Kryos: Chapter 13

Previous chapter

White garbed clerks moved in busy cliques beneath the high, vaulted ceiling of the control room of KSRU Central wherein Acelin Syzr loomed over his sparsely furnished alabaster desk, watching the wall-screen with attentive concern from beneath the cover of his sleek, monochrome mask. The flickering mesh of the central screen, which hung before a branching stairwell, displayed, in a locked-down wideshot, a spacious, judiciously decorated news set, in which a large middle-aged man with a scarred face sat facing an aging make-up caked anchor-woman. Tyser Lanning chuckled and swiveled on his padded chair toward his taunt and well-armored superior who stood the center of the floor.

“Broad looks like she fell headfirst into a crayon blender. We can put networks in the sky, cities under the sea, ports in orbit, but convincing cosmetics somehow eludes us.”


Lanning screwed up his face and fell silent, adjusted his long orange overcoat and returned to his affinity tablet array; scuffed fingers busily tapping ergonomic keys; cushioned, close-fitting headset humming; eyes taking in the detailed feeds of various Consortium-approved, Kryos-manufactured aerial drones, judiciously scanning the sprawling cityscape for social perturbation.

“This is Tiffany Bardis for New Vision, here with Central Sector’s Danzig Kleiner, the lone survivor of a vicious, seemingly random attack which occurred two days ago on the streets of the entertainment district, where the leader of the KSRU, a one Acelin Syzr, confronted Mr. Kleiner and two of his friends, Darius Culp and Victor Mehan, both southers and first generation district residents; the event, unfortunately, culminated in the deaths of both Mr. Mehan and Mr. Culp. Mr. Syzr, for reasons which remain unclear, was not detained by the Security Commission, and remains at large, prompting protests from local residents outraged at the cruel injustice of the act and, what they view, as the burgeoning tyranny of Kryos Industries, whose KSRU mercenaries now operate, in some capacity, in every single sector of the city. The KSRU has since released a curt statement, in which they declare that the event was prompted by self-defense and suggests a extensive investigation by the Security Commission. Curiously, the Security Commission has not released a statement. We reached out to both Kryos Industries and the Security Commission; unfortunately, neither have responded to our queries.” The woman turned to the greasy, hastily done-up man sitting roughly five feet from her with a mirthless smile, “Mr. Kleiner, thank you so much for being with us today, I know how stressful this must be for you, given all you’ve been through recently.”

The man rocked slightly and nervously rubbed his knees, as if scrapping mud, “Thanks for having me, Tiffany.”

“How are you holding up?”

Syzr’s hands went tight about the corner of his sparsely furnished alabaster desk.

“Its been rough. But I’m doing alright.”

“Given the dearth of footage from the incident, can you start from the beginning and tell us exactly what happened?”

“Sure. Well, I and my friends were just minding our business, took an alleyway shortcut to a club we liked to hang out at, when… this guy just springs out of nowhere and starts attacking us. Like he had it out for us.”

“The short video clip which was leaked shows your friends assaulting Mr. Syzr; can you explain what happened prior to the beginning of the public recording of the event?”

“Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s deceptive, they were fighting back. See, he came in swinging and they pushed him back – and I was just stunned, stunned, didn’t know what to do – then they tried to tackle him and that’s when the recording begins. At the time, I didn’t know he was paramilitary, thought he was just some guy.”

“I see…”

Syzr loosed the table and straightened, “This cretin can barely string a sentence together. Its doubtful he came up with this narrative on his own.”

“Think someone has been feeding him lines?” Lanning inquired, removing his headset and rubbing his chin contemplatively, popping a printed biscuit from a crafter on his work-desk.

Syzr nodded near imperceptibly, “Someone coached him.”

“… Mr. Danzig, some have floated the idea that he targeted your friends because of their origins. That he had some pathological grievance against southers. What do you think of that?”

“Could be, Tiffany, could be. There’s a lot of crazy people out there…”

Syzr turned to Lanning, “The bastard’s smiling… Has Fawnell agreed to speak to the press?”

Lanning shook his head and leaned back in his chair, “She refuses to talk to anyone, even the Security Commission. Probably afraid of blow back from the mob, now that Mehan and Culp have been turned into martyrs. I’ve not tried to contact her personally, but Vogel did, told me she shut him down immediately. I put out a missive to see if any of our staffers might know her. All replies negative, so far.”

“I’m surprised Vogel’s still willing to share information with us.”

“So was I. I don’t think the Commissioner is aware of his indiscretion.”

