Archive for: March, 2013

God’s Great Acrimony By D. C. Golightly

Mar 24 2013 Published by under The WiFiles

I will always savor the taste of blood. Even though I starve myself of its nourishment for strictly selfish reasons I can’t help but crave the bitter embrace of its crimson flavor. There were times when I craved the taste of other things in life, like sweet cakes and candied fruit. That was, of course, before I became one of Satan’s demonic children.

I have heard various terms for this affliction I now suffer, but few carry weight with me. Phantasma. Hemoglobin-deprived. Nosferatu.

Vampire.

I remember being a small girl in West London, my mother desperate to instill her values in me. As the years stretch on it becomes increasingly difficult to remember exactly how those days went, but I’ll never forget the lessons I was taught. Lessons of philosophy, religion, and most notably, pain.

When my mind wanders back to those anything-but-innocent avenues of my life I usually find myself desperate for a way to snap myself back into the present. I’ve often heard tales of humans engaging in self-destructive behavior as a means to this end. Heavy drug use, outrageous outbursts, alcoholic bingeing, and even the cutting of one’s flesh.

The attention a person sometimes seeks through these methods is enough to pull them back from the edge. Unfortunately, my progressed physiology ensures that these practices will be nothing more than an irritation, not to mention the simple fact that I’ve removed myself from anyone to draw attention from which would make the acts redundant.

Cutting oneself continues to intrigue me the most, especially since I assume that not all cases are a cry for attention. Perhaps the sudden rush of adrenaline one gets from the knife slicing into the skin somehow focuses the mind, or maybe it even feeds some perverted nature the person wishes to keep contained. I know all about feeding the beast in small amounts to keep it dormant. A drop of sustenance now will save a soul later.

As I said, cutting myself does nothing more than momentarily aggravate my flesh. The wound begins to heal even before I’ve finished making it. To this end I searched for something similar that people of my nature might find equivalent. There are precious few methods of causing myself real harm but there is one that I find helps ease the pain of my morbid past by replacing it with pain rooted in the immediate present.

Sunlight.

I spend my days alone just as I do my nights, although for some reason I sense the depression is greater when the sun is awake. I can’t stand to fully be immersed in the piercing rays but I usually sit beside an open window, my hand outstretched to catch the blistering warmth of light. I imagine that when my skin boils it must be the same mental stimulation a human feels from self-inflicting harm with a blade. I always pull my hand back into the safety of darkness before long, as I’m not anxious to lose my hand completely. Just as soon as I yank my appendage back the pain begins to subside and heal, yet just before then I’ve managed to accomplish my goal. Maybe I’m trying to keep my mind rooted in the present or maybe I want a small taste of the final death. I honestly couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason. I doubt anyone could.

I stare at my pale skin as the boils quickly dissipate and the flesh fills in the tiny smoking holes. I often find myself wishing I could plug up certain pieces of my life the same way. There’s never any blood lost, as my body hasn’t produced its own in decades. What I steal from others is used up immediately and not left within my gangly form to lose. Bits of rotting muscle and tissue turn to ash as soon as the sunlight touches me but even then I’m careful not to let things get out of control.

Control isn’t something I’ve been accustomed to having my entire life. Even when I was a little girl I very rarely had opportunities to call my own.

My step-father was never around but I don’t blame him. My mother was a horrid woman full of wrath and it was not exactly like the money was easy to come by. He worked in the paper mills while I cleaned up scraps for a baker on Milan Street. Oh, how I loved to steal a bit of left over dough when I could.

My mother stayed at home, I imagined lying in wait for me to walk through the door. I had just turned seventeen when she gave me the most unforgiving lesson of my life.

God, in all his glory, hated me.

I don’t pretend to make excuses for myself by way of my childhood, but all of the negative experiences didn’t help my self-esteem. Too many times did I sit silently while my mother berated my psyche with her nonsense. It was all I could do not to cry.

“Those ridiculous Calvinists will never understand what it means to be a proper follower,” she told me. “As if their prayers are any different than mine. Cynthia! That blasphemous baker you work for is one of them, isn’t he? Shut up when I’m talking to you, girl! I’ve never known a child who hated her mother so. I bet you would sooner see me in my grave before showing some respect.”

I told her she was wrong, that I loved her. It didn’t matter how many times I tried to get that sentiment through to her since she always responded with the same accusations.

“Love is something you can’t fathom. You’re just a silly little girl with no respect or understanding of the world we live in. God has cursed me with you.”

Needless to say I refused to point out how she had once been married to a Calvinist, my father. She was now married to a godless cretin, my step-father.

Every night when I returned from the bakery she would rant on and on about something I was doing wrong. If it wasn’t my chosen employer it was my clothing. If it wasn’t my clothing it was the length of my hair. If it wasn’t one thing it was the other. Every night my mother would verbally tear into me and then my step-father would do the same physically.

Pain, both emotional and corporeal, eventually takes its toll on a person.

The night I ran away turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. The final straw that was the catalyst for my leaving was an especially brutal one. My step-father, fresh off an eleven-hour shift at the mill, came home drunk and livid.

The memory of what followed still brings a shiver to my spine.

