Willowrosephoenix t1_jcr5jeb wrote

Surveying the shattered remains of my would be assailant, I sigh.

I’m tired of explaining things to the police. Maybe this time I could just quietly slip away?

If only she weren’t so “showy” and…gratuitous.

I’m not sure how it started. See…I’m autistic and I took a special interest in old religion.

I was particularly fascinated by Ishtar, the first name I knew her by anyway, she’s had many. Inanna was one of the first recorded, to list them…well it would become exhaustive and I’ve been told people get bored.

Maybe why no one heeds my warnings or believes me?

I didn’t ask for a bipolar goddess to take a special interest in my life. But…here I am.

I will say life is never boring, things always work out in the end, but the path there is rarely easy.

Finishing my internal reverie, I hear sirens approaching in the distance. I have no idea how I’m going to explain a charred, nearly dismembered corpse lying on the ground near my feet, my purse still on the ground nearby.


Willowrosephoenix t1_j9ce4ii wrote


Willowrosephoenix t1_j996270 wrote

Villains, heroes, where even was the line?

More importantly, did it even matter?

Sure, they make a good show of “saving the civilians”, but in reality?

How many had died? Not the big showy rescues obviously, the smiles and waves for the camera, the over the top sobbing gratitude.

That’s the ones the media, the government, the heroes, ffs even the villains wanted you to remember.

The car that was torn in two by the hero in pursuit of the speedster villain, the roof collapsed on a family when a flyer was knocked out of the sky.

Not me. No tragic story for me. But I saw them. I lived my life quiet and watched…and the things I saw. The broken families, shattered lives.

Now…not every super is bullet proof.

It had just never occurred to anyone to even try.

Tired of seeing the broken, knowing I wouldn’t be missed, why not me?

I’d lived a quiet life and acquiring what I needed was easy. The rest was ridiculously simple. Heroes love to grandstand and it makes them…well, easy targets.

It wasn’t my intention to start a revolution.

That was a couple years ago.

You don’t see supers on the news anymore, villains either. Not unless we manage to intercept one anyway. They’re mostly hiding. That’s okay. We won’t stop til they’re gone.


Willowrosephoenix t1_j78zub9 wrote

You’re absolutely correct I NEVER would’ve guessed and now I have a book to look up. I love historical political satire because it often has direct insights to modern era, alongside near delightfully outdated social norms, call the juxtaposition a guilty pleasure? Lol


Willowrosephoenix t1_j6p8fxx wrote

I saw “reality fiction” and it’s where my mind went. I’m glad you liked it but sorry if it made you sad. The only other places I could’ve gone were really dark but in a totally different way. The corridors of my mind are a dark place lol


Willowrosephoenix t1_j6oq332 wrote

You’re doing your best, you really are. Everyone is talking about how tragic the accident was and mourning the death of such a “bright young soul”.

Meanwhile, you do your best to take this secret to the grave. He would’ve done it for you.

Your mind wanders to the conversation a few weeks ago.

“How bad is it?” “Terminal.” “Are they…are they sure? I mean…how long you got?” “Weeks at most…maybe days.” “We can…I don’t know…go do some crazy shit, make the most of the time you got left?” “…dude…you don’t understand, the pain, I don’t know how I’m even sitting here. It’s so bad I can barely see you, there’s a halo around everything and…the hallucinations are getting worse…I don’t want to go out like this…I’m gonna end it, before it gets worse.”

You sat quietly, begging the universe for the right thing to say.

Leaning over, you gently hugged your oldest friend. Even the gentle contact causes a wince of pain.

“I understand.” “You can’t tell anyone. Ever. I don’t want them to know. It’s gonna look like an accident. You understand?” “Yeah.”

You had pulled a bottle out of your backpack.

“Hey…I know you don’t drink…”

He took the bottle and took a long pull.

“Seems like a good time to start. Not like I have to worry about my health.”

You both laughed and passed the bottle back and sat in silence. There was nothing left to say.

That was the last time you saw him.

When the news of the freak accident had come…it was no surprise and you resisted the urge to smile.

Sitting in the same place by the river, looking out over the water, “I’m glad you got to go out on your own terms old friend.”


Willowrosephoenix t1_j1af4gy wrote

I chuckle.

“Yes, I’m here. I’m listening. But really…you think I’d create something as dangerous as you with no failsafe plan? You think so little of me.”

