Tuesday, October 29, 2019

VSS round up


Elf bows deep and grand, only slightly mocking. "Long live the all might Empress Dragon."
Dragon growls, baring fangs. "You know I can order people to kill you now?"
Elf smirks. "Yes. But you've always had more fun doing the killing yourself."

She dances in time to the wildfire. Lives are lost, property is destroyed, the earth is scorched, but she can't be happier. Only from death can rebirth happen.

I've learned how bad extremes can be. Too stoic, there's no passion to life. Too wild, and emotions will block your attempts at power. Now I focus on balance and control. Like a banked fire, waiting to explode. Dare you stir the embers?

"I wish I could distill my personality."
"I can see that. Evaporate and condense back into something pure."
"No! I want to become the impurities left behind."

"Killing me won't bring you glory," the demigod warned.
I paused to stare at him, then hefted my javelin. The point pinned him to the wall. I leaned over his dying form, leering. "I'll take the power and the fear." His heart was mine to feast upon.

Obscure Fact Number 139: Wisemen live on mountain peaks not just to teach you a lesson on working hard for your answers. Mostly, it's because navel-gazing works better while oxygen deprived.

I see the berries every time we walk through the woods. Perfect little vermilion drops, each one so glossy and dark and tantalizing. I want them more and more as time goes by, but I know they're no good for me.
Just one couldn't hurt? Two shouldn't kill me.

It's hard creating armor from dragon shell. It's leathery, but you have to get them right after the hatching or they dry out. You need obsidian needles and dryder silk for the stitches. Absolutely flameproof, and mostly bladeproof. Looks great with all outfits.

They said they were renegades, said they wanted to break the system, change the world, make things more fair. They stare blankly when I suggest mayhem and violence.
Funny how everyone wants to do renegade things right up until it's time to do renegade things.

Freya sat and brooded. Some beliefs were too stubborn to fall away on their own. Even with evidence, too many were frightened to let go and make that first step. They suffered a Stockholm Syndrome of faith.
Perhaps a few million deaths would help. She called her boar.

They set their circle on the cliff, timing each aspect of the rite to the waves and the setting sun. They started their fire as the first stars winked into sight. When they played Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the storm opened up and cracked the sky.

She loved fireworks; he loved giving them to her. Each tiny explosion brought her immense happiness, which made his heart swell. He loved her so much, could never get enough of her joy for life.
And the small pyromania kept her from creating larger displays of flame.

Some find it hard to imagine a magical world, and I find myself rather confused. It seems they don't understand that magic is all around them. The beautiful barrista is a dryad. There are more ties between everyone than they choose to see.

We're asked to pick a favorite, and most shout answers with absolutely certainty.
I stay quiet, unable to answer. I can't pick just one. My mood changes which I like best, and the company I'm with. What I've watched or read lately has an influence. So I stay quiet.

I let my tongue linger on the scar, my breath soft across his skin. He sighs, tips his head farther back, and acquiesces to my need. Fangs rip into his throat, he grabs my hips, and we're lost to passion together.

They held each other close, ignoring all the chaos around them. No amount of bad luck or destruction could truly hold them back. "This too will pass." So long as they had each other, they had a haven against the horrors of the world.

Crouch. Wiggle. Wait. Creep forward. Get ready. Pounce!
She wraps around my ankle, biting and kicking with all the fury of a four-month old kitten. Once again, she's blindsided me and won the battle.

"Aren't you afraid? It's a wild animal?"
I pet the tiger's head, soothing her mood. She'd love to hunt down this disdainful man, but I won't let her. It's not worth all the clothes I'd have to dispose of.

People stare when I wear sunglasses on overcast days. They don't understand how that devil ball is too bright even when "hidden" behind clouds. They wouldn't understand if I tried to explain I'm from a world with a black sun, unused to such light.

I try not to make eye contact. The merest word will shatter my defenses, and I'll throw myself at him. Again. I'm sure he can hear my heart racing, can taste my excitement in the air, knows I want him.
He kisses the side of my neck. "Hello, my blooddoll."

Elf stares across the desert valley, brow arched. "You really prefer this?"
Dragon shrugs. "It's not your tower and tree skyline, but it gives a great view of the storms." Thunderheads answer, streaking blue lightning across the entire horizon.

I whisper through the screen. "Never understood this whole 'confess your sins' thing. Just another way to control the sheeple, isn't it? Convince them that they're wrong and you're right, and they need you to save them." I bare my fangs. "Who'll save you?"

I follow the yarn down the hall, clenching my jaw. I'd left my crochet project in a safe place, but apparently the kitten had found it anyway.
She sits amidst the skein on the living room rug, hopelessly tangled in a pile of what was supposed to be a shawl. "Meow."

She listens to their conversation, keeping her vitriol to herself. It wouldn't be good to cause a scene, because no amount of calm debate nor heated argument could ever get them to see past their narrow view. THEY were the fragile ones and they didn't even know it.

They were young, still new to the immortal life. "But can you really love someone forever? Don't you get bored?"
I smiled faintly. "After a while, you just don't want to invest your time in bonding with a new person, and you grow closer to the one who understands you."

Elf sighed, sipping a cocktail. Birds had just stopped singing but the insects had not started. "I love this time, this gloaming."
Dragon pouted. "It sucks. Too dark for regular sight, too much light for nightvision to take over. One or the other, please."

"I won't fall in love. People do stupid things when they're in love."
Gritting my teeth, I managed to bite back an angry retort. The media portrayed love as a weakness because they didn't want anyone to know what a strength it was. Hard to explain to the unseeing.

I watch other souls struggle with the mystery of life and the universe. They seek answers, but have yet to find the same answers I have.
Fight for what is yours.
Be proud of the labor of your own hands.
Death before dishonor.
Honor the gods and they will honor you.

