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Short Stories

Shadow Seed

Bran the Crow King, a dark and powerful being of Darkness, ruminates to his newest lover about strange and intimate things. (No spoilers.)

What an interesting question, lover. Very well. I’ll answer.

I am of the People of the Darkness, and no, we cannot reproduce among ourselves.

Oh, there are male and female Shadows, complete with complementary parts and able to cavort in any gendered configuration. No, no: the problem is a simple one of substance.

THE BIG PALOOKA (and other stories)
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We all live with borrowed substance, and we all return to that when we die. We all collapse into our essence, returning to the earth the energy we borrowed during our lives. The Sun turn to fire, the Fey turn to stone, the Ever-Dying humans turn to mulch, the Guardians turn to energy, and so forth. It’s always been this way.

We of the Darkness become dark essence, an anti-light and anti-energy, and unfortunately, that essence cannot mix with itself to create life. It’s like tinder; without the spark of life, it remains inert.

We can procreate with humans, with Fey, with the Sun, and with some Kin, but not often. When we do this, it is intentional, and we give ourselves, bleeding our own essence into this new child, and we do not truly ever get it back.

Don’t look so nervous, lover. I will not make a baby with you.

I haven’t chosen anyone yet to bear my offspring. It’s such a process. The choosing, the capturing, the convincing, the housing….

My choice must be careful. Only those offspring who show themselves to be purely of the Darkness are our own. We are not Kin, not some mixed breed. Anything not one of us is not of us. And I’d rather any child I sire actually be my child. Otherwise, it’s a waste of everyone’s time.

But never mind all that. You aren’t here for that. You’re here to enjoy the liqueur, the rare eternal night, sensuous absence of light and all its folly. You’re here to lose yourself in the pleasures which I provide and am provided. I think we’ve done that well.

I also think your visit is coming to an end, don’t you?

Farewell, simple lover. May your next pasture enjoy you more than I.

By Ruthanne Reid

Ruthanne Reid is one of those pesky fanfiction authors who made good, and thus eschews most labels. Except for being a Generation X-er (or maybe Xennial, according to some guy’s webpage), a musician who loves music but also carries a ton of baggage about it, a self-taught graphic artist who designs her own covers, a spoonie who wrestles Fibromyalgia not unlike yon Hercules and the Nemean lion, a Christian who hesitates to use the word because too many of them are crazy but Jesus is pretty great, a rabid shipper who’s too smart to lay out precisely which ships because of the wars, and an avid reader when she isn’t busy caretaking for some pretty ill folks.

You know. Unlabelable.

Currently a resident of Long Island City and a loving mommy to one current cat and numerous future ones, Ruthanne is happily married to a fellow geek who loves good stories and great games as much as she does. Between the two of them, they own a lot of things that need to be plugged in.

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