the dragon's den | Vipera Prompt Event

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ROUND 15 Prompt Options

Poll ended at Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:44 am

cult
2
17%
blackout
2
17%
vacant
0
No votes
identity
2
17%
filthy
6
50%
 
Total votes: 12
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week three | bone

Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:47 am

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//slight depictions of death & gore









The plague devoured the village like rot through a dying tooth. Each road I traveled was silent save for the punctuation of deep, wet retching of the sick and dying that shot through the quiet air like an arrow pierces a target. In an attempt to stifle the sounds, I focused on my deep breath that reverberated inside the elongated mask that protected me from the infected air that choked the life out of everything it touched.
With every careful inhale, the sprig of lavender I tucked in the nose of the mask fluttered against my skin. I fought every urge in me that wanted to rub away the itch, but it was against solid reasoning to touch anything pure with my befouled hands. The lavender didn't camouflage much of the stench, the further I traveled into the town with my sick cart, the odor of decay and illness would wind its way under my mask and render me breathless. I learned quickly to take air in through my mouth- although the taste of rotting flesh wasn't any better than the fragrance.
I kept my pace through the village, intent on silencing the wailing from dying children and desperate mothers and fathers. The clanging sound of my bell echoed through the empty streets, a devilish siren call. I didn't say a word and stood stoic while village-folk tossed stiff and bloated bodies onto my cart. One unfortunate soul was thrown belly up, his cold, dead eyes staring straight through me like bowls of milk. I swallowed hard, allowing a few moments for the mourners to say goodbye and tuck mementos into the pockets of the corpses for their trip to God. An aged woman- the sickness already overtaking her body in the form of leaking black pustules- took a few seconds to delicately place a Bible onto the chest of a child, folding his stone-stiff fingers around the pages. She whispered a prayer onto his cold body, smoothing a patch of hair away from his ashen face. I respected their faith in a God who would allow this tragedy to fall upon the Earth.
After my trip my cart was full and heavy, difficult to haul through the deep mud that sucked around the heels of my boots. I help my gaze straight ahead to avoid the stares of the dead, my mouth shut against the smell. In quiet moments like these, I often felt as if I could hear their calls, feel their souls still vibrating from deep inside the bones held tight in rotting flesh.
Each voice sounded as if it came from inside my own head, rattling around in my skull and becoming a part of me.
It was dusk by the time my sick cart and I made it onto the harbor. The trip across the water was a short but lonesome one. I loaded each body onto my docked boat by hand, my gloved fingers often slipping over bloated, sloughing skin that would split from the force of my grip and come off in rolls in my palms. I shoved the boat off into the water with a grunt, the old wood creaking on the waves.
My lamp cut a slice of light in front of my boat, allowing me to see a few feet in front of me. The corpses rolled through the putrid water at the bottom of the boat each time we hit a particularly choppy bit of lake. Mist came down like a shroud, the rotten air sticking to my skin under my mask.
Any time my mind wandered to something, my thoughts were cornered by the voices of the bodies below me. They gurgled and spat, cursing me, cursing their God. Some cried deep, agonized cries. Some shouted until their voices were stifled by the disease that killed them. Their words chilled me to my core with each wretched moan. I feared that if I looked upon their faces, frozen in time, I might catch their mouths moving with prayers they spoke to me under their empty breath.

Curse your Christ, leading us toward our retribution like pigs to slaughter...
This plague be the work of Satan and you are his gate keeper.
We shout our prayers, sing His hymns and recite His words yet it is God who turns a deaf ear.
Blessed be thy soul who walks upon forsaken ground.

The words of the dead echo in my ears, the only ones spoken to me are from mouths that have long stopped moving. Prayers from hands that have long ceased folding in worship. Their voices proof that their journey is far from over and that their souls will settle among the stars, finally at rest and free from the pain that brought them to me.


((this one is a little short. i wanted to get this up and get some commentary before i get super busy in a few days. first original piece in a while and first one for this prompt event. i hope you guys enjoy!))
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vex.
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week three ; bone

Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:04 pm

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minor vulgarity warning. Brief insult of religion.

  • "It's simple: if you don't talk, you get shot."

    Ruby's eyes followed the barrel of the gun as it came to settle in the center of her forehead, its cold, unforgiving metal kissing her much in the way an affectionate lover might.

    She wet her lips, refocusing her eyes on the golden being standing over her. Ruby could talk. She could talk all day. It was all a matter of stalling, and not getting a bullet put through her brain because of it. "I thought you were a god."

    His eyes, black where they should have been white, and dilated pupils surrounded by the colors of fire, narrowed. "I am."

    The corners of her lips teased upwards. "Then what's a god need a gun for? Shouldn't you be able to fling me into the depths of Hell for being uncooperative?"

    The weapon was pushed against her skin, forcing her to crane her neck back even further, wiping the smirk off of her face immediately. "Don't confuse us with your Christian ideas. Your almighty 'God' is nothing but a fantasy." Without warning, his hand snaked down, fingers clamping down on her throat much like fangs. Ruby grimaced, but didn't fight him as she was yanked off of her knees and forced to place her feet underneath her once again. The gun remained steadily aimed. "Humans have it switched. They devote their lives to an imaginary entity, but it's the dragons that are real. Care to tell me about them? I'm sure their little pet knows plenty."

    She grappled at his wrist, begging for access to more air. He didn't loosen his grip, forcing her to speak between shallow gasps. "I'm not a pet... I'm a freeloader... Don't be mistaken."

    "I believe you're the one who's mistaken, Miss Lennox." Softened by her crack of humor, his condescending chuckle allowed his fingers to release their tight grip. The hand dropped back to his side.

    She chocked on her own breath as she hastily refilled her lungs, delaying her reply for a few moments. "What makes you think that?"

    "Stay." The word, sudden and out of place, sent vibrations straight into her bones. The gun withdrew, as did he. The god walked away from her, favoring the view from the nearby window. But when she tried to turn to face him - for he'd wandered to the right a bit - she found that his command was apparently resolute. She couldn't move. "I know quite a bit about you, Ruby. And believe me, you are most definitely nothing more than a pet to them. A dispensable one, at that."

    "I am not. They love me." She was pleased to know that she could still talk. She was just paralyzed from the neck down, that was all. Hopefully it was temporary.

    "Why would they love the scrawny human who accidentally fell through one of their portals, hmm?"

    "Because everybody loves children, and I was a cute one. They couldn't resist my pigtail-preschooler charm."

    "Not quite." He turned away from the window, a dark expression marring his glowing features. "You knew too much just by happening upon them. Think about it. Had they put you back, you'd grow up babbling about dragons incessantly. Even if those overgrown chameleons are unbearably pompous, they'd much rather put up with an annoying brat for seventy years or so than risk being discovered by your kind."

    "I was, like, four years old. I probably wouldn't have even remembered the entire ordeal."

