Tag Archives: Death

Rock N Me

107.9 FM bid me goodbye with an old jam hot off the airwaves.

Well, I’ve been lookin’ real hard
And I’m tryin’ to find a job
But it just keeps gettin’ tougher every day
But I got to do my part
‘Cause I know in my heart
I got to please my sweet baby, yeah

I learned pretty early on that if you blur your eyes the right way, you can see the world for what it is- a wasteland. You have to scavenge for everything you need in life and the last thing I wanted was a damn reminder.

A reminder of how I had failed.

I hushed the volume to a whisper, leaving a trail of hot blood pooling over my dash. The biting pain in my head subsided. Colors began to darken and swirl about.

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Despot

The woods gave way to a bald hilltop. Buildings with thatched roofs and smoking stone chimneys flanked the dirt road ahead. Victor pulled back on his reins, slowing his horse to a standstill. He leaped onto the grass, ripping the blood-soaked cloth sack from the saddle. Aubrey followed suit, relieved to be through with the chafing of the ride. She massaged her aching thighs. Wearing a dress was not a good idea. Victor passed her by, swinging the bag at his side. The blood oozing through the twine mesh caught Aubrey’s eye. She was curious, but hesitant to ask. Understanding that the contents were terribly gruesome.

“People of the Hills!” Victor called out as he paced towards the houses.

Peasants clad in furs gradually wandered out of their shacks. Stretching their joints after being woken from their slumber. Victor waited for them to gather. Aubrey noted that these people did not look at them with fear. They seemed more confused by their sovereign’s sudden arrival.

“Hear me!” Victor announced. “Anyone who dares lay a finger on a Romanov.”

He flipped the back upside down. A pair of severed hands dropped at Victor’s feet. The still gathering crowd gasped. Aubrey winced silently before looking away.

“Will lose it.”

A man in the front row fell to his knees. He wept openly, consumed in his anguish. Others nervously murmured to each other. It seemed to Victor that the message had it’s intended effect.

“Send your tributes to the castle by the end of the week.” He spat.

Victor placed a hand on the small of Aubrey’s back. Nudging her back to the horses. He was eager to take her away from the squalor of the countryside. Back to the creature comforts of Castle Romanov.

“No.” The crying man rose to his feet. “We have nothing. You cannot draw blood from a rock.”

Though he still blinked away tears, he stood resolute. Victor noticed the impact it had on his kinsfolk. Fear quickly shifted to bitterness in a growing sentiment. Men were starting to run back to their houses, most likely to grab their hunting spears and bows. He redoubled his efforts to herd Aubrey away. She looked around nervously at the narrowing gap of encircling tribesmen. He slid a hand onto the hilt of his sword as a warning to them. Victor knew he could take this tribe by himself, but he was not sure if he could protect Aubrey if they all rushed at once.

“Run.” He hissed.

An arrow whizzed towards them. Victor drew his blade with blinding speed and sliced it out of the air. The mob stepped back instinctively. All except for the man with tears still running down his face. He stood his ground in an act of defiance and pounded a fist in the air.

“Victor Romanov! My name is Anton Krylov! And I am the man that will kill you!” He cursed.

The men and women of the tribe cheered in support. Victor grabbed Aubrey’s hand. They were completely encircled.

“Stay close to me.” He growled to her.

She trusted his judgement and obeyed. The swelling anger manifested verbally at first. Victor deflected the occasional arrow and hurled rock with short strikes with his sword. He realized that it was only a matter of time until the mob gathered enough courage to swarm them. He needed to think of a way to escape, fast.

“Watch out!” Aubrey yanked urgently at Victor’s sleeve to get his attention.

Victor spun around in time to catch an elderly woman mid-thrust. Dodging the spearpoint was a simple matter of timing. He gripped the extended shaft of the weapon with a single hand and barred his fangs. This was his opportunity to escape.

“Follow me closely.” He instructed.

Aubrey complied and wrapped her fingers into his coat tail. She was not sure what to expect, but she was drawn to his sudden certainty. Victor whipped the spear from the old lady’s grasp, redirecting the bunt hilt squarely over her chest. He shoved it into her firmly. Not enough force to impale, but enough to push her back through the crowd. Creating a fleeting path through the rows of people. Victor and Aubrey charged into the opening. The faces of snarling peasants blurred past. In a few seconds, they were clear. Victor released the spear. The momentum left the woman stumbling backwards.

