Post-mortem for “A Millennium of Shadows”

I failed to complete my previous novella, “Festerbump’s Fantasy Village”, and I didn’t even come close to completing it (I didn’t reach the turning point that I had planned). I don’t write for money, obviously, so I can only gather the strength to follow a story to its end if I find the process compelling/rewarding enough. If I’m lucky, the concept I consider for a new story will be so shitty that I won’t waste my time writing a single word of its draft. But sometimes the concept sounds good enough on paper that I pull off a few chapters until I realize that the whole thing is treading water. Abandoning a story is admitting defeat, and I hate doing so as much as most people, I guess. However, abandoning “Festerbump” wasn’t remotely as painful as giving up on “Thirty Euros”. I’m afraid that daydreams are intrinsically poor material to write fictional narratives about: not enough challenges/conflict.

By the way, if you plan to make a living writing fiction, you may as well plan your future upon the assumption that you’ll win the lottery. Even if you manage to get published by a traditional publisher (usually because you have the right connections and/or share specific opinions, mostly political ones, with the right gatekeeper), you are unlikely to earn enough money that you can avoid wasting away at a full-time job. Hell, I have a full-time job and I’d need a second person with a full-time job to start considering myself financially secure.

I’d like to go on about how the idea for this novella came to be, but this one was one of those cases in which it just happens. I snatch the spark, I daydream of an increasingly convoluted plot line and I just get to writing. But Glyca definitely came from a single inspiration; that name is just a lazy feminization of Glycon, an ancient snake god that apparently was worshipped briefly, by quite a few people, in the Roman empire during the second century. And I only learned about this minor god thanks to this great YouTube animation. I have found myself singing that song in my head randomly since I first heard it.

Of the other events in this novella, the only one I feel like elaborating on is that Duckson guy that our heroic protagonists ambush and murder. He’s based on a guy who did bad stuff to me for no good reason; the only excuse I heard was that I “denied that friendship is the most important thing in the world”. In reality, the prick was a malignant narcissist who couldn’t deal with someone who didn’t want to hang out with him anymore. He may had ended up becoming an important political figure in this country if he hadn’t crashed his car and died when he was twenty six or so. When I saw his obituary, I burst out laughing. All the problems he created, except for the damage already done, ceased immediately, which is another reminder that sometimes many of your problems would be solved if the person responsible died. Too bad about these modern thoughts about life being intrinsically valuable and all that crap. I’m old fashioned, I guess.

Anyway, I needed to write this story because I was depressed at the time, and somehow getting through this nightmare with Glyca dragged me out of it. It’s the only reason I bother to write at all. It’s not about anyone else enjoying it. And I especially don’t care about you in particular enjoying it.

Would getting fucked by Glyca’s tail feel good or great? We’ll never find out.

A Millennium of Shadows, Pt. 9 (Poetry)

We jumped from time zone to time zone.
We spent days in a freezing winter
Only to teleport to the warmest summer.
I ceased to care about how much time passed;
The calendar was put together by humans,
And our furniture was made out of their bones.

I grew to love my monstrous form.
I began to think of myself as beautiful.
My mind and body were now my own,
And I had a purpose and a reason for being.

Glyca had grown, in a word, gluttonous.
She always tried to have a corpse at hand,
And she interrupted our conversations to eat,
Tearing out large chunks of human flesh,
Then chewing and speaking at the same time.

At first, with each victim, Glyca gained strength,
But as her appetite grew, her body swelled.
We always slept in each other’s arms;
Her chest used to feel firm under my head,
As it contained muscles trained through hunting,
But now I rested my head on a cushion of fat.

Glyca’s mood swings worried me the most.
She would be so happy and excited one day,
Only to turn moody and taciturn the next.
Glyca knew how to read, which surprised me,
And had grown to enjoy my books and mangas,
But once I saw that she cried softly as she read,
Then she tore out pages and chewed on them.

I was terrified to bring up the changes.
I never believed I deserve to be loved
By anyone, let alone a goddess like Glyca.
Now that she was forced to share her space,
Had she gotten tired of my insufficient self?
Was she embarrassed of my baby dick?
I couldn’t deal if she fell out of love with me.

I struggled through waking nightmares
In which I faced a vision of my Glyca
That, yelling, told me that I wasn’t worth it;
I wasn’t strong nor fast enough,
I was a useless parasite,
A burden on her, who deserved far better.
She said that I was too stupid to survive,
And that I should just give up and die.
In my visions, I begged her to eat me;
At least I wished for my worthless flesh
To serve my beloved girl as nourishment.

Some weeks, Glyca’s mood swayed back
And she became so passionate and loving
That I could hardly keep her tail off my ass.
When she came, it was like an explosion;
Violent and painful, but also sweet.
Her seed would shoot out in a thick stream,
And I’d swallow it down eagerly, like a sponge.
But even then, I caught her glancing at me
As if a terminal illness would end my life.

For a routine hunt, Glyca teleported us
To a tiny town somewhere in the Middle East.
The dozens of villagers lived in houses
Made out of mud bricks and straw roofs.
The men’s faces were covered with stubble.
They wore colorful robes and sandals,
And they seemed to deal mostly in goats.

As we hid in the shadows, before the kill,
Glyca shot me a pained, hollow look
As if she had realized all was meaningless.
I was shocked, and trembled from head to toe.

Glyca teleported away from the shadows.
Seconds later, I heard isolated, terrified shrieks
That were cut short suddenly as the victim died.
When a thick silence fell upon the village,
I finally dared to venture out of my hiding place.

I located Glyca in the middle of the village;
The moonlight gleamed on her bloodied scales
As she sat on the dirt, surrounded by corpses
Of the men, women, and children of the village.
Glyca’s black eyes were glazed and vacant
As she chewed calmly on someone’s heart.

I couldn’t tell how many months had passed,
But Glyca had ballooned to an enormous size.
She always stank of rotting meat and sweat.
At home, she often lost pieces of half-eaten flesh
Only to find them caught between her folds.
But sleeping in her arms was like sinking softly
Into a huge pillow covered in soft sequins,
So every night I felt that her obesity was worth it.

Our best times, now past, made me cry;
Back then I woke up and she kissed me all over,
Then she caressed me with her sharp claws,
And sometimes she sang to me in a throaty voice.

Her gloominess got too heavy to carry,
But Glyca reached a turning point with herself
During one hunt, when she failed to kill someone
Because she had to stop and catch her breath.
Afterwards, it’s like she knew she was done,
As if life didn’t hold any interest anymore,
And for days she refused to leave our cave.
She lay on her side as she stared into space
And listened to the wind blow through the trees.

My heart hurts watching my Glyca like this,
Slumped in a corner like a deflating balloon.
A tear runs down my face, and I understand
That I’ll have to hear some painful truths.

I take a shiv and cut open my arm.
Blood oozes out onto some bones.
I watch as the red liquid flows freely.
It feels good, and it gives me courage.

