Hunger, Part 2 (Fiction, Poem)

For the monthly writing prompt that Diana Wallace Peach provided, this is my inspired prose and poetry based from this image:

When I started writing for this prompt, I found myself continuing one of my other short stories, which I wrote for an earlier prompt. I decided to go with it, so here is the second part of Hunger.

>1,000 words. Contains some language, violence and horror.


It is curious how, in the long run, eventually everything tries to balance out. As if something, or someone, is keeping score as we go along. And they are hell-bent on tipping their colossal scale back into equilibrium.

For years, decades even, I hardly noticed time. Letting it pass with indifference. Roaming the wastelands and broken cities, freely oblivious to its passage as I focused on my own quest for isolation.

The world aged; I flourished, with an ever-increasing pool of apathy that stretched beautifully between eclipses. As my carnal lust bloomed to a point where my inner wolf enveloped my life, I completely lost all association with my prey. I had no idea of how many lives were ruined, I had no clue on the count of the throats left ripped open, or bodies I drained. I barely seemed human anymore. If I ever cared enough to stop and think about it, I would have been the first to agree that I was truly an asshole.

But now time was making it painfully obvious that it wasn’t in any hurry to skip around for me. Never before was I so keenly aware of every second stretching out to the endless eons, only to stall, crashing slowly back to the next iteration and begin again.

As I laid in the hospital bed, my body tingled with a gelid sensation that seemed to thwart every attempt to move. Nearby, somewhere outside this cold ocean I was prisoner in, a clock miserably plodded on with annoying accuracy. Ticking away the seconds, reminding me, ever patiently, of its grip. My eye lids were heavy and unresponsive. All I could do was lay there, entombed in darkness. And count along.

Most of what happened after I woke from the alley played over in my head with blasts of color, sound and sensation. Before the calm tranquility of the hospital bed, there was the helicopter ride, jarring back and forth on a gurney and then the extremely unpleasant pressure on my wound paired with the smell of sweat as someone out of shape pushed down on me. Each time the aircraft would lurch, the pain would engulf me and I would invariably black out. The helicopter ride was riddled with lags of consciousness and pain as the craft traversed the air currents.

After that, there wasn’t much I could remember save a few blurry faces, disembodied silhouettes floating in strange backdrops. As my vision failed, detached voices floated in and out of my private world, delivering sinister undertones.

“I can’t believe we finally found one. Doctor, this is too good to be true.”

Which one? One of what?

“Hurry, we can’t wait any longer.”

The voices made no sense at all. What was so urgent?

My confused brain struggled to analyze these vague statements, but every time I tried to swim and reach towards a meaning, the thoughts dissolved and I was left with more questions.

Were they trying to save me? Save me for what?

And then there were the sounds. Sickening power tools, cutting noises and what I could only speculate as being the chilling sound of bones fracturing. It did sound familiar, but typically I was the one delivering the horrific soundtrack. This role reversal was not without its sense of irony.

Invisible pressure forced me back down into the deep, and I gratefully let the strong soothing waves crash around. Captive in the water, devoid of sensation, I hummed tunelessly along with the haunting dirge serenading my lethargy. Even though I couldn’t feel anything, I knew dreadful things were happening. Time passed; ages.

What were they doing to me?

After what felt like an eternity, the cold surf broke, and as the waves parted, warm clarity trickled down into my bemused mind. Reemerging to a wakeful state, I was greeted by the clock continuing its rhythmic tempo.

My eye lids fluttered, trying to take in my surroundings, starving for something other than the shadows of my prison. The room was blinding and I blinked away tears as my pupils began to constrict against the assault of light. My arms instinctively tried to move, to shade eyes from the inferno of particles burning away sleep. But only my left arm moved. Something clattered as I tried to move my right.

Gradually, as I worked my eye lids to semi open slits, I craned my neck to look at what was holding my right arm in place. The sheen from the top of a pair of metal handcuffs greeted my squinting gaze, reflecting the bright hospital light. It looked like a tacky bracelet looped around my wrist. My heart sank.

It was hopeless, even if I was striding in the full glory of an eclipse, the tensile strength of a steel chain with less than an inch of slack would have been nearly impossible to break. And this nasty, drained feeling I had in my chest told me that the eclipse was long gone. I was going to have to find the key.

I noticed something else too, there was an odd-looking bandage wrapped about my right arm. Curious. Just about where I ripped the needle out. Some kind of gold material stretched from my shoulder and it looked like it was wrapped around my fore arm. I reached over with my left arm, to lightly touch the bandage.