I tasted my own blood for the first time that night as it dribbled down my cheek from where he had repeatedly struck me. I spat the red liquid out upon realizing what it was, horrified. I stared at the footprints left in the dirt, his footprints. It was then that I realized if I didn’t leave that it would only happen again.

So, I left. I packed a satchel with a few changes of clothes, a bit of bread, and the money I had kept hidden from my mother. Out the door I went, finally experiencing a shred of control in my life for the first time.

The cold night was unforgiving. I ran several blocks without stopping, finally realizing that I had nowhere to go. In fact, the only other place in the world I really knew was the bakery. I turned the corner, ready to quickly move down the stone street so I could gain entrance to my place of employment and work out my troubles in the morning. I had not realized how much easier it was to navigate the city when daylight was abundant. Each block looked exactly like the last, a myriad collection of cobblestone and gas lamps.

One corner, another, three times rapidly…I was lost. The streets were completely devoid of life at this time of night, save one: a staunch man whose eyes seemed to glisten in the moonlight.

“Kind sir,” I implored him. “Might you point the way to Milan Street? I seem to have gotten a bit turned around.”

“My dear,” he responded with a voice as sincere as the night is black. “I would not be able to refer to myself as a gentleman if I allowed a precious lady like yourself to wonder alone is this part of the city. Come.”

He lifted his elbow out for me to grasp, a hint of fortitude in his movements. “It’s not far. I walk there often to this magnificent baker for a loaf.”

I smiled, taking pleasure in the ironic secret. He led me back down the street I had wandered on to and around another corner, his tanned boots striking the cobblestone noisily. I remember thinking to myself that he must have been standing still for quite some time since I hadn’t heard his loud boots before seeing him.

“May I ask what you would you be doing out this late?” he inquired of me.

“My business is my own,” I answered. “But what of you, sir?”

He remained silent, a sneer smoothly forming above his chin.

“Sir?” I repeated.

He led me around another corner, this time away from the streets and into a dark alley. I hesitated upon seeing the darkness but he clasped his arm on top of mine, holding me to him.

“Let me go!” I urged. He paid me no mind.

I did not have much in comparison but his strength was unimaginable. He practically dragged me into the alley, its cold and rigid mouth eager to swallow us up. I wanted to scream but found the cries had somehow lodged themselves in my throat, unable to be of any help. I was at this man’s mercy. A solemn prayer whirled through my head, aimed directly at the heavens.

It was ignored.

The gentleman yanked hard on my arm and threw me up against the red brick wall. I struggled against his powerful arms as he held my own in place, the memories of my step-father still recently burned into my being. I began to beg to him, pleading to be let go and that I meant him no foul.

“Of course you’re scared, my child,” he said. His eyes were glazed over like an animal. “We all are. I can smell the fear; I can taste your perspiration. Tell me: what is it you feel damned over? You’ve been tainted by a man, and recently.”

“How…?”

He shook his head, smiling. “Look into my eyes, child, and you’ll see your answer.”

I couldn’t escape his pupils, even though I attempted to turn my head away. His gaze pulled me in, captivating my attention. It was like a sea of tranquility splashing around an obelisk of pale durability. I felt his presence all around me and I’m slightly ashamed to say that I was not repulsed. I actually enjoyed the warm feeling that he gave me as his eyes pierced to my very soul.

Then, as quickly as he touched that soul, he clenched it and ripped it away from me.

His teeth dug into my neck, two of them sinking further than the others. I felt a hot trickle of blood seep onto my shoulder as he drank my life away. Instead of lashing out wildly in hopes of freeing myself I simply slid closer to him, allowing him to take me.

He drank every last drop of my lifeblood, leaving me cold and hollow on the alley floor. I managed to blink once, twice, three times rapidly…and then there was nothing. Death cast her shadow over me as my vision went blurry. The last image I saw was my unearthly killer standing over my corpse and brushing his expensive coat off, even though there was no dirt on the sleeves.

I’ve thought of that moment every day since, trying to reason if I craved an innocent death or if I had lost the will to live entirely.

The rest, to be cliché, is history.

All I have to keep me rooted in the present and away from that disgusting fragment of the past is whatever cowardly strength I can muster to plunge my fist into the sun’s rays, only to pull it back out again before the pain becomes too much. Perhaps someday I’ll test myself and cast my pale body out the window completely.

Perhaps.

I often ask myself if God’s intentions are meant to be known by mortals. Who are we to judge Him? I think the answer is that we are nothing and life is a way of reminding us of that. It’s ironic that in order to realize the futility of life we must comprehend its inception. Why, then, do I cling to it? I’ve come to believe that my own remorse is only a further part of this comical experiment called Creation.

God, in all his glory, hates me.

But that does not mean that I would accept that lowly fact. No, I have tried, despite myself, to gain His favor. Odd, that one of the Devil’s abominations walking the globe would be a Christian.

I pray. Daily. The words burn my lips, but like the sunlight, I enjoy it. It makes me feel alive in a way that I cannot explain. This living death that I experience constantly can be backed away by the infliction of pain, but of course not enough to do irreparable harm.

I take my Christian duties seriously, although for a time I relished in the revenge I sought against the man who wronged me the most. I do not refer to the midnight gentleman, but rather the other man whom I detest thinking of. As far as I know his body has not been discovered, and by now never will be since it has long since rotted away to dust.

