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PrologueStrings of Fate
By Vylot Hart
"Magic is an individual action, undertaken because the cosmos is
not believed to be benevolent by nature, or, at least, not benevolent
enough to that person"
-Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti, London, 1953
Salem, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
September 20th, 1692
A tall woman, young but prematurely aged by grief, pain a
Bone MongerEva was dying. Her parents spent all their time, all their money on the search for a solution; for a way out. Eva didn't mind if she died, she'd been in pain for so long that she wasn't scared any more. But, more than anything, her parents wanted her to live, they were desperate to the point of being obsessed. So she went along with them, she drank the foul-tasting medicines, she took the vitamins, she travelled far and wide with her parents, going from doctor to doctor. The problem, though, was that no one knew why she was dying, and no one knew how to make her stop. Eventually, of course, her parents ran out of options and they had no one left to turn, no hope of life-saving advice. But one of the doctors, of the faceless multitude of beings clad in white coats, suggested her parents take her to a man called Cain Mayhew. While rather unscrupulous, the man had a history of saving those who had long been hailed as lost causes. It took a lot of asking on her father's b
Ever since Lira was a little girl, for as long as she could remember there had been a box in her attic. It was a large wooden crate, perfectly square and dark blue in colour. Painted designs interrupted the smooth dark blue that lazily spread across the wooden surface. Golden swirls curled across the top, and silver vines trailed along the sides. It was rather like a jack in the box, except that it was taller than her, and there were no seams. No gaps that might indicate the presence of a lid. Even painted. She should've been able to find those lines. It was almost as if the box had always been one single part, with no opening.
But that was silly. Her father called it a box, and all boxes opened. So there must be a way inside.
Lira had always wondered what was inside the box. Spending many hours sitting beside the box, tracing the shape of the swirls and the vines with one finger. Sometimes her mothe
BryonyMany years ago, before humans had overrun the Earth, and when the Fey and the Old Gods ruled, there lived a woman called Bryony.
Dancers in their dozens, clad in velvet and lace stamped patterns across a marble floor. Four walls wrought from silver and finely carved ebony and spaced far apart surrounded them. Musicians, armed with fiddles, drums, harps and a litany of other instruments, enchanted their listeners, enticing them, forcing them to sway and glide.
The musicians were led by a tall woman in a black silk gown, batwing sleeves on full display as she sang, arms raised but held close to her chest. Long dark hair draped over her shoulders, carelessly arranged. The greatest of all Chantresses, her voice sweeter than birdsong, warm and slow as dripping honey; more skilled than any opera singer.
Her name was Bryony and she was a Pied Piper.
At her command violins wailed and drums pounded, the dancers' movements mirroring each other perfectly, moving exactly how she wanted
Words: A Study in SynesthaesiaSynaesthesia: A Study in Words
Tastes and colours race across the page, Words flash, brilliant and made flesh. Become what they describe, embody who they name; those who are, those who have been, and those who never were. Words, tampered with by Human minds and voices, become afraid, vulnerable. Diminished by the time their Human captors were done with them. Awesome was no longer to be feared, his personality changed accordingly, to correspond to the new meaning Humans had attributed to him.
By changing the meaning of a Word, you change the shape of it.
Then new words, poorly formed, over-casual and sometimes offensive muscled their way in, demanding equal attention and love.
Some Word-Slaves, like poor dear Aerodrome and Shenanigan, were taken out to the woods and shot by decree of the Humans. No longer wanted, no longer needed.
The Words became angry.
They started to fight among themselves.
Pain and Joy fought a mighty battle; and would have fought to the Death, but he was busy that
Many years ago, in a land quite unlike our own, there was a creature who called itself Alicia Webheart. Vain, it wore the skin of a girl it had once eaten, spending its days gazing at its reflection, setting traps for the children in a nearby village.
Webheart lived in a wooden cottage, carved to resemble gingerbread and nestled in a valley, at the edge of a great forest. Not the thin smattering of trees jammed between fields and houses these days, this place was old, with a canopy so thick no light reached the ground. Where monsters lived and the trees had branches that snatched and dragged. Few ventured into the Forest, and those who did never returned.
Although immortal, Webheart was terrified of withering away. Her skin becoming dry, her features twisting... Of course, she could always kidnap another young girl. Eat her and crawl inside her skin... She didn't want to do that. She liked this skin.
