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Prima NoctaIt doesn't happen how you think it does.Prima Nocta by Memnalar
You're probably strung out, ducked into the wrong alley to hit the pipe. It waited there, watching you, biding time until you were good and fucked before ripping a new hole in your throat. Maybe your thigh if it's in a rush. You spray out all over the wall, all over yourself, all over it. You just see yellow eyes, fucking foot-long tongue lapping you up, and then nothing.
But then, something. Maybe you smell dogshit, old take-out containers, dried-out tampons and whatever else people threw away along with you. You reach up and around, wipe the maggots off your face. You find a door up there, push it open. Daylight. It feels like a blowtorch on your hand, and you smell your skin bubbling away as the lid falls closed.
No, you didn't smell it. You tasted it. Tasted your skin burning, just like you're tasting this dumpster and the filth you're swimming in.
Maybe you sleep.
Maybe you wake up just in time to hear the truck grab hold of your roac
Air-FueledWinter tore hell through the camp, and Serpentine blew into her palms so she could feel the dice in them. Old Taggert gestured at her with a bottle. She nodded at him as she blew. He poured, held up the glass. A half-rusted drone snatched it, buzzed its way to Serp, and sloshed half the drink on the floor before dropping it in front of her. She grabbed it, made a show of downing it, and kept blowing.Air-Fueled by Memnalar
Across the floor, Paydirt sat puffing away on a three-tined pipe that smelled like creosote and dry moss. Around Paydirt sat the Payday Gang, sharpening knives, polishing pistols and looking tougher than Serp knew they were.
"You gonna throw those, doll," Paydirt said around his pipe, "Or you want I should give you something else to blow on?"
She smiled at him. There were a hundred thousand League notes on the table. About a week's haul for Paydirt, but a whole season's runs for Serp. She was good for it, if you counted the Aphrodite.
Her dad's ship before her. Hers now. Aphrodit
Mechanic's BluesI'm getting grease on my sandwich when she walks in. The whole hangar pretends to be busy while throwing glances at her.Mechanic's Blues by Memnalar
She looks around, finds me, smiles. She's walking my way, but her eyes are all for her baby. I've been pulling extra shifts getting her baby ready to fly.
There's a monkey on her shoulder. It leaps off, and scrambles into the cockpit.
She tosses her goggles on top of my workbench, brushes a braid away from her shoulder. "How's she look?"
Perfect, I want to say, but that wasn't the question. "I patched your oil leak, unstuck your throttle problem. Had to replace your altimeter, but I told you that."
"Yeah, you told me that." Her eyes are brown. Could've sworn they were blue. They're blue in my dreams.
Those brown eyes are turning the ship over and over. My eyes? Well, I guess they're doing ungentlemanly things, but they snap back to attention when she speaks.
"Am I loaded?" she says.
I shake my head, grinning. "Yeah. The clockguns are all bolted in and to
AshenI'd just finished cleaning the silt out of the last generator and dropped it back into the water when Pit found me.Ashen by Memnalar
"Up and running?" he asked.
"Spinning away. Lot of minerals in these rivers down here. Lot more than up on the surface. Fucks up the works."
Pit nodded. "Least there's no snow down here."
I didn't get into it with him. Last time we went topside, Pit left a hand in that snow. If I closed my eyes, I could still smell the skin melting. "You need something?"
Pit looked past me, toward my boy. Jacob. He was scrubbing away at a filthy generator part, or at least pretending to be.
I gritted my teeth, then looked at Jacob. He looked back, with huge eyes that didn't miss much. So much of his mother there.
"Head out, kid," I said. "Take these last couple generators with you. Take 'em up to Zeb for cleaning, we can't do nothing for 'em down here."
After my kid was gone, Pit came down to business.
"There's a nooge up top," he said. "Crazy fucker walked right up to the picket line. Sa
crystallineCounting dayscrystalline by Memnalar
but not the other guy
ark nemesisCame out of the sand,ark nemesis by Memnalar
wind blowing hot
ruffling his hat brim
They had wings, we thought,
but the Good Book
never said anything about that.
Just a long chain
A long chain,
A chain as long as we've been here
crawling across His skin
A long chain,
holding a big box
on his back,
if you've a mind
Along his chest,
He pulled it,
in each claw,
and he dared the horizon
you Sons of
And as we started,
rats, crawling over the dirt
for a dark hole away from
by one he raised his hands
and turned that wheel
amidst the gun
never running dry
and the box on his back
held there by the chain,
every link our lives,
put there since the start,
every link we died
until the box was full.
And then one day,
one drunk in a dark room
encased by clay
wrote it down as a flood
when two by two every beast of the
Zero OneWe're a binary system.Zero One by Memnalar
We're all free,
all of us free,
to take what we will.
and that means
we will drive
a knife into your child's throat
so we can eat
so we can drink
so we can keep warm in that child's blood.
we're all slaves,
all of us slaves,
to serve the ones who direct us
and that means,
we are safe
from all enemies Foreign and Domestic
so we can eat
so we can drink
as long as They tell us to.
It cannot be both.
Take your guns, or
take your indenture,
Now or Later.
Watered downI asked the old sailorWatered down by Memnalar
as he sucked on suds
my coin had brought him,
I asked again
the question that had brought me.
Yea, he spat.
He didn't say Aye,
Yea, you whelp, I saw one once.
Hair like the sun topping the waves
Scales like the calmest blue
around the islands where coconuts grow,
and speaking of coconuts, she had...
But what happened, I pressed him,
another coin down, another glass down,
'We'd gone down,' he said, a Spring gale
ripped our sails, and sent us breaking
over the breakers on the Eastern coast,
rocks like teeth, the Devil's tits.
I coughed at the color.
Another coin down.
And the man went on.
Water was black, he said, wiping
beer from stubble
"I followed the bubbles up," but something grabbed
What, I leaned forward, was it, man?
It was black as night, I told you whelp
it grabbed my foot, I gulped a mouth of
sea and yanked my knife from my sheath
And hit nothing,
and then I saw her.
Her? I half stood, and he smiled, and tapped his glass
It's Always The Quiet Ones.The newspaper headline was what caught his attention.It's Always The Quiet Ones. by PwnedByPineapple
James had been minding his own business, really, just trying to get to the bathroom. He hadn't expected to run into a girl when he rounded the corner and one that was crying, no less. She gasped when she saw him, and he stared in surprise, noting the running makeup, the absolute misery etched into her face. So he wasn't the best when it came to dealing with people, but it wasn't hard to tell she was in a really bad place right now.
"Hey, um," he said, "you okay?"
It was a dumb question, but maybe the concern he showed was what got to her. With a strangled cry, she threw herself forward, latching onto him and burying her face in his shoulder, her too-thin body shaking with sobs.
LOCAL TEENAGE GIRL BRUTALLY MURDERED
"Whoa," he said, as the girl continued to cry pitifully into his shoulder. He recognized her faintly; he may have had a class or two with her. What was her name? Bianca? No... Briana. That was it.
Ye Pirate Tales (Talk Like a Pirate Day!) Entries are starting to come in now and will be stored in the contest folder for all to see! Can't wait to see the entries roll in!