Yet, despite that cherished animus, I still feel as though I have been forsaken. I pray, yet no answer has come. Am I insane to continue this praise to He who has forgotten me? Or is it a matter of being so indoctrinated that I know not the difference?

I live on while those around me slip away, possibly joining Him in the afterlife, something I will never know since I have sampled the Devil’s kiss. Perhaps that is why I punish myself with the sunlight…as a means of penance.

Or perhaps I just wish to focus my mind in such a way to think that I do exist even though my maker, the first one, ignores me continuously.

Even though I am to be considered an abomination, I will always savor the taste of blood.

END

AUTHOR BIO: D. C. Golightly is a freelance writer and audio producer living in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and kids. He loves comics, cookies, and fiction. Keep up to date with him at his blog: http://dave-golightly.blogspot.com/

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Sin City by William Campbell

Mar 17 2013 Published by under The WiFiles

God is hosting the monthly deity poker night. Everyone could make it for once, which is a rarity. In December God never shows up. He has to prepare for Jesus’ birthday bash, so it’s understandable. Satan missed a couple times this year because it’s such a long trip from the deep south, but we don’t miss him much. He’s kind of a snake the way he plays. He tempts everyone into betting against him and wins. You would think we would’ve learned by now. Vishnu made it to every game this year, which was nice to see, but I’m not sure he enjoys playing. He tends to lose the most, playing four hands at once. I keep telling him to learn how to count cards, but he doesn’t believe in cheating. If I was losing as much as that guy was, I would certainly make an exception. The last of the typical poker crew, is Allah. He brings Muhammad with him from time to time. I’d say we go to their house half of the time we play. Who could honestly pass up playing poker at a place with 72 virgins? Just because they are all gods doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the scenery. As for me, I am Tim, the dealer. The gods caught wind that a young, Vegas poker dealer had just gotten struck by lightning and died. I think I got the job because God felt badly for dropping the bolt on me, but who am I to question him? The perks of being the deity dealer have been terrific. I have my own house next to the gods on Sky Street, and get all the invites to heavenly parties and barbeques. All is good.
This night though, God was up big. He was getting lucky cards all night, although I would never credit God’s success to ‘luck’, at least in his presence. It wasn’t until about an hour and a half into playing Texas Hold ‘em that I knew something bad was going to happen. God started getting cocky and was betting a little too much; meanwhile, all the other gods were trying to cover their losses.
“I’ll see your 72 virgins and I’ll raise you, all the Catholics.” God said with a stern poker face.
“Ah, what the hell, I’ll call with hell.” Satan said
I had to step in at this point; I mean if one God had rule over the heavens and the earth, I can’t imagine what kind of turmoil that would create.
“Guys, guys,” I said raising the palms of my hands; “Don’t you think this is getting a little out of hand?”
Satan shouted, “You know what’s a little out of hand, the fact that you have a God Damn house in heaven and I don’t.”
“He’s right.” God said, looking at Satan. God always took my side, “You’re our dealer, not our mother you jackass. I ought to turn you into a pillar of salt for questioning us.” I stared at him, wide eyed, mouth agape. God glanced at everyone at the table and said, “Are you ladies in or out?”
“I’m in,” Vishnu called out.
“What could you bet that is even remotely close in value to what we have, you spider?” Allah teased.
Vishnu proceeded to dislodge one of his arms and set it on the table, “You happy?”
Buddha’s face grew pale; he looked at Vishnu and said “Chaos is inherent in all compounded things… I fold.”
“Oh can-it Buddha. Why don’t you leave the wise sayings to me, alright?” God said. “O.K., now will you please deal Tim?”
With every card I flipped, my heart pounded, harder and harder. I was trembling violently, to the point I was afraid the cards would shake the cards out of my hand. Finally I got to the last card, but for some reason instead of dealing it face down, I dealt Satan’s card face up. It was a King of Diamonds. This is typically a small blunder and worth some ungodly hazing and teasing. However, these were high stakes; I knew I was in some deep trouble.
“Um, what are you doing?” God said peacefully. “You know those are supposed to be face down right?”
“I…I… I’m sorry God, I didn’t mean to.” I stuttered, bracing for the impending ass kicking to high heaven.
“It’s O.K. my son, it’s an honest mistake. New game.” God said, tossing his cards to the middle of the table. Allah and Vishnu, visibly relieved, did the same.
I slumped in my dealer’s chair embarrassed, with my face in my hands. I could feel Satan’s red, fiery eyes burning in the back of my head. The room grew silent and the air filled with a smell of fire and brimstone. He flipped his cards over onto the table and slid them under my slouched head so I could take a good, hard look at them. Satan would have won.
“Take it easy Satan, the kid made a mistake. Would it make you feel better if I punished him?” Allah said.
Satan sat back in his chair with his arms crossed, “No, it will not make me feel better. Heaven forbid we hurt Tim’s feelings.”
Buddha, patted Satan’s back in comfort and said, “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the only one that gets burned.”
Now I was terrified, but mad that Buddha would throw me under the bus like that. It didn’t make sense to me. I thought he believed in peace. The worst part about it was everyone nodded in agreement, even God said, “You make a very good point; I may have to borrow that line from you.”
“Fine, let’s make a little wager.” Satan hissed. “I want Tim’s his house on Sky Street, and free passes to go on earth whenever I please, no questions asked.”
“I think we can accommodate that request.” God responded. “What game shall we play?”
“It’s not we, my bearded buddy,” Satan said looking at God. “This is between Tim and me.”
