Archive for August, 2008

Steph

Posted in Things Break Down on August 31, 2008 by jeereg

Kelly left eventually.  Steph couldn’t tell her anything about what had happened, because she couldn’t remember.  Plus, something she’d said must’ve weirded Kelly out.

She got in the shower and let the water soak into every inch of her.  She loosened, melted, liquefied, disappeared down the drain.  She just wanted the day to end.  By the time the hot water ran out, she was feeling better.

Then she looked in the mirror, and someone else stared back at her.  There was something wrong.  The glass began to crack, and the jagged scars became letters.  She read them, and blacked out.

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Arthur

Posted in Unstoppable Joe and the Kid Stupendous on August 30, 2008 by jeereg

There’s a numbness, and a ringing in his ears, and dust everywhere. Nothing hurts. His head feels clear.

He brushes the rubble off, hefts the girder off his leg, blows the smoke away, but it’s not till he counts the hairs on the legs of a fly on the roof across the street that he realizes something is different. He finds his glasses crushed by a steel door, and his ID (Arthur Wemple, Lab Assistant. Chad had changed it to “Wimple” with a Sharpie.)

Arthur feels great. He breathes deep and flexes. All he wants to do is break things.

String

Posted in Patchwork City on August 29, 2008 by jeereg

It all unravels, spinning away into the night sky, like a spider in reverse. Buildings hiss back and forth as their very fabric unspools, hard stone made soft, layers of material disappearing. Trees vanish in a haze of string. People scream, but only as long as they have mouths.

She walks through it all, trying to stay calm, to reassure herself that it’s a dream, but it has the stain of memory on it, or prophecy. The world is a stitch, and it has been undone.

It’s like this every night. There’s no escape. When she wakes, she’ll remember everything.

Fall

Posted in Rasp on August 28, 2008 by jeereg

The bodies fall like leaves.

Rasp can smell cordite and powder over the sweet, distant blossoms. The orchard is an embarrassment of colours, a sensory wonderland. The gunsmoke is a blot of ink on watercolour. Like him.

Ketchum is leaning against a tree, taking slow, ragged breaths. Rasp stands over him, brushes the hair out of his eyes. “How you feelin’, young’un?” he asks.

Ketchum swallows. “Like I been shot.”

“You gone tell me where Fulton went?”

“North.”

Rasp nods, pulls Ketchum’s jacket a little tighter. “Sweet dreams, kid.”

The silence gets deep. All he can hear is a rustling.

Darryl

Posted in The Savage Warren on August 27, 2008 by jeereg

Getting Kasia on board is as easy as a phone call – she’s there with her gear in an hour. The only one left is Darryl, so the three of them line up on the sidewalk in front of his house.

“Can’t we do this without him?” Kasia grumbles. “He’s not gonna want to go back. Not after last time.”

A second of silence. Brian looks at Sean.

“We gotta do this.” He steps up to the door. “We can’t risk it without him.” He knocks twice, and then again, and for a long time there’s nothing.

Then the door opens.

Distance

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on August 26, 2008 by jeereg

There is a part of me that observes. It doesn’t do or think. It watches the rest of me, carefully, and remembers.

That’s how I deal with them. The faces in the clouds, the writing in shadows, the premonitions like old video reels, scratched and dull, foretelling terrible things.

There’s a sadness there, too, in the observation, as I watch myself destroy myself, the breakdown like footage of an avalanche, a glacier crumbling, demolition, dust everywhere. There’s that awful tension, between the safety of watching and pain of knowledge, of experience. It’s tightrope walking. Lean too far, and you’re lost.

Prison

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on August 25, 2008 by jeereg

Down cold concrete hallways, fast, because that’s how they walk. LeMarque flips through the dossier. “Where is he?”

Around a corner into another bare hallway. “Well,” Mathieu swallows, “we put him in a regular cell, but he, um, burst the walls. We’ve put him through zero gravity, heavy grav, the shark tank, sense dep, a binding circle -”

“None of them worked.”

“No. We had to mix them all.”

Through a heavy metal door, and there he is, suspended by chains. Electronics whirr and beep, and arcane energies crackle.

Grath lifts his head. “Hey. Any chance I could get a sandwich?”