Blind Faith

Fatigue only pushed them onward. Concepts of time diffused in their wake. Hunger atrophied– a hollow thought redressed by expectation.

On and on and on they soared through the comforting cold of liquid space. Above them the great void; below the dense, rocky base of the world; ahead only blackness. Gliding up, then down, the congregation moved as a single entity, graceful behemoths linked by a shared resolve. But the longer their pilgrimage progressed, the warmer their environs became, the more unorthodox their course seemed. Uneasiness circulated throughout the cluster. At first it was only a feeling, a vague sense of apprehension. Then a solitary voice cried out.

The Parched Dead

“It is time to move on,” the elders had proclaimed when the last of the grass and bushes near the village were gone and the sand flowed over land that had once been fertile.

It was the same story that had been replayed over millennia of time. As the land grew parched, the people would move on, lead their goats and cattle to new pastures. Over time, they would graze their new lands to extinction, until only sun-baked earth remained, and then they would abandon their homes once more and move on, repeating the cycle. Again and again, until their ancestral marshy home was long forgotten and hidden deep below sand.

A Trip to Mordor

Have you being to Uja before? Do you plan to visit there before the end of the 21st century? I’m sorry, but I just returned from a trip there and all I have for you is bad news.

They say that if you can survive driving on Nigerian roads then you can survive it on any road in the world, but what they didn’t tell you is that there is a town in Nigeria whose roads make the saying seem subtle. If you are Nigerian and you have been to Uja, then you have a good reason to thank whoever uses that saying for putting such a thick shroud over a well-deserved insult.

Bleeding Deep

The tear was gruesome. It came from the coat hook that had caught Meena on the back of her shoulder, after she fell from the ladder. She had been attempting to change a light bulb in the kitchen but now she stood in the bathroom, twisting her body toward the mirror, staring. The tear was gruesome. Yet it was painless as well. And because of this, a river of ice ran down Meena’s spine. It should have been horribly painful.

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The Human Thing

<Load Text File Evidence/OSAS/Encrypted_H-Mail_to_active_ENIX_members>

Transmitter: [UNKNOWN – SOURCE TRACE FAILURE]

Reception Date: Hour 16.45, Day 243, Year 2505.

Subject: “Prepare Yourselves”

Receivers: [UNKNOWN – SOURCE TRACE FAILURE]

When the hunger and the bombs came, we forgot our heritage of independence and reasoning. We descended into an abyss of sheep-like senselessness. We gave them our obedience, our trust… our lives. They who would deliver us from ourselves. They came selling hope to the desperate and we traded everything for it. Our Minds. Our Freedom. Our souls. Now we are hollow husks longing for hope and light again, willing to trade everything just to feel human again. Soon we shall regain our humanity. Be prepared to go out into the streets, the ITEs and the fields to reclaim it. On the twenty-sixth of December we shall receive the greatest gift of all. The gift of freedom.

<End of Text>

Charaid Dreams

It’s not the cold what kills you. Not the naarg-wolves neither, Maw says, though they’re plenty scary. No, it’s the Dreams what’ll get you in the end. Dreams what wake in winter and sleep in summer. If only summer weren’t so short. Like the song of a chitkil it is, a burst of glory that leaves you colder, darker than before.

But the cold and dark has a song all its own. I got no fancy words for it, but when the moon of long shadows rises over the top of the black ice forest, I get all chokey, like something’s trying to force its way out of my throat.

The Lord of Darkness

The Lord of Darkness assembles himself from the shadows, takes form in a corner of the room, and then scampers to the edge of the bed. He pauses, looking. Others had done it, and so would he. He is Nunsk, a nightmare of the mortal realm, soon to deliver a horror of the night so profound and compelling, that it will murder its occupant. Scare the human to death, that’s what Nunsk will do. And when she dies in her dream, she dies, and then Nunsk becomes enterer of the Abyss, a Lord of Darkness. Nunsk becomes free.