When Roland awoke, his world was fuzzy. For a Far One, this meant that the world looked and felt the way a crowded store sounded; a meaningless cacophony of noise. Feelings powerful and weak blurred together to form an incomprehensible soup of raw emotion. It was like a ringing in one’s ear, but everywhere.
Gradually, things came into focus. He could separate feelings into things like impatience, anticipation, boredom, and fear. Eventually he could place the general direction of those emotions – boredom directly in front of him, fear and anticipation far to his left. After nearly a minute he could figure out how many people were around him – six – and which emotions belonged to whom. After that, it was only a moment before a clear picture of his environment formed in Roland’s mind.
Continue reading “The Cutthroat’s Promise, Part Three”
It was a quiet day at Beyond Investigations. The pile of cases on Roland’s desk was empty as a church on Friday night. His office was still, save for the flickering of the lantern that hung just a bit too low in the center. Indeed, Roland was anticipating a slow day today, and that was just fine; you didn’t get a lot of days off as a set designer who moonlights as a private detective and sells baked goods on the side. It’s a hard life, but someone’s gotta do it.
Just as Roland gets up to call it quits for the day, in walks a dame whose every feature is like the night sky – dark, mysterious, but radiant all the same. Roland knows the look of trouble when he sees it, and sits right back down in his seat, ready to hear what she has to say, ready to accept whatever curveball she threw his way.
“Oh, hey Roland. Didn’t know this was your place.” Continue reading “The Cutthroat’s Promise, Part One”
Every room in Skymoore’s Below-Ground Emergency Homes had a painting featuring an approximation of what its view might be like if its occupant were living above-ground and their home hadn’t been destroyed in a terrible accident. Government-appointed art thieves would sneak into the room at specifically scheduled times and replace one painting with another, depicting dawn, morning, sunset, night, etc. The art thieves weren’t nearly as quiet as they thought they were and none of the paintings were especially high quality or effective, but everyone living in a below-ground emergency home had bigger things to worry about, so they pretended that the service was useful, or at the very least, did not vocalize its worthlessness.
Karessa Plunderton was considering filing a complaint, however, when she realized one morning that not only had the expected art heist failed to occur, but the clock in her room had ceased functioning. She had lost track of time pacing the room, reciting lines for an upcoming one-act play that slipped from her mind as soon as she spoke them, until her mother returned from a fruitless job hunt and asked her why she hadn’t started her day. What she thought had been pre-dawn had transformed into early morning while she wasn’t looking.
Naturally the one time Karessa woke up early, she was punished for it. And the day’s inconveniences were only beginning. Continue reading “Come One, Come All, Part One”
Few things burn quite so hot as young love. Few things claw at you quite as painfully as young heartbreak.
Karessa spent her days and nights in her room. Crying, mostly. Sobbing. Howling. Thrashing. Bleeding out as tendrils of despair tore at her heart. Screaming his name into a pillow like a cry for help into a void in which she dwelled alone. She hated him. She missed him. She wanted him back. She wanted him dead. She wanted to die.
Time passed. Continue reading “Bad Faith, Part Five”