I wring my hands as I approach my Glyca.
I step on a skull by mistake, and it cracks.
Glyca raises her face. Her eyes are teary.
I kneel next to her and I kiss her forehead.

“My love, I couldn’t help but notice
That you’ve gotten a little chunky.”
Glyca purses her lips, then bursts into tears.
She sobs like a child until I calm her down.

“If you are sick of me, that’s alright,”
I dare to say, although my voice trembles,
“I’ll just move out, get out of your way.”
Glyca shakes her head and hugs me tightly.
“Don’t say that! You are the love of my life!
I can’t bear the thought of losing you!”

I wipe the snot that’s running down my nose.
“You have grown so big, and so depressed,
But nothing I do seems to make you happy.
Your sadness courses through my bones.
I am dying inside. I don’t know how to help you.
Please tell me what’s wrong. Please let me fix it.”

Glyca’s eyes look like two dark holes.
“Oh, my boy! Please, forgive me!
I’m sorry for making you worry about me.
I’m not despairing because I don’t want you,
It’s just the opposite, and that’s the problem!”

I don’t understand, and Glyca continues,
But she can barely speak through the tears.
“I’ve lived for thousands of years, you know?
I was born in a cave in a frozen wasteland.
I remember how the winds blew fiercely
And the sky seemed filled with ice.
I grew up in a pitch black darkness.
For so long, I lived a life without light.

Nature forces cycles of hibernation upon me.
Whenever I woke up from those long slumbers,
I wondered what was the point of bothering.
Wouldn’t it be better to disappear in dreams
Until my bloated body consumed itself to bones?
For what purpose would I hunt and kill again
If I would have to endure this darkness by myself?

I’ve been alone for longer than empires have existed.
The last time I saw another of my own kind,
Humans still fought with swords and shields.
I had given up long ago, I knew I’d die alone.
No matter how many millennia I came to live,
Nobody would ever love someone like me.”

I hug Glyca tight, and I feel her body heat up.
We hold each other as she cries on my shoulder.
“You mean that you’ll need to hibernate soon,”
I say in a thin voice, which ends up breaking.
Glyca nods. She wipes her eyes.
“I’m sorry, my love. I should have told you,
But I was terrified of saying it out loud.”

“I want to tell you to just resist it,” I say,
“But I assume that wouldn’t be possible.”
Glyca tries to speak, but she chokes up.
A bit later, she manages to push words out.
“It’d be like you trying to stay awake forever.
After a few days, you’d just pass out,
Except that in my case, when I finally woke up,
You’d be long, long gone, my boy.”

My heart hurts like never before.
I’m so sad I can barely breathe.
I pull away to look at Glyca’s face,
Then I kiss her eyelids and cheeks.

“I wish you could also live forever,”
Glyca says as her shoulders tremble,
“Just the two of us, and be together,
So we would sleep, hunt, and kill,
And satisfy all of our hungers.
We’d hibernate together for centuries,
Then we’d finally wake up hungry again.
We’d get to hold and love each other
Until the day we watched the world die.”

I don’t know how much time we spend
Just holding each other tightly,
As if the other would merely vanish
The moment we loosened our embrace.

I try to force my mouth to move,
But my lips refuse to form any sound.
It feels like my brain has been replaced
With a large lump of molten lead.

Glyca takes a deep breath and pulls away.
When she stares at me from up close,
Her black eyes are filled with determination.
“Nature put in my kind a way to interrupt it,
Our centuries of hibernation, I mean,
So we could feel each other again soon,
Even if it would be… for a short while.”

Glyca looks down, and her eyes drop tears.
Afraid of what may come, I hold my breath,
But when my love looks up at me again,
She smiles like she found a good solution.

“For the longest time, I was totally sure
That having children would never be for me.
But you are the one, you are the only one
That I’d ever love and who’d love me back.”

I hadn’t imagined that anyone would want me
To the extent of wanting to procreate.
I am happy, and my heart beats faster.
I caress the scales of Glyca’s huge, bulging belly.

“Of course I’ll have children with you, my love.
Even if my tiny dick can’t penetrate deep enough,
I’m sure I’ll manage to shoot my cum inside,
And if I’m actually fertile, I’ll impregnate you.”

Glyca gifts me an understanding smile.
She shakes her head, kisses my lips,
Then places her hand on my chest.
“You’d be the one to bear our children.
I’ll penetrate you much deeper than before,
And I’ll keep pumping you full of my seed.”

I’m speechless and confused.
Glyca knows for sure that I lack a womb,
But she’s confident that this would work.
When I hold her gaze again, I catch
A wordless meaning to that pained stare.
Having children together requires a sacrifice.

My body isn’t built to gestate any babies;
The process will tear me apart from the inside.
But as I consider that prospect, my shoulders relax.
For Glyca, I would endure any amount of pain,
And if the gestation kills me, then so be it.

I never understood why I had to endure this life,
But this is a purpose that I can believe in;
If I can make Glyca’s kind prosper again,
Then I will have done my one good deed.

I smile softly, then I kiss Glyca’s lips.
“Of course I will carry your babies.
You are my whole world, Glyca.”
She nods as her eyes fill with tears,
Then she throws her arms around me.
For a while, Glyca weeps unrestrainedly.

We shared a final night under the myriad of stars,
Lying on the grass, peering through the canopy.
I said goodbye to my books and manga series,
I said goodbye to Glyca’s bone furniture.

Glyca clarified that we would move somewhere else.
The conception, gestation and childbirth
Was a troublesome process for her ancient species,
And it would require my full, constant cooperation.

“I’ll be helpless the whole way through, my boy,”
Glyca said as she caressed my naked chest.
“If you wanted, you could just bite off my tongues
Or struggle enough to wrench yourself free.”

Glyca senses that she may pass out soon,
So she finally teleports us away to her nest.
I find myself sinking in plump pillows.
I’m submerged in darkness so thick and black
As if the light had never touched this place.
The air is cool, and it smells like moist minerals.
The sounds of our breaths are echoed back.
We are inside a cramped space with thick walls.

I’m suddenly overwhelmed with claustrophobia,
But Glyca’s fat arms are embracing me tightly,
And her swollen belly presses against my skin.
I feel like I’m floating safely in warm gelatin.

“W-where are we, Glyca?” I ask.
She sniffles, then kisses my neck.
“Deep underground, in my nest,
Where I’ve returned to hibernate
Whenever I was forced to repeat it.
It’s a tiny cave inaccessible for people,
But the oxygen comes in through fissures
Barely big enough to let some insects pass.”

“Is the ground covered in pillows?”
“That’s right, my boy, very old ones
That I had collected to sleep comfortably,
And they’ll hold you lovingly too
Through the very long period of gestation.”

Glyca can’t help but burst into tears.
I kiss her deeply, and we make out
For a few minutes before we are done.
“Make me pregnant, Glyca,” I say,
“Before you simply pass out
And I’ll have to grow old and die alone.”

