15 comments

Speculative Fiction Fantasy

She is the last voice you hear before you drift into the land of imagination that others call sleep. The place that fills your mind with concepts and constructs. Dreams and nightmares that are so vivid, it is all you can do to wait until morning to get them out. 


The scratchpad on your nightstand is full of words and images scribbled during those brief interludes where your eyes are open for just a moment, and then back you go to that blissful place where only she exists. Next to the notepad sits a slim smooth rocket ship, the pinnacle of your creativity, your name etched below on the small silver plaque. Is it truly yours, or is it her achievement?


Would you have known the places you wrote about without her pulling you along? The two of you exploring vast worlds adrift in a sea of stars, unbounded and untethered. She makes love to you in the darkest hour, just before dawn’s light creeps above the horizon, then she is gone. Just one more moment, you cry out, writhing in the pain that accompanies the emptiness of being alone.


You thought the notoriety would be enough, elevating you above all those who doubted your fortitude. When she first whispered in your ear, you were vibrant and full of life. She promised lands no one else had seen, and inspiration only the greatest had felt. You poke at the sky, to see if you can make stars, and she is there by your side, laughter warming your body until you are about to burst with pride. All the while, she closes in, sucking you dry. Captured in a jar, you stay there like a firefly lighting the way for something bigger than yourself, banging against the glass prison until your body becomes bruised and bloody.


Now you lay in bed, wasting away, wishing for more. Hollow eyes sunken in as she eats away at your core. The doctors can’t seem to figure out what is wrong, and your friends have all but left. The curious thing is, you don’t care that you're isolated, because she is with you. She is everywhere and everything.


The phone rings, but you do not answer it. Not anymore, because she is all this life has left and all that you need. You look in the mirror to see if you are still there, but your image keeps disappearing, and you are dreaming and nothing is happening.


Another. She breathes, her silvery voice caressing your cheek. This will be your Magnum opus. She fills you, expanding into every crevice of your mind and soul.


Your legs are weak as you pull yourself from the bed. A skeleton stares back at you. Skin and bones and dreams. You wrap your fingers around the Hugo, a prize that once meant more than life. It was never yours, always just her. You throw it at the mirror, watching as the glass fractures into hundreds of tiny shards, each with your vacant stare. 


The living room seems miles away, and you drag yourself to the laptop, step by agonizing step. The day is gray, yet it still burns your eyes. She beacons you to the desk, leaning over your shoulder, breath hot on your neck.


And so you write. Drowning in fervor, you are indefatigable. More, she hisses, long fingernails trailing down your back as you tap away at the keyboard. The birds behind your eyes are lonely for the sky as if given wings by one who has gone insane. Your thoughts, desires, and the driving fantasy you know are so real within your heart. She takes that thing and feeds until she grows into a part of the passion that makes you whole. You are a husk, and she pulses with the power stolen from you.


There is a knock at the door, and he is there. Or is it you? It is so hard to tell. His face is boyish and vibrant, a picture of youth. He looks at you full of concern, and it’s plain to him you are not all there. But her existence never crosses his mind. He comes in like he owns the place. Maybe he does. You can’t remember anymore. Once he meant something to you, now he is just another interloper.


“You need to stop. Get some rest.” His voice is gentle and soothing, and her clutch on you relaxes as she studies this unfamiliar man. 


Your chest tightens and you are drowning in hatred, for she is yours, and yours alone. You turn to face him, but the gloom coming from the picture window is still too bright for your tired eyes. A cloud of smoke billows outside and mixes with the rain-drenched sky, pouring its dreams out to the world. To him, it’s just another rainy day. He does not deserve her love. 


She moves toward him, and you can see his face light up with desire. 


“No!” you cry out. Your voice is hoarse, and he thinks you are speaking to him, but she pauses just a moment. There is blood dripping from her teeth, and her smile is for you alone.


Long black hair frames her pale face, and gigantic eyes drink you in. She presses her lips against yours as you drown in a sea of longing. You gasp for one last breath of the life you know before sinking into a new set of stars, twinkling in the moon’s silver glow. You lay in a midnight pool of lust, as she takes your hand and body as she looks at you with distant eyes.


