A small life update: Yes, I am in fact autistic.
And I have spent these past couple of months adapting to that new knowledge which, let me tell you, feels like a godsend to me because it explains my entire life.
What else is new?
Well, I actually realized today, as my brain felt like a fishbowl due to some sort of flu taking hold, that I can perfectly use this blog as a means to share unrelated stories and suches with the world.
And that’s exactly what I shall do now! 😀
Short story: The lonely woman on the bridge
Inspired by a tradition of prompting we’ve started over on my Discord server, because writers amongst each other. It’s done me a lot of good to write random stories not tied to anything. No need to worldbuild excessively or make sure that Everything Makes Sense. Just write. And let inspiration take hold.
Thus, inspired by this prompt,
A lonely woman stands atop a bridge at night. She looks down into the waters and stares at her reflection. What is she thinking about/What will she do next?
I give you a short horror story. Enjoy. :3
High atop the slanted roofs of Jihei, the moon shone with unparalleled brilliance and devotion. It was said that, on nights like these, when the moon’s corona quivered with shades of crimson and azure, the Gods of the Heavens and of the Underworld set aside their differences to come and sit at the same table once more. A civilized banquet to be sure, though mortals never could agree about what, exactly, the Gods of the World feasted upon.
But tonight, Shira did not care about these legends she had once been so fond of. In fact, she had begun to hate them. Were it not for her foolish pursuit of recognition by her peers, never would she have left the gorgeous streets of Hanyo for these… backwater mudpaths and their equally backwater population.
As she stared into her reflection below, Shira tapped the sole of her foot onto the bridge – the only place in this godsforsaken village built with any esteem for elegance and design. A tribute, she had been told by citizens superstitious enough to believe this small, innocuous river flowed directly from the bottles and kegs of the Divine Banquet…
What did legends and myth matter, now that her heart had been broken into thousands of pieces?
Shira’s arms laced atop the bridge’s railing as she hunched down, sobs threatening to tear apart her chest. She saw the eyes of her reflection narrow in hurt, and felt her heart constrict all the harder.
For a horrible instant, she wished Yoji dead.
She wished him to suffer, as she was suffering now.
Betrayed. Spurned. Abandoned. All of which with a smile so charming she still wished he might run up to her this very heartbeat and tell her she was wrong, that he had not cheated, that the other woman was but a friend… And she would gladly believe him. Again. And again. And all over again. If only he would look at her once more. Just a single time more.
Sobs broke out of her like an avalanche. Shira collapsed to her knees, nails scraping the bridge’s railing in her wake.
She wished no longer to hurt.
She wished no longer to live.
She wished for Yoji to hurt instead.
She heard a voice giggle; like silver chimes in the wind, in her head, loud and clear upon an otherworldly silence.
When Shira opened her eyes, she stifled a gasp. Down from the shallow waters of the river, a pale face stared back at her. Even in this ambient darkness, Shira could tell where the creature’s black hair turned to limpid water.
No, not a creature. A woman.
Water splashed beneath the bridge. Shira gulped.
“There is no cause for worry, O Child of the Seven Streams” the creature – woman – said. Her voice, clear and trilling, came as a song. “I heard your plea. I came to—” The next word she spoke came out as the grind of rock and metal, deep and shrill and ear-shattering. Then, the creature let out a hooting chuckle. “Forgive my manners, Child. The words of your kind do often fail me.”
Was there truly something to forgive? Suddenly, Shira realized. She gasped and immediately huddled down on her knees and outstretched hands. “My apologies, Grand One! I did not realize sooner!”
Shira expected; ire, retribution. The Gods of the World were not known for their compassion, when proper tribute and honours were not given.
… but how was she supposed to know that Gods were real?
“It is quite all right,” the woman – the God said, their voice so close to her now, so quiet and languid and alluring. Shira tentatively lifted her head… and was greeted by the God’s face, hovering right in front of her upon a snake-like neck, black hair trailing the contours of their pale eyes and lips. Their skin shimmered in the moon’s light, quivering with each breath Shira imagined they took. “We are, after all, but tales often tall as we are wide.”
The God grinned. Their teeth, sharp and triangular as a river pira, gave Shira pause – at least, until the God whispered, “Tonight, however, here beneath the Harvest Moon, I pledge myself to bring a single wish of yours to fruition. By my name,”—a hideous sound like a dying bovid gasping for air—”I bind myself to your will. What is it you will, Child of the Seven Streams? Speak, and may your words be granted truth.”
Shira breathed out, and the vapor of her breath lingered across the God’s scaly skin, caressing it, like a lover’s embrace. In that instant, Shira knew what she wished – and at the same time, she knew not.
The God’s lips stretched into a thin smile. “Come now,” the God cooed, “surely there must be a wish in your heart. A desire you will to become reality. Tell me, O Child, and witness your plea materialized.”
In truth, Shira wished but for one reality: for Yoji to return to her, to love her, to stay by her side forever and never again stray. But tears clawed out of her eyes, along her cheeks, as she remembered – how she had witnessed him together in bed with the woman he had, but hours ago, claimed to be but his sister. Naked. Slithering beneath the covers. Shira let out a shrill breath, fingernails digging beds for her tears.
“I want him to hurt,” came her whisper. In her twisting heart, she yearned for Yoji’s love more than ever. “I want him to hurt.”
The God blinked its solid black eyes. Once. Twice. Then a horrifying scream tore through the air.
Shira blinked – once, to find the God’s grin greeting her. Twice, to find the God’s hair sprawling through the air like a liquid cobweb made of charcoal and ash. The third time, Shira crawled back, and screamed in turn.
How her mind processed what she saw, Shira did not know. Across the black webbing of the God’s hair, a multitude of bright bits and pieces floated, like pallid lanterns on the Days of Mourning. Bright, pallid bits and pieces, glistening azure and crimson. Water and blood.
And among them, held aloft right above the God’s head like a tortured crown, was Yoji’s face. His lips wide open in a perpetual scream that sometimes rended the air, sometimes suffocated in a throat he no longer possessed. His wide, bloodshot eyes never left Shira’s sight; even after the God was long gone, its maniacal laughter resounding through the night like madness made sound.
Day and night, Yoji’s tortured gaze tormented Shira in turn.
Yoji’s tortured gaze hurt her.
Yoji’s gaze demanded she die.
Even in death, Yoji’s gaze ever found hers.
Noct, over and out!