Sentience

With the threat of world-wide bio-terrorism on the horizon, the Earth’s population is at a loss of what to do. When the leading company of Artificial Intelligence development, SynthTech, steps forward with a plan to preserve the human race, the world is thrown in for a spin. Ashley Chabris is just one of many humans thrown in for this loop, but she finds herself making an unlikely ally that changes her perspective on the situation.

In the world post bio-terrorism, AI are the only beings that roam the Earth, with humanity stuck within their own minds. Yet when Valerie Iskuulka finds herself monitoring humans, she finds interest in their personalities and functions. With more research, she begins to ponder the consequences of awakening those who were once her masters. And as such, she finds herself drawn into a battle facing foes she never expected.

Incarnate

The town of Cambrian is known for little more than its gorgeous scenery and quaint, small-town-feel. When James Caulfield is drawn there for photography work, he doesn’t expect to stay for long. Yet much like several lost souls before him, he is chained there for reasons unidentifiable by him. When meeting writer Alaina Gryphon, James is drawn even deeper into the allure of the town, and together the pair begins to piece together the questionable history and secrets of its people. They soon find out, however, that many in Cambrian have been residents of it for longer than they’ve been aware.

 

Once known as The Reborn Souls.

 

Footprints in the Snow

There are footprints in the snow.
They are larger than my own.
I think it to be fun, jumping from print to print.
Following behind.
Never giving thought to making prints of my own.

There are footprints in the snow.
They are straighter than my own.
I think it to be helpful, following in them.
I will be safe.
Why should I ruin the snow with prints of my own?

There are footprints in the snow.
I see now that they are scattered, hesitant, and the same size as mine.
It is no longer fun. It is no longer safe.
I am scared.
I don’t know how to make prints of my own.

There are footprints in the snow.
I am tied to them.
Always walking in your prints.
Always walking in your shadow.
I try to break free,
And then my feet grow cold.
Suddenly I am stuck in your prints once more.

I need to break free.
I need to make myself leave
Those safe, familiar, unsteady footprints that are buried in the snow.

Puzzle Piece

I am a puzzle piece that fell in the wrong box
I have connecting pieces, I have a spot
I have a hole that I have left behind,
Or one that I’m destined to fill.
But for now I am here with these other pieces,
With someone trying desperately to push me in
But I do not fit, it is clear as day.
Still, it is forced upon me anyway.

Memories

Sitting on the balcony, looking over the edge, I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty. I had lived here since I was a child, and still the endless expanse of cloud and sky with islands of stunning architecture scattered throughout left me mesmerized.

Mind you, I suppose any floating city would be considered mesmerizing.

Floating city…why should any city float? Why should they not be grounded along with the rest?

I turned to share this train of thought with him.

That was before I remembered that he wasn’t there.

No, he had left. He went to float while I remained grounded.

 

I could still remember the concoction of emotions that flooded me when he announced his disappearance. Disappointment, fear, loneliness, betrayal …yet no shock. Somehow, I knew that this boy I had known since we were both 6 years old was destined for greatness.

Somehow, I knew that I would get left behind.

 

I remember him leaving. Burning determination in his eyes was found mixed in with the shinning excitement of the brown disks. Wrapped in the fuzzy blue cloak I had fashioned for him the moment I heard of his impending disappearance.

There wasn’t a hint of regret in his eyes. No hint of sorrow.

 

I shouldn’t have wanted there to be one. But I did.

 

He doesn’t miss me at all. He wouldn’t. I know that now.

 

I had heard nothing from him. Nothing of him…no. It’s like I never existed in his life.

But he certainly still existed in mine.

 

As I practice my abilities, I hear his words of teasing and encouragement.

As I read, I feel his warmth beside me as we ponder in silence.

As I sleep, I feel the weight of loneliness on my chest, suffocating me.

 

And as I sit here, looking out over the edge of one of the floating islands of Dalaran, absentmindedly tracing the lidless eye that was seared into my forearm, I see nothing but him in my minds eye.

 

If he were dead, would I know?

No…No I’m sure I wouldn’t. After all, I’m forgotten. A ghost. No, a ghost is something.

I’m nothing.

Breathe

Breathe. Just breathe.

In and out.

You are going to be okay.

You are safe. You are fine. No one is going to take you.

It’s only dark, and late, and you’re alone and vulnerable, in a sketchy part on the outskirts of town, in a creaking old house.

            In fact, why should you be worried that an unrecognizable car just pulled up on your usually abandoned street, stopped directly outside of your house for a few minutes, and then drove off? What’s abnormal about that?

 

My heartrate is picking up, the thoughts continuing to swirl rapidly in your head.

 

Breathe in. Breathe out.

            You are going to be okay.

            You are freaking out for no reason.
You don’t need to contact anyone.