The girl it had once belonged to had been like a daughter. Webheart had been
Queen RubellaTo drown the world in a sea of ink is what Rubella, the Mad Queen most desires. To spread her illness, her rage and sorrow across her world. To overthrow her dear sister. But desire and reality are far from the same thing; at the moment, she remains locked up.
Chapter Two of Destane's ApprenticeChapter Two
The Land of the Black Sand
It was a simple matter to the convince the woman that this stranger would be an appropriate foster parent for Mozenrath. Although, the boy couldn't help but notice that the sorcerer failed to mention that Mozenrath wouldn't be a mere son- He was to be an apprentice.
He observed from a distance as the man who would become his foster father discussed the adoption with Mari. The woman would be pleased with the news, Mozenrath knew that much: She had a young son of her own to care for, and would get some money in exchange for Mozenrath. In light of the fact that her husband was off hunting for some great treasure, the little money she would receive would be a great financial help to her family.
He stood in the doorway of the building, clutching to the doorway, nearly salivating at the thought of getting away. Mozenrath wasn't from Agrabah, nor had he been born there. All that he knew of his past was that several nomads had travelled here on horseback,
HeartsickHallucinogenic fruit, from a deadly tree,
Vine-ripened opiates, the preferred toxin of the connoisseur
The lotus-eater with discerning tastes.
Flesh like organs,
Pips as red as blood, and hard as bone.
Love-inducing, dream-bringing, soul-stealing,
Heartsick, the desire-bringing fruit
That creates dangerous, poisonous infatuation.
By Vylot Hart 12/12/10
Everything is RedNo.
How could this have happened!?
We were laughing and drinking lemonade on the front porch.
I told a joke and she started laughing loudly, her golden mane swishing in the summer air. She clutched her sides and fell back into the blue and white beach chair. I stared laughing with her because she had one of those laughs that was contagious. I don't even remember what the joke was or why it was so funny. Then she was staring at me, tears of amusement coming out the corners of her blueberry eyes. Her lips parted into a wide smile, pearly white teeth beaming at me.
But then she turned her head to look behind her.
The laughter stopped.
My eyes shifted to where her gaze was, only to see red.
I could have sworn I was looking at hell itself.
And it was coming for us.
I turned to look back at her. She was staring at me wide eyed, her once blueberry eyes now red. The tears of amusement washed away by the tears of fear that started dripping down her cheeks, falling on t
Ama shelnev, Hemlekh shelnevYou were once a Queen.
It is a reminder that Corydon gives her often. A reminder that she did not begin as they did. Hers was a different beginning, a different birth, a different origin. She has always been set apart and he reminds her often that she is not from the same place as the rest of them.
The reminder comes most often when she lowers herself to dirty her hands for them, when she takes the blame for something she need not, and most especially when she bows the whim or pressure of one he deems to be beneath her. Mostly, the reminder comes when he is insulted on her behalf for how they treat her.
I was so stunned by who you were, that I think I gave away more of myself than I meant to....
The memory of his admission made her smile. Then again, so much of what he had said made her smile to remember it. He spoke of how he was taught that it is his responsibility to care for those who were his. He spoke of serfs and servants without the lowering of his voice that so m
The NewbornThe Newborn
Christy Waters was only 19 years old when she learned that she was pregnant. Moreover, she could not know certainly who gave her the cells. Her mother and father felt puzzled as well. Christy was a good girl and never considered being a whore. So nobody knew whose cells had mixed with her eggs.
When the nine months passed and she was due to deliver, more people than her and her parents wondered about the fetus. Furthermore, Christy had no physical signs of pregnancy as would manifest with normal cases. Her weight and shape remained normal. But she lost much blood and felt debilitated. The hospital suggested a diet to help her recover. However, the delivery cost her and the emerging fetus was very peculiar. It had only a few basic humanoid features. It had a face, neck and shoulders of a male child but from the shoulders down to the feet, the appearance was neither human nor other primate. The abdomen sported a mass of inky tentacles and the arms were long and sinewy.
Cry of the JackalsCry of the Jackals
Those who have traversed the Sahara along the Egyptian stretch and wandered through the Valley of Kings might have chanced to hear the occasional cries of jackals. They sometimes hang out near the doors of the tombs. When this writer was at the nearest resort, a traveler such as I mentioned arrived and told me and a few others that he had seen or heard a clutch of jackals at a particular tomb. Naturally, someone inquired,
"Which tomb was it? Akhenaten? Ramses?"
