inspired by twitter prompt: #vss365
The silver dollar danced up and down the stranger’s fingers, tumbled from his knuckles in a brilliant flurry of bright flashes, cutting light and sticky curses.
Max was suddenly sober for the first time in twenty-three months. More even, the feeling of sleepwalking fell off of him as soon as that silver light pierced his eyes.
The presence of the coin dragged him into this bar and slammed him into that seat near the stranger. It put him back into his place. Fifty-four years old, profusely sweating, diabetic, a man without a home or family or a penny to his name – that was his place, the only one he merited. It brought back the insecurity, the impotence, the numbness in his hands and feet, the inadequacy, the being alone. There was tingling in his crotch. He saw the stains on his pants for the first time.
Continue reading “all that is beyond”
Finally, the coin snapped him into the present heartbeat, like a bungee cord attached to his bum ticker.
Part 1: Eyes in the Dark
Thousand forbidden delights was a room strictly for a paying customer’s pleasure. Being one of the better spaces, it held many unique features, including a hot sand bath, exquisite restraints for the body and the mind. The release came in many forms and shapes.
I was the master of many of them.
Upon entering the room, my customized settings activated. Walls turned opaque, displaying a dark, elegant and soothing design. My favorite was the large campfire under the night sky. The spectral light dimmed to mimic the warmth and the erratic movement of the fire. It reminded me of home, my brothers’ and sisters’ mating dances. The frenzy of interlocked bodies, moving like one massive heaving and staggering knot of biting, holding each other up or down- at that point, it was hard to tell- and mating until exhaustion made us pass out.
Continue reading “alien delights”
Besides, the golden light made my eyes glow with energy.
Chapter 1: (Part 1 / Part 2) Chapter 2: (Part 3 / Part 4) Chapter 3: (Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 ) Chapter 4: Part 8
“Koda! Are you alright?” Hands grabbed me and turned me sideways. “Did you let the switch go?” Something smelled burnt. My ears rang. First thing, I thrust my left fist up the dead-man-switch securely in my hand, then I opened my eye. “Thank God, I thought I; you’re – here.” We locked eyes. Mother Goose kneeled in front of me, face pale, eyes shining as I’ve never seen before.
Huh, there were a lot of things I experienced for the first time today. Might be my newest hobby. I grabbed his arm, and he pulled me up and into a bear hug. Okay, unexpected, another first. Well, uh, I surprised myself by blushing hard, and you guessed it. Definitively a new hobby to show off. The heat in my chest and cheeks made my heart forget how to kick my head into gear. I drew a blank. “Attaboy,” Sam Spade waved from afar. I wasn’t sure he meant me or Mother. Awkward, but nothing to be ashamed of, just sayin’.
Continue reading “Chapter 4: not a helping hand”
Trigger warning (grief, mutilation, body horror, suicide)
Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2 (Scenario Green) Chapter 2: Part 3/ Part 4 (K-Black) Chapter 3: Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 (Cricket)
The little drone marched up the wall, dollar signs still running around its spherical body. We looked at its slow progress. Shepherd put her hand on my shoulder. I was about to compliment her, but she only wiped the goo off of her hand. ”Thank you, doll.”
A huge bang made us jump and crouch. The room shook, gave way a bit. The structure was unstable, or was it hit by floating debris? It was enough to persuade us to follow the spider-drone’s example and to leave the floor.
Continue reading “Chapter 4: Negotiation Tactics”
Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2 Chapter 2: Part 3 / Part 4 Chapter 3: Part 5
The day started out to be a boring one. I was tempted to search for entertainment, but the mind-numbing duties on deck yanked my chain. I had my clipboard, paper, and a crayon. Yes, they gave me a green crayon to do the work I was allowed to. I never liked green. My crewmates lacked trust. I’d never sabotage the ship, or harm myself, at least not with a pencil.
I had to tick off a bogus checklist. Shepherd had me check the tanks on board, not just the oxygen and nitrogen tanks, but also the algae tanks, the pressure control, preparation plant tanks, and finally updating the star charts. Dull! Duller, dullest. I could try to program all screens to broadcast one of my favorite songs from Earth simultaneously. The Surfin’ Bird was destined for greatness!
Continue reading “Chapter 3: eh, some plans”
(Part 1 / Part 2 ) Chapter 1; (Part 3 / Part 4) Chapter 2
I despised the med bay by now. Nobody could blame me for that. A month in quarantine coma had been enough to resent every hint of that particular shade of green. Mother and I were back to engage in another excruciating hour of exams. Scanning, fidgeting, neurological and psychological testing, drawing blood, and other unpleasant procedures, I endured them all. Who else was the guinea-pig on board? At least he took down the images of my eye, my brain, and that parasite inside my head, so I didn’t have to look at it.
Cricket’s appearance made Mother suspicious and quite worried. He wasn’t expecting it to appear so fast, he told me during tomography. The parasite had taken over one of my eyes and the connected neurological tissue all the way to my visual cortex. So, it could make me see things, among other inconveniences. Like taking over the rest of me, for real, kill my personality, maybe even my body.
Parasites didn’t kill their hosts, did they? I imagined myself as a puppet, moving through the ship, vacant look on my dumb face, drooling like a proper zombie. Couldn’t hide the shivers. Mother stopped what he was doing and asked if I felt fine. “A bad thought, buddy. Just a bad thought.”
Continue reading “Chapter 3: Cricket”
Chapter 1: (Part 1/ Part 2) Chapter 2: Part 3
“Big K, you look like shit,” Shepherd put my coffee mug filled with hot steaming caffeinated bliss on the table in front of me. This was my first breakfast with the whole crew since I was allowed to leave the med bay. Of course, I had met everyone while navigating my way through the ship one eyed. Well, not really one-eyed, but my bandaged one didn’t technically belong to me anymore, so… Yeah.
Continue reading “Chapter 2: K- Black”
Trigger warning (eye injury, body horror, grief, strong language, dissociative behavior)
Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2
“UV-irradiation in progress.”
My body felt absolutely whacked. Had I lost a boxing match against a grizzly? Somebody said something. I swear, I won’t accept any more bets from Shepherd. No way I’d ever keep up with her chemical implants. I was the one doomed in this drinking match, felt like death already. My head hurt, my eyelids were glued together, and it felt as if I licked the ashtray. Worst hangover ever.
Continue reading “Chapter 2: K Black”
“Let’s deal with one catastrophe at a time, shall we?” I had the feeling Mother Goose rubbed his forehead after a face-palm I didn’t hear. “Is the sample secured?”
“Uh-huh.” I answered the best I could.
Distant typing came over the comms. “Poe is fifty yards to your left, pacing up and down a corridor. And… I see, darling.” I felt his annoyance ooze out of my ear piece. “Shep, it’s a Kong Green. I owe you fifty. You stay put, I’m sending Shepherd to collect you.” Great! One-woman-army was coming to save me, like a damsel in distress.
Continue reading “Chapter 1: scenario green”
“What the?!” Pomona stared back at me, hands helplessly outstretched. The soft empty shell disintegrated with her body heat. “How? No, wait. Why?” Her lower lip started quivering, her eyes welled up. Here we go. I shut the bulkhead and locked it. At least we were safe in here from the guards, until we got picked up. “Poe! Pull yourself together. Nobody got time for the waterworks.” She let the thin fabric that contained the sample fall to the floor and covered her face. She shook.
Great. What did I do this time?
I felt another sensitivity training looming.
Continue reading “Chapter 1: Scenario Green”