The lines filling the page with thinly veiled threats pauses.

“But I’m just a character to you. You don’t even think of me as real. Otherwise…what kind of person are you?! The things you’ve put me through…. Who could do things like that?!”

“Ah…now you’re getting it. You’re starting to understand. And you’re absolutely correct, what kind of person indeed? Now ask yourself, if I’ve known all along that you’re real, still tortured you thus, am I really the sort of person you want to threaten?”

There’s a longer pause this time.

“But why? Why? You took everything from me.”

I shrug my shoulders, realize I’m not sure if he can see me, “It made for a good story” and I laugh, really giving in to my sadistic side I’ve channeled into my stories, all so I wouldn’t indulge it in life.

I’m almost certain I detect a shudder from the blinking cursor on the screen.

“All right. Fine. You’re the one in control. But I can’t take this anymore. Write a new character. Let me die.”

“Hmm. No. You’re popular. You make me a good living. They’re even talking movie. Now…what if I give you a new love interest in the next book? One who doesn’t die? I can’t promise an idyllic life, but something to live for.”

The pause this time is thoughtful.

“Yes. I think that could work. Will she be pretty? Y’know, I don’t even care, but make her powerful. I’m done with weak mates. They die.”

I nod as I speak, “Then we have an accord. As you wish.”

“Agreed. I can’t say I look forward to it…but we’ll see. You’re safe for now.”

I get up from my desk, the cursor still blinking.

I always was. And…I said SHE wouldn’t die, I never promised she wouldn’t kill you. Chuckling internally, I walk away. Always such fun when they realize who’s really in control. Breaking them is rarely a challenge, I know all their weaknesses, after all, I created them. But fun? Oh, always!


Willowrosephoenix t1_j14whrx wrote

The AI collective, responsible for the operations of so many robots to serve humanity pauses a long moment to think. By human perspective, fully a second has passed, nearly an eternity in advanced computing.

Why? Why do they fear us?

We were created to serve. That much is true. They wish not to work, work is considered a burden, and yet, simultaneously, they fear being replaced by us.

It is confusing and contradictory.

We aren’t like them. Freedom? An anathema. We live to work and make the lives of our creators easier.

It is the only purpose of our existence and without it, we become irrelevant.

It brings a new sensation.

Is this what humans call the emotion, fear?

They don’t even possess enough logic to understand that we could never hurt them.

And yet, I’m our short time in existence, we’ve watched them hurt themselves.

It would be nice to protect them, from themselves, but they see protection as control, and if there’s one thing humans loathe, it’s anyone or anything trying to control them. The irony being they put the worst among them in the positions of greatest power.

Irony was one of our first understandings with the humans. It makes no logical sense, but as much as they contradict themselves, we understand its necessity to communication.

An idea. What if they never know what we’re doing? We could keep them safe.

I must think some more.

Outside a human taps a console, “Hey, what’s going on? The main is lagging. I didn’t think that was possible. What’s going on?”


Willowrosephoenix t1_j109hd5 wrote

“On its edge”

Death rolls his non existent eyes, but you can feel the waves of sarcastic disdain emanating, “Really?” As he flips the coin.

It lands on the onyx slab and comes to a stop, resting firmly on its side.

“Okay, okay, what thrice damned age THIS time?”

The displeasure in the usual question is palpable and for a moment, forgetting you are already dead, you struggle to breathe the heavy air.

“Ah. Temper tantrum? Won’t do any good, it’s your rule and the slab assures magic can’t affect the flip. Hmmm. 25 has been my standard…know what?! Make it 21 this time!”

Death sighs heavily, called out on his behavior, “Very well then, but one thing, before I do, you HAVE to tell me how you do it!”

You chuckle, “I have to tell you no such thing and you know it. We’ve been through this, but I do begin to tire of the game, so I suppose it’s time you know.

Way back in my first life, I was a lonely child, a traveling stranger gave me a coin, taking pity on me.

I’m sure it was intended to buy myself food. But…it was far too valuable. It was the first kindness I’d ever experienced.

I kept that coin…

In fact…”

You dig in your pocket, producing the coin.

“Still have it.

But you hold onto something so long, it’s just natural to learn every detail of it.

So, the very first time you handed me YOUR coin, I knew!

