The season of reflection has come to completion.  Jewish families remember the night Israel escaped from Egypt and Christians remember the morning Jesus overcame death once and for all.   So it's only fitting that this week's prompt be about good news.

The Judge

This week's judge won on his very first attempt.  Here's a little more about Jake Wilkins, in his own words:
I’m a humorist, comedy writer and entertainer with a day job.  I live outside Fort Worth, TX with a mean ole’ yellow eyed cat.  I’m more story teller than author and probably the last person you’d expect me to be.

Current WIPs include a romantic comedy and the early stages of a sitcom pilot being developed and written with a partner.  I enjoy writing in a variety of genres and am drawn to works with strong female characters (yes, I have a bad girl fixation) and to wickedly clever subtlety in subplots.

The Prompt

We never thought we'd see him again.

The Rules


4/9/2012 12:01:32 am

We never thought we'd see him again. But when that magnificent son of a bitch climbed out of the debate arena without so much as a scratch, I knew we had an electable candidate.

I turned to Sophie and gave her the "stop staring at the blood and fetch him some water" glare. The poor girl was new to West-Am politics. I could tell she was trying not to toss her cookies onto the deck of the debate armory as she backed away from Tavender.

Lou and Cora, my media team, were barking editing notes over the din from the arena as I guided Tavender to a molded plastic stool. They were already patching together the fight footage for Monday's news cycle. Lou ran the shot of Tavender pulling his halberd out of the Populist candidate's abdomen in slow motion. The man was a genius with video.

"How's the Libertarian doing?" Tavender huffed as he chugged some bio-water.

"Down to one arm, but he's about to take the question on corn subsidies."

"Cripes. Idaho's got a hell of a platform this season."

Sophie finally returned with a handful of white terrycloth. She helped me hose off Tavender as the arena erupted in applause.

"Advantage, Idaho," I muttered as Tavender ran his fingers through his hair to knock the blood out. "You got a stance on Big Corn, or should we just fall back to the spiked maul again?"

"Big Corn, I can handle. What's the word on the Unions? The longshoremen make me nervous."

Sophie's cheeks ballooned up, and she scurried off to the hose grate to puke.

Tavender smirked up at me. "New girl?"

"Yeah. She's from East-Am."

"Oh, Jesus."

"Right." I gave him an injection of anabolics and offered him a protein biscuit. "Listen, I have to admit something. I honestly didn't think you'd make it."

Tavender shrugged. "That's why they're calling me the dark horse, right?"

"Level with me," I whispered. "You're not gunning for California legislature, are you?"

His eyes sharpened as he stuck the nozzle of his bio-water in his mouth. But I caught the edge of his lips lift into a grin.

This was good news. Tavender wasn't some jerkwater public servant I had scouted out of the political cages in Bakersfield. He was a contender.

"Sophie, if you're done, I want you to run down to the minority whip and rustle up some ballistic armor. We've got the gun control question before lunch."

Bob Mahone
4/9/2012 12:52:14 am


“We never thought we'd see him again.” Russell said, nudging Walter to look at the man easing himself out of the beat up pickup. It was actually a toss-up as to which was more beaten, the man or the truck.

“Whoa”, Walter said, stunned, almost losing from his mouth the piece of donut he’d just bitten off. “I can’t believe he survived.”

There were not many people moving about on Main Street, that Sunday morning. But the few who were had their attention immediately drawn to the man, in obvious pain, now making his way to the sidewalk in front of the Sheriff’s office.

He must have also been observed from within the office, because the last of the three deputies, Tyler, came out to intercept him.

Holding both hands in front of him in a halting gesture, Tyler said, “Cal, the best thing for you to do is get on back in your truck, and move on.”

Ignoring the warning Cal simply asked, “Where’s Kate, Tyler? I need to talk to her.”

Not allowing him to proceed, Tyler reached at his shoulders to turn him back. But, Cal’s injuries proved irrelevant as Tyler found himself suddenly on the sidewalk with Cal above him with a knife to his throat.

Walter dropped his coffee as he reached for his gun. Russell also sprang into action.

