Month: July 2019


apiwut sookkasame/

This post was originally published through Patreon on August 22, 2018.

Alex woke to his cell phone ringing and answered just before it went to voicemail.


“It’s been a long time.”

“Who’s this?”

The voice sounded familiar, but Alex couldn’t place it.

“You know who I am. You haven’t forgotten.”


Laughter was his only reply.


Again, that laugh, hollow and dry.

A memory flashed before Alex’s mind like a shard of bright stained glass, a missive from the distant past: a pair of sunken eyes and a toadstool smile. Alex couldn’t remember who it was, but he was certain that face matched the voice on the other end of this call.


A moment later, a name materialized to go along with the face. Not a normal name, not in the least, but just as familiar as that awful poisonous smile.


“You see?” said the voice at last. “I told you you hadn’t forgotten.”

Now, memories were piling one on top of the other. Flashes of another life. Flashes of another world.

“What do you want?”

“A marvelous place, Earth. We had all the magic, but this science and technology—this miraculous ability to build, to organize, to brute-force one’s ideas into existence—that’s its own special kind of magic, wouldn’t you say? Arguably more powerful than the sort you and I once dabbled in.”

It was all coming back to him now. His home, along with the reason he’d left it. But oh, God, he didn’t want to remember. The darkness. The destruction. Until Melthane reminded him of who he was, he’d managed to forget. Now, the peace of ignorance was gone, and it was never coming back.

“What do you want?” Alex said again, locking the bedpost beside him in a white-knuckled grip.

Melthane maintained silence a moment longer, but Alex could sense his deepening smile as if it had made a sound.

“My dear Alex, I only wanted you to remember.”


“Hello? Menthane, are you there?”

But Alex already knew the line was dead.

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The One That Got Away

Fer Gregory/

Giles has the man right where he wants him. He’s not a man, of course—at least on the inside—but something much worse, something dangerous. As more than a man himself, Giles easily recognizes the creature for what it is. Trailing twenty or thirty feet behind, Giles watches as the man sits down at a bus stop and pulls out the L.A. Times.

He angles around to get a better view, and once the man is clearly within Giles’s sights, he pulls out the leather notebook and pen he always keeps in his right pants pocket, opens to the next blank page, and begins to write.

It’s a binding, something he’s practiced a dozen times before in his own private language. Of course, the language isn’t important, only that the meaning of the words is clear and concise enough to capture the creature’s essence, to draw it out from the fabric of reality and into the pages of his notebook.

He starts with the more superficial details and works his way in, capturing all the nuances of the man’s behavior as he thumbs through the pages of his newspaper. If Giles does his job properly, the man won’t realize what’s happened until the binding is nearly complete, and by then it will be too late.

The man is already starting to fade like the end of a silent film when Giles hears a horn, followed by the sound of two cars colliding, and he turns to gawk at the accident. His concentration is only compromised for a moment, but a moment is all it takes. When he turns back toward the bench, the man is gone.

Giles’s heart stops and his mouth runs dry. It takes him a few moments to process what’s happened, to truly appreciate how badly he’s screwed up.

The man is gone. The man. Gone.

Oh, no.

Giles starts riffling through the notebook, checks to see if perhaps he’s written enough to complete the binding after all. But of course, he hasn’t. He can feel the man, floating between two realities, angry and disoriented.

What have I done?

Giles has, until now, considered himself to be a careful man. And yet, after allowing himself to be distracted, the man got away. Now, all he can do is stand beneath a bright yellow sun, the late afternoon heat rolling off his neck and shoulders, and wonder what he’ll have to do to finish the job before the man can hurt anyone else.

To read the whole story, pick up my short novelette Inkbound  here.

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