There was a chorus from the gods of, “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” “Hold on now,” and “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.”
It was nice to see they had so much confidence in me. But in all fairness, I had no intention of competing against Satan. I wasn’t so concerned about Satan having a free pass on earth. To be honest, I just didn’t want to lose my house next to the gods on Sky Street.
Allah, jumped into the conversation, “Wait, let’s see what he has to offer. C’mon, hear him out.”
“I guess you can call this predestination… am I right?” I said jokingly, in attempt to diffuse the situation.
In unison, the table shouted, “Shut up Tim.” I slouched back into place in my chair.
“If Tim wins, I will stop bringing evil unto earth, but more importantly, unto poker nights.” Satan said.
Just as I suspected, everyone agreed, except for God. He sat in silence staring at me, while everyone discussed the game to play.
I folded my hands, bowed my head and prayed, “God, please bail me out of this. I don’t know what to do. If you could give me some kind of sign…”
“I’ll deal.” God said proudly, with a shit-eating grin on his face. “Tim, I created you, I guided you through your life, but to be honest you are the worst human ever.” He continued, “Your lawn is completely overgrown and it looks atrocious, you painted your shutters a fecal brown which is an embarrassment to the rest of the neighborhood, and please tell me you didn’t pay much for the Buddha statue in your front yard.”
“Oh, gee thanks, I thought it was a nice housewarming gift.” Buddha interrupted.
“And you think it is O.K. to blast your Michael Bublé, music till 3 A.M,” God said.
“I’m sorry, I had no idea.” I said.
“And another thing,” God said, as he stood up towering over me, now shouting. “Your dog craps in my yard every morning, and guess who has to pick it up? To be honest, I’m pretty sure I’m willing to give Satan the world to have you out of my neighborhood.”
It was now clear: I had no choice but to play. I turned my green eyeshade visor backwards, and then rolled up my white dress sleeves. “Shuffle up and deal,” I said, sneering at Satan.
Allah took the deck of cards explaining, “Gentleman and Satan, the game is 5 card war. I will deal you both five cards, and we will flip them individually. Whoever wins the best of five series, wins the bet.”
“I’ll bet a steak dinner Satan wins.” Buddha said, salivating.
“You’re on,” Vishnu said. Backtracking, Vishnu said, “Oh, you said, steak didn’t you? I can’t make that bet, not allowed to eat beef.” He winked at Buddha and mouthed over to him, “We’re still on.”
God dealt; sliding the cards perfectly under our hands, with only a flick of the wrist. I flipped over my first card. King of spades. I exhaled, the pressure off, I was going to win this hand. Satan flipped his card; an Ace of hearts. You cannot be serious, I thought. I flipped my second card; Queen of diamonds. Satan flipped his card; it was another Ace, the Ace of clubs. I was now down by two, and I had to win every hand to save my house and the earth, no pressure, I thought. I flipped my last card; it was a King of clubs. Satan reached down and grabbed the card, with his giant, claw like hands. A bead of sweat trickled down the middle of my forehead. Everyone’s eyes were glued to the card. Satan picked up the card and held it in front of his face. He smiled at me with his wolf like fangs and then he hammered the card down flat on the table. Ace of spades.
I looked around the table, astonished. Satan danced and pranced like a child on a sugar high, “I can’t believe it, I won, nothing this good ever happens to me,” he drew his index fingers from his fists which he pumped in the air, and directed them at God, “Stick that in your book God.”
“Moses split the Red Sea to save the Jews; Jonah was eaten by a whale and survived, and Satan won the most important poker game of all time. Very heroic, it would fit well,” I said. Honestly, I knew I was a goner at this point, so what difference did it make? If I was going down, I was certainly taking some of Satan’s satisfaction with me.
“You know what’s funny,” God said, poking his head around Satan to see me, “You lost.”
The ground began to rumble, and the marble floors began to crack. Out of the ground rose a familiar bolt of lightning. It ascended in to God’s open palm. He grabbed the bolt, and pulled it back like a lever, smiled and said, “Have peace on earth and mercy mild.”
I looked down, as the floor began opening up around me. I grabbed the table with all my strength, “No don’t make me go. I’ll be good please, oh, please God let me stay.”
“Let go of the table you dunce, we still need that,” Satan said.
“Don’t worry Satan, my kid’s a carpenter,” God responded.
I looked around, waiting for someone to stop this madness. Vishnu smiled, and waved all six hands goodbye. Allah, gave me a thumbs-up, a wink, then a salute. Buddha was my last hope. “Come on Bud, can you help me out?” I said.
Buddha began sweating more than usual. He was breathing heavily and a look of concern masked his face. Buddha then stood up, looked at me, and sprinted out of the room at a walkers pace. “Just great,” I said under my breath.
The clock had struck twelve on my time in heaven. The floor was opening more every second.
I looked down at the long drop I had waiting for me, made the sign of a cross and let go of the table. As I fell Buddha poked his head through the crack shouting, “No, wait, you forgot something.”
He lifted his arms above his head and heaved the Buddha yard statue through the crack.
The next thing I knew I hit the rock-hard ground. It was at that moment, or the moment after the Buddha statue landed square on my nose, that I had clarity. I knew what I had to do with my life back on earth.
“That is why I am here today, to share with you my fight against gambling addiction, so you don’t have to face the same pain-staking rejection,” I said to the group, pointing to my Buddha statue next to me. “So before you burn your house down to get the insurance money, or decide to rob a liquor store to cover your gambling debts, just think, ‘what would my friend from Deity Straits think if he saw me do this?’”
There was a silent pause, followed by a roar of laughter. I continued, “Remember our motto here at Deity Straits,” I set my hand on the Buddha statue, “Chaos is inherent in all compounded things, just fold.”

