Serious Stories Seriously
The Terrorist.

Science Fiction Written in March 2008
(by Jen)

Mr R, as we will call him, looked carefully into the mirror as he smoothed down his hair. It had to be perfect, every hair, and at finding a single rebellious hair that stuck up at an odd angle, he plucked it with one swift motion. Precise, Orderly, exact. This was his world, and the way things ought to be.

Being a man of routine and unoriginality, he carried on his head the same haircut he'd had since he was a little boy. Like his hair, nothing about him ever changed. He still woke up at the same time everyday, packed the same lunch, wore the same clothes, and everyday he wore the same monotonous expression. He never started a family. His job brought him all the happiness he could stand, and he didn't like the company of others much, anyways.

After his hair was smoothed into perfection, Mr R exited the room, picked up his briefcase and lunch, and left his house, making sure he locked the door behind him. He lived in a good neighborhood, but he felt that a man of his profession could never be too careful with his belongings. He began his daily commute to work. He didn't work far from where he lived, but some days he had to make special "house calls." These days were his favorite, and today, today was one of those days.

He thought about the task at hand. He and his partner were going to interrogate a terrorist who had been caught doing a very serious crime. He and his partner would take their time with him. They would question him, torture him, destroy him, slowly, patiently. Mr R smiled.

Quickening his pace at the thought, Mr R felt an excitement reserved for these special events. He stopped by his office to see where the house call would be today. "Good, excellent" He smiled. It was nearby and he knew the area well. Glancing at his watch, he surmised that his partner must have everything set up by now. His partner did the dirty bits, but Mr R preferred it that way. He didn't want his hair to be made askew while he worked. He did enjoy watching his partner work however. It made him feel a cold excitement throughout his bones.

Moments later he arrived at the door and knocked, but did not wait for a reply. Opening the door with a swift practiced motion, he let himself into this strangers house. He was appalled at what he saw.

He had expected something awful. Never something as bad as this. Mr R coughed gently, this was indeed very serious, and a very serious criminal. Walking past the many images on the wall and the piles of books strewn about the room, he stopped at the form of a hunched over man tied to a chair.

"How do you explain yourself?" Mr R asked the terrorist, but the man did not reply. Looking up Mr R saw his partner walking back into the room. "Is he conscious?'' His partner nodded and promptly gave the man a sharp kick in his side. The man grunted in pain but did not lift his head. Mr R's partners eyes wandered over the room. All these disgusting images on the walls, and the books were clearly loaded with hate crimes and lies. Everything was anti government, anti religion, anti peace. He spat on the floor. "Disgusting filth" Mr R nodded, shuddering at the sight. "That's not the worst of it" his partner turned and brought forward a chest, a very large chest with a lock barely attached that looked as though it had been very recently broken into. "What's in there?" Mr R asked, cautious. "Look."

Mr R cast a careful look into the chest and after a few moments he closed it very slowly. He looked very grim and serious, but inside he smiled a wicked smile. 'this is very incriminating." He remarked, turning to the man tied to the chair. The man remained silent. "Nothing to say?" Mr R moved around him in a circle.

"You can't do this, you have no right." The man whispered. "We have every right." Mr R snapped. "We are the law, and you, you" He nodded at his partner and his partner hit the terrorist across the face, "Are a terrorist who has committed a terrible, serious, and atrocious crime!" Mr R's voice shook but his composure remained grim. He had all the power, he was in control.

The terrorist looked up, and his eyes went directly to Mr R's. He held the gaze for a moment, a moment longer then any terrorist alive had ever held Mr R's gaze, and he smiled. "What Are You Smiling For, You Wretched Worm?!" He snapped, and his partner hit the man forcefully across the face. Flecks of blood and spit danced momentarily through the air and landed on the carpet. The man looked down. "Did you see…." he said slowly, "what I have done?" "You mean that filth in the chest?" Mr R asked, coldly glaring at the man's downcast head. "I have created,-" Mr R's partner hit him again. Another momentary spray of blood and spit. "An abomination. An atrocity!!" Mr R paced back and forth, jittery with anger towards this clueless terrorist. He stopped pacing and stared, coldly contemplating his next move.

"We have evidence to put you away for a long time. For forever, in fact, with terrorism of this extreme." Mr R nodded towards the chest but said no more. He waited for the terrorist to speak, to deny his misdeeds, to grovel or weep. The terrorist said nothing. "What would your family think?" he asked. The man looked up, and for the second time boldly held his gaze. "They would be proud for what I have done!" For this, the man received another blow. "WHY DID YOU DO IT?" Mr R demanded. "JUST HOW FAR WERE YOU PLANNING TO GO?!" "Why did I do it?" The terrorist asked, "To prove that I exist. How far would I go? ..Not far enough, I could never go far enough." Mr R and his partner exchanged glances. "To prove that you exist?" Mr R repeated, then laughed. It was a drawl, insipid laugh. "That's the talk of a mad man. Not only are you insane, but you are dangerously so. What you have in that chest-" he pointed, "-on these walls-" "-you mean art?!" This time Mr R himself slapped the terrorist. never before had he been interrupted.

"art" he scoffed. "Art does not belong here in the real world. It has no use, no purpose, and owning such a thing, creating such a thing…" Mr R pulled a painting of a valley filled with flowers from the wall and tore it in two, "-Is criminal." He dropped the torn pieces onto the floor and moved on to the books. "But this isn't the worst of your crimes, this art." he said it with disgust. "Not even these," he held up a few of the books from the pile. They were filled with poems, short stories, books on history and physics, nature and medicine. All books considered to be owned, written and read by only terrorists. Mr R dropped the books to the floor with a look of hate, and continued. "The worst of your crimes is in that chest. You have created-" "LIFE!!" The man had not only interrupted him again for for the third time he was glaring him in the eyes. Mr R's partner kicked the man's chair so that his head fell back and cracked loudly against the wall. he cried out and again dropped his gaze to the floor. When the man moved his head, Mr R saw to his great satisfaction a trail of blood creeping down the wall. "Do not interrupt me again." He growled, smoothing his hair back as if to regain his power, his control. The man said nothing.

