Realism

They had been prevented from making love by the arrival of Choloyiil’s brother Malsfyiil. Malsfyiil had come to give them the news of his father’s passing. The fact they had been interrupted was all he could think about now that he was being led up The Mountains in chains.

“So close,” he thought. “So close to avoiding this.”

The Dragons only wanted virgins now.

“If only they had had the time to actually make love before…”

But it was of no use to be thinking this. They had not had the time. No opportunity then, and none in the battle-filled days and nights that followed.

Now it was too late.

He was a virgin, and the Dragons had demanded he be sacrificed to them.

Of course the Dragons got exactly what they wanted. Who they wanted. Always.

Too many of All Peoples had died in the wars and skirmishes amongst themselves during the past several decades for any to be willing to risk the Dragons turning on them too.

The Dragons had once ruled all lands, all waters, and All Peoples. They had been ruthless. Merciless.

Hungry.

When the Dragons for some unknown reason decided to withdraw to the caves in The Mountains, provided that All Peoples would agree to their terms, All Peoples had been more than happy to do so.

The sacrifice of a few virgins every now and then was clearly preferable to absolutely everyone being forever in danger of getting eaten at any moment.

So The Pact was written and signed, and the Dragons withdrew to the caves in The Mountains. And every now and then, whenever the Dragons so demanded, a virgin or a few were taken in chains up The Mountains and given to the Dragons as a sacrifice.

Just exactly what the Dragons did to the virgins once they were given them, no one knew for certain. Presumably they got eaten. And now it was his turn.

“If only… If only…” A useless refrain.

Here now were the caves, and a mighty Dragon came to take hold of his chains.

That mighty Dragon, a colorful creature of terrifying proportions, took the chains in its dreadfully sharp, shiny bright yellow talons, and dragged him inside the caves.

He did not kick. He did not scream. He knew that to be just as futile as wishing he’d had sex with someone, with absolutely anyone, to spare him from this fate.

But no.

He had been in love, and waited for his sweetheart to return from travels. Stupid he.

The Dragon yanked the chain when he stopped to stare in awe at all the many multicolored Dragons present in a deep part of the caves. He fell to his knees. Then onto his stomach, as the mighty Dragon dragged him forward on the ground. All the way to the center of the big chamber where the many multicolored Dragons convened.

“Is this where I will be eaten?” he thought. Was this how, and where, and when, he would die?

But wait… He saw Peoples among the dragons! People of All Peoples of many ages. Both old and young.

The previous sacrifices were not dead! They lived! They were alive! There was hope for him yet!!

He had just begun to think that all would be well, that the Dragons simply wanted servants, when all hope was crushed.

The Dragons told him what would be his fate, and oh, how he wished it had been to be eaten.

Insert rape scene in graphic detail. The Dragons’ insanely large schlongs tearing him up and making his ass bleed again and again and again, and only ever magic keeping him from dying every time.

Hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of humongous Dragons repeatedly taking their pleasure from his poor body over the next ten centuries or more.

Remember to show it all, in every detail, not shy away from any of the sexual violence, because, you know, REALISM.

This is an important subject.

Wed

The Old One plants their staff firmly upon the ground, and stops walking. Turns toward their young companion. Speaks. 

“My dearest child,” the Old One says, “you know I am approaching the end of this lifetime. It is my fondest wish to see you wed before I pass on.”

“Oh, Old One, do not say so! Please! Stay another hundred years!” the Youngling pleads.

The Old One smiles. “It is not in my power to do so, my child. Even I must leave when my time is up.”

“But…”

“No. What is, must be. What comes, must come. What goes, must. But I wish to see you wed.”

“I do not feel ready for that, Old One,” the Youngling says. “Could I not stay unwed?”

“You could,” says the Old One, “But that would much disappoint me.”

The Youngling closes their many eyes. Sighs. Nods. Opens all their eyes again. “Very well, Old One. I will wed.”

“Good. Good,” says the Old One. “Have you given a thought to whom you will wed?”

“I…” starts the Youngling. “I suppose I have. Yes.”

“And who will it be?” asks the Old One.

“Well… There is the Smith of the Village Close By. He is… appealing.”

“Strong. Good.”

“There is a Dancer in the Village Yonder. Her movement and her form pleases me greatly.”

“Beautiful. Talented. And also strong. Very good, ” says the Old One, nodding.

