7:30pm

Cropped header image by Sharnikarnikhil88.

I arrive at around half seven; The lights in the lobby are still dim as are the lights in the ballroom, though it’s still a welcome reprieve from the snowstorm raging outside. I can still see it through the semi-reflective glass doors, and if I were any closer, I’d probably hear it howling too. Ava and Ayame had encountered travel difficulties along the way, so they told me to make my own way to the event.

I took a moment to adjust my eyesight and glasses before signing in, and again afterwards. Walking into the ballroom, jacket draped over my left arm, I look around.  Continue reading

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Home

Header image by Diego Delso under Creative Commons 4.0.

“You are aware I won’t be able to go with you when you go home, don’t you?”

I had no immediate answer, so I avoided his gaze and nodded.

It was early autumn; for some, the best time to be far from the city. It’s one thing to view the autumn leaves on the mountain trees from afar, but it’s quite another to be there. But right now, I wished I was on the other side. I could see it; when home is an unspecified light in the distance, it doesn’t seem so far any more. As a child, this mountain was always the first thing to catch my attention. I told my parents I wanted to climb it “tomorrow”, or “next week”. I couldn’t blame them for being amused, looking back. At least I finally did it, even if it wasn’t under the circumstances I wanted. But that’s enough for needlessly bleak-sounding introspection. Continue reading

Until Next Time

Header image by Bigwavephoto under Creative Commons 4.0.

“Look.” A bruised and beaten hero pointed out the spectacle to his son from a faraway hill. It was Jackson. Explosions in the sky; amber, silver, sapphire. Tonight’s spectacle in the night sky was of risk, of sacrifice, of escape, of triumph. “Daddy set up a fireworks show for you.”

His commander several miles away saw the same sight, standing in a forest clearing with her main advisor. “I never thought that would ever end. I suppose he had one more surprise. It’s just a shame. I would have loved to at least get the full specifications.” Her advisor replied absent-mindedly, eyes fixed above. “I don’t think anything good would have come out of anything so destructive.” “Good point. And our backup provisions aren’t going to waste here, at least. If I didn’t know any better I’d think they knew we wouldn’t end up using them.”  Continue reading

Exit Stage Left

Header image by Faisal Akram under Creative Commons 2.0.

A streetlight briefly falters in the dawn’s infancy; barely visible in its lonely light, the misty rain before the day begins and the eyes open. By the waterfront’s edge, two unidentifiable figures in tattered shroud-like cloaks stand staring at the water and each other, wordlessly discussing the decision they are about to make.

One lifts a worn old silver necklace chain from his neck, and gazes at it for several seconds before dropping it into the water. He feels a strange sense of relief as they both watch it quickly disappear below the surface to depths unknown.

The other stands vigilant, still trying to process the strangeness of it all. The decision itself, and the whirl of events preceding. She does not move a single muscle for the entire time they stand at the water’s edge, separated by the railings. It feels wrong to her. Un-lifelike.

With a single gaze lasting an indeterminate time, they have made up their minds – the damage had already been done, and the time for one last dance was over.

With one final movement: exit stage left.

Story A Day, Day 31 – Time and Space

Header image by RicLaf under Creative Commons 2.0.

With one final push, Nadine hauled herself onto the roof of the Northsea Library. This was her secret spot; if she wanted to read in peace or simply clear her mind, she’d make her way here to this narrow stretch across the grand arched rooves of the library. It required incredible agility, persistence and daring to come here, not to mention the idea of even attempting to come here in the first place; she was sure the chances of meeting somebody here were so slim that she’d be alone here for as long as she came here, under nothing but the night sky.

A cool breeze flowed, colder than the air below – hence why Nadine always wore a thick, slightly oversized jacket to hide herself in. Nadine sat back against the balustrade and took out a novel titled “CROW” in bold letters across the bottom. She looked down to her left to see the library entrance below (as well as the occasional visitor entering or leaving at this hour), then up to the sky, then down to her book to begin. She read, and was reminded of her family, of the tension between her (up until recently absent) brother and them. Her mind then drifted to various unrelated topics until 70 pages in. Continue reading

Story A Day, Day 29 – Second Chances

Header image by Anagoria under Creative Commons 3.0.

Priscilla stared at her ghostly hands in wide-eyed disbelief, trembling at her realisation.

She was fading away. The end of her second chance, her life as a ghost. Her true end.

She continued to tremble and begun to sob quietly, barely able to contain the wild panic she was feeling right now. In a desperate attempt to calm herself she walked to the edge of the viewing platform and collapsed to the floor against the railing, taking in her final view of Ferra Vale’s sunset before the end.

Slowly, she heard footsteps approaching slowly. It was Sylvain. He sat down next to her, still cautious. Continue reading

Story A Day, Day 28 – Knight

“It’s ready. Everything’s in place, checks complete, nothing abnormal. You’re clear! Activate it and show the world our new Knight.”

“Nothing’s happening, Elle! It’s not doing anything, and I would REALLY appreciate it doing something right about now!”

“It’s working fine, Flint. The light is on and all you have to do now is press it.”

“It’s NOT on! I see nothing, and the longer I spend here with this damn nonfunctional thing the more I’m going to want to launch this blade through my torso!”

“I see the problem here, Flint. One mechanism here is inactive. Just a few seconds and…it’s ready to go. My apologies.” Continue reading