Sep, 2012


Halt where you are, boy.

Who are your parents and why are you here? Don’t you know that the forest holds monsters? Creatures that rend flesh and crush bone? Why would you come here alone?

Curiosity is not an answer, in fact, it’s the most dangerous of reasons. You’d best return home, boy, you don’t want to be a meal for them.

No! Wait, come back!

Foolish boy, your inquisitiveness will be the death of you.

What was that noise? We’d better leave.

No? Why would…

Gods above, what is wrong with your eyes? What is happening to your teeth…


The obstacles have wrecked me. I began this journey hale and happy. Now… now I find my vision blurred and my bones aching. Every step hurts, every breath burns.

There are others beside me, fellow pilgrims in this march of suffering. Their hollow eyes and desiccated limbs reach forward, grasping for some mirage of wonder that hangs just out of reach.

We amble forward as one, the scraping of worn limbs on hard stone and the wheezing grind of breathing. Nothing can stop us.

We are there now. I can read the words. I can smell it. Taste it.



We stand on a hill and watch as the world burns. Bright unnatural flames consume everything.

“This is the end,” she says.

I don’t say anything. There’s nothing to say.

“I’m scared,” she says.

I hold her hand and look at her. She’s closed her eyes and she’s crying.

“Open your eyes,” I say.

“I don’t want to see.”


She opens her eyes and I make a funny face. She laughs at the unexpectedness of it.

“What?” She keeps laughing.

“I wanted to hear you laugh one more time.”

She smiles again and hugs me.

The flames consume us.


“Why have you returned?” The clamps tighten and bones crack.

The gag stops me from speaking or screaming. I wouldn’t have said anything, anyway.

“You knew what would happen if you returned.” Bone splinters.

I knew, but I had seen what the world offered.

There are no greener pastures. There is only pain and suffering. In every land it festers. In every person’s heart it lives.

“You should not have come back. You’ve only returned to pain and death” Darkness envelopes.

Pain and death awaited my return, but it is a pain I know, it is a death I choose.