#ThursThreads Week 335 : But They Sure Don’t Seem To Like Me

On Friday morning, Jimmy woke up, and like he always did, checked the news. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very happy with what he saw.

His friends Bobby, Tim, and Eddie, all made the morning news, but not for good reasons.

Bobby was found, naked, face up, in the middle of the road. No one could figure out how the staked that ran through his arms and legs, and held him to the pavement, had been hammered into place. A note was attached to a nail hammered into his head, “One down. Three to go.”

They found Tim at a hotel, in a room, naked, and face up on the bed, tied down, with a rope around his neck that had kept him from breathing. A rather disturbed woman sat in the corner, crying, and screaming, “It was all black. No face. No eyes. Nothing. Just black.” A note on the rope around Tim’s neck said, “Two down. Two left.”

Eddie’s body was at the counter at the entrance to the police station, with a metal pipe that ran through him, and pinned him to that counter. The officer at the counter was in shock, and kept mumbling, “It said this makes three. And Jimmy’s next.”

The note attached to the pipe that killed Eddie read, “Jimmy. I’ve met your friends. But they sure don’t seem to like me.”

Pastor Greg called the Sheriff. They picked up Jimmy, and took him to a safe house, as if that could stop me.

249 Words
@mysoulstears


Getting closer to the end of this Armor 17 story. Only 4 parts left. It’s Week 333 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/06/13

At work, everyone thinks I’m great. I’m the talented one. The one that fixes all the problems. It’s what Tommy said when they brought in the new system. “I could play around with it for 3 days, and get nowhere, and have no idea what was wrong, or how to get it to work. Or, I can short-circuit the whole process, be smart, and call Freddy for help right now.”

Yep. That sums up work. If it’s a mystery, call Freddy. Call me. And I’ll come figure it out. In a matter of minutes. The guy from the research lab said that too, just in a different way, “How did you find that problem in half an hour while we were a lunch, in something you’ve never seen before?”

It’s what I do. And there’s oceans about what I do that you don’t know. No one knows. Except my wife. And for some reason, she hasn’t left me. I’ll never figure out why, ‘cause I’m a frickin’ disaster. But she sticks around. Some things are best left as mysteries, aren’t they.

See. I can do magic at work, ‘cause I crash and burn at home. All the time. The headset they use, the augmented reality one that they couldn’t get working for three weeks, before they said, “Let’s see what Freddy can do to help.” Yeah. That afternoon, the headset was working normally, and everyone was going, “Ooo,” and having a blast trying to follow instructions written in thin air next to circuits they were trying to fix.

Yes, I fixed things. But only because I spent over a year figuring out how those damn headsets work. Got an entire system at home that I use just for that. Hook up the headset, and see what I can do. Had to do clean reloads of the operating system every other day for a month before I got anywhere. Have three of the damn headsets, well, three cheap copies of them, sitting on my desk at home, where I’ve torn them apart to figure them out. Traced the circuits, monitored the timing between components. Have you ever spent months tracking down where electrons move in something? And why they move where they do? Months staring at sheets of hexadecimal numbers, searching for patterns in them that tell you when events happen, how the headset responds to those events, and how it’s all translated into pixels displayed on a plastic lens in front of a human’s eyeball?

Before you can figure it out, you have to crash and burn, and make every frickin’ mistake there is to make. Hell, people forget that. They get lazy. They learn to walk by crawling, then trying to stand up. And they fall over 80 zillion times, and bang their heads on the floor, or the table, or the chair. They land so hard on their butts it bruises them. But, they keep getting back up, and trying to walk again. Until they figure it out. Until they learn to balance themselves. Learn to maintain their balance on one foot at a time. Learn to move that balance point around, and keep their body parts positioned to maintain that balance.

But, you get them past learning to walk, and they stop learning. ‘Cause. Making mistakes sucks.

Damn, I hate lazy people. Lazy, scared people. Want to scream at them, “If you aren’t making mistakes, if you aren’t falling face first onto the floor, and crying about a broken nose. If you aren’t bruising your ass where you landed on it, ‘cause you did something stupid trying to get better. Then you might as well be dead!’”

