Below are two completely separate short stories that I wrote in my writing journal. The first briefly follows a character you might recognize from previous creative writing posts (“The Birth of Bianca Barrowbone” and “2 Characters on a Collision Course”). The second, longer piece is a creepy, Lovecraftian tale of gods and old ones told by a possibly unreliable narrator. I hope you enjoy the two stories!
Winter: A Personification
To her, winter is not a season. It is not a chill burrowing into your bones as the colorful hues of autumn fade under heaps of falling snow. It is not inches upon inches of white coating a land once bursting with color. It is not even the weight of layers upon layers of warmth protecting the body from the bite of unbidden frost.
To her, winter is a state of being. Winter is the frost kissing her lashes as the sun beats down upon her head. It is the reflective gleam of her silver-white hair against the flecks of a sand-covered shore. It is a scalding cup of cocoa held tightly in her grip as humidity smothers her like a blanket.
The winter follows Bianca everywhere she goes, from the peaks of the Alps to the shores of Florida. Everywhere she steps, frost follows. Her chill catches passersby by surprise even when they miss her in a crowd. Everywhere Bianca turns, her chill is close behind.
Some might say she’s cursed. After all, how could anyone live under the constant threat of the cold? Bianca sees her icy state as more of a gift: the advantage of perspective. She loves the cold as she loves herself, or rather, she loves the cold as she loves the boon of her icy existence. You see, in exchange for her frozen heart, Bianca can live forever.
For one hundred and sixty-nine years, Bianca has lived this way, cold and emotionless, but also free to roam and explore whatever her mind desires. She rather thinks she liked being immortal, travelling and exploring without the ever-present press of time weighing her down.
Still, there is a part of Bianca that knows something is missing. She fears a thrill that would someday crack and melt her frozen heart. It almost happened once.
She would not let it happen again.
So, Bianca keeps on running. She runs and she lives until one fateful day, she crosses a boy kissed by the summer sun.
The Old Ones
Once upon a time, long before humanity laid claim to the Earth, there were the Old Ones. They were the gods before the concept even existed. They were a mangled mesh of chaotic realities clashing together, amalgamations of traits both seen and unseen by the human eye. Some were horrific creatures built of too many eyes and slime that trailed through the emptied husks of forests. Others looked as human as anyone, innocent as children until they swallowed you whole. After all, statistically speaking, people are amalgams as well.
The Old Ones ruled with an iron fist, their grip firm around the delicate planet even when the first of you… humans began popping up. The Old Ones were wolves among flies, ruling from their enchanting, horrific continent endearingly named R’leiy.
R’leiy was a true masterpiece. It was a continent free of physics: stairs led to nowhere; caves took you straight into the gaping maw of a beast, floors turned upside down beneath your feet. It was utter bedlam. It was home. It left anyone who stepped ashore splayed at the feet of their Great Gods.
Of course, very few of the Old Ones remembered how and when they were created, but those who did told the story like this:
Once, there was nothing.
Unfortunately, everything was still lightyears apart.
Then, stardust sparked,
And realities collided
Until the chaos of before
The reign of the Old Ones was a glorious era built of bright storm clouds and monsters lurking in plain sight.
Then, something terrible happened.
See, apparently, humans were unhappy. More importantly, their allies hungered for power. Unspeakable evils forced the Old Ones from the Earth into a vacuum between realms, sealed away forever. The usurpers plucked every single god from their carefully curated home until the Continent became an Island that became a single Spire.
From the ashes, the victors created their own pantheon, safe in the knowledge that the gods of old were gone and trapped in their hellish in-between state.
But they were wrong.
See, they missed me.
I hid on Earth as gods rose and fell, whispering to innocent ears the tales of my long-lost homeland, warning them of our second coming and the reaping they would avoid if they followed me. I was obviously lying, but I needed spies and who better to spy than the forgotten and discarded scraps of society.
I built quite the following. My followers were hidden in the crevices of cities. They are that creepy village you pass on the way to somewhere else. They are the odd man you bump into on an old, cobblestoned street. They are the voices you hear deep in the forest and the swamp, luring you into an unexpected doom if you’re too stupid or curious to walk the other way.
I am the best kind of Old One. I am the child that helps you with your groceries. I hear what you say about me. I know I give you hope for the next generation. More interestingly, I know you wake up some nights from terrible dreams of unnatural lands lost to time, whispering in a language you do not understand. I could stay in this role forever, performing the unsuspecting youth running through the streets, ears and eyes open. After all, I have done this for millennia.
Oh, but it seems the winds are changing.
See, I’ve grown bored of the same old routine. I wanted a change of scenery, a lavish change. In the end, it was simple, really. I needed a spectacle, so I made the biggest one possible.
I created a spectacle so grand, it led to the Ascension of the new gods, an Ascension that reworked the very fabric of the universe. One so bloody and chaotic, it was enough to create the beginning of a rip in the fabric between worlds. But it’s not ready yet. It needs powerful blood. Blood that, up until now, I have not been able to provide.
But see, there is a crucial difference between myself and my newest partners on the throne: While they are young and impatient, I have learned patience, and I will wait as long as I need until the pieces of my rule fall into place.
One day soon, The Old Ones will rule again.
It is only a matter of Time.