Nezarre looked down into the abyss.
The ancient waterfalls were no more. A stone dam had been laid across the Henabron River a half mile above, a thing of necessary evil in the dark times ahead. This had been the King’s wish, a way of halting the main water supply to Festborough’s southern lands.
‘What have the people of Dornaday done to deserve such unprovoked attacks?’ the old monarch had cried out from his gilded throne.
History was not kind. Nezarre feared similar past acts – suppressed knowledge about the Old Kingdom – had ruined the land, destroying Nature’s balance. The bemoaning cries of the spirits, both water and wood, still haunted his people; Festborough’s subjects suffered naught, more in tune with the roaming, sprawling wilds.
‘But violence begets violence, or so the seers say.’ He sighed and stretched out a hand, caressing a memory. The sensation was bitter indeed.
Jeremy was changing.
The lights of a behemoth barrelling down the nearby highway flashed, startling him into movement. He blinked, hunkered down in the backseat. As his lids lifted, illumination slithered across the ruts and rivulets of the back of his hand.
He frowned. These were not his hands.
The meat truck disappeared, a horn blasting in the distance. As the silence poured in, up rose the whispering of the waving weeds. That susserrance blotted at the trip-trip-tripping of his conscious thought.
Every night, for weeks, he’d woke to find himself lying in the backseat of the old wreck. The main house was three miles from the fence line, far from the old Chevy’s musty interior. It was rough country, and the first few times he’d risen bloody. Continue reading
(Legal: Thanks to David Willicome for the artwork above.)
Heinrich groaned and slapped at the ‘snooze’ button on his alarm clock. The voices stopped.
Head felt like a toilet; he’d gamed too long and hard last night, and his body was showing all the signs of it: Over-Shock.
No more than 2 days at a time, they’d said, otherwise you’re training the body to disengage from the brain. Didn’t sound so bad, in theory. Last night’s nosebleed, however, had been a wake-up call.
Flicking on his holowall—a 3D simulated projection of peace and tranquillity that neatly hid the dim walls of his lifecube—he trudged over to the fridge and opened it and quickly downed a carton of OJ. The bitterness singed his tongue, the artificial flavours mixing and sending a rush of endorphins screaming through his sluggish cortex. Continue reading