Short Story-Drop by Drop

Here’s another little vignette starring rockabilly vampire hunter Alex Rains, star of the soon to be released novel  The Devil’s Mouth.

Terry leaned sideways across the armrest of the old couch, one hand behind his head and the other across the back of the couch, holding a lit cigarette between two fingers. His mohawk wasn’t done up, and the blonde stripe of hair fell down to one side. He was shirtless, and had a skull tattoo over his heart.

Amber leaned into Terry, her head against his bare chest. Her tank top rucked up over her lean belly, revealing a bangly navel piercing. She readjusted and scooted higher upon him, her knees tucked up close.

The little house was dark, only lit by the TV.

“Babe,” said Terry, “I’m hungry.”

“I know,” she replied, playing with his hair. “But I can’t do it again. Not this soon.”

“Oh come on, just a little bit.”

“No, Terry. I can’t. I’m still dizzy from last time.”

“But I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Terry picked up the TV remote from amongst the mess on the coffee table and changed the channel. “But baaaaabe, I’m hungry.

“You just ate yesterday.” She rubbed her hand against his bony chest. “You said you’d be good for three days.”

“But I’m hungry now.”

“You know I can’t do it again so soon.”

Terry took a drag off his cigarette. “I don’t see why you have to be such a bitch about it.”

“Come on, Terry. I love you.”

“I’m just kidding.” He blew out smoke. “Bitch.”

“Don’t say that.” She snuggled against him like a child. “Just love me.”

“I love you even though you’re a bitch.” He tapped ashes onto the floor and then snaked an arm around her shoulders. She sighed contentedly.

Terry leaned in, parting his lips as he neared her neck. “I’ll just take a little bit. Just a pint.”

“No, babe. Please.”

He pulled his lips back, razor sharp fangs slick with saliva. His breath was hot on her neck. “But you taste so good. You know you want it.”

“Please no, Terry, you know what’ll happen.”

“It’ll just hurt for a second.”

“Please don’t.”

“Bitch.” He leaned in, and suddenly his hand was an iron collar around her neck. “You couldn’t stop me. I could just take what I want.” He rested his lips against her neck, and the tips of his fangs just grazed the skin. Her breath hitched.

She squirmed, halfheartedly pushing against his chest. “You know I couldn’t. But you love me.”

Terry grinned. “If you won’t do it, maybe I’ll go find some girl who will. Maybe I won’t be so nice to her. What about your sister?” Still holding her fast, he leaned forward and dropped his cigarette butt into one of the empty beer bottles on the coffee table.

She grimaced, and her voice was a childlike whimper. “Please, babe. I can’t. I’m still sick from last time.”

“Don’t you love me?”

“You know I do.”

“Well I’m hungry.”

She let out a shuddering sigh. “Okay,” she said. “Just a little bit.”

He smiled gleefully. “I love you, babe!” He released her neck, and slapped her ass as she stood up. “Bitch.”

She walked into the  bedroom and returned with a shoebox, then sat down next to him and opened the lid. He watched hungrily as she took out a length of surgical tubing and tied it around her arm. Amber clenched and unclenched her fist, watching as the veins swelled in her forearm. “Just a little bit, babe.”

He nodded. “I know. Just a little.”

Amber took out a length of plastic tubing, terminating at one end with a needle. She made sure the plastic ratchet clamp was tightened on the tubing, sighed, swallowed, and slipped the needle into her vein.

She undid the tourniquet around her arm. Red flowed up the tube to the clamp and stopped. She took a length of tape and secured the needle in place, then put the other end of the hose into a simple drinking glass.

“Hurry up, babe.”

“Almost there, Terry.” She released the clamp. Red flowed and looped through the clear plastic hose, sputtering and pouring out into the glass. She watched the level carefully, her fingers hovering over the tube clamp.

At about two fingers, she reached for the clamp.

“Wait,” said Terry. He held her wrist. “Just a little more.”

“No, babe, it’s too much.”

His eyes narrowed. “Who fucking cares.”

“Babe…” She made to sit up, and he pinned her down with a hand around her throat. Careful not to disturb the hose, he straddled her, holding her down with his weight. She struggled and he held her fast. “Babe, please.”

He screwed his face up into a parody of hers, “Babe, please,” he whined.

The level of blood in the glass still rose.

Her eyes fluttered. Her skin grew pale and clammy. She tried to fight him, but could not. Tears flowed down her cheeks.

“You know what, I’m fucking sick of you.” The glass brimmed, and Terry took the hose and popped the bloody end into his mouth. “You know why I never bit you? It’s cause I wouldn’t want you to be a vampire. The thought of listening to you whine for eternity makes me want to fucking kill myself.”


“Say goodnight, bitch. I think you’ll be a better lay after you’re dead.”

Her fingers trembled and twitched.

A shotgun blast shattered the stillness of the summer night. The doorknob of the tiny house spun across the room and put a divot in the drywall. The cheap hollow core door, mortally wounded, twisted on its hinges.

The man in the white cowboy hat racked another shell into the shotgun as he kicked the remains of the door away. He wore a gaudy Hawaiian print shirt, unbuttoned, with a white tee shirt underneath. A Japanese sword hung at his waist. His eyes were dark as the shadow of a tombstone. He levelled the shotgun at Terry.

Terry spun Amber around as a shield and cowered behind her. She hung limply in his grip, her head lolling over his fist. “Who the fuck are you, man?”

“Boy, I’m the fucking grim reaper.”

Terry’s eyes danced around the room, searching for escape. “I’ll fucking kill her, I swear to God.”

“Looks to me like you already did.”

“Are you sure of that, asshole?”

“Seems she’d be dead either way. And really, what’s one more? See, I been lookin’ for you, boy. Been followin’ you since Taos. I know about all of them. Jessica. Sarah. Bethany. Rachel. In the big scheme of things, one more don’t matter to me. What matters to me is putting your punk vampire ass in the ground for good, and that’s gonna happen one way or another.”

“Then why don’t you just shoot through her, asshole?” Terry laughed, “Yeah, that’s what I though. You fucking pussy.”

Amber’s eyes fluttered open. She reached her hand around and seized the tube protruding from her arm. In one smooth motion, she ripped it free and jammed the needle, still spurting blood, into her lover’s eye.

Terry screamed and let go of her throat as he brought his hands to his face. She fell to the ground.

In an eyeblink, The vampire hunter fired. Terry’s head, from the nose up, ceased to exist. A red mess decorated the far wall. His body fell headlong over the couch, coming to rest at an obscene angle, legs dangling crazily in the air. Amber sunk to her knees and sobbed once.

“Easy there, little darlin’.” Alex drew his sword as he approached Terry. “It’s all over now. You best look away.”

She didn’t look away.

Six Word Stories Redux


Round two…Fight!


“Give me liberty, or give…aaaargh!”


“Hold on!”
“I can’t! I love—”


“Mr. Goldstein? Come with us, please.”


His bulletproof vest couldn’t stop love.


“This must be a nightmare.” Nope.


“I had to. Don’t hate me.”


Dreams of dying hadn’t prepared him.


She smelled the wine. “Nice try.”

Microfiction-Cold Comfort


The president faced the cameras. “My fellow Americans. We’ve all heard the rumors. Let me assure you, they are completely false. We are in no danger whatsoever. NASA has assured me that the asteroid will miss the earth by a wide margin. Everything is fine. I repeat, there’s nothing to worry about.”

The cameras shut off. The president loosened his necktie and poured himself a glass of scotch. He raised his drink to the room. “Not long now. It’s been a pleasure knowing you all. God help us.”

He emptied the glass in one swig, grimaced, and poured another.

Short Story-Mixmaw’s Intergalactic Travelling Bazaar

The spaceship dropped out of the clear blue sky above Marigold street.

John Sutter, kneeling to adjust the carburetor on his gas-powered lawn mower, noticed the flicker of shadow that crossed his half-trimmed lawn. He looked up, and the screwdriver fell unnoticed from his fingers.

Across the street, Margaret Wilson dropped her laundry basket and screamed. Soon, the entire neighborhood was watching, people pouring like ants out of their tidy suburban homes and gaping up at the sky. Dogs barked. Babies cried.

