Tag Archives: death

Our Son by Alanna J. Rubin

For Sean

With clothes and blankets wrapped around him like a protective nest, he strained to hear the muted conversation his parents were having about him.

They had been arguing for the past week, ever since his tenth birthday and he couldn’t understand why. What had happened? Xavier felt brave enough to ease out of the blankets and put his ear to the wall and suddenly he could hear his parents as if they were standing right next to him. “Simon,” his mother chastised his father, “it’s time. He needs to know.”

“I disagree. He’s too young,” his father replied while pacing nervously.

“He’s going to start asking questions, and what will you say then?” His mother asked.

“I don’t know, but that’s not the point. When he asks, that’s when we tell him.”

“We can’t hide the truth forever.”

“I’m not suggesting forever. All I’m saying is not now.” Xavier couldn’t make heads or tails from this conversation. What did they mean? What didn’t they want to tell him?

Xavier found himself leaning harder into the wall when it suddenly gave way under the pressure. Xavier fell back onto his bed in surprise as the drywall dust exploded onto his face. But that was nothing compared to the surprised look on his parents’ faces as they stared at the gaping hole in the wall with awe. “I…I’m sorry,” Xavier stammered. “I didn’t mean to,” he blurted out.

“We know sweetie,” she spoke soothingly. She quickly approached him and wrapped Xavier in her arms. Instantly, Xavier felt safe. “Simon,” she called out snapping him out if his stupor. He looked at her, shock still visible on his face. “You were saying?” She spoke, her voice thick with concern and sarcasm.

Simon swallowed hard as Xavier looked at him expectantly. “Son,” he started without taking his eyes off him, “you see you’re not like your mother and me,” Simon hesitated, struggling to find the right words, “you’re special.” Xavier pulled away from his mom, giving his father his full attention. Simon sighed, “What I’m trying to say is that you’re not from…Earth.” Simon paused to let his last statement sink in.

Xavier’s eyes went large, “So, I’m an alien?” He asked confused. Simon nodded.  “Is that why you’ve both been so upset?”

“No baby,” his mother chimed in. “We’ve been arguing because this past week you started exhibiting abilities and we’ve been hiding it from you. We weren’t sure if you were ready to find out the truth, but clearly there’s no avoiding it.” She gestured toward the demolished wall.

Xavier swallowed hard; it made sense. He’d been dreaming of another world starting this last week, but now he knew it was more than a mere dream. Something was awakening inside him. “Do you know where I’m from?” he asked cautiously.

“We don’t,” Simon replied. Xavier’s face fell as a wave of fear and loneliness came crashing down, but Simon immediately noticed the shift in his son’s demeanor. He bent down and firmly gripped Xavier by his shoulders, “But no matter what, you belong here with us. You will always be our son.”

Xavier smiled feeling relieved by his father’s assurance and gave his dad a hug, but pulled back abruptly feeling a rush of excitement, “So what else can I do?” he asked.

Simon looked at his son with a glint in his eye, “We don’t know, but your mother and I will do everything we can to help you find out.” Xavier knew his world had changed forever, but he never felt more at home.

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Even in Death by Alanna J. Rubin

For Sean

The lead lined coffin rolled through the streets with thousands of onlookers staring in reserved silence.

Not that Anholt could see them. The lead blocked the sensors from detecting him, but it also interfered with his ability to see through objects. He could, however, feel the waves of sorrow emanating from the crowd. If only they knew who was actually in here, he thought to himself. Some might think his tactics distasteful, but honestly, this was the only way.  He’d been barred from entering the palace and his face plastered on wanted posters across the kingdom. When Anholt had heard that the revered royal advisor to the king had passed, he shed a tear for his good friend then thanked him for this opportunity.