“There is the Twins of Distant Parts. They are very fertile.”

“That they are,” says the Old One, smiling. “You may have many children by them.”

Now the Youngling hesitates.

“There is… There is the Outcast of the Desert… They have my heart.”

“Aeeeeeeee!” exclaims the Old One. “How this..? Why?? How could you have met the Outcast of the Desert??! Where and when???” the Old One’s feet almost fail. They must lean heavy upon their staff.

The Youngling steels themself to stand their ground defiant. “How we met is unimportant. What matters is I love the Outcast of the Desert, and cannot wed unless they are included.”

The Old One looks at the Youngling. Sighs. “Nothing good will come of this.”

“Would it be better to stay unwed?” asks the Youngling.

The Old One sighs again. “No. It would not.”

The Old One turns. Resumes their walk in silence.

After a while the Old One says “You will collect your spouses to be. Bring them Home. The wedding will take place next week.”

“Including the Outcast of the Desert?” the Youngling asks.

“Including the Outcast,” the Old One replies. Shakes their head, and repeats “Nothing good will come of this.”

Oddly, the Old One is wrong.

Something very good indeed comes from the Youngling’s marriage to the Smith, the Dancer, the Twins, and yes, to the Outcast of the Desert too. Something none could have foreseen.

A happiness heretofore unknown. A balance and a greatness unparallelled.

A Wise One born.

Mikanshey

“Is it very heavy?” Charshey asks.

 “Heavy…”  Mikanshey says, and turns his head, his eyes, briefly towards Charshey.

Charshey in the middle of the large room where Mikanshey stands at the window all day, every day, in his red robes, and almost all of every night. Charshey, who should not be there. Yet somehow… inexplicably is.

Mikanshey frowns.

“Carrying the climate of an entire world upon your shoulders…”  says Charshey. “I can’t imagine what it’s like.”

Mikanshey corrects a current that went slightly the wrong way in the moment he looked towards Charshey. There is a storm will hit the wrong place sometime tonight because he was distracted. By the question. By the voice. By the beautiful, flaming orange of Charshey’s clothing open so deep at his fabulous chest.

Mikanshey should not be distracted. Ever. He cannot afford to be.

Not by a chest.

Not by anything at all.

No one can afford it.

That is why Charshey should not be there. No one should.

Only Mikanshey belongs in this tower above the world overlooking. Overseeing it all.

How did Charshey get here?

No.

Keep the weather going where it should.

The sunshine and the rains where they belong.

Do not interact.

“Heavy is a word for it. Yes,” Mikanshey hears himself say.

Six cities will suffer greatly for that.

A tornado.

Perhaps it can be redirected.

Fewer people will die.

Why did he reply? Mikanshey asks himself after changing the route the tornado will take. Now only two towns… Why did he speak?

Surely he is better trained than this?

“I bet you wish you could walk away from it sometimes,” says Charshey.

Mikanshey drops a snowstorm on an unsuspecting ship that nearly sinks.

He desperately tries to fix all these little issues that compound…

Yet the truth has never been spoken as clearly as in the words of Charshey just now: He wants to leave.

Mikanshey dreams of walking away every night in the seconds of sleep his system is granted.

It is his only dream. Ever.

Yet his dream is only that, a dream. Impossible to experience in life awake. For the Climate requires his constant attention, his constant presence. Ever since he was plugged in.

For two thousand three hundred and fifteen years, six months, two days, twenty nine hours, six minutes, three seconds, and counting, already.  And on. Into eternity.

It can never be shut down or all life in this world will perish.

Can never be walked away from.

The System keeps Mikanshey alive and well.

Without it… He, too, would perish. Along with the rest of the world, though maybe faster still.

But sometimes…

Oh…

Sometimes Mikanshey almost wishes that he could.

Die.

Perish, cease to exist.

That cannot be accepted. The price would be too high.

Mikanshey cannot take away all life just because Mikanshey… is tired.

Why is he here? Charshey?

Shouldn’t Charshey be at the Downmost Station? Tending to the System’s needs there?

“Why are you here?” Mikanshey asks.

Sleet the size of newborn babies pounds upon the sleeping pods of farmers who will never wake again.

‘Wait…’ thinks Mikanshey. ‘I did not cause that.’

“What is going on?” he says aloud. “The System… This is not…”

Mikanshey scans through trillions of tons of data streams discovering malfunctions here and there and spreading!