My vision was still a little blurry, but as I looked closer at the bandage, I realized it wasn’t a cloth or cast at all. Most of my arm was covered in metal. No. Not covered, it had been replaced with metal!

My fingers could feel the cold metal with my left hand. And for some bizarre reason I could have sworn that I could also feel the pressure of my hand on the foreign material. Like my muscles were still intact, still receiving nerve signals and able to sense the touch. As if this very contact was the tipping point of my emotions, I felt myself beginning to panic. Blood pounded in my head as my heartbeat began to blaze.

Those sick bastards! What the hell did they do to me?

I was losing control, irrational fear pulsed through dormant veins and muscles as dread took over. I started to breathe in heavy gasps and my chest painfully expanded. As though on cue, my right arm spasmed as my alarm pulsed through the gold prosthetics. Suddenly, in a controlled jerk, my right arm flew upwards, ripping apart the handcuffs that moments earlier had tethered me to the bed. A shower of metallic links rained down from the ceiling as they bounced and clinked, skittering in all directions.

In disbelief I stared dumbfounded at the broken chain hanging freely from my wrist as I moved my modified arm back and forth in awe. It wasn’t a phantom limb sensation at all, I could really feel my arm even though it clearly had been crammed with implants. When I touched the metal bits, I could feel the tactile contact from my fingers.

For some reason it still felt a part of me, but there were differences. For starters it was like I was wearing a warm wool sleeve across my forearm and wrist. And it was obviously stronger than it had ever been, stronger even when the moonlight ignited my blood and I was able to rip into bone and flesh. It was going to come in handy.

Trembling, swaying on weak legs in the empty room, I leaned against the hospital bed until my balance returned. I needed to get out of this room. There was no way of knowing how long I had been unconscious or the extent of what horrific things were done to me while I was sedated. There was going to be some serious payback.

Working to calm my breathing, I let my exhales escape in long, guttural growls. I was going to find someone. And I was going to get bloody. There was even a good chance that I might get some answers while I was at it.

Poem (Senryu):

Failed mending my ways
Spilling all over the place
Sins all but replaced


Hunger (Fiction, Poem)

For the monthly writing prompt that Diana Wallace Peach provided, this is my inspired prose and poetry from this image:

pixabay image by Natan Vance

Be sure to check out all the amazing submissions that people are doing all month!

So first off, sorry that my story is >1,000 words. And also, please be aware that it contains some mild language and violence.


Moldy wallpaper festooned the office building I was currently living in, providing an eerie atmosphere to the already desolate environment. The power to the whole city was shut off long ago and as oft happens when things get left abandoned, decay moved in. Without human contact, it felt like a prison though I was trying my best to sleep through most of it. I was stuck in another long interval, but this time I wasn’t amusing myself with keeping track of how much was left, or even ticking off the days on the walls. There actually was a real danger that I could miss the next eclipse entirely.

It is curious how time stopped having any meaning for me. Days would casually blend to weeks and skip right over into years without any real apology. The notion of setting an alarm, or being on time for an appointment were becoming as antiquated and foreign as my desires to seek out food.

The few adventures that I had tried eating an old discarded candy bar or crinkled bag of chips from a vending machine sent me writhing with such a bad bout of nausea that I quickly wrote off the whole exercise. It didn’t really make sense why I could go on without it, or why my body didn’t need water for normal functions but what could I do about it? It was all out of my control. Worrying about things like that stopped mattering so long ago. There was only one thing I wanted anymore, and all I could do was wait.

Before it all happened, I wasn’t interested in news media or being social with a daily status waved about for a thumbs up. I just figured I wasn’t that interesting and honestly, I was okay with it. My friends wrapped their lives around each other’s acceptance – funny that even then I had the impression that I was an outsider. I wasn’t connected to the pulse of society, and the irony of that now was biting me right in the ass.

I had little information on what happened, or why in the hell the sunlight caused me so much pain. As solitude in my hideaway increased, I found even the light coming in from the office windows to be unpleasant and I lurked further into the dark recesses of the building.

Routine walks around the floors of the building started to have less and less appeal. Doing thousands of push-ups yielded no change in my muscle mass, and since my body wasn’t losing any, there seemed little point in obsessing over it. Sleep was the only activity that continued to have the same payoff.

But tonight, something was different. I woke with a start. There was something out of place. For starters, it wasn’t actually night, and yet it was dark as any before. Darker even.

Why is it so dark? 