BIO:
-Current student and lacrosse player at The University of North Carolina
-Former student of Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish
-No prior work published

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Planet 239 by Jeremiah Sater

Mar 10 2013 Published by under The WiFiles

Planet 239, in Sector 12, was the target of a unique comet. It traveled faster than any other object that had been studied by the National Galaxy Alert Program or NGAP. The NGAP, though identified as the alert program, specialized in defensive measures also. Each sector held a minimum of one defensive space station in each of the 140 galaxy sectors, within the Galactic Counsel’s planetary systems.

The NGAP had to wait until the comet was at the precise intercept with a gravity belt, to direct broken pieces away from Planet 239. Throughout their historical records they calculated they had a ninety-nine percent chance of succeeding in destroying the space rock without allowing any debris through the gravity belt. It only redirected smaller comets or other space rocks, larger ones that had a higher mass would be able to penetrate it retaining a majority of its size, remaining on its original trajectory.

An old, rugged looking chair was placed in the center of an old command center. A young man sat in the chair, signifying his superiority over the others in the command center. He was the Commander of the NGAP defensive station assigned to eliminate the comet. It was the lone station in Sector 12 with the weaponry to destroy a comet. “Get the weapons online, the comet will come into range any moment now.” A smile emerged from the man’s scarred face that showed the countless battles he had been in. His duties seemed routine, but destroying a comet always changed that. Rarely would they appear on such a perfect course that could pass through the gravity belt.

The station was one of the oldest; the age of the station was shown through the material used in the command center. The mixing of old and new materials could be seen. An older man was in front of an older control panel, which he began to enter commands into. He was in charge of the ships main functions; he was the commanding science officer, second in command behind the Commander. “The weapons are charging. They should be ready within a minute, giving us enough time to lock on to the comet and destroy it.”

The Commander enjoyed destroying things; it had been a long time since he had order the destruction of something; living or not living. The fact that it was not a routine order added to the enjoyment of giving it. “Good, open the Valastic wine, we are going to be celebrating here soon.”

“The weapons are charged and ready Commander Jenkins,” the older man informed his superior.

“Excellent, now target that piece of space rock!” He couldn’t help but sound happy about giving the order.

The science officer entered several commands into the computers before a holographic screen appeared. The comet appeared on the screen as a red dot. The officer began to target it using a red targeting layout using multiple squares varying in size. In the upper right hand corner of the screen was a forty-five second countdown before the comet could not be destroyed safely. Red circles began to form around the rock trying to create a weapons lock to ensure maximum damage.

“There is something peculiar about this comet; I cannot get an accurate lock on it.” Science officers were rarely challenged by the universe, let alone a single comet.

Commander Jenkins rose from his seated position and approached the science officer. “What do you mean you can’t get a lock?” The contraction was a rare occurrence from the commander, especially a man in his position.

The science officer knew he had misheard him, so he did not hesitate to correct him. “I can get a lock, but not an accurate one. We have less than fifteen seconds to decide.”

The Commander had to decide quickly, but did not like to make rushed decisions. “Take it out!” He always seemed to question quick decisions. He hoped he would not do the same here afterwards.

The science officer didn’t hesitate and entered the firing command quickly. The power in the station flickered on and off momentarily before two red beams were fired from over top of the command center.

The read beams traveled quickly through the cold, starless space. Suddenly to the complete shock of the science officer, the red beams dissipated. The remaining energy from the beams floated back toward the station. “What… what happened?”

Commander Jenkins had never seen a science officer act like the one was now. “You’re the science officer you should know!”

The science officer did not have enough time to respond before something impacted the station. The computer panels exploded launching the officer backwards. He hit the Commander knocking him to the ground. The first explosion triggered a chain reaction, causing every other computer panel to explode.

Commander Jenkins covered his head as his command center began to explode around him. His science officer was lying dead next to him; his body unrecognizable because of massive burns. He got up quickly knowing there were three other men in the command center, but they were all dead. His vision was blurred, when he stood up quickly being concerned for the men. He began to become dizzy when he stumbled forward toward the lone door leading out of the command center.

He tripped on a piece of debris, but was able to catch himself on the wall. Smaller explosions continued to detonate around the command center causing Jenkins’ ears to ring with pain. Once he reached the door, it took him several tries to activate the control panel opening it. Once it was open, he got in just before another control panel exploded near the door. It was the door to an elevator; a shockwave from an explosion pushed him further inside before the door could close again. The door led to an elevator, which he was unsuspectingly forced into by another explosion.