Standing in the surf for the first time in my life, staring at the horizon, I suddenly understand why my ancestors took to the sea, why they went into the unknown. Earth may be our Mother, but Ocean is our crazy aunt breaking all rules and offering to teach us how.

She holds her athame close, staring at the sacrifice. Power pulses through the blade; lava crystallized into obsidian. Honed to a monomolecular edge, hungry for blood, eager to wield her will.
The man screams only briefly when she slices his throat.

Another night dies in the golden hues of daybreak. I retreat into my lair, grumbling at the brightness. Summer days are so long, trapping me, giving me only brief hours to hunt. Winter can't get here soon enough.

"Wait, you believe in serendipity, but not coincidence?"
I shrug, trying to find words to explain. "I've always just thought of coincidences as completely random, with no goal behind them. But, the other...it's more like being in the right place at the right time."

We're shopping together, and she keeps adding different cleaners to the cart. "Why so many?"
"This one's for the stove, that for the toilet. Have to have this one for the shower. Then I need to get the floor cleaner."
What happened to Comet and a little elbow grease?

He howls into the night, hoping to reach another immortal. It's lonely and painful and empty, this world of empty beings pressing in against him, tighter with every breath.
Another soul answers, as wounded as his own, though both feel relief to have found the other.

I stroke the bush's leaves, whispering to him. "It's alright. You'll like it when we get there." I hate having to uproot him as much as I hate it for myself, but I have to believe the new life will be better. For both of us.

Every curl of smoke tells a story for those who can see it. My skills for augury have always been with numbers, but even I can see the direness of the warning.
The festival is in high swing. No one listens.

I watch my little niece playing in the garden, hose on high. Toys pile in the eddies, covered in dirt, as she keeps spraying water.
"Whatcha doin'?" I finally ask.
"They spurned me as their god, so I'm testing them with floodwaters."
Do all 6 year olds play like this?

The goddesses converge in the shadows, preparing their return. Some fool taught the humans to disrespect women, to forget the power of the divine feminine, to be blind to power.
Winds howl when Nature calls, the moon turns red when Lunar unleashes her fury.

She draws another glyph on the gym door. Public school was terrible, and the feral children were worse. Someone needed to teach them that life was about more than somersaults and new phones.
Sorceresses learned AND taught through pain.

Her eyes change color with her moods, same as mine. Deep gold when relaxed, bright yellow when excited, creamy amber when preparing to hunt.
Haven't figured out what this pale tawny while watching me sleep means.

Finally brave enough to pluck one of the tiny red berries. Those little droplets of poison that look so much like blood, beckoning me to put them in my mouth. Soft, squishy, juice smearing across my fingers. Euphoria when I taste the sweetness.
Nightshade is my friend.

They touted him as their biggest accomplishment: a dragon who only ate vegetables. We knew this was cruel and did what we could to rescue him. A single sirloin did the trick, waking his carnivorous side.
They were punished for daring to tamper with nature.

Mom and Dad used to tell their friends I was just infatuated with death, that it was a phase I would grow out of. I played with little corpses like other girls played with little dolls.
Now I make the corpses out of the other girls.

Elf sniffs disdainfully. "It's so...made up of shiny rocks."
Dragon rolls in the obsidian, purring. "It's cavernous and warm and smells like old magma and it hums with power." She settles into a hollow, eyes gleaming with joy. "It's perfect."

It's her philosophy to always be learning. Sometimes she picks up something trivial, sometimes something major.
Other times, it's a completely surprising fact. Like, baby garter snakes will devour pieces of fish, the same as if it were a whole creature.

Mac approached. "Help you find something?" She was pretty; he hoped for the chance to talk for a while.
She turned, reptilian eyes piercing straight through his soul. "My garden needs plants that can survive a dragon's care."
He paused. "So, you have a scaly thumb?"

They watched the witch crack open roasted bones to stare at the greasy marrow, poking and prodding with one crooked finger, before finally slurping the contents loudly.
"Did you see anything within?" their leader asks.
She cackles. "Only that I'm still hungry."

She stared at her meager garden. Hard to believe it was already the autumnal equinox: the summer had never grown warm enough to produce a proper harvest. This is a winter for hunting, she thought, touching the slender plants. With death will come a bright spring.

Fire danced in her soul, twisting and crackling and hungering. She'd been told to keep it banked, to never let it free. Surrounded by enemies, her friends and family in danger, she knows it is time to blaze.

"Wow! Bodies are neat. All this muscle and sinew and blood and skin and eating and pooping. I can't believe we've just now taken some up."
The other spirit grumbles. "They're so heavy and limited. It's the grossest, wettest trap ever."

The Aos Sidhe step through the doors unto a world that has been corrupted. Humans have been taught to consume and be sedentary, looking no farther ahead than the next meal.
Swords come out, the dark duty understood. A culling must begin.

It burned to spend each day pretending the universe was empty, that life was random, that there was nothing but mundane trivialities to life. But I endure, because they must never know I'm here. They would destroy me if they could, so I needs must blend in.

The Stygian darkness is perfect for chthonic beings from a bygone era. Sibilant whispers form a chaotic symphony, reaching a crescendo of screams when the innocents descend. I may not outrun the nightmares, but I may outrun the weak.

She liked the saying "dance like no one's watching." It was so quaint, yet such good advice. So she shed her human form, spread her wings, and swayed to the heavy metal, growling deep in her throat.
The National Guard was called.

"Aren't you scared? I mean, someone got attacked over there." She draws in on herself, eyes liquid and wide, a shudder running through her entire body.
I glare, shoulders squared. "Being a victim is only inevitable if you allow yourself to be one."

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