Glyca’s tears wet my cheeks.
“I love you so much, my boy.”
A wave of sadness washes over me.
“And I will always love you, Glyca.”

After she takes a deep breath,
She slides her two tongues into my mouth.
One of her hands grips my ass cheek
To expose my mostly loose asshole.
I shudder warmly, and my dick twitches.
The tip of her tail lubricates my hole,
And it only needs to push once to enter.

Her tail glides further inside me
While both of her tongues slide
Down my throat and then diverge;
Her feeding tongue goes into my esophagus,
And the tube-like one pushes into my trachea.

I risk gagging, but I take a deep breath.
My lungs expand with Glyca’s oxygen,
And I feel the pleasure of her nectar flowing
And coating my esophagus on its way down.
Soon, its sedative, hypnotic properties will kick in.
Cause and effect, and time, will become meaningless.
My mind will sink slowly in swirly daydreams.

My toes are curling, my breath becomes ragged
As Glyca’s tail slides deeper and deeper inside,
Way past my rectum, deep in my large intestine.
She’s ventured beyond where she usually came.
Once the tail reaches some sort of end,
I feel it maneuvering to enter another tract,
Likely the bunched folds of the small intestine.

My stomach is filling up with Glyca’s nectar,
Which is already making me delirious.
Glyca’s tight embrace, and her throbbing tail
Are causing tingles to course throughout me.
I can’t imagine a more perfect, wholesome life
Than one with her tail snaking in my insides.

I’m breathing heavily as my body gets hotter.
I can’t tell how much time has passed already.
Glyca’s tail pushes millimeter by millimeter,
As if she feared perforating my intestines.

My eyes roll back, and my head is spinning.
I feel like I’m floating on a cloud of nectar.
My thoughts are hazy and confused.
I can’t remember what I ever said or did,
I just know that I want to stay here forever.

I dream of Glyca’s round, soft breasts.
I fondle them, I rub my face against them.
I can feel her heart pounding
As I lick and suck on her round nipples.

The hypnagogic currents are carrying me,
But I feel the pressure of Glyca’s bulbous tip
As it pushes against some entrance located
A few centimeters lower than my chest.
The tip of her tail suddenly plops in,
And Glyca stirs and groans in her sleep.

She’s shivering and tensing up;
She must be ejaculating inside me.
I get an image of my stomach filling up
With her loads of white, snakey cum,
Which dilutes in the pool of nectar.

I feel how Glyca falls into a deeper sleep,
But thankfully leaves her tail sheathed.
Our offspring are beginning to develop,
And one day they’ll burst from inside me
So I can die a happy man.

I look down and see my tiny penis
As it winks in the light of the sun.
I feel the sunlight on my skin,
And I hear birds chirping all around me.

I don’t have to worry about anything,
Because I am with my love.
Glyca is naked, and her hair is long.
Her claws are painted pink.
Her pussy is shaved clean,
And it smells like strawberries.

“Look at your penis, Glyca,”
I say to my love. “It’s so huge!”
She strokes my head and laughs.
“You’re such a silly boy! Your tiny penis
Is perfectly normal, don’t worry.”
“And you have beautiful breasts, Glyca.
Your full, firm tits are really nice.”
“You’re such a sweetheart.”
“Can I touch them?”
“Of course, my boy. They’re yours.”
“They’re very big and heavy.
I can’t even fit them in my mouth!”
“That’s because I’ve got a fat belly,
That’s why my boobs are so big.
Come on, give them a squeeze.
You’ll see how much milk I produce.”

I feel her nipples harden under my palms.
I run my fingers over the ridges of her areolas.
“Mmm, yes, these are real beauties,” I say,
“I can feel how they swell up when I do that.
I’m a good little boy who loves mommy’s breasts.”
“I’m glad you like them, my sweet boy,
But you’re still too young to have kids.
You can’t get pregnant until your eggs are mature.”

I fondle her huge breasts, I squeeze them
As I swallow gallons of Glyca’s milk-cum.
I’m so proud of my monstrous offspring.
They keep growing happily inside me.
I feel them wriggling and squirming,
And how they kick with their tiny feet.

I’m so happy that I was able to give birth to them.
I’m so glad that they were born inside me.
I’m so proud that I had the strength to carry them.
I’m so lucky that I could care for them.

I find my father lying unconscious
On the living room couch, covered in vomit,
Surrounded by empty bottles of whisky.
His head lolls back and forth
As I hurry to call an ambulance.

The paramedics arrive at the scene.
When they lift my father’s shirt,
There’s a hideous scar over his heart.
They get busy applying CPR to revive him.

In between bouts of vomiting,
My old man mumbles incoherences.
“Your mom hates me.
They took everything from me.
Leave me alone.”

The paramedics continue pumping
Life support machines into his chest.
My father raises a trembling hand
As he smiles at a phantasm.
“Yes, I’d love to dance with you.”

My mother shakes her head slowly
As she glares down from her throne.
“What the fuck have you done now?
I can’t believe that you’re going to be a father.
You’ve always been such a weakling.
You’re nothing but a useless loser,
A hideous and insane monster.
Why can’t you just let go of your pathetic life?
I bet you wish you were never born.”

I’m alone in this world,
Alone with no one to turn to.
My only hope is that my unborn children
Will live and grow strong.

My esophagus burns. I need to vomit.
I’m palms are sinking into a huge pillow.
A solid, wriggling ball is pushing out,
Escaping my body through my throat.

I feel Glyca’s hand rubbing my back
As she holds me by the chest.
“That’s it, my boy, you’re doing great,”
She whispers through the copious tears.
“Just a few more contractions,
And then the little one will pop out.”

My mouth leaks warm saliva like a faucet.
I groan as my throat gets stretched.
It hurts so much, I fear I’m going to pass out.
Once the living ball brushes my uvula,
My spine shakes and I projectile vomit.
I cough and gag. I try to clear my throat,
But I feel another ball pushing out,
Desperate to escape from my stomach.

Glyca’s weight shifts around in the pillows.
She manages to whisper between sobs.
“Our first child, our beautiful daughter.
Keep pushing, my boy, there are more.”

My bowels are loosening,
My bladder is emptying itself.
Tears are jumping from my eyes
As the big ball of another daughter
Stretches out my esophagus slowly.

Maybe I passed out, but I’m back
As I lie in a puddle of my own vomit.
My Glyca is crying nearby, in the dark.
“Hello, my darling. I’m your mommy.”

Everything hurts, I can barely breathe,
But I can tell that the process is over.
As I wipe the sweat off my face,
I expect my numerous cysts to sting,
But my skin is now mostly flat,
Except for the pits of their scars.
My facial hair is also much thicker,
What I would consider a full beard,
And my hairline has receded significantly.

My hands tremble as I grope for Glyca.
I touch her smooth scales, and a tiny form
That has latched on to Glyca’s flesh.
I feel one of my daughters’ tiny fingers
As a lukewarm fluid pours on my hand.

