Sinners – A Brief Introduction

Written by Dizzy Dazzle

The nightmare starts like it does every night.

Dad’s hands, white as ice on the steering wheel. His fingers drum impatiently, while the crackle of the radio lapses into stony silence. The misty morning snakes in through the window, spreading like silk over the glass. I can almost feel the sharp breath of winter through my bones. Outside, the wind is playing its own song and the trees dance and writhe to the rhythm in syncopated harmony.

Tap, tap, tap.

The roads are alive. I can feel the tension and confusion in the air, clogging up the road. I can tell dad feels it too.

Tap, tap, tap.

There’s an opening in the roundabout and dad rams his foot hard on the pedal.
“Dad, I have something to tell you…”

The car rockets forward, and he glances over at me for a split second, his eyes wide and dark like two river stones.

“Willow.”

And that’s when the truck hits us.

There’s a real hushing moment that drifts over us whenever we read this story excerpt from Dizzy Dazzle. Though it’s a very brief introduction to her story, it’s such a remarkable beginning that we’re a little taken aback. Her piece just seems to lull us in and then throw us into the fog with no bearing on what may come. If you enjoyed Dizzy Dazzle’s excerpt from Sinners, make sure you check out her other notable work including poems, “Rain” and “The Humanitarian“. 

Featured Image CC // April Mo

 

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Love After Death

Written by Ricardo

“Where the hell is Nina?” Sam screamed at Paula, throwing her off and making her exert herself a little more to pick up the pace. “Where is she? Did she fall? Oh god, tell me she didn’t fall.”

Sam’s heart was already beating at an inhuman rate, but with the fear of losing Nina he thought his heart was going to burst out of his chest. His legs gained an abrupt burst of energy and, in that moment, he felt like he could have leapt onto the far-off green planet they seemed to be running towards.

“No!” Paula shouted back. “Her heart rate is still on the system, there’s not many of us left,” she paused to get her breath back, “most of us fell, but she’s still alive. She’s probably going for the escape pods too. I just hope she can make it with that body.”

“She’ll make it!” Sam shouted, almost offended. The escape pods. That’s where they were heading. He didn’t need the map displayed on the screen on his forearm, he’d walked the length of this ship more times than he could remember. And right then what he hated most about the world was not the emptiness behind them, or even the thought that Nina could be down there, it was that the doors he had installed last year were the newest models by Archon’s Security. He’d tried them out himself before fitting them with his own Tarantula rifle. Nothing was getting through those. Thankfully the walls were still as shitty as ever though.

“Give me your pistol!” Sam shouted at Paula, who had drawn her sidearm and unloaded the cartridge with alarming speed. He took the cartridge and threw it overarm toward the wall they were approaching. He took the rifle from his back at the moment the cartridge left his hand and fired off a single shot. Sam was thankful he was still a little drowsy since, if he’d been on top form and as fast as usual, the blast would have blown him right back into the depths of space. Sam went first into the escape pod chamber, thrusting his shoulder into the honeycombed wall and breaking through, followed by Paula only a fraction later.

They were far enough ahead to take a second to gather themselves. There were two pods left, and besides Sam and Paula there were was only one person there – Khaj, the technician. Sam had an insatiable urge to shoot the useless bastard directly in the left eye. Why was he here rather than Nina? What reason did he have to live over her?

“Sam,” Paula knocked him from his wandering thoughts and grabbed his arm, pulling him into one of the pods. “We’ve got to go! I’m sorry, but we have to go.” Sam knew it. He couldn’t stay even if he wanted to, survival was all his body cared about right now. He’d have gotten into that pod whether he liked it or not. It was only when he saw the glow of Nina’s eyes through a slender gap in the wall that he jumped back out of the pod. Paula grabbed his ankles, forcing him to lurch uneasily and slam hard onto the floor.

“NINA!” he shouted as a small robotic feline leaped into the chamber and toward the pod, the silver metal paw landing in his palm as his fingers closed around it, with Paula pulling him back into the pod. The end of her tail caught in the door and scraped it slightly as it slammed and sealed shut. All forty thrusters fixed to the outside ignited at once, propelling the pod from the shell of Andromeda, Sam’s father’s space station turned space cruiser, and then his, and now it belonged to the infinite grasp of the universe.

