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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

“Renascence Vibration”

Extended Short Story

A man staggers through a deserted country. His steps are misplaced, like his legs don’t actually belong to him. A head drags heavily from his neck, and he can feel neither of his human hands, which have already disowned their sensitive nerves. He doesn’t want to feel them—to claim these fingers or this body as his own.

Rage and hatred sets his mind ablaze, but shame drags everything down to weigh the three together in the pit of the man’s stomach.

After that comes the unbearable nausea. Guilt, fear, grief, and regret battle for dominance of his heart, wrenching it from every direction. Like a rabbit cornered by a lion, his legs shake. All he could do was shake—and own. Then they give out and he falls hopelessly to the ground. Nothing wishes to aid him, not even the will of useless limbs. The man’s vulnerable silhouette trembles insignificantly a-front the burning realm.

The bones in his arms are shattered. Still, they pound the earth over and over, each strike more meaningless than the one before. Disgusting sounds of delicate tendons tearing litter the smokey air as anger explodes from this shell of a being. His animalistic hands land harder and faster; even if he could feel them, he wouldn’t let himself.

This world’s eradication is only one noise—one singular sound conjunctured of fragmented pieces.

“You chose these creatures over I,” he wails while ending the assault, his crumpled arms camouflaged in the gory soil. With a curled spine, his head hovers an inch or two above the ground. The remnants of his hands lift to tear wildly at his battered scalp. Clumps of once-white hair are ripped out furiously, causing even more warm blood to ooze down his forehead and flow into his eyes. Hunched over, the pads of his feet drive into the dirt and shuffle forward as if he’s trying to climb. They slip and his legs give out a second time. The man lays flat on his stomach, with only unsteady elbows to prop him up. The grass had suffocated long ago, hopelessly monochrome and melted into a layer of scorching ash which burns the rest of his exposed skin.

“I have been condemned by you! Brother, you have killed me!” He strikes the earth again with broken fingers that dangle fluidly. “How does it feel to be…?! How do you feel watching my fists do no damage?!”

He yells wildly, frantic and desperate to cling to something he can no longer distinguish as his broken body spasms. The person’s limbs twitch and jerk uncontrollably while his face smashes repeatedly into the ash.

“I have no idea what to do,” he cries. Suddenly like a switch had been flipped, his features contort. “You will be killed by me! Everything… you have protected,” he gurgles, blood spurting from the open wounds in his neck which widen the more he speaks. “It will be I who destroys it!”

Quickly the guilt returns, like it’s fighting against everything directly caused by his own actions. “H-Have you… really abandoned me? Will I—” he’s interrupted by chunks of flesh, blood, and bile erupting in his mouth. The mortal starts crawling as his body continues deteriorating. “Ever be forgiven… by you?”

His vision had long-since failed, his movement gradually waning. His malicious expression weakens and the debilitated muscles in his face portray a malapropos placidity.

The last of his words come as dying whispers. “I w-will… kill… I swear it…”

Exhausted and forced past their limit, the remaining pieces of his stubborn new form finally still in a demeaning clump. “You… selfish… god.” His lips twitch once, then he sinks slowly into the sea of ash.



“Brother! Brother!” A teenager’s feet thrum the earth. He runs with an air of excitement around him, the way he usually tends to do on these types of days, when the weather is soporific and pleasant.

A young man clothed in loose fabric stands at the crest of a short hill, overlooking the world with a second person, the same age, at his shoulder. The two turn when the boy struggles to a sudden halt, tripping over his own feet and tumbling to the ground. Hastily, he rushes to a stand and winces, rotating his palm to scowl at the fresh cut, even though the skin is already mending itself.

The men greet him with stares that contrast each other’s. “He returns,” sniffs the second, his tone vaguely sour. His complexion is light-brown and dressed by thin white silk that drapes off his firm shoulders and curves away from the center of his chest. He wears golden jewelry—cuffs that adorn his neck and wind up his arms.

“Abèloth,” the first person welcomes, interrupting the glares being traded.

The boy’s attention shifts to the one he’d come to see. “Brother,” Abèloth smiles. He offers a short, respectful bow of his head but ignores the other male.

“Acknowledge me formally,” the second one instantly demands, his amber eyes narrowed bitterly. When the child refuses still, the stern immortal purses his lips. He straightens his posture and lifts an arm with jingling bracelets as he quietly puts a hand to the other adult’s shoulder. “Kostas, I will find you again after you speak with this rogue.”

Then he leaves; his long, feathery brown hair ruffled by the day’s easy wind. Abèloth doesn’t miss how his brother’s gaze follows the brunet—the way it always does, and with the same restraint that his friend also practices.

The older god looks back, his chin tilting down slightly to the angle of the boy’s face. Kostas is quite enchanting because his features are gentle like a woman’s. He and Abèloth share a strong resemblance to each other—soft snowy hair that reaches their waists and healthy alabaster skin; however Kostas’ eyes are benign and a sweet scarlet color, while Abèloth’s are pitch-black and shaped sharply.

A brief silence passes. The child’s expression tightens distastefully. “Brother likes him more than anyone.”

Kostas’ stoic nature is unchanging. “Your implications are amiss,” he murmurs.

“Ah, that’s right.” The teenager’s demeanor changes, his face darkening and his cheery tone replaced by an indescribable virulent one. “But not more than the humans.”

It was something Abèloth could not understand: the harmony between those who are immortal and those who are not—why the gods so dearly love the human race. It’s maddening that the mortals try to foster equality, as if the inferior pests are claiming to rival the significance of their gods.

Humans think we are weak.

“Yes, not more than them.” The boy blinks from his thoughts when the slim young man lowers himself to kneel in the grass. Kostas’ lips are smoothed into a tender smile, and his brows are knitted somewhat. Pale hands extend from his trailing white sleeves and affably cup the younger’s cheeks.

“I believe in their benevolence, as should you. The gods were given power to share it with those who were not born with such a gift—to heal them, and to guide them.” Kostas’ eyes are unfathomably warm, long strands of hair falling from where they were tucked behind his ear. “They are vastly important to us, because in their words and actions, everything is a reminder that we were given the chance to live, too.”

You are wrong again.

The older god rises to a stand, brushing aside those stray pieces and wading through the lush grass. Abèloth’s attention is plastered to the back of his brother’s head.

We were given the power to control, and to eradicate. Humans have made you dependent. I will rid of them, so that their “equality” can threaten no further the initial fate of their gods.

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