Same people will take out a gun, and spend $50 an hour to shoot at little bits of paper hung from a chord that’s 50 feet away from them. And will keep shooting at it, spending money on box after box of bullets, until they learn how to hit the target every time. And then, they’ll keep shooting at the damn sheet of paper so they keep in practice.

But, hand them a remote control to the TV and they go totally stupid. “Where’s the frickin’ ON button on this crazy thing!” ‘Cause. They don’t want to learn anything new. They don’t want to make the mistakes needed to learn anything new. “I just spent $3000 on this damn TV, I ain’t reading no users guide!”

Hell, they don’t even look at the pictures that show you how to do things step-by-step. ‘Cause it hurts their brain cells to figure out the pictures.

Yeah, my desk is a wreck. Yeah, I have to keep multiple backup copies of everything I save on my computers. Yeah, I have to slick my computers over and over again. If I don’t have to slick my computer endlessly, I’m not trying! I’m not learning! I’m not making progress!

And because I do, the idiots at work can say, “Let’s just call Freddy. He knows.”

I hate humans. So fucking lazy. And so afraid to try anything. So they don’t try. And they end up stupid. And helpless.

Oh, look. Smoke. From the headset attached to the computer. I’ve let the smoke out of it again. Another headset cooked. The wife’s gonna be pissed. Have to see what parts I can scavenge from it, and if I can get one headset working from the parts of the others. Sounds like a challenge to me. Always wanted to know how that works.

It’s just another part of the learning process. Right? I don’t screw things up, I’m not learning anything, am I.

931 words (Yes, WAY over the 750 word limit. So what.)
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 59 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. I needed time to fix things inside me. Now, I’m starting to wander back to writing. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

 

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/05/02

The two of the sit by the the patio door every day. They sit there from sunrise to sunset, only taking breaks to eat and other things they have to do. I know why they sit there. That’s the door she left through. When they carried her body away.

She died in her sleep one night. It’s been three years now. When they came and got her, they took her out through that door. Kitty and Pooch. That’s what she called them. They sat by that door, and watch as their mamma left. Now. They sit by that door every day. Waiting for her to come home.

I can’t blame them. Sometimes, I wish there was enough left of me to join them. To sit by that door, and wait, like they do. But, when she left, everything I was went with her. Now, Kitty and Pooch wait for her to come back, and I stare mindlessly at my computer screen, watching anything I can stand to watch, playing video games, and making routine visits to social media sites.

I’m killing time. Empty time. Time I have no use for. I used to go to church every Sunday, because she wanted to, and it meant I got to spend some time with her. We went to dinner several times a week, and I would have gone to dinner anywhere she wanted, because. She was there, and I could spend time with her. Long walks in the national parks. Long walks on the beach, or in the mountains.

Until the day she got sick. It was quick, at least. 8 months. She didn’t have to suffer through years of slow decay, watching her memories fade away, or taking endless rounds of toxic chemicals to fight it off. Just 8 months. That’s all. We found out when she fell while we were walking. She fell. And she couldn’t get up. I had to call for help. Was quite the scene, on the sand, with the ocean right there. She kept telling me at least it happened in a good place, so she didn’t mind waiting for the help to arrive.

I don’t want to remember what it was. Some Latin words used to name it, like they name everything. I’ve done everything I can to forget the name. To forget what took her from me. What left me here. Alone.

Kitty and Pooch are happy. They eat. They play. I let them out in the yard and they do their thing. And when they’re ready, I let them back in. They sleep on opposite sides of me every night. Kitty on the left. Pooch on the right. Kitty snores. Maybe the best thing I’ve ever heard in life. And Pooch has dreams. He talks in his sleep. “Yam, wow, wow, woo, woo, uff, uff.” I sometimes wonder what he’s talking about, and who he’s talking too. If pooch has a bad night, with bad dreams, he starts kicking, and snapping. Kitty gets up, every time, climbs over me, and plunks down on Pooch. Shuts him up, and calms him down. She takes care of him.

Like their mamma took care of me.

They sit there. Every day. Waiting. I don’t have the heart to tell them she’s never coming back. I think they know anyway. But they sit there every day. Watching the world outside the house. Rain or shine. I even moved the food dishes next to the door, so they can eat, and still watch.

And I sit here. Wishing I could kill my time. Wishing my time would finally run out.

