Felmohsa-Randit Shelbros dam Leyostaam was new. She had arrived in the airsphere as a student just three or four months ago and neither of the two resident professors had any idea what, exactly, she was supposed to be studying.
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When everything is going to Hell, you could do worse than a cocktail. She could only find Martini glasses, so Martini it would have to be. No Vermouth in the cabinet. Sherry it would have to be. Bitters cover a multitude of sins. And sins, she reflected, cover up a mouthful of bitterness.
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We were in the tunnel when they blocked it. Perhaps they knew we were in there as they set the charges, perhaps they did not. Someone must have seen the train go in at one end or the other but both sides decided to detonate at the same time, and schedules are schedules.
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He bites down and it tastes of wolves, jaws clashing in the deep of the woods, it tastes of soured milk spilled carelessly across stone, it tastes of the copper-coin heave-inducing flatness of his own blood. He bites down, pressing his teeth together, feeling them meet in the middle. Harder, and his teeth begin to crack and splinter under the pressure. He whimpers and shrieks, voice muffled and tortured by his self-inflicted pain. The creature in his jaws squeals likewise, squalls like the sea. Strands of muscle shear through and he continues to bite down.
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Sometimes all anyone wanted was to hear the rasp of the projector, the glassy sheet of film purring coolly though the gate and painting its vivid light on the wall. Some days it was all that I could think about, the thought that the darkness could be lit this way, like magic. Like stars up close.
Continue reading Close In Darkness
Seed money, he called it. The few coins tossed into the violin case at the start of the day. No, the viola case. He would always correct me on that, and eventually it became our joke. How’s the violin practice going? It’s a viola, and I need as much practice as you need lessons in cheek. At that I would put whatever change I had into the case. Always I had some money, carefully preserved from whatever I’d bought earlier that morning.
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She sat with me as the birds began to circle. They knew the tower; to them it was a source of fresh food, easily taken and safe from competition. Because they are birds, they never stopped to wonder why or how. Because I was like them, neither did I. It just happened. When we die, we are placed here for them. Not an offering, not a sacrifice, there is no meaning for the birds and the birds have no meaning for us. We are, in the end, meat, sinew, bone. A meal. I hope I was a feast.
Continue reading Tower of Silence