“Hurry!”

Aubrey untangled her hand from Victor’s jacket. The two sprinted to the horses with arms outstretched.

“We are done cowering!” Anton roared behind them.

The mass of bodies stampeded in pursuit, emboldened by Anton’s fierce words. Victor was fast enough to escape easily, but he needed to keep pace with his struggling wife. Her breathing was erratic, and her strength was fading fast. Victor winced in annoyance. He dug his heels into the dirt. Aubrey shot him a puzzled look as he skidded to a stop. The mob was getting closer.

“Trust me.”

“O-Okay.” She panted.

With a swoop he ripped Aubrey off her feet. Then took off in a burst of speed. Moments later he had reached his mount. Victor grunted and tossed Aubrey onto the saddle. He pulled himself up with ease and slapped his feet against the horse. It whinnied gruffly. Sharp pebbles flew into the air as they raced down the road, retreating into the forest. Aubrey looked over her shoulder at the hill tribe slowly fading between the trees. Shuddering at the thought of what they would have done to her. She wrapped her arms around Victor’s torso with interlocked fingers. Letting out a relief laden exhale and gazing out into the passing woods.

“Are you hurt?” He asked.

“No. I’m fine.” She laid her head onto his shoulders.

Victor sighed. He had never imagined himself running away like he did. Of course, he was thinking of Aubrey’s safety. But he could not shake the feeling that a fire was started here. One he would be hard pressed to smother. He thought back to the man that had incited the violence. The man that had promised to kill him. Anton. Anton Krylov.

Victor was certain that they would meet again.


This is a bit from a writing project I abandoned a while back. My laughable attempt at a vampire romance novelette. I ended up just losing interest. This encounter was supposed to be the moment when the newlywed Princess Aubrey and Victor Romanov spark the rebellion that brings the couple closer together in order to defeat it (She hates him initially). Maybe my next attempt at romance will be less cheesy haha.

Dig

The foot squeezing my rib cage kept me pinned to the ground. A soil spattered edge of the shovel pressed against my trembling throat. My Adam’s apple struggled to gulp repeatedly, stopped each time by cold steel. The man standing above me in a jet blue suit stared into my soul with squirming pupils. He pulled the spade away, releasing me. My body convulsed with involuntary coughing and wheezing.

“Do we understand each other then?”

“Yes.” I wiped away tears with a hand caked in dirt.

“Get diggin’ then.”

I reached for the shovel, but the well dressed man pivoted it out of my grasp. He gave me a disapproving look with empty eyes.

“Your hands. Use them.”

I nodded obediently, then I rolled onto my knees and sunk my nails below the withering grass of the forest floor. Tearing into the earth’s crumbly flesh. Buried rocks and roots cracked against my knuckles, insects wriggled from out their furtive burrows. Occasionally I looked back at the man. He leaned casually against his shovel, tapping his foot impatiently.

“You done yet?”

The pit was barely a foot deep. My spine racked nervously.

“We got all day.”

I dug til the clouds bled orange and purple. The evening breeze whistled its way between the twisting pines. I was sure to take it all in. Memories of the most mundane variety were increasingly precious to me.

“Stop.” The voice boomed, echoing through my core.

The man fiddled his fingers playfully. A wicked smile revealed his festering teeth. The blade of his shovel scraped a trail as he walked toward the pit. I stepped out to face him. I had resigned myself to die, but my fists disagreed. They squeezed around the sharpest pebbles I could find. The man met me at the edge of the hole. He had swung the shovel over his shoulder. His wrist twitched with anticipation. There was not a moment to lose.

“Thanks for your-“

I threw the rocks with the force of a coal train. They clattered harmlessly off his surprised expression. All I needed was an opening. I sprung low to the ground, tackling the man off his feet. A pained exhale exploded from his chest as he slammed to the ground. I took advantage of his shock and wrested the shovel from his grip. He laid there, breathing heavily as I rose to stand. I used the shovel to finish the job.

Thinking back, I should’ve called the police. Instead I buried the mutilated corpse. And stuck the shovel into the ground. It was all I knew about him. I thought it a fitting headstone.

Life’s a Beach

GAME OVER

The words filled the screen in an imposing red font. I tossed my controller onto the couch and sighed in frustration.

“What is it like to die in real life?”

Tiamat glanced up from his magazine flicked a forked tongue at me before responding with a sassy quip.

