and the mud. Sometimes, too, it seems like you cannot have a war without mud. Although Jagar has said, there are lands across the Silver Sea, beyond even the…

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