Glyca is containing yelps of pain.
A hollow feeling spreads in my chest.
I examine one my daughters’ tiny body.
I touch her hair and feel her soft skin.
I find her sharp teeth sinking in
And tearing pieces out of Glyca’s flesh.

As I close my hand around my daughter,
Glyca grabs my wrist to make me stop.
“My boy,” she says in a thin, pained voice,
“Our daughters will devour my flesh
Until nothing but my bones are left of me.”

I shake my head. My eyes burn.
“They should eat me instead!
You need to live, Glyca!”
She cups the back of my head
With a weak, trembling hand,
And pulls me close to kiss me.

“Nature has made it so our offspring
Require the meat of one of our species
To survive their dangerous first days.
That’s part of why so few of us were around,
And until now I may have been the last.

My hot tears hit the back of my hands.
“There must be some alternative!
We will end up finding it together!”
Glyca’s voice breaks as she gets bitten.
“We are born with the instinct to teleport.
They’ll soon carry you out of here.
As their father, you’ll need to teach them
How to hunt and kill their only prey,
So they’ll be able to survive
In this ugly, hostile world of ours.”

My back is shaking, my throat is closed shut.
Glyca caresses the clear skin of my cheek,
Which used to be covered in inflamed cysts.
She speaks to me softly, with gratitude.

“You knew already that this world is cruel,
Mainly because nature is indifferent.
It’s unable to care about the pain
It causes to all the creatures it created.
Every living species is a slave
Urged to obey the only drive of life:
That of propagating itself
Mindlessly, purposelessly,
Just like a cancer.
And to deceive us into obeying,
It spawned convoluted strategies
Like the numerous gods that came to be,
Like what we call morality,
And even the feeling we know as love.
Back when I first felt it for you,
I knew my brain was deceiving me,
But I’m glad I came to believe,
Because without love,
The endless aeons
Are just unbearable.
This life is too painful,
And I’m glad I kept going.
Thank you, my love,
For being my mate.”

‘A Millennium of Shadows, Pt. 9’ by Jon Ureña


A Millennium of Shadows, Pt. 8 (Poetry)

I squint at the midday sun
While I wish it was dark outside.
I have been wandering aimlessly
Like I did to ditch school,
But now I’m in a pained daze
As walk through strange streets.
I don’t know where I’m going
Or what I’m going to do.

I was already hungry when I got home;
Now my stomach growls uncontrollably.
I’ve left my father’s place to never return,
But I’ve got no money to my name.
I took for granted how I relied on my father,
Who in turn relied on the government,
That in turn stole from the decent citizens.

I’m sitting in a park near a pond,
With a few empty cans of soda nearby.
A squirrel chases a bird away.
A lone swan floats on the water’s surface.
I wonder if anyone will ever notice me,
Or if I’ll just be forgotten by the world.

My brains churn with thoughts of meat,
Of tender, juicy ribs dripping fat juices,
Meat cooked slowly in a pot,
Steaming delicious steak.

The shadow of a plane passes overhead,
And I think to myself, “If I were a pilot
And had a big cock like a missile,
I’d drop bombs on a city full of people,
Then eat their charred flesh
Like a starving cannibal.
Finally, I’d dig up a big hole
And plant my penis in the ground,
To let it grow into a tree
And watch it sprout branches and leaves.”

How am I going to secure food?
Where am I going to sleep?
I feel naked and powerless.
My only relief in this broken life
Is that Glyca considers me irreplaceable.

If I had to rely solely on myself
To survive among these humans,
I’d either die in a matter of days
Or inevitably turn into a monster.
I’d spend all day looking for food
And I’d sleep on the cold, dirty ground.

I would drink my own piss
And eat other people’s feces.
I’d eventually go insane
And kill everyone I met.
I’d become a cannibalistic beast
Who would maim and feast.

I want the darkness to swallow me up,
Even if Glyca has no clue where I am.
I approach an abandoned building
That used to house a restaurant;
Now it’s a skeleton of bricks and mortar.
I needed to hide, to be alone in the dark.

Inside, a layer of dust filters the sunlight.
The floorboards are rotten and uneven.
The building is filled with cobwebs and mold,
And abandoned, decaying furniture.

The busted windows let the light pour in.
I grab a table and drag it over to a wall.
I crawl up into the shadows under the table,
Then I curl up into a ball and close my eyes.

I’m hungry and already dehydrated.
My body feels heavy and dull.
Once again, I wish I would disappear,
Just cease to exist as if I never had.
I’ve never been a proper human being,
Just an ugly, disgusting creature
Afraid of its own reflection.

I feel a presence lying behind me
Who breathes softly upon my neck.
I turn around to see Glyca’s black eyes.
Her vertical pupils glow with compassion.
She smiles, displaying her pointy teeth.

“You looked so lonely, my boy,” she whispers.
“That argument with your dad hurt you bad,
But we don’t need to sneak around anymore.
We can be ourselves in our own private space.
You know I can give you a comfortable shelter.
In exchange, you can provide me love and sex.”

I am relieved because Glyca has found me,
But I tremble and risk bursting into tears.
“Glyca, I may have fucked up bad.
I’d be fine living in a cave, just you and I,
But I can’t rely on human meat for nourishment.”

Glyca chuckles, then sticks out her tongue,
Which is oozing its thick, syrupy nectar.
My girlfriend moves her face over mine
So a big bead of her sweet nectar grows
Then falls from her tongue into my mouth.

For a second, Glyca’s smile falters.
“Nature is a rotten bitch, but thanks to her,
The nectar my tongue produces is enough
To supply you with all the necessary nutrients.
You’ll need to suck on my tongue every hour or two,
And sometimes more if you’re feeling weak.
As long as I keep filling my belly with humans,
You’ll never need to rely on anyone else.”

As Glyca wraps her arms around me tightly,
I seal my lips around hers and I take her in,
To suckle on her slimy tongue like a baby.
Her organ is wet, slippery and smooth,
And I can feel the muscular fibers inside.

I have closed my eyes, but I struggle to breathe;
I am so safe and comforted suckling on her,
With the tips of her claws pressing against my back
And her sweet nectar pouring down my throat,
That I don’t want to move for the rest of my life.

I feel Glyca’s second tongue sliding in
Past my own tongue and down my trachea.
I flinch at the intrusion as if I risked choking,
But lukewarm air flows out of the tube-like tongue,
Providing my lungs with all the oxygen they need.

My stomach is full of her thick saliva,
And I feel lightheaded and euphoric.
My brain is flooded with smells,
From the syrupy nectar to rotting food,
Fresh water and fresh vegetation,
Animal carcasses and human waste.

Glyca has teleported us home,
To the anonymous cave deep in the woods,
Far away from humans and their mistakes.
No stranger is going to wander into this place
To mock us, insult us, and stop us from living.