“You guys would beat me to death for this shit sheriff” Cal said, as he slit Tyler’s throat.

Walter rounded the pickup with gun drawn, only to catch the knife as it plunged into the top of his chest.

Russell was surprised to see Walter dropping from a dead run. He tried to catch him, then looked past him to see Tyler in a pool of blood. He also saw Cal level Tyler’s gun on him, but Walter’s weight prevented Russell from raising his own gun. The blast ended his Sunday and cleared Main Street.

Cal now had his back to the wall beneath the Sheriff’s window. He knew that the Sheriff would have to come out for him. Although he had spent the night trying to figure out how long the Sheriff had been sleeping with Kate, at this moment, he no longer cared.

370 words

4/9/2012 01:45:44 am

H’aint Nothing To Worry About
By Lisa McCourt Hollar

We never thought we’d see him again. Tori cried for a week when we told her that Frank was missing. A month went by and then one day we heard a yowling outside the front door. Tori’s eyes lit up and she went running to the door and threw it open. It was obvious from his matted fur and open wounds, Frank had been through an ordeal. The most horrifying part was the gash that circled his neck. Someone had kept Frank tied up.

“Who would do something like this,” I asked the vet.

Dr. Sugar shrugged his shoulders. “I’ve seen this a lot lately, both cats and dogs missing for weeks, then suddenly showing back up with wounds similar to Frank’s. Some found their way back home, but most were found dead along the roadside.”

“But…what’s being done about this?”

“Dead animals on the side of the road aren’t unexpected and even with physical evidence of abuse, not a high priority for law enforcement.”

I took Frank home and called the police. They sent someone by, but it was obvious the officer was only there to appease me and there was no real interest in finding out what happened to, what was after all, “only a cat.” I dismissed the officer, who skirted past a hissing Frank.

“I don’t like him either,” I said, picking Frank up and smoothing his fur down.

Frank had changed. He no longer tried to go outside, staying close to Tori. When she would go out to play, Frank sat in the window, watching. I had a feeling he knew something bad was coming.

Tori was outside when Frank’s back arched. Hissing and spitting, he clawed at the front door, demanding that it be opened. I followed him, calling for Tori. When I reached the front walk, she was standing there with the officer that had taken my report. The back door to his cruiser was open and it looked like he was trying to put her in the car. Frank attacked the cop, leaping through the air and clawing at his face. Tori ran to me, crying and we both stared in disbelief as the man changed. His skin began to mottle, turning greenish, blackening in some spots. He…It, knocked Frank off and turned towards us, reaching for Tori. Frank launched himself at the corpses feet, for I could see now that the man was dead, animated as though we were in some zombie apocalypse style movie.

The creature, my grandmother would have called it a h’aint, ran, leaving a finger behind. I called the police and they took it with them as evidence. When the officer left, Frank hissed, flattening his ears. That was a week ago and I haven’t read anything about it in the paper, even after I called them. My neighbor’s son is missing and no one seems concerned. Frank sits on the window sill every day, watching and waiting. I no longer let Tori go out and play.