In that moment Sam couldn’t have cared less. As he held Nina in his arms, tears slipping off the top of her shiny head, she consoled him with gentle words. All he truly cared about was safe and still real, still in his grasp. And as their shuttle hurled toward the distant green planet that he felt he could jump to, he knew he still had a shot at redemption. He could still make it to humanity’s colonies. He could still get Paula back to her home planet. But most importantly, he could still get Nina back to her old body. He could still make up for what he did. He could kiss her again, even just once more. He could get her back.

It was when he was drifting off to sleep with Nina in his arms that his fingers traced up and down the robotic feline’s right leg. That’s where Nina liked to be tickled – on the inside of her forearm. And it still had the same effect of making him smile like an idiot.

Then Nina whispered in her old voice, “I love you”.

There’s something chilling about Ricardo’s tale of love, death and hope. Maybe it’s because space is cold, or maybe it’s just because it’s an incredibly tense piece of work that gets us worked up in such a cold sweat. We’ve chosen a neat little excerpt from Ricardo’s ‘Love After Death’ as it’s gripping and pauses in just the right moments for great effect. If you enjoyed Ricardo’s work, make sure you check out, ‘The Start of Something Beautiful‘ and ‘Careful Driving‘. 

Featured Image // Sweetie187

Gluttony

Written by Lilith

Could you eat all this? Image courtesy of sunsetstation

Could you eat all this? Image courtesy of sunsetstation

There’s a feast laid out before him, but he barely takes the time to let his eyes or mind register it properly before his hands have reached out and the first bite is in his mouth. It’s an apple, he realises, chewing energetically and swallowing it as fast as he can – eager to make room for the next mouthful.

Three more bites are enough, and he’s sick of it. The apple is delicious – red and shiny with a perfect crunch, sharp and sweet to the bite, but there is so much more on the table that requires his attention. He drops the apple and reaches out for a loaf of bread, tearing it in two and buttering it roughly before throwing it into his ready jaws.

The bread dries his mouth, and suddenly he is thirsty; his throat drying up too soon in the meal. His left hand finds a flagon of wine while his right is reaching for a dish of carrots, and he pours it straight down his throat without hesitation. It glugs as it makes his way into his body.

Already, his bloated face is reddening. He polishes off the carrots with no more than the odd courtesy chew, and reaches for the platters of meat before him. They have been prepared to be eaten immediately, and as he tosses turkey and ham slices into his maw, the first trickle of saliva makes its way around his lower lip, and dribbles onto his chin.

More wine. More bread. More meat. He grabs a chicken leg, stripping the flesh from the bone and baring it completely. The bone, useless to him now nothing edible remains, drops to the floor and is forgotten. As the table clears and the meal is over, one small fact does not escape this man. He may be sated, but he is not happy – he is alone.

Gluttony was written by Lilith several years ago, as an experimental piece to aid her general writing – we love her disgusting descriptions! If you’d like something a little gentler of Lilith’s, please check out her most recent fiction 35.2.

Rain Men

Written by Lilith

They come through the rain…

“They came through the rain”, the saying went, but in truth it was no ordinary rain that heralded their arrival. The clouds would roll in, the heavens would open, and the downpour would not stop for weeks on end. The villagers kept to their homes, packing sandbags around their doorsteps for when the banks of the river inevitably burst, and nobody dared trying to travel in or out of Kettlebridge. The shrine, a circular stone building in the centre of town, became a safe haven for those whose homes were damaged by the ongoing storms, the old priestesses offering soup and blankets to those in need. And then at last, when the people could take no more of the onslaught from the sky, when fires guttered in their hearths and they could no longer remember what warmth felt like… Then the creatures came.

They looked human. An old man, stooped and withered, skeletal fingers wrapped tight around the silver top of his walking stick; a young woman barely any more than a child, crouching in the mud; and a boy with wide grey eyes who smiled at everything. All the villagers knew what they looked like. They’d seen the creatures from afar, peering through gaps in shutters or flimsy curtains, watching as they walked into the centre of town… but nobody who got close to them ever told the tale.

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Commune

Written by Fantasy Girl

family_domestic_abuse

Don’t suffer in silence. For more information on Domestic Abuse please see http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/
Image Courtesy of elaph.com

“I can’t deal with this anymore. You’ve sat by and watched this happen for years and you’ve never done a thing about it! How can you live with yourself?” 
“I tell him not to, I swear! I can’t stop him though!”
“It’s not good enough anymore! I hate it here! I hate you for letting him do it! I hate him for everything he’s done! I hate my life!”