I hear Glyca’s breathing, I feel her heartbeat.
I know she’s here for me and I’m not alone.
The more nectar flows down my throat,
The more frayed cause and effect becomes,
And it gets harder to count the passing seconds.
I’m drunk on Glyca’s saliva and can’t think straight.

A female shriek of panic echoes in my mind,
Which paints a picture of a terrified woman
Who is scrambling down a darkened corridor,
Fleeing from the monster that is pursuing her.

Something hits my legs and falls with a thud.
It jolts me awake, and after I blink a few times,
I realize I had been sleeping on a bed of moss,
And that I’m looking at a young Asian woman.

She’s mumbling in Chinese or Korean
While she trembles and blubbers.
She’s wearing leggings and a tank top,
And she’s hot enough to make me nervous.

As I wonder where the hell I truly am,
And why would I be facing this sporty lady,
Glyca crawls out of the darkness
And pounces on the woman, immobilizing her.

The woman squeals and writhes around fruitlessly.
Glyca opens her mouth close to the woman’s neck,
But I raise my hand and yell at my girlfriend to stop.
Glyca freezes, then shoots me a look of confusion.

“Glyca, who is this woman?” I demand to know.
“What do you mean…? She’s prey, just a human
That I found after I jumped into a new shadow.
This one was running along an isolated path,
Which made her an easy target for predators.
I love it when they are dripping in hot sweat.
I leapt out of the darkness and caught her.
I’ve brought her home to eat her calmly.”

My heart beats fast as the woman struggles
To break free from Glyca’s powerful grip.
“My love, aren’t I just a human too?” I ask.
She smiles, showing her sharp teeth,
But her eyes are shy and apologetic.
My girlfriend lets out a nervous laugh.

“You are not a human being like them,
You are so much more, you are my boy!
Are you worried that I’d want to eat you?
Before hurting you, I’d rather kill myself!”

The Asian woman is crying uncontrollably.
“Think about how you feel about me,” I say,
“Because someone may love her the same way.
How would you feel if someone kidnapped me,
And you never found out what happened?”

Glyca grimaces, then looks back at the woman
As if observing her face for the first time.
The woman finds herself staring at Glyca’s eyes,
Which causes her to turn white and pass out.

“This woman doesn’t deserve being devoured,”
I say carefully as Glyca loosens her grip.
“Do you understand what I mean, Glyca?
She’s not like those bastards who hurt me.
It doesn’t sit well with me that you kill normies.
Please, return this woman to China or Korea,
Or wherever the hell you kidnapped her from.”

Glyca lowers her head. Her gaze is unfocused.
Sheepishly, she nods and teleports away
Carrying with her the random Asian lady,
And leaving me alone in this darkened space.
It’s a cave, but larger than the one I knew,
And I can’t spot an entrance from here.

The only sources of light are some candles,
Which cast shadows over the rough walls.
Glyca must have lighted them for my sake.
She has decorated the walls with flowers,
And carcasses that hang from the vaulted ceiling.
Inside a natural niche in the rock wall,
Glyca has put a few human skulls on display.
Every breath of air smells like decaying flesh.

After I stand up and walk to stretch my legs,
I come across a large pile of human bones,
Some of which are broken and splintered.
A few of the skulls are small like a child’s.

Close by I spot a large ceramic bowl
That contains a bloody, severed head.
It’s upside down, its eyes are wide open,
And its tongue hangs out of its mouth.
There are no lips or nose, just gaping holes,
And the hair is matted with blood and gore.

Glyca pops out of nowhere, next to me.
She’s sitting and hugging her knees
As she buries her face in her forearms.
Her long tail is wrapped around her waist,
And her chest is heaving while she cries.

I can’t stand to see my love like this.
I kneel next to her and I hug her tightly.
“I’m sorry for chastising you, Glyca,” I say.
She lifts her head and stares with teary eyes.

“M-my boy, I imagined you being devoured,
And it broke my heart like nothing before.
Y-you think that some of these humans
Can love each other like you and I do?”

I rub my chin and think about it.
“I suppose that some might, I guess,
But I didn’t want you to eat that woman
Because it didn’t sit well with me.”

Glyca hides her face, and shakes her head.
“My species can’t digest other meats,
When we reach adulthood, at least.”
She shuts up as she takes a deep breath,
Then she sighs and snuggles against me.
“So I need to hunt and consume humans.
We are predators and they are our prey.”

I run my fingers through her coarse hair.
“You don’t need to become a vegetarian.
Just don’t eat hot women, or children.”
Glyca peeks out from behind her forearms.
“What humans are free reign for me to kill?”
“You can eat shady people, and criminals.”
“Don’t those have families sometimes,
And also romantic partners who love them?”
“I guess… But fuck them.”

Glyca nods, having regained her confidence.
“By the way, what cave are we in?” I ask.
“Ah, this is one of my main apartments,
Or at least that’s how you could call them.
It’s very isolated. I’ve used it for centuries.
We are going to live together in here, right?”

Glyca looks so vulnerable and cute.
Her scales glimmer in the candlelight.
Does she fear that I’m reconsidering our love?
I caress the smooth scales of her pretty face
And I slide my tongue into her wet mouth.
Glyca shudders and her tail lashes about.

“My boy, your kisses are so delicious,”
Glyca whispers as she bites my lower lip.
I stroke the length of her back slowly.
“Thank you for bringing me to your place,
And for letting me live with you from now on.
We can both be who we were meant to,
Now that we are draped in darkness.”

In a short while, we are lying on her mossy bed.
Glyca has reached between my spread legs
And is now massaging my balls gently.
Her slimy mouth kisses down my torso.
My thighs rest on her firm shoulders
As her tongue swirls inside my asshole.
She slips three fingers in, and starts pumping.

Turns out, earning loads of money was easy
Once I became devoted to my new job.
Glyca teleported me to random communities,
And I scouted around looking for shady places.
Barber shops where weird people hung out,
And who became anxious and dismissive
The moment I entered to ask for a haircut.
Ethnic restaurants filled only with thugs,
Who had fortified the shopfronts
With sturdy burglar bars and roller shutters.

Glyca stalked our targets from the shadows,
And usually ripped their throats open
Before they ever got the chance to scream.
Sometimes, she would watch them die
As she tore out and ate chunks of their flesh.
Many of those people carried wads of cash.
Most of the places we hit were gang hideouts,
So we returned home with a significant bounty.

Glyca has no use for money,
But I enjoy buying random crap.
Too bad about the lack of electricity.
I bought plenty of clothes and shoes,
Because they tended to get real dirty,
But I also bought books and manga series.
I love to get fucked by my girlfriend,
Then roll over to light up a candle
And resume reading some Japanese tale.

We ended up with a pile of money
Next to the bones of our many victims.
We were killing beyond Glyca’s appetite,
And I was concerned about wasting food,
But Glyca assured me that she had a solution,
One she had found many millennia ago:
She owned her own freezer cave in Siberia,
Where human carcasses of ancient humans
Hanged from hooks waiting for their turn,
Once Glyca lacked fresh corpses to feed from.