Anholt took great pains to switch the coffins and buried his friend’s remains on his family’s land overlooking the peaceful golden valley. A far better suited resting place than the opulent one his station demanded. Gareth, always disliked the idea of his remains being interred in the royal catacombs beneath the palace. At least I spared him that, he spoke aloud. Jostling roused Anholt from his melancholy, snapping his attention to the task at hand. He could tell from the movement that the coffin was being placed on the altar in the Great Hall in preparation for the viewing. This was his chance. His heart raced as he waited for the emotions of the pall bearers to grow faint. He’d only have a small window of being alone now that they had left.

Awkwardly he pressed his hands and knees against the lid, but it didn’t budge. “Not funny”, he uttered through clenched teeth as he strained against the lid which seemed to have sealed shut. His arms and legs collapsed as he relaxed, his breathing labored. Mentally he geared himself up for another round when he felt someone approach. Whoever it was, was nervous. Anholt laid quietly, not wanting to alert whoever it was to his presence and silently wished for he or she to go away, but they didn’t. Instead he felt the coffin shake and heard a groan as the lid was pulled up. He prepared himself to attack when he saw the person’s face, “Darcie?” He squawked in surprise. “What are you doing here?”

“What does it look like,” she said in an annoyed whisper, “I’m rescuing you.” Anholt felt a smirk tug at the corner of his mouth.

“Well, that’s a coincidence, because I’m here to rescue you.”

“Fine job you’re doing to. Gareth warned me I’d have to look after you. Was the first step in your brilliant plan to get yourself trapped in my brother’s coffin?”

Anholt wouldn’t admit she had a point. “We don’t have time to argue details. I’m here now, so let’s go.” He tried to nimbly leap from the coffin, but his legs were tired from the strain of his failed attempts of opening it, so his foot caught on the edge causing him to trip. Darcie grabbed him under the arm and saved him from falling to the ground. Can this get any more embarrassing? He silently asked, sure that Gareth would have found the situation uproariously funny. But Anholt’s train of thought was interrupted as he found himself entangled in Darcie’s embrace and staring into her hazel eyes, the same hazel eyes as Gareth. He had held her brother’s gaze not long before his death, when he pledged a solemn oath demanded by Gareth who knew his life on this plane was fast coming to an end. Anholt faithfully promised that he’d take his sister away before the king could marry her. She was chosen to be his bride by royal lottery, but Gareth knew her heart belonged to someone else. Anholt’s pulsed raced as Darcie flashed him a nervous smile and he realized that he was that man. Even more surprising was the flood of emotion their closeness unlocked. He took Darcie’s hand, reveling in her touch, and together they ran toward freedom. As they fled the palace and the kingdom, Anholt chuckled at the wisdom of his friend. “Thank you,” Anholt whispered hoping his words would reach Gareth’s spirit. Even in death, Gareth knew him better than he knew himself.

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Eye Contact by Erika Lance

To Kenny “The Jedi” Mull, this is long overdue!

After finishing off the last of the Jack, he looked down the long road…sighed… and thought “here we go.”

Staying in one place was no longer an option. The body count he was leaving eliminated the idea of social interaction.

Whatever it was that was following him didn’t care; it didn’t seem to have any feelings. It just did.

He sighed again, dropping the bottle and pulling his jacket tighter around himself. It was cold out, but traveling at night was safer. There was less chance of being seen and less chance of making contact.

There was an answer, he knew there had to be, but he needed time, something he seemed to be losing each day.

As he continued to walk, he went over the last three days in his head; he thought he had been safe.  He kept seeing the faces even though he didn’t know their names. He rubbed his hands in some sort of motion to remove the blood that was no longer there but felt stained into him.

They had been so young. He shook his head; he couldn’t think to much about it. He couldn’t change it now. He had to find a way to stop it. That was the only answer.

He saw the lights coming behind him. The road was dark and most cars didn’t even see him. Most people don’t register those who try to blend, try to become part of the landscape. He was one of those people now.