    "Children aren't as easily duped as you assume."

    A spike of anger flared in her chest. "Why didn't they just kill me then, huh?"

    "Would you be so heartless as to kill a helpless, abandoned puppy you found on the side of the road?" Ruby hesitated too long, letting him continue. "Makes sense, doesn't it?" He strode back towards her. A wave of his hand finally stopped the vibrating in her bones, and cancelled the command. But her legs, unprepared, buckled beneath her free weight, and she fell back to the floor. Before she could gather herself back up again, the god came to a stop before her, bending forwards to snare her chin in his hand to tip her head up and meet his eyes. "I know it's hard to comprehend. After all these years, only to finally realize they've been lying to you for every single one of them." He sneered. "Here's another truth for you: nobody will come to save you, either."

    Ruby clenched her jaw. "You're wrong."

    He shook his head. "No, I'm not. They know you're too loyal to ever betray them." She felt the bitter metal of the gun snuggle into the crook of her neck. Her body jerked with a chill as it dashed up her spine. "Don't you think they would've been here by now if they really cared about you?"

    Ruby was quiet. Her stomach felt hot with nervous nausea. Surely he was lying. He was just being manipulative... right? She swallowed hard, unable to look away from his abnormal eyes. It was taking them an awful long time to get here... They should have just been able to cross into the god's dimension just like they did the human's. They'd said it wasn't hard.

    She turned her head, pulling away from his grasp, which released when she did so. Her eyes fixated on the marble floors. "What do you want with them?"

    "Enslavement."

    Ruby flinched, looking back immediately. "What?"

    He straightened and put the gun away, pleased by her interest in the topic. "Dragons are the second most powerful beings that exist. Second to gods, of course. Can you imagine? A god, riding on the back of a dragon, passing through every dimension. Now imagine that, except with hundreds of gods upon hundreds of dragons, taking over every single dimension." He smiled. "We've discussed this with your dragon king, but he was adamantly against it. Didn't seem to understand the fact that this is happening."

    "You're taking over reality?"

    "Yes, Ruby. We are. And the dragons will be helping us whether they want to or not." He crouched in front of her, raising his hand to her jaw to administer a gentle caress. "If you'd like, I could make you a god, as well. You could be one of us, an equal to your peers. Not just a pet. But first, I need to know a dragon's weaknesses. And you'd know better than anyone."

    Did she even want to be a god? This was the first one she'd ever met. She hadn't really liked him initially, but he did have soft hands, that was for sure. Dragons were calloused all over. But to be a god, she would have to betray those who had raised her. Dragons did have a weakness. Gold. It burned through their scales. Ruby glanced upwards, watching the god's hair as it billowed like it would if underwater. It was the color of gold, and glowed as though each of the strands were filled with the molten substance. If he had been the one to try to talk the dragons into taking over reality, she understood why they'd refused. They hated his hair.

    Perhaps being a god wouldn't be so bad. She'd always wondered what it would be like to have power running through her veins. The dragons never understood the sadness she felt when they flew away, leaving her on the ground while they got to explore every inch of their dimension. The god said she'd be their equal...

    Ruby opened her mouth to say the word, the four-letter word that would bring about the future of a ruled reality, when the wall crashed inwards. Both Ruby and the god looked to see what the trouble was.

    The god stood, lips locked in a hard scowl. "Well, what do you know. Those fire-breathing bastards decided to make an appearance." He faced the gaping hole where the wall had once been, watching as a silver dragon haphazardly forced her way inside , scattering the debris that was in her path. It was Chryle. She was one of the smaller ones, but still too large for the building. She didn't give him time to react. Jaws opening, a lightning-fast beam of black fire shot from her throat, striking the golden god to send him rocketing towards the opposing wall. He struck it with a pained groan, but Ruby was snatched away before she could manage to look his way.

    Chryle took off for the sky, headed straight for the dark portal awaiting her above. Looking back down, Ruby watched the chaos unfold. Dragons, hundreds of dragons, attacking hundreds of gods. Surely not what they had been wanting. She reached for her ear, removing the single earring from her lobe before tossing it away. The microphone.

    Perhaps he'd been right. She was a pet. But at least the dragons never held her at gunpoint before making propositions to her. She still didn't understand why a god needed a gun.

    Turns out, a god is no match for a dragon after all.
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week three - bone

Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:22 am

  • BONE
    • paraStalicites dripped from the low ceiling like candle wax, feeding beads of stale water to the patient cave floor below; every so often, however, a stray droplet lost its way and landed on the skin of a cross-legged man motionless as the ancient boulders surrounding him. In the right light or lack thereof, he seemed nothing but a mass of jagged stone in a coincidental shape, save for the occasional movement of his chest to prove his humanity, though even that brief movement was a rarity.

      The sour smell of fungus and musk peppered his lungs but went unnoticed. After a while, such things seem as ordinary as anything else, along with the bats, roaches, the never-ending dampness. A cloak of vying darkness engulfed him wholly, and he was very nearly digested by the sloping walls he leaned against. Millipedes waltzed through his lap on their daily strolls. Salamanders huddled in the narrow space where his knees lifted from the ground. Perhaps he was as much a part of this cave than the gemstones burrowed in its layers.

      A blind drop of water rained upon him like a pinprick, followed by the crumbling sound of footsteps drawing near. Only then did Maddox flinch back into existence, sending several living things scrambling out from different crevices of his body in a symphony of tiny, panicked shrieks. For some reason, he was sorry to see them go.

      para"You're skin and bones," a sharp voice trudged through the dense air, yanking his concrete consciousness through the mouth of the cave. He shied from the foreign light of an approaching lantern, kneading reality back into his eyes with two balled fists. Stopping in front of him, the woman sent a hand to her hips, eyebrows lowering as a belated mouse skittered from behind his back. A flickering shadow trailed her lithe frame, craning for the ceiling, and her eyes burned with a look he hadn't gotten since he was a child. Still squinting, Maddox swept a dusting of shale from his hair, which splashed into a murky puddle resting in a trench in the earth, each tiny plop echoing through the walls like thunder.

      para"Yeah, well," he said, shrugging, "my semblance magic is absolute shit. Hello to you too, by the way." His own voice sounded foreign, louder than he meant it to be and coarse from misuse. He attempted to clear his throat, again too loudly, half-expecting gravel to come barreling up, but nothing did. And still yet, the girl's glare demanded a path through invisible, looming spores, and the man couldn't help but cross his arms. "Alright, look, it doesn't matter what I say. I know it's going to piss you off to hear this, but you won't understand. It's not something that can be put into words or anything like that, so I won't even try." His forearms tightened around each other, and he felt the need to nod in affirmation, so he did.

