Monday, May 29, 2017

Humi Procumbere

     The rapidity of his blinking good eye did not change the specter before him, though he varied the rate. So many bodies...blink, blink...all those little kids...blink-blink-blink...all those wretched birds...long, slow blink...all blink, just a closed eye. He weaved as he toiled with the infinity of experiences that he’d suddenly become privy to when Iphi—that stupid bird, that phoenix—bit him. Nothing. Not one single scrap of her enlightenment existed to help him rationalize the Burning Grounds. “Why?” he croaked.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Minus Valere

     Inside of the Regular Militia’s Subterranean Security Complex, 324 soldiers went about their business as if nothing were happening above ground. In fact, until the generals had arrived, not one of the troops permenantly station in the SSC had given a second thought to the City of Ambrosia. Most of the Regulars stationed at SSC weren’t even from the City, they were from all over Poterit Don, and they rarely gave the City more than passing consideration. Whenever their minds did finally drift to upper level freedoms their thoughts centered on which of the milbars they’d hit up and where they’d find some decent chow. They were brought together for one purpose only: maintain the SSC. At first, the only ones to notice as the generals trickled down were the gate security personnel. But as with wild fires, word spreads quickly. Some of the younger soldiers, who’d never seen a general before, made the rounds trying to spot one like birders try to spot a scaled ground-cuckoo. For their part, the generals had each mustered to their respective offices where they were preparing themselves for whatever bombshell the CQD revealed. Not that they’d be able to convene until the Praeceptor arrived.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ultro Citroque

     At the bottom of the stairwell, the Mercury’s Elite Guardsman sternly said, “wait here while I check it out.”
     Weaving and holding her knapsack tightly, Cassie growled, “you think someone’s hiding in there? What? Waiting to kill the Kaiser? Like they planned for you to bring him down here? No one even knows this place exists.”
     “The kitchen staff know,” Archel pointed out as the weight of her words hit him. Before he could say anything else, the Merc returned.
     “It’s safe,” he said. When the trio had entered the first compartment of the Bomb Shelter, the Merc pulled the heavy steel blast door closed, and spun the four cam latches into place with a grunt. “We’ll stay here until the danger passes,” he informed them.
     “And, how will we know?” Cassie asked. She stood in the middle of the empty room looking at the gun metal gray walls.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Difficultatibus Affici

     Holding his suspenders in a light grip, Captain Decker stood on the stairwell outside the pilot house. From his vantage point, he could see down the river and up the embankment which led to the little shotgun cabin that was their port of call. Not that there was anything to see, dusk having faded to twilight. He stared up the shadowy embankment to the invisible treeline. Any time now, one of his crew would pop out, a lone torch. Who? he wondered. Doesn’t matter, he mused, soon as they’re onboard, we set sail. Waiting wasn’t the problem. Sailors know Waiting intimately. No. The riptide in his gut longed desperately to be rolling out into the Sovereign Sea where overgrown river banks would be distant memories. Storm coming, he shuddered. Taking the giant cigar out of his mouth, the captain stared at the embers a moment, and then tossed back his hand to knock the ash into the wind.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Incunabula Doctrinae

     After minutes of pacing between Preston’s desk and the door, the novice cook thought she’d lose her mind. Sitting down in the chair next to the couch where the Messenger lay sprawled, the young woman took time to really observe her unconscious charge. The Messenger’s wavy blond hair covered half of her sickly face which currently matched her pale tunic and contrasted sharply with her partially unbuttoned black jerkin. On the ground next to the couch lay a dingy old knapsack, its seams stretched, a couple unraveled. What is in that thing? the girl wondered. She reached toward the bag, then stopped herself, you can’t. That’s the Messenger’s. Sitting back in the rickety chair, she could barely hear it creak with the noise from the kitchen. How can she sleep through all that? At that last thought the cook leaned over again, flipped up the top of the bag, and stared at the contents. Of course she has a shit ton of notebooks, the cook chuckled. First, she glanced from the door to the Messenger. Then, after holding her breath for a count of three, she repeated the action. When she couldn’t stand it any more, she knelt down before the bag and gave the middle notebook a solid tug which caused her to rock back. Inhaling, she pushed herself off the ground, weaved, and then eased into the chair. Flipping open to a random page, the nosy little cook read: