Sunday, October 27, 2019

VSS roundup


James finally understood why he disliked aluminum so much: it didn't rust. It didn't react to the natural elements of air and water, it was so soft but so strong. It must not be from this planet.
The lizard people arrived on his step the next day.

"Did you see the spider?"
"Where?"
"Living in that crack by the back door. She's all big and plump and has a big web."
"Imagine she feeds well right next to the porch light. All those moths and stuff."
"I envy her such an easy life."
"Me too."

Joe complains about my boxes of rocks.
I arch one brow and stare. "There are fewer of them than you have full of Funkos."
"But-"
"But nothing. It's what we each love."
"Carlin was right: my shit is stuff, and your shit is shit. Let's just finish packing up."

Dragon held the object, frowned. "It's an umbrella," Elf said. "Keeps the rain off your head."
Her frown deepened. "Rain is water that falls from the sky."
Dragon laughed. "Now I know you're teasing. There's no such thing as sky-water!"
"Damn desert people."

"Why do you like being out there?"
"Because I can get a little peace and quiet."
"But it's the woods. Crawling with bugs and dirt and wild animals and-"
"And none of the shallow, vapid, NPC-esque people in the city. Wanna come with?"
"I do!"

Little Girl stared at Woman and her Corgi. Woman waved her closer. "You've the Talent. Don't listen when they say magic's not real. Stay strong, and we will all find each other when the time is right." Corgi smiled, and Little Girl was suffused with love.

"There's a wrinkle on your shirt. Actually, there are a lot."
"OH MY GOD, GET THEM OFF GET THEM OFF!"
"...okay, I get it. You don't care."
"Not even a tiny bit. Does it somehow make me less of a person?"
"I don't know. I'm...confused."
"My work is done."

The sylph whispers to me, and I finally listen. "You're not insane. Never were. The pain you feel comes from trying to be other than what you are. The others lie to you, train you to think the world is the opposite of how it really is." My eyes finally open.

"Careful. She's still trying to process the loss."
"That's sad. When did he die?"
"Five or six years ago"
"!!"
"I know. It feels like just yesterday that he was with us. I'm surprised she's *sob* as strong as she is *sniffle*."
"..."
"I see you're sad."

They think I can't hear them just because it's rained. Instead of crisp leaves rustling beneath their feet, the soggy dampness splashes with every step. My fangs lengthen, and I wait for their attack, knowing it will be their last.

The door opens, the faintest breath of magic following my jailer inside. I perk up, ignoring his harsh words, feeding on the tiny threads. He kicks me, and it's the last blow.
I rise in a burst of power, eyes ablaze. Time for them all to pay.

"Time to get up."
"Unh."
"We have things to do today."
"UNH!"
"Cripes, it's like having a frickin' child."
"UNNNNHHH!"
"Just get the hell out of bed and do what I need you to!"
"...unh..."
"Sigh."

The epoch winds down, preparing for the next. I lurk in my lair, trapped by old spells, and wait for them to finish eroding. It won't be long now. Are my tormentors still alive? I don't know. If they are, they will be punished. If not, I will simply rise again.

Wardrums started slowly, almost too quiet to be heard across the dawn battlefield. Their cadence grew, as did their volume, and the soldiers shifted, nervous.
The bagpipes began their haunting melody, and the soldiers lost all heart for war that day.

She glared at the cheerleaders from beneath the bleachers. "You ever look up effervescence? None of the antonyms are as powerful."
"That's a shame. I really wanted a large word to describe us." He took another drag off the clove cigarette.

Kyra batted her lashes, responding to her target's question. "Yes, Morrigana is loud and brash, and you know when you've pissed her off. I never was able to make her as demure as myself." She eased a knife out of her boot. "Pity, because no one sees my blades coming."

"Have you ever seen a maelstrom on land?" She met their questioning gazes with hard eyes.
The environmental committee stared back. "That can't happen, can it?"
She laughed. "It can now." The sorceress summoned her earth elemental.

Her castle is finally done. She walks the hall, touching each skull, every inch of blood red mortar, and she reminisces on each kill. Many long years and battles it took to build her sepulchral lair.
She couldn't wait to start on one for her child.