Then, your mind closes to the melody of her voice as you feel the last remnants slip away, and you fade into stardust. 


It is all so clear now. If fools could fly, and hearts could sing, what stories we would tell. Into the night, she had banished you, whispering of adventures well spent. But fools like us never stick around. We just chase wings that don’t exist.





May 20, 2022 17:02

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15 comments

Daniel R. Hayes
22:38 Jun 01, 2022

This was fantastic, Beth!! I really loved this story and you did a great job writing it. You've become one of the best writer's on this platform and trust me, that's not easy to do. :) I also have to say that great minds think alike. I wrote a story a long time ago called The Soul Collector, (part of the Hot Head series) and that's the first thing I said when I came across this: Great minds do indeed think alike! Both stories are totally different, but still, how cool is that! Great job as always, my friend! :)

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Beth Connor
02:24 Jun 02, 2022

You are always so nice! I’m still waiting for your novel!!!

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Daniel R. Hayes
05:27 Jun 02, 2022

Hey there, speaking of the novel, "Tales from Mr. Macabre" is finished. It ended up being 380 pages 82,807 words long. I'm going through the process of getting it published now. I hired a bunch of people to work on this thing from editing, typesetting, graphic design for the cover, and it's really crazy, but I'm hoping to have it out by July or August. I had to take a break from here to get it done, because focusing on that larger piece of work and doing the short stories were all consuming ;) I noticed that you have a new one coming up s...

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Ace Quinnton
21:16 May 26, 2022

"We just chase wings that don't exist." I've always loved sayings about nature & animals which switch over to humans. But is that saying really true? I feel like humans are born with tiny wings, and we teach ourselves to fly. By the time we've grown up, they are big enough to soar into the sky. How far will you go, or rather, where would you go if you had wings? So many places within my imagination I wish I could travel to. The metaphorical wings I'd have would want to rocket into anywhere I've never been. Newer experiences that I haven't ha...

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Riel Rosehill
10:42 May 21, 2022

You are the fastest writer I know. Just, wow. What would I not give for that speed?! Loved this line: "The birds behind your eyes are lonely for the sky as if given wings by one who has gone insane." and the ending: "If fools could fly, and hearts could sing, what stories we could tell? Into the night, she had banished you, whispering of adventures well spent. But fools like us never stick around. We just chase wings that don’t exist." Love the last sentence especially. Such a strong one to end on!

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John Del Rio
20:18 May 20, 2022

As good as.all your work. Such an insidious muse. Inspiration leading to insanity. She could be a siren of some sort, or some other malevolent entity I like the way this worked with the prompt.

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Beth Connor
20:50 May 20, 2022

Thank you John- I see I have a bunch of yours to catch up on! I based her on a Leanan Sidhe, as close as I could get to fantasy with the prompt!

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John Del Rio
21:40 May 20, 2022

The fae can be truly terrible beings. I am starting another story with Gerald from "Special Ingredient". It takes place about 50 years after the story with Teague.

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A.G. Scott
17:40 May 20, 2022

This is the only thing that could explain Brandon Sanderson's output Some cool lines in here; the ones at the end are real thinkers.

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John Del Rio
20:24 May 20, 2022

Right!

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Beth Connor
20:54 May 20, 2022

One hundred times yes- I am so jealous of that man's productivity.

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Yves. ♙
04:52 Aug 08, 2022

So interesting! The metaphor and delicate description here is very effective.

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Michał Przywara
21:29 May 31, 2022

Hmm, it's like taking impostor syndrome to a whole other level :) Taking this literally, I like the idea of muses exacting a price for their service. And like any animal, it makes sense that it revolves around sustenance. Very fae indeed. Taking this less literally, wow! There's a lot going on here. Writing (perhaps any creative pursuit) is a crippling addiction that ruins us, and yet we can't get enough of it. We're never really comfortable with the art we produce – we worry about it, we're frauds, we're perfectionists – and yet we keep...

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Andy Wirsz
15:07 May 28, 2022

Incredibly well written and a fun perspective on the subject! So vivid and infatuating.

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Chris Morris
05:37 May 28, 2022

Some Really great writing here, Beth, well done. I read this twice! There's a real atmosphere in this, it feels very dreamlike.

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