"I am not really sure," he replied, nervously. "Neither did I see a marking nor did my guide know."
An unmarked tomb. An unknown mummy. Something very strange was going on out there. However, I was still on holiday and had no intention to investigate. So the inquirer, Edmond Tulley, an amateur investigator who occasionally worked with Scotland Yard, felt it was incumbent to go. The journey was about two days by rover.
When Tulley arrived, he and his guide, a native Egyptian, camped and checked provisions. Cert
NEC 202: Black DogAidan sat alone in the necromancy building, only candlelight and a single tome to keep him company. The small handful of first years had already left, no doubt not needing to do any research in after course hours. He himself had rarely seen the other necromancy students, and wondered if they even bothered to attend. It wasn't really his business, of course, but it would have been nice to have an upperclass student to research with, as the library felt so hollow, devoid of happy feelings.
The book he'd fetched was called Sacrificed Beasts in Magic, a catalog of assorted creatures that had been used in accomplice with spells. When he'd been looking it up, he'd noticed that a copy of the book existed in the Magic Languages library as well, bringing about the thought that department used animals in sacrifice. His goal was more to find out what happened to them after they'd been sacrificed.
He flipped through the pages, and they turned with little noise. The book must hav
SnipedThe assassin stared down his scope at the politician he was about to eliminate. He wasn't sure who this man was or why the contractor wanted him killed. It didn't matter. Only the job mattered. And, of course, the payment.
Just for a moment he watched as the politician's lips moved, delivering what was no doubt a very stirring speech. Perhaps he'd have to catch a news clip of it later, or maybe some overzealous kid would have the whole thing posted on Youtube, grisly death included.
The assassin smiled at the thought. It might be a nice change to view one of his jobs from a closer angle for once. Yes, he would definitely try to find this on Youtube later, play it over a few dozen times and savor the thing.
But for now there was still the job to do. He pulled the trigger.
Nothing happened. Or almost nothing. Something was wrong.
The politician's head should've burst like a water balloon, or some reasonable facsimile. Instead nothing much had happened.
The politician had wince, put a han
Shudder: A Quivering of Dreams XVIIA strange dust permeates the Sanctum Santorium of the Hell Mouth. SHE and Dissonant Child discuss pictures of dead children from the 1920’s. Dull Couple star as the incorrigible romantic duet in a twisted true sitcom. Black Witch is nowhere in sight, Visible Boy is lost in his last whereabouts. A strange house in a more than strange town
The People Life is thought fleeting by those stupid enough to die. They see a bird devour a fish, a wolf rip apart a rabbit, and they sigh and swoon and beautify the passing of time. Alas, they think – if only I had more time, I would become a better person. I would improve the world. Looming death is an excuse for greed and ineptitude. Death is a thoughtless act of forgetfulness.
The People do not forget.
Their land is a patchwork of grandeur and squalor. Marble columns hold roofs of cardboard and tin. Grand ballrooms overgrown with vines have become hanging gardens of dust. They live on floating piles of paper and granite, alabaster and plastic. Crates tumble when wayward ships loose their bowels in fear, but nothing floats for long. Perhaps there are bones.
These creatures were banished to their floating sanctuary before time had thought to begin, because it’s dangerous to keep around People who have lived too long.
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EasterRemember what you love,
you with sand in your teeth
and the feral burn of hunger
in your eyes.
God sends his regrets.
He made you grasping and slow,
in a late hour
when the wine washed low.
Remember what you love.
Fall to your knees in the toss
and the swell, quell
the appetite of the cold black sea.
Beg blessings for your home
and the salt-sick trees.
Reach what lies near:
the fat-faced child, the sweet-soft lamb;
tether the tantrum, trickle the blood.
Offer psalms to what is holy,
whisper the name of what you love
as it bobs in the bleak mad sea.
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Bluefley has a gallery filled with artwork that whisks you off in to a Sci-fi daydream, and keeps you captivated for hours. Marc has been a member of our community for over a decade and has achieved nothing but success with his astounding commitment to interacting with the community, sharing a prolific amount of video tutorials and generally being an all round rockstar deviant. It is no joke that we are absolutely delighted to award the Deviousness Award for April 2014 to ... Read More