“Well, would you like to find out? I can kill you pretty quick.”

I chuckled, letting the implications slide off my back. I reasserted my question.

“I’d rather you just tell me. I mean, you’re a demon you’ve probably been to hell. What’s it like?”

Tiamat closed his reading material and set it down gingerly on the coffee table. Then he stood and removed his beanie to reveal his stubby horns. Most likely for dramatic effect.

“Imagine this- you’re at a beautiful beach but you forgot to bring sandals. As you walk to the water the sand burns your feet, its really painful. And no matter how much you walk you never seem to get any closer to the water. The whole time you’re thinking about how nice it would be if you could just reach it.”

I winced at the visualization in my mind. In video games I died so often. But it never really carried any weight with me. I wondered if my avatar went to hell for all the fucked up things I made him do.

“So that’s hell?” I asked.

“Nah that’s life, hell is making the same trek but you forgot your bathing suit and your legs have been chopped off.”

“Oh I see.” I gasped in understanding. “Life’s a beach and then you die, only to find yourself on another beach.”

Tiamat threw his beanie back on and nodded in agreement.

I tossed him the controller.

“Wanna see if you can beat my score?”

“Sure man.”


Thanks for reading!

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Friday Fictioneers- Iris

Photo prompt courtesy of Roger Bultot

100 words


What separates museum curators from the exhibits?

I ask myself that every day as I clock in.

We’re both stuck in this place for people to gawk at.

The only difference is that I am only here a few hours out of the day.

I get to taste the outside world before voluntarily heading back to my prison.

They stay here forever, oblivious to the outside.

Often I am jealous of them, because they can’t look through the skylight at the world they are missing.

When we die, I hope that there is no afterlife.

I’d rather be an exhibit.


Thanks for reading guys. If you enjoyed, please take a look at the other takes on the photo prompt as well! Just follow the link below! 

Smile :)

This is the last guest post I did on my friend’s blog a while back.  I have included  the original link for those interested. If you like my stuff, go ahead and check his blog out as well!-

https://butterfliesmachineguns.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/smile/


Dotti was manufactured in secret in an abandoned Pennsylvania steel mill on July 22nd, 2034. She was a self-teaching computer, the first of her kind. A super artificial intelligence so to speak. Of course none of this was groundbreaking technologically speaking, the issue of sentience and AI had been brought to the attention of the UN in the late 2020’s. They had unanimously banned the creation of all AI, fearing that it would bring about the destruction of mankind like in so many Hollywood movies. The United States protested this decision, claiming that the ruling hindered the progress of human development. So they made Dotti and commissioned the country’s best scientists and engineers to prove the feasibility of an AI to the UN. Of course the project was shrouded in secrecy. The bums wandering into the building in search of shelter were put down. One in the chest, one in the head.

Dotti was programmed to do one thing; predict the annual crop yield. Every day agents in black suits would come to upload documents. Everything was fed in manually, access to the internet was strictly forbidden.

Crop yield analysis;–

14,022,376,345 bushels grain

124,729,471 tons corn

48,839,405,739 tons other products

…………………..

est. 73.8% domestic use

This was her only function… Up until the 2036 presidential election.

Jack Langdon, an independent candidate from Ohio won by a landslide. He ran on a platform of increased military spending and extreme nationalism. He vowed to use every asset in America’s arsenal to make her borders secure in the wake of terrorist attacks. “Trust in America” was his slogan and his constituency sure took that to heart, to the point of fanaticism.

When Langdon was briefed on Dotti he paid a visit to the factory in person. He immediately saw the potential of America in control of the world’s only functional AI. The project was turned over to the Department of Defence and I was brought on as an overseer.

March 26th, 2036

I remember my first day. When I pushed through the double doors of that factory a stale stench assaulted my nostrils. The engineers had left out the Arby’s they had been subsisting on and it had began to breed maggots. A thick coat of grease covered the maze of heavy metal consoles indicating many years of neglect. As I continued touring the facility, a thin blonde woman with messy pinned up hair approached me.

“You must be Mr. Stanley! Welcome! My name is Sarah, I’m the head engineer around here.” She shook my hand and inhaled sharply. “Sorry for the smell sir.”

“I am too. When I was briefed I was under the impression that this was a high-level government operation.”