He used a railing in the elevator to pull himself to his feet. The elevator shook violently as it started to move downwards. Once he was on his feet, the shaking forced him back down. Knowing he would need strength, he remained down until it stopped.

The elevator finally stopped, the doors opening slowly, stopping once they were hidden within the walls. He quickly exited the elevator to find dozen of people lying dead on the ground. He was in a corridor that had been the subject to a massive explosion. Whatever had impacted the station did more damage than he had originally thought.

He moved through the corridor knowing the station was not advanced enough to maintain itself after such damage. Breathing heavily he treated the corridors as a new land to ensure his instincts overpowered the commonly known area. He looked to the right at the intersection of another corridor and saw several men running. “Crewmen stop!” The men heard their commander’s voice and started to gesture that he come to them. Just when he began toward them the wall behind the men exploded. He reached his hand toward the men, but it was useless as the men were enveloped by flames. The Commander’s eyes widened when the entire corridor’s wall began exploding.

He began to run the opposite direction. He could feel the heat of the exploding walls on his back. There was an open door ahead him; above it was a flashing red light. It was an escape pod, one that was about to launch. It must have been activated by someone else who failed to reach it. He reached the door just in time before it began to close. He pressed a button inside closing it faster, once he was inside.

He repositioned himself so he was sitting in a chair facing forward. There were three control panels, each containing functions controlling one or more parts of the pod. The first command he entered was activating the pod’s defensive shielding. He anticipated the corridor explosion impacting the pod. Within seconds the escape pod was shot away from the station. The mysterious comet was directly in front of him. He pressed a blue button that was near the center of the pod; two control sticks appeared. He gripped them tightly, steering the pod away from the comet.

There were three windows, one in the front and two on the either side of him in the pod. When the pod moved into a parallel position with the comet, the Commander noticed an expanding blue pulse originating from the comet. “That is no freaking comet.” The pulse was not easy to focus on, it began to strain his eyes it became blurry. His eyes widened when he realized it was coming directly for the pod.

It impacted the backend of the pod sending an energy shockwave through its systems. The pulse pierced the shielding of the pod as it was not there. Sparks flashed when the Commander tried to touch a control panel. He could hear the humming of the pod’s engines silencing. “I have to reach planet 239, this pod won’t make it any further, if to there at all.” Fear filled his voice with the thoughts of his own death.

The comet had seemed to stop when the blue pulse fired, but now was moving toward the planet again. Jenkins shook his head in disbelief. “What is that thing?” He spoke to himself as answering the question from someone else. “It is certainly not a comet. It acts more like a ship.” He feared what would happen to the people on the planet if the comet reached there before he did.

Jenkins began to transfer as much power as he could to the auxiliary landing engines. He knew they would do very little for flying, but it was better than no engines at all. He needed to increase his speed to penetrate the gravity belt without being torn to pieces. The transfer increased the engine power, border lining it with the needed power to break through the gravity belt. He breathed deeply watching the energy levels of the pod flux.

The comet had already entered the gravity belt when Jenkins was preparing the bow of the pod for the impact. He entered commands into the far left control panel, transferring the energy shield to the bow. “It is not much, but it should get me through in one piece. Then I can contact the planet’s government and deal with this comet thing.” The shielding had been useless against the pulse, but he hoped it would prove useful when gravity distortions impacted the pod.

The Commander put his hands to the side bracing himself for the entry into the gravity belt. It was just a few moments later when the pod impacted the beginning of the gravity belt. He could see the blackish orb-like objects swirling around as if they were not there. Jenkins knew it was there when it knocked the pod away from it. It was an anomaly that had confused scientists across the universe ever since it was discovered. It felt like the pod was going to be ripped apart by the gravity belt as it moved into it. Jenkins began to take manual control trying to move the pod through the anomaly faster. The gravity distortions were greatest when first entering and exiting.

The gravity within the belt fluxed beyond the ability to predict, but was focused around the orb-like areas. It did not flux in a single area; it fluxed in multiple different areas making it difficult to navigate through without having to go through a distortion of gravity. The orbs were in continual movement increasing the gravity distortions around the belt. If a ship within was not protected, it would be crushed, or trapped within the belt. The Commander could hear the metal around him crackling. He flinched when he heard metal snap. He turned around and could not find any visible damage. He spun the chair back around and pushed the manual control forward. The engine’s humming sound began to strain when more metal snapping sounds were heard.

He started breathing heavily, uncertain what his fate was going to be. Flashes of reports he had seen went across his memory. Reports of incidents within the gravity belt. He strained his hands holding onto the manual controls.

Jenkins activated a map the area around him. His pod was marked by a blue dot and the comet was still on the map, marked by a red dot. The gravity belt was not recognized by any maps, but was only visible to the naked eye. The Commander was jolted forward when the pod came spiraling out of the gravity belt just after another orb impacted the pod. He gripped tightly on to the manual controls trying to stabilize the pod.

The escape pod continued to spiral out of control toward the planet. The gravity belt varied in width and its placement in space. It had moved forward, slinging the pod out. It was moving faster coming out than it was going in. Jenkins had lost complete control of it and could only hope he survived. He crossed his arms and closed his eyes hoping he would live to see another day. Before he closed his eyes he saw the comet had already entered the planet’s atmosphere. The increased speed had the pod heading into the planet’s atmosphere sooner than it would have normally.