“Still no news on the rest of the drone recording?”


Syzr uttered a curse under his breath, the utterance rendered opaque by the mechanical distortion of his full-helm’s respirator. From the far end of the hall, the sound of two pairs of footsteps reverberated. Syzr turned and beheld Jean Raimer, a dark-haired man of middling height and powerful frame, armed and armored in gleaming sy-chitin, his helm tucked under his left arm, his right, curling to a salute which was swiftly returned. Behind him stood a middle aged man with well-combed hair and a high-collared monochrome coat, a Vilar Corp logo upon the right shoulder.

“What is it Corporal?”

“Apologies for the interruption, Colonel. Ryard Vancing is here to see you.”

Vancing stepped forward, his visage uncharacteristically grim and reserved, his eyes fixed upon the colonel.

“Come concerning our request?”


The enormous screen cut suddenly away from Kleiner’s interview to a scene of roiling violence backlit by ravenous flames licking up the berth of a tumble-down tenement. A young reporter faced a Vis Corp coverage drone which hovered some six feet above the woman, the machine’s multi-camera array focusing in on the most active zones of conflict. “-Chancellor Richter just now called for calm after yet another outbreak of violence in Central.” The woman turned to a middle aged souther whose swarthy face was twisted into a permanent snarl. “Sir, excuse me, can you tell us why you’re out here? What are you hoping to accomplish?” The souther paused and drew up to the woman, seemingly annoyed, followed by a group of compatriots. “They’re out here killing us.” “Who, sir?” “KSRU. Security Commission. Whole damned government. We’re out here to show them we won’t take it any more. If they’re gonna keep killing us, we’re gonna start killing them.” “They kill us, we kill them,” the crowd began to chant with increasing fervor. The reporter’s face contorted with apprehension. “She’s from the government, she’s from the government!” Someone off-camera shouted. The next instant someone struck the woman in the back of the head; her body ragdolled, prompting her crew to leap vainly to her defense. The crowd swiftly turned upon the journalists with cries of fury, whereafter fists and blood were thrown in a sudden flux of savagery. Screams of deep animal pain blanketed the scene, drowning out the crackling raze and homemade explosives sounding in the distance. As the grotesque cacophony reached its invariable apogee, the feed cut, transitioning back to the Vis Corp interview set where Tiffany Bardis shook her golden head, mouth twitching like a skewered grub. “Gods below…” for a long moment the woman simply starred uncomprehendingly, as if in a trance, “T-that’s the latest from our on-the-ground coverage of the protests currently sweeping Central Sector…”

Syzr muted the monitor and turned to the entrant.

“What have you decided?”

Ryard expression waxed solemn.

“This madness must not become our normality.”

“‘This,’ or ‘their.'”

“Who’re you referring to?”

Syzr gestured to a close-up of Danzig Kleiner on the monitor, “Whoever proffered him to the media and coached him. Whoever was behind the seizure of the assurance drone which recorded my encounter with Kleiner’s gang. I suspect the same hand moves behind both curtains.”

“Why do you think he was coached?”

“I heard him speak before we fought. He’s affecting a new speech pattern, new mannerisms. And despite his obvious incompetence, he’s yet to stumble in responding to a question.”

“That’s reasonable,” Ryard asserted with sudden animation. “But right now we should worry about forming a counter-narrative. We don’t have the drone recording of what really happened but as I overheard, the woman who you rescued hasn’t spoken up.”

Syzr nodded.

“Fawnell won’t talk to us,” Lanning replied with exasperation, “She might – just maybe – talk to the colonel, if he came in person; however, if the mob spots him on the street, they’ll be blood.”

Ryard returned his attention to the colonel and smiled confidently, “Send me.”

Kryos: Chapter 12

Previous chapter

Dark clouds massed on the horizon as Ryard Vancing strode the eatery district’s vacated streets, soma sotted by the ruination spawned since his last sojourn. The faint, familiar hum of the main CAV-way’s cargo, crisply audible in the absence of the jostling murmuration of variegated tongues, made the scene disquietingly surreal. The wide, pedestrian thoroughfare was trash strewn; the windows of all surrounding shops, cracked and shattered; the walls, marred by vulgar graffiti; the gentle breeze, bearing the scent of char and sick. A few cheap-garbed itinerants milled about the lane, seemingly perplexed by their selfsame presence; aecerites and southers, federates and those whose origins escaped Vancing’s ken. Several minutes on, a young woman ran up on the sidewalk, several yards before Ryard, and removed a small spray can from her coat and began dousing the wall; visage crooking with prideful cruelty.

