Flash Friday: Hell is Hope

Much belated Flash Friday from Chuck Wendig’s prompt: Life is Hell

There’s no devils and brimestone here, only white grey walls and the sterile smell of death. I’m not sitting in a lake of fire, but in a plastic chair that I’d pulled up to the side of the bed.

Hell isn’t what I’d expected.

“Tasha?” My hand curls around my mother’s. It used to be strong and soft and tanned. It used to be magical, the way it could turn bandaids into cures, and do my braid just right. Now I’m holding bones held together by blue ropes and parchment skin.

“I’m here mom,” I whisper. My throat is raw, and every word hurts.

She smiles, and it’s a struggle.

“You look so sad, baby. Don’t be so sad,” Her other hand, just as fragile as the one I hold reaches up to rest against my cheek. But the effort is taxing and soon it droops to rest on my hands.

“I’m going to a better place,” she murmurs. Rheumy eyes close. “I’ll be waiting for you.”

“I’m so sorry mom,” I whisper. I want to sob so hard I throw up, I want to curl up next to her, to go with her. I want to do so much, but instead, I smile through the tears. Or at least I try.

“Sorry for what?” She asks me, opening her eyes, smiling at me. “There’s nothing you have to be sorry for.”

But there is.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t help. I’m sorry about-”

“Shush,” she said, patting my hands. “Shush. It’ll sort itself out. You’ve got time.”

Only I didn’t.

“You’re so strong, Tasha. I can’t wait to see what you do.” She smiles again, and closes her eyes. I can feel the life slip out of her hands, draining down her arms to bleed out into the bed.

“Mom?”

I try to swallow, but now the sobs are too large to choke down. I curl around her hands, feeling the familiar hooks of grief curl into my belly, tearing up and out.

“Mom…”

I want to tell her that I’m sorry for not being strong enough. For taking the rest of her sleeping pills when I’d gotten home from the hospital, and chasing it with a gravol/vodka cocktail.

I didn’t think there was a Hell. Who could believe that sinners would wallow in fire and get stabbed by pitchforks for all eternity? But I was wrong.

“Tasha?” My hand curls around my mother’s. It used to be strong and soft and tanned. It used to be magical, the way it could turn bandaids into cures, and do my braid just right. Now I’m holding bones held together by blue ropes and parchment skin.

“I’m here mom,” I whisper. My throat is raw, and every word hurts. I swallow down the sobs again.

My mom smiles. Hell isn’t what I’d expected.

“You look so sad, baby. Don’t be so sad.”

It’s so much worse.

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Flash Friday: Amethyst Angel

by Alice Black

From: Sinclair, John
To: Al-Hud, Mahmud <mahmud.al-hud@did.gc.ca>
Subject: Communications with Namea Michelakis

Good afternoon Investigator, I’ve attached the last communications I had with Dr. Michelakis leading up to the event at Yorkton University’s campus.

Michelakis was by nature somewhat secretive, and rarely shared her findings with her academic peers. While I know something went terribly wrong, I can’t say for certain what triggered the catastrophic failure of the Interdimensional security framework set up on-campus.

If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know. I’ll be at the vigil tonight until 10pm, but otherwise will be completely free.

John Sinclair
Associate Professor,
School of Summoning,
Yorkton University 

———————————————————————————–

From: Michelakis, Namea 
To: Sinclair, John
Subject: FWD: Your Nomination for Sainte Michelline Francois Award

OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. 

From: “Canada Council for Thaumaturgic Research -Conseil des recherches thaumaturgiques du Canada” <awards-accolades@cctr-crtc.gc.ca>
To: Michelakis, Namea <namea.michelakis@yorkton.ca>
Subject
: Your Nomination for Sainte Michelline-Francois Award

Congratulations Dr. Michelakis! We are pleased to inform you that your proposal on the summoning Judeo-Christian angelics through non-surgical means was nominated for the Sainte Michelline-Francois Award for research into judeo Christian summoning rituals.

To progress towards further consideration, we will be granting you a one-time bursary to bring your proposal to a small preliminary trial. Please see attached for approved funds. In return, we will need your expanded proposal, as well as any specifications that need to be cleared through the Department of Interdimensional Defense (DID) for the purposes of your preliminary trial.

We look forward to hearing from you soon,

Estaban Moehler

Director of the CCTR / Directeur du CRTC

– Namea

———————————————————————————–

From: Sinclair, John
To: Michelakis, Namea
Subject: re:FWD: Your Nomination …

That’s great news! Congratulations Namea! Do you have everything you’ll need for the preliminary trial? If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know. I’ve got a couple grad students that are too bored. They’re not the brightest, but they’re bodies if that’s what you need.