The ship looked insect-like, all strange angles and bulges, descending at a stately pace with no wings or rotors or jets.

The people gathered around in a wide, ragged circle as the craft hovered lower. It extruded a set of landing legs and settled down in the middle of Marigold street, hissing and venting gasses and steam.

A pregnant pause followed. The residents of Marigold Street began to talk in hushed tones, “Is it dangerous? Shouldn’t we call someone? How in the world…”

The alien craft shuddered, and the crowd once again fell silent. Then, as they all watched, it began to…unfold. Hatches hinged open, panels slid away, irises irised. Out came racks, shelves, tables, display cases, stuffed full of strange and wondrous objects.

From somewhere, jolly organ music began playing.

A door opened, and out stepped the alien: a six legged, bug-eyed, chitinous horror. Wearing a top-hat.

“Gentlebeings all, welcome to Mixmaw’s intergalactic travelling bazaar! I bring you unique and remarkable merchandise from around the universe, from the nomadic tribes of Kafazz, to the factories of Kranth. Wonders such as your eyes have never seen!

The alien stepped in front of the racks of clothing. He pointed at Margaret Wilson with two of his segmented arms. “You there, transporting your soiled garments. Never do laundry again!” With a segmented arm it held out a sky-blue blouse. “With your clothes made of hand woven Chiksa silk, the dirt slides right off! And it’s smooth as the underside of a Ganwellian cloud plant.”

Margaret ran her fingers along the cloth, sighed dreamily, and passed out with a smile on her face.

“And you sir, using that primitive machine to trim your photosynthetic ground cover! Try one of these, instead!” A boxy wheeled robot crawled out of a hatch in the spaceship and trundled towards the half-mowed lawn. “A tirelesss yard sentry, the Karvallian trim-bot never needs batteries, never stops working, and…it uses advanced Karvallian technology to convert your grass clippings into gold coins.” The little robot tore into the grassy yard with fervor, leaving a trail of shiny golden droppings behind.

“And that’s not all,” said the alien, pulling open a cabinet. “I have spices from the far mountains of Flandoor, the likes of which your terrestrial taste buds have never dreamed! Try this, sir, it’s a Taltanian garlic from the lowlands of Skrife.” He shook out a sample into John Sutter’s hand.

John cautiously tasted the powder. He gasped and fell to his knees, weeping uncontrollably. “It is the single most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced!” he cried. “My greatest regret is that I’ve gone my entire life without tasting this, the perfect ambrosia, the nectar of the very gods themselves! I’ll never again enjoy lesser foods. My life is ruined.”

“Quite right, sir.” Said Mixmaw. “And this is only a small sampling of my wares. Find true love! Defeat your enemies! Cure diseases and live forever! That’s right, the finest and most unique wares in the wide universe are available to you, right now, at low, low prices.”

“Well good God, man, how much!” screamed John Sutter. “I’ll pay anything. Anything!”

“I’m not a greedy being. I provide these wonders practically at cost, for the simple joy of bringing fine products to the far corners of the universe. The spices begin at a price of only twelve Chaburi.”

“What’s a Chaburi?” asked Martha.

“You don’t have Chaburi? Oh, my mistake. I also take payment in Megars, Tandillos, or Kawillian trade certificates.”

“But we don’t have any of those things!” said John. “We only have dollars.”

“What’s a dollar?” said Mixmaw.

“Or, or pounds! Euros! Pesos! Loonies! Yen, baht, rupees, gold, whatever you want!”

“I’m…I’m afraid I don’t take those. And why would I want gold? I have a lawnmower that shits gold. Are you sure this planet doesn’t even deal in Klavix? The exchange rate is terrible, but I suppose it’s better than nothing.”

“No,” answered Margaret,  “we don’t even know what those are.”

“Does anyone even have a credit account with the trans-galactic trust bank?” Met with blank stares, Mixmaw held his hat in his hands, sheepishly. “I’m afraid I’ve made a terrible mistake. Really must update these travel atlases. How embarassing. My mistake, of course. All my fault. Terribly sorry.”