He opened his eyes realizing he could try to communicate with the planet. He forced himself upright trying to activate the communication systems, but the pressure of the spiraling pod forced him back into the chair. The pod began to heat up as it passed through the atmosphere. Sweat began to cover his face; Jenkins knew the protective shielding of the pod was failing. It was not created for entrance into an atmosphere on such lower power.

Jenkins’ vision began to blur as the area around him continued to heat up. He tried blinking his eyes to clear his vision, but it only seemed to make it worse. Blackness was enveloping his vision, until everything went black. He laid weakly in the chair unconscious.

*

A smoke-like gas filled the pod when Jenkins opened his eyes. It stung his eyes causing him to close them again. His entire body ached, which overwhelmed the stinging of the eyes when he opened them again. He moved his arms around trying to disperse the gas. The efforts were useless. He reached around the pod until he found a lever. He felt around it before grabbing onto it. Once it was within his grasp, he pulled up on it. The front of the pod suddenly broke off and was launched into the air by small energy discharges.

The gas immediately left the pod and started to mix with the planet’s air. Light replaced the gas in the pod, continuing to sting his eyes. It took only a few moments for his eyes to adapt to the light. He leaned forward in the chair and stared out of the pod. It was bluish green sky over top. There was not a single cloud in the sky. It seemed unusual, but he ignored the cloudless sky and climbed out of the pod.

Dropping to the ground he started to crawl away from the pod, realizing he couldn’t move his legs. He shook his head in shock. “No, no, my legs.” Grabbing his left leg, it had no feeling in it. He smashed his hand against the ground in frustration. Blindly throwing down onto the ground, a sharp pain shot through it from a rock. While shaking his hand, he realized he was on top of a hill. He used his arms to crawl forward. He reached the top of the hill and looked out across what almost immediately dropped down into flat lands.

Across what seemed to be endless miles, was a large factory-like city. He could see large metal towers, with smoke rising from them. He had been on the planet multiple times before and it was never like this. It had never had major factories. They were an advanced planet, but had never been ones to build factories. They had strong connections with the NGAP and were supplied with all they needed.

His eyes widened when he could now see the comet emerging from the smoke above the factories. “Now that certainly is not a comet. These people must have some sort of secret weapons factory, one that they have hidden from us for a long time.” Suddenly pain shot through his leg, but instead of grimacing, he smiled. He knew the pain was telling him that his leg was not paralyzed and would hopefully heal fully.

There was no way of communicating to any NGAP ships or stations without reaching a settlement on Planet 239. A high pitch screech echoed his ears. He dropped completely to the ground holding his hands to his ears. He tried to look around for the source of the noise, but it was too painful to try to move.

He could feel the massive force of a ship hovering above him. He managed to open one eye to see a similar thing to the comet. Thousands of tentacles were released from its underside, gripping tightly onto Jenkins. Once he was in its grasp, the screeching sound stopped. His eyes widened with horror as he was devoured. His skin felt like it was being burned off his skin as he was lifted ever higher.

Bio-

My name is Jeremiah Sater; I am 17 years old and a freshman in the college; second semester. I live with my family; I have two brothers, in which I am the middle child. I have been writing for nearly half of my life, starting when I was nine years old. I started by writing short fictional stories about myself. I branched into longer pieces, varying from fiction to fantasy. Leading up to a 450+ page novel I have written and currently editing hoping to get published in the future. While I have been editing it, I have written short stories on the side. All being in the fiction genre, only recently have I branched into science fiction. I have not been published yet, I am still awaiting that first publication. I am going for my English degree at college to hopefully pursue a career in writing while trying to make it as an author. (Congratulations on your first publication then! Jay)

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Memory, Hunger by Valerie Z Lewis

Mar 03 2013 Published by under The WiFiles

The worst part is memory. It hits her at the strangest times. She’ll be walking downtown, following the crowd, when she’ll catch a glimpse of a bit of garbage on the sidewalk. A candy wrapper. Memory. She knows she used to eat things like that, but she can’t remember what it tastes like. She doesn’t want it anymore, even though she’s hungry all the time.

She thinks about food constantly. With every step there’s an echo: food. She can smell food hours before she reaches it, though by then it’s usually too late.

As she stands on the sidewalk, deep inside the pack, she smells it, not far, but too far to get there in time. She smells the whole of it, dirty and moist, then moments later, pieces are already missing. She barely has time to mourn before the smell wafts over her again, and it’s so much less than it was a moment ago. She needs it so badly, but it’s gone so fast. She would cry, but her eyes have been desert dry for two days. She blinks and her eyelids stick closed. When she manages to get them open again, her vision is clouded with dark red flakes, and the pack is moving on. She bites off the tip of her index finger and chews it as she walks.

She tries to move quickly, but her limbs don’t cooperate. And if she pushes too hard, the bottoms of her feet come apart. She had shoes yesterday, but she lost them, and then she lost the soles of her feet. She’d stopped to look at them, sticky, matted with blood, like raw roast beef. She’d touched one of the dangling veins, squeezed it, and a dark, sticky red came out the consistency of peanut butter. She put her foot down and kept walking.