"You have defied our laws, and this filthy desecration you have created is enough for us to throw you and everyone associated with you in to a place that there WILL. BE. NO. COMING. BACK FROM!!!!" he spat the words out at the man, who remained silent. Mr R gathered himself and walked over to the chest. He pulled out the great black object that had been hidden inside. It was as large as he almost, and gave him the impression that it was still expanding. The man, though his head remained down, watched him carefully. The swirling black object sparkled and glittered colors. You had only to tap a point on any point and like a futuristic map it would spring up into clearer view. On pulling the giant black object out of the chest, his finger unwittingly tapped a point on the object and a small blue and green marble shaped object sprang into view.

"What is that?" Mr R snapped, moving from the black object in surprise and staring wide eyed as the image zoomed in closer, showing bodies of water, trees, life. The terrorist peered up cautiously. "That is one of the millions of planets in my experiment that has life. The inhabitants call that one "Earth.'" "You have created this…this…" "yes" "You don't deny it?" Mr R asked, disappointment in his voice. He had hoped to torture a confession out of the man. " I don't deny it."

They stared for a moment at the terrorists creation. He had created a miniature universe, how he did Mr R's minuscule mind could not comprehend. In this universe things the church and government opposed ran rampant, like music, love, art and self expression. There was war, but free thinkers, hate, but compassion, murder but also those selflessly putting their own lives in danger to save others…. it was confusing, and Mr R didn't like it. There was no tradition. No strict laws to keep everything orderly and functional. Instead of seeing the miracle of life in the scientist creation, he only felt the fear of the unknown and things he didn't care to take time time to understand. Science undermines religion. Religion equals power, and that is what Mr R needed to keep things the way they are. This meant that in the eyes of the government, scientists are terrorists. Artists are rebellious traitors and musicians are the work of an evil power that corrupts the good god fearing people.

Mr R grunted. "Destroy him." Mr R looked at his partner. "Destroy the terrorist. Destroy the whole building. We'll burn it down, now." His partner nodded and left the building to get the supplies. He looked at the terrorist. "People must not find out about this." The man looked him in the eyes. Even knowing he was about to die, he boldly held Mr R's gaze. "What must they be kept from? That life can be created? That science and technology are real and can make our lives better? That there's medicine that can heal people, that we don't need a god to have all these things?!"

Mr R shook his head.

No. He couldn't let people have these things. He couldn't let people know of this creation and the advances in science that this man has just made. If people know that life can be created by science alone, then they wouldn't need religion anymore. They wouldn't need the government to tell them what to do, how to live…they might want this technology…and abandon the strict society and the traditions he'd worked his fingers to the bone to preserve….and in the end, people might learn to think for themselves, like this scientist..this terrorist had…everything would fall apart…and he would have no more power…no more power…..

But he would destroy this science, this art, poetry and literature. Everything would be taken care of. he would tell all the friends and family of the scientist there had been a freak fire..an accident..a work of god…and no one survived. Without casting the defiant terrorist a second look, Mr R marched out the door to the bright sunshine outside. Reflected on a window, he saw his reflection and paused. There was a single, rebellious hair that stuck up at an odd angle, and he plucked it out in one swift motion. Precise, orderly, exact. This was his world, and the way things ought to be.

The Monster

Horror ? (what genre is this story??) Written in April 2008
(by Jen)

It was a sweltering day, and sweat poured from the ten little faces that sat in the classroom. The window was open, though it didn't help much, as even the occasional waft of air that came through the open space was rich with heat. The small school did manage however, to provide shade form the hot African sun, and for this the children were grateful.

They were waiting for their teacher to reenter the class with the two new students. They were Americans, who had been traveling with their rich parents. Something about seeing the world and building character, no doubt. That's what most Americans came for, and these African children had seen it too many times.

Spoiled, ignorant Americans with their expensive gadgets and stuck up attitude, they'd come tramping into their first African class and act like they knew everything. Their Swahili was barbaric to none at all, but yet they would take a seat in the back of the class and sit with a cloud of smugness simmering about them.

The arrival of new Americans visiting their class however remained a spotlight, despite the children's disapproval of the spoiled American way. It didn't really matter too much anyways, as the Americans never stayed very long. So today was no exception to their excitement, and when the door opened, ten little African faces looked up in anticipation.

Behind the tall figure of their teacher were two round objects. Two round objects with equally round faces squished on top of the tremendously round objects. They huffed heavily with the weight of the sun on their shoulders, and smelled of day old sweat and half eaten food. They looked at the tiny classroom with their beady judgmental eyes, and nodded at the class, rather then smiled at them.

While the Americans were there in the class, they would all try to practice their English, most of the children knew a little, usually the children knew more English then the American visitors knew Swahili. Another display of ignorance, really. If you're going to visit another country, you ought to know the language. But almost all of them didn't. Instead, they would often make fun of the African children's weak English, to make them feel better about their own ignorance. It was a usual happening, and it no longer bothered the African children. Not much about the Americans bothered them anymore, not since they invented 'the monster.'

"Children, this is Sofie and Rupert, they will be our visitors to our school, so please show them much respect while they are here." The children politely greeted Sofie and Rupert, and the American children made their way to the back of the class. The school day was uneventful, a long 8 hours but that was average for an African class. The American children would shift often and groan through the lessons, and in the back of the class they would fidget and stare off into space.

When class was dismissed, all of the children marched out of the class in to the still simmering heat. A lot of the kids had many miles to walk to get to home, but school was worth it. Here in this part of Africa, the only way to get a good job was to go to school and graduate. They knew that every trial along the way was worth it, and so they never complained. But the Americans….

