Fantasy

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing

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No one knew how they came into the world, and no one cared. They were angels, or so they claimed, sent to Earth to watch over mankind—to root out evil and promote the common good. Raising their voices and their trumpets, they heralded the end of poverty, the end of violence, the end of suffering as we knew it. We embraced them as our saviors, those shimmering, golden guardians of the skies, and we forever after revered them as gods.

Radiant with their wide, gilded wings and their glittering otherworldly armor, how could we not fall prostrate and submit ourselves for judgement? We handed over our weapons. Of what use would they be to us now? We gave them the keys to our businesses and homes. What did we have to hide? We dismantled our countries, surrendered our sovereignty. Surely they were better suited to leadership than we?

They crowned one of their own, and in the days that followed—as the reign of mankind came to a swift and decisive end—we learned the single most important truth that has been taught in our schools and repeated in our homes ever since: that angels are superior to humans, that whatever they command of us, they do so for our own good.

The angels provide us with whatever we need, and in return, all they ask for is obedience in all things.

Hark, the herald angels sing: Glory to the newborn king!

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A Brief Encounter with Madness

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This post was originally published through Patreon on April 3, 2018.

Can you hear it?

That sound, just over there. A hum. No, a buzz. Like something vibrating. A machine. Yes, a machine. Please, sir, tell me you can hear it, too.

Are you sure? Yes. No, I understand. It’s just— Never mind. But are you sure— Yes, all right. Don’t look at me like that. I’m not crazy. Mad, perhaps, but not crazy.

There’s a difference, you know.

I suppose it was my fault. I chose to live here, though Earth was never my true home. Back home, I was a knight. No, a king. I could have had anything I wanted. Then I decided to become human. I took on flesh and blood, and agreed to be bound by the laws of the material universe.

But the universe and I don’t get along. I tried to play by the rules. But the cosmos is cruel, that I learned soon enough. And that sound, that awful sound—the galaxies as they hurtle through space, the planets as they orbit their stars—like rusty iron gears, squealing through time and space.

No, don’t walk away. Won’t you humor an old man? I know how I sound. I’m human, too, even if that hasn’t always been the case.

All right then, go. I’ll just be here, waiting for my time to run out.

Life, after all, doesn’t last forever, and neither does madness.

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Survivor

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This post was originally published through Patreon on April 10, 2018.

I awaken, covered in aches and bruises, cuts and scratches. My right eye has swollen shut, black and blue like the rest of me. I put out a hand to steady myself and cringe. My arm is either sprained or broken; it will require time to heal.

Slowly, cautiously, I glance at the sky. The light is blinding, and I shield my eyes. Only when they finally adjust can I discern the horror all around me.

Men, women, and children, strewn about like debris—eyes glazed, limbs twisted—even as the surrounding buildings and streets remain untouched. Only the people are broken, transfigured into rotting, festering monuments dedicated to a species unlikely to survive the day.

I shed no tears, for my eyes have been wrung dry. Instead I walk, the pristine street rising up to kiss my bare feet, dodging bodies both whole and in pieces. The first street I pass is Valley View. Then Walker. Then Moody. All the while, I behold a city unchanged in the midst of an already deceased world.

Why am I alive? Did they leave me behind on purpose, or was I just a hapless accident? Are there other survivors like myself? Have we already been forgotten? Unanswerable questions swirl inside my head like thunder clouds.

Flash.

The sudden light is blinding, as if the sun has just gone nova.

Through slitted eyes, and with no emotion whatsoever, I discover they haven’t forgotten us after all.

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