Chapter III

Skull Valley, La Noscea, 1568

Vyne glanced up and down several times, looking between the strange terrain around her–vibrant formations of crystal and rock with senseless, clashing textures and colors assaulting her eyesight and making her cringe–back down to the map clutched in her gloved hands. She had studied and read plenty of maps, but actually following one was something entirely new. She had rarely been far from home, and even then she usually had her parents or an escort of some variety to accompany her.

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Chapter II

The Valentyne Manor, East Shroud, 1568

The ticking of the clock was the only sound in the parlor, save for the occasional shift of papers each time the teenage Vyne turned the page of the book she held above her face, reading sprawled out over the sofa. Her mother sat in the arm chair nearby, busy mending a busted seam in one of the girl’s gowns.

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Shadows | Part One

Introduction of a new story I’m writing. I’m currently reading Frank Peretti’s “This Present Darkness” and was inspired to start writing. It’ll be interesting to see where this ends up.

Art by Flow


A storm was coming. Gray clouds swept across the sky, stealing light from moon and stars alike. With the clouds came the Shadows. From the frozen north they rode the wild winds, surging across the barren lands, above the tumultous sea, over the jagged peaks. A dark swarm filled with malice. At the foot of the mountains they paused; they were summoned.

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I see the best minds of my generation being destroyed by madness. We are decomposing too early. Our souls are dying before our bodies have time to catch up. We are silently ravenous, with a quiet craze in our hearts. It’s not quite the same as your generation, Ginsberg. We do not shriek “Holy! Holy! Holy!” as we burn. We drown soundlessly.

Overeducated, proud products of postmodernism dissolve into a lukewarm soup of ennui. They are bored ballons filled will hubris rather than helium…fragile dolls with flaking bones and hair and skin resembling wilting flowers, weighted down by indomitable wills and insecurities. These plastic girls starve to death, fantasizing about food. Former nymphets gouge symbols into themselves, the bleeding crags symbolic of their demonic depression plagued by memories of their older brothers molesting them in the living room, while their mothers tend to the bedsides of their fading fathers.

Here’s to those who are hurting.

You’re not poison ivy, and you’re not crushed mimosa. You’re not a history of screw ups and let downs. You are not a choking hazard with nothing else to give. You’re not his or hers or theirs to be tugged and pulled around by their selfish and egocentric whims, and your future is certainly not on their leash. You don’t combust into flames and extinguish into ashes at the snap of their finders, so just breathe and relax. You don’t owe anyone anything, and you are definitely not their definition of damaged cassette tapes.

Tell anyone who has treated you badly to screw off because with gritted teeth and clenched fists you inhales vile smoke, and your lungs are turning black and your kidneys are reeling into cement and stones. You re in the middle of pitfalls and booby traps and all you have is wrong, wrong, wrong advice that made you cry until your bones feel hollow and your lips seal. You are just human, and your knees can be scraped and scalded. Just make sure that after your cacophonous dance with the rainstorm, you find the strength to get up and try again.

Love yourself radically and violently. Love yourself because you are the red riding hood. The wolves don’t look like wolves but like glass angels and polished halos. You’re only learning and growing in a highly unfamiliar forest.

Love yourself because wearing a polished medal will never feel as good as when your hands are shaking from all the caffeine your heart surreptitiously slipped into your fingertips. You’re scared, too scared, and paranoid of them knowing that your lungs rot and your breath stinks because you haven’t really been waking up these days.

Love yourself because you’re a raging storms, with sharp teeth — a vessel of apocalyptic mess that tries, tries, tries to sew, patch, heal yourself again.

You don’t deserve to be abused again.