– John

———————————————————————————–

From: Michelakis, Namea 
To: Sinclair, John
Subject: re:FWD: Your Nomination …

I don’t know, I’m still working out some of the Thaum feedback issues. Not that I mentioned that in my proposal, of course. But wow. Ok. Can you send over those students?

Here’s what I need:

  • No prior indications of Psy or Thaum resonance outside of normal levels
  • Stable psychological background with no report of visions in family history
  • Religious background not necessary

Thanks John, I really owe you one. I have a couple of Grad students that work in my lab. I’m thinking of pulling them up. But ugh, Master’s students.

– Namea

———————————————————————————–

From: Sinclair, John
To: Michelakis, Namea
Cc: Hopkins, Bryant; Sandoval, Juanita; Monpetit, Olivia
Subject: re:FWD: Your Nomination …

Just remember to return the favour when you get that grant! And hah, well, depends what you need them for I guess.

 Bryant, Juanita and Olivia have volunteered to help out.

Let me know if there’s anything else I can do!

– J

———————————————————————————–

From: Michelakis, Namea
To: Hopkins, Bryant; Sandoval, Juanita; Monpetit, Olivia; GradGroup[+]
Subject: Mtg Agenda – Jan 10th

Thanks all for meeting on such short notice. I’ve attached the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting. Please review and prepare any questions. A reminder, the meeting is at 9 am sharp. I’ll be providing refreshments.

Namea Michelakis
Fellow, School of Summoning,
Yorkton University 

Attached Files: NSS_Jan10_Agenda.docx | StMartinsCh3.pdf | CCTR_Proposal_Michelakis.pdf | NSS_Prelim_Outline.docx

———————————————————————————– 

Non-Surgical Summoning Preliminary Trial Outline

Trial Date: Jan 16th, 2014
Time: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Location: Helena Cordova Bldg., Room 4028

To be administered via sublingual drops: 

  • Control: 0.25g of glucose solution
  • Group A: 0.25g of AA-351 suspension
  • Group B: 0.25g of AA-359 suspension

During Trial
Monitor: heart rate, REM movements and micro-motor actions of the left hand, any rise in Psy or Thaum resonance

Record: subject’s vocalizations, gestures and encourage subject to narrate his/her experiences.

Security issues […]

———————————————————————————–

From: Sinclair, John
To: Michelakis, Namea
Cc: Hopkins, Bryant; Sandoval, Juanita; Monpetit, Olivia
Subject: Campus Wide evacuation?

Namea what’s going on? Did the evacuation affect your trial? Do you need to reschedule?

Let me know

– John

———————————————————————————–

From: Michelakis, Namea 
To: Sinclair, John
Subject: uneχpecteδ rεsultς

john, I’ve ruN the trial but we had sOme unexpected resultS. we Administered the solution as planned, but the results turned out to be more VolatIle than we Originally thoUght. Right now, i’m NOt sure that my proposal will make it to selection, if i’m HonEst. After what happened, i’ll need to re-eValuatE my assumptioNs. 

YOU might Want to consIder Looking into more resiLient students, i thinK. juaNita and montpEtit are suffEring from unforseen side effects. that shouLdn’t last BEyond Friday OR saturday at the latEst. Here’s the transcrIpt froM the trial. (see Attached). Now to Determine how BEst to Go about avoiding lawsuits.

-nαmeα

———————————————————————————–

From: Al-Hud, Mahmud
To DID-Judeo-Christian-Summnrs[+]
Subject: Re: Namea Michelakis Incident

Final Report

Event Description

January 16th, at 7am, Dr. Namea Michelakis triggered a Class 5 Summoning Event in the Helena Cordova Building at Yorkton University. My investigation reveals that she was attempting a clinical trial into non-surgical summoning of a Judeo-Christain Angelic, class Cherubim, through the use of an amethyst ionized solution.

The video stream we pulled from the lab shows at 8:07am, an Angelic made contact through  the subjects, class Seraphim. At 8:10 the Angelic executed a transdimensional sacrifice, resulting in the loss of 7 students and three of the graduate students. Dr. Michelakis survived, but suffered extensive injury from the event. Transdimensional feed back triggers the Yorkton security system and the campus begins evacuation.

Michelakis sends her last email.

The Angelic, now corporeal, travelled from the Helena Cordova building towards Oppenhiemer Library (see attached map), resulting in 89 injuries, and 12 more deaths.

Assessment

Extensive damage to transdimensional aether shield and lingering traumatic resonance will necessitate a Thaum-sink until further evaluation.

-Mahmud

Missive from Plague Island

OH THE CALAMITY. (har har, shut up it’s the best I can do today.*snifflekoff*)

I wound up coming down with the cold from hell last Wednesday and only just got better enough to return to work today. That’s almost a whole week of lying in bed, groaning at the cat and making pawing motions at the computer to try to make my self-imposed word count.