“Hey,” Ryard called out, increasing his pace and advancing toward the vandal.

The woman’s face kinked with fright, whereafter she dashed down the street, vanishing into a blighted alley between two dilapidated shops. Ryard halted and observed the vandal’s scrawl: Consortium Kills.

“What were you trying to do to her?”

The brisk male voice prompted Ryard to turn with confusion to behold three middle-aged men progressing toward him from behind a slow-moving detachment of cargo drones that crawled insouciantly across the center of the spacious pedestrian lane.

Ryard gestured to the defacement, “She was marking up the wall.”

“You got a problem with that?”

“Don’t you?”

The men stopped five feet from Vancing, eyes wary, jaws tense.

“Maybe I don’t.”


Ryard turned his back to the men and removed a cloth from his pocket and began to scrub the wall. As Ryard cleared off the ‘C’ from the cacograph, the speaker, a pudgy man with a high hairline and a round, crinkled face, took in the Vilar Corp logo on Ryard’s jacket with choler and stepped forward, “Think you’d better leave, company man.”

“Will, soon as I’m done.”

“I said clear off.”

Ryard paused and stared at the man over his coat collar, “This is public property.”

“Yeah. And I’m the public.”

“Wager you’d be singing a different tune if this was your house.”

The man spit at Ryard’s feet. The CAV-Keep methodically observed the effluvia and returned to his work.

“Come on, Emmett,” a short, reedy member of the trio appealed softly, “Its not worth it. Let’s go.”

Emmett grimaced and turned abruptly, muttering “Whatever,” before leaving off, followed closely by his confederates. Ryard watched them tread to the south and continued scouring the wall until every trace of lettering was erased, then folded his cloth, pocketed it and continued along the pedestrian lane as clement rain descended from darkling haze.

When he arrived at the Wyntwurth Automat he sighed and readjusted his collar against the chill downpour. The establishment lay ransacked and boarded, ringed by guard drones of curious, nonstandard extraction.

“Vacate the premises,” the closest of the brassy machines trilled, posturing aggressively toward the entrant. “You have one minute to comply.”

Ryard retreated to the side of the curb, brows knitting with apprehension, ire and dissapointment.

“Appears we’ll have to find a new place to lunch,” a familiar husky voice intoned from behind the wayward CAV-keep. Ryard spun and beheld a old man, elegantly garbed and hairless, save his thin twiggish brows, who sat upon the back of an automated cabriolet at the side of the ill-populated thoroughfare which bordered the cloistered restaurant.

“Salutations, Mr. Salis.”

The old man smiled warmly.

“Hop in, Mr. Vancing. I know a good place.”

Ryard did as he was bid and sat opposite the elderly executive, whereafter the machine’s opaque, oblong canopy secured around them like the mesogleaic bell of a massive sea jelly. After the canopy was secured the craft lumbered forward.

“Isn’t it unwise, Sir? Traveling around by yourself,” Ryard gestured through the diaphanous interior, “Especially in the middle of all of this.”

“I never travel alone.”

Ryard looked over Salis’ shoulder and spied another cabriolet following them. Inside, a lone passenger, barely visible due the distortion of the semi-spherical pane, a dark hat upon his distant head.

“Personal security?”

Salis nodded, “Saif Baumann. Came out of the same class as Acelin Syzr at the academy. Damned shame I even feel I need him. But… well, if the scenery isn’t enough, when I entered the district, I saw a frail, old woman – must have been near seventy years old, maybe a little older – walking across the street. Minding her own business. This young fellow – a souther – came up, pushed her over, hard as he could. Didn’t say a word. Doubt he knew her, given the disparity of their dress. Just pushed her over and ran away, laughing.”

“Was she alright?”

Julian Salis nodded grimly, “Bruised. A little shaken. Had Baumann stop and help her to a med-pod. She’ll be fine. I just can’t fathom why someone would do that.”

“You know those new updates Kryos Industries was debuting for free for recently outdated affin mods?”

“I read about it. But I’ve got the latest model, so I didn’t have to bother with it. I was never very tech savvy.”

“Well, about a week ago, I was in my tenement, trying to make a call on my affin mod. But the release for the patch was set back. Everything was running slow. Kept trying it. Still nothing. All of a sudden, I pulled my module off my wrist, overwhelmed with the desire to throw it across the room.”

