Serial Saviour

Sixteen years ago you caused an accident that left 12 people dead. At first you weren’t able to live with what you had done but now you’re glad it happened, it helped you find your calling. You have become the most notorious serial killer of all time. 

Defense Rests.

Valhalla does not discriminate against the kind of fight you lost. Did you lose the battle with cancer? Maybe you died in a fist fight. Even facing addiction. After taking a deep drink from his flagon, Odin slams his cup down and asks for the glorious tale of your demise!


Artwork: City Lights, by Kleg. (DeviantArt)


I picked up speed down the gentle incline, leaning into the wind as the skateboard carried me faster and faster. At his hour there were few pedestrians out, and I slalomed back and forth, weaving past them. A shout, a curse, a whimpery gasp of fear as I whipped by pedestrians. I ignored them.

My hair streamed in the wind. The air tasted like freedom. And my mastery over the board under my feet, the hard-won affinity for this extension of my body, that tasted even better.

Then I was there. I pivoted my board and slid until I reached a full stop. I kicked the nose up and lifted it, slipped it through the cargo netting on my pack.  My other hand raised the camera from my hip, holding it before me.

I took a moment and absorbed my surroundings. Behind me, cars whizzed up and down the overpass.  The sun was setting, and I stood in the single place from which I could see the entire city.  From this angle, I could see fragments of the city beyond and around every high-rise and office building.

Headlights crawled up and down the roads, and the building lights shone, turning on and off.  There was not a single cloud, and the wind off the mountain had swept away the smog, leaving only a faint halo around each bright city light. I was not going to get a better shot.

Continue reading “Expression”

Ripped Off

You are an assassin. A little girl has just come up to you, handed you all her pocket money and asked you to kill her abusive relative.


“Kid . . . how did you find me?”

She looked up at me, eyes wide and intent, never once lowering the fistful of bills. She wore a blue dress and sandals with Miss Piggy printed on them. A seashell hung on a thong around her neck. She had a black eye, and bruises on her neck and arms. On one shoulder I could read the shape of a belt buckle in the bruising. She couldn’t have been more than twelve.

“My dad has a book of names. Your name was circled AND underlined under ‘cleaner.’ ”

“You didn’t locate me with just a name.”

“Welllll . . . there was another name that said ‘finder.’ She was good at finding you.”

I put a hand over my face. Marigold would take an assignment from anybody. This kid would be dog meat when her dad got the bill. Continue reading “Ripped Off”

The Day I Died

Write your superhero origin story.


It was an ordinary day, other than the explosion. I ground through the paperwork, filling office supplies and costs into each line. I entered manufacturer information and item numbers.  I checked little boxes.  It was a commercial supplier.  It was under contract.  It was a green purchase.  I submitted the paperwork to our financial officer, I got it back.  I submitted it our authorizing official, I got it back. Finally, I logged into a website and bought six hundred boxes of paper clips.

Then the bomb went off.

Continue reading “The Day I Died”

Written in Pain

Batman responds to a call about a man in clown makeup having slaughtered an entire warehouse of gangsters. He rushes there expecting to see the Joker. Instead, he stares down the cold, angry eyes of a dead man. He is now standing between Eric Draven (The Crow) and his revenge.


Author’s note: Sensitive readers may want to skip this. It is intense, a little bloody, and brushes up against the hint of the possibility of there once having been sexual violence.

In the graphic novels, The Crow wasn’t a single individual – there were at least nine individuals novelized.  The concept was simply of a creature motivated in equal measure by love and revenge. I took a crow other than Draven as my subject here.  The Crow is the focus in this piece, Batman serving mostly as a setting to foil her rage.  I’m sorry if that’s blasphemy to you.

Written in Pain

I ran my hands through hair that was sticky and clotted with blood.  Then the doors burst open, and men rushed in.  When they saw the ruined bodies tied to several support columns, some of them cursed or readied their guns.  Some stared in shock.  Several vomited.

“What the hell are you waiting for!? Kill that crazy chick!”

I picked up the lead pipe, caked with flesh, brain, and bone, and spread my arms. “Kill me?” I gave him a come-hither look.  Given the mess, it was a grotesque mockery of flirtation. “You once thought me beautiful.”

The man who called for my death hesitated, looking at me strangely. He was realizing who I was, though he didn’t believe it yet. I ran my hands over my sides, my chest, staring into his eyes where the fear was beginning to manifest. “You remember, don’t you sweetheart? You’re one of the ones who–”

The gunshots weren’t that loud. Through-and-through, it didn’t even make me sway on my feet. The man who’d fired was already lowering his gun, thinking it was over.  I whipped the lead pipe across the room, reveling in the satisfying crunch of bone. “That is no way to treat a lady.” Another shot cracked, louder, a higher caliber. My shoulder swung back under the impact.  Another shot, and another.  I stumbled, but it was only gunfire. Continue reading “Written in Pain”