The Shift rocked the world, destroyed infrastructure, sent the Haves screaming into the streets.
It was the Waifs who showed them how to live without.

The Song of Creation is magnificent but ephemeral. Glorious and ethereal. To see it is to know the Universe.
To hold it is to lose sanity.

"Monsters like you can't love."
She paused, tipped her head, then slowly smiled. "No, monsters like me understand love like no one else. We live in the dark, surrounded by death and destruction. I absolutely know how precious love is."

Humanity thought they'd reached their zenith when they mastered interspace travel and made contact with other life. The Virilians had a piece of wisdom for those first explorers. "There's no where to go but down if you reach the top."

It's surreal, being so sick you can't remember much more than coughing violently and lying down. Days blur together, and you have to piece them back together with imperfect stitches.

"The subconscious is like the aphotic zone of your own mind."
"Someone learned a new word today."
"Only the strangiest and most glowiest things live there. Biolooms of thoughts under pressure."
"So very deep of you."
"Are you making fun of me?"

They hiked long trails through green woods, and finally reached an old pond. She was tired but at peace, and smiled at her husband. Looking down, the dog shared her beatific expression and joy.

The azure dragons and obsidian ones joined forces against the ruby clan. Rubies were larger and brutal, but azures and obsidians were sneaky, tactical, and fought with a desperation few'd seen.
All three clans suffered, allowing the emeralds to gain ascendancy.

She looked at the bed, frowning. "It's flat. Not a nest." She fidgeted as if she still wore her dragon form and needed room for her wings and tail.
He smiled gently. "Generally, humans prefer to rest supine."
She snorted. "Fools. It's defenseless."

Morrigana purred while watching the elves perform their sword katas. She leaned toward her cousin to whisper without taking her eyes off the sweating men. "I might be a big old broad of a dragon, but I sure do love my men lithe."

Most people thought the elf was just a YouTube persona done for clicks. "It's funny, the little logic jumps humans make. You find it easier to believe one person made up chimera and the rest of the world just followed along, rather than that they're real."

"A little flotsam never hurt no one," Brother said to Sister. They played on the beach, running from unknown pile to unknown pile.
The sea monster waited beside the tide pool. "That's what he thinks."

The dragon and the elf compared the beauties of their natural environment. "It's green and lush in our sylvan glades," he said.
"Yes, but it always smells thus. The petrichor of my desert is something to savor, because you only get it once or twice a year."

The pair walked into the tavern, and all eyes turned to follow them. Violence and death were their sillage, though it was felt more than smelled. People began speaking again, though subdued. Would someone die tonight?

The naga sorceress wound her way toward the captured adventurers, scales gleaming beneath the torchlight. "With a myriad ways to die in this world, you choose sneaking into my lair and stealing my magics?" She laughed and revealed her fangs. "So be it."

I've watched a thousand of my targets. None of them hear the susurrus of scales. My pet snakes approach and strike and kill, and I complete another contract, all because most humans have forgotten how to listen for danger.

She took a pull off her vape. "I live for those moments of frisson. It's why I listen to so many things, watch so many shows. I'm just too jaded to appreciate much anymore." She blew out a large cloud of vapor, blurring her vision.

The elf eyed her collection, one brow raised. "Do you have anything that isn't gossamer or delicate or otherwise fragile?"
The dragon snorted. "Of course not. I collect the opposite of all I am."

The Celestial cocked her head, listening to the chorus of screams. "Poor darlings. If only you understood that what is vile and what is virtuous are merely subjective terms for a personal outlook upon the world." She made another slice, producing higher notes.

She stared across the forested plains and sighed. "It's so verdant and lush. Everything grows, and there's so much life." She sighed. "Makes me homesick for the desert."

His lips brush my ear. This is my last night, my last moment. My heart races for a final time as I prepare to join his world.
"Take your last breath," the vampire whispers.

"I'll let you in on a secret," the imp whispered to me. "Most people think they want silence, but they only think of it as lack of people speaking. They don't actually know how quiet that truly is."

The dryad was a simple creature, in connection with the natural order of things. She befriended a human to learn more of their world. "Explain to me again, this concept of regret."

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