 

A creak sounded through the house, followed by a loud bang, and my heart raced faster as I shot to check the windows, instinctively unlocking my cell phone.

 

            Emma. I need Emma. I need to talk to her, she can calm me down.

           

No. No, you’re okay. There’s no one outside. No sign of the car.

 

I paced around the house for a moment before lying in bed, the lights off and the house silent, a faint, calming glow coming from the one street lamp outside.

My eyes started to drift shut, my heart started to slow down.

 

Breathe in, breathe out. You’re okay. Everything’s fine. You can sleep now-

 

A rustling sound occurred, followed by what sounded like the click of the deadbolt lock on the front door.

I shot up from bed with my phone in hand once again, checking the door and the windows with my heart pounding.

 

Nothing.

 

No car. No creepy stalker planning to tie you up and rape you. No one planning to shoot you and raid your home. No psychopath or sexual sadist at your door after stalking you for several days and learning our patterns and knowing that there’s no one in or around your home to protect you.

You watch too many crime shows and horror movies.

Breathe in, breathe out. You’re okay.

 

Still, my fingers are itching for my phone. I need Emma around. She’s stronger than me; she can protect me.

 

Breathe deeply. You’re okay.

 

I grab my favourite blanket and wrap it around my shoulders, deciding to fix myself a cup of tea. Chamomile, soothing and warm. It should send me right off.

The house creaked again, twice, like footsteps. I thought I heard a car engine. My heart pounds.

The kettle is now boiling.

 

 

I cracked, turning on my phone and selecting my messages.

“Hey. Are you awake? I’m freaking out.”

I set my phone down and began staring out the window, directly at the spot where the car had parked before. I wasn’t sure why it was bothering me so much, the car being parked there before. It was probably just someone who had to pull over to take a call or send a text.

Or a drunken maniac who was going to break in through the window-

 

Breathe. You’re okay. You just need to breathe.

 

The heater kicked on at the same time my phone went off, causing me to jump about a foot.

“Are you okay?” was the response.

“No. I’m pathetic. I don’t know why this is happening. A car stopped outside a few hours ago and it hasn’t come back but I’m really scared.”

“I’m coming over. Just wait.”

“You don’t have too. I’m really sorry.”

“Don’t be. It’s ok. I’ll be there soon.”

“Sorry.”

 

My mind was soothed for a moment, my pulse normal and my chest warm as I felt hints of fatigue creeping into my mind.

 

*Creak*

 

My heart pounds again.

Is this anxiety? I’m not sure. I’ve had nights like this before, nights where the sounds keep me up and I struggle to calm down and close my eyes. But it’s never been this intense before, never this irrational. It’s never kept me up past 2 am, never driven me to ask someone to keep me company. I could have always managed by myself.

And now I feel more pathetic than ever. A grown woman who can’t even handle a night alone. Who needs to call her girlfriend to protect her from a nonexistent threat.

Pathetic.

Still, you just need to breathe. She’ll be here soon. She’ll-

 

*KNOCK KNOCK*

 

My heart stopped for a moment, and once again I crept towards the window.

This time, I saw a car.

A familiar, homely, beautiful yellow car.

“Emma,” I breathed, running to the door.

The minute it opened I was wrapped in an embrace, the familiar scent of her shampoo washing over me as she held me tightly.

“Are you okay?” she questioned.

“I’m better now,” I said shakily, my voice thick with tears.

“Did the car come back?”

“N-No.” Breathe. “I don’t know why I’m so worked up about this. And I just made you drive incredibly late at night for a dumb reason and I’m so sorry-“

A peck of her lips cut me off before she pulled me back into a hug.

“It’s okay. You’re going to finish your tea, and then we’re going to go to bed, alright? You’re safe now. You’re okay. You just need to breathe. You’re okay.”

 

And I could finally breathe now. It was simple again, effortless. Emma was like air to me. My personal savior sent to whisk me away from the hell I was living in. Even if that hell was my own mind.

We were curled up together in my room now, legs entwined and our hands linked.

It was silent finally, the house no longer creaking, the darkness no longer drowning me.

 

I could finally breathe.

 

“This can’t keep happening,” I heard myself say quietly. “You can’t keep driving over every time I have an attack.”

“Yes I can,” she argued lightly, but you cut her off.

“No, Em, it’s not fair on you.”

“I love you, of course I can,” she countered.

It was silent.

 

Breathe.

 

“Listen…what if I…” her voice trailed off, before coming back stronger. “What if I moved in?”

My heart picked up once again, for different reasons.

 

Breathe.

 

“You…you want to…what?”

“Move in,” she repeated, more firmly. “With you, if you want. We could spend more time together…and I could protect you.”

I started to process this.

“I’d love that,” I say quietly, smiling brightly at her. My Savior. “I love you.”

She smiled down at me. “Love you too. Goodnight.”

“Night.”

Finally, I slept.
Finally, I breathed.