I can’t avoid stepping on random bones.
My feet are covered in blood and gore.
The ground is slick with fluids and excrement,
And there are flies buzzing around my head.
I feel like I’m walking through a graveyard
As the skulls stare at me with empty eye sockets.

To change up our habits a bit, for fun,
Glyca skins a corpse, then roasts it
On a giant spit over a fire pit, in the evening,
Near a river where the frogs keep croaking.
The smell of charred meat fills the air.
Glyca eats a cooked morsel slowly, like a delicacy,
And when I try one, I find it delicious.
I start to think that I’d been wrong;
Maybe humans aren’t all that bad.

Some parts we fry in oil and serve with spices,
Other parts we grill and eat with salt.
Some are stewed in broth and drenched in gravy.
Some parts we boil and serve with noodles.

I have taken off my dirty clothes,
And I stand up to approach the river.
Behind me, Glyca is eating a juicy rib,
But stops to speak with her mouth full.
“The smell of blood brings me such joy.
I love to taste the meat and drink the juices.
Nothing beats the flavour of the dead.”

After I drink, as cold water drips from my chin,
I straighten my back and stare at my reflection.
The melted monster emerged, its skin peeled off,
Leaving behind a grotesque creature
With gaping holes for nostrils and mouth.
Now I own a thick torso with four arms and legs,
Limbs stronger and thicker than the old ones were.
My head consists of a giant cock covered in spines,
Each of which is tipped with poison darts,
And my arms end in big bulbs resembling testicles
Which contain something viscous, like sperm,
That spurts out and hits the dirt wherever I walk.

‘A Millennium of Shadows, Pt. 8’ by Jon Ureña

A Millennium of Shadows, Pt. 7 (Poetry)

When I enter my father’s apartment,
I see him sitting on the living room sofa
As he smokes a cig in front of a full ashtray.
He is wearing a tattered grey sweater
And baggy jeans with holes in the knees.

I intended to ignore him and walk away,
But he wipes his eyes and intercepts me.
This old man always looked tired and worn;
Now he is paler than I have ever seen him,
With dark circles under his eyes,
Which are bloodshot and teary.
He’s also unshaven, and he smells awful.

“You just don’t care at all anymore,” he mutters,
“Coming back home in the middle of the morning.”
I’m disturbed because the old man had cried,
As evidenced by the dry trails of tears,
And I’m also embarrassed by his appearance.

“What’s the matter now?” I ask, annoyed.
“What’s the matter? You should be in school.”
I scratch my head. What day is it today?
“Yeah, well, I’m not going to school anymore.”

My father frowns, and takes a drag on his cig
With a hand that shivers as if he were freezing.
“I thought you would deny it.
I called, you know, and they told me
That you haven’t attended for weeks!
You even missed vital exams!”

I sigh. What a bother, dealing with this clown
For who the opening of a bakery is an event.
“There’s no such thing as a vital exam
For someone who won’t pursue an education.”

My father frowns, clenches his teeth,
Then throws his cig into the ashtray.
“So what now, are you just going to drop out?
Don’t you care at all about your future?”

“First of all, no, I don’t give a fuck
About whatever you would consider ‘a future’.
People abandon their kids in school
Because homeschooling is no longer a thing.
Most families require two salaries to survive,
So they need to park their kids somewhere,
And it’s convenient for the state, of course:
It wants to decide what goes into our heads.

As a result your vulnerable son ended up caged
Among wild beasts who mocked and insulted me,
Causing me mental issues that will never heal.
As students, we were mere recipients of nonsense
Meant to raise obedient, harmless slaves
That will vote for the government and shut up
Instead of taking arms and hanging them,
Which is what all of that rotten scum deserves.

If I bothered to suffer through my education,
The day I would start my life as a wage slave,
I would discover that beyond basic math,
Nothing else I had learned would ever help.
I would have just wasted many precious years
To receive some papers that certify me as a fool.”

Before I finished speaking,
My father grabbed his head
And walked to the sofa as he grunted.
He plops down and hunches over,
His elbows resting on his knees,
And then he stares at the floor.

“I can’t believe you’re so stupid.
Or maybe this is all my fault.
I raised you all by myself,
So this must have been my failure.”

Maybe I should get mad, but I don’t care.
Nothing about this rotten world concerns me.
In a short while, Glyca and I will be gone,
Maybe to Russia or Australia or the moon,
Where we’ll run around, eat people and fuck.

“Why would you be surprised about failing at this?
Haven’t you failed at everything else?
Besides, you can relax. I don’t need an education.
For the first time in my life, I’m truly happy.”

My father snorts derisively, and raises his voice.
“Happy? How could you possibly be happy?
Your face is full of the worst kind of acne,
Your mother abandoned us early on,
You are a loner who’s never had any friends,
You have thrown away your future,
And I’m sure you plan to never get a job.
You’ll end up dead in a ditch somewhere.
Do you think I want that to happen to you?”

“You are worrying for nothing, dad.
I’m doing great. I have a lovely girlfriend
Who loves me, and accepts me for who I am.”
My father buries his face in his hands.
“I guess this is psychosis,” he mutters bitterly,
“Or however they call it when someone loses it.
Yet, you disappear for hours who knows where,
Although several people have gone missing lately.”

“You don’t have to worry about me disappearing,
Because my girlfriend is the one eating people.”
My father rubs his eyes, then stands up wearily.
Although he turns towards me, he avoids my gaze.
“Are you doing drugs? Is that what’s going on?
You are mentally absent, and walk awkwardly…”

I chuckle at the irony of me doing drugs
When I’ve been involved in reducing
The number of drug-related people that live.
“I walk weird because my body is adapting
To me having stuff shoved deep into my ass.
But I’m only taking in my girlfriend’s tail!
I’m not going around getting fucked by men.”

My father facepalms, then groans.
“What are you talking about?
You aren’t making any damn sense!”
He sniffles and wipes his eyes.
“I’m taking you to see a doctor,
That one who once prescribed you pills.”

“You’re crazy, dad. I’m not sick in the head.
I have no reason to go see a shrink.
Besides, they prescribe shit carelessly;
It may make my dick shrink even smaller.”

My father paces back and forth,
Then he sniffs loudly, and says,
“Look at me. I’m bald, I’m a mess.
I could never keep a job long enough.
I’ve got nothing to do but sit around
And smoke one cigarette after another.

I’ve always hated my fucking life.
Ever since I was a child, back at home,
I’ve been dreaming of death;
In my mind, Death is a beautiful woman
Who wears black clothes, carries a scythe,
Has silver gray hair and blood red eyes.

Death smiles at me, and she doesn’t judge.
She asks if I would like to dance,
And I say, “Yes, I’d love to.”
Death takes my hand, and we begin to spin.
We dance as we sing, we twirl and turn.
She tells me how she’ll take me away
From my father and all his brothers.
But in the end, it was another lie,
Just another person who betrayed me.

