Into Dust

I don’t know when the dust first came. If things were different there’d probably be an army of scientists working it out… people stringing together incomprehensible data points and painstakingly gluing tiny bits of data to each other. Then would have come the cynics and doubters and deniers. Well, when I think about it that way, maybe everything would be ending up the same anyway. So, in that case, who cares?

But as it really unfolded, as far as I could tell, I was the only one who could see it.

It simply came to be that one day, I noticed something strange. Like when you’re cooking and something starts to burn just a little bit and it takes you a moment to figure out why something in the room looks a little off.

My husband couldn’t see it. There wasn’t anything burning.

I’d had floaters and things before. Things in my eyes. So I was a little worried about that, but not too worried. Not worried enough to get it checked out until a couple days later.

I was getting old, my left retina was starting to detach. Just a little. Nothing to worry about. Not the cause of the haze or the dust. Maybe it would clear up on it’s own, or I’d have to see the other kind of eye doctor. The one that isn’t at the malls. Maybe a neurologist, if it wasn’t that.

I was afraid, so I didn’t go. Silly of me, but I really couldn’t decide if some kind of brain tumor or eye problem was worse. They aren’t really equivalent problems, but the surgeries I would imagine for either and their potential catastrophes were still then too frightening for any calm, logical, rational decision.

In a few weeks, I would have. Once I’d calmed down. In a normal, sane world I would have had that leisure.

The dust didn’t wait that long.

That, too, I didn’t realize right away.

By the time I made an appointment, the death tolls were…

People. Nature. They were getting angrier. More wild.

But it was harder for me to see it.

People, trees, animals, buildings… they began to disappear.

I was the only one who could see it.


Before the end, I was still pretending everything was normal, that it was just my eyes.

I was watching a ferris wheel, the people riding up and down, up and down. I held on to my husband, who was barely there. I could see them, in the baskets. The dust covered everything but for just a moment in the breeze, when they were up high and right before they plunged back down, I could see them realize and begin to scream.

Nightmare Fuel 2017, Day 1

When We Make Our Own Traps

Instead of whining about how I don’t have a better tablet, I finally decided to sit down and just start using my cheapo Windows 10 tablet for art.

Isn’t it funny how we tell ourselves we need this or that special thing and if only we had that we would suddenly become more talented? I think most of us realize that, but it is easy to slip into that kind of thinking and just wallow and whine instead of actually getting better at something.

SPOILER ALERT: I’m totally guilty of this all the time.

It’s a huge time waster, self-confidence destroyer, and wallet-emptier.

I promise myself to let it go. At least a little bit.

headshot of young blue dragon, digital art

Robots don’t care

I find it pretty much impossible to think about robots without thinking about AI and about all the speculations about the Singularity or this and that. Of course, we are all familiar with ideas of robots and AI either being unfeeling, uncaring, human-destroying psychopaths or the benevolent and servile to humanity AI. But these both seem to imply some sort of thought process based in our own biology.

What if intelligence that isn’t backed by billions of years of reproductive and self-preservation instinct just doesn’t care at all if it lives or dies or has a purpose or not?


“I really hate it when you yawn like that.”

“I can’t help it.” The ghost whined. “And it’s not yawning, it’s moaning.”

I rolled my eyes and looked back down at my phone. In a few moments I was giggling at some meme of a bird in a towel on Facebook.

“Why don’t you love me anymore?” He whined. “You’re always just putting me down these days. Why can’t we have fun anymore.”

“I already told you Beebles,” I sighed, distracted. “I’m not a little kid anymore.”


“No buts!” I set my phone down hard, but carefully. I stared the sheet-covered apparition in the eye. “You know you’re overdue to go. You had a good little stint all these years, pretending to be my imaginary friend… but that’s over now. I’m grown up, I know the truth, and it’s time for you to move on!”

Beebles— God knew what his real name was— just stared at me quietly for a moment. Then, he began to hum the tune to Sesame Street.

I sighed, again, and went back to Facebook. I wondered if he’d been this much of a creeper when he was alive.

Nightmare Fuel 2016, Day 23

No Good Treats Are Cheap

It’s not that I mind the real monsters that show up at the door for Trick or Treating, it’s getting what they want that is hard. Don’t have fresh worms, organs (none of that frozen supermarket stuff), or even blood? Forget about it. You’re gonna get teepee’d.

Except, when a ghost does it, maybe it’s an actual curse. Or with a vampire, maybe your sister starts getting a night-time visitor… that sort of thing.

God, I want people to stop whining about allergy-free treats. Seriously, it’s not hard to pick up a cheap pack of temporary tattoos or cheapo Chinese slinkies or something to hand out. And it certainly isn’t illegal. And no, you don’t gotta hand out crappy bags of raisins or apples or something. You don’t gotta leave your porch light on at all.

There’s a reason why I have so many bruises, and there’s a reason why there are so many missing kids in my town. And no, that locked basement pit, the jaw clamps, the butcher’s apron and the nice knives and saws and mason jars… they weren’t cheap. Ok, ok, the jars were cheap. But it adds up.

