Stories from the ‘Incomplete’ Collection

He drew unnaturally even circles in the coarse, wet sand at midnight as the moon shone full and white-as-silver down on both he and the death-silent river that slept nearby, its ancient shores blanketed by reeds and rushes.

It was dangerous to be here at night alone, not just because of the lurking crocodiles that hunted from the dark foliage, who thought less-than-nothing of snacking upon a man’s flesh, but because of the need for solitary seclusion to do the work he was about, lest it fail utterly…worse than fail.

A set of careful sidelong glances up-and-down the lunar-limned shadows of the shoreline, as far as eyes could see in the moon’s pale light, revealed nothing and no one to interrupt or view the black-and-secret rites of his need–rites first performed by antediluvian man to leering shadows stretching across cavern walls.

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The strange case of Bebary Bee began with one of the most mundane and innocuous objects: a spoon. Bebary Bee, like most good geeks, had gone to see the Matrix when it came out in the theaters, and like most very confused geeks, believed it revealed an astounding truth to him about the true reality of the world, which led shortly to his jumping off the roof of his school building and falling four stories to his early and untimely death in the misguided belief that a spoon (and old Uri Geller videos on YouTube) had shown him the truth of reality.

But the case of Bebary Bee didn’t end with his death. It started with it.

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The Faint Prince

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Arumya was a warrior-prince of the great city of Davish, whose fighting legions were known for their discipline and virtue. When he rose to become king, he would lead the armies of Davish as his father led them now.

There was but one problem. Prince Arumya fainted at the sight of blood.

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Bone-singer

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Sing, poor Elvasa, sing like the wind across the dunes, sing to the bones of your father, and carry him with you all your life, until your children bear up your own bones unto the winds…

The song died away, drifting slowly away across the red evening darkness towards the blue edging upon the horizon and becoming lost in eternity. The gathered tribe drifted away, the ritual completed as Elvasa admired the shining ivory blade he now held, turning the thin crescent over to admire each side of the weapon…and to remember…

“Your father is with you now forever,” the old bone-singer’s voice broke into his reverie, and Elvasa looked up from the new blade into his milk-white eyes. The voice trembled with age, but there was still strength and tenor in it, subtle shadings of skill that remained eternally young lurking beyond the aged flesh. He wondered how the old man knew where to look without eyesight.

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In the Walls

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You can’t have the lights on, it must be dark — your eyes must be blinded. That’s the only way to find them, because you can’t see them. They move at the speed of light, never standing still long enough for any fleshy human optics to glimpse, running through the wires. But you can hear them, humming and oscillating in the dark.

That’s why it has to be dark.

There’s an old pop culture claim that says when one of your senses is lost, your other senses compensate. I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems you can hear better when your eyes aren’t distracted by light and color, shape and motion. You become more attentive to the signals your ears are sending you.

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Wolf-shirt

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Night had crept cold around the mountain, wrapping the air in an icy blanket and sucking the day’s heat from the barren stones on the heights. Thorsur slapped his numb fingers against his thick, bare arms and breathed a cloud of white from between clenched teeth. It did little to warm him on this night.

He sat in a crevice long ago formed from rock slabs fallen off the mountain side, without the warmth of a forbidden fire, and stared down into the dark valley below. Somewhere in that black mass was a forest, cloaked by night, and his village, visible only as inviting, burning-orange sparks in the enveloping darkness around it. High above, the night was clear and the stars shone blue and white, glittering crisply in a sky that seemed brighter than the land below, a dark blue opposed to the earth’s inky black.

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