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Apr 22, 2008

In, so help me, Sam.


Apr 22, 2008

Filling Voids
Word Count: 1200

It was a soul sucking job, the sort where you actually had to worry about losing your soul. Where a latte sipping wizard might turn you into a newt, or where alien abductions would be an excuse for being late to clock in.

“You really shouldn’t lean like that.” Daphne said as she shifted her emerald eyes about. “They can see you.”

“But it’s been hours.” Reggie said as he gazed at his phone.

“It’s been half an hour since we went on break. Tops.”

Reggie grunted and swiped his finger across his phone.

“Look, just do what I do. Clean. If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean!”

Reggie looked at his arboreal co worker and snorted. “You trying to gun for management or something?”

“Gods no! I just want to enjoy my idle hours undisturbed and without getting any more work.”

“Couldn’t be worse than this.”

An ancient speaker, hidden high above crackled to life and mumbled proclamations forth at the two.

“Reggie, Daphne: Backroom maintenance recently unearthed some unworked freight. See to it that it gets out to the shelf for our customers! Thank you.”

Daphne’s face could turn a man to stone as she glowered at Reggie. The two shuffled off from the sales floor to the back room, which seemed even bigger than the floor of the store proper.

It wasn’t hard to find out where to go. The excavators had left a muddy trail of footprints back to a forgotten corner, where they had been digging ancient wooden crates up from the ground itself.

Reggie grabbed a crowbar and hopped down into the archaeological pit. The boards on the crates pried off with some work.

“You going to help, or scowl all day?” He said as the wood snapped and dust was released into the air around them.

Daphne jumped down next to him, fanning away the dust as she approached.

Multicolored light shone from inside the crate and danced over them. Sparkling treasures rested inside, gems the size of plumbs, perfectly cut and glowing with an internal radiance.

“Wow. I thought these all got recalled years ago!” Daphne said.

“They always miss a case or two. What are they, anyways? Something for jewelry?”

“Oh no, these, Reggie, are dreams!”


“Sure. The power to bend reality, distilled by master craftsmen in China, and sold here next to snickers bars at the checkouts!”

Reggie’s eyes grew larger than the gems before him, and he reached out to pluck one from the pile.

“Of course, we had to send them all back, they were far too dangerous for mortal hands and all thaa-AAAH! Reggie!”

But it was too late. Everything turned inside out, like a stomach after too many cocktail weenies. Reggie was gone.

“Good grief.” Daphne sighed and grabbed a stone herself.


Reginald was king. By right the throne should be his! His enemies were numerous. They were strong. But he had a heart of gold, and a sword of the finest steel smiths could forge.

He would reclaim his throne, even if he had to ascend the walls of his stolen castle on the piled corpses of his enemies!


That foolish boy, he had gotten himself lost again, and it was up to her to save him. Why was he so foolish? So headstrong! Oh, if only he just wasn’t so handsome, maybe she--

“Nope.” Daphne shook her head as she climbed into her battle suit. She clenched her dream tightly in her palm and willed that away.

If only she wasn’t filled with such a sense of duty, leaving her unable to avoid saving hapless friends.

“Better.” She said as her suits engines began to whine and whirr.


How long had it taken? Decades, surely. The path to the throne was stepped in blood. He had sacrificed everything that made him noble, but he knew now that none of that mattered. Power was what mattered.

A loud banging sound drew Reginald’s attention back from his musing. “What? Who dares interrupt the brooding of the great King Reginald the Third, Conquer of the Northern Wastes, First Among Many of Eridis, Dominae Supreme!”

With a great crash the throne room doors fell down. A rush of air and acrid smoke filled the room as a great mechanical beast strode forward.

“Reggie, listen to me!”

“You!” Reginald rose from his throne and brandished his scepter at the intruder. “You wish for me to give up my rightful throne, don’t you?”

“Well, yes. And--”

“--And you wish to see me give up my gem of power, which shows me to be the true heir of the lands.”

“That would make this easier, yes.”

Reginald drew his sword, a massive and hulking war tool as big as he was. “Guards! Defend me!” A legion of guards came forth from shadowy places, and charged the intruder.