For a moment I just laid there, unable to answer my own question. And then it came to me. Like a lingering summer cold that finally melts away, lifting away mountains of fog to reveal beautiful clarity. I felt more alive and vibrant that I had in so long. I could smell things again. I could feel the wind pushing on the office windows, gasping through the broken holes and rustling some paper. And I knew the reason, the eclipse was starting.

The next few moments were a blur; I don’t even remember navigating through the building. A driving hunger was pulling me down flight after flight of stairs in a blaze of motion. I found myself sprinting down miles of empty streets towards a smell that drove my senses wild. I never knew lust like the voracity that coursed through my veins during these eclipses. And suddenly there he was.

The man was facing me, and as I approached at a sprint, he yelled something unintelligible that echoed in the silent streets. My footsteps thundered as I continued my charge. His stance turned rigid, but he did not flee like so many others had done. Instead he brought to bear a long rifle he had been holding at his side and he aimed it at me. I didn’t care, my wounds always had a way of healing without fussing about with pain or annoying discomfort. Being shot at sometimes happened when I obeyed the hunger.

I knocked him done easily, and effortlessly ripped the gun from his hands. Amused at how easy it had been, I threw it across the street. I smiled with satisfaction as the force of the impact snapped the rifle in half.

As I turned back, I sensed a weird tingling in my right arm. Surprised I looked down at a large needle protruding from where the man had shot me. I was annoyed now, and my anger began to boil. Rage flowed out, blending with the desire to feed on the only thing that ever mattered to me since the hunger took over my life. I snatched out the needle from my arm and then turned with devastating attention to the fallen figure.

The protective suit broke easily in my hands. The man’s thrashing was only causing my strength to return in waves of crushing force. He screamed and screamed as I bit into his flesh. Blood gushed out, splashing out in a torrent over his body as I fed. I knew I was being sloppy, but I didn’t care. There was little time, the eclipse would be gone in a few hours and I had to find another before the alignment passed over the city. With the moon out of position I would lose all the power it now blessed me with. Not even a full moon stretching out of a gibbous offered me the clarity that the eclipse now encouraged. There wasn’t any room to be delicate.

Just then, something slammed into my side. Startled, I looked down and saw the mussel of the pistol the man was aiming. He fired another round and I fell back as another bullet found its target.

I had been shot before, but this felt different. Ages of not feeling anything and suddenly I was overwhelmed by barrage of sensation. Gasping with surprise I stumbled backwards as pain pulsed with a sickening rhythm in my chest.

I flew back to the shadows, towards safety. The closest place was an alley and as I stumbled, shots rang out behind me. Angry sparks chipped off bricks as I hurried to get out of range.

Dammit, I had been so careless. I should have searched him before I let the hunger take over. With every step I could feel strength leaking out in nasty little drops. But the worst sensation was in my right arm. A strong tingle was apparently spreading a numbing cold up into my shoulder. What was in that needle?

The man had shouted something at me when I first rushed him. But I had only heard echoes, snatches of a phase. Now that I was thinking about it, it had sounded like he was saying “cure”.

Barely a few more feet and I found my legs giving out. I fell behind a dumpster to catch my breath and as soon as I slid down against the cold metal, shots slammed into the side. The dumpster screamed in protest as the bullets tore holes inches to where I hid.

Whatever he had shouted didn’t seem to matter now. Nothing seemed to matter. I slowly pulled my hand away from my chest and stared with a curious sort of detachment at the rivers of red that began to flow down, running out past my legs.

The irony of the whole situation made me cough out a feeble chuckle that turned into a few shallow coughs. My heart was slowing down, there wasn’t more it had left to do. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a cure after all? An end to the apathy and listless existence that plagued me for so long? An end to the hunger that haunted me?

Things were very hazy now, I wanted to just close my eyes for a moment. I could think about this all later. Later. All later. The world was trying its best to spin and I saw no reason to fight it anymore.

Poem (Senryu):

Moon invites our lust
No cure will kill half of us
Seeking out more blood

Hollow Void (Haibun-Haiga)

For Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 124 #SynonymsOnly Game & Trouble – I used Match & Ill in a Haibun. I also used one of my own watercolors to elevate the Senryu into a Haiga. I wasn’t sure if there was a duration to the prose, so it may need to be reduced for brevity.


