GF #036 – Desperate Pact

Logan dragged Elena up Tenth Avenue clasping her fingers tightly.

He led her through the crowded streets of ghosts, bulldozing through their gaseous forms. They dispersed like lingering smoke from a blown out candle, then congealed once again a few steps away.

Elena’s grasp felt warm yet lifeless, like a fresh corpse rapidly fading away. Logan knew he only had minutes to get her out of Purgatory, to save her or would lose her forever.

Mephistopheles could renege on their contract, but if they left quickly, before he changed his mind, then perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

A desperate pact made by a desperate man.

Ten more earth years with Elena for the eternal damnation of his soul.

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GF #034 – Tiger on a Gold Leash

One pill. One job. One free day. That’s the deal.

Trakk gripped the railings tightly with both hands as he descended into Luxe, Lau’s basement nightclub. He walked unsteadily, slowly, sometimes trembling.

At any minute, he could have another micro-seizure. A ten, thirty-second blackout, just like that, and then back. But if he could just get to Lau and get the CBD, he’d be fine. Maybe.

Just a few more steps now.

He could hear the muffled thumping of dubstep from the club’s bowels. Plastered on both sides of the narrow staircase were nudie centrefolds from old Playboys and covers of Guns&Ammo in a chaotic collage.

He caught a glimpse of Hiromi Oshima’s June 2004 big brown nipple staring at him. The one where she’s holding this ugly kite behind her.

Or had Trakk been ogling her for more than a minute? Trakk couldn’t tell anymore because of his condition. Time was unreliable to him now.

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GF #033 – The Cat Came Back

Jackson exhaled a burst of vapour through chapped lips. He glanced over at Ruma. He was shaking from the chills, even in a heavy hooded parka.

“How long has she been gone?” Jackson asked, kindling his gloves.

“Doesn’t matter,” Ruma said, teeth chattering. “When she’s back, she’s back.”

Jackson pulled up his monocular to his face mask and scanned the tundra’s bleached horizon. Nothing but ice and snow and white.

The two men laid prone in their waist-deep trench waiting for EVELYN, a semiautonomous cheetah drone, their latest toy. They had released it several days ago and came out here into the cold every morning at nine sharp to see it return.

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GF #032 – Parallels

Kenneth met Marie on the night of August 14, 2015 at The Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia.

It would be the first and last time they would intersect at the exact same coordinates of space, time and parallels.

They knew this the moment their eyes met. But they fell in love anyway. A martyr-driven tragedy of Romeo and Juliet proportions.

It was their one and only play, a breathless “fuck you” to the Kafkaesque-Hawking situation they were both in.

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GF #031 – The Black Shard

Henry Hyde thought he knew what he was getting into when he stood before the Black Shard, a twisted ugly spire, a hundred stories tall, penetrating the Lillithian red skies.

But he did not know.

He was woefully unprepared for the ordeals that awaited him inside.

And if he had known, he would have most likely reluctantly turned back, fruitless and ashamed, and led a quiet life on the farm, dicking a cousin or two, until he settled on one, or another or both, and raised yet another generation of Hydes who bragged and daydreamed of a great and epic future for themselves, but never did anything about it and didn’t amount to much either.

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GF #030 – City of Masks

Joaquin shifted uneasily in the undulating gondola. His stiff back hurt and the rocking made it worse. He was exhausted and wanted to close his eyes but fought it and kept watch over Valeria, his queen and duty. They’ve been on the run for over a fortnight now, sleeping where they could, whenever they could.

The swirling muck of Santa Croce’s canals lapped against the hull, thick and dark. The firmament of old gods and young stars flickered in the Venetian night sky. They were deep inside the intertwining canal maze of the West sestiere.

Valeria slept with her head on Joaquin’s lap, her greying hair rough against his leather pants.

Two weeks ago, she would have not done anything as indecorous and unbefitting of her status as this. But here we are, Joaquin thought. An exiled queen napping on her tired guard, seeking asylum with the lagoon dwellers.

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GF #029 – Read the Bones

On the morning of the thirteenth day before the Kalends of Maius, when Porphyry left his insula to see Stefano, he had not expected to give alms to the old hag who begged by the fontanelle on via Bocca di Leone.

Porphyry had exactly eight denarii in his coin purse. Now, to be sure, a week’s pay for any common soldier or labourer, but merely simple convenience to a scholar of Porphyry’s standing who taught the Metellii children.

The trouble was, he did not know why he gave all but three denarii to the sun-ripened crone with milky eyes. Porphyry had strolled down this same via many times, countless in fact, and had never paid presence of mind to her.

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GF #028 – Ivory, Jade & Bronze

When the Duke of Wyrrefordshire returned from his expedition of the Icatian nebulae, he presented Queen Lisette with three decapitated heads of her most dissenting voices.

Her majesty sat her bony rump on the very edge of the Great Hall’s throne, eager and restless to see what the duke had brought her after a long six moon sojourn. She had greatly missed her childhood playmate (and secret lover) and yearned for him to come to her bed that very night.

The gifts were proffered at her feet with all the pomp and circumstance expected of a decorated homecoming warrior. Three sumptuous boxes were marched in, each of a different material, carved in the most intricate of wrought designs from the greatest artisans of the realm: ivory, jade and bronze, to symbolize the three stretched corners of Lisette’s galactic empire. The boxes sat on palanquins, each carried in by a quartet of porters, and each porter wearing the twelve heralds of the empire’s twelve M1 colony planets.

It was a dark morning filled with black and red lustrous light on Lisette’s planet capitol. Great heavy storm clouds brewed in the East, cackling and crackling.

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