Daphne sighed, and brought her weapons to bare. “Why is it always a power fantasy?” She said as her machine guns cut the guards down.

The clash continued as the two titans drew close and fought each other up close.

“Reggie, really. You need to let this go.” Daphne said as Reginald’s sword cleaved through her suit’s shoulder.

“HA! Why, my moment is near! What king would give up his kingdom!”

“Because, people can get hurt! This is dangerous!” Daphne grabbed the sword embedded in her suit with a great iron clad fist and wrenched the weapon from Reginald.

“Fool, I am invincible!”

Daphne tossed the mad king’s sword aside, and thrust her fist forward, smashing his face and drawing blood from his nose as he went flying back into a stone wall. She ejected from her suit, leaving it behind, as she rushed up to Reggie.

“No one’s saying you have to give up your dreams, King. Just these. They were buried for a reason. Too wild. Too dangerous.”

Reggie looked into his coworker’s eyes and saw the truth in them. His hand was balled into a fist by his heart. Inside a gem glowed, shining through his fingers. He let it go. Daphne did the same with hers.


The dreams landed onto the ground with a soft thud, and rolled away from the pair. They looked at each other, and then without a word raised their feet and stomped the dreams out. They crunched and shattered like plastic. The two were once again in the back room.

Cardboard boxes lay upon their sides, their trinkets and plastic toys strewn about the concrete floor of the small and efficient back room.

“Great.” Daphne said, shaking off a momentary sense of confusion.

“Ugh. I’ll get the broom.” Reggie walked off, tip toeing around the mess.

“Hurry. I don’t want them to see this mess and think we’ve been playing around. I don’t need another talking too about my ‘Sense of Urgency’.”

“Yeah. You’re right.”

After all, it was a soul sucking job, the sort that many find themselves trapped in, always hoping for better. Where an ungrateful customer might yell at you for their card being declined. A place where ‘I just couldn’t drag myself in’ was an excuse that lead fellow employees to nod in agreement.

Apr 22, 2008

Alright, I'm going to get my feet wet.

In with Cupid.

Apr 22, 2008

You and I
Words: 496

I took that vacation you always wanted us to take. You know, leave the stars behind and immerse ourselves in some tropical paradise. You always said that It’d be fantastic to get away under the waves and leave everything behind. I guess you were right.

I shed my legs last week and just drifted around, literally, letting the currents take me from one touristy bar to the next. You would probably say it was cathartic. I just found it aimless, even pointless. I guess that's the depression talking.

I kept it up, though, getting more and more immersed in the local culture as time went on. The bars got divyer over the week. The clientele in them was more interesting. I got tired of the romantic swooning couples in the more resort orientated places.

They say nothing is better for an aching heart than getting drunk in a strange city. Well, by they I mean that shrink you set me up with after, everything. I wasn’t keen on them nudging my neurons around, so they did it classical style, a few pills and advisement to take a vacation. Go see a world, get my feet wet, maybe find some other fish in the sea.

Eventually I managed to find a nice local grotto, a little dry spot in a cavern nestled cozilly in between the foundations of a few surface piercing city blocks. It was a good place to find a little drunk comradery. The air smelled like clove cigarettes, and you had to watch where you stepped on land. Well, flopped, I guess. I haven’t really picked up as much of the aquatic terminology yet.

I got a little wisdom there from someone who called themselves a long term tourist. You probably wouldn’t care for it, but I suppose that’s kind of the point.

“Everyone down here is here because they’re looking for something. You don’t cut off everything below the waist and get fins unless you’re dealing with some poo poo.”

It made sense. I mean, my issues are given, you know that.

“Some people are in it for the adventure, and some people are in it to ruin it for others, but most people, they just want what we all need.”

I asked them what that was, and they gave me a good long sideways glance and offered me a smoke before continuing.


They were right. That is what I wanted. What I want, even. I spent too much time sponging it off you. I can see that now, at least. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find it on my own, but, seeing as I’ve already given up my legs, I guess here is as good as any place to look.

So thanks. I guess I won’t be seeing you around!

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