A groan passes through the pack of them, and she can smell the food long before she sees it. It’s a feast, food on top of even more food. The scent changes, sharper, juicier. They turn a corner and a building comes into sight. The food trembles. It’s scared.

A loud noise rings out, a deafening boom, but none in the pack even pause. She sees one of her people fall, but the others walk right over him. She won’t stop either. Nothing matters but the food. She looks up. On the third floor of the building a man levels a gun at the pack. Another bang, another one down, but she’s in the center of the crowd, and besides, they number hundreds, thousands.

She is afraid that by the time she makes it into the building the food will be gone, but the gunshots thin the front of the crowd, so she’s the first in a small group that manages to bring down the reinforced door. The gunshots increase in frequency, and a scream comes from inside: “They got in!”

She follows the others up the narrow stairway and into a large, open room with metal tables and chairs. A man with a handgun takes down three people in front of her, then dashes into the next room. She follows him, slowly. He’s looking through the drawers of the industrial kitchen, but they’ve clearly already been ransacked. He turns to her and points the gun, but she doesn’t stop moving. The hammer comes down with a click. No more bullets.

He rushes her, raises the butt of the gun, and brings it down hard on the top of her head. She feels her skull crack and the bone dent in. She feels bone against brain matter, but it doesn’t hurt. Nothing hurts.

The first bite is always desperate. She goes for the face, because it’s closest, and he screams, so next is the neck. Her teeth dig into either side of his throat, and finally he’s quiet.

She pins his body to the floor and straddles him. She puts her face against his neck wound and kisses it while she drinks. She’s been so hungry, she’s been wandering the city starving, and now finally she can eat, she can gorge, she can take this fit young man into her mouth and drink her fill. It was heaven. She’d cry if she still could.

As she pulls the man’s lungs out and chews them, she runs her hand down his soft arm. Something familiar. She pinches the pink flesh. The skin wrinkles. The worst part is memory. She remembers touch. She knows skin.

“I used to be like this,” she says. But all she hears is a long, liquid moan.

The memories keep coming. Walking up the highway, weaving between abandoned cars, she remembers marigolds. Dig the holes deep enough, then push the dirt back, they smell so sharp, they keep the deer away. She follows others onto a bus, follows the scent of rotting food, pulls a hand off the corpse, and chews it as she continues along the road. She walks slowly, thinking only of food, but these flashes of color invade her mind. They are tiny yellow orange things, and they keep themselves safe.

It’s two days of walking before she can feed again. This time she leaves the pack to follow the faint scent of food, and she finds it in the kitchen of a penthouse apartment. The stairs take hours, but she isn’t tired, only hungry.

The mother is in the bedroom, covered by a blanket stained red and black. Rock hard. Spoiled. The child, no older than five, hides in one of the kitchen cupboards, barely breathing, but she finds him. She could smell him blocks away.

She lifts him onto the center island and pins him with her forearms. He’s crying. There are still dirty dishes in the sink. She leans down to eat, but when she raises her head to pull the spaghetti-entrails free, she catches her reflection in the window.

She’s filthy, but she knows her own eyes, the shape of her jaw. She remembers who she was, not long ago. Could it have been only days ago? Memory. She is more than hunger.

“I had a little girl,” she says. But all she hears is a gravely groan.

By the time she finds the pack again, the bottoms of her feet are bone scraping against the sidewalk. It doesn’t hurt at all. All she wants is to walk and to eat. During the night it rains, but the water doesn’t bother her. She follows the pack. She spots a cluster of stars on the horizon. A man. A hunter. The celestial equator. It must be winter. She isn’t cold. The only thing that hurts is memory. She would cry but one of her eyes fell out that morning.

A march begins, and she’s well outside of the city before she realizes what’s happening. Her people have overrun the city. There’s no food left. The pack must be seeking out more fertile ground. But as she follows the herd she passes a familiar street sign. Memory. This road leads to sparsely-populated suburbs, then farmland. There might be enough food for twenty of them to survive, but they still number in the thousands. She looks over her shoulder. She can see the bridge in the distance. She can’t see the end of the pack. They cover the bridge like rats.

From behind her, she hears a loud crack, a long moan. She turns. At first all she sees is a group of them, ten then twenty, bent at the waist, then falling over, too hungry to care if they get trampled. The body they brought down isn’t visible, just its insides, as the twenty tear their prey into wet pieces. But this wasn’t food; it was one of them.

A man near the center of the mass, on his knees feeding, he’s pushed down next. He opens his mouth and shrieks, but his throat is too dry. Tiny broken bursts of noise and a rush of desperate air. Then his mouth is gone, then his throat.

She takes a step backward and runs into one of her people. She turns her head to either side and sees nothing but them, bodies, hunched over, the slosh of limbs coming apart, the silent screaming.

And she remembers. It wasn’t long ago, just a few days. The flowers orange and yellow, the little girl on the kitchen counter, skin pink, eyes wet. But then a hand on one shoulder, then the other, and then she forgets again.

“I forgot,” she says. But all she hears is screaming.

 

Bio: Valerie Z Lewis is a college writing instructor in New York. valerielewis.net

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