He kept walking until the lights changed from white to red and blue. He closed his eyes and stopped walking. He took a deep breath when he heard a car door open and the officer say, “Hey buddy… What are you up to out here?”

He knew he hadn’t done anything to draw attention to himself. It was possible, however, that he was being looked for. There would be a description. He would match it. “Nothing. Just heading home,” he replied without turning around.

He could hear the officer approaching. If this happened quickly enough, then nothing would go wrong.

“So, where do you live?” the officer asked.

“Close,” he replied. He knew the officer was less than five feet from him now. He could hear the officer’s breathing and heartbeat. That was bad. It was close.

“Sir, could you please turn around?” the officer asked.

He wanted to say no. He wanted to run away. This would just get him tazed or shot at best.

He slowly turned, keeping his eyes averted.

“Sir… Sir… Could you look at me?” the officer asked. He wanted to scream NO!

Then he knew it was over. It was over for this officer who was doing his job, who had friends… Family… a life and it was about to end.

He looked up slowly and saw the wings unfurl behind the officer.


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The Story by Erika Lance

To my Dad. Thank you for always supporting me and for the cheesy story starter.

It was a dark and stormy night.

The fact that these were the only words typed on the page and the cursor kept blinking back at him like some kind of symbol of failure was not making this idea anything but a bust.

Alex had decided that he needed to get out of town and away from all the distractions of his normal life to finally write the novel he had been dreaming of for years. Instead, he was at a remote cabin at the backside of a camping ground that one of his friends had found online.

He had agreed because he was trying to pen the next great horror novel but instead had spent the last three days creating nothing except a lack of snacks and a level of frustration he couldn’t stand.

He put his face in his hands and sighed. He was about to delete the only line he had written when he heard the bedroom door slam shut behind him.

He turned and it was closed. He got up and moved towards it. The windows in the front of the cabin were open. He had found out the hard way that the cabin did not come with central heat and air.

He got to the door and tried to turn the knob and pull it open. It wasn’t budging. He had only been given one key that opened the front door which he was pulling out of his pocket when he realized there wasn’t a lock on this door.

It opened inward so he tried to push using most of his weight against the door. After a few tries, the door flew inward with such ease that Alex ended up landing on the floor of the now darkened room into something wet.

He stood up looking around for the light switch, noticed his hands and arm were coated in blood, and just then the door slammed shut again.

Alex noticed the room was beginning to chill and being slightly wet was not helping the situation. In the total dark, he heard the sound of something moving to the left.

“Who’s there?” he said, immediately regretting it.

He heard the noise again, this time closer.

Alex moved back, reaching out with his hand until he felt the wall behind him. He began to move in the direction of the door. Before he could reach it, he heard a voice very close to him “Alex… Where are you going?”

He jumped. The voice was that of a woman, although it sounded scratchy and weak.

“Who are you?” he sputtered out.

He felt cold fingers on his face as the voice said, “I’m going to give you what you wanted.”

Alex wanted to pull back but he had nowhere to go. He felt his heart beating against his chest as the noises around him lead him to think whatever this thing was, it moved without stepping.

“Are you going to kill me?” he finally asked.

“Kill you?” It began, then started laughing. “You’re already dead.” As the final word was spoken, the lights came on and there he was laying on the bed, covered in blood. His eyes were open and staring blankly into nothing. There was a wound along his neck and chest.

“What? Wait… I don’t understand,” he said, looking around for whatever the voice was attached to. He was alone with only himself in the room.

“You wanted a story,” the voice said.


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The Syndicate by Alanna J. Rubin

For Unknown –

He opened his eyes slowly, the sting from the fall still throbbing at the back of his head. “Hurry,” he thought. “I have to recall the incident.” The portal started closing.

Aaron watched as the edges of the portal drew together toward its center, leaving no trace of its existence, taking with it the last flicker of memory of where he was and why he was here. He found himself hoping that whatever it was would come back to him. In the meantime, Aaron was surrounded by nothing but dirty gray concrete walls.