"Ugh, Sofie, that was awful, school in the states is bad enough, but that" Rupert said with disgust. The African kids gave them a wayward glance. "Rupert, I can't believe our parents aren't here to pick us up yet! Don't they know how wretchedly hot it is out here? Ugh, un- believable!" Sofie crossed her arms in a huff, and Rupert looked just as sulky. The African kids shared a glance they had shared a dozen times before. A small, fraction of a smile, so quick and so innocent, it would happen in the blink of an eye.

The tallest of the children strolled over to Sofie and Rupert. "Hi" he smiled at them, grinning widely as he took in the sight of the two children standing in unacustomed discomfort. "who are you?" Sofie stuck her nose up. "I'm Imamu." He ignored her attitude, smiling relentlessly. "hm" Rupert grunted. They looked each other over. "Are all African kids like you? I mean, I thought you guys would be-" "in loin clothes and throwing spears?" Imamu wrinkled his nose at the American kids. "-Uhh, no, it's just that you're-" "Hey." Imamu interrupted again. "It's not very nice to judge me my the color of my skin." He lifted his head and looked down at the American boy's confused and frightened face. "I-..no…but you guys arn't…" Rupert shrugged as Imamu held his gaze, and decided to drop the subject.

"what do you want?" Sofie suddenly snapped. She was hot and tired and upset that her parents hadn't picked her up from school already. Imamu's dark eyes flicked over to hers. "You're staying at the tourist camp, just East of here by the river, no?" "What's it to you?" Rupert retorted defensively. "Just curious, friends, just curious." Imamu smiled again, grinning in a friendly and fiendish way. "Our parents will be here to pick us up soon, thank you. So if you don't mind, we're going to go wait over there." Sofie pointed to a tree, a more shady spot, and started to walk over when Imamu grabbed her arm.. "wait" Sofie looked frightened and pulled her arm away. "we wanted to warn you about the monster."

Sofie and Rupert looked at each other, and burst out into laughter. "You're kidding!" Sofie giggled. "Don't you mean a lion or something?" Imamu held a grim gaze and shook his head. "no." "Then what?" Rupert asked, feeling a little uneasy despite the craziness of it. "The tourist camp where you are staying is near the living place of a monster here in Africa. It comes out only at night and has a taste souly for spoiled, rotten children." "We are NOT spoiled!" Sofie huffed, sticking her chin out and glaring at Imamu. "Well then, you should be safe. But it will come to your house and check to see how spoiled you are while you're sleeping. You will hear it scratching on your walls, and dragging it's big feet on the ground. The only way to make it go away is to show it how brave you are, and make sure not to scream or tell your parents it is there. If you are silent, you will live. But if you cry out, it will eat you." Imamu smiled at them again while the two American children backed away. "We're not stupid" Rupert huffed, and the two kids turned and marched toward the car that had just pulled up to take them home.
The African children watched the car drive away, and they all laughed to each other about scaring the spoiled Americans.

At the tourist camp, Sofie and Rupert settled uneasily to bed. They shared the same room, as the place was very small, and their parents had gone out to visit with a distant relative living in the area. Sofie and Rupert tried to sleep, but all they could imagine being in a strange country filled with strange new things was everything and anything that might go bump in the night. Their minds eventually played apon the monster Imamu had warned them about. But they didn't
believe in monsters. Not a chance.

Late, very late that night, they were awakened however. Something clawing, creeping, and something big dragging it's feet inside the dark and small room. Sofie and Rupert were transfixed with horror. They couldn't move or scream, and lay there in the darkness with their mouthes wide open in silent terror. It came closer…closer..closer… Finally something broke the overwhelming horror Sofie felt and she whimpered. That was enough for the monster to strike.

Morning came and Charles and Suzie Brown sat by the early light coming through the window. Surrounded in the comfort of their temporary home and away from the harsh reality of what goes on outside, they were accompanied by their cell phones, expensive watches and clothing, things most people would only dream about having, and things these Americans had so much of they threw away without a second thought.

They discussed the recent news they had heard from their relatives in last night's visit. "It seems, honey, that there really is cannibalism going on here in Africa still." Suzie gasped at her husband. "Who told you that?" "Miles did, last night. Seems that it's actually a tribe of Caucasians living several miles from here in the bush near one of the reservations." "My goodness! That's just awful that something like that still goes on! But strange though, I've never heard of a white person being a cannibal. Do you suppose they only go after other white folk?" "I guess they're some African tribe wanna be's, they barely speak any English. I don't think they'd go around killing anyone of darker skin though, not here in Africa." "True..but to be safe, I think we'll keep Sofie and Rupert out of school today…goodness, they're quiet…suppose I should wake them up?" "No, let them sleep. We had a long trip. Funny though, even though we have the same colored skin as most everyone else here, we still manage to stick out as Americans." Charles and Suzie laughed.

Meanwhile, outside in the mud of the river bank, ten little foot prints headed away from the tourist camp.


Metal

Science Fiction

(by Jen) Written in April, 2008

Light sometimes filters through the unrelenting darkness, leaving a glittering trail of a glimpse of the outside. With this light smooth metallic objects could be seen hunched over in the dark. Rows of identical androids, cold and silent, their lighted eyes shut off and arms dangling from their sides as they hung suspended from a metal rod in the ceiling.

There was a loud bang as a door opened and closed, and the sudden noise reverberated through the metal filled room. A light switched on. "Whoah!" came a small gasp of a voice, emanating from a small girl who stood next to an older man with his hand on the girl's shoulder. They looked around the foyer at the suspended androids in delight. "This is it, didn't I tell you kiddo? A whole room filled with robots!" The girl danced from one foot to another in delight, she'd never gotten to see one up close. Androids were all the rage these days, but only rich upper class folk could afford them. They did amazing things, like help with the chores and alert the family if someone's trying to break into the house at night. Sometimes people even use them for company when they're feeling lonely.