You need an education, son, and to find a job,
Or else you’ll end up like me, in a world of misery,
A place where nobody cares about you,
And when you die, they’ll throw your body in a hole
Where it will rot and stink, and nobody will mourn.”

I feel nothing but disgust and resentment.
I don’t know why I’m here. I should have left.
“There’s no such thing as a future in this place
For someone like me who despises humanity.
I guess you expect me to be sympathetic,
But if you yourself had gone to a shrink,
You’d have learned enough about yourself
To avoid getting together with my mother,
Which would have spared me this life
And all the nightmares I’ve endured through.
Just quit bitching, dad, and accept reality:
Your son is a dropout, and that’s fine,
Because a better destiny is waiting for me.”

My father clenches his fists
As he glowers coldly.
He strides up to me
And slaps me hard across the face.
Half a dozen of my huge pimples sting;
I bet they daubed his palm with pus.

My father wipes his hand on his pants.
“I’ve been too soft with you.
I should have made you be responsible,
Learn the value of work and sacrifice.
You were always alone and quiet,
And I was always tired, and sad myself.
Now you don’t know how to be an adult.
You’ll start by going to a trade school.
I don’t care what kind of shit you learn there,
As long as you can earn money and pay rent.”

Instead of words, I hear white noise.
My vision is tinted crimson red
As I feel the blood surging to my ears.
I see myself pulling out my bone shiv
And flaying my old man’s stupid face.
I see Glyca devouring my father’s flesh,
Then fabricating a chair out of his bones.

When my rage subsides, my father is quiet.
He’s staring anxiously at my expression
As if he suddenly regrets having been born,
But my mouth breaks into a wide grin.
My father will receive the worst punishment:
He’ll be left to keep enduring his life.

I turn around to leave this place
Hopefully for the last time.
“Fuck you, dad,” I say,
“And fuck your genes.”

‘A Millennium of Shadows, Pt. 7’ by Jon Ureña

A Millennium of Shadows, Pt. 6 (Poetry)

Of Bear’s goons, I despise Duckson the most
(However that stupid nickname originated),
Although it’s hard to stay mad at the rest
When their remains have been digested.

The others would follow you in the street
To punch you, kick you, and steal your money,
But Duckson sets people against each other
So he can present himself as the negotiator
That everyone would need to rely on.

Recently, Duckson had been distancing himself
From his public ties with Bear’s gang;
He was making successful moves as a youth politician.
A local paper called him compassive and kindhearted.
His party members looked up to him,
And they prophesied that Duckson would go far,
Maybe become a minister, or the president.

Glyca and I would do a service for this country,
A patriotic deed, we could even say,
By reducing the number of its politicians
Through slaughtering this sack of shit.

I switch on the lamp next to Duckson’s bed,
And it lights up the goon as he sleeps naked.
I hadn’t expected this freckled shit’s dick
To be the first thing I’d see on this hunt.

Duckson is stockier than I thought,
I guess because he was in a canoeing club,
And his dick is much larger than mine,
But even most women’s are bigger.

“Hey, Duckson, you sack of putrid shit,”
I say in a firm, confident voice unlike me,
“It’s time to wake up and deal face to face.”
Duckson grunts in his sleep, but doesn’t awaken.
“Wake up, asshole! We’re gonna kill you!”
Duckson snorts, then turns over onto his side,
Trying to return to his peaceful slumber.

“Ooh! You’re not getting away with anything!
You nasty fucker, I’m coming for your ass!”
I grab his cell phone from the nightstand,
Then throw it hard at Duckson’s head.

Duckson groans in pain and opens one eye,
And the lamp’s light makes him squint.
“W-wha…? What the fuck is going on…?”
When he realizes I’m not a phantasm
But instead a real person in his bedroom,
Duckson jolts upright, and a shriek erupts.

“What the hell? What the fuck? Who the fuck…?!
Volcano Face?! What are you doing in my bedroom?!”
“Well, Duckson, it’s related to that gang of yours,
And the fact that the other members disappeared,
And by disappeared I mean were viciously murdered
By yours truly and my girlfriend, and then devoured.
And the other goons didn’t just die, they died screaming!
So picture what kind of end we’ll provide for you.”

I could have been a lunatic who snapped,
But Bear, Sunglasses and Flute did disappear.
Glyca and I had trouble tracking Duckson down;
Paranoid, he barely left his parents’ house.
Not that any of his efforts would matter
When you are being hunted down by the best.

I hear footsteps somewhere else in the house,
And the sound of a door being opened.
As soon as Duckson gets off the mattress,
Glyca’s grey hands come out from under the bed,
Grab Duckson’s ankles and yanks them.

The guy falls forward onto a wardrobe,
And the impact causes some objects to fall,
Including a framed photo of himself,
Which smashes against the edge of the bed frame.
The photo shows Duckson giving a speech,
Wearing glasses with likely fake lenses,
And grinning widely as he spreads his arms open.

As Duckson tries to stand up,
I grab him by the hair
And slam his head against the dresser.
A loud crack reverberates through the room.

Duckson groans, he tries to reach for my hands.
I’m about to smash his head again
When someone pounds on the door,
And I hear the alarmed voice of a woman.
“Hey, David, what’s going on?! Open the door!”

I am distracted, and Duckson pushes me off.
His eyes are bleary, his forehead is bleeding.
“Fucking bitch! Don’t touch me!
Get away from me, you fucking cunt!”

His mother keeps pounding on the door,
Demanding Duckson to open it.
The goon struggles to stand up.
“Help, someone help! Call the police!”

The glass shards of the broken photo frame
Glimmer dully beneath the lamplight.
I quickly grab a handful of them,
And I shove them into Duckson’s mouth.

When he complains, he swallows some shards.
As he chokes on the tiny fragments,
Duckson starts coughing violently.
Glyca’s hand reaches from under the bed.
“My boy, either we leave now,
Or we’ll have to deal with his entire family.”

While Duckson spits bloody shards,
I push him to the floor next to Glyca,
So she can touch the goon’s bare skin.
I’m holding Glyca’s other hand.

In a split second, we find ourselves in a forest,
The same one where Glyca and I had sex.
Duckson lets out inarticulate complaints
As he comes to realize that he’s somewhere else.

“What the fuck? How did I get here?”
I’m approaching the goon from behind.
“My beloved girlfriend brought us
Through her blessed powers of teleportation.
We are somewhere deep in Russia, my guess,
But it doesn’t matter: it’s just you and us,
And a bunch of wild animals who don’t care
About the nasty stuff we’ll do to you.”

Duckson snaps out of his confusion
Partly caused by me banging his head;
He realizes he’s naked in a dark forest
And the only people around want to kill him.

Maybe there’s also bears and wolves
(I’m not an expert in random forests),
But either way this is a dangerous place
For a man who has no clothes.