The alien climbed into his spaceship. The stalls and shelves and racks and displays neatly folded themselves back into the ship. Irises irised. Panels slid shut. Hatches hinged closed. The ship lifted off the ground, up, up and away, and disappeared into the baby blue sky.

Six Word Fiction Day

Inspired by a few other bloggers, also too lazy to write a full blog post today, I’m gonna try out this whole six word fiction thing. Here goes nothin’…


Then the world exploded. The end.


“Shouldn’t have left the baby there…”


“My love is the sea. And heroin.”

Author’s note: Oops, this is seven words. Let me try that again.

“My lover is the sea. Lion.”


“Cut the red wire, right?” Boom.


The applause turned to horrified screams.


He spread his wings and died.


“Oh my God he ate it.”


“You’re bluffing.”

“Afraid not.”

“Well, shit.”


“I wasn’t completely honest with you…”


“But flipping off cops is legal!”

Short Story-Space Kitten

“What is it?” said Karen, staring at the blips on the radar screen.

“I don’t know,” Tom responded, the color draining from his face. “Some kind of deep-space radiation storm. But not like any I’ve ever seen.”

Boots, the new ship’s cat, jumped up onto the navigation console and strutted between Karen and the screen. She batted at the moving radar blips with her tiny paws. “Not now, Bootsie,” Karen scooped the cat up and deposited her on the ground. To Tom, she said, “Can we divert?”

Boots, insulted, sat and licked her paws.

“It’s too big and moving too fast. It’s coming right at us.” Tom read the displays for another second, scrolling through the data with one finger. Boots jumped back onto the console and rubbed her whiskers against Tom’s finger, closing her eyes and purring madly.

Tom shoved the cat out of his way. “Karen, I need to you go to the engine room and shut off all the manual breakers, so maybe this thing won’t fry our electronics. If it doesn’t kill us, at least we’ll have a functioning space ship.”

“I’m on it.” Karen rose up out of her seat and sprinted towards the cockpit door—and nearly tripped on the kitten that twined between her legs. She stumbled, stepping over the cat, and ran down the corridor.

The cat trotted behind her. “Meowp? Mroop? Mewp?”

Karen wrenched the breaker box open, ignoring the lid that clattered to the floor, making Boots jump. She frantically threw switches and pulled fuses out of their sockets. The fuses littered the floor of the engine room. One by one the ship’s systems shut down. The lights went out. The vent fans went quiet.

Boots batted a fuse down the corridor, then, after a butt-wiggling pause, chased after it.

One final breaker, and the artificial gravity shut off. Karen’s feet rose off the floor. Bootsie twisted around as she floated, still trying to get at the fuse.

“Here it comes!” Tom yelled down the corridor. “Hold on!”

The ship rocked violently. Green lightning shot across the engine room, showering sparks wherever it touched the metal bulkheads. There was a sound like the crackle of high-voltage wires. The overhead lights lit up of their own accord and pulsed a pale green. One of the lighting panels shattered and showered Karen with clear plastic shards.

Tiny green bolts of lightning shot from Karen’s fingers. Her teeth ached. She felt a rising warmth in her chest. The very air seemed to glow green. She screamed.

Boots howled.

In the cockpit, Tom hunched over, holding his belly, and gritted his teeth. his hair stood on end.

One more brilliant flash of green lightning, and it was over. The ship was quiet.

Karen replaced the fuse in the gravity system and sank gently to the floor as she eased the slider up to one g. She turned on a few more essential systems, then stumbled up to the cockpit while Boots, looking dazed, followed along behind her. “Are you okay?” she said to Tom.

“I think so,” he said, scrolling through the system diagnostics. “It’s crazy, but it seems like that storm…it seems like it didn’t do anything at all!”

Boots jumped up onto the console. The cat said, “You know, I’m actually not so sure about that.”



“So, I wrote a blog post yesterday,” I said, “sort of a comedy erotica thing. It was just a generic love scene where I replaced all the dirty words with made up words like ‘wangdoodle’ or ‘pickle-pocket.'”

