Heartless​ Jack

Heartless​ Jack

The bar holds its breath. Bogeyed people keep a secure distance to the fight. Smashed bottles and blood glisten on the counter and the tile floor. Someone urges words into their phone.

The emptiness in Jack’s chest is drilling ache. The skin feels numb under his bloody shirt. His fingertips trace the long scar on his breastbone.

The surgeons take his heart and soul. They strip him bare of his past, of all who he was, and hoped to be. The doctors call it amnesia.

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Triangle of Uncanny

Triangle of Uncanny

I had Allan’s notebook tucked away in my overcoat. The chain on my lapel glowed in the miserable street light. The gas flame hissed like a feral cat. It barely chased away the darkness, or the autumn fog carried in with the wind from the Hudson.

I popped the chased golden lid of my pocket watch under the glow. The dial showed 10:30 pm. Time to wind up, my gloved fingers twirled the key clumsier than usual. It smelled like it would snow.

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the announcement

“This is not a test.” The blank screen flashed with turquoise, and the logo of the Ministry of Safety and Public Opinion Management revolved. I swallowed. “Uh-oh,” I turned to Maria, but she wasn’t in the living room anymore. My eyes went back to the teli. Something shattered into million china pieces in the kitchen. Continue reading “the announcement”

They’re Coming

Howls echoed through the woods and the mountainside. They have picked up my tracks. Maybe fire kept them at bay, till sunrise. That was what I needed. Time and light. Icy gusts tore at the firs around me. Trees crack and snap in the dark of midnight. Something enormous moved down the slope. Sunlight would save me. Eventually. Continue reading “They’re Coming”

Black Door

Black Door

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Dirt rained from the ceiling of the dome. A deep rumble went through the cave. The Carpathians woke up. “Did you feel that?” Farnsworth couldn’t keep the scare out of his voice. Pathetic. A tiny earthquake was enough to get the man terrified. My flashlight illuminated the ancient pictograms on the basalt slab. This must be Ostra. “Let’s take some pictures, and go back!” His breath made little vapor clouds. Continue reading “Black Door”

Magic Entities Liaison

Magic Entities Liaison

My nastiest hangover is mainly the minister’s fault.

Unlike any usual stiff diplomatic, Minister Kagekamui is an outstanding man, with more secrets up his sleeve, than stars in the sky.

He catches me one winter night, at a poker table, with the foxes and the tanuki. It is the middle of my underground shift, and I’m supposed to be on the watch for rogue magical entities, not playing transformation poker with them. But it is such a beautiful night, and Consul Kitsune has his 31st birthday party.  Continue reading “Magic Entities Liaison”

Consul

Consul

First time I met consul Niishima, I was preparing tea for the European diplomats. I had that part of the embassy, the guest wing, and the lower common kitchen to myself, so I din’t bother to close any of the doors. The meeting was scheduled that early afternoon.

A tall handsome man manifested in the doorway. I nearly dropped the tray with the cups and napkins. Back then, I didn’t know who he was. I threatened to call security on him. He smirked and said he was going to steal some cakes.  Continue reading “Consul”