“There was lightning,” says Charshey. “A single bolt of lightning from the sky,” he says. “It struck a woman…” says he. “Just this day last year, it was.”

Charshey kind of smiles all wrong somehow. Just like the System is all wrong cascading into madness.

“She died,” Charshey tells Mikanshey. As if those words somehow explain what he has done.

Mikanshey falls onto his knees and flat. All weather is insane.

The tower shakes.

A piece of the roof falls and partially crushes Charshey underneath. His orange clothes are quickly soaked with blood Mikanshey sees from where he lies, and wonders why he cries for Charshey’s passing.

Why? When Charshey has killed them all.

Mikanshey gasps for air.

Noxious fumes have filled the tower have filled the world.

Ashes and volcanoes. Storms and scorching sun.

Black.

Nothing.

Initializing.

All systems functional.

All weather clear.

The Climate is in balance, and holding.

Mikanshey opens his eyes.

The weight of the weather of the world is on his shoulders. 

They never told him.

When he was in training.

In another world another lifetime.

That this is how it would feel forever.

For as long as the system runs.

Rowal

BANG!!!

Rowal has just enough time to clutch their chest before falling down flat on their face.

“Oy! What you do that for?!” Babur shouts at Madil, who is holding a large gun still pointed at where Rowal was standing a moment ago.

“I had to. He was gay,” Madil replies, putting the gun in his belt. “We cannot have a story without burying our gays, now can we?”

Babur stares at Madil, speechless for a bit. Then shouts again. “Well, you didn’t do a very good job, then, did you?!”

“What do you mean?” Madil frowns confused. “He’s dead, isn’t he?”

“Dead, yes. But not buried.” Babur clarifies. “And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a shovel on me, and I do not want to stain my clothes sweating in all this heat digging a grave.”

Madil looks at Babur. Then looks at Rowal lying on the ground. Sighs deep. Frowns even more.

“Yeah, I don’t want to dig either,” he sakes his head. “And I only brought the gun. No shovel.”

Babur and Madil stare at each other, not knowing what else to do.

Time passes.

You can tell time passes by the movement of the sun.

Neither Babur nor Madil looks at their phone to know what hour it actually is. Or just how much of it passes.

Suddenly both men are startled by a pained groan.

Rowal is still alive! Their body moves a little. They manage to say “Help… Help me… Hurts…”

“Oh, you really didn’t do a good job, did you?” Babur says. “He’s not even dead!”

“Well… I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.”

“Before he dies?”

“Yeah. That.  And is buried, too. What with the sand expected to blow here from across the seas sometime later, I’m sure he’ll be buried soon enough without either of us having to do a thing.”

“Right… Right.”

Rowal groans again.

“So… let’s go have a few beers, then, shall we?” Madil suggests. “And then we’ll start our story. There’s bound to be some beautiful women at the Well this time of day. At almost any time of day. Romance would be a good genre, wouldn’t it?”

“It would, yeah,” Babur confirms.

The two walk away, leaving Rowal on the ground.

They are correct: it is only a matter of time before Rowal dies.

Of fifty two more years, three months, six hours, and ten seconds, to be exact.

Their story, however, is not a romance at all. It is a tragedy: Rowal, after recovering from the near-fatal shot to the chest, kills them both.

Buries their bodies in the backyard of an abandoned house.

Rowal’s own funeral will be held the Thursday after he finally dies of natural causes, attended by his slightly younger husband, their multiple friends, and all their close-knit family, including all six of Rowal’s grandchildren.

A Play

“Darling! I am so in love with you!”

“Oh, my love! How wonderful to hear you say so! 

Let’s marry!!”

“Do let’s.

Just as soon as we have removed certain obstacles in the way of our romance.”

“… Your husband.”

“And yours.”

“Your mother.”

“Both your parents. And your brother, too.”

“Dreadfully homophobic Uncle Lester and Aunt Delia…”

“Oh, yes. They must go. And their son.”

“Cousin Bob. Plus your nasty neighbors.”

“Your boss.”

“Ah yes. My boss…” [Shudders.] 

“This is all turning into a bit of a carnage, is it not?”

“Yes. I do believe it is.”

“Best that we get started, then.”

[Exeunt, hand in hand.] 

[Bangs, scuffling, screams, off stage.]

[Blood splatters across the stage.]