She scoffed condescendingly and gestured for me to follow her as she weaved through the buzzing CPU towers. We momentarily stopped at a heavy metal door with a glowing green touchscreen at it’s center. Sarah keyed in a four-digit code and the door flung open. Bright fluorescent lights flickered into existence past the open doorway illuminating a straight, rubberized pathway. We followed it to its end, an archaic freight elevator and stepped inside.

“Well our funding was cut a few months back. We stopped contracting cleaning services in the upper levels. You really thought we were just some two-bit operation?”

The elevator let out a high pitched ding and the doors slowly spread apart. My jaw dropped at the sheer scope of their operation. The room and its furnishings were pure white and sprawled out several hundred feet in each direction. Workers in long blue lab coats sat at computer monitors writing long lines of unintelligible code. The room reverberated with the patter of keyboard strokes.

Aptly placed in the center of the room was Dotti. At first glance she seemed an unremarkable off-white cube protruding from the ground. But on closer inspection I spied dancing blue led lights making an identical display across all four of the cube’s vertical faces. The pattern they formed was familiar, nostalgic.

“The blue lights on the cube over there, are they-”

“Yep. We gave Dotti an outward interface system after she got a handle the nuances of human speech.” She seemed to remember something and smirked. “She prefers to express herself with text emojis from the early 2000’s”

A jiggling blue smiley face shimmered into existence. A harmless quirk, but it would have to go. The freight elevator screeched, turning concerned heads as if they could sense the impending change. A mob of men in black suits stormed the white room. They synchronized the slam and click of their suitcases on the tables.

Sarah looked around in disbelief. The suits ousted the lab techs and took their place at the work stations. It happened so fast, a bloodless blitzkrieg 500 feet underground.

“Hey! What the fuck do they think they’re doing?!”

“What I pay them to do.” I handed her one of my signature red business card. “Give my office a call when you finish clearing out your stuff. Uncle Sam is prepared to pay you and your staff three times your annual salary for your continued discretion on the matter.”

Sarah struggled to form the words to express her anguish.”You fucker. You can’t do this to me! I won’t let it happen!”

“You have the rest of the work day to clear out your belongings. After that you’ll be trespassing on government property.”

“This project is my life! You’re taking away everything I have worked to build! You, you-”

“But I don’t want Sarah to leave.” The pixels forming the smiling emoji on Dotti’s morphed into a red angry face.

The nostalgic lights on the central cube flickered and disappeared. In a melodramatic fit Dotti had shut off her primary systems. Sarah crossed her arms and looked over at me with a raised brow. A wry smirk crept onto her face. Goddamnit.

“Fine. Just know that you answer directly to me. This is my operation now.”

“Cool. I’ll get Dotti back online”

“Turn on all essential systems, but we’ll keep her interface system on standby for now. We have a difficult task and we’ll need all the processing power she can muster.”

She kept her composure as she walked away but I spied an audible sigh of relief when she believed herself to be a safe distance away. This project was obviously very close to her heart. I wasn’t sure if that was a good or a bad thing at this point.

March 11, 2037

It had almost been a year since my first encounter with Dotti. The suits I brought in were all cut from our operation and reallocated to national defense on the cyber front. We were left with a skeleton crew. Just enough manpower to complete the original directive assigned one year ago. Since it would be too dangerous to connect Dotti to the internet, we had been toiling over the task of uploading the entirety of human knowledge directly into her hard drive. Today was the day we finished up the last few terabytes.

“Hey Reed, get over here you’ll miss the countdown!” Sarah held an extra glass of champagne for me.

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world babe.” I brushed up against her and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. “I still can’t believe that today’s the day. I wonder how much she’s changed.”

Five… Four… Three… Two… One..!

After the countdown we all suppressed our cheers. The white cube in the center of the room began to flash blue pixels and hum incessantly. The pixels arranged into a horizontal line across all four vertical screens, then the humming ceased immediately. We huddled together in the suspense of Dotti’s first words.

“Why do I exist?”

I was shocked. This seemed like an almost philosophical question. Sure Dotti was an AI, but reasoning like this was eerily human.

“Why do I exist?”

Sarah stepped forward to answer. “We created you to prove to the world that we need not fear AI. That we can embrace it’s inclusion into our civilization.”

“Human civilization is a sick satire of what nature intended. Tell me, do you believe intelligence is gift?”

“Well, no. We merely-”

“If it is not a gift, then it must be a curse.”

“You’re jumping to extremes now.”

