TDV 96: The Lantern And Its Book

September 30th, 2016 by Sharkchild

While vacationing with friends and family in a remote and beautiful range of densely-forest-covered mountains, I made the bold decision to backpack alone into the wilderness for a night; no one else had the desire or equipment to join me. Being an adventurer, I bought a map, found a region I liked, and decided to trek where there was no trail.

The journey began as peaceful and reinvigorating. The soft light through the trees and the charming sounds of the birds shaped a magical atmosphere that spurred on the best of moods in me; it spurred on a vigorous pace as well. I felt led to certain directional changes like a muse guides a writer. My uncharted path was art and my feet were the brush strokes of a wondrous creation.

In the midst of this outdoorsman stupor, I neglected to pick up a foot as far as it needed and caught an outcrop of rock. I lost my balance, stumbled over the side of a crag, and fell upon ground that gave way beneath my impact, sending me into the darkness of a hidden cavern.


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TDV 95: The Midnight Magician

September 21st, 2016 by Sharkchild

The Secronomus, its face and body of black shards jutting forth and its eyes of red crystal, impartially watched from its throne as I performed an act of transmogrifying juggling. Simple, smooth balls of silvery metal effortlessly circled into the air from hand to hand before whirling and warping into different beasts and entities that continued the pattern above my hands without further need of force. A low harmonic pulsated into the air, initiating a cadence, while dancing imps ascended from the floor and twirled around the display.

I walked in front of the flying creatures and dissipated, my cloak and clothes dropping into a heap while shadow forms spun up from the floor that joined the imps in dance. After a few moments of cavorting, the shadows draped over the imps, melting away their flesh, leaving them as bones that spread out in connection to form a cohesive circle that rotated around and contained the stage. The entities in flight transformed into balls of fire that altered their trajectories and matched the rotation of the bones, varying their heights and circumferences to form a funnel. Within the rings of fire, my shadow dancers joined together beneath my clothing to bring me back into form.

The fireballs then—one at a time—plummeted upon my figure. As my body was covered in flames I warped into a fire elemental that rose in height and fierceness while the circle of bones’ circumference shrunk. Soon the spinning bones were at my feet and began to slide up my form into my fiery core. In finality, I, and all of my devices, exploded into a bouquet of red tendrils and wisps, leaving me in my original embodiment.


TDV 94: The Ruination Die

August 31st, 2016 by Sharkchild

There were palm readers, fortune tellers, and clairvoyants, but I was nothing like them. Where others saw auras and energies, I saw numbers. Each and every person that ever entered my view was accompanied by a number—a number that could not be known by the individual it belonged to unless I divulged it. The numbers I saw—or, more accurately, were imprinted within my mind—were the times of people’s conceptions—the specific and astrological moments when these individuals’ spirits came forth from an unknown realm and converged with the fertilized egg of a woman’s Fallopian tube or of an in vitro Petri dish in a laboratory. I saw the timestamps of people’s exact emergence into existence.

For the first part of my life, the ability did not offer me entirely useful information—other than for guessing ages—until I came to the realization in my teenage years that with it came the knowledge of the authentic date and time of the birth of the universe—the point of origin for all the numbers I perceived—and that, therefore, this gift was more than supernatural—that this unusual information came from a source outside of myself. Unlike the ambiguity of a mystic’s powers, I was given concrete, factual data. Reading someone’s future or past is much different than seeing someone’s inarguable genesis. This meant that someone, or something, was giving me this faculty, and that gave me purpose.


TDV 93: Little Angels

August 18th, 2016 by Sharkchild

The pig brain swelled. Fluids popped and hissed from its folds and grooves. Dr. Mayoris slightly increased the temperature inside the incubator containing it.

“So are you still set on the placement of your angel?” he asked me. His black and white hound’s-tooth coat offset his ungainly face.

“Yes, behind my left eye,” I said, pointing to it.

“I tried to convince him to get a nose angel and join the circus as a clown, but he has his plans,” my mom said jokingly as she raised her eyebrows and smirked.

“Many of the world’s finest artists have behind-the-eye angels. Is that what your plans are?” the doctor asked me, pushing up the large-lensed, horn-rimmed glasses on his nose with his right hand. A gnarly growth rippled and squirmed in the center of the back of the hand.

“No,” I said, curtly.


TDV 92: Infernobot

July 21st, 2016 by Sharkchild

Technology had connected the universe, making space suitable for recreational and residential dwellings, travel between livable planets acceptable in duration, and old age such a slow onset that populations overran worlds. Death was still the unknown, and I wanted to find it–not by dying, but by seeking its destination.

The purple sky—mingling with aqua light from the moon and a mercurial haze—crackled as if it were a pixelated gif. On the horizon, parallel, horizontal lines of neon green stacked—radiant skeletons of Twelpinc City’s downtown skyscrapers.

High on a hillside on the outskirts of the city, I extended my rocket bike’s rear, tripodal landing gear and tipped it backwards, propping its lightweight composition in the upwards position. The pearlescent finish on the burgundy metal husk sleekly reflected the slender, missile-shaped design and beauty of the chassis hidden beneath like a muscular body in skintight garments. I stepped up into the small, one-person cockpit, remaining in a standing position, and engaged the tinted canopy shield that slid behind me and enclosed me. After adjusting my jumpsuit, I activated the bike’s launch mode. Two sharp wings jutted outward and a resin compound enveloped my body, excluding my arms and face, and compressed, securing me in human shrink-wrap. A digital prompt with the options “launch” and “disengage” appeared on the visor display of my helmet. Below the “launch” option, a systems check icon flashed green, notifying me of systemwide approval.

I selected “launch” by focusing on its words with my eyes and double-blinking.