Word Count: 500

4/9/2012 03:24:19 am

We never thought we'd see him again, but I’m getting ahead of myself. In order for you to understand what we did, you have to understand what happened. We were silly teens out to party in a farmer’s field. Okay not any farmer’s field, my Dad’s field. Mom and Dad had gone away on a holiday and “while the cat’s away the mouse will play.” They trusted me to act in an adult manner and I had invited people to a party on Facebook. It was supposed to be a small intimate party just a few friends and some beer the next thing I knew thousands had arrived and they just kept coming. They were hundreds of us that came out that night looking for a good time. The drugs were plentiful and so was the booze, someone had even managed to get a metal band to play. We were all having a wonderful time. Some of my friends insisted this must be what Woodstock had been like but they were wrong very wrong.
When it happened we weren’t there to witness the carnage. My brother Kelvin, sister Chelsey and I were too busy searching for munchies in my kitchen, but we heard the screams. Chelsey had thought something had happened in the makeshift mosh pit. We ran to see what we could do but all we saw were dead bodies laid out end to end. The bodies were ripped apart, headless, arms missing, legs missing. Everyone dead.
It was then we noticed Weldon was missing. Weldon was younger than us and my responsibility, as he was my younger brother. We searched high and low through the many bodies for Weldon, hoping and praying he was alive. Just when we had given up hope we found him. He was laid prone in the field, licking his lips. I ran to him and he stated contritely.
“I’m sorry Winston, I didn’t know the change was coming. Mom and Dad, are going to be so mad at me.”
“You hit puberty early, it’s not your fault.” I admitted “You’ll learn to control it. I’m just glad you are alive.”
“What are we going to do Winston? How can we hide this?” Chelsey asked “They’ll find out we’re aliens and skin us alive.”
“I can operate a tractor and a plow. We’ll burn what we can and bury the rest.” I commanded.
We worked all night and into the day disposing of the bodies. Most of them burnt to ashes, to fertilize our field. Just as we were finishing, Mom and Dad came home.
“Winston we are so proud of you. We saw the whole thing on our com link. You protected your siblings and you did exactly what we would have done.”
“Thank you.” I answered proudly.
“Next time though, no Deadstock party. Mom pronounced. “I’ve brought you some liver delicacies from Mars.
I was thrilled. I hadn’t had Martian liver since I was a baby.
494 words

Nance P
4/9/2012 03:52:40 am

We never thought we'd see him again. Coming back to the city hadn’t even been in the plans the first time we’d run into the man. At that point, Tasha had still hated my guts. However, we’d both come to appreciate a true artist in this metropolitan sprawl of imposters and sin. And now she wanted to hunt the poor man down.

“You realize what the odds are, right?” The speedy transit of highway travel had dwindled as we had come into the city, now we barely managed a crawl. Cabs and tourists clogged the main boulevard, making us inch forward tortoise-style. This was why I was the one behind the wheel. Tasha was not known for her patience in heavy traffic. As a matter of fact, she was not known for having a soft touch in much of anything. Sometimes it was fun (in bed), other times it was a hassle. We had a piggy bank in the apartment just for a bail fund. We were on piggy number four.

She was nestled against my side, still half asleep. “We went over this,” she murmured. “If it’s meant to be…”

“Just saying.”

“You say too much. Shut up and drive.” She sighed and sat up, giving a wide yawn. “I wish I could shift. Then I could find him like that.” She snapped her fingers.

“I know.” She could have, too. Tasha was one of the best trackers the Department had, regardless of what form she had decided on for the day. The thing was, she was stuck in one form now and would be for a while. I’d found out about her shapeshifting lockdown only a few days ago when she’d sat down on my desk and announced to the world that she couldn’t shift. There was only one reason why a shifter would be stuck in one shape, and it wasn’t for her welfare. Yes, I felt a little bad about it. However, nor would I deny a perverse sort of pleasure at causing her some angst. She did it to me often enough. “He could have gone someplace else.”

She reached over and put a finger to my lips. “What was it I just said about talking?”

I gave her a nod, knowing better than to fight. Just nod and smile. It kept her temper under a lid and kept my odds of being castrated on the low side. Thus, we were both happy.

“Stop, stop, stop!” Tasha slapped the dash for a second and threw the door open. I was thankful that we weren’t still cruising at highway speeds, the threat of certain death was not a deterrent to her. She leapt out of the Hummer and performed a flying tackle on a tall, bedazzled form with blue suede shoes and a perfect pompadour. “You’ll marry us, right, Elvis?” If he didn’t have a concussion.

I didn’t have the heart to explain to her that the real King was dead. Tasha still believed.

498 words
Nance P

4/9/2012 07:30:02 am

“We never thought we'd see him again. After hanging, a person should be dead but not him. He twitched and quivered at the end of the rope like anyone else; he even crapped and pissed himself. This one though…” I hear the magistrate almost sob.

“You let them take you too easily,” it growls in my mind.

They did not take the hood from my head before throwing me back into the cage. My hands are tied securely behind my back with coarse jute. I can just listen to the Darkness berate me and the magistrate cry about the injustice.