Damn, he thought to himself. Aaron sluggishly got to his feet and dusted off his black pants trying, without much success, to ignore the pain in his head while looking for a way out. He wandered the maze like halls, which all looked the same. The only sources of light were cast from dim yellow bulbs evenly spaced every few feet along the ceiling.

After what seemed like hours of aimless walking, he was starting to wonder if he’d ever make it out, so he was both elated and on high alert when he heard voices up ahead. He crept along slowly and hid himself behind a pillar just outside the entrance to a room where he saw an exceptionally beautiful woman with long red hair wearing some sort of leather armor. Whoever she was talking to was out of view and they appeared to be arguing. However, their hushed tones made it impossible to make out what they were saying. That became the least of his concerns when he heard the hammer of a gun being pulled back and the weight of its barrel pressed against the back of his head.

“Get up…slowly,” the menacing masculine voice demanded. Aaron didn’t have any viable options, so he complied. As he stood up and attempted to turn around, his captor ensured that he remained facing forward and forcibly marched him into the small room. At least that’s what it was a moment ago, but Aaron now found himself standing in the middle of an opulent throne room and seated upon the silver throne was a familiar looking woman with short dark hair and eyes the color of the sea during a storm. She looked at him slack mouthed and rose to her feet. She was slender, but wore the same kind of leather armor as her associate.

“Aaron,” she breathed. “Is it really you?”

“Yes,” he responded. “It’s good to see you, Miri.” He could not help the wide smile that broke out across his face.

“Brother,” she exclaimed, running over and embracing him as if they were children again. She pulled far enough back to look him in the eyes, the spitting image of her own. “But how? I thought you were dead.” Her look of confusion was understandable. Aaron also thought he should be dead, but fate had other plans. “That’s a story for another time.”

“Then why are you here?” she asked.

“That’s a good question. I can’t remember and I didn’t even know where I was until I saw you,” Aaron replied.

Miri looked at him quizzically then asked, “Do you trust me?”


Miri gently pulled Aaron’s head down so that their foreheads made contact. “Open your mind to me,” she commanded and Aaron obeyed. It was a strange sensation as Miri’s consciousness surfed his memories. She saw his capture in the hallway, his wandering the maze like halls, his fall from the portal and…Miri let go with a gasp and Aaron’s eyes went wide as his memories came flooding back.

“What?!” she asked.

“You’ve been framed for the chancellor’s murder,” Aaron said worriedly.

“I saw that myself, but why?”

“Callum,” the weight of the name hung in the air. “He still considers you a threat to his power. He wants you out of the way, so…”

Miri interrupted to finish Aaron’s sentence for him, “So he can become the next chancellor, unchallenged.”

“That’s the short of it, but I came here to get you out,” Aaron said with desperation. “The Syndicate is on its way along with Callum. He tried to wipe my memory before I could warn you and he almost succeeded too, if I hadn’t made my way through the portal. I knew you’d be able to pull my memories back, just like mother could. You’re so like her. She’d be proud to see the leader you’ve become.” Aaron squeezed Miri’s shoulder in pride and to share a moment of grief for their departed mother. He then moved to the center of the room and let his eyes focus on everything and yet nothing at the same time. His fingers created elaborate signs in a repeated order in an effort to call a portal into existence.

The ceiling shook as the Syndicate’s ships landed and the footsteps of the troops beat down in eerie uniformity. Miri looked up in worry, then over to her brother who seemed to be in a world unto himself. A wind formed in the room, whipping in circles around them as if they were in the center of a tornado, but the energy was sucked into the heart of the portal as it erupted into the room out of nowhere. Miri looked at Aaron in awe, “I’ve learned a thing or two since the last time we were together,” he said with a smirk.

“Clearly,” she replied impressed. “Erissa,” she called over to the red-headed woman. “Yuri,” to the man still holding the gun that was pointed to Aaron’s head earlier, “go,” she ordered. They both looked at Miri, then ran through.