So quit your bitchin’.

Nightmare Fuel 2016, Day 22

Can’t Unsee Them

They show that trope in movies where like, you know, the kid can see ghosts and spirits and whatever but the adults see nothing or an animal. You know what I mean. Because kids are pure or spiritual or innocent or something. I sure as fuck don’t know.

What I do know, is that I’m well into my teens and I still see this shit. Sure as fuck I’m not pure, though. And I got clever real fast about keeping my mouth shut.

It’s hard sometimes, let me tell you. I mean, you can imagine some of the shit I see… monsters that do live in the closet, or in the basement or graveyard. It’s hard to keep friends if you get too enthusiastic about trying to stab that thing you see riding their back.

And sometimes you see the most absurd things, things that make you want to cry and laugh at the same time. Just the other day I saw the neighbors’ beat up old pickup truck roll back into their driveway. Looked like they and their friend’s got some of those mountain doves on their hunting trip, a big ol’ pile of them.

For small birds, one of the easiest, laziest ways to eat them is to “breast” them. What you do is, rip the feathers of the breast, enough to get to the skin. Tear the skin back until the breast muscle is good and exposed. Then, you put it on the ground, stand on the head and tail and get your finger under the sternum on both ends and pull upward… it’ll take that whole breast and bone right out along with the wings which you can just cut off at that point. Bam, clean easy meat. People like it because it’s fast, easy and you don’t waste time on the tiny bits of meat on the game birds.

So, imagine when I see these good unknowing Godly folk doing this to their daily quota out in the yard, having a beer and getting the grill going… and about five birds in I see and honest to goodness little angel in there.

And let me tell you something. They don’t die that easy. It was stunned, maybe. Recovering, maybe. Probably not dead.

Well, at least up to the point where they tossed that boney breast on the grill. I’m pretty sure it was dead at that point. I didn’t want to be caught staring, so I didn’t look close to be sure.

Nightmare Fuel 2016, Day 21

Don’t You Wonder…?

Don’t you wonder where they go
The men and women of religions gone
The stark reality is a harsh blow
A cruel chance of birth they’d drawn

In Hell they wait, for you and woe
And even in the end, ultimate truth is not for you or they to know.

Nightmare Fuel 2016, Day 20


Little Susie loved to play with dolls. Big dolls, little dolls, ceramic dolls, cloth dolls… all sorts of dolls. She was nothing like me when I was little, I liked Trucks and He-man and all that. She was so different from me, and although that made it tough (after all, 31 was a ripe old age to be learning about make-up and braiding hair), I loved her more than anything.

Her favorite doll was a little cloth one, looked like a sack puppet, with little mismatched button eyes. He was just some scraggly thing she saw at a garage sale… probably some other kid’s sewing project that got mixed in with the store bought stuffies. And she loved it, brought it everywhere with her.

I still have it, now that she is gone.

Well, she isn’t really gone.

I hold the doll, I cuddle her and tell her how good she was today. She she looks up at me and smiles with her old baby teeth.

Nightmare Fuel 2016, Day 19

In Game

“Man these graphics suck!” I whined. Everything was strange and freakishly smooth.

“Dude, it’s all about the game-play.” Jason assured me. “Watch.” He walked his avatar up to one of the NPCs and shanked it. People screamed and ran.

Jason ran his character through the city, avoiding police, stabbing and shooting random people before finally collapsing in a hail of 576 megapixel bullets.

“Ehh, I’m not feeling it.” I said, tossing down the controller. “I hate these sandbox games.”

Meanwhile, the residents of a small town in Italy tried to make sense of a vicious spree of supernatural murders. The press considered it the act of a deranged video gamer who played too much Minecraft and liked Slenderman a little too much. But others, the ones that were there, they wondered.

Nightmare Fuel 2016, Day 18


The Wood cradled the monument of the Pilot-Savior. The time ship was one of the last remnants of the Old Humanity, preserved in tribute.

The Wood didn’t need to preserve it, just as it didn’t need to tolerate weather. Those were choices. The guts of the machine had long been deciphered and stored to memory and disseminated amongst the trees. Even with the best efforts of preservation, the ship was finally showing its age.

Probably, it could have lasted even longer, but the Wood had since moved on in its thinking and had decided it was time to let the ship itself disappear into history.

Probably, that was for the best. The device was the engine of the Wood’s salvation. But it was also a token of destruction.

Pilot-Savior did not agree. Even now, the ghost of his human self sat in the cockpit, stroked fingers over broken panels and the gaping holes of missing buttons. He felt confused sometimes, but not regretful.

We could do it again, he thought.

Not necessary, too dangerous, whispered the Wood. There were a few dissenters, but most were concerned about the unusual death caused by erasure of their own time-lines. You could be immortal in the Wood, as long as the Wood survived and most humans were loathe to risk their comfort and immortality.

It didn’t matter. Inside the ship there was a very special seed, growing from the Savior himself. The seeds of the Wood would fly into space, but not his. He had other futures to explore.

Nightmare Fuel 2016, Day 17