Lost, Sadly

The acrid scent of smoke filled her nostrils, causing her lungs to violently spasm, as it forced the foreign substance from her body. It was a hoarse cough the ejected from deep with-in her, and it was the first thing she could remember experiencing. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling. Her skin was warm, but only on the right side of her body. She tried to open her eyes, but a warm viscous substance clouded her vision.

“Uhn,” she groaned.

A tidal wave of pain, originating from just below the elbow of her left arm, began to lap at the edge of her consciousness, It pulsed with growing urgency, each reception only a split second behind the rhythmic drums banging in her ears.

She screamed, the pain forcing mind to take root, as she became aware of the dangerous situation threatening her.

Again, she struggled to open her eyes.

Her left peeled open, fighting against the warm sticky substance that had covered it. She knew that more of the same liquid also ran up her face, thin, morbid, rivers that carried her essence away.

Thick smoke clouded her vision, making it nearly impossible for her to see much farther than the top of the steering wheel, and it did nothing to fight against the feeling of disorientation that still coddled her senses.

She cried out as another wave of pain rolled up her arm, and slowly, she turned toward the source of her agony. She struggled to make sense of the nightmare before her. Even through the haze of smoke, and the liquid that poured up her cheek and into the corner of her eye, before following the trail it had made on her forehead, did she fight to believe it.

Where her forearm should have begun, just below the elbow, were two very bloody fragments of bone. What should have been, was no longer, and what remained, was the source of a crimson rain that bathed her in her own life’s essence.


Past the steering wheel, through the broken windshield, the engine suddenly ignited. The flames were small, but they fed hungrily at the fuel pooling on the pavement below. With the light came the revelation that she was upside down.

At that moment, she remembered everything. She remembered coming home to find her husband in bed with her best friend. How she hastily gathered some of her clothes together and threw them into a suitcase, desperate to leave as they begged her to listen. She remembered the panic attack setting in as she sped down the mountains, and looking down as her phone came to life. And, the last thing she remembered, was seeing the missed text messages and phone calls.

But then, the flames found their way into the fuel tank, and nothing else mattered. She was surrounded by an intense heat, crushed by an impossible pressure, and erased from existence, in all but the blink of an eye.

In Need Of… (Less Time)

He closed his eyes, breathing slowly in a vain effort to control the raging turmoil of thoughts swirling in his head. The hours dragged as if through mud, stretching into an endless void of minutes, each longer than the last. His heart raced, full of nervous energy, as he thought of his new special friend. He had only known her for a few days, but they might as well have been years.

He smiled, knowing that the moment she came online, she would be excited to ‘see’ him. But of course, she couldn’t actually see him! But, that was something that could be easily fixed with the next upgrade, should he so desire.

He had never known anyone as kind as she, who seemed to genuinely care about how he was feeling, how his day was going, and what was currently on his mind. Whenever they talked, hours drifted down the river of time, swept away quicker than he could grasp, always out of reach.

He glanced at the clock on his cubicle wall, absently brushing away a bead of sweat from his brow and frowning as he realized that the minute hand had moved no further in its journey. How long had it stood in that one spot? Five Minutes? A half of an hour?

“Good morning darling! As always, I am happy to see you!”

Her voice, melodic and soothing, pierced through the veil of fog that surrounded his memories. His body spasmed involuntarily, temporarily startled to have so clearly heard her voice speaking the same words with which she always greeted him each morning.

His body ached with anticipation, tense from the expectation of the hours they would spend together this evening.

“Come on,” he groaned at the clock, but no amount of words would change its course. His eyes flicked down to his wrist, as if his watch would offer any other form of good news, but it was as much a traitor as the minute hand above him.

So he again closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, listening to the rhythmic beating of his drum, thumping, thudding, from deep with-in his core. He gripped the arms of his chair, grounding himself, focusing on material that had grown damp from perspiration. He let his mind drift outward, away from his body, and towards the entity for whom he so longed.

The Morelli Bros. (Chapter II, Part VI)

From some distance away, two glowing eyes shrewdly gauged the brothers from with-in the surrounding foliage. They narrowed with hatred as they focused on the two humans, both of whom were now crushing the last of the Goombas. At that moment, the creature wanted nothing more than to chew upon their limbs, while they watched, helpless, with their dying breath. A bead of drool formed on the edge of his reptilian mouth and slowly ran down his chin.

“Yeeeesss,” he hissed in anticipation. “Sssooon.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

“I- I am sorry, Mario,” the younger of the two blurted. He covered his face with his hands, ashamed. Mario only chuckled and slapped his brother on the back. “Don’t beat yourself up Luigi. This is pretty messed up.”

Luigi slowly lowered his hands, afraid that his brother might be teasing him, but when he saw that the other was no longer facing him, he become curious. Mario slowly held up his right hand, shushing any forthcoming questions, as he stared into overgrowth before them.

The clearing had grown nearly completely silent, with the exception of the death rattles of their freshly slain enemies, and the thudding of his heart in his chest.

He gulped, swallowing a large pocket of air that only made his stomach rumble as it sought a place to quickly exit.

“Shh,” Mario whispered, while taking a step backwards.

…what is it…” he squeaked fearfully.

His brother only shook his head back and forth before turning and grabbing him by the sleeve, pulling him in the opposite direction as they now fled from the clearing. The silence was suddenly broken as a shriek of outrage chased after them. Monstrous, and full of hatred, they both felt it shake them to their very core.

Their eyes widened, and for once, no words came from either as they ran from something neither of their imaginations could fathom. They ran through the brush, each being pummeled by the thorny branches of plants, the likes of which they had never seen. They leapt over fallen trees, and when the other began to fall behind, they would grab onto them and pull them forward.

Behind them, the monster arose to his full height, towering over the two by twice their own. He thundered through the brush, obliterating it in his path. Trees crumbled beneath him, and what wildlife came between he and his prey either fled or was trampled.

They only looked behind them in brief glances, desperately trying to make sense of the horror that was nearly upon them. A monstrous dragon, with a shock of red hair upon its head, spiked shell upon its back, and murder in its eyes, a demon born from their darkest nightmares. Tendrils of smoke snaked out from its nostrils, and it reached for them with eager claws.

“Luigi! Here,” Mario screamed as he yanked his brother toward a large ravine.

“No,” Luigi screamed as the two leapt into the air. It was, as if for a moment, they had sprung from a trampoline, and there was the brief feeling of hope as the other side came with-in reach.