      para"But that doesn't even make sense!" Faine exclaimed, tossing her hands towards the cave ceiling in an abrupt motion. "I don't know what there is to possibly understand. You're killing yourself! I mean, look at you! You look like you haven't eaten in weeks. And your skin. All of my friends used to be so obsessed with you and - never mind that, can you even stand?" The words spilled from her lips before she could stop them; afterward, she bit them back together to avoid saying anything more.

      para"Whatever. You don't quite look like a prize yourself," he spat back. "What? Of course. Shit, I'm not crippled." Like an animal, he bared his teeth, then flattened his palms under his weight. With great effort, he struggled to his feet, bones shrieking and cackling all the way up. Every muscle, nerve, and vein protested the unfurling. Along with dizziness, a sudden wave of disbelief dragged his widened gaze down his body. How long had it been since he'd... moved?

      paraSelf-inflicted famine was tight against his skeleton, every bone breaching through a layer of ashen skin that looked as if it were moments away from tearing apart. Both clusters of ribs could be plucked at like banjo strings; his bony fingers reached to strum them idly. Then, huffing, Maddox leveled his protruding spine. "See?" He steadied his quaking knees and puffed out his sunken chest as far as it could go.

      para"Well, you could have fooled me." Exhaling loudly, she collapsed on a nearby rock, angling her body away from him. "And maybe that's because I've been over here worrying all day and night while you just sit here dying and doing your dumbass witchcraft!" An invasive Hmph sent a cluster of bats squealing in every direction. The man hauled a gritty palm to his forehead.

      para"Faine, what are you even doing here? I can get shit on all I want outside, okay? I don't need you barging in and doing it here."

      para"Oh, really? Maybe they're just trying to put your head on straight. Have you ever thought of that? You've gone mad, you know, you're... you're just crazy!" The words shoved past her clamped teeth before she could stop them. She bit her lip again. Across from her, the thin man closed his eyes and settled back on the hard floor, disregarding her completely. Faine tapped her left foot rapidly, tap tap tap tap.

      para"Wait," the woman finally said, "no, no, no. That's not what I meant. I'm sorry." Long red hair spilled over her face as she crouched forward, beads of sweat rolling down her pink cheeks. Just inches away, Maddox could hear the frenzied rhythm of her heart. "I don't know what else to do, okay? We, I, can help you. No one will be mad. Come home. Please?" For a moment, her face wrinkled as if she were about to cry, but only a moment. Straightening, she regained composure rather quickly. Again, he sighed, shaking his head.

      para"I'm not coming home," he said. The concept of home didn't exist in this cave; it was better that way. He looked up at her. "So try it. Just once." Outside, the wind howled. A lick of breeze left a trail of goosebumps on both of their arms. Faine's eyebrows dipped down to her eyelids.

      para"I don't know what you-"

      para"If you don't understand afterward, maybe I'll decide to come home," he interrupted. An unexpected grin sprouted from his face; it was a wide coyote smile. It was so obviously laced with deceit, but the girl took a timid step forward, her fire extinguished.

      para"Hold on." Faine cocked her head, a strained breath filtering through a clenched jaw. "What?"

      para"I'll give it up. I'll go back with you. No questions asked." Maddox leaned back, losing his rare smile somewhere along the way, watching tall spiders creep about. If focused, he could make out the microscopic shuffling of their thread-thin legs journeying up and down the wall. The yearning for magic whirled around his stomach, tugging at his thoughts as easily as a tornado rips houses from the ground. Silence fluttered between the two, minds wandering in very different realms: Faine was dizzy with confusion for a moment or two, but then joy plastered over her face like a circus mask, while Maddox ran cold as a river.

      para"Wait, are you serious? That's, that's great! Mom is going to be so relieved and, Dad, Dad has been praying every night-"

      para"Not so fast. This stuff isn't a joke," he warned. Bending forward, he plucked a few loose pebbles from the ground and began to arrange them in a nonexistent shape. His movements were wide and theatrical, plus, to further the effect, he grumbled quietly to himself, just under his breath. "Almost. There we go. No, that's not quite it. Hmm." Another burst of wind teased a few lighter pebbles out of line, but neither of them noticed. A few minutes tiptoed passed them.

      para"Fine," Faine said, nodding. She took a deep, shuddering breath, turning towards the mouth of the cave, then turning back. "Okay. Let's just get it over with, then. Does it hurt?" She wondered, sliding her hands up her biceps.

      para"Yes," Maddox answered quickly, still busy with random debris. "Okay. Now close your eyes and wait."

      paraFaine's heart skipped a beat. Ever so slowly, she willed her eyes to close and took another deep, determined breath.

      paraMaddox's face hollowed as he memorized the freckles dotting hers. She was always so pretty. When they were younger, his friends were obsessed with her, too, and he hoped she knew that. A genuine smile caught his mouth as her eyelid started twitching; it shriveled away soon after. Why did they have to be so damn different?

      paraWeren't twins supposed to be similar?

      paraA sudden snap rang through the atmosphere. His sister's eyes shot back open.

      paraSomehow, she was alone, though it took her a moment to realize it.
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cognomen
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week three - bone

Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:33 am

✂- - - - - BONE
______________________________________________________________________________________________
    • epigraphThe sun was lazy on the horizon as it settled its plump ass over the faraway silhouettes of the buttes and mesas that marred the ghastly flatness of wild desert. The treacherous bastard was blistering vermillion underneath a thick cloak of smoke. The orange of it corrupted the surrounding clouds, leaking across the sky like spilled oil.
      epigraphAlexander, a boy who fancied himself a man, glowered into the sunset with the fury of a cantankerous rattler. Copperblade. The ‘King of the Bandits’ had pissed on the ashes of Ander’s burned town. Ander rolled the wad of sweet tobacco over his tongue. He found himself unable to enjoy the taste and spat. A puff of dust rose around it.
      epigraphThe Copper Wars took its blood price from everyone, Smith said. Ander’s parents had paid his blood price for him. The boy mindlessly stroked the steel barrel of the pistol that Smith had given him. He would put a bullet between Copperblade’s eyes if it was the last thing that he did. “King of the Bandits,” Ander snorted.
      epigraphA colossal boom! wrenched Ander from his lustful malice. His bones leapt from his flesh and his hair, in a very insulted manner, shot in every direction. The boy jammed his gun home. He was off the splintery old porch and into his master’s workshop before the ringing abandoned his ears. The hinges announced his presence with twin screams.
      epigraphSmith was propped on his elbows, laughing maniacally through a face full of soot. Ander skid to a stop, irritation unmasked at the shit-eating grin that his master flashed his direction. “I ain’t dead yet,” the forty-something coppersmith assured his apprentice. Smith adored reminding Ander that he had yet to die—Ander couldn’t imagine why. He didn’t want Smith to die.
      epigraph“Good to know,” Ander huffed. As his adrenaline ebbed, his nose crinkled at the stench that permeated through the air. Even the sulfurous odor billowing off Smith didn’t drown it out. Ander’s stomach was sweet-talking him to get the fuck out of the workshop. The boy held his ground. “Do you ever get past it?”
      epigraphHis master, whose attention was now caught by the wreckage of what used to be a customer’s very expensive…something…didn’t pause. “Get past what exactly, boy?” The man lived in a perpetual state of jovial irritation that rubbed everyone he met the wrong way. Ander had been apprenticing with the man for nearing on a year, and he still wasn’t comfortable.
      epigraph“The blood. The air stinks of blood.”
      epigraphA sharp crease brought Smith’s bushy eyebrows together as he narrowed his eyes to peer at Ander. Several long seconds passed. Only the slow churn of a steam engine and the low whistle of wind graced the tense atmosphere. And then? Smith threw back his head and began to laugh. His laughter sounded like a locomotive caught in a forest of barbed wire.
      epigraphHe laughed his throat raw, slapping his thigh in good spirits that Ander did not feel. The boy locked his hands behind his back to refrain from throwing the foul gestures that his fingers itched to form. Smith would brand his forehead for any one of them. “That ain’t blood and you know it,” Smith chuckled, wiping tears from his eyes, “You’re livin’ on a copper-”
      epigraphBandits!
      epigraphHorror broke the good humor that painted Smith’s face and excitement blemished the annoyance on Ander’s. Rejection had been expecting Copperblade and his men…but not nearly so soon. It had only been three days since black smoke rose from Eagle Point, they should have had at least a week before the arrival of the bandits.
      epigraph“Rust my bones,” Smith swore. He heaved himself to his feet, knuckles white as the corners of his eyes as he stormed past Ander. The boy could see metal quivering beneath his master’s flesh. It had been years since Smith took a man’s life, years since he was a gunslinger. Ander always wondered why the man wouldn’t speak about it.
      epigraphThe life of a gunslinger made coppersmithing sound as interesting as baking biscuits.
      epigraphRather than chasing his master like a hapless puppy, Ander waded through the scrap metal forest within the workshop, heading for the back door. Behind the shop, Ander’s bike waited. Smith promised that it would be his if he didn’t do anything “stupid”. If Ander’s mother had lived long enough to meet Smith, she would have told the man that Ander couldn’t go a month without a healthy dose of stupidity.
      epigraphAnder grasped the handlebars, treading lightly as he wheeled it out of the sagebrush and around the building. As he neared the corner, he heard Smith’s wife. “Smith, you must be crazy!” she cried, her voice hot enough to power a locomotive. Peeking around the corner, he watched her storm down from the porch, her blue dress bundled up in two angry little fists.
      epigraph“For fightin’ for my town?” Smith demanded. The man towered over his petite wife. He was a broad man, thick with muscle and hard work.
      epigraphNevertheless, Anne face him boldly. Anger spots colored her cheeks and her lips were in a sharp line. She was not having any of his heroism—she never had any of his anything. “There’ve got to be twenty of ‘em! We need to leave.” Underneath her tone, there was a quiver of fear. There was no swaying Ander’s master when he was protecting his family.
      epigraph“My love,” Smith said, taking his wife’s face in his large hands, “I won’t be leavin’ Rejection. This is our home.”
      epigraphAnder had crossed the street. A tattoo of hoofbeats shattered the tension in the air as darkness fell over Rejection. “Anne, you keep yourself clear of this,” Smith said. He turned away from the woman.
      epigraphAnne’s lip quivered. She snatched it between her teeth. She looked as if she was planning to argue. She must have thought better of it, because she said, “You ain’t dyin’ on me. Not today.”
      epigraph“Never.” A grin slid across Smith’s face. “An’ if I do? You’ll be chasin’ those bastards to their graves.”
      epigraph“I love you,” Anne murmured.
      epigraphSmith had turned away, but he returned to her then. The man took his wife’s face between his hands, pulling her up onto the tips of her toes for the most passionate of kisses. Neither seemed to care that colored her mouth with soot. “Always,” he said against her lips, pulling away. Ander started his bike as a pair of guns exploded from Smith’s arms.
      epigraphThey would send Copperblade and his men straight to Hell.
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daz
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{week 03.} bone.

Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:23 am

  • ━━━━━ BONE ♠ ♠ ♠
    ----->hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.
    • - warnings ;; extremely dark- author's note ;; i wrote so much of this on a notepad in class it's terribly squashed together whaaaa. also thank you blue for your word count rule lmao i'm pushing it.
  • it was time. time; ticking, pacing, skipping. he could feel as the clock's hands paced tediously inside his gut, wriggling like rats burrowing inside of him whilst their teeny claws scrabbled to stitch out the perfect home amidst the hollow of his innards. he felt the unfathomable movement of his heart; how his pulse would palpitate dramatically, surfing on a wave-shrouded sea and occasionally kissing the rock-covered shoreline. he felt each jolt, each jostling motion... for everything that swam within the measly wisp of a boy caused catastrophic uproar that hastened his lungs... and the confidence that had put him in this position.

    he wasn't dragged inside. nobody had forced this upon him, it hadn't been thrust into his vacant palms and he wasn't being confined to his decision by means of aggressive persuasion. rather, at a trifling sixteen years of age, he might as well have been nonexistent to his brethren -- his relatives of prospering belief, the encouraging voices behind his life within this cult. he was invisible to them, usually -- for he had been born there, and had grown up sustaining their ritualistic practices. he aspired to comprehend the peace he saw within their souls: he wanted to be just like them, as he had grown older surrounded by these drones of time. he had been a stealthy observer as his mother had endured sleepless nights, spending the later hours slouched before a scanty cot and dressed in the white attire of those around her. when he'd been younger, he had asked her what she was doing. she'd responded with "praying the devils away." apparently, it was the second best cleansing option the cult offered... but not nearly as beneficial as initiation.

    initiation. yes... he must've dreamed of this for many moons. he'd been, in his anticipation, depicting in his head what it could've possibly felt like. would it be freeing, as the majority liked to describe it? to him it would be. his mind was ignorant to the surface world; to the real. but he had never been one to bathe in the crystalline waters of normality... he stuck to the stench of his cult, his home, for it was all he knew. but during meditation, he would bow his head... rest in the tranquility of a stagnant society, which would allow him to feel the earth as it slowly spun on its axis. he could become one with the universe, and sought to touch his ethereal ancestors. however the only way he could've accomplished that... was through initiation.

    when he had been placed on the list, he'd prepared. he was allowed weeks. being a scrawny child, he'd had work to do... and little leeway to do it. nevertheless, for the sake of avoiding disappointment, he tried. the results were as visible as they could be on his wiry body: slight muscle tone, improved structure, a softer belly with hip bones that jutted out just slightly less. he ate more and would resist the counting of calories. other than that, though, eden could do nothing else. nobody could discuss their induction. if he approached his mother in impassioned curiosity... her answers would emerge in teetering fragments, her voice a terrified stutter. the gears hiding behind her empty eye sockets would click, and the bruises painting her heavy cheeks would clench. it was as if the thought triggered something inhuman inside of her. it turned everyone into an animal. he wanted this, though. bad enough that he was ignored his friends, and rather than objecting... he walked into his fate, and gazed blankly at the door that was closed behind him.