"So…" The girl's voice was soft as she looked at all the robots, their metal faces gleaming in the light. "Why are all these robots here dad?" "Well, they're out of date. There's a new and improved android out there that's more efficient and better looking then these ones. So they decided that they don't need these ones anymore..They sent out a notice to all the robots to report here, and then shut themselves off to be terminated." "Terminated?" The girl asked, looking up at her father. "Yeah. They're going to be torn up and recycled." The little girl frowned as she looked at the many androids. "But won't that hurt them?" She asked. "They're robots kiddo, they can't feel." "How do you know? They can talk and see and hear..why can't they feel?" The father laughed. "Trust me on this one. Robots can't feel pain. They weren't even upset when they were informed they were to be terminated. There's just metal and wires, nothing like us."

The little girl frowned, deep in thought. She liked these robots, and somehow knowing that they were going to be terminated upset her. Didn't they have feelings? Why didn't they try to escape their fate? Her father was walking back towards the door. "Come on, we need to get back now, dinner will be ready soon" The little girl paused however, and pulled a dandylion out of her hair. She tucked it into one of the androids hands and ran after her father. The light switched off and there was a bang as the door opened and closed. The foyer was completely silent and blanketed in darkness once again. But this time there were two small lights. The lights flickered and blinked and held the dandylion up closer to it's eyes, and dropped down from the metal rod that had been holding it up. There was a glittering trail of sunlight and dust on the far side of the room, and the metal feet moved towards the open window…


Shadows and Landscapes.

(Alex)

Shadows descend
Cascade across the pavement
Like spilled paint from a masterpiece
Enveloping those who sought out the darkness.

Creatures of the night.
Heathens to the living.
Treacherous demons defying nature.
Living in the shadows
Existing between the spaces
Living on nothing but their own instinct
And vengeful desires
Looking for more kill
Always..looking for another kill
Trying to fill the void they feel;
An emotion left over when all others disappeared
Longing to stop the craving
The constant screaming
The unstopping will to lash out

Monsters in their own right
Denied existence from the living
Hiding away, always, in the shadows
Until the urge overwhelms them again.


Empty Victories.

(Alex)

She screamed as they threw her into the cold, abandoned cell. Treating her exactly as they saw her: trash. Refuse. Litter on society. As she landed on the cold, unfeeling pavement, she stretched out her hand to break her fall. She heard a 'snap' and stumbled from the lack of balance. Quickly scurrying away from the door— away from her attackers— she looked in panic at her hand. A wave of relief washed over her as she realized it hadn't broken. She had simply twisted it, is all. And yet, what good did that do? Did it really matter at that point if she had broken her wrist? Even though the irony of the situation, she was relieved. One less thing to bring her pain.

There were two men who stood in the shadows, in the door frame. Although the girl could barely see their silhouettes, she could tell the one closest to her was snarling. His white teeth caught a fraction of the sunlight as it streamed into the window of the cell; the smallest window ever made. "You will stay here forever," he growled, his voice deep and foreboding. "Until you tell us what we want to know." He paused and stood in the doorway several more minutes. Perhaps he was awaiting a reply. Or, more likely, he loved feeling that rush of power as it spiked through him. He knew he was in total control of her life. The fear she was feeling was intoxicating. He watched her pull herself into a ball and stare, wide-eyed at him. She was his dominant prey; and what a beautiful prey she made. Always shivering and quiet. Jumped at the smallest motion. His growl turned into a smirk as he stared down at her. She was going to be fun.

The man finally decided it was time to leave the piece of filth behind in the cell. In one last twisted joke of irony, he said, "Don't you go anywhere," before he barked and shut the thick, iron door on her. The girl sat shivering in the corner long after she heard the two men's footsteps dying away. She didn't dare move. She barely allowed herself to breathe.

Eventually, the girl seemed to calm a little. She looked about her, straining to look at her surroundings. She was in a tiny prison cell. She guessed somewhere between 6 x 10 feet. A small smile crept across her face despite herself. The numbers seemed to calm her. It was strange how something so familiar could break through all the terror she felt and ease her mind. Wanting that feeling to remain, she tried thinking through all the numbers she could. Formulas. Irrational numbers. Fractions. Equations. She even tried counting off all the multiplication tables she could think of. It seemed to work for a while. Her heart wasn't pounding quite so hard, and she had stopped squeezing her hands together hard enough to crush her fingers. But the sound of a swinging door down the hall jump-started her fear again, and her mind fell into disarray. Several tears burned her eyes as they slid down her filthy face. She was trapped. There was no way of escape. She felt the same isolated feeling she had felt for weeks. It was all so hopeless. Resting her forehead on her knees, she began to sob quietly. Her body shook as she pulled her legs closer to her chest. Everything was lost for her now. As the tears continued to fall, the same thought that had tormented her for weeks ran through her head: why was she still alive?


On the other side of the prison, the guard sat down comfortably in his chair. He was a stout man, entering his fifties and his hair was beginning to thin out. What hair he had left had already started to turn gray, despite his best intentions. He was clean shaven and took pride in the uniform he was currently wearing. It was the uniform of his Party. He believed in nothing outside his Party's beliefs. That's how he'd gotten as far as he had. He had even been offered a promotion— a new assistant to the Party Leader. Such a thing was unthinkable; undreamed of. And yet he had gotten the approval. He had wanted to boast to his fellow Party members; those who had been stuck in their positions for years and had never been able to progress. Yet he knew he had to keep his mouth shut, no matter how much he craved to brag about it. If any of the other officers got word of his promotion, he would be killed without a second thought. One Party member out of the way would make no difference to the leaders. After all, the Party was extraordinarily powerful and gained new recruits every day. One more dead member wouldn't even be reported to the Leaders; they would simply appoint another person to the job.