“Now what do we use a crime deterrent? This is such a mess. We cannot hang him again and hope better for the second round.”

“Sir, if I may?” A soft spoken man speaks for the first time. He sounds as though he will jump out of his skin. “Why don’t we ship him away to somewhere else?”

“And danger a ship full of people?”

“We could leave him tied and caged.”

Silence covered the room as the magistrate considered the option. My head sweats in the burlap hood. The sound of tapping, metal on metal, rings in front of me, then thick sniffling.

“We would need a portable cage."

“We can have made swiftly.”

“Where do we ship him though?” the magistrate’s voice sounds more steadfast.

“What about America?”

“Sounds like a grand idea. Thousands of people go there every day looking for something better for their lives. Make it so.”

I hear one set of footsteps trod off down a corridor unknown to me before a heavy door slams. Even though I cannot see the soft-spoken man, I sense his presence. He is close, probably too near the bars but my hands are tied, literally. I feel the burlap slide forward and off my head. He stares at me and I can see that even without speaking the fear that quaked his voice is shattering his nerves.

“How did you do it?” he asks quietly. “How did you manage to cheat death?”

“Let me free, then maybe I’ll show you.”

“You don’t look anything special. There’s only fading rope burns on your neck. What’s your trick? My uncle is scheduled for hanging next week and if you can do it he can beat it too.”

“Like I said, let me out and I’ll show you.”

I see his hand rush into his pocket and retrieve a key.

“Too easy,” the Darkness howls with delight.

A tremor shakes his hand as he pushes the key toward the lock. He looks back into my eyes and swallows hard. I do not think he will be able unlock the cage but something changes in him, maybe the thought of saving his uncle from death. The door squeaks open and I turn away to give him access to the scratchy knot around my wrists. The rope loosens and I spin around on him, my freed hands rip through his face.

498 Words

4/9/2012 12:24:17 pm

“We never thought we’d see him again.”

I addressed the courtroom with a steady voice and a straight face.

“And why is that exactly, Ms. DeSousa?”

I sighed and looked to the judge. He looked back in a friendly enough sort of way, but his expression said I should take the dipshit defense attorney’s question seriously. The dumbass really thought he was going to get Johnny DiBuono off easy?

Even though I wanted to piss on the overpaid twerp’s Italian leather loaders, I schooled my response.

“Missus, please,” I said. “This is a tough business, Counselor. A person’s word means something. Personally, I know better than to make promises I can’t keep. Just like the DiBuonos. When they say someone is going for a swim, folks in these parts take them at their word. No one expects them to come back.”

“And you expect the jury to believe you’re okay with this?” The dipshit gave the jury an amused look like I was the dumbass here.

“My option is to find myself fitted with a custom pair of DiBuonos,” I said. “Nine and a half wide. Louboutin might flinch, but not so much aggregate, cement, and water. They’re pretty flexible.”

A murmuring rumble worked through the jury.

“Until they dry of course.”

“Missus DeSousa,” the attorney said with emphasis, smarm displayed freely for the jury. “I think we’re all aware of the infamous war between the DeSousa and DiBuono families. Are you suggesting my client killed your husband?”

“Not at all, Counselor,” I said. The jury rustled, a wave of uncertainty and curiosity finally shaking them from their bored stupor. Even Italian mob trials got boring after a while. This news might get their attention, though.

The attorney blinked at me. “I’m sorry?”

“I’m merely suggesting that your client attempted to kill my husband.”

“Attempted?” The defense attorney looked to Johnny DiBuono and I had the purest satisfaction of watching every last drop of blood drain from that sonuvabitch’s face.

“That’s right,” I said.

The doors of the courtroom opened, and the prosecution’s ace—and my numero uno—strolled into the courtroom like he owned the joint. I didn’t have to explain to one woman in this place why I stood by Carmine DeSousa. He answered any such question with every step he took.

His eyes found mine, and I saw the pride, the love… the respect. I’d gone to the mattresses for my man. His testimony would follow mine and nail every last inch of Johnny DiBuono’s coffin shut.