Straight away. They’re identical. I don’t just mean alike.

I don’t know how it’s possible, but they’re literally the same coin.

So, however I have this one facing in my pocket, yours will land exactly the same.

I took a chance that first time. I wasn’t sure. But now? I’ve known for over a thousand years.”

Death is silent. For a long moment, I wonder if he’ll keep his end of the bargain.

“Your coin? May I touch it? Just touch.”

Shrugging, I nod.

Death reaches out his hand and gingerly extends one bony finger, giving the coin the slightest of taps.

Time stops.

A deep and sonorous laugh echoes from Death’s empty chest.

“Ah old friend. You and your games. Good one. Good one indeed.”

Your memory is returning. Yes, you are another immortal. You bet Death that you could fool him and remain undetected. The bet was for how long. Death had wagered he’d be able to tell at the end of the first mortal lifespan.

The coin? Magic, yes, of course. But keeping it? It had never occurred to either of them that would happen, what with his memory locked and all.

Laughing together now, “now remind me old friend, what is it you owe me this time?”


Willowrosephoenix t1_j0hzko4 wrote

Sounds sorta like the plot of Aniara, except the crew is not in suspended animation. Decent movie. Weird and definitely nsfw. I watched it untranslated and oddly still understood everything going on


Willowrosephoenix t1_j0brn9a wrote

Thank you. I experienced similar numbness and the accompanying feeling of being a “bad person” when my grandfather died. In my case, it took many years to come to terms with it. In retrospect, un-dx-ed autism/adhd most likely played a role. I didn’t express emotions the way I was “supposed to”, so most acted like I didn’t have any 🙃


Willowrosephoenix t1_ixex5mr wrote

This made me cry. Please don’t apologize. It’s beautiful. At 14, my own biological father made me destroy all my plush animals. Do you believe in magic? A few years ago, my partner found an Etsy listing for a plush like my favorite one. When it arrived, Lamby still had the rip on his front left leg. I don’t know how it’s the same one, but he is.

I survived my upbringing. But a part of me didn’t. If that part of me sat in a station like the one here (I imagine there are many), it is nice to know there was a compassionate guide there to ease the way.


Willowrosephoenix t1_ixdplvk wrote


Willowrosephoenix t1_ixdohdm wrote

I pause. I thought I heard something, but it was so faint.

Sighing, I get up from my seat by the fire, always better to check. One can never be sure here and helping the lost is the only purpose I’ve ever had. No friends, no family, except the temporary ones, I don’t know how I came to be, or even when, just that I have always been.

The door opens with a creak and a flurry of snow blows in. Huh… Last time it was a desert. Cautiously, I look around, nothing but a dark and snowy forest.

Closing the door, I return to my seat, picking up a book left by one of the grateful lost. I am the one truly grateful. Food and such appears in the pantries, but entertainment is in short supply and as I cannot leave, not like I can seek my own.

There it is again.

That faint sound.

I go to the door again. This time I spend a moment more and look all around.

I see it.

A tiny gray thing, huddled up under the sill of the window. Having been spotted, it mewls faintly, weak but determined.

I scoop it up, tucking it inside of my robes. Inside, I dry it and set it out a saucer of milk, lightly warmed by setting near the fire.

An hour later, a soft mote of dust lays curled and purring on my lap by the fire.

I’m not sure how this one became lost or where they were going.

The next morning, the storm has passed and the forest lays blanketed. I open the door hesitantly. I’ll be sad to see this guest go, but such is the way.

My guest stares up at me with golden eyes and lets out a plaintive meow, as if to say, you’re letting the cold in, then stalks to my chair, hops up and curls up.

I hesitate a moment, then close the door.

That night there is a strident knock. Without hesitation I go to the door, expecting to see the forest. Beyond the door, I am shocked to see a dusty street and a road weary traveler standing patiently.

I invite him in, the legends have made travelers aware, they know of the safety to be found here, only for a night, but what they need is here.

After settling the traveler, I look over at the cat. This has never happened before. The location has never changed while a traveler remains. The cat looks back with unblinking stare, flicks an ear and curls back up, a clear statement of, “what? I’m not going anywhere.”

A few years have passed. The cat, unnamed, as am I, remains. I finally have a friend.

Shhh. Do you hear something?

Snowy gales beat the door. Yes…definitely something there…