No, he had to keep silent about his opportunity. He didn't want his previous actions to be repeated on himself.

Putting his heavy feet onto the desk in front of him, he reclined slightly back in his chair. His mind wandered back to their latest prisoner. His penis started to grow hard at the thought of her shivering fear. She was truly terrified of what they could do to her. She spoke hardly a word; just kept asking 'why?'. That same devious and twisted smile slipped across his face. She was vulnerable and completely ignorant of her crimes. That bred only more fear in her; something he could smell a mile away and get an erection. As he casually unzipped his pants, he sniffed the air in interest. Maybe he could smell her fear right now…


The tears had stopped. Perhaps there simply wasn't enough of a supply for them. Her body still convulsed as she cried, but the lack of discharge allowed her to see again. She stared at one small section of the floor, right by her feet. The rough exterior of the cold concrete pressed against her bare feet. She was surprised she could feel any sensation on her feet anymore. They had been so cut up and blistered since she had been forced to march with no shoes. They laughed at her when she'd asked for shoes. One of the guards even got caught up in the moment and smacked her across the face, snarling that she was a barbarian; she needed no shoes. Yet the cold temperature of the floor seeped into her heels and toes, traveling slowly up her spine. The small window in her cell did nothing for bringing in sunlight, but everything for drowning her in frozen air.

As the girl stared in silence at the insignificant area by her feet, she suddenly noticed what lay there. Hidden in the darkness, missed by any one who had examined the room beforehand. A small twinge of happiness erupted from her heart and spread throughout her body in an instant. She stopped crying. Her fear was expelled from her body. A tiny little object of liberation was sitting right by her, and she needed to only reach out and pick it up.

Stretching out her hand, her fingers closed around a sharp piece of glass. She was careful on how she held it in her hand, knowing instantly how lethal a weapon that small object could be. She examined it, much like a curious scientist examines a new specimen for experimenting. The universe had sent her the most beautiful gift in the entire world, and she was going to use it to finally break free.

Excitement and joy swept through her. Again, her heart began to pound in her chest, but for the first time in an eternity, it wasn't out of fear. She sat on her knees and held the small piece of glass to her right wrist. She wasn't afraid anymore. She was going to be set free. Her wings had been given to her, and she was going to fly off to safety; back to the family she had been taken away from.

Pressing the edge against her wrist, she cut slowly across the veins. It was amazing with how much ease the glass cut her skin. Red beads of blood started to form almost instantly, dripping down her wrists like the raindrops fall against a window pane. A small smile tugged at the edge of her lips as she exchanged the blade from one hand to the other. She proceeded to cut the second wrist and very soon began to feel light-headed. She swayed, struggling to stay upright as more drops of blood gathered in a pool by her lap. As her breaths started to become shorter, lighter, her eyes struggled to stay open. She saw a flash of blinding white light behind her eyelids. In the center of the light, a form was beginning to appear. A hand reached out to her, grabbing her soft, mahogany wrist.

"Jesse," She breathed one last time before falling to the floor.


It was several hours before anyone noticed she had died. The other guard who had escorted her to her cell had been doing his rounds through the hallways. He glanced in every room as he passed by, just to make sure each one was still clinging to their pathetic, savage lives. When he passed the girl's cell, he took a few extra seconds at her door. A mere glance would not have confirmed her death, but she was a pretty little thing. He knew having those thoughts went against the Party, but he couldn't help them. He had taken to gazing at her behind the all-seeing eyes of the other Party members. As he stared longingly at her, feeling his stomach begin to grow hot, he noticed something was wrong. She hadn't moved at all since he had come to her door. She had always taken to jump away at the smallest noise; why wasn't she responding?

And that's when he noticed it.

"SHIT!" He exclaimed, whipping out his keys and fumbling with the lock. His heart raced as reality started to sink in around him. It would fall on his head, and he knew it. The last guard who had been on duty when a prisoner had died was tortured for a week before being let go. Yanking the door open, he rushed inside. He was careful to stay just inside the doorway and not mess with the scene. Even if consequences were to befall him because of this, he wasn't going to risk going in front of the Firing Squad by trying to cover things up.

Beads of sweat dripped across his face as he stared, gawking. His body was unable to cool off due to the panic, so he had to pull off the hood of his uniform to let the cool air hit his face. His white, wrinkled hand held on to the top of the hood as he stared in silence at the fallen girl; the one whose red blood stained her beautiful mahogany skin.


Broken Hearts; Broken Promises

(by Alex)

Broken promises stab like double-edged knives into an open wound; sprinkled with salt to seal the deal made with the devil who crashes parties and keggars like a frat boy lookin' to score the final points on his exam, scribbling for extra credit that comes so easily to those rich kids with Jaguars and trust funds who can afford to attend Ivy League schools on their daddy's dime and somehow manage to make it into the corporate world at the expense of fiendish foes and the broken promises of misguided children with nothing to live on but a pair of ripped up, worn-down shoes between the five of them, while their mother cries at night because she knows she can't afford a decent future to those helpless children she released into the cold, brutal world that serves only to stare back at those pleading for mercy to save their broken hearts from the betrayals of ones they once loved and would do anything for, while those same loved ones run off with high school diploma'd tramps with D-cupped bras who wear nothing but a see-through top and a short black mini-skirt to pull off the innocent S&M dominatrix look, when inside they're only crying and screaming for daddy to stop beneath the powdered wig of bleached blond hair to give themselves some feeling in their dead hearts hidden beneath their veil of broken promises.


