Short Stories


I can see the life leave you.

You died for nothing.


I’m coming. Like a storm.

You had to know it would be me. Don’t pretend you didn’t; that’ll make it harder for both you and me. I’ll see the truth in your eyes.

Hong Kong is made for hiding, and that’s where you go: to a city old and new, crowded with humans and garbage and cars in equal measure, dark alleys and narrow doors and forgotten spots underground where you try to slide between the breath of the dead and lost cracking artifacts of power, but you can’t. You can’t because I can feel your storm-funnel from any distance, and I will find you.

Why did you do this?

The humans have a good chance of spotting you here. Maybe that’s why you chose it: after all, three hours ago, you ripped out a little girl’s throat in broad blazing daylight, and you did it making sure the humans saw. You killed on fecking Facebook Live. You even chose a white girl so their media would care, and you did it all so they would see.

You knew what came next. You knew I came next.

You ass. I could catch you quick, but I won’t. I’ll just chase you for a while. Let you remember how it feels to be prey. You earned it.

I’ve decided: I don’t care what your reason was anymore. You and me, we played and argued and made up in glorious wreckage for six hundred years, fought and loved and teased and hunted for six centuries. You and me we were the good thing: the twin tornadoes, transforming topography whenever we touched down, and now—

And now you threw it all away in some stupid protest murder. As if that would change anything. As if by taking life, young and helpless life, you prove anything to anybody.

I might ask you: did you think he would send someone else just because you’re mine?

I am his knife. I strike hard, deep, and only once.

Yes, he asked if I were willing. I was. Because when you did this, you didn’t do it to him. You did it to me.

I will catch you by the sea.

I will end your life in the shallows of places that remind you of times when your squall was small and weak and mortal, times when I found you and raged you into a tempest.

I tell you this, as well: when I am done, I will wash your blood off my hands before it can flake away to ash. I will replace you with oil and brine and engine-chemicals in the polluted, filthy bay, and I will turn my back on all that is left of you before your body finishes disintegration.

I will see the life leave you. You died for nothing.

Damn you for forcing this.

Damn you and your dying storm.

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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