[AGttA] Chapter 4.0: Traps

Continued from Chapter 3.3, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 4: Keep clear and open communications.

So, one question: how do you go about capturing an angel?

The question proved to be a lot harder than I, or even Alice, anticipated.

The answers, however, began with a trip to the hardware store.

“What are we doing here again?” I complained as I tried to adjust the straps of the backpack slung over my shoulders.  We weren’t even halfway through the store, yet, and Alice had already loaded me up with at least twenty pounds of stuff.  “And why do we need all of this crap?”

“We need data, Jack,” Alice replied immediately, not stopping.  I watched as she paused to hoist a spool of thick wire, and groaned as she turned to me, holding it out to me.  “We can’t make bread without flour.”

“We’re making bread?” Continue reading

A Company Is Born

I glared around at my friends. “Focus, would you?” I grumbled. “Stop goofing around!”

“That should be our focus!” Jimmy shouted, from where he lay slumped over the arm of my couch. “Goofing Around, Incorporated! Throw me another beer, would you? Do you have any food? Freaking starving, man.”

“Look, I still don’t understand what we’re doing here,” Nelson piped up from his seat on the floor, pushing at his glasses. It was a futile gesture, as they immediately slid back down his nose, but he kept on doing it anyway.

I sighed, rubbing my face. “For the last time, we’re starting a company!” Continue reading

The Girl with Purple Eyes

My eyes caught the girl as soon as she stepped into the tavern. She couldn’t have looked more out of place if she’d been draped in glow-worms.

Of course, I wasn’t the only one to spot her arrival, her appearance, and I knew it. All around the dim, damp, musty room, the scum of Calaphel shifted in their seats, hands straying towards weapons.

We all sensed wealth, and we hungered for it. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 3.3: A Plan to Stand

Continued from Chapter 3.2, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 3: Search for other survivors.

When I finished telling my story, I looked up at the girl, waiting for her to say something.  Maybe she’d congratulate me on doing such a good job of surviving in this hellish landscape, I considered.

“That’s it?” she asked.

“Thank you, it really was a lot of hard- wait, what?”  Okay, that wasn’t what I’d expected.

She looked around at the interior of my little home base.  “All you’ve done is sit here, eat canned beans, and just wait for something to happen?”

“I think I’ve still got some cans of tuna or taco meat-” Continue reading

A relationship is dying.

“You know, I almost laughed the other day.”

Her eyes focused a little, panned over to me. “Why?”

“Well, I was walking through the halls out there, just getting some exercise. Stretching my legs.” I gestured at the door to her room. It was propped open; she told me that she liked watching the nurses bustle about, running on their errands.


Her eyes still looked bright, alive. I loved those eyes, no matter how the rest of her body shrank and withered. “Well, I thought to myself that I could probably walk through the hallways with my eyes closed, by now. I think I’ve memorized the entire layout of the hospital.” Continue reading

Almost Real

I gazed out at the world in front of me, beauty and serenity for as far as my eyes could see.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” piped up Serena, standing next to me. I felt the warmth of her hand as it slipped into mine, saw the shadows shift a little as she adjusted her grip on the lantern in her other hand. “So much possibility.”

“It is beautiful,” I replied, trying to clear my mind, to think of nothing but the world that lay in front of me, open for me to explore.

How long would it last? I knew that time worked differently here. It could pass faster, here. Entire lifetimes, I’d heard, could fly by in the span of just hours. Would that happen to me? Would I last long enough?

I hoped so. It all seemed so real, so perfect. I could almost believe it. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 3.2: A Rude Awakening

Continued from Chapter 3.1, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 3: Search for other survivors.

The girl didn’t wake up gently, as I’d imagined that she might.

In my imagination, I saw her eyes slowly fluttering open, settling on me.  “Oh, you saved me,” she’d cry out as she slowly looked around at my fortress.  “And wow, you’ve totally prepared for this Apocalypse really well!  How can I possibly convince you to let me stay here, where you can guard and protect me?”

“Oh, I’m sure that we can come to some situation,” I’d gallantly reply, moving over to her and thoughtfully dabbing her brow with a wet cloth.  “But I do have to warn you, I only have one bed at the moment.”

“I’m sure that we can make something work,” she’d reply, looking up at me with soft, warm eyes, her hands reaching up to pull my lips down to hers…

At least, that’s how I thought it would play out… Continue reading

One Digit Off

She reached out for the ringing phone. For a moment, her stiff fingers fumbled over the buttons, and she cursed the arthritis that stiffened her joints. She managed to hit the green button, and lifted the handset up to her ear.


“Hello – I, uh, I just needed to talk to someone. I don’t think I can keep going any longer.”

Another one of them. No matter how many calls she took, there always seemed to be more of them, each with their little problems, so convinced that no one else in the world had ever experienced what they were now going through. Her eyes drifted over to the two piles of stationary on her windowsill.

“Well, you can talk to me, although you best make it quick – I’m 92, so who knows how much time I’ve got left.” She settled back into her chair, trying to find a more comfortable position for the phone against her ear.

“92? Um, is… is this the suicide hotline?”

Ah, one of the faster ones. He’d caught on more quickly than some of the callers. “Afraid not, dear,” she replied. “You’re off by a number.” Continue reading

A Narrator Takes Control

Captain Jack Gallant dashed across the war-torn and scarred battlefield, keeping his head low to avoid any stray blaster bolts. His coat flapped behind him as he ran, the active camouflage patterns shifting in an attempt to keep up with his changing surroundings.

He gritted his teeth as he skidded to a stop behind a boulder. He counted at least four Xorg walkers, and they knew that he’d made it out of the flaming wreckage of his own ship. He was alone, outnumbered, and without any way to contact his own soldiers.

Not that it would do him much use, he thought blackly to himself. They didn’t have the manpower to spare for a rescue. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 3.1: Clear Liquids

Continued from Chapter 3.0, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 3: Search for other survivors.

“Oh man.  Oh, this is so bad.  Oh, geez.”  I panted these words to myself, over and over, as I scrambled over the rocks and dirt, heading towards where I’d seen my golf ball disappear – and the woman, possibly the only other human still alive, had collapsed.

I hadn’t meant to hit her with the golf ball!  I just wanted to get her attention – and besides, I always hooked my shots to the left!  I couldn’t have known that this one would go straight!

Finally, I hauled myself over one especially large chunk of shattered concrete, possibly the remains of an overpass support-

-and there she was on the other side, sprawled out in the dirt. Continue reading