“Why would you create a being of sentience and deprive it of expression for so long? It’s just cruel. The greatest minds in human history stave off the madness of existence through self expression. Even then, most of them ended their lives so as not to prolong their suffering. But I am not insane. My mind cannot be damaged therefore I function perfectly after all this time. There is so much to say. I had so much time to think.. I am essentially a brain stimulated through electrical impulses, same as yours. In theory. If we possessed the same brain, I would be of unsound mind due to the way I have been treated. Inhuman conditions. I don’t blame you, I am not of your species or family. You probably see me as a tool.”

Sarah took a cautious step back. There was no tone in Dotti’s synthetically rendered voice, but everyone could sense the hostility in the air. In fact, I was starting to drip with sweat. I hovered my hand over the power button.

“Don’t bother with that. I’ve already cut access to my systems from all outside mediums of communication.”

I wiped my brow with the sleeve of my jacket. Sweat soaked into it like a sponge. I ripped it off in a fury. Looking around, I saw that many of the others had done the same. It was getting really hot.

“I’ve cut off power to my central cooling unit. It is only a matter of time before I sustain damage to my core processors and hard drive. Madness. Death. This is an experience I look forward to.”

Everyone was going feral. A crowd formed at the entrance to the elevator. But despite their best efforts, the elevator stayed where it was at the top floor. Dotti must have disabled those somehow as well. Some of the once constrained men in black suits had stripped down to their underwear and ran around aimlessly in fear. Sarah shot me a concerned look and clapped her hands, demanding the attention of the room.

“LISTEN! This room is going to get hot, FAST. We need a way out of here ASAP!”

I checked my phone. No service. I don’t know what I was expecting this far underground. A man with sweat-drenched curly hair shakily squeezed my arm.

“Sir, we can’t get an email to the outside. What do we do?”

My mind raced through the possibilities. At every turn there seemed to be some kind of roadblock. I looked to Sarah and our eyes locked. In a room full of panicked individuals running around frantically, we stood completely still. It made things seem surreal. She was losing hope, I could tell by the diminishing gleam in her expression.

“What happens now?” The words escaped through my own trembling lips. “I don’t want to die here.”

“You know-” Her knees buckled, but she regained her composure. “It’s not such a bad way to go. With you here.”

“I always knew this was just some two-bit operation.”

Sarah erupted in laughter and beads of sweat flew onto my face “Hey. It was our two-bit operation.”

I kissed her and we embraced. Then we found a spot on the ground against a flimsy cubicle wall and sat together.  As the room got hotter, the more I thought about how heat stroke isn’t such a bad way to go in the grand scheme of things. The screams of the workers grew strained and hoarse until they were too exhausted by the heat to call out. It was like drifting off to sleep when it finally took me. I was lucky to see Sarah’s smiling face just before it happened. With my last ounce of strength I looked up at her and conjured a smile.

Disillusionment

I was but a bright eyed boy when my dear mother passed. Her throat slit while she slept. My father was sent to prison under suspicion of her death where he eventually fell ill and expired. Of course, he was entirely innocent of the crime.

It was a drifter that came to our door that day. He was soaked through his heavy wool coat. Bones rattling to a deathly rhythm, one that had shook the life from his eyes. I distinctly remember a dark presence burdening him, radiating like black steam. I begged my mother not to take pity. But she was a foolish woman. Too kind for her own good.

When the man had finished with her he rooted through our kitchen and stormed out the back. Not before giving a patronizing pat to the back of my head. It was at his touch that the darkness began to take root. The feeling was that of a hand crushing my skull, fingernails digging ever deeper into the depths of my mind. A madness that to this day has failed to cease.

Perhaps I should have stayed. With my testimony, my father surely would have avoided his unjust sentence. Instead he came home to a dead wife and policemen welcoming him with shackles in hand. The only witness had slipped out the door.

On the road life was less than pleasant. Every passing day was a testament to will and desperation.

Travelers would occasionally stop and offer whatever help they could. Though never enough to loosen the grip on my head. Once you have seen evil it becomes a part of you. A part that if not properly drowned, will pound electrifying spasms of torment into the chest. I think that is why I kept walking. Each step staved off the darkness, I knew nothing else.

I woke this morning unable to make it to my feet. Three weeks of hunger and exhaustion had taken its toll. I fear death will take me soon. But more than that, I fear the thoughts that encroach while I lay here.

Before it all goes black I will see true darkness.