Thursday, May 16, 2013

Only Human - Chapter 1: Needle from the hay

High up on an imposing bell tower, a dark figure hovers deep in thought while contemplating the world from atop its stone altar. Veiled by darkness, cobalt eyes slice through the shade, themselves attached to a dim silhouette crouching in the gloom.
The shadow fidgets, making graceful checkmarks in the air as the next move in a mental chess match is plotted and played. Twenty stories below, the bustle of the restless city hums and beats as people traverse a busy intersection.
Midnight nears.
As the mental stampede rumbles between both temples, the eyes flicker back and forth, at times screening the crowd though often just searching for a thought that momentarily slipped the shade’s grasp.
Mumbles and whispers seep from the shadow and occasionally spoken outbursts of apparently groundbreaking ideas appear. But they hardly last and before any sense is given to them, they melt into unintelligible clicks and hisses.
Time suddenly freezes.
The gaze no longer dances madly across the crowd and the shadow visually dissects something below. What once were dark blue orbs frost into white lightning.
Hawk-like, the gaze burns onto one point, one single crow within the murder. Its breathing picks up and transitions from a slithering four by four to an all out fugue. Its pulse mimics a child’s when coming face to face with the largest Christmas parcel.
The hawk follows its prey with military precision while two hands break free from the vice-like grip each had on the other. They slither to the shade’s center, tugging lightly on a thin gold chain that sparkles in the dark. A gold ring hangs at the end surrounding a multicolor glass that looks predominantly like amethyst. The golden trickle hangs in the darkness and the figure nervously inches the disc towards the white-blue orb on its right side.
“Please let me be right,” rasped a man’s whisper. “Let human hope shower atop the head of one of the condemned, as they would call me. Let me for once weep of jubilation instead of frustration.”
The ever-changing lens leapt suddenly from his hand pressing against his right eye socket, digging and raking itself into arctic flesh that now showed under the glow of the lens. His broken breath signaled pain as all muscles tensed in unison from suppression, but there was no screaming. This pain was not new.
After a moment, only a thin gold trickle leaks out of the once sapphire eye. A myriad of colors begin parading phosphorescently unlike anything known to man. A heavy breath heaves as the figure adjusts to the new found vision and the deep raspy voice once again breaks the sky’s silence. “Now, where is my little friend? He must still be around. He has to be.”
The multicolored eye desperately scanned the scene, backwards and forwards over the crowd until finally the eye shrieked to a dead halt. The newly polychromatic cornea fixes on a young man who entertained himself with a half eaten pretzel. His brown hair was messy and his face was clearly sullen from fatigue.
The flesh and blood gargoyle became utterly fascinated by his newfound specimen and just barely, one could hear a whisper that counted in ascending fashion. With every new number a smile gleamed in the darkness until a twisted grimace not unlike that of a mad scientist glowed in the gloom. “At last, I’ve found some hope in this barren wasteland we call the present.”
He then tugged firmly on the thin gold whisper that wept down his right cheek. A small groan escaped his mouth because of the effort. Through grit teeth, two exceptionally sharp fangs shine dimly in the moonlight. The lens finally slides free from the white flesh, dragging with it a single solitary ruby tear.
“I think I’ve found myself a date,” said the shade as it caringly tucked the disk back into his shirt.
Afterwards, the shadow casually stepped off the ledge, plummeting and laughing madly for sixty feet until the darkness of an alley below swallowed him whole. His laughter echoed long after it should have logically ceased. 


  1. I don't care for vampires, but the rest of the world seems to. With that, and your artful writing, I think you have a winner here. What do I know though?
    Good luck,

  2. Well, there's a lot more than vampires to the book. Actually, it's just an aspect to it, not a book exclusively about vampires although they do figure into the overall plot. There's plant people called photogeni, shapeshifters called Therians (what people would call werewolves), there's angels, demons and a recurring character that appears in Nathaniel's dreams with a Southern accent and a penchant for busting his chops... oh and there's a mid dimension. All just to see how far we can reach into our own humanity.

    My thanks for the compliments on the writing and who knows, you may know more than you give yourself credit for.

    Thanks for the luck and the comments, they made my day and will probably come quite in handy.