#WeirdVSS – best of 02.12.2020

#WeirdVSS is a Twitter-based writing prompt service for the weird and dark. For more information, click here or stalk me on Twitter.

Of the very short stories written on Wednesday the 2nd of December 2020, here are five of my favourites. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and please don’t forget to make your blood offerings before the next #WeirdVSS prompt. This is the price we all must pay, and we pay it willingly.

The #WeirdVSS logo was created for me by Noah Peloquin.

#WeirdVSS – best of 25.11.2020

#WeirdVSS is a Twitter-based writing prompt service for the weird and dark. For more information, click here or stalk me on Twitter.

Of the very short stories written on Wednesday the 25th of November 2020, here are five of my favourites. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and please don’t forget to make your blood offerings before the next #WeirdVSS prompt. This is the price we all must pay, and we pay it willingly.

The #WeirdVSS logo was created for me by Noah Peloquin.

NESTS WHICH PIERCED THE SKY

BY NICK PETROU

The shaman’s skin shed in erratic patches when he dreamed of the naked mammalian bipeds that would one day be. He saw them take metals out of the earth and build nests which pierced the sky. He saw them spill out into the black ocean and stars and burn the world of the Eggmaker. He saw this, and he took his thighbone staff and bird-feathered crown and went down to the valley.

Hatchlings nipped at the shaman’s tail and vestigial toes as he left the mountain’s shadow and went between the swamp-gas lanterns enclosing the village. He curled up with a dozen hatchlings on a rock in the light of the setting sun, and he licked their eyes and picked the dirt from their dorsal spines. The heat wafting from the rock massaged the shaman’s flesh and thawed his bones. He looked at the hatchlings and wondered when it would go wrong. Maybe they carried the genetic code in them already.

When the shaman woke, the insects were a humming blanket pulled over the swamp, and the villagers were whip-cracking them out of the air with their tongues. The reeds were hot and rotten. Drumbeats shook the fruit from trees. The moon reflected itself in a thousand black eyes, flashed iridescent from a billion scales.

The shaman joined the dewlapped elders sat around a pit of dying coals, and he told them stories of how their people first hatched upon this world. They knew the stories already, of course, but the shaman was guiding them gently towards the reality he had yet to accept himself, and the awful thing he knew he needed to do. Before he made these things known to them, however, a hatchling tottered over to him with a stick wrapped in honey and blood-fat mosquitoes. The shaman thought then that this timely interruption must have been the Eggmaker at work from afar, and he decided it would be better that the elders learn of their destruction only when it was too late to change it. He sang and shook his thighbone staff, boiling eels and crabs to the surface of the swamp. The village feasted and danced long into the night.

The shaman climbed up to his circle of power before the sun touched the top of the mountain. Out between a pair of monoliths, he gazed over the forest which pulsated in one vast knot from horizon to horizon. Looking up at the black ocean, the shaman started to draw a pattern in it with his staff, stirring it like a broth. A great rock snapped free of its faraway orbit and started on a new trajectory towards the shaman and his failed world. When it broke through the atmosphere and set the sky aflame, the shaman just watched.

When his eyes started to burn, he thought about the naked bipeds and the one, terrible rock he had called down from the stars, and he rued in his last moment that he hadn’t called three.

END