To what can be closer

For someone whose body should have been considered deceased, Nemissa couldn’t decide what was dead about it. Perhaps it was odd, the lack of a heartbeat. Fletcher took her hand and placed it against his chest, allowing her to decide how she felt about it.

What she felt was his ribcage. Then again, there were plenty of people, well alive, who looked more skeletal than Fletcher felt. Or maybe those people had been undead too and Nemissa simply couldn’t tell the difference.

He wasn’t cold. From the magic, it seemed.

“Did you ever have a heartbeat?” she asked him.

Fletcher shook his head. “The spectrum of my kind is wide. For some, becoming undead is a process where they lose the aspects people consider as their humanity. For others, they simply are like this.”

Nemissa pulled her hand back, reaching for his instead and placing it against her chest. “Then feeling one must be very strange to you.”

Fletcher looked thoughtful, staring at his hand’s placement. The thoughtfulness dissolved into something else as he turned his gaze to her eyes instead. “Perhaps, but it is a very comforting type of strange.”

He pulled his hand away then, but some of Nemissa’s composure had already vanished. She turned her head away for a moment, feeling the warmth in her cheeks which didn’t show well through her dark skin. Then she faced him again with a smile.

Fletcher smiled back.


“Do you have any food?”

Jin turned around and looked down. The child’s eyes were big, she had to be eight. There was simply something about her that was familiar. That familiarity was years gone – he couldn’t recall exactly what it was.

“As a man of the cloth, you believe I carry food on me?” he asked.

The girl shrugged. “Isn’t helping the needy a tenet or something?”

“Wrong religion, kid.”

She wasn’t technically wrong, but she wasn’t technically right. Fortunately, Jin wasn’t an average member of his establishment. He pulled out some coin. “Try to be careful with these. They’ll last you longer if you spend them wisely.”

Then she smiled. She might have said something, but Jin missed it. It was the smile that was so familiar.

She was soulless.

“Hey? Were you listening?”

He pushed away the confusion. “What?”

“What’s wisely? Food is food.”

Jin closed his hand around the coin. Sounds of protest nearly erupted from the girl’s lips, as her mouth opened and closed.

“We’re going to lunch.” That said, he turned and walked away. He didn’t have to look behind to know that the girl was following him.

Underlying message

The paper had three words on it. Thank you. Goodbye.

Zamir sat down. His brother was never this straight forward. There had to be a secret message behind these three words. He had been deciphering his brother’s words for years now. Nothing that Shachaf did was behind Zamir’s understanding, much to Shachaf’s irritation.

There was nothing else behind these words. Shachaf was gone. This was beyond Zamir’s understanding.

Had things really been that bad? Shachaf couldn’t have gone too far. Zamir would prepare to find him and bring him back. They would talk about this. His brother didn’t get to run away from him.

Folding up the paper, he placed it into his breast pocket and stood back up.

Attributing a past

He felt awkward, buying something that had to be a family heirloom for two dollars.

The woman in charge of the garage sale obviously didn’t give a damn. She hadn’t even bothered to organize what she had decided to get rid of. It was as if she had picked up the contents of her storage room and dumped it all out on her lawn.

Or, more likely, had done the same thing for a family member’s storage room, uncaring of the sentiment behind it.

It was hard to judge. She couldn’t have the same attachment to something that someone else did. Much as he could have attachment to something that was technically worth two dollars and only his perception made it worth more. The fact it felt as though it had to be an heirloom, at one point or another.

Maybe it hadn’t happened yet. Maybe it started here.

He bought the musical carousel figurine, with faded colors and scratched paint.


She opened the front door and before she could say anything, the request was made.

“Can I borrow your wardrobe?”

She looked at her friend, standing right outside her house. “My… entire wardrobe? As in my closet space or the clothes in it?”

“The clothes.”

“What? Why do you need my clothes?”

“We are about the same size, aren’t we?”


“Let’s say my room has had a moth infestation while I was on vacation.”

She grimaced. “Yeah, come on in.”


Mjogrr finally stirred from his eternal slumber.

The ancient being coiled his skin, the energy contained under the luminous surface changing from the feeling of a buzz to the erratic crackling which had roused him. He drained his current victim with a single unguis which penetrated out of his dimension and into reality.

Where he wanted to be. Now that he had awoken.

Thousand of eyes opened, grey and viscous liquid dripping out of each ocular. The nothingness around him tried to melt with every single movement of his skin against the space around him.

Finally, a victim that gave him enough energy to wake.

Would this be a person who could give him enough energy to escape?

Almost all of his eyes closed. He waited, waited for a little bit longer. Waiting for the day when he would return to the dimension that had rejected him.

The line between knowing and mystery

Come! A world where we understand everything
leaves us with little mystery, but a greater
existence between each other. So what do we
accept, the consistent possibilities of
reminding each other we are worlds apart
and the hurt that comes from this inability to accept?
Nauseating understanding which would lay all bare,
driving everyone to the same point of a
tired perspective? The line between the two is thick,
rolled and cobbled together with the beautiful sight of
abstract and concrete. Without the true
need to understand, would we even try? Without
something we have understood, would mysteries
present the same wonder as they do? Perhaps we
already live in a world of perfection, one where we whittle away
remnants which no longer work, moving forward into
eternities which afford us the sight of glass,
never blocking us from seeing all, but blocked with more
things to see.

Stay anyways

For once, Fletcher looked uncertain. “I shouldn’t be here.”

Nemissa watched her son down in the courtyard, playing with the group of orphans. She didn’t respond to Fletcher fast, because she was too busy trying to understand what he meant. “You are always welcome in Castlehaven. You know this. Is there a problem?”

“A problem?” Fletcher pulled his ever-present cloak around himself. “You have been too kind. Your people even kinder. You know that the rest of the world would see me as a monster.”

“Maybe you are,” Nemissa said. “But what does monster even mean?”

“If only other peoples questioned the same concepts.” He walked away from the window, into the shadow. She recognized this tendency in him, something he did when he was even more aware of his separation from the living.

“Don’t worry about what they think. You are here. One of us, for as long as you remain.”

She turned from the window to look at him. He did not return her gaze. “You have no idea how I’ve longed to hear those words.” Nemissa could not restrain a growing smile, which faded at his next words. “Yet it changes nothing. I should go.”

Something twisted inside of her, something she hadn’t realized was there. At least, was still there. “At least tell me why. I’ve grown so fond of your company.”

“And I yours.” His shoulders slumped. “Perhaps too fond. If I stay, I will wish to overstep my bounds.”

Confusion overcame her, until he finally looked at her. A look she hadn’t seen in so long. A look she never thought to see again. It eased the scarring in her soul that she had thought she must endure forever.

Nemissa smiled. “Stay anyway.”

Perhaps Fletcher understood her then, because he no longer spoke of leaving.

What to do now

Children of the earth had no souls.

Jin considered this, now in the cloth of his order. The body he had buried in a place he visited every day.

This shouldn’t have affected him so much. He shouldn’t have cared. If he hadn’t in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened. This wouldn’t have happened to either of them.

Jin considered his belief and what it would accomplish. Nothing of importance, he decided.

He had done this for nothing.

Lost everything for nothing.

That in mind, Jin went to work.