Debt to be Paid

Radiation reached his skin through UV-resistant clothes. "Four-hundred-thirteen billion credits for today's contestant! If he survives..." A hidden crowd cheered. He retrieved his only permitted secret ingredient with a blistered hand. "What's today's contestant chosen for us?" Blinding light. The crowd gasped. The glare receded and he staggered forward, balancing a platter, alien delicacies piled... Continue Reading →

Timeless

Despite countless weeks spent on coding and design, she'd almost forgotten the outfit. School notification; dance-hall activated. Eyes closed, chest tight, time to upload. Other students uploaded too, filling the dark virtual dance-hall with a chaos of colour. The guests contrasting with timber decor meant for long-lost tuxedos and ballgowns. She took a moment to... Continue Reading →

Unexpected Cutoff

"Apologies all, our project must end," the speaker announced. "One more day!" Someone stepped forward, "we're so close. Their brains are simple. I can prove-" "No. We leave now. It's not safe anymore, they're volatile." With a thought, doors opened and the nervous crowd filed out. Their commotion grew as others joined. "Hostile movement ahead."... Continue Reading →

Promised Waters

Solar floodlights expose the beachfront like daylight. Crowds gathered there nightly to escape the endless heat, their music drowning the waves. I move on over slippery rock-pools and round the cliffs further up the coast. Human sounds fall away as the cliffs lower to reveal a river mouth and marshy swampland, visible now beneath unburdened... Continue Reading →

Tarnished Tranquility

She's trudging through the forest as silence hits, sending chills through her despite the hike and heat of nearing sunrise. Could've been peaceful, under different circumstances. Determined to find her missing friend, she persists. Body growing numb. The forest's stagnant silence thickens. Her mind reels. Shouldn't have ignored the reports, her friend wasn't invulnerable. And... Continue Reading →

Essentiality Remains

My restless body sleeps, mind seeking. Endless doorways. Some lead nowhere, others to places I cannot comprehend. There's just one I search for. Within, contains a source of darkness. I must eliminate it. I wander twisting corridors, labyrinthine in nature, as all minds are. There, ahead. The darkness, flickering and tremulous. I follow, my heart... Continue Reading →

Change

The old cattle shed sat three streets from her no-longer small childhood home. The house's presence hung heavy over town now, sprawling in its decadence and greed. Perhaps they hadn't changed. A droid greeted her, lead her inside to a room bright with filtered sunlight and untouched delicacies. The woman that entered both was and... Continue Reading →

Returning

She and her brothers spent many summers out by the rusted cattle shed, before the sunburns became too much. They thought it was haunted. "Pantry and freezer are stocked, should do you all till we get back," their parents would say. Then they wouldn't hear from them for weeks. At first it was exciting, then... Continue Reading →

Visitor

The grounds shuddered. The air hummed along with urgency. Something was happening. Its kin at rest, a lone creature emerged from its dwelling, peering out toward the meeting line of void and land. The hum grew violent as the void tore open with a flash. From the tear, a being of another kind tumbled into... Continue Reading →

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