This is the second story in what I call the ‘Soul’ series, based on artwork by Kleg.(DeviantArt)
Artwork:RV, by Kleg(DeviantArt)
The RV – and me, laying on top of it – came into sight on the laptop’s screen as I piloted the drone up the hillside. My fingers danced over the keyboard, angling the camera to keep the RV in view. I eased the drone into the corridor that the road carved through the forest, and had it shed altitude as it closed in for a landing. As it settled to the roof beside me, I saw myself through the drone’s camera, shadowed but illuminated by the laptop’s screen. I smiled to see myself, and I watched my lips twitch into a smile. I’d never quite get used to that. I turned onto my side to dismounting the camera from the drone, connecting it to my laptop. I heard the ping that indicated the footage was downloading. Continue reading “Impression”
Two siblings engage in a fight with sticks. To their parents, it looks like childish fun, but to the kids, it is an epic duel to the death.
His breath heaved, his body sagging, but alert. Sweat dripped into my eye, and I blinked to clear it. Somehow I knew, I knew that it was coming. He’d seen the opening, and the blow was coming. Continue reading “Pivotal Moment”
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.
It was an accident. Just an accident. After I had lost control, I knocked another car right into a railroad crossing. The train wasn’t carrying coal or chemicals. It was a transit line. Not many people were riding at that hour, but enough. One derailed car hit a sewer access, just an elevated concrete block. It tried to flip over, but a subway car isn’t meant for those kinds of stresses. It tore in half and slammed down, spilling humans across the street. The dead . . . they aren’t bodies. When you read a story, you have such a clear division. There are men and women, and there are corpses. One has hopes and dreams, and the other is meat, a set piece to decorate the landscape of a television series, or a video game.
It just isn’t like that.
Continue reading “Serial Saviour”
This is the first story in what I call the ‘Soul’ series, based on artwork by Kleg.(DeviantArt)
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”
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”