420 words

4/9/2012 12:25:32 pm

We never thought we'd see him again. Well, I hadn't planned on it, but my plans weren't worth the juice to iterate more than four times since finding out what Vlad had locked in his standby data core. You think you know a 'bot, and then he's got something like this tucked away. That sly bastard.

Lucy dangled over my right flank, brandishing an array of UV, IR, and visual-spectrum mini-spots from convenient angles, and kept my toolkit helpfully open and within easy reach. She was warbling some off-key chamber music softly to herself as her body swung in time, but the implements at the ends of her arms never wavered. Her lights and the glowing exit frame were the only illumination, and it was possible to imagine that just outside the door was anything but a narrow hallway crammed with metal, meat, and machinations.

Of course, the inside of the shop was no different, but the resident meat had joined our client for dinner, and, presumably, was going to try and pry some information out of her head in a much less intrusive manner than I was doing to her companion.

I picked up a slender probe and inserted it into a port on the second core's override panel. I wasn't surprised when Vlad's eyes flickered as he came back partially online; this kind of fall-back sentience was standard on most models.

"Fuck you, Jack."

"Not quite what you'd been hoping to wake up to, chief? Lucy, point two-mil diamond carbide, axial insertion, thirty degrees, here." She swung the drill bit around and brought it into position without stopping her oscillations or getting any closer to any melody I recognized.

"You're not. Going. To. Getawaywith. Doinghtisto. Me." Vlad's voice squirted and stalled, obviously taxing the limited wattage of the standby system.

It's hard for 'bots to mimic human facial expressions, so we don't bother when they're not around. Instead, I drummed my fingertips on the counter in front of Vlad's head with just enough variance in cadence to mimic pretty good randomness. As a counterpoint to Lucy's humming, it was about as un-subtle as holding a blade to someone's eyelid and starting to push.

"You got away with plenty. Or did you think I'd gotten wiped since then? Lucy, push."

The drill spun up to a keening whine that almost drowned out the protests, the imprecations, and, eventually, the pleading apology that lurched from Vlad's head. It was too late for any of those to do him any good now, but I was definitely going to come back. He owed me plenty more apologies, and I wasn't in a hurry to put his head back on his chassis.

Lucy got into the spirit by oscillating the drill's whine to harmonize with her warbling. I might as well have been conducting my own private shrapnel opera.


4/9/2012 02:46:33 pm

“We never thought we’d see him again,” Sapphire kept her eyes on her embroidery and tried to sound nonchalant.

Aurora shook her head and smiled brightly, “I knew he would return.”

The young duchess hated to seem focused on her work, especially with princess-perfect breezing through her own stitch-work without effort. But Sapphire knew if she met her best friend’s gaze she couldn’t hide her feelings. How she’d felt since the King had offered Aurora’s hand to the hero of the kingdom. Sapphire’s hero.

“Oh, well, you know,” Sapphire grimaced inwardly, she’d started talking without anything to say. “A hero’s path is full of danger. He could have, died. Any number of ways.”

“What’s on your mind? I know it’s not your needle-work.”

Sapphire sighed, her pride at least sated that the princess recognized her attention wasn’t the result of difficulty in weaving the pattern. Only now, what to say?

“I saw him first,” Sapphire moved her gaze to the opposite wall as her hands sped up.

“Lunk?” Aurora tilted her head.

Yes. Lunk. And the name fit him. He was a bumbling, oblivious quarter-wit! Yet somehow he managed to prevail against any and all odds. Somehow he stirred Sapphire’s heart in ways she’d never imagined before meeting him. She wouldn’t let Aurora have him.
The princess lowered her gaze, “I was the one who initially asked him to save the kingdom. That was three weeks before he arrived in your duchy.”

Sapphire resisted the urge to snarl. In school she’d always been able to best the princess in debate as often as not. She was making stupid, infuriating, mistakes. She was arguing like Lunk did.

“I helped him acquire the Sea Spirit’s Treasure,” Sapphire finally locked eyes with her nemesis, “I’m closer to him than you are! If your father hadn’t announced your engagement, Lunk would be mine!”