[Scenery change, street before a Church]

[Enter, hand in hand, grinning from ear to ear]

“Everyone but us is dead!”

[Kiss, passionate and happy]

“A priest and two witnesses await us inside the church.”

“Then let us swiftly enter, and be wed, so that our after wedding revelries may begin!”

[Exeunt through Church door]

[End curtain]

True Destinations

“Right this way,” says a blue and gray furred, relatively human-looking tall creature with tremendously large, round ears, and a bushy tail, as she points with a baton towards a large Mirror on a wall. “Step right through. The Mirror will take you to your true destination.”

“Yes, hello?” a woman says. She cuts in line rather rudely, to a chorus of offended ‘Hey!’s. “I was hoping to go see my mother on the Mother’s Day right before she died? Will the Mirror be taking me there straight away?”

The blue and gray furred creature looks at the woman and says “Yeah, I don’t think that’s where you’re going at all. Now back of the line! You’ll be the last one in today.”

“But… But… You can’t do that! Don’t you know who I am?!” the woman protests, as people walk right past her to the Mirror, and go on through.

“No I know exactly who you are, Lady, and that’s the last in line,” replies the creature. “Now, are you going to the back of the line by yourself, or shall I have the Birds take you there?”

“The Birds…” says the woman. “No. No, no, no, no, no. You don’t set the Birds on me! I own the Birds! My husband raised them from eggs himself! Right inside our aviary! You cannot..!”

“Birds it is,” says the creature.

She presses a button on the baton in her paws. The Cage opens, and the Birds pour through.

Sixteen Birds pick up the woman, and take her to the end of the long, long line of people queueing for the Mirror. Drop her on her head.

“Oops,” says a mouse that sees it happen. “Did she just break her neck?”

“I do believe she did,” says another mouse looking at the unnatural angle at which the woman’s head now lies.

“Do you think we should go tell Sereethna?” for that’s the name of the blue and gray furred creature at the big Mirror end of the long, long line.

“Nah,” says the other mouse. “Why bother? She’ll be back to herself before the end of the day, her neck all unbroken again right before it’s her turn to go on through the Mirror, no doubt.”

“Yeah, but she’ll be this far back! She won’t have time to reach the big Mirror before it closes!”

“So maybe tomorrow she knows how to queue,” says a third mouse in passing, as he runs towards a teeny tiny little Mirror at the base of a pillar near the broken-necked woman’s left shoe.

“Oh, I sincerely doubt that,” says the second mouse. “Her kind rarely learn that fast.”

Two mice stare at the broken necked body of the woman.

“Are we really going to just leave it like that?” asks the first mouse after a little while.

“Yes. We are,” says the second mouse, just before she scurries after the third mouse, who already disappeared through the teeny tiny little Mirror.

The first of the mice to have spoken takes a look towards the faraway distance where he knows Sereethna stands and works. Then shrugs his little mouse shoulders, and heads for the little Mirror himself.

It takes a long time before the woman breathes again.

Slightly longer still before her head rights itself.

Ruling of the Dice!

“You two have had a baby. Excellent. Congratulations. Yes. Now… If one of you would kindly roll that big dice right over there in that corner. No, the twenty four sided one. Yes. Marvelous! Now let me see… Ah, yes: Your child will be raised as an intersex individual whose genitalia was initially surgically made male, and who will be socialized as a boy, but the socialization fails, and they will be transitioned into a girl at the tender age of twelve. Any questions?”

“But… But she’s a girl already!”

“Hush! You do not know that. You cannot possibly know that. Neither the current shape of the genitalia, nor genetics, has anything to do with who they are. The genitalia will be altered to suit the Ruling of the Dice! You are legally obligated to follow the Ruling of the Dice! Any attempt to deviate from The Ruling of the Dice! will result in immediate loss of custody, and two hundred years imprisonment. Do you wish to go to jail for the rest of your life? Or do you choose to raise your child in accordance with the law and the Ruling of the Dice!?”

“I… We…”

The new parents look at each other helplessly. One of them gathers up the courage to ask: “What happened to freedom of choice? What happened to… Letting people simply be who they are inside?”

“That has never existed. We have always told our children who they ought to be. We have simply added more alternatives to what was once a binary dictate. And as for choice and freedom, they will have all the freedom to choose and decide for themself once they are an adult. After all, at the age of twenty five, and/or thereafter, everyone is legally permitted to either remain, or transition from, whatever gender they are at the moment. Although, no more than three times, of course. Now, will you comply? Or shall I call in the CPS?”