Spreading void, ill light
Match's neglect waxes high
As hollow wick dries


Thick pools of viscous swirled and bounced in front of my vision as I struggled, trying to adjust to the all-encompassing void. I searched in vain to discern shapes the pitch, hungry to pick out anything familiar. I couldn’t see a thing.
The house’s darkness was unyielding, holding tightly to any vestige of light. Deprivation had a lethargic effect on me, bonding with some primitive fear that seemed all too happy to glue my legs in place. This instinct continued its torment by spreading cold goosebumps that crawled over my skin like wildfire. The unpleasant sensation was causing the hairs on my arms to stand at attention.
I stretched out my hands slowly and they soon discovered the hollow door frame I was standing in. The wood’s tactile reassurance offered very little in the way of comfort as it was but an insignificant island in an overwhelming sea of abstract. And yet the dim glitter of hope held me captive. As often an anchor moors against an anxious tide, I too stood hostage, tethered to this hollow refuge.

The sleeping house was still new to me, having only moved in the week before. Most of my belongings were still locked safely in cardboard and smothered in bubble-wrap, strewn about the strange rooms with curious abandon. There was simply no sense of where things were in the dark.

Gradually, ever so slowly quietly, I felt myself calming down, gaining control. Relieved that the tension was finally over, I took a steadying breath, chasing out the last knots of terror from my stomach. I was going to be okay.

As soon as I released my noisy exhale, it echoed back to me from beyond the black. As if waiting for this very moment a savage snarl broke out from down the hallway. Something had heard me. Something alive was with me in this darkness, and now it knew exactly where I was.

This Spells Trouble (Fiction)

I’m trying out Diana’s challenge in response to a found image. Please check out her challenge, and other entries! I elected to try a short story, so please tell me if it is terrible. I usually stick to poetry, since there are less rules and words to misspell. 🙂

Photo from pixabay, by Marianne Sopala

Rolland fell backwards, out of the tree house as the magic spell exploded all around him. Strange popping noises detonated like a cacophony of fireworks as he was launched through the door. He cried out in terror as he tumbled in midair, not realizing the changes that were already happening to his own body.

Odd, the impact on the ground did not feel as painful as he thought it would. And wasn’t it curious that his hands and feet seemed to naturally twist around in the air, moving almost cat-like to an all fours right before the ground rushed up to greet him?

The ground trembled as he landed, it was as though someone had dropped something very large, causing the tree house to sway back and forth.

It took Rolland a few seconds to get his bearings, but he wasn’t hurt at all. The fall should have at least taken the wind out of him, or stung his hands as he shoved them forward to brace against the snowy grass. Yet he was fine.

Well, something felt different. He felt slower, more constrained somehow. Was it some residual effect of the spell? What was that spell anyway?

“Wait a minute…” Rolland had just brought one of his hands to his face to wipe away snow that was sticking, annoyingly blurring his vision when he suddenly stopped. It wasn’t his hand at all. Why did it look an awful lot like it was an elephant’s foot?

It was!

“This is incredible!” he exclaimed. “I can’t believe it!”

“Are you okay Rolland?” A squeaky voice asked from the tree house.

Rolland had forgotten all about his friends. Michael, Frank, and the Duncan twins had all gathered together in the tree house that night for a sleepover. The last thing he saw before he was expelled out the door was Michael holding the magic book he had brought over as they all excitedly shouted the incantation.

“Hey man, you guys gotta see what that happened!” Rolland said, trying to stand. As he tried to get up and put weight on his legs, he felt himself wobble forward. He looked down in surprise at his legs and his breath caught in his throat.

“I think it turned me into an elephant!” Rolland gasped, as a feeling of terror rushed into his stomach. How was he ever going to change back into a human? They didn’t even know what they were reading when they said the magic words. What on Earth were they thinking?

“Yeah, I think we have you beat. You should see what happened to us!” Said another squeaky voice.

Why did they sound so funny? Rolland peered into the tree house, and in his haste his trunk pushed against the door frame. He really wasn’t used to being four tons of flesh and his spatial awareness was not holding up very well.

The entire tree bent backwards, tree limbs snapping and protesting from the strain Rolland was putting on them. But the house was empty. His friends were not to be found.

All Rolland could see was the magic book sprawled in a corner, spine open in a dejected heap. He tried to reach his trunk through the broken doorway to grab the book but his added weight only caused the house to move even further backwards. The book slid even further out of reach.

Shrill cries of alarm came from above the house. “Hey now! What are you doing? You are going to knock us off!”

“Wait, are you guys on the roof? How did you get up there?” Rolland asked, hurriedly he tried to turn from the door but as he moved, his trunk rubbed clumsily against the exposed wood.

His eyes watered as his trunk erupted with stinging pain from the splinters wedging deep in his skin. It all was going wrong. Very wrong.

Why did Michael insist on bringing that dreaded book over? What had possessed them to dare each other to say that silly spell? Who could have guessed how dangerous reading could be?