Aaron, walked back over to Miri and took her hand, “This isn’t how I imagined our reunion,” he said.

“Well, you always did have a flare for the dramatic,” she replied light heartedly. They both ran into the portal just as the Syndicate came crashing in and it vanished before Callum, wearing his white captain’s uniform adorned with the silver emblem of the Syndicate, could follow. He clenched his fists in anger. This was far from over.

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Why Ghosts Suck by Erika Lance

Amanda, this starter made me laugh out loud. Thank you.

“I used to think of the day I met you as the worst day of my life. Now, thanks to you, I know it gets much, much worse.”

Saying this to Billy, the name I made up for him, didn’t seem to have the desired effect. He just smiled and let blood appear to fall from his mouth.

The first time you see a ghost it can be scary, possibly even terrifying. Or, like me, you could just ignore it.
A word of advice: NEVER just ignore it.

Especially a ghost that looks like a school bully from the Little Rascals.

I had seen him in the hallway on my way to school, but I figured I was still dreaming, or tired, or hadn’t had enough energy drink to get me through the day. Needless to say, I just walked past him. Such a bad idea.

So, during second period, in the middle of a pop quiz in English, he appeared in front of my desk with his eyes falling out of his head. This of course caused me to fly back in my chair, like any normal human, and caused the person behind me to fall, and the person behind them…well, you get the point.

Needless to say, I was the only one, of course, that saw him. I asked others, but instead of confirming the existence of Billy, I am now sitting in my third therapy appointment being asked how my meds, which I am not taking, are working out.

Billy is sitting upside down on the ceiling above the therapist’s head. This is distracting as he doesn’t just sit. He makes a grotesque visage out of everything. So, I seem like I am a crazy person when I react. Lucky for me, I am reacting less and less.

In the last two months, I have yet to figure out why Billy has decided I am his latest playmate. He has dropped different hints. If you call walking into grizzly scenes of what I can only assume is his death a hint, although when I walk close to the body it disappears.

So… My life goes on… And on… And on…



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Bubbles by Erika Lance

For Sasha, thank you for this amazing starter.

I don’t remember dying.. but they all say I have.

As she listened to all of the people standing around the casket, she finally realized they were speaking about her in the past tense.

What had happened?

Was that a casket?

She was dead?

She remembered the spotlight being on, the music playing, singing the new number that Jimmy had written for her. What the hell was going on?

Bubbles had known she was going to be a dancer for as long as she could remember. She had dreamed of twirling on stage with some of the best dancers in the world.

Growing up, she had taken ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, everything she could think of until she had puberty hit and the gods had seen fit to give her the largest set of melons she had ever seen.

Although she still practiced all the time, her dream had changed from one of dancing to one of entertaining.

Bubbles had become a world renowned burlesque performer. Her shows were sold out every night.

The memory started coming back to her; she was 90% done with her routine when she suddenly slipped on a loose feather in her amazing peacock costume.

Well, it couldn’t have been that amazing, since she was looking up at a crowd now gathered around her.

Their lips were moving and they seemed frantic about something. She couldn’t understand them over the ringing in her ears and the distant beating of… something.

What was it?

She couldn’t think of it. This was silly. She was normally very good at distinguishing sounds.

She tried to move and couldn’t.

The faces above her were becoming more frantic.

They looked like her mother did the first time she did her routine on the parallel bars. Well, the first time she did her routine and fell off the parallel bars.

Wait, Did she fall?

She tried to open her mouth to ask a question but found she couldn’t move.

This wasn’t good.

She also noticed she was getting cold; that it, the cold, was seeping up under her body.

It might be because of the stage, or because she was wet… why was she wet?

It began to get dark then, so dark and so cold; they looked so scared, the faces.

She looked down at the casket now. Finally able to focus.

Her boobs still looked huge, even from here.


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