“Halcythrax, Lord of Regrets!”
Halcythrax stood up from the strangely low-slung couch in the waiting room, dropping last month’s issue of “Villains Quarterly” back down on the coffee table. He’d read the cover story, of course, covering how Aetheria, the Spider Queen, managed to bring down Lucio Light-Bringer with her carefully placed web traps. Personally, Halcythrax thought that it was just another attempt at pandering towards women in villainy, but he wisely kept his mouth shut.
Besides, Aetheria had her costume made here. No matter his personal feelings towards the Spider Queen, she did look absolutely stunning in the purple and black tights, covered in webbing and with cunningly designed pockets that somehow further accented her figure.
So as he followed the attendant down the long hallway, Halcythrax couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. He’d waited weeks for his appointment slot; Iris was notoriously difficult to book. Continue reading
There’s a funny thing that happens to lips after a couple thousand years.
You ready for this? They fall off.
Gross, huh? Yeah, that’s death for you. Or undeath, I guess. Except I never really understood that term, because I did die. I died, and then came back. So if I had to pick a word to use, I think I’d say re-death. Or post-death. Something like that. Continue reading
Continued from Chapter 10.0, here.
Read it from the beginning, starting here.
Axiom 10: Do what makes you happy.
“What?” I didn’t understand what the woman sitting on the other side of the desk meant.
“The price,” she repeated patiently, looking at me. “You asked what it would take to bring your friends back, to put a stop to the Apocalypse, to restore everything back to normal. You said that you would be willing to do anything.
“And that, it seems, is exactly the price for you.”
I felt like my stomach was dropping away from me, like I was in the front seat of a roller coaster that had just plunged over the first big drop on the ride. “I don’t understand.” Continue reading
I stood in the midst of the chaos, at the eye of the storm. “Sorry, can you repeat the question?” I asked the reporter standing next to me.
She didn’t seem to mind, and both of us paused for a second as a very toned and muscled man passed by, dressed in little more than a white loincloth and with a spray-painted gold bow and arrow set slung over his shoulder.
“Er, right,” the reporter said after another minute. “So, how did you decide on launching this whole, er…”
“Convention,” I filled in. Continue reading
Unfortunately, I felt the pull of the summons take hold just as I reached for the pot of coffee.
“Damn, no, just give me a couple of minutes!” I snarled, my lips pulling back around my fangs. “I haven’t even had the first cup yet-”
But there was no denying the strength of those words. A fishhook rose up in my gut, setting itself among my intestines, and then *yanked,* dragging me… well, not back, exactly, but in a direction that didn’t really seem to exist. Imagine if you were a two-dimensional being, wandering around happily in your flat little world, and then someone tried to pick you up, off the page.
It’s a hell of a disorienting feeling, especially when you haven’t even had a single gulp of coffee. Continue reading
Continued from Chapter 9.1, here.
Read it from the beginning, starting here.
Axiom 9: Don’t lose hope.
The first difference that hit me, after I stepped through the door at the top of the stairs, was the silence.
Of course, this might have been the first thing that I noticed because, despite all my survival instincts screaming at me to keep my eyes open, those lids were firmly shut as I passed through. I’m not sure why – maybe I thought that, if I didn’t look at any of the eldritch horrors on the other side, they wouldn’t be able to hurt me.
But after a couple seconds of listening to silence, I finally opened my eyes.
Books. My first impression came as a single word. Books, millions upon millions of books. Continue reading
I picked up the cheap-looking pair of glasses from the bar’s countertop, turning them over in my hands. “And what are they, again?” I asked.
“Beer goggles!” replied Dave, standing behind the bar and beaming back at me. “Great idea, see? And they’ve got the bar name on the side, so we can hand them out as a promotion!”
“Well, they do have the name, I guess,” I admitted, trying not to hurt the guy’s feelings. “But they also don’t say ‘beer goggles’ on them, Dave.”
“Yeah, they do! I got it printed on the other side. One side says ‘Dave’s bar’, and the other one says ‘genuine beer goggles’! Isn’t it clever?”
I turned the pair of glasses around, holding them out to him. “Bear goggles, Dave.” Continue reading
This, Jimmy Brodes thought miserably to himself, was really bad.
Like, so bad. Like, worse than he even imagined that getting fired would be, which – until recently – had been up there in his list of top fears. Now, however, it barely even made the list.
His fingers trembling, Brodes ran through that list again. Jameson Brodes’ Top Ten Emotions of the Moment – all fears, as usual – included: Continue reading
I remember this feeling from the very first time that I got onto a rollercoaster. The train slowly made its way up the first, biggest hill, and I felt my stomach being left further and further behind. With each foot that we ratcheted along, I knew with more and more certainty that I’d made a massive mistake. I could see the drop-off, the disaster, growing closer-
-and I couldn’t do a thing about it.
Now, sitting in my bed and staring at my phone’s glowing screen in the darkness, I felt that same pit opening up in my stomach, that same sense of disaster.
“Oh, shit,” I murmured to myself. Then again, louder: “Shit! Shit!” Continue reading
I woke up and frowned. This wasn’t right. The whole world had gone yellow, and a pervasive smell crept into my nostrils, carrying strong notes of overripe banana.
After a few seconds of physical paralysis, my brain established that yes, I still did possess fingers. I reached up and removed the banana peel from where it sat draped over my face, and looked around.
A plastic roof only a foot above my head leaked sunlight, revealing that I sat in a metal container, about six feet long and three feet wide. Several parts of me ached, suggesting that I’d been tossed into the container, but my fall onto the steel floor had been cushioned by several bulky and half-torn bags of assorted garbage. Continue reading