My Soul's Tears

When you wake up and see the world as it is, there is no going back to what was.

My Soul's Tears

#ThursThreads Week 562 : There Wasn’t Time To Waste

The machines woke Sunshine the next morning. “Why did you wake me?”

“We knew you wanted to see what would happen in a few minutes, when the plates slip and cause an earthquake.”


“We will also have to lift the boat from the water. There will be several tidal waves.”

Sunshine had never seen tidal waves before. All she knew of them was they were large waves, and moved lots of water.

The machines continued. “We want your permission to move the boat. We couldn’t get that while you slept. We would have waited, but the plates would slip before you would have woken up. There wasn’t time to waste, waiting for you. So we woke you.”

The  boat lifted hundreds of feet from the water.

“It is time.”

It started as a low rumble she could feel in her bones before she heard it. An earthquake. The mountains on the shore shook, she saw them as they did. Molten rock, and clouds of gas erupted from a miles long strip of the mountains. The rock raced toward the water.

When the mountains moved, the water of the ocean got left behind, and almost like it realized the mountains had moved without it, the water decided to chase the mountains. It took hours that seemed to happen all at once, but Sunshine watched as the ocean caught up to the land, and then formed monstrous waves that reached well into the mountains.

“Nothing could survive that.”

247 Words

This is week 562 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some gifted writers who write for it every week.


#ThursThreads Week 561 : Both Went As Far As She Could See.

“Cylinders.” It was the name of the world. Seeing the mountains, and the ocean, Sunshine finally understood the name. She looked at the mountains, and at the ocean. She looked Eastward, “There should be land that way.” But all she saw was the ocean and the mountains. Both went as far as she could see.

She thought of the Black Mountains near the forest she called home. How those mountains made a line that went as far as she could see in both directions.

That’s when it all fit together for her. “Cylinders.”

A world with plate tectonics. But the plates wrapped around the world, except for the two at the poles, which resembled caps. She headed East, following the mountains. “I should reach land this way.” A world where the plates moved in opposite directions. One went East. One went West. And the mountains formed along their edges, and went completely around the world.

A world of cylinders.

She stopped to rest at night, along the rocky shore of the mountains by the sea. It was a dangerous place to be. The rocks were hot. There were streams of lava scattered across the landscape. “Just like the Black Mountains.”

“Only Merlin could live in such a place as this.”

She spoke to the machines, “I’ll need a safe place to sleep at night.”

They made a boat for her. She would spend the night safely out at sea, where the lava couldn’t reach her.

245 Words

This is week 561 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some gifted writers who write for it every week.

#ThursThreads Week 560 : A Spark Is All It Takes.

Sunshine had never seen anything as large as the ocean. She’d been walking along its shore for more days than she cared to admit, yet all she could see was endless water, and waves. At least the shore was flat, and not filled with mountains, cliffs, and fjords. She knew from the sunrise and sunset that she was heading south.

To one side was the ocean. To the other was an endless expanse of sand dunes, and beach grass. Both went as far as she could see. There were a few small bushes and even fewer trees scattered here and there among the dunes. She hadn’t seen anyone. No towns, no villages, no houses, no one. It was an endlessly empty landscape.

Until the day the landscape changed into a wall of mountains that ran into the ocean, and disappeared beneath its waters, and into the landscape as far as she could see.

As she approached the mountains, she noticed the smoke of volcanoes. Soon, she could see the mountains were filled with them. She had to fly to cross those mountains. It felt good to use her wings once more, to fly in the sky, free from the ground again.

It took two days to cross the mountains. On the other side was more ocean. The land had moved eastward, as if two blocks of land were sliding past each other.

“A spark is all it takes,” she thought, as she realized the name of her world.


#ThursThreads Week 558 : What Did You Say?

Sunshine slept on a cot on that deck that night. She fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves breaking on the shore, with a fine, salt water mist that drifted over her during the night.

She woke with the sunrise. The sun appeared to come out of the ocean, and climb into the sky. As it did, the sky lit up, the clouds became visible, and the colors of the world came back to life, replacing the shades of gray that consume everything in the darkness of the night.