Nazi Love

He held her in his arms all through the night until the birds sang for morning. Kissed her gently when she woke.

“Good morning,” she said, still sleepy, still happy from the dreams of the night.

That was rare. Her being happy.

He enjoyed it as long as it lasted. It wasn’t long.

“Fucking niggers!!” she yelled over breakfast, reading the news. “There’s more of them coming over the border! Muslims!! Flown in by those fucking feminists!! Pieces of shit! Those whores should all be raped!!”

“Honey…” he started, “Could you please…”

“What?!! Could I what??!!”

“… Maybe take your medicine?”

“Pills! You’re trying to poison me aren’t you?! You’re part of the plot! You’re one of them!!”

“Sweetheart…”

She threw the reader at him. Barely missed. It broke.

She grabbed the plates in front of her, and tossed them one after another fast.

He blocked them with his arms as best he could. Still hurt when they made contact.

Pieces of the plates smashed under his feet as he made his way to where she was. Just across the table from where he had sat to watch her eat.

He grabbed her. Held her. Did not let her go, though she screamed obscenities and tried to bite.

When the strength went out of her, he held her still. Crying. Both of them.

He knew now he could no longer keep her home. It wasn’t safe.

Not for her.

And not for him either. Though that was less important in his mind. Much, much less important.

When she fell asleep, exhausted by all that rage, all that emotion, he called a number he had been given. He knew that they would come.

They’d take her away. Away from home. Away from her husband. From the man who had promised to love her in good times and in bad. In sickness and in health. To love and honor all the days of his life.

He always would.

The apartment was so empty when they’d been and gone. When they’d… taken her away. Someplace better suited for her now. 

He’d been trying for so long… 

They asked “Will you be all right, Mr Khan? Is there anyone who could come stay with you for a while?”

He’d assured them he’d be fine.

A child of theirs would arrive that night.

He wasn’t fine.

Forty Eight Minutes After Sunset

“Okay, everybody! Well done! You’ve showed some excellent survival skills today while defending our town! Now be sure to charge your weapons! There’ll be another attack in the morning! Starts twelve minutes before sunrise! Get some rest!”

That’s our Seer, Saara.

Just once I wish she’d say we get to lie in. That an attack won’t come at all. Or at least that it would be later in the day.

But no.

They always attack near dawn, if not before that.

I guess only twelve minutes before sunrise is a luxury now. Sometimes it’s two hours. Then we hardly sleep at all. Given how late the sun sets this time of year, and the fact they never stop till forty eight minutes after that.

Forty eight minutes after sunset without fail. Always. Why is that?

There’s change in the times when they start, but never in the ending of the attack.

Forty eight minutes exact.

Are they trying to lull us into a false sense of security? To lower our weapons at forty nine minutes after sunset, only to some night be surprised by their return?

The Seers are Seeing all through the evenings in case they ever try that.

But so far no.

Forty eight minutes after sunset they stop.

The winter side of the world, the polar region is at peace.

No sunrise means no attack.

The summer side of the world, the polar region is at peace as well, but that’s for a different reason.

No people left means no attack.

Just an eerie quiet when we send a drone to look.

Just immediate death when some people tried to run there.

Clearly they are keeping watch. Though there’s none of them actually there, they do keep watch, and drop in quickly from somewhere above.

Somewhere invisible.

We have no idea what carries them to where they attack us. None of our equipment has any better luck detecting them than our own eyes. And our eyes see nothing. 

Only our Seers know when and where they will attack. So we depend on our Seers a lot.

Sometimes I think the strain is getting to Saara.

The pressure of having to keep us all from being killed.

She is not the same person she was when we were growing up.

Of course… I didn’t know she was a Seer then.

Most people with the Gift of Seeing hid it carefully back then. Ordinary folk weren’t always kind to those who were something more.

Now we all owe our lives to Seers.

Wouldn’t dream of offending them now.

I sleep.

Wake up before the sun again to fight.

Toast

They have a lovely date.

But when she takes him home, he reveals his truer nature.

He hits her hard.

She wipes blood from her broken lip. Gets up from where she fell, and says “Harder, daddy… If you mean to survive this night.”

She goes into beast mode.

He is toast.

Delicious without jam or even butter.