    ...

    it would last for however long he would... which, on average, wasn't anymore than a night. a day, perhaps, if your body could sustain you -- but his wasn't built for that labor. there was no food and drink. no communication. just a small, metal room... and the cold. for this room was no ordinary room. it was a freezer. it was big enough for eden to rise from the floor, to circulate strength in his legs, but hardly for a minute before he grew too dizzy and queried collapse. the door was latched, and as frigid air poured in through one-way vents posted at every side near the low-hanging ceiling... the boy would freeze. literally. he would freeze... to death. because initiation was the ultimate cleansing. the ultimate proof that you were worthy, and held no labor of sin on your back. it was... to be graciously reborn.

    "... j-just a minute more... a m-m-m-inute... more..." he was saying as he drew his body in tight, trying to consume warmth but finding that there was none. he was trembling like a man who had been possessed by a demon, the worst crime, and teeny flecks of genuine ice were beginning to prickle about the inner corners of his closed eyelids. they were pressed together, as if to block out the chill, as he bunched himself into a ball and supported his back against a corner. the crisp welts of solidified dew materialized about the hair on his creased brows, pursing at the roll of his quirky lips, and flashed steady kisses about the tendrils of his wilting lashes. he was shivering. he was only wearing his standard cloth: something that rejected individuality when in mass congregation, giving him a suitable place in the ranks that paved the path towards tranquility and faith.

    "... please, god... let me get through this... i don't deserve you, but i hope... i-i hope you can see it my way..." they hadn't told him how long he was going to have to abstain, but he did realize this was a trial. it was a perfectly reasonable tribulation that would prove to anyone watching, especially the miraculous lord above, that he was a worthy disciple. he belonged here. he was born unto a sinner, but she had converted and done better by herself. though his fetus had festered inside her belly for long enough, he figured he had a lick of that loathsome toxin on his skin... this was how he was going to be rid of it. the cold couldn't compare to the love he felt in his fast-pumping heart. it was swelling with happiness... and he cracked out a tearful smile. frigid to the bone, but... happy. what a spectacle he'd be inside a zoo.

    ...

    hours lingered. by this point, he was numb. a migraine had accumulated at the base of his skull... and whenever his heart would give off a thump, as would his brain. it could've exploded, and he wouldn't have felt it. he was practically paralyzed, his limbs having gone into severe shock a while ago -- but still no sign of stopping. his gaze kept tracing the florescent blue light that flickered from above, like heaven's perfect glow as it shone its judgment down on him. he was cradling his arms. he didn't feel happiness anymore. he felt... nothing at all.

    ...

    "it'll be over soon, eden..." he rocked himself, swaying, as his muscles convulsed with violent jitters. it was as if he were having a seizure -- his veins felt like they were giving off choking spasms, like the ice had crept into the tunnels and coated his blood's pathways. he stroked his bare arms with his palms for the sake of sustaining movement. maybe if he convinced himself he was warming up, that he was sat by a fire and everything was well in the world, then he'd survive. what did they want? for him to acknowledge his fate? or... was this exclusive punishment? where was the peace? when would the pain of sin stop pulsing?

    "i don't understand it... i don't get it... what have i done? to deserve this? am i not being patient? please... i believe in your wisdom... help me get through this... i-i'm... i'm... afraid..."

    ...

    "... the clock says it's... be-been... two... hours. or... was it... th-three...?" the void was swallowing him whole.

    ... slide... hush, a banshee's wheeze... slide...

    his weight was supplied by his elbows as he dragged himself that final stretch. he had crossed the room, not able to use his legs, with only the bones of his arms to aid him. he met the door... and when he touched it, he felt no constraint. maybe because his cheeks were turning green, and... he was hallucinating from the nausea that had progressed since he'd started dragging himself. he'd been trying for thirty minutes. the room may not have even been enormous, but... every slide captured his breath, an inch of consciousness... and even a scoop of his sanity -- ironically, melted and dissolving... as the rest of him turned to mechanical stone.

    ...

    "LET ME OUT!" ... no response... "i-i-i can't do th-this an-any-anymore... i can't... breathe... PLEASE...!" his screams and explosive pleas of mercy went unheard.

    ...

    it was then that he resulted to violence. his eyes were bloodshot. his lips were cracked. the worst part of this... he'd asked for it. plead for it. but now, he plead for the restoration of his innocence -- because whenever he caught a glimpse of himself in the reflective door... he saw his mother. he saw the others. but no longer was it in such an optimistic light... but one of great despair. he was a decrepit carcass with the cold carving out his very soul. and, as punishment, he slammed his pasty fists into the crannies formed by rolling layers of taut frost, but they merely ricocheted off like a child hopping atop a trampoline. he still tried, though -- cut a checkerboard pattern into his callouses... and ripped out the occasional fingernail with his teeth. even his blood felt like liquid ice. it made his flesh recoil and wither.

    ...

    "let me go..." he whispered on repetition... "i'm scared of the dark..." because he had lost his sight... because he was fading... because he'd flayed open his arms with his nails, with his mouth, to restore feeling... but it hadn't worked. he was even more numb now than previous. but it was a pleasant numb.

    ... a numb that lulled him off to permanent sleep.
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blue
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Week Three Favorite! BLUE

Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:35 am

  • Congratulations to our Fan Favorite for Week 3 of the Vipera Prompt Event: blue!
    Fantastic work on your prompt this week!
    Haha, had to pat my own back a bit. Thank you guys for voting me as your fave of the week, it really means a lot because this was a prompt I really stepped out of my comfort zone for.
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cognomen
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week four - godless

Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:22 am

✂- - - - - GODLESS
warnings: suicide and brutal death, nothing too descriptive
______________________________________________________________________________________________
    • epigraphCentury never thought herself blind, not until she met Callil Montaigne. The woman had a way about her. She saw what others could scarcely believe reality. To Callil, a star-set midnight held majesty beyond anything that words could describe. In everything, she said that there was an ‘ethereality’. “All you must do is look closer.” Century found more beauty in tracing the delicate lines of her wife’s figure or running her calloused fingers through Callil’s honey blonde hair. When she looked at the sky, all she saw was darkness and the imperfection one white speckles. If she looked closer, she saw clouds.
      epigraphCentury had witnessed true magic, and she’d felt its vile kiss with her own two hands. She had seen far too much evil to believe that there was any good beyond Callil. She was the one pure being, unblemished by the hideous travesty of their world. If only she could see as her wife saw, maybe then she could forgive herself for the horrors that she had committed. She knew that she would never forget them, not as Callil seemed to. The woman had accepted her for all that she was, and had only ever been concerned for Century’s safety. Love was a very powerful thing that made many people very stupid.
      epigraphLove also made many people happier than they believed anything ever could. Century could imagine nothing better than being nestled beneath the stars with the woman she loved. Callil formed against her like she was the piece of the puzzle that Century had been missing her whole life. While her wife was soft and warm and small, Century was built strong—in the image of a sequoia, her father used to say. To her, it did not matter if she could see the wonders that Callil could see, she was her wonder…this gorgeous woman too perfect for words. It was difficult to fathom that the two women had ever not belonged to one another, but as with every love story, there was a beginning.
      epigraphThat beginning was best described by a single word: unorthodox.
      epigraphThere was no Century before she met the woman who would become her wife—she was barely a being that existed. She was only a story, a being that haunted the nightmares of younglings and had a silhouette on a wanted poster. There was not a soul who knew the face of the great gunslinger…many believed her to be a ghost, some even hazarded to call her the devil. Century was no devil. She was one of seven protectors chosen by the archangel Gabriel to wield their blessed weapons and fight back the demon horde. The veil between Earth and what lay beneath was weakening, and the seven were the last line of defense for humankind.
      epigraphCentury served Gabriel for three hundred years, a loyal foot soldier in the eternal ware between Heaven and Hell. The particular day that she met Callil, Century had spent her morning drinking and gambling. She was excellent with cards—she never lost, or so she led herself to believe. Even drunk beyond the ability to count her own hands, Century was certain that she could only lose if the other parties were cheating. When all her money was swept off the table, Century lunged for the nearest offender. Century knew how to handle her fists as well as any man…but as drunk as she was, she was no match for the three opposite her.
      epigraphCentury’s swings landed more than once, but in the end she was thrown out the front door with a broken nose, a split lip, and enough bruises to last a lifetime. She toppled over the railing in front of the saloon, landing hard on her knees before falling face-first into the dust. The sun was white hot through her eyelids, until a shadow fell over her. Century opened her eyes to the hem of a lady’s dress. Callil knelt beside her, immense care in her voice as she cupped Century’s cheek and asked, “What did they do to you?” She had never seen the woman before, but she knew just what to do when a one so pretty was nearby: brag.
      epigraph“Should be asking what I—I did to them,” she boasted, each word slurred almost beyond comprehension.
      epigraphCallil’s face squinched into a frown for a split second, and then she burst into giggles. When she finally recovered, she introduced herself. “My name is Callil Montaigne. Come on, I’ll get you cleaned up.”
      epigraphThe rest was…predictable. Callil took it upon herself to fall in love with the gunslinger. The two grew close, and fell in love. It was not long before Century revealed who and what she was. Callil was horrified—but not of her. For her. It was a feeling that Century had never experienced. No one had ever cared for her. Not long after, Callil proposed marriage. She made the gunslinger promise that she would be a gunslinger no more. Without a blink, Century gave up her vow to Gabriel and the life that she had led in his service, and she never looked back. Callil was worth more to her than the world would ever be. Life was perfect…for a long time.
      epigraphDecades later, when grey hairs were beginning to peak from behind her ears and wrinkles grew out from the corners of her eyes, Century woke alone. Callil’s hand was not locked with hers, and those bright blue eyes did not twinkle in the early morning sun. There was a stone in her chest, holding her down. Century was afraid to leave their bed. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she placed her feet on the floor and stood. The boards complained beneath her weight. Sliding her arms around her thinning figure, Century made her way through the quaint house that had become their home. Every step was more difficult than the last.
      epigraphShe found her precious wife on the dining room table, cleaved open with a brutality Century had never witnessed. She froze in the doorway. One sharp breath. Two. Her wail could have split the heavens. Century sprinted across the room, slipping in the sea of blood that spread across the floor. “Callil?” she begged, taking the woman’s face in her hands, “Wake up, Callil.” Her chest lurched. A cord caught around her throat, strangling the breath from her as she stared at her wife’s vacant face. Callil’s cheeks were frigid. Her eyes were glassy. Unblinking. Century pulled the woman into her arms. Her body wilted in her arms like a dying wildflower.
      epigraph“No…no, no, no.” Sobs caught every breath with a barbed hook. “You can’t be…” But she was. The life had left her before Century even knew that something was wrong. Even in death, Callil possessed a beauty that could not be measured…maybe that was why he had branded her. Maybe he was only sending a message. Century laid her palm over her wife’s forehead, obscuring the raw and blistered lines of a pentagram. Although Callil’s body was cold, the brand seared into Century’s flesh the moment she touched it. She did not draw away. She would not remember Callil with that infernal thing burned into her face.
      epigraph“I will destroy him.” There was a tremble in her voice, but it was not of fear or sadness. It was rage. Callil was the first thing that Century had ever loved, and he had taken her. Devastation was too gentle a word for the agony that Century felt as she cradled her wife against her chest. All that she had left of Callil was this wretched stickiness of cold blood soaking through her clothes and the ring around her finger. Hours later, she didn’t even have that. Beneath the fresh heap of dirt that she knelt before was Callil, dressed in her wedding dress. Century’s ring had joined her wife’s. She could not afford such gentleness where she was going.
      epigraphThe one who had mutilated her Callil did not deserve her mercy. He had extinguished everything in the world that ever mattered to Century, and she would have her revenge. The bastard thought that he was safe, hiding in the depths of Hell utop his throne of skulls and bones…but Century was coming for him. Her teeth clicked against the cold barrel of her revolver. She could taste the steel of it. Her thumb graced the trigger. She was not afraid. With the fury of the heavens at her back and merciless, she would look the devil straight in the eye and smile as she pulled the trigger.
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.faunlet.
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week 4: godless

Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:08 am

Image xxxx G O D L E S S (some mentions of violence, nothing gratuitous) xxxx
xxxx
It was high among the clouds in which the wingless sentinels dwelled all their life. A paradise made from leaves of green and gold. A pink haze of fragrant devotion wafted through every bough and touched every petal. This was a place where every angel did their duty, and found intense pleasure in doing so. And when the time came to dip their wings into the trembling water of humankind? To descend into the world of the mortal? They did so with ferocity and loyalty. Whether it be to punish, kill, or prophesy, they exulted.


They did it all for their god, the one who they called the creator. The high creator. This higher being had no fixed face but was felt in every corner of their heaven. Sometimes if you were quick and seeked him with all your might, you'd see a flash of his smile in a frothy brook, or a glint of his eye in the light that through the leaves did glimmer. His rage was a thunderous bellow that came from the very core of the earth and when, to the angels' delight, he felt happiness, his laugh rumbled through the ground so thoroughly that all the rocks and pebbles trembled and shook as if they were dancing with happiness in his presence. The angels did his bidding, but the creator need not deliver his messages to them with rhetoric or spoken direction. The angels would touch the ground, feel him in the earth and know his will in their very souls. They had no need for words. Only trust.