Spoilers: I didn’t.

Sad Word Count

Also please ignore the Cumulative Actual count, it’s not self-updating. I’m behind, but not THAT behind. (Also yes I am insanely organized when it comes to writing and cosplay, don’t judge me! You don’t know me! [except you mom, hi.])

I missed the NaNoWriMo marathon day, I missed a whole heck of a lot of write-ins, and basically lived in my bed for a week, eating paleo-friendly chicken soup while my cat sat on my chest, happy I was home. Well, for the first couple days. Then Cat got bored and started poking me to get up and leave, or move, or anything.

Also Spoilers: I didn’t. Continue reading

Belated Flash Friday – 1 667

For those asking why the 1 667 doesn’t look like this: 1,667 it’s because I went to french immersion and the French hate commas.

Part of Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fridays, theme is the first 1 667 words from Nanovember

The God Device

[working title]

Prologue

Kiana had curled up on the window sill; her feet and back wedging her into place between the two sides of the frame. The window was old, and the cracks in the glass let in cold winter air. The little bundle of a girl shivered, letting a puff of breath fog up the glass, before wiping it away to watch the snow fall. Large soft flakes fell thick and white in the orange light of the streetlamps.

As Kiana watched, the snowflakes lit up bright blue and gold, all shimmery and pretty, the light brightest down the alleyway, just out of view. The little girl craned her cheek over to get a better look.

“Don’t you put your face on the glass, I just cleaned it,” Kiana’s mom said. The glass might have been clean on the inside, but the grime between the panes, and on the outside of the window was still there, making it harder to see what was happening..

“But Mom, there’s something going on down there,” she said, looking up before pointing to where the blue-gold light was already fading. “Maybe it’s Santa!”

Mom walked over, wiping her hands on her apron. The stripes on it had faded, but you could still tell it was from the Pancake Place, where she worked. Kiana liked the pancake place, they let her eat the burnt pancakes on the weekends, and watch the cooks when Grammy couldn’t babysit.

“Sweetie, That’s not Santa,” Mom said, brushing a hand over Kiana’s curls. They were soft and dark, just like Mom’s, but without the grey. “Santa has  red lights, that’s just a policeman.” She kissed Kiana on the forehead. “Now go wash up, the soup’s ready.”

“But Mom! Cops are blue-blue and red, not blue-yellow,” Kiana said as she climbed down from the window, careful to avoid the radiator. The heat never seemed to warm up the apartment, but the radiator itself could still get hot enough to burn.

“Kiana, don’t make me ask twice.”

“It’s true,,” Kiana said, but she threw a last look at the window and walked to the bathroom, dragging her feet with every step. She’d pout too, if she thought that would do anything, but it never did., The apartment was small, though to Kiana it fit just right. It had room for the bed-couch, the old tv that looked like it was snowing, and the kitchen. Grammy had a bigger house, but didn’t live in a tall building like Kiana and Mom did. . But most of all, Kiana liked being able to watch out the window of the apartment, seeing the people walk by all little, seeing the flash of police cars and seeing the blue-gold of tonight.

“I’m totally sure it wasn’t a cop car,” Kiana said, stepping into the chilly bathroom.

Kiana.”

“Washing!”  Kiana turned on the tap, waiting for it to get mostly warm. She’d just shoved her hands under the faucet when someone knocked on the door. No, it wasn’t a knock so much as banged on the door.

Kiana poked her head out the bathroom door, to see her Mom staring the door. When the person banged again, even louder, she saw the way Mom flinched. Was Daddy back?

“Kiana, baby, close the door,” Mom said murmured on the way by, brushing Kiana’s hair back and planting a light kiss on her forehead. “You close the door and lock it. Don’t you open it for anyone but me.”

Kiana nodded.

“FBI. Open the door.” It was a man’s voice, rough and raw. Like Daddy used to get before he went away, but not as angry. Almost scared. Kiana’s Mom walked over to the apartment’s door, and glanced back.

She looked over her shoulder and smiled, but something was wrong about it.

“It’ll be okay baby. Just wait in there.”

Continue reading

Totally belated Flash Friday

Meant initially for Chuck Wendig’s Flash contest, I’ve been way too busy getting ready for the Geek Market to be able to polish it up and post it in time.

Theme

 

Vows

by Alice Black

“Until death do us part,” I said on a warm September day, my hands safe in his.

*

“Until death do us part,” he snarled and the gun went off before he could hit me again.

*

“Until forever,” he whispers with winter breath on the back of my neck, hollow fingers closing around my throat.