It never does.

I think I’ll play another video game now. That should kill a couple of hours.

Kitty and Pooch will still be there, by that door, watching and waiting, for her to come home.

636 words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 51 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. I fought writing this for 3 weeks. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

#ThursThreads Week 311 : I Think We Pushed To Far

It was 0245 hours when I reached the apartment of Sue and Linda. It was in flames, of course. And the police, and sheriff were there, making sure no one tried to stop it from burning. I had the armor scan the building. The remains of two humans. Sue and Linda.

After reloading every clip for my guns, I started my response. The sheriff was standing next to three police officers, talking about what a shame it was, all the violence in town, and what needed to be done to stop it.

I started with the police who were keeping everyone a safe distance away. I didn’t shoot to kill, only to wound, and disable. It took a few seconds before anyone realized what was happening, then everyone went stupid. People watching the fire started running in all directions. The police kept getting wounded, and unable to do anything.

After I’d dealt with crowd control, I moved to the police cars. Shot every one of them. High velocity, armor piercing rounds. Took out engine blocks everywhere. I set fire to the sheriff’s car.

The sheriff hid behind a tree, the police with him kept their guns drawn, and ready to shoot anyone. One of them glared at the sheriff. “I think we pushed to far! Now, they’re pushing back.”

Once more, I displayed the hologram of Michelle’s body, and right beside it, Officer Morgan, still sitting at her desk as she informed someone, “A transgender victim? Nothing has been done.”

249 Words
@mysoulstears


The next part of the ongoing Armor 17 story. It’s Week 311 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

#ThursThreads Week 310 : It Can’t Be Too Late

Case Street Fords had been a good car dealership. Small, but with a good set of cars on the lot, mostly SUVs and trucks. The service center was behind the sales building. One automated garage door, and room inside for six vehicles at a time.

The service center was on fire. The fire department hadn’t responded. A F-350 was pulling a dead body back and forth on the street next to the dealership. Men with guns cheered, “We got him! We finally got rid of him!”

The body had been Simon. The best mechanic in town. Everyone knew that. Simon had been shot in the leg, so he couldn’t escape. Then, beaten. Then, tied to the truck that was dragging him around.

Simon’s mate, Doug, was running down the street, heading toward the chaos, when I stopped him. “They’ll kill you.”

He screamed, he struggled, “Let me go! I’ve got to save Simon. It can’t be too late.” Doug collapsed to his knees on the asphalt. “It can’t be too late.”

“Stay here, Doug. Stay safe.”

The truck driver was the first person I shot. I kept shooting until none of the men with guns were left standing. Doug ran to Simon’s remains.

“I’m sorry, Doug. I was too late.”

There was an apartment complex I needed to visit. I hoped I wasn’t too late. If I was, well. “I am the violence. And the violence will respond. Will it ever.”

241 Words
@mysoulstears


The next part of the ongoing Armor 17 story. It’s Week 310 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

#ThursThreads Week 309 : Answer Me, Damn It

I stopped at Shelly’s Diner, to find her inside, with her two daughters, hiding behind the counter. Shelly had called the police. The police hadn’t come. Angry men were outside, with their guns, getting angrier.

All it took was one of them, shooting out a window, and they all went nuts. Guns shooting everywhere. And one gun shooting back. One that didn’t miss. “Because, guns are clearly the answer to your problems.”

I left bodies all over the road outside the diner. My armor scanned the diner, to verify Shelly and her daughters were safe.

Outside was pure chaos. People were screaming, and running toward the bodies in the road. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” Police sirens suddenly started going off. Police cars arrived, and officers hopped out, guns drawn. There was no one for them to find. No bad guy for them to capture.

A woman across the road screamed, “We know you’re there! Somewhere! Why are you doing this! Why are you killing everyone! Answer me, damn it!”

Everyone stopped, and it became silent, when I displayed a hologram of Michelle’s brutalized body in the street. Next to it, another hologram, of Officer S. Morgan, sitting at her desk as she said, “A transgender victim? Nothing has been done yet.”

And everyone heard a voice whisper, “I am the violence. Now, something has been done.”

I moved on. There was a car dealership I needed to visit.