The old man nodded and slowly smiled, “But you didn’t,” Salis motioned casually to the outdated module that adorned Ryard’s left wrist, “I’d wager that’s why Kryos had Straker attempt to recruit you.”

“Maybe. I haven’t given them an answer yet.”

“I didn’t figure you had. Which is why I wanted to meet with you,” Ryard straightened, listening attentively, “Whatever you decide, know that you have my full support, as does the KSRU.”

“I appreciate that, Sir. But the substation-“

Salis lifted a hand for silence, “I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to worry about being fired or having your benefits cut, and, more importantly, because the changes we’re seeing,” He nodded out the enclosure to the ravaged exterior of a charging station, “All of this, is bigger than the substation, bigger than the whole line, bigger than Vilar Corp. This vicious revolutionary mood didn’t suddenly just sweep the city, Mr. Vancing, its been building for a long, long time. This is merely its most recent and intense expression. I’ve lived through one revolution. I’ve no desire to see another.”

Ryard pocketed his hands to resist the urge to wring them together in nervous agitation.

“You’re one of the few who understands what its like.”

“What what is like, Sir?”

“To meet those whose only concern is your eradication.”

Ryard looked out the window.

“Forgive me, I know you don’t like talking about it.”

“Its fine,” Ryard observed the bedraggled pedestrians upon the garbage spackled thoroughfare, who glared at the cab with feral and forthright disdain, “I’m not as sensitive as many think.”

“I don’t believe that for a moment. That’s why Baumann or Syzr or I or even Straker couldn’t hope to do what Kryos expects of you.”

“And you? What do you expect of me, Sir?”

“I expect you’ll do what you know to be right.”

Ryard returned his attention to the window where a mother and daughter walked, hand in hand, beneath the high canopy of a hodgepodge market stall, hastily constructed to accomadate a merchant whose store had been razed.

He wondered at the absence of the father.

Next chapter

The Big Top

Gather round for the carnivale,

The clowns are jumping ’round!

A wolf, my son? Keep on looking,

There’s no grays here to be found.

The tiger’s stealth is superior,

And the horse has a far faster stride,

But both swiftly acquiesce,

To our gaudy troupe’s designs.

The bear may have greater ferocity,

And the tusker a more rugged hide,

But the wolf will not game in the big top,

To him, its a matter of pride.

Corbet’s ‘The Childhood of a Leader’ (2015)

“That’s what I wrote with ‘The Tragedy of War’ – not that one man has the courage to be evil, but that so many have not the courage to be good.”

Charles Marker, The Childhood of a Leader

Written by Brady Corbet and Mona Fastvold, ‘The Childhood of a Leader’ (2015) is a peculiar film, as it is a historical drama, wherein the historicity of the period is peripheral; a mystery, wherein the mystery is never made the focus of the characters’ attentions; a horror film without a monster, and a story of a individual’s political ascent, wherein the political aspirations of that individual are never mentioned.

The plot revolves around a young boy named Prescott (the titular leader) who lives with his mother and father in a expansive manor in a unspecified swatch of French countryside in 1919. Such a setting might have been idyllic, if not for the post-war malaise, the father’s perpetual absence, the mother’s weakness (and pretense to stoicism), the boy’s increasingly anti-social behavior and Scott Walker’s jarring 100-piece orchestral score, which sporadically strides over the elegantly shot scenery like the behemoth emanations of Prescott’s inner condition, precursor to the discord, and eventual order, that follows.

Though the film was marketed as a tale concerning “the birth of fascism,” the topic is not central. Rather than fascism, or any of the other prominent 20th Century ideologies, the film takes, as its principal concern, a far broader theme: the abdication of responsibility; the mundane and nuanced slithering of those fearful of obligation’s iron hand.

The eye-glassed academic, in a discourse with Prescott’s father, absolves marxism of responsibility in the wake of communist atrocity. The father eschews his duty to his family in favor of duty to his government. Both the housemaid Mona, and the language tutor Ada evade their obligations to the family through accommodation of Prescott’s bad behavior, which the latter ignores and the former encourages. The mother refuses responsibility for her sordid affair with Charles Marker by hushing the betrayal, just as Marker abdicates responsibility to Prescott’s presumed father by not informing him the boy he raised is not his son, and that his wife, contrary to her facade of prim and beautific religiosity, is a treasonous whore.