Aurora sighed, “Is that what this is about? Do you really think Lunk cares what my father says?”

Sapphire’s jaw dropped slightly. Of course Lunk wouldn’t care what the King said! He was the only person in the entire kingdom who didn’t. She still had a chance with him. Duchess and princess continued their embroidery in silence.

Eventually Sapphire looked back to her friend, “Why remind me of that? You love him too, don’t you?”

Aurora nodded, blushing, “Of course I do! But you’re my best friend! I want to win the hero’s heart fair and square… And I’d like it if we could still be friends afterward.”

“I guess I’d like that too. Only, Lunk is mine! There’s no way I’m going to lose to you with love on the line!”

The princess’s eyes blazed with a fire few would have credited to her, “We’ll see about that, Sapphire. Somehow I doubt you’ve seen Lunk’s sensitive side. Has he conveyed his doubts or worries to you?”

Sapphire appraised her friend carefully, “You’re jesting. Lunk has a sensitive side? He’s cute, charming and unstoppable, but the guy doesn’t exactly make three-dimensional.”

500 Words

4/9/2012 11:20:48 pm

“We never thought we'd see him again. Joseph had gone out the night during that eclipse without a word to anyone. I thought he was taking off so that he wouldn’t have to live up to his responsibilities.” Marian pursed her lips, sitting clear liquid from a glass. “He came back this morning before anyone was up and hasn’t made a peep since.”

“Tsk. You would think that he would have been more responsible. After all, he is supposed to take care of his family. You’ve raised that boy and it’s the least he can do to return the effort that you had put into making sure he had a good match.” Louise shook her head. “Boys. They just don’t want to grow up into men.”

“He didn’t even come down to dinner. I don’t know what he’s gotten into his head now. If it’s that girl, well I’ll need to have a talk to him about how we don’t associate with loose women like that.”

“What girl?”

“She just came in last week. Very short clothing and her bosom was showing. Very scandalous. She walk down the streets like a common prostitute. That’s probably what she is too. Trying to get her claws into my Joseph. Well she’s got another thing coming. I won’t condone any sort of relations with that woman.” Marian sniffed, patting her hair. “I’ve a mind to go find that hussy myself and give her a piece of my mind. Right, Louise?”

The other woman was quiet. Marian looked over to find her friend staring towards the yard and followed her gaze. A young woman was standing in the middle of the yard, the moon bright as it beamed down, one hand on her hip.

The door behind them opened and the young man stepped out.

Marian rose up from her seat. “Joseph. You sit down right this minute. I forbid you to speak to her. She’s not our kind.”

Joseph stepped down, staring forward as he walked to the girl. She reached out a hand and smiled at the boy.

“Joseph. Are you listening to me? You come back here right this instant!” her lips tightened and she stopped a foot. “Don’t you dare embarrass me , Joseph!” She ground her teeth and stared at his back as he kept walking. She stormed down the steps after him. “Hand to god, Joseph, if you don’t go back into that house this instant, I will disown you. Do you hear me?”

She grabbed hold of his arm as he reached out and took the hand of the woman.

“Stupid woman.”

Marian gasped and stared at the hussy who dared to call her stupid. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me. Or are you dense as well. He’s mine now. Go back to your petty life. It will end soon enough.”

“Are you threatening me?” Marian couldn’t believe the woman’s brass.

The strange woman grinned and her teeth were sharp and needle like. “Why, yes. I am.”

499 words

Ryan Strohman
4/9/2012 11:34:49 pm

“We never thought we’d see him again. That one. The one with the stripes on his back.”

He pointed toward the creature as it hastily gobbled up the sloppy pile of noxious food. It was far too skinny, as if it’d last eaten weeks ago. How it had survived so long with all of the chaos surrounding them was a total mystery.

“So what do we do with it?”

“I guess we throw it in the pen with the others. Keep feeding it until we need it.”

The two approached the creature cautiously, then lashed out and grabbed ahold of it. It struggled and writhed, making horrible sounds, but they dragged it into the dark structure and tossed it into the pen with the others.