We were at a round metal table outside a Starbucks in a generic California strip-mall. There was a Noah’s bagels on one side, and an empty space that used to be a book store on the other. I pulled my croissant apart while Rachel sat down across from me, setting down her cup of coffee.

“Yeah, I read it,” said Rachel. “It was hilarious. Kind of hot though. Really weird.”

I smiled and shrugged. “Hilarious, kind of hot, really weird. Just like me.”

She snorted over her coffee and rolled her eyes. “Weird, anyway.”

I sipped at my grande Pike’s Place roast. “So, yeah. It was just this goofball thing I wrote. But it was really popular. It got more than twice as many views as any of my other posts. I’m not really sure how to feel about that.”

“Maybe you’ve got a gift for writing erotica.”

“I know, right? Maybe I should just go all in and write erotica for a living.”

Rachel smiled. “But it has to be comedy erotica.”

“I’m not sure if I could keep that up,” I said. I paused for a bite of croissant. “No pun intended. I mean, it’s kind of a one-trick pony. How many gibberish words can I make up to describe sex acts? But what if that’s all people want? What if I try to write something else, and people are just like, ‘when are you going to write more of that funny sex stuff?'”

“Oh my god,” said Rachel, her face deadpan, “what if you got Shatnered?”

“Shatnered? Is that a sex word I made up?”

“No, I mean like William Shatner.”

I cocked my head. “I don’t follow.” I raised one eyebrow. “Am I going to have to start…talking with overly…long dramatic pauses?”

Rachel rolled her eyes again. “What I mean is, what do you think of when you think of William Shatner?”

“Star Trek, I guess.”

She rapped her fist on the table. “Exactly. He hasn’t been in a Star Trek movie in twenty years. He’s an accomplished producer, writer and director. He’s had literally hundreds of roles throughout a successful fifty-year career. And yet, what’s the first thing people think when they hear William Shatner? James T. Kirk.”

“So, I’m going to be the comedy sex guy? No matter what I do, no matter what I accomplish, when people hear ‘Matt Kincade’ twenty years from now, they’re going to think, ‘Oh, he’s that guy who writes the weird comedy sex stuff with made up words?’ That’s my future?”

She nodded sadly. “‘Fraid so.”

I stared down at my coffee cup. “Jesus. That’s terrifying. How can I stop this?”

“You can’t. Many have tried. Shatner. Mark Hamill. Sean Connery. Leonard Nimoy. It happened to all of them. I mean, it’ll be great, at first. You’ll be famous. You’ll have nubile college girls wanting you to sign their cleavage, giggling and asking you to squibble their jibbles or whatever. You’ll be on top of the world. There’ll be money, women, drugs, you name it.” Rachel sipped her coffee. “But then, it’ll get old. You’ll want to move on to other things. Only the world won’t let you. Pretty soon, you’ll cringe every time you see someone approach you in the street with a pen and a notebook. You’ll probably scream at some fan who interrupts you while you’re trying to have a nice dinner with your family. You’ll flip over a table, throw a bottle of champagne at the wall. Somebody will call the cops.”

“My god.”

“Oh yeah, it’s bad.” Rachel made a sympathetic face. “And that’s the start of your downward spiral. Your cocaine habit will get out of control. You’ll spend all your famous author money on hookers. You’ll wind up living in your car, offering to schlibble dibbles for five dollars so you can buy a crack rock.”

“I always wondered what rock bottom was going to look like for me.”

“Well, that’s it. You can’t get any lower. Then you’ll have your moment of clarity. You’ll probably find Jesus. You’ll accept your place in life as the comedy sex writer guy. You’ll start accepting appearances on television shows, parodying yourself. You’ll realize that some people would do anything for the fame that you’ve spent years running from. You’ll start to understand that everything your fans do, they do out of love. You’ll find balance. You’ll find peace. Are you going to finish that croissant?”

“You know what? You can have it. Suddenly I’m not hungry.”



Short Story-The God Seed

By Matt Kincade


Our people’s history began when the God-Seed fell.

Before that, time was a wheel, endless cycles, uncountable, none different from the last.

Then, in the third moon of the birthing season, it happened. The God-Seed came out of the sky.