Due the cumulative weight of his childhood familiar’s indecent evasions, Prescott, as an adult, in the absence of a firm hand or a righteous tongue, willfully ascends as the bulwark against such a dearth. It is both the revelation of Prescott’s parentage, as well as his political ascension, which is meant to horrify, and yet, only the latter has any potency in that regard, since the character of Prescott’s reign is never fleshed out; all that the ending makes explicit is that Prescott has become the leader of a government and that his subjects adore him. In the absence of action demonstrating insidious characteristics, one can only speculate, even as the score barks at the audience “Be concerned!” Yet it was clear, as the credits rolled, that Prescott was the only character in the film able to rise above degradation, the only one shown not to be a coward.

Kryos: Chapter 11

Previous chapter

Club beats and the shifting footfalls of a lookout caressed the stifling air within the backroom of The Red Moon, where three individuals anchored a bare, mahogany table; a lock upon the door, a shadow in every eye. Vitalik Radigan, a elderly aecerite, pepper-haired and well-tailored, clasped his hands together before addressing the slim, verdant-coated man, who sat the opposite side of the desk.

“We’ve been impressed with your work, Mr. Rehdon. Your talents are singular-“


“… However, the Bureau has become concerned of late about unnecessary volatility.”

Illander Rehdon raised a brow as Iyad Zhu, spokesman for Bright Horizons, Eastern Federation’s Aecer outreach program, tapped upon his tablet.


“Incursions against Kryos properties have become increasingly destructive,” Radigan declared, flexing his entwined fingers over the sleeve-worn tabletop, “We don’t want a repeat of the Aestival Incident.”

“That again? They never tied anything back to me. Commission closed the case.”

Radigan held up a hand in supplication, “As before, no one is casting all the blame at your feet, but recall the damage that was done. It was a diplomatic disaster.”

“You needn’t remind me. With what you require of me, there will always be errors. I can spark a fire, but I can’t control the direction of the wind.”

“We understand that,” Zhu replied coolly, “But you’re fanning these flames in a very particular direction. That drone footage of Acelin Syzr didn’t find its way to the media on its own.”

Rehdon’s brow crinkled with dazzled perplexity.

“How did you know that was my handiwork?”

Finally, Zhu looked up from his tablet, “I didn’t, until now.”

Rehdon grinned bitterly, eyes mordacious, and tapped out the ash of his half-charred cigarette into a small tray upon the elbow-scuffed tabletop.

After a moment of repressive silence, Zhu leaned forward, “Look. They don’t want lucrative properties damaged. As I’m sure you’re aware, the Kryos Aerospace Complex is exceedingly lucrative; not easily replaced.”

Rehdon leaned back in his chair, visage quizzical, and took a drag off his cigarette.

“They want to take it over?”

Zhu nodded and beamed with muted pride, glancing briefly to Radigan before continuing, “Yes.” Radigan scowled at the indiscretion as his confederate continued, heedless, “And they want me to be the one to do it. So from now on, focus your attentions on swaying the activists against the Consortium more generally, rather than Kryos specifically. What we need to attack is not brick and mortar, or flesh and blood, but the idea of Aecer itself. When confidence in the aecerite’s collective bonds are broken, we will intervene to provide fresh ones; a new social contract.”

Rehdon nodded and stubbed out the burning cylinder, “As you wish. My heart beats only for The Bureau.”

Zhu straightened, his face waxing solemn as he crossed his fist about his chest, “And may it thrum forever.”

Radigan reluctantly raised his fist to his chest and swiftly let it fall to his side once more and rose.

“I think that concludes our business here. Shall we?”

Zhu nodded and rose with his compatriot.

“Oh, and Illander.”


“Give my regards to Ms. Cece.”

“Give them to her yourself. She’ll be waiting outside.”

Zhu inclined his head, moved to the door and knocked, whereafter it was opened by a man from the security detail.

The men exited the room, whereupon they were greeted by Zarya Cece advancing down the hall, who smiled warmly and saw them out and then returned to the room and shut the door. She regarded Illander a moment and walked slowly to his side and snatched up one of the man’s cigarettes.

“What did they want?”

“To tighten the leash.”

“How so?”

“They don’t want to see further damage to Kryos properties.”

“The whole point of going after the company was to force an admission?”

Rehdon grinned broadly, “I had to figure out a way to discern whether or not they wanted to take over his company without violating The Bureau’s orders.”

“So they’re going to kill him?”

“They’ll try.”

“And the Consortium?”

“They’ve not told me, of course, but I’d wager its largely compromised at this point. Yet… Even if the Buearu wins, all that shall be accomplished is the replacement of one sordid, lifeless bureaucracy by another.”

“I don’t like hearing you talk like this.”


“Its treason, Illander.”