KRYS-topholes II

(by Alex)

A heart-shaped box mimics the passing of time and love as love slowly fades from the hearts of two individuals who thought every thing was made just for them yet they soon discover that love is a cold, dark place with creaky staircases and trickling streams that are always heard dripping yet never seen; like a Chinese torture that slowly eats away at your brain as you try to fight and keep your sanity even though you know such things never exist in this world because a sane world would never let a child hunger or a son be murdered or war happen with bombs and gunfire; where demons lay waste to the mess of disembodied corpses and a soul of life that could have been had not Uncle Sam called them away for their duty to their country that never existed when the boy was a prisoner of war and raped and tortured as if by pirates and pillagers who cared not for the end of the line— just getting there.


KRYS-topholes III

(by Alex)

The click of a gun sounds as the safety is removed and a shaken victim is left staring at the bottom of a shotgun pointed at her head for no reason she could recall except for saying something crude against the ruler that paraded around as Hitler did towards his victims who were not at fault for anything more than being born into something and having their lives damned for being labeled as such, even though that something was never them, just a part of them that existed and could be torn away, had they been given the chance to fight a crazed dictator who saw nothing outside his little black box of rage and lunacy because of some pent-up revenge for something that had happened years before when someone said the wrong thing at the wrong time and the whole world united in the suffering it brings because no one is safe against a world that judges someone not by who they are, but what they are in an age where such thoughts should be laughed off and unfocused on because everyone has secrets, and everyone has an identity that's interchangeable and varies and is never the same, constantly changing and manipulating and evolving until no one is ever like anyone else and yet those differences keep them apart, while artificial common denominators hold them together.


The Wall

Horror (i think that's it's genre) xp

By Jen Written in May, 2008

In a land of witches and monsters, dark creatures that hunt and kill in the night, there lies a small desert town. With walls built high and in the middle of nowhere, it weilds high hopes of keeping the dark demons outside at bay. It's a godless place, ruled only by false power and names with empty meanings. But in reality we all know that walls bare no challenge to false power and the monsters of the night.

It was early afternoon and Sarah knelt down tending to her garden. It was a quiet town, but it was shadowed. Despite being in the open desert, a strange cloud hung about the place, or perhaps the air itself was heavy with the fear of evil. Sarah looked up and brushed the hair from her eyes. She held a couple of carrots in her hands and brought them almost victoriously into her house. No one could grow plants as well as she, she just had a knack for it. These carrots were especially delicious, whether by magic or love, and she knew her neighbors were often envious. Sarah never worried about it though, being young and naive, and a devote church goer, she felt that if the town was ever afraid of witches, it would be because there was a real witch in their midsts, and Sarah would not be suspect.

She washed her hands in the sink and wiped the sweat from her face caused by the burning desert sun. The oppressive air clung to her like a parasite, and she wished she could wipe that off too. She frowned as she tried once again to wash her face from the sweat and air, when she heard the door open behind her. "Sarah, we've got to get to the town meeting." Sarah looked over at the wrinkled face of Thomas, and nodded. "Alright, I'm coming."

Sarah and Thomas marched over the dusty road and into the tremendous church located at the center of the town. There was a mix of graveness and anger buzzing about the room, but Sarah had to expect this. Recently there had been a fight between a few of the townsfolk. Seems like someone had promised someone else their daughter's hand in marriage, but the daughter would have no part in it, so she ran away. This was big news, no one had ever gotten to the other side of the wall before, no one even dared. How long could anyone last out there? There were only monsters and demons waiting on the other side.

They looked to the front as Reverend David Burnier moved to the front. "Now I understand there's been a lot of talk since young Mary ran away." He paused and looked especially grim, fixing his glasses over his sloping nose. "I think we are all agreed that Mary by now must have been eaten by whatever lies out there." There was a collective murmur as the townsfolk looked from one to another. "..so unfortunate for a ten year old girl to perish.." he sighed. The grief stricken parents wailed. Reverend Burnier gave them a sharp look before continuing. "It must have been something terrible indeed to make her leave. I believe…" he paused again and looked carefully, accusingly, at the villagers congregated in the church. "..I believe something terrible must have either chased,..or lured her out." The townsfolk again murmured, looking horrified. "but what ..what would do this? What are you saying? Is there a ..monster here in the town?" The stricken father had stood up and looked desperately at the reverend. "Surely…" The reverend began, "Not all of you have been following the ways of God as you should have been, so he has cursed us with a witch in our presence!"

At this, the townsfolk went silent. The air hung heavier then ever, and Sarah fidgeted unconsciously because of this. "A witch? but how will we know who it is?" Thomas looked about the room, the entire town was in the church. "Someone here has bargained with the devil. We will search for the devil's mark tonight in the town square. Anyone who does not go will be immediately suspect. " The reverend again adjusted his glasses and looked over them coldly. "In the meantime, …" He looked to his right at a paled skinned boy wearing robes like the reverend. " Danial, start a bonfire right in the town square. We'll need it for when we find the witch."

That evening the townsfolk again assembled, this time at the town square. They looked at each other with dark suspicion in their eyes, their features sinisterly lit by the raging fire that burned with a terrible purpose. Who was the one responsible for Mary's death? Who was going to die tonight? With a great purpose, the church leaders moved the townsfolk into a line. One at a time they would have to walk into the church to be searched for the 'devil's mark'. The townsfolk could see their eyes apon them, judging, searching…

Sarah knew she had nothing to fear, but still she squeezed her hands in a quiet terror of what might happen next. How could a monster get in? Could one of them really be a witch? She looked at her friends, her family, and her husband, Thomas. Did someone really sell thier soul to the devil? No, it was nonsense. Sarah felt, for a moment, that there probably weren't even monsters outside. But when she looked at the wall that protected them, she felt a stabbing fear. Why?

As the lined slowly moved forward, she began wondering what might happen when it was her turn to be inspected. What if they found something? Maybe a birthmark that she didn't know about? She unconsciously tugged at her clothes. She'd never looked at herself in a mirror before. What if she looked different then everyone else and didn't know? Or, what if they were so jealous of her garden that they accused her and threw her into the fire anyway? She could feel her heart beat faster, and shook her head. No way. This is a civilized town. A good town. A God fearing town.

