Inktober 2: The Alien Empress

She closed her eyes and when she opened them again the room was sparkling in gold. Somehow the transformation occurred even to her subjects around her. The world was a single accessory that matched her mood. She was terrifying in gold, the glittering quality of her skin inhuman. “Kill the human when you find it. It won’t be as fresh, but it’ll still be delicious.” It was the same voice as my blind date. Great.

I watched from a grate, hidden from view by an ornate bench against the wall. As best I could tell I was in their airflow vents, large ducts that I could easily crawl through. One of the beasts spoke and the figure on the dias (complete with crown and throne) appeared to get angry. She decapitated him with a snap of her duck-billed jaws. Snap. Just like that.

I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, and I didn’t even have Toto to keep me company. No, this was something other-worldly. Literally. It was another world. Somehow I’d been transported through space to this terrifying place with literal bloodthirsty aliens. Somehow I’d escaped the notice of my guards, to find the solace of conveniently large ductwork.

When I’d finally woke up I was dressed in strange fabrics that shifted colors, kept in a glorified cage. I could slip through the bars, but they were for show. The real danger was the slavering figures on the outside of the bars, who thankfully could not slip through them. Like some sort of demented ducks with teeth, their feathered bodies also shifted through a patternless splattering of colors.

The monsters outside my cage didn’t seem to communicate in any language. Loud honks and skittering of their feet and flapping of wings. I didn’t know that they wanted to eat me, at first. That came later. First, I had to escape and find a hiding place. When she finally gave the call for my execution? That’s when it all became clear.

Going to the house of a girl who said she could just eat me up turned out to be the worst idea I’d ever had. I don’t even remember how I got there. Never go on a blind date without meeting in public, first.

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Inktober 1: The Dreamer

Cold sweat dripped down my face as I jerked upright. Sleeping. I’d been sleeping again. Just sleeping.

I remembered a dark void, colorless, lightless, and cold.

I pulled the covers off of me and looked over at my roommate. Still asleep. Good. I didn’t talk this time, at least.

Sometimes I couldn’t help it.

I’d been dreaming about that blackness for the past year, now. Ever since I got the letter that I was accepted to Cadvale Tech University. Early acceptance. I think I was just lucky. Sure, my scores were high enough to beat their average, but I didn’t have good letters or essays or anything.

Wiping the sweat from my brow I quietly exited my room, managing not to disturb my roommate with the noise. Living in the dorms wasn’t so bad, but it definitely hit me how much my behavior had an impact on others’ lives. I shuffled to the bathroom, drowsy despite the anxious energy. Someone was showering, and another person in one of the stalls (what the hell? It’s like 2 am on a Tuesday), but I just took up residence in front of one of the sinks and mirrors.

When I looked up, I saw pools of black with distant pinpricks of light instead of my eyes. I  was being drawn in, pull toward them, pulled inward at the same time as the ensuing singularity threatened to collapse.

I closed my eyes, hard. I rubbed them. I opened them again, seeing the same deep brown that usually reflected back at me. I started shaking as I turned on the faucet and splashed myself with some lukewarm water.

I couldn’t really process what was happening to me anymore. Neither could psychologists or anyone else. My therapist said that this was just a symptom of stress, my mind acting out against the intense pressure I was putting on myself. I wasn’t so sure.

It was so real, sometimes. Like I was floating six inches off the ground and unable to guide my trajectory.

I was floating six inches off the ground. Only the fact that I held onto the sink kept me from floating away as my legs slowly kicked out behind me and I became parallel with the floor. The stall flushes and the person came out, washing their hands and rolling eyes at me. Like I was showing off or something. I didn’t ask for help.

As they walked away, I slowly fell back to the floor, crying silently and staring in the mirror. The world flashed, bright white then black, then back to the harsh fluorescents of the bathroom. Twice. Three times. The fourth time it never changed back from the darkness. I was stuck, floating motionless and yet turning end-over-end at the same time. I couldn’t breathe and felt my skin tightening in the intense cold.

I jerked upright again, drenched in cold sweat and back in my bed. My roommate was still asleep, and the clock still showed 2 am. It was still Tuesday. I was still on Earth. I was still here. For now.

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Inktober 2017

In October many artists have a challenge called “Inktober” where they commit to drawing one picture, in ink, a day.

Well, dear readers, I’m not much for drawing, but for this October I think I’m going to commit to writing a short-short every day. I may not post them every day (and may fall behind, as you’ve inevitably noticed with my XX30 poetry series) but I can promise at least 31 short shorts for the list. Check out the Inktober 2017 category to keep an eye out for all of the series.

I’m using one of Tumblr user @dropthedrawing’s “Space Travelers” prompt (below) and will endeavor to write a piece of flash fiction about a character that fits the descriptions.

Let’s see what we uncover!

Space Travelers Prompt.jpg

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2330

If the book of life
were written with
my
blood
it’d be a dense
absurd
tome
filled with pictures
instead of words
made with words
instead of lines
with no lines
between the topics
or words.
When you read it
you’d go mad
and cry
and wish
I were happier.

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2230

Polyamory and Romantic Anarchy
aren’t ideologically opposed
aren’t ideologically the same.
One is a descriptive word
for a prescriptive context.
The other is a prescriptive phrase
for a descriptive context.

Anarchy doesn’t mean
“a lack of rules”
it means
“a lack of systems
which govern or
otherwise
exert authority and power.”

Romantic Anarchy
rejects the power
of systems
and in many cases
the authority
of expectations.

Polyamory is
harder to pin down
because everyone
thinks they know what it is.
(no one knows
what polyamory is)

If what you do
is polyamory?
It involves three
(or more)
people somehow.
How?
Who knows.
The how matters
but it doesn’t affect the what.

In Romantic Anarchy
the what matters
but it doesn’t affect the how.

That’s what I think, anyway.

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2130

Sometimes
you need to drop a few balls
to make sure
you catch the ones that matter.
Others
might not like it
because they
are attached to a ball you drop
but
they can catch it if they are so concerned.

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2030

Should I
or shouldn’t I
I know only one thing:
I’ll do it my way
not out of conviction
but out of necessity.
That’s how I survive
and it’s how I live.
It’s how I thrive.

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1930

I got a new puppy
and it’s made me think.
Dogs are so loving
their hearts practically sing
they want to be near you
for every little thing.

My dog stared at me
rolled around on his back
his upside-down grin
gave me something that
I’d forgotten I’d needed.

He’s a good boy
but he thinks
I’m a good boi.
And that’s enough
(for now).

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1830

Sometimes I feel like
Dick Grayson
Optimistic despite all I’ve seen.
I believe goodness
in potential
in growth and hope.
I believe love can,
no,
will,
matter.

It’s a slim foundation.

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1730

Dripping slowly
large and full
if sadness were water
it’d drown the world.

Not lonely
not exactly;
not unhappy
but not really happy.

How do you
explain an emotion
that has no words
and has no match?

Bittersweet
melancholy
evanescent
lackluster.

Sometimes I go to bed
and wish I could stay up.
Sometimes I go to bed
and wish wouldn’t wake up.

It’s all the same end
with different middles.
But what was
the beginning?

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