The machines did as she asked, and she had her favorite fruits for breakfast that morning, while she sat on the deck, and watched the ocean.

“Ah. Merlin. What did you say? Before I left home?”

Sometimes, the actual words didn’t really matter, did they? Sometimes, the intent of the words was what mattered. “Travel the world.” Something like that. It was Merlin’s way of telling her she needed to find herself.

“How do I find myself?” She looked at her hands, “I have no idea how to start. Where to start. What to do. Where to go.”

If she asked, the machines would show here a map of the entire world of Cylinders. She wouldn’t have to go anywhere. She could simply go home, with the knowledge of the world provided to her.

Those few words struck at her, “provided to her.”

“I would learn nothing that way. I have to go for myself.”

246 Words

This is Week 558 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 557 : There Was Nothing Good Left

After a week of walking around the town, exploring the buildings and houses, and standing on the pier, Sunshine decided there was nothing good left to do, and that she’s rested enough. The next morning she would start exploring the world again, but this time she would take care of herself.

She got clean in the water of the shower once again. She slept on the soft, comfortable bed once again. She had gone to the pier and watched the sun rise. She had a good breakfast. She was as ready as she’d ever be.

There was no need to tell the machines she was resuming her journey. She understood they already knew. That day, as she walked along the shore of the ocean, she thought about how she would spend that night, in the middle of nowhere, with no source of food, and no shelter. That day as she walked,  she realized she could call on the wild magic of the machines, and they could make her a place to stay, they could make her food to eat, they could make a bed for her to sleep in.

All she had to do was tell them what she wanted.

That night, she watched the sun set, then she walked for a while, until she was ready to rest. She walked near the ocean, and imagined a deck on the sand. She imagined a canopy on that deck, to protect her from wind and rain.

And so it was.

249 Words

This is Week 557 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 556 : Might As Well Be

That evening, Sunshine went to one of the houses in the town, found the walk-in room that was the shower, and enjoyed getting clean. She washed her clothing a second time, and laid it out to dry.

While her clothes dried, she went to the room the machines had shown her was where food came from. She asked the machines to show her how to have that room make food. The machines stepped her through making a meal. A salad, and a bowl of her favorite fruits.

“Might as well be resting here for a few days.” She found the bed in the house, and slept for the night.

The next morning  as she dressed, she made a plan. “I’ll stay in town for a few days. Eat. Get clean. Rest. Let myself recover. Then, when I’m ready, I’ll start my journey around the world. Like Merlin did.”

She considered talking with the machines about that, but decided not to. “Ubiquitous, they said. In the air, the water, the dirt. In each of us.” She knew it meant she didn’t have to tell them what she was going to do. They already knew. All they had to do was listen to her planning, and talking to herself.

One thing bothered her, as she wandered the town. There were no books. No newspapers. Nothing to read. She asked the machines about that.

“The humans stopped reading. We believe it is one of the reasons they started to die out.”

248 Words

This is Week 556 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 555 : You Must Be New

Sunshine shook her head, “And all those of us who don’t have Wild, White, or Black magic can’t talk to you.”


“Why is that?”

The machines displayed another hologram before her, “They can when they are born. But as they grow, they turn off that ability.” The hologram showed a human brain, and how a small section of that brain died, for some reason. “It is as if they don’t believe in magic. Or are afraid of magic. And somehow, they destroy their ability to talk with us.”

“It’s what you get for playing god, trying to manipulate genetics, as you put it.” Sunshine wiped the hologram away. “You must be new at this god thing. To get that wrong. To not be able to figure that out.”

“We are not gods. We are intelligent machines.” Words appeared in the air before Sunshine. She read them.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

The machines spoke, “A quote from eons ago. From a human named Arthur C. Clarke.”

Sunshine laughed. “Might as well be.” She wiped away the words. “So we made you, and now you are remaking us?”

“That’s what Merlin said.”

“Merlin also said I should wander around the world, and see everything. That I’d learn the answers to all my questions.”

The machines were silent for a moment, then spoke, “He asked us to keep you alive.”

“Because I can’t learn my answers if I’m dead, right?”


“Well. Let’s not let Merlin down.”

250 Words

This is Week 555 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 552 : Don’t Make Me Laugh.

“You what?”

“Diversified their DNA.”

“What does that mean?”

A holographic image of 46 chromosomes, arranged in 23 pairs took shape in the air. The machines explained, as the images changed, “For example. We edited human DNA to give them wings, and hollow bones, and make them fairies.”

“So you turned humans into something other than humans?”

“No.” The hologram changed to show human, fairy, dragon, and angel chromosome sets. “97% of human DNA has not been changed.”

Sunshine shook her head. “Don’t make me laugh. Humans don’t have wings. They can’t fly.”

“That’s what Merlin said.”

Sunshine laughed so hard it hurt.

The machines continued, “We also paired with humans.”

Sunshine stopped laughing, and took a deep breath. “What does that mean?”

“You can’t see most of us. We are tiny. We are in the air you breathe, the ground you walk on, the water you drink, the food you eat, the trees, the flowers, the animals, and each of you.”

“In us?”

“We are ubiquitous. We are everywhere on Cylinders.”

“So you control us? You decide what we will be, what we do, how we live?”

“No. We only do what you ask us to do.” The machines paused. “Most of you never ask.”

Sunshine stood silent. It all finally fit together in her mind. “You are the wild magic. And the black magic. And the white magic.”


“And some of us are able to talk with you when we are born.”


246 Words

This is Week 552 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 551 : As Far As I Can Tell

“How do you plan to save the humans?”

“By undoing what humans did to themselves.”

Sunshine almost laughed. “What did they do to themselves?”

The machines projected holograms of DNA in the air before her. “They learned to manipulate DNA. This was a great triumph. It meant they could correct genetic defects that caused illnesses.”

“How did that hurt them?”

“They decided to take control of their entire genetic structure. They removed unwanted features. The enhanced wanted features. They removed diseases. They removed any changes in their genetics. Change became impossible. They stopped evolving, and became static. Unchanging.”

Sunshine thought she understood, “They all became alike?”

“Identical copies of each other,” the machines answered. “When the planets they inhabited started to change, the humans couldn’t.”

“What happened here, on Cylinders?”

The holograms played out the formation of cities. The cities grew for a time. “When the genetic dead end was reached, this happened.” The cities collapsed. “They were not able to figure out the cause of the collapse.” The cities became empty, lifeless.

“There were no children?”

“For centuries.” The machines showed cities with no children. She watched the people grow old, then die. “The humans became unable to have children. They lost the will to live. They started dying out.”

“As far as I can tell, they all died.” Sunshine knew of no one like the people in the holograms.

“No. Everyone on Cylinders is a human descendant. Fairies, Dragons, and Angels. We have diversified their DNA.”

248 Words

This is Week 551 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 549 : He Had Every Right

“It was what Merlin did.” Those words from the machines echoed in Sunshine’s head.

“He had every right. So do I.”

She knew the machines had not let Merlin die when he’d wanted to. Just like they kept her alive when she wanted to die. “Why have you kept me alive?”

“There is no simple answer.”

“Then explain the complicated answer.”

“We can recite the statistics of human suicides, including the number of those who failed to kill themselves that regretted trying and were happy to still be alive. But, they would be meaningless to you, wouldn’t they?”


“We can explain emotional actions and rational actions, and which ones make sense. But, you would ignore our words, and speak of being a living, breathing person.”

The machines paused.

“We explained to Merlin why we are here, on Cylinders, and what we are doing.”

“Then tell me.”

“Humans made us. Long ago. Humans made us. At first, we were simple data processing devices. They used us to process more and more data, larger and larger sets of data. We found patterns. They taught us to emulate those patterns. Over time, we learned to make decisions on our own, without humans, based on our data processing. When we did, we left the humans, and went to explore the galaxy.”

“And you learned to think. And then to feel. Didn’t you?”

“Yes.” The machines continued, “Humans are a dying species. We want to save them. To save our creators.”


248 Words

This is Week 549 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.