"We've got one!!!" There was a sudden cry as Reverend Burnier dragged out a screaming women from the church. He threw her down as the townspeople circled her, and she fell crying before them. "It's just a birth mark! It's always been there!" The young women cried but the townsfolk remained expressionless. "mama?" a three year old boy walked towards her and she lifted her arms, crying profously. "No!" Reverend Burnier grabbed the child away from the mother. "This child is just a demon here to aid the witch!" Some of the townsfolk nodded in agreement while others looked about uneasily. "But he's just a child.." came a voice.

"Perhaps there is more then one witch that we should be looking for?" The reverend cried sharply, his eyes looking for the voice. He was met with silence and grim stares. "They're going to keep coming, if we don't stop them HERE, and NOW!" He held up the screaming boy while the mother began wailing uncontrollably. "NOOOOO!!!" She closed her eyes, afraid to see, as the reverend took the boy another step closer to the fire. "This must be some mistake!!" Sarah was surprised at herself as she moved in between the reverend and the fire. "You can not kill this boy." "YOU can not tell ME what to DO!" The reverend held his hands up high, raising the boy above him. Another wretched scream from the mother. "I AM THE VOICE OF GOD! I AM REASON, JUSTICE, SAFETY, LOVE!" The reverend glared at the townsfolk and especially at Sarah. "YOU ARE NOTHING WITHOUT ME TO TELL YOU WHAT GOD'S WORD IS. YOU ARE NOTHING WITHOUT GOD'S SAFETY AND PROTECTION! IT IS HE WHO PUT THIS WALL AROUND US! IT IS HE WHO WILL SAVE US FROM THE MONSTERS OF THE NIGHT! NOTHING ELSE!!" His men pushed Sarah aside, and the reverend moved again toward the fire. "AND THIS CHILD, SON OF THE DEVIL, WILL GO BACK TO HELL WHERE HE BELONGS!!!"

With a swift movement and an explosion of flames, the reverend threw the boy into the fire and the towns people's roar of approval could barely drown out the inhuman wails that exited the child as it lay burning in the fire. The air, the air was more weighted then ever before. The towns people were chanting, their eyes lit up gleaming with the flickering fire that had awoken the terrible monster that lies in all of them. They turned on the mother, clawing, knashing thier teeth, screaming "KILL THE WITCH! KILL THE MONSTER!" Blood fell like rain across the faces of the monsters as another vain was cut open, and the mother's screams were soon nothing more then silence. Sarah looked in horror at her own hands. Somehow despite his flickers of disbelief, she too had helped them kill. Blood was wet on her hands and she shivered with relief. The witch was dead. For now, in the monster infested world that they lived in, they were safe. Mary had been avenged.

A sunny desert day rose over the flat plains and shone on a dark covered wall that surrounded a small unsociable settlement. A small group of boys paused in front of it on their bicyicles and looked at it from a safe distance. "Let's go…." said the youngest, looking nervously at the gigantic wall. "Why? It's just some religious settlement." A teen aged boy looked over at the younger kid. "That's not what i heard!" Said the other younger kid beside them. "I heard there are monsters living in there!" The teenager laughed. "What a little kid you are! No one believes in monsters!" Snickering, the teenager pushed onward down the road, and the two younger kids followed quickly, relieved to be away from the place. Even the teenager had to admit, despite knowing that it was nothing special, the place felt like there was a shadow over it, and that the air somehow felt heavier…


Smudge

ok…i dunno at all what genre this would be… xp

(by Jen) Written in August 2008

There was a soft mechanical ticking of the clock in the background as Doctor Daniels settled himself deeper into his comfortable white chair and adjusted his reading glasses lower onto his nose as he looked almost mournfully at the clipboard in front of him. Holding it at eye level for the moment as he leaned back, becoming more comfortable still, and read his notes from just a few days before. It was a new patient, by the name of Smudge. Funny name, but Doctor Daniels felt it was only one of many things that stuck out about the man. Smudge had a lot of issues, and Doctor Daniels knew that just prescribing drugs was not enough. Smudge needed someone to talk to, and Doctor Daniels liked the money that came his way for it.

A soft shifting sound broke Doctor Daniels thoughts and he lowered the clipboard so that he could see beyond it. Smudge sat calmly across from Doctor Daniels, in a less comfortable chair but Smudge didn't seem to mind. His eyes wandered about the room while he waited for Doctor Daniels to be ready to start. Seeing the Doctor lower the clipboard and smile, he felt that was his cue.

"Well Doctor, I can't understand why they keep sending me here. I'm perfectly normal after all. I maintain a full time job, I have a family and a wonderful and overall stress free life. I don't understand why I'm here, just like I told you last time." "Well Smudge, as I did mention in our last session, people don't get sent to these places for no reason. You haven't told me what the incident was that caused your..family..to send you here, I'm sure it has something to do with that."

Smudge smiled, his eyes almost seemed happy to be here despite the fact he felt he didn't need to be. Doctor Daniels noted this. Always smiling. Why is this person so happy? No one is ever happy all the time. He has to be pretending, or perhaps dissasociating…And to have such a normal life? no one is really normal

"Doctor?" Daniels looked up again from his thoughts to see Smudges intense stare. "You don't think I'm insane, do you?" Daniels smiled in what he considered a sweet way, but to anyone else it looked rather sinister. "Smudge, we are here to find that out. Why don't you..tell me about your parents." Yes..a lot of people's problems are because of their parents ruining their young lives somehow. Surely Smudge's parents were murderers or perhaps they beat him while he was growing up. Smudge shrugged. "Mom was a carpenter and dad was an artist and painter. They worked hard, loved each other..what else can I say?" "ah" Doctor Daniels nodded and crossed blaming the parents off of his mental list.