 It began as a new star. Then it grew brighter and brighter until it was a fire in the sky. A great roaring sound filled the air. We cowered in terror, believing that our destruction was at hand.

It fell with a crash, and all of the land shook. When the dust had settled, there stood the God-seed. We had no words for what it was. A tree? A mountain? It stood, stuck in the earth, towering over the plains, made of a strange, hard material. Our stone axes shattered upon it.

The tribes gathered from all corners of the land to observe this strange new phenomenon, to decide what should be done.

Even as we gathered, the God-Seed began to change. It sprouted things like the leaves of a tree, but hard and reflective. And roots, that travelled across the ground away from it. Each of these roots began to swell, to grow, and a bulb appeared on it’s end. The bulb grew larger and larger, until it was larger than the largest of our roundhouses. Still it grew. Segments of it became transparent like water, and we could see strange things happening inside.

There was another world inside the god-seed. Strange grasses grew. Lakes appeared, and bizarre creatures flickered below the surface. We build huge scaffolds leaning against the structure so we could see inside, but still, our best tools wouldn’t leave a scratch on it’s surface.

Something grew that looked like a door, but we could not open it, nor would it burn. A strange thing appeared next to the door, a cluster of nine square knobs, and above it a glowing rectangle with these strange symbols: ENTER ACCESS CODE

The greatest scholars from all over our world gathered at the god seed. They discovered many, many more of the strange symbols, mapped out every inch of the thing. They catalogued every group of symbols. ATMOSPHERIC SENSOR PACKAGE, GAS VENT 3B, ANTENNA CLUSTER.

The elders stayed up late, sitting around the campfire, smoking Djatt out of long pipes and scratching the strange symbols in the dirt, debating their meaning long into the night. A city grew up around the god-seed.

Inside it was another world, green, lush, teeming with life. An oasis in the middle of our hot, dry land. Two legged things strutted around, pecking at the fertile earth with their hard, pointed mouths.

One day the scholar Kanak, a young male from the far continent, arrived. He sat for many hours, smoking Djatt, observing the symbols, running his hand softly over the keypad. He went out into the desert for a day and a night. When he returned, without a word, he pushed four of the strange knobs. The knobs lit up. There was a whistle like the call of a Knarud, and the door slid open. Cool, wet air poured out.

It was a bounty as we had never known. We knew then that it was truly a gift from the gods. We had solved the riddle and proved ourselves worthy. The God-Seed was large enough to fit all of us within. There were plants and animals there, more delicious than we could have imagined. Enough fresh water to fill an ocean. We thrived in that place. Our scholars long having studied the God’s symbols, soon mastered the knowledge machines found within the god-seed. From there we learned of math, of astronomy, of medicine, of Shakespeare and Homer. We learned the history of the mythical creator beings, the humans.

And then one day another star appeared in the sky. Was it another God-Seed? The gods themselves, come to reveal greater knowledge and greater truths? We huddled inside the God-Seed, deep in prayer, awaiting whatever bounty the gods might bestow.

High above planet XR-44211, the colony ship Sojourner flickered out of foldspace and entered a high orbit. Fresh from twenty years of cryosleep, captain Brillan, her long auburn hair still wet from her first shower in decades, stepped onto the Sojourner’s spartan bridge. Her dark-blue uniform was crisp and freshly ironed, and her knee high boots polished to a mirror shine. She returned the officer’s salutes and stepped up to the window. XR-44211 turned slowly outside the viewing window, a broad marbled sphere of reds and oranges and yellows, with wisps of white clouds roiling across its surface.

“There it is,” she said, “our new home. Not much to look at, is it?”

“It has what we need.” said the tech officer. “The hab modules arrived safely, and have fully deployed. Once we get settled in, we can start the terraforming— wait a minute.”

“What is it?”

“We’re getting some strange signals from habitat five. It looks like…it looks like the door seal is broken. We’ve got a bit of an infestation.”

“Do we have a visual?”

“Just a second,” said the tech officer. He hit a button and the viewscreen filled with video of hordes of furry six-legged creatures running amok in the habitat, chewing the corn, slaughtering the chickens, plucking the Tilapia from the lake, lounging on the genetically engineered carbon-sequestering grass.