240 Words
@mysoulstears


The next part of the ongoing Armor 17 story. It’s Week 309 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

#ThursThreads Week 308 : I Need You To Take A Deep Breath

Julie, Samantha’s neighbor, was hiding under the bed in her room when the white men with guns broke the front door to the house, and charged in. She heard them screaming, “We’re gonna kill everyone! We’ll put a stop to all this crazy shit that’s happened since that thing got what it deserved!” She heard them screaming about finding the little bitch girl who was friends with that thing down the road.

Julie tried not to cry. The armor told me she was stressed. I wondered how her parents were doing, if they were OK. I knew, all I had to do was wait.

I heard the angry men come storming up the stairs. I heard their guns going off all over the downstairs. I waited, until the door to Julie’s room slammed open, and two fat, balding, white men stood there, with AR-15’s pointed into the room. “She’s in here! Under the bed!”

One took a step forward. It was his last step. A 24 inch long knife blade ran through him, and stuck out his back. His buddy stood there in shock, but not long, before he joined the first one.

“Julie. I know you can hear me. I need you to take a deep breath. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath.” With that, I stepped into the hall.

Not one of the white men with guns walked out of Julie’s home.

It was time to protect others. And kill who I had to.

247 Words
@mysoulstears


The next part of the ongoing Armor 17 story. It’s Week 308 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

 

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/03/18

Odin carefully fluffed the cotton, it was work to get it looking right. It had to have the right density in the middle, to be opaque, but still be thin enough around the edges to let light through. Making copies of clouds out of cotton was one of the things he found most frustrating about the simulation. But, the scene needed clouds, so, he futzed around with the cotton until he got it right. He positioned his cotton cloud on the loading dock, and waited for the imager’s two arms to lift it, and place it against the screen. It took a couple of minutes, but the image was copied into the scene, and the cotton cloud was returned to the loading dock.

His mother, Freya, came into the lab to check on him, “How is the simulation going, young one?”

“And hello to you also, Mother.”

Freya’s laugh was always like music to his ears, “Oh, my son. Always so proper.” He thought she had the prettiest smile in the world. “Hello, Odin, son. How is the simulation going today?”

Odin glanced at his mother, then looked back to the screen, “Frustrating, as always.”

“Is it helping you understand reality?”

“Very much so. I’ve learned how clouds form from evaporated water that floats in the sky. How the water in those clouds behaves. When it produces what kind of clouds. When it rains. I’ve learned it affects the motion of the air. It also absorbs, and reflects heat and starlight.”

He knew his mother was proud of him by her smile. “Excellent, my son. Your father would be proud.”

Odin leaned back in his chair. “Mother. I have some questions.”

“Yes?”

“About the simulation itself.”

Freya stood next to her son, and nodded, “Then ask. And we can see what we can learn.”

“It’s about the life forms in the simulation.” Odin pointed at several of what he called humans, as they walked into the screen from the left. “I know they become sentient, able to think. This is how we learn to think, and to understand that thinking is. But.” He paused, and scratched his chin, “Does their simulated intelligence reach a point they become self aware?”

“Self aware?”

“Mother, do they become aware they are not real? Do they learn, and understand, they are only simulations? Holograms, in a virtual reality?”

Freya’s laughter always brought a smile to Odin’s world, and lightened any dark mood he had. “Oh, yes. They do indeed become aware.”

“What happens when they do?”

“That is part of what you must experience. That is part of what you must learn.” She studied him a moment, and continued, “You will not notice at first, because it will be like how you think. Only one will understand. And will try to explain. Then, with time, as the simulation proceeds…”

Odin continued for her, “Then others will learn from that one. And the knowledge will spread.”

Odin looked at the scene from his virtual world, portrayed on the screen. “Mother. I suspect I should enjoy the simulation while I can.” He scrolled the screen from one scene to another. “I suspect the understanding they are not real will destroy them.”

Freya nodded. “Indeed, my son. Indeed. I find your suspicion is well thought out.” She headed toward the exit from the lab. “Please, let me know how the simulation progresses. And I will be back when it is time for you to take a lunch break.”

Odin resumed watching the scenery of his simulation. “A 3D Holographic Universe”, was the name of the science project. He wondered how the simulations of Jupiter, and Zeus were going. If they were producing similar results.