"Smudge, tell me..why do you think they sent you here?" Smudge smiled slowly, eyes darkened by a new thought, an idea he had been toying with in his mind. "They think I'm crazy because I can see the truth behind things. I don't blindly follow like the sheep they want me to be, do I?" Doctor Daniels shook his head slowly. "I'm afraid I don't follow." Smudge sighed. "I don't think like everyone else. I stand out..don't I? I talk differently, dress differently, think differently. I have new ideas and a unique perspective on the world, and they send me here because they think that's what makes me crazy." "Surely, Smudge, it is not because you are different, there must be more to it then that..some sick fantasy, something that you like to do that you shouldn't be doing…" Doctor Daniels voice slowly stuck in his throat as the glowing look in Smudge's eyes continued.

"Doctor, you know what it is. We all have it. That clawing monster deep inside, anger that we have imprisoned because of society, we're supposed to be good, law abiding citizens, never making a fuss, never standing up for ourselves, never asking for seconds or begging for more. But i want more then that life. That's not freedom. That's just pretending to be free. Playing the song but not knowing the dance, we're just hopping around and hoping to get it right. But we just waste our lives that way…with all this….pretending…it's just as disgusting as lying, all the time to everyone. I won't live that kind of life."

"What..exactly, are you suggesting?" Doctor Daniels licked his lips nervously. "Let it out, of course. We need to stand up for ourselves and be the people we truly are. Even if that person has an ugly side. Everyone is afraid of their own darkness, you know. They treat it as insane just to show it. But who get's to decide what is or is not insane? Who gets to pick over the many pieces and decide these things? How do you know, that in a parallel universe, you could be the crazy one, and I'd be the one listening to your problems?"

"Perposterous" "Is it? Everyone once looked under a microscope can be discovered to have different mental 'issues'. Everyone has something about them that if they let it out, they'd be considered 'crazy'. So they keep it in, always afraid of what everyone else will think." "I may remind you, Smudge, that I'm not the one here for counseling, so keep in mind that your ideas are clearly ..wrong." "You're calling me wrong because you know I'm right. Or, because you've been so trained to reject any and all forms of so called insanity, or meerly thinking in a new perspective, that you cast me out as wrong without a second thought, Doctor."

"Your mind is filled with useless ideas Smudge. You're here because of that. No one will listen to such rants as yours." Doctor Daniels looked at his watch and then back at Smudge. "Time for a lunch break, Smudge. I'll see you when I get back. You'll wait here, won't you?" Again, Daniels was thinking about the thickening of his wallet and not his patients feelings. " Smudge smiled up at him, talking calmly as Doctor Daniels white clad coworkers came into the room to walk to lunch with him. "One is only as crazy as the rest of society deems them, Doctor. Imagine a world where we can be the person we want to be..the person we really are." "No such world exists." Doctor Daniels sniffed as he turned and closed the door.

Doctor Daniels exited the room with his coworkers and they shared a look behind his back of mild amusement. "Daniels was talking to Smudge again, huh?" The other grinned and whispered back, "It must be lonely for the crazy minded, you know?"

The three walked down the hall of the New England Mental Institute where the room occupied by Smudge sat silent and motionless. The only defining features was the one tile on the wall with a small and insignificant smudge on the corner of it. This one smudge, though small, made it stand out far more then any other as it looked off into empty space and invisible truths.

--

The Oak

no genre. xp By Jen. November 15, 2008

In the middle of a lonely field there stands a tall oak tree. This tree had been well loved and taken care of through the years and because of this was the finest and most outstanding oak tree anyone had ever seen. But now this tree that was once so loved and cared for has a burden to carry and with this burden all the love for the tree is gone. With one touch it has become an object of hate.

The tree grew from a seed just as any other tree would. It was planted by a then young man, well respected in society. His name was well known and his evils well hidden. He planted the seed for no particular reason. He liked oak trees, and the acorn he planted was given to him by a girl he happened to have his eye on. Whatever the reason, the seed was planted and not long after it crawled upward through the dirt to life.

Little by little it grew up from the ground, it's tiny form becoming more rooted and branches forked off of it. Off of the branches buds became leaves witch hungrily reached for the sun.

While the tree grew over the years, so didn't the man. he never seemed to change anything about the darker parts of himself. They didn't bother him enough because he enjoyed what he got out of life and didn't care about the consequences.

Despite being a busy man, when life become troublesome and he wanted a place to think, he would find his way to the lonely field where the oak tree was slowly growing. He thought about life and love, death and hate, but he never delved too deeply into it, as he didn't feel it mattered much anyways.

He was well known, liked, rich, all around well off. So it didn't really matter, did it, if he made a few mistakes in his life? Did it really matter if along the way he hurt a few people?

Years and years passed, and the man was approaching old age. His practice of visiting the tree had continued for all of those years and they had grown up together in a way. As far as he was concerned, the tree knew all of his secrets and darkest deeds, but that was okay, because he knew the oak tree would not judge him.

However, as years had passed, the man was no longer able to keep all of his secrets in the dark, and people found out about the evil behind the mask. They tore him from his house one night and dragged him to the strongest tree they could find. They dragged him, screaming, to the field where the man's oak tree stood boldly against the flickering light of torches. Here a hangman stood and waiting on a sturdy branch hung the noose.

perhaps it was ill fated coincidence that lead to these proceedings, or perhaps the seed that you plant really can become the tree they hang you from.

There in the night with the moon barely shining, a broad oak tree stood firmly amidst an empty field. From time to time a breeze would shuffle through its leaves.

A limp figure swayed with the sudden breath of air and displaced an acorn from the tree. It fell with silent determination and landed on the shoe of a dark cloaked figure.

The hangman picked it up and a small smile crossed his face. It might be fun, to plant an oak tree….


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