She woke with tears in her eyes, quickly wiping them away. “Ouch,” she mumbled, feeling the tightness in her joints as she walked to the mirror to inspect herself. The bruises that mottled her skin had almost disappeared, but the ache was still there.

Just a few pale yellow patches left.

She shook her head in disgust. She pulled on some leggings, a vest and a light cardigan to cover them up, ran a comb through her hair and quietly left her room.

She could hear her mother and father talking in the kitchen as she stood at the top of the staircase. Continue reading →

Where Angels Fear to Tread

Written by Lilith

One of the six, Michael's wrath is feared by all...

One of the six, Michael’s wrath is feared by all…

Michael’s shadow fell over the land, his outstretched wings blocking the light over acres of blood-soaked soil as he reached out to the souls beneath him and collected them into his wake. There had been a great battle today; some bastard king or other was warring against his younger brother in the east and the conflicts were spreading far and wide. Michael was helping them spread, in his own way, his gift of wrath turning father against son, mother against daughter and bringing the common people to arms to join the fight. The war itself had been begun by Michael’s younger brother, the angel Lucifer, who had domain over pride. It had taken very little interference to push the royal brothers into a full blown civil war when both their egos were on the line.

Somewhere below Michael’s shadow a voice cried out – one living soul struggling amidst a sea of death. He searched the fields until his bright blue eyes came to rest upon the body of a young man, his face smeared with mud, his clothes stained with the blood of his enemies, or his friends. His body shook as he cried, but he seemed to be entirely unharmed. His curiosity piqued, the Angel of Death swept down towards the boy. Continue reading →

Not Today

Written by Lumberjacktom

The most precious commodity in the universe... A baby. Image courtesy of babble.com

The most precious commodity in the universe… A baby. Image courtesy of babble.com

Your skin is so smooth, almost translucent on the delicate curve of your sleeping body. I’m overcome by how fragile you look in that moment; your eyes closed, your shoulder length hair splayed across the pillow. I’m trying to tell if you’re beautiful. I think I’ve forgotten what it means. A squat, square face, big eyes, softened by your smile. A child’s face. Innocent. You have a child’s body as well, I might still mistake you for a boy, if there were any of those.

Doc says you’re ready for a child. He tells me you’re strong for your age, that it don’t matter that your breasts haven’t come through yet, that a baby can live on formula just fine. I keep thinking, maybe if I tell them you’re barren, that your womb’s no good, maybe they’d let me keep you. I wouldn’t have to break your fragile little frame, squirt my seed into your tiny body and let a little life grow inside, ’til it forced its way out, and surely split you on its way. Maybe then, when they didn’t care anymore, I could keep you safe, until you were properly a woman, ’til you knew what it meant to bear a child.

But they wouldn’t let me do that. They’d test you this way and that until they were sure, then they’d go inside and have your ovaries. Or put someone else’s baby in, one made in a lab from the chromosomes of men, a perfect little womb-bearer made to specification by the bio-engineers with their microscopes and pipettes. Just like you.

You wouldn’t let me, either. You want a little life too; it’s what a girl is born for, they say. And why wouldn’t you believe them? It’s what you’ve been told all your life, that is. When you grow up, when you come of age and your body says its ready, we’ll find a man for you, and he’ll give you a little one. Wasn’t it what you were born for? Just like the mother they put you in, deemed fit and seeded with life. So of course its what you want. What you say you want, anyway; I think you’re more scared than you say. I think you know you’re too little, too unspoilt by the world, else you would complain more that we haven’t tried. Seems fitting, you say, that we should get to know each other, since we’re a couple now, some kind of courting period. If it goes on much longer, they’ll find out. They’ll spread your legs on the doctor’s couch, and find out I haven’t yet broken you. Then what? Maybe they’ll seed you with someone else, and leave you with me, so I can stand by you; hold your hand while you push out someone else’s child. Or maybe they’d take you from me, say, “If you won’t use her, someone else will.” Scared to be a man. If that’s how you figure it, I’m as much a man as you are a woman, though I was one and a half times your age when you were born.

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