Brillan made a disgusted face. “God, what a mess.”

The tech officer tapped a few more buttons. “Sensors indicate they’re carbon based, largely water-based chemistry, standard oxygen-carbon dioxide respiration cycle. Not that much different from Earth fauna.”

“Okay,” said Captain Brillan, “Let’s get ’em out of there. Let’s try piping a broad spectrum nerve poison through the fire suppression system.”

The tech officer hit a few more buttons. “I can do that.”

Deep in prayer, we waited for the will of the gods to be revealed to us. When the water began to fall from the sky, we wondered, what new gift will our benevolent gods bestow upon us?

Why I don’t play with Ouija boards anymore

You’re probably going to think this story is fiction. But it happened.

It was a dark and stormy night.

That’s a pretty cliché way to start a story, I know. But in this case it actually was a dark and stormy night. I was living in a flimsy little house in the woods at the top of a hill, and there was a ripping rainstorm outside. The wind howled. The pine trees swayed. Rain lashed the windows.

So, me and Emily decided it would be a good night to try the Ouija board. Continue reading

Short story-The Guardians

By Matt Kincade

The young buck approached an ancient forest clearing. Tentatively, his ears swivelling this way and that, he stepped forward. His dark eyes, wide with fear, searched the moonlit night for danger.

Still, an ancient calling pulled him forward. His hooves sunk into the soft carpet of pine needles. Delicately, he perked his head up and scented the air.

Stands Proudly,” said a voice that seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere, speaking the buck’s secret name.

Stands Proudly stood, rooted in terror.

Stands Proudly, step forward.”

Then he saw her. The doe was pure white. Her eyes were pink. Standing in the clearing, surrounded by a perfect circle of pine trees, she glowed with an inner light.

Grandmother,” said Stands Proudly, bowing his head until the velvety tips of his young antlers scraped the ground.

My child,” said the old doe,you have been chosen.”

the young buck snorted in frustration and pawed at the ground. His eyes rolled as if searching for an escape. “By why me?” he cried, “I have so many summers ahead!”

I am sorry, young one. I do not choose. I am only a messenger. A conduit. I wish that it could be otherwise.”

After a moment, Stands Proudly nodded. “I know, grandmother. You are wise. I do not question you. I only wish…I wish I could have had a little longer.”

As do I. You deserve many more summers. Many mates, and mighty antlers spread like the branches of an ancient oak. Alas, it is not to be. Our mission is too important.”

“But why must it be this way?”

The old forest gods have chosen our kind, young one. It is our eternal task to keep the balance. To maintain harmony. When the earth’s energies are out of tune, then we must act. It is our duty. This is known.”

Yes, grandmother.” The buck sighed again and bowed his head, accepting his fate. “What is my mission?”

A man approaches,” said the old doe. “The fate of universes hinge upon his actions. He is as innocent, as blameless as you. Yet another pawn of the cosmic dance. But his son, should he be born…” Grandmother closed her eyes then, and Stands Proudly saw a vision in his head. Liquid death raining from the sky, a wave of fire rolling across the land, slaughter and sorrow and pain.

Stands Proudly’s eyes widened. “All that, from one man?”

Grandmother nodded sadly. “Some beings are as a rock balancing upon a hilltop. The slightest push may cause a landslide. Untold destruction from only the smallest breeze. We must prevent this. He must be stopped. It is our ancient duty.”

I will not fail you, grandmother.”

I know, Stands Proudly. I know. You are of a noble line. Your ancestors have served me well, from the very beginning.” The white doe’s ears perked up. “He approaches! Go now! Quickly!”

Stands Proudly dashed through the forest, leaping fallen logs, splashing across a stream bed. He hurried down the embankment and felt the hard, smooth surface under his hooves. “If I die, I die standing proudly,” he whispered.

The young buck held his head high and bravely stared down the headlights as they rushed around the bend in the road.


Author’s note: This odd little story was written in response to the question, “Why are these stupid kamikaze deer always jumping out in front of my car like it’s their job?”