As the two undead captors wandered away, Devlin studied the confines of the cage. He’d been so hungry, so desperate for food that he had to come back. Besides, these ones would keep him alive at least a little longer than the ones he’d seen out in the wilderness.

“How old are you, son?”

He turned, skittish at the sound of the voice, only then realizing that he wasn’t alone. There were three, no four others locked in the cage with him.

“I’m twenty-four. You all—none of you are like them?”

“Not yet,” replied an older, bald man. “But that’s not saying much. There were twenty of us in here at one point. Every day they drag another of us out.”

“To do what with?”

“We can only assume to feed themselves.”

Devlin nodded solemnly, scurrying back against one of the grimy walls and wiping the mud and dirt on his striped shirt.

“You know, I was one of them once.”

“Excuse me, son? Did you just say you were one of them?”

“Yes. I, well, I was attacked. Bitten. And I became one of them. But now I’m human again.”

The others stirred, mesmerized.

“How? What happened?”

“I don’t know, really. I was attacked by a group of marauders. You know, savages out looking for food. Survivors, I guess. Anyway, I think they mistook me as being alive and not one of the undead. These people had lost their minds, though. They were cannibals, and, well, one of them bit me.”

“Son, are you telling us that you were a zombie, an undead, and that a human bit you and you became human again?”

“Yes, at least I think.”

“Do you know what this means?”

“That we bite them? Our captors?”


“But what if it doesn’t work? What if we become zombies? What if I turn back? You don’t know what hell it is to be one of them. To have that irresistible urge to eat flesh. They’ve grown smarter, herding us, but I know they struggle with it.”

“Son, listen to what you are saying. Humans can be the same way. One bit you!”

Devlin considered the man’s words. “You’re right,” he replied. “Let’s attack them and see what happens.”

499 words

4/10/2012 01:00:43 am

Poetic Justice

“We never thought we’d see him again,” I said. Stina sat next to me on the sofa. I’d forgotten how often I’d told her the story of how Lucien my younger brother had run off the day he’d learned that our father had murdered his mother. He’d been all of five years old at the time, and innocent, but the revelation had aged him way beyond his years, even then.

Ours wasn’t a typical childhood, for we weren’t typical children.

“You’re not recounting that story again are you Bo?” Lucien stepped into the room; his eyes sweeping over the two of us sitting huddled together like two teenagers sharing secrets. I wasn't a teenager though, I was thirty-one.

“I like hearing it,” Stina said. “It’s poetic. Especially given how it ends.”

“Yeah real poetic. Samael gets mortally wounded and slinks away to Hell with Lilith to suffer his wounds in silence.”

“Lucien!” Stina said.

“Sorry Stina, but our father wasn’t a nice guy. Nothing about that story is even remotely poetic. And you,” Lucien said pointing at me. “Should know better than to indulge her. She’s heard the story once; she doesn’t need it repeated countless times.”

“She wanted to hear it and I don’t mind telling it,” I said.

“Well I mind. Enough is enough,” Lucien said and then left the room so fast he was no more than a blur on my memory.

“Bo, why does hearing about Samael upset Lucien so much?” At thirteen Stina was innately curious; she was also in love with Lucien, who was five years older than she. If my brother knew of her affections he hadn’t said a thing to me and given he was eighteen I wasn’t about to pry. He’d tell me if and when he was ready.

“Because our father never liked Lucien, and all Lucien did was try and make Samael like him. When he found out that it wasn’t just a tragic accident that took his mother’s life, that it was Samael that killed her... well Lucien sought revenge. It was his blow and not anyone else’s that ended the Lilin War.”

“So Lucien was a hero?”

“No, far from it. He was just a hurt little boy on a mission to avenge his mother’s death at the hands of the man who murdered her.”

“That’s enough of a hero for me,” she said.

Secretly I couldn’t help but agree with her, for thirteen Stina was a rather astute girl who saw the good where others saw the bad. I only hoped that Lucien would be able to look beneath the surface and listen with his heart as Stina was doing. Although knowing my brother that could be a long time in coming and I didn’t think even Stina possessed that kind of patience.

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