His most pious follower, the angel Jasper, wore a golden laurel wreath everyday. The cold leaves pressing against his fair temple reminded him everyday of his devotion to paradise and all its pleasant hills and valleys. His heart swelled with pride at every newly bloomed flower, and every newly inflicted bruise. His duty was his life. His creator was his life. If Jasper felt death in the wind, even the bravest and most fiercest of mortal men would soon feel doom in the pit of their soul.


Once, many an age ago, Jasper had flocked to the sacred river, with his laurel resting in his golden curls, and saw in the rushing waters a betrayal so cold and magnificent that his eyes gleamed and his heart fluttered. Looking deep into the ancient waters, he knew exactly what he had to do. After many hours concentrating under a weeping willow, he phased into the world of mortals in a thrilling blur. It was the dead of night and the stench of mortal man filled Jasper's nostrils like the heady spice of foreign lands. Here, men perambulated on kaleidoscope mosaics and prayed in high, white temples. However, there was only one door in particular that Jasper would call upon tonight.


And he had found his door.


Standing on two feet like an ordinary man, he stood a large window, until this mighty ruler appeared. Their eyes locked. The air stopped still. Jasper felt his heart stop. A shot of adrenaline hit him like ecstasy and made him stop as dead still as a statue. Jasper looked at the older, taller, broader man deep in his taupe eyes. Looked him dead in eye and struck the fear of god into him.


The fear of death.


Soft, shallow breaths were the only sound that could be heard. The silence was thick. The angel and the ruler stared. Stared at each other with mutual knowing, pleading and stillness. Jasper could feel his heartbeat in his ears. The angel knew why he had come, and the ruler knew it to. He knew that god's searchlight was turning, and the light had turned its face onto him. He knew. It was written in every line of his face.


Jasper vanished into thin air. Dissipated into a pale shadow. To the naked eye, he was invisible, yet he remained. He watched with pale lids apart; Watched the king fall softly onto his lounging chair with pitiful acceptance, head in his hands, ready to ponder his fate. Watched him writhe and struggle in his sleep. And when he left in the morning, Jasper watched with hungry eyes as the stately king walked into the jaws of death.


The next day, behind a tall white column, he watched with bliss the betrayal he saw in the river unfold before his very eyes once more. He cast a smug leer at the abject emperor who wore a laurel wreath much like his. The laurel wreath fell to the ground. Red was split on his once grand, purple robe. 23 times. He cried in pain and disbelief. Jasper leaned in closer and closer as the light faded further and further away from the eyes of the dictator perpetuo.


He had done his duty.


Jasper vanished as quickly as he appeared.


He returned at one to his beloved paradise. He felt lighter than air. Every flower smelt sweeter. Every breeze felt cooler. Jasper turned his satisfied grin to the sky, which answered with the sun, and basked like the primroses at his feet. He had not killed the man (this time), but the thrill of watching the man become aware of his mortality and his eyes filling with fear for his immortal soul was like a balm to Jasper's souls. He had glutted himself on that fear, and he felt full. As full as if he'd gorged himself on a five course meal on the richest meats and cheese.


But as much as the meal had satisfied him, it in turn made him feel lethargic. As if he had over-expended himself. He slowly moved himself to a bed of the most vibrant, fragrant, violet hydrangeas in the valleys and slept. Slept contentedly and in peace. And when the sun retired over and over and over again, Jasper remained in a deep slumber, cradled by his father in the earth.


But he awoke like a man with a terrible hunger


Hunger only that starving men knew.


Stroking the curls back into his hair, he stirred and then rose to full height. All was well i paradise. Blue mists rose from the still waters. A golden lyre was being plucked by a pretty, young angel with raven hair and a disarming smile at the bank of the sacred river. Yes, all was well. But not in Jasper's heart. He had awoken with longing. A yearning for that fear. That power. It drove him to look for the creator once again. First he looked in the deep caverns of ice, then at the deathly still, jet-black lake. The last place he looked was in the core of the ripest apple in the hills, split with his very best porcelain dagger. But the creator had nothing for him, however. No job or menial task to satiate his deep-set hunger. He searched for his god and he found nothing.


Cold, empty nothing.


It was not only greed but also anger that had caused Jasper to take matters into his own hands. Running swiftly with a fast-beating heart, he settled himself under an old, wise oak. With the evilest of smiles he phased once again into the solid world. A world that had become shiny and fast and big in his absence. He had no plan. He had no need for a plan. All he needed were his pitch-black eyes, as deep as the ocean, that held truths measureless to man.


It was raining when he arrived at the door of a modest brick cottage, deep in the bleak raining hills of Albion, as it was once known, where slept two lovers on bride-white sheets. Jasper could not see them, but could feel their warm presence radiating from the house. He could feel their new, tender love through the walls. The angel's time as an immortal being had allotted him many privileges, one being a sense for things, and he sensed many things. The couple were to be married in the morning. The mother of the bride had refused to come. The bride would wear diamonds in her ears. Or she would, had Jasper not found himself at their doorstep.


Jasper stood outside the window pane with bated breath, waiting for the groom-to-be to descend down the stairs for some midnight supper. And sure enough, he did. Tired eyes blinking. A teaspoon in a hot mug clinking. The groom took a sip- and looked up. Looked ardently into his eyes. Into the face of death.


His heart stopped.


Jasper knew joy.
xxx
...
Last edited by .faunlet. on Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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{week 04.} godless.

Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:44 am

  • ━━━━━ GODLESS ♠ ♠ ♠
    • - warnings ;; super vague hint towards sexual abuse.- author's note ;; idk about this one tbh. it's so lazy. i also really don't know what emotion this is supposed to evoke, but hopefully it does something. also i imagined the 'you' as this lovely fella, but considering it's second person it's whatever you see fit. maybe make it yourself. that'd be creepy.
  • "gage, please. i don't think you're hearing me. i need a job; i need one now. we're broke. we've got nothing to our name 'cept for a tv and a cheap ass mobile home. we aren't gonna survive on this."

    sweat was rolling down your forehead in perilous waves (the air conditioning had been shot since last week, and there wasn't a chance you could afford to repair it). like drool from a salivating dog, it drizzled smoothly and formed minuscule puddles about the tiled floor. your sneakers, tattered as they were, had planted you in the kitchen. the empty kitchen—quite literally barren of necessity, with only counter tops melded into the walls to fill in the gaps. there was a moldy refrigerator pried open near the middle, the soft glow of its innards casting a soothing silhouette about the side of your face. what had once been shelves decked out with splendor and luscious goodies were now without sustenance. there were no pickles swimming in jars of resin, no loaves of bread, no slices of meat... there wasn't even a jug of milk, which was inexplicable to you for your mother was severely lactose intolerant and only you could safely enjoy the cool beverage's consumption. you were so used to being careful, to counting your rations... you didn't understand where the month's food supply had gone.

