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Showing posts from June, 2017

Return of the Flagellants

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The cracking whips tore their flesh making fresh blood pour from the laceration refreshing the dulling shades of scarlet from the crisscrossing wounds leaving behind a trail of blood that painted the bottom of the marchers' bare feet and stamped the street with crimson footprints.

Millions of people around the world drawn in by morbid curiosity watched the macabre spectacle from their computer screens. Popular live feeds were accompanied by a stream of comments from viewers in real time creating an eclectic running commentary. Innumerable yellow cartoon faces expressed disgust, sorrow, and disdainful mockery.

The modern Flagellants were a sign of the soul-swallowing darkness enveloping the world. The same despair that disfigured and deformed the people who lived in its endless depths. They began as a fringe cult with only seven members quickly swelled into a growing faith with enough adherents to make a national stir with a ritual of public self-mutilation. The bloody act of pena…

Foreseeing the Unintended

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Mild summer weather had brought floods of weekend tourists into the city. Swollen white clouds lazily drifted across the ocean blue sky. The rays of the gentle sun tantalized the flesh while a fresh and sporadic breeze softened the touch of the heat. The brimming sidewalks channeled currents and counter currents of pedestrians through the confines of the busy commercial district. Stylish young women carried large paper bags displaying designer logos, while their male counterparts prowled the streets wondering where these fashionable ladies might be congregating. Mothers navigated the dense crowds pushing strollers while their husbands herded the children old enough to walk on their own and listless teenagers compelled by their biological rhythms actively sought out potential mating opportunities.
None of them gave a second glance to a U-haul truck box in by the idle traffic. The driver was a 25-year-old man named, Dale. He had spent his late teen and the better part of his early 20s …

The Night Chicago Died

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The advancing army paraded through the captured neighborhoods federal forces abandoned on the fringes of the city’s borders. The conquerors were a patchwork of rebellious armed factions unified under the auspices of a common organization. The federal army the were up against enjoyed a marked advantage in firepower, but even the most cutting edge weapons in their arsenal were rendered impotent by soldiers who had no inclination to fight and die for their careerist commanders or the regime they served. Most had never really been soldiers just listless youths who sought the relative safety of the military as a provider. When the militants marched through the fire dropped on them from semi-autonomous machines that stalked the sky the divisions facing retreated behind the blast walls that surrounded the kingdom of gleaming steel towers looming at the water’s edge. Out of either fear or perhaps unspoken sympathy, many of the troopers left their government issued supplies behind for the reb…

Will Power

“Remember what it is you fight for! Remember your mothers and fathers who lived to see themselves freed from the bondage of the bourgeoisie Think of your children who were fortunate to be born at the dawn of a new and prosperous age for all! Remember after you are gone it is they who will carry the banner of socialism into….”
Despite the Commissar's best efforts to remind them of the utopian future promised to them by their leaders that always seemed to be just over the next horizon his rousing speech was devoid of all hope for the cannon fodder, he was trying to inspire. For many, the tone of his speech had an eerie familiarity. They had seen the top of the mountain, but they weren’t going to be making it to the promised land being built with their blood.
“You are just a small part of a greater whole!” The Commissar reminded them. “A body that will live on even after we’ve fallen. History has provided all of you with the unique honor to give your blood in a cause that will foreve…
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"Pandora’s box is more comparable to a Russian nesting doll. Every layer is a new temptation each with its own set of consequences each more ominous than the last."

Triggered

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The playful digital jingle played on repeat loud enough to echo across the miles of blood-soaked wasteland that separated the opposing the armies. It started gradually. At first, troopers dismissed the faint noise as a tangential part of the ambiance. Soon the two-second loop was loud enough to drown out the soundscape of the trenches. The soldiers all recognized the trademarked tune. It was the default ringtone from their country’s best selling cell phone model. The same five notes had repeated ceaselessly for the last hour. The raw recruits weren’t shaken just befuddled and annoyed. They joked about changing their ringtone or switching phone brands when they went on leave. Only some of the more hardened veterans knew what was going to follow when the ringing finally stopped.
“Rice, rice, rice. That’s what she kept repeating before the barrage started.” Chul whimpered from the ground.
The soldier was trembling and covering his head while the younger troopers stood over him unsure of…

Sublimation

Genetics are the only thing that might be considered a legacy that lasts for any significant time. Every descendent that carries on a lineage contributes their own lasting piece to the DNA that will recombine again and again folding into its structure recessive traits and genetic sequences that will be weaved into a new biological entity. Six-year-old Attley was an example of the innumerable anomalies this process produces. Even so early in his life, the boy demonstrated prodigious intelligence despite emerging from a lineage of people who showed very little in the way of intellectual capacity. At some point during the biochemical process that catalyzed the boy’s very existence, he was imbued with a combination of genes that destined him to join the ranks of the anointed children of his colony that was selected to attend elite academies on the distant worlds where they could be closer to the nucleus of power.
Despite his inherent intellectual prowess, little Attley was more apprehensi…