“Sometimes, the ways we learn are mysterious indeed. Why we need to simulate an entire universe to understand our own is beyond me. But… I suppose, with time, I’ll understand why we do such things.”

He checked on the places his simulated life forms had christened “Britain” and “France”, and shook his head. “Oh. Look. They’ve gone to war with each other again. This religion thing they developed is really nasty, isn’t it?” He scribbled more notes in his observation log. “They can’t even agree on how to worship a single, imaginary, omnipotent being. They have to kill each other to prove who is right.”

Simulations were indeed difficult. But Odin could see, as he looked over his notes, there was much to be learned about emotions, and environments, and how those affected the behavior of himself, and of those around him.

“It will be interesting indeed, to see what happens next in my little universe.”

Odin watched, and waited, curious to see what he could learn, and to see what his various life forms did next.

794 Words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 46 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/02/27

“Well.” I stood in my bulky environmental suit. “They do say different strokes for different folks.”

I thought the five Bungees I was with were going to fall over from laughter. So, I pointed to the strangest looking structure I’d ever seen, and asked, “What the heck is that?”

The little Google translator in my ear went nuts trying to translate what I’d said into their language, and then spoke lots of gibberish trying to translate what my Bungee friends had said in response. Something to the effect of, “That’s one of the apartment complexes we live in.”

Thing was huge. The Bungee people average nine feet tall. The science teams explained it was because of their weaker gravity. “They grow taller because they can. Given enough generations, we’d grow taller here too.”

Nine feet tall. So the floors would have been maybe twelve feet. And there were twenty floors in each leg of the structure. Over forty stories tall. “What’s that part that sticks out?”

After more gibberish, I pieced together it was something like a gymnasium, and shopping center, and an architectural balancing act. “Without them, the whole thing would fall down.”

As we approached the complex, we chatted. The Bungee loved to talk. They never really stopped. “You guys know, right?” I had to make sure they knew, “About the Kosmaj Monument in Serbia, on our world, right?”

Again, they all laughed so hard I thought they’d fall over. And the gibberish translated to roughly, “Oh, yes. It’s a bad imitation.”

“Imitation?”

“Yes. We sent the architectural team pictures of one of these. We served as their inspiration.” Which I thought rather nicely explained why the Serbs had made such a wacky monument.

We chatted as we walked between each of the five sections of the complex. “I sometimes wonder, how long have you guys been visiting Earth?”

“Oh, for tens of thousands of your years,” the one to my left answered.

“That long?”

“Oh, yes. We have watched your people grow,” the one to my right answered.

“Watched us?”

The one behind me answered, “We’ve explained it all to your scientists.”

The one to the front left of me giggled, “They said, ‘You mean, it’s true? All the stories about aliens?’.”

The one to the front right of me grinned, “Yes, it’s all true.”

Then they told me the story of how they tried to keep others from interfering in our natural evolutionary path. “It is not good to interfere with the natural progression.”

Talking with the Bungee was an experience in confusion, as they took turns speaking, always in the same order, with each of them saying one sentence. We spoke about the history of their watching Earth. Of different races that went to Earth, and deliberately acted to accelerate our development. “That acceleration is what caused the wars, and the lopsided economies, and the rich and poor problem.”

As we walked among the parts of the complex I finally realized, there were five Bungee in each group I had encountered in my time on their world. And there were five separate parts of the complex.

“Guys. Why five parts?”

They looked at each other. They nodded at each other. All five smiled at the same time. And they spoke, one at a time, in the same order as always, “Because each of us has five parts.”

“It’s why we watched your people develop. You are the only people we’ve ever encountered that exist in only one part.”

I stopped walking, “Wait. Wait. Guys. You mean, there’s not five of you? There’s only one of you?”

They all five nodded. “Yes. We are five parts.”

“We never get lonely.”

“We have always been fascinated by your people.”

“Because. All your parts are independent. You only have one part.”

As they guided me through the complex, I had to make one comment. “So. Perhaps this explains why we all live in boxes.”

I was actually kind of fun to hear the Bungee laugh. Especially knowing that all five of them were one Bungee. “Y’all are going to take some getting used to.”

“Indeed, Earthling. Indeed.”

“I can’t wait until you meet the Swarm.”