    "what're you blabbering about, sunny? you got a couch too, don'tcha?" a drunken, hoarse voice—crippled by an accent so severe—chortled into the receiver of the phone you had plastered to your chiseled cheek. it had been plump and rosy before... but years of intermittent starvation didn't do a body good.

    sunny was your childhood nickname. of course only gage could recall its existence, which was unfortunate due to the sandy-haired gent's repulsive gusto. the pot-bellied pig of a man had the courage and impulse control of a wild bull. beneath those cowboy boots, his santa beard, and country dialect was a cold-hearted killer, and you both knew it. but gage knew the same about you. there were no secrets between the two of you, which was perhaps the "fun part" of growing up together. there were perks just as well as there were cons—that stupidly fluffy moniker included.

    "i don't need your sarcasm right now, buffalo bill. you're a dick if you think i have the time and patience. a real maggot."

    "gah-lee, kiddo," he sputtered, "you hurtin' that bad?"

    "i need a job."

    there was static on the opposite end of the phone. you felt your skin prickle with anxiety—your tongue went dry, your stomach lurched with sickness... and you tangled your fingers with the phone wire, intertwining them tediously with the slender coil's selection of curls. you could've sworn he'd hung up, that the loathsome man you couldn't make sense of falling 'friend' had abandoned you... and just as you were preparing to slam your thumb against the off switch... he replied.

    "alright, alright... i got one for ya, mmkay? so just... hold your horses... lemme get the information to ya. remember-"

    "no pen and paper. gotcha," you recited swiftly, your eyes goggling as you leaned into the nearest door frame. it was flimsy plastic, almost snapped off its hinges, but you were so used to everything being broken you barely minded. whilst gage rattled off an address into your half-listening ear, your gaze sprawled outward and embraced the contents of the room before you. a dull sofa shrouded in popping springs and loose chunks of stuffing sat at the center of the cramped space, swallowing what little vacancy the floor already lacked. the carpeting was worn with dirt and rat feces, though admittedly you'd had yet to free the opportunity to clean it. you worked three poor-paying jobs and one other on the side—this one being where the bulk of your income came from, which was inconvenient when they hadn't any clients for you (you could go months without contact, which meant months without eating—and sometimes, your patience wore too thin). and perhaps you could've held a more substantial budget had it not been brutishly encumbered by the wrinkly lump of sorry flesh that nested atop that ratty couch.

    your mother. she was such a sensitive topic to you, and gage realized that. it was why he taunted your name instead of your family struggles. he had the I.Q. of a box of rocks, but at least he had common sense. she and your old man, he died when you were ten, were equal parts drunkards as they were absolutely deranged. you recalled your father's seething lust... how abhorrent he'd been... and how your mother had never done anything to support you or stop the abuse. but sometimes it was nearly impossible to be angry with her, for ever since her husband's "untimely" death she had barely spoken a word. you were a young adult now, and you could probably count on your hands how many times she'd opened her mouth since. she had dementia now, which left her to the couch and her hideously sketched cartoon shows... and on sundays? her church.

    only on sundays was the house quiet; overcast from the solemn pall of her intensive prayer. you used to ask her if she were hungry during these hours, but she'd made a habit of clutching her bible and striking you with it whenever you "disrupted" her. she was an adamant catholic, while you were... not. you had been as a child, obviously—just like every young and impressionable soul when raised under a strictly religious roof—but your view of it had long since been perverted. a belief in any god was more a pain than a treasure. faith had turned you godless, and with that came astronomical stress relief. had you still followed such absurd practices, you may not have been able to face your grisly reflection in the mirror. and perhaps it was wrong to justify your career's demands by claiming yourself a godless individual, thus incapable of taking on punishment from any higher authority. it was like you'd convinced yourself that since you'd had a rough childhood, and you put your life in no biblical character's hands, you were faultless. your mother as well, she was bonkers. if you were expected to handle the finances and care for her, despite the burning hatred she had for you... you had every right to turn to desperate measures.

    "you got that, sunny?"

    you stared blearily at your half conscious mother. she was slouched on the dusty cushion, her pruned fingers clenching the arm rest closest to you. her television burst into a stream of prerecorded laughter and applause, but her only response was a snore. tucked in her bosom was a golden cross necklace which she gripped sleepily. 'bless her soul,' you thought. 'she hasn't a clue.'

    "got it. thanks, gage."

    "yeah, yeah... don't mention it... ah... literally."

    and yet all still felt hopeless, and you... unbearably worthless. just like she'd always said. you wouldn't amount to anything but trouble. perhaps she'd been right.
--------
  • blood. blood pounded in your eardrums. blood trickled from an opened mouth. a broken jaw creaked, and two empty, glossy voids gazed up at you almost whimsically. you were unresponsive, pensively hovering over the limp cadaver with your butcher knife lying limply between your thumb and forefinger. your plastic doctor's gloves were greasy... the blue, chemical-infused elastic folded clumsily over your calluses to obstruct the formation of prints. you felt numb as you weighed a warm object in your opposing palm—a human heart; how quaint—turning it to-and-fro so as to watch the glaze encapsulating the moonlight. the alley produced very little, but that hardly mattered. you were confident that you needn't see every detail of the morbid scene splayed out at your feet.

    a phone was pressed to your ear, supported by your shoulder. it was disposable—good for one call and cheap as hell. you weren't shaking... you weren't even worried. once before your own composure had frightened you, but in recent months the work of an assassin had grown customary.

    "it's done," you whispered hoarsely, snatching your gaze away from the corpse. you must've been contemplating this for months now. was it really the time? delicately, you lifted the blade to your jugular. the frigid surface licked your skin, and you sighed. maybe it was. you dropped the heart.

    "aha, i knew you'd be speedy! you want that cash sent straight ta yer bank account, kiddo?"

    silence. like you'd hung up. you peered at the starry sky with glazed eyes. you were godless, though. you looked towards no one. your mother was right. you were trouble. you must've cost at least twenty innocent lives... for money. you were trapped at this point. you couldn't go to prison, nor could you face your hungry mother with empty hands. you were finished with being the disappointment. it was tonight or never.

    "... sunny?"

    "tell him it was a free hand."

    and whilst you smiled... you slit your throat.
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Week Four Favorite! .FAUNLET.

Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:52 am

  • Congratulations to our Fan Favorite for Week 4 of the Vipera Prompt Event: .faunlet!
    Fantastic work on your prompt this week! And congratulations on winning on your first week! Thank you for joining us and we look forward to more of your writing!
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