Illander laughed.

“How fearful you are, merely to think.”

“Such thoughts will not die stillborn.”

“Such thoughts will not die.”

Next chapter

Kryos: Chapter 10

Previous chapter

Legate Hild stood the floor of the high, vaulted heart of The Progenitor, as the vast machine forded the coruscated abyss. Through the colossal, semi-transparent windows, she watched a school of silvery fish bank fearfully from the strident craft, like daggers in the dark, and turned to Eidos Kryos, who sat a plain, ashen chair at the back of the room; a book in his pitch-gloved hands. His pallid face mantled by penumbral ambience. His posture, relaxed and diffident. His garb, sleek and tenebrous. Eyes, icteric in the gloom.

The woman cleared her throat and spoke, nervousness speckling her high, clear tones, “The launch has been barred, Sir. Due the unrest, the Consortium declared the timing ‘inappropriate.'”

The swift snap of a book being closed echoed throughout the voluminous expanse, causing the woman to flinch, whereafter the man’s measured voice resounded above the dim-lit waters.

“A regime which cannot inspire trust, nor fear, is as a eagle bereft of keratin; flight, its only defense.”

The woman was silent a moment and straightened, “With a new artificial island, we wouldn’t need to rely on the Consortium for launch space, nor contend with persistent vandalizations of our topside facilities.”

Eidos Kryos rose from his chair, setting the book upon the left armrest, and moved slowly toward the pool as argent drones emerged from the darkness and arrayed themselves over the surface of the still waters, forming a floating bridge. Kryos strode across the aerial passage as great electric-eyed eels writhed languidly beneath.

“Peach trees attract wasps in the summer. Buzzing fills our orchard. Would you first have me plant new trees, or rid the old of the infestation?”

She hesitated, unsure how best to respond as Kryos passed to the opposite side of the reservoir and stepped off the hovering overpass. He passed Hild and moved before the leftward semi-permeable window, where enormous power-cables were visible, half-buried along the bony sea-bed, stretching out into the vast, inky blackness like the tendrils of a monumental, metallic squid.

“How does one deter wasps from a copse?”

“By culling damaged fruit.”

“Understood. Sir.”

Hild disconnected from the module, her avatar dissolving into a dark puddle which swiftly coalesced into a dense, obsidian sphere upon the floor of the Progenitor. Shortly, a silver drone descended from the ceiling and secured the globe in its insectal, carbon fibre limbs and ferried it to Kryos’ pitch-gloved palm.

Next chapter

Two excerpts from forthcoming ambient track, ‘Court of the Centipede’

Two new, short promos are now available from my forthcoming, ambient track, ‘Court of the Centipede.’

The first excerpt (0:30) was recorded before mixing, and can be listened to here; the second clip (0:35), recorded after mixing, can be found here.

‘Gilding Dark’ (orchestral track) rearranged and rereleased

Gilding Dark (an ambient orchestral piece) has been judiciously rearranged and rereleased, and is now available on Bandcamp. Over a week’s worth of work, condensed into two minutes and five seconds of alternatively sonorous and discordant tonality.

Fiction Circular 8/1/20

A weekly dissemination of fiction writing from around the web by Kaiter Enless.

From Caliath: Notes on the Creative Corpse by Joao-Maria (a poem concerning the creative process).

To dispetal the cosmos and the cosmos, place those steatic specs upon the unreeling…

J.M., Notes on the Creative Corpse

From Cyberwave: Coloring For Karen (a scifi short story).

With a wave of his hand the boy produced magnificent shapes and formed islands out of the empty ocean while standing on the cliff. His eyes were closed but he knew he didn’t need them. He used his imagination without bounds, and without the influence of external stimuli.

– Cyberwave, Coloring For Karen

From Jan Christensen: Sad Victory (a mystery short story).

“Of course I’m okay.” Her mouth twisted around the slang word disagreeably.

– J. Christensen, Sad Victory

From Horror Tree: Pale Horse by Lynn Love (a tale concerning a man who may or may not be crazy hears a voice that may or may not be there).

‘That ain’t no wind,’ he says. ‘There’s a voice. Can’t you hear it?’

– L. Love, Pale Horse

From The Chronicles of History: Beyond The Trees by Samantha James (a short story of the fantastique).

A young orphaned girl flees her home one afternoon and finds herself lost in a big scary forest. The child becomes injured but is assisted by an unlikely companion that claims to know the way to the girl’s home at the abbey. Not all is as it seems …

– S. James, synopsis