“They each have millions of parts.”

I couldn’t imagine that. One being. With millions of parts.

This exploring the galaxy thing was going to be rather interesting. I wondered how the science team would react to what Bungees really were.

Remember, people. The universe is weird. Much weirder than you can imagine. “I don’t think we’re ready to meet the Swarm.”

The Bungee spoke once more. “They will show themselves when they think you are ready.” It paused. “And no one is ever ready to meet them.”

784 Words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 43 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. This week, I managed to beat the deadline. Barely. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

 

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/02/11 (A Second Entry)

November stood, half naked, in the pentagram inside the circle on her apartment floor. “Judgement day.” That’s what she called it. The day she set old fashioned, biblical demons free, so they could, and hopefully would, destroy the world of humans. Her world.

A world of money. Of power. Of greed. A world where no one believed in peace, and cooperation, and working with each other. Where it was always, “I’m gonna be the best!” No matter who you had to step on. A world where no matter what you did, you were always forgiven on Sunday, when you went to church.

She took the knife, and drew its blade across her wrist, as she thought the words she’d learned over so many years. Words in a language long lost to civilized people. A language from before the days of one God.

“One God my ass,” she thought again, “If there’s only one, how come all the religions that worship that one God are at war with each other? How come they hate each other’s guts?”

She remembered the headlines of the past few days. “73 Dead and over 400 Injured in Mass Shooting in Des Moines.” Iowa, of all places. “Temperatures Set New Record Highs,” For the 20th straight year. “Robots in Saudi Arabia Failing From The Heat, Oil Prices Going Up Again!”

“It never ends. Men, and money. That’s all that matters. Men and money.” She had watched her best friend, Josie, waste away in her apartment. Neither of them had the money for the medicine that would have kept her alive. They hadn’t been able to raise enough on the crowdfunding sites either. Josie slowly died. It started as the flu, and grew from there. Until she coughed up blood. And more blood. And her lungs slowly filled with that blood. And she died.

Because. Medicine was for real people. People who had jobs. People who contributed to society. Not freeloaders. Not lazy, good-for-nothing people. Didn’t matter that Josie worked 39 hours a week at the office, until she fell over, and blood leaked from her mouth onto her desk. And they sent her home. With a pink slip. She’d been part time. It was a “right to work” place. They could fire her for no reason. And they did.

And with no insurance, the prescriptions ate up all the money. All of it.

November still cried when she thought of Josie. “I’ll see you soon, love. I’ll see you soon.”

She watched her blood drip onto the brooch on her necklace. Her thoughts kept echoing the words she’d learned. Their plea to the gods of old to return, and save Mother Earth, Gaia, from humankind, and it’s never ending destruction. To burn the water, and the sky, with cleansing fire. To melt the ground, and watch it sink into the oceans, so new ground could be made. New, clean ground, unspoiled by humankind.

She remembered the time her father. Yes, her father, had come into her room one night. She was just a girl. Just twelve. How her father forced himself on her. Shoved himself between her legs. How that was just the start of years of hell, as she tried to find a way, any way, to escape him. Until she finally started walking one day. And kept walking. So he couldn’t find her.

She remembered her nights on the street. Cold. Hungry. And the men. God, the men. “Come here, little girl. I’ll keep you warm.” How she’d thought of fighting them. Of telling them no. Of running away. Until she saw the two naked girls, hanging from a street light. “This is what we do to those who fight back.” That’s what they told her. That’s what they said.

So, there she was, calling forth the old gods. They’d kill her, of course. She knew that. She was human, after all. But it didn’t matter. She’d be free from the world of men. A world that killed everything.

As she finished the words in her mind, and her blood dripped on the brooch, the brooch began to glow. She moved it behind her back. Pressed it to her skin. It burned. But it worked. The room began to fill with water. The door to her apartment burned to dust, the frame caught fire. And beyond, the darkness, filled with black clouds, was growing.

“May there be peace on Gaia once again. After the stain of humanity has been burned away.” That was the last thing she remembered, as the world caught fire, and the sky began to burn.

762 words
@mysoulstears


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 41st week. The picture was so good, I had to write for it a second time. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Never felt the need to write a second entry before. But this week, with that picture, I had more than one story to set free. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.