Duckson shivers, narrows his shoulders,
And covers his junk with both hands.
He starts retreating from me
While he looks around for an escape route.
“This can’t be happening,” he mumbles,
“I must be in some kind of weird dream.”

I grab a moderately large stone,
Then throw it at Duckson expecting to miss,
But it hits him in the back of the head.
The goon squirms and yelps in pain.

“You’re going to be a sorry fucker,” I say,
“Because my girl will rip your cock in two.
She’s a goddess of vengeance, coming for you,
With claws, fangs, and a snake for a tail.”

Duckson quavers and shakes,
His face is pale and sweaty.
He grits his teeth as he glares.
“Why are you doing this to me?!
I haven’t done anything bad to you!”

I burst out laughing, and shake my head.
“You ruin people’s lives as much as you can,
And then declare your innocence with confidence.
You would have gone far as a politician,
Which is another reason to get rid of you.”

Duckson spits blood and wipes his lips.
“You made it up in your head, crazy fucker.
So what if I hung out with those guys?
An outcast like you can’t understand,
You don’t need to approve of the stuff they do.
Besides, they are young guys having fun.
They mess with people because they’re bored.”

“Those times you restrained me
So the other goons could punch me,
Kick me, then steal my money
While you called me an ugly loser,
All were products of a diseased mind.
That’s what you are saying, right?

It was so simple for you to condemn my life,
Which I had to suffer totally alone,
Unloved, hated, persecuted, and cast aside.
I was a victim, and all I had to show
For years of suffering was this tiny dick of mine,
And I was too ashamed to reveal it to anyone.

I guess that I also imagined the other stuff,
That shortly after your gang made me a victim,
You started appearing in my high school,
Although you had graduated from a different one,
And I caught you chatting up the few people
Who didn’t treat me like a walking hive of cysts.

I have no clue how you learned such details,
But I guess everyone has their superpower.
A couple of the times you seeded sordid rumors
So those people would shun and avoid me,
You made a point of staring straight at me
As you poisoned my classmates with lies,
Believing I was powerless to defend myself.

Although I never found out what lies you spread,
Those who listened to them rejected me,
Caring nothing about whether the rumors were true;
Those gullible classmates of mine were worthless
If they were ready to drop me after listening to lies,
But it didn’t change that I became more isolated,
Vulnerable prey for your gang to abuse again.
That brings us here, where I’ll stand and watch you die.”

Duckson’s dong swings like a pendulum
As the goon keeps retreating from me slowly.
His eyes dart around maybe looking for an exit,
Or searching for whoever grabbed his ankles before.

I pull out my lovingly crafted bone shiv.
“Look at this, Duckson, isn’t it cool?
A murder weapon made of bone.
Not of any bones, mind you, but of Bear’s,
And crafted by none other than god herself.”

“I’m good at working with bone,”
Glyca says from somewhere in the shadows.
“You are good at so many things, my love,
And also the most wonderful creature alive,
But my point is, Duckson, you are fucked;
No one is going to save your sorry ass.
It’s just the three of us and these dark woods.

Your friends’ remains are buried and gone.
You will keep blaming everyone but yourself,
Although you always used people as tools
So you could achieve all the power you wanted.
Now you are an isolated, powerless loser
Who’ll get punished by getting murdered
By one of the people whom you used and abused.”

“Are you really going to stab me?”
Duckson asks trying hard to steady his voice.
“I’m a good guy, I’m on the side of people in need.
Even the papers say how I help the community.”
I sigh, then wipe the blade with my sleeve.
“Too bad they won’t report about tonight,
About how I will shove this shiv up your ass.”

Duckson’s eyes are wide, his limbs shake.
He trips and falls to the ground face up,
His ass in the air and legs pointing at the sky.
As I quicken my pace towards the goon,
He shrieks and scrambles to his feet,
Then starts running away through the woods.

What a bother. I’d rather not exert myself;
I’ve never been into aerobic sports,
Or anaerobic ones for that matter.
I shout at Duckson to clarify his predicament.

“There’s nowhere to run, Duckson,
Only the endless cycle of life and death,
Forever trapped in this dying world,
In a rotting house of pain.”

Duckson ventures foolishly into a shadow,
And Glyca must have smacked him hard;
The hit sends the goon sprawling
Facedown onto the muddy ground.

When he manages to stand up again,
Blood drips from his nose and mouth.
He’s staring, transfixed, at a heavenly figure
That’s slowly walking out of the shadows.

Duckson shrieks in terror, and steps back.
“What the fuck is that thing?! A monster!”
I approach the goon from behind.
“That’s my girlfriend. Have some respect.”

I leap on Duckson like a hungry wolf.
I grab his hair, and pull his head back
To expose his throat, then I bite down.
My teeth sink deep, ripping flesh and tissue.
Blood spurts from his carotid artery
Gushing and covering my face with gore.

A gurgling scream fills the air.
Duckson pants, struggling to breathe.
He sputters blood from his mouth.
He stumbles and falls onto a tree root.

Glyca and I stand next to the goon.
The sound of Duckson gasping for breath
Echoes off the surrounding trees.
The smell of fresh, hot blood
Permeates the area.

It takes one look at my girl’s face
For Duckson to cover his eyes,
Huddle in a fetal position,
And start sobbing like a child.

I put my hand on Glyca’s scaly shoulder.
“You aren’t ugly at all, my love.
These people can’t appreciate true beauty.”
Glyca smiles at me, and kisses my cheek.
“Oh, thank you, my sweet boy,
But don’t worry about such matters!
Humans have reacted like this to me
For longer than civilizations have existed.”

“Anyway, I should get this over with.”
In a movement, I fall to my knees
And with my hands I plunge the shiv
Deep into Duckson’s temple.

His body shakes as he lets out a scream,
But I twist the shiv with a loud squelch.
Wet, bloody pulp oozes out of the wound.
Duckson’s lifeless eyeballs roll around,
And drool dribbles from his gaping mouth.

I stand up and wipe the blood off my face.
Glyca hugs me from behind,
And makes me shiver by kissing my neck.
“How did your first kill feel, my boy?
Was it exhilarating or terrifying?”
“Euphoric, actually.”
“I’m so proud of you, you know?”

I turn around in her arms and kiss her,
Pressing together in a passionate embrace.
Glyca’s tongue slithers between my teeth.
Her sweet nectar spills out of my mouth.
It’s mouthwatering and delicious,
Like honey mixed with a tangy fruit juice.

When we pull away, Glyca flicks my nose.
“Let’s transport this dead guy to the cave.”
A bit later, we are in that sacred place,
A secret, dark, damp den,
Our love nest deep in the woods.

The cave floor is covered with fallen leaves,
And the small pond it contains
Is filled with clear water that smells fresh,
Without any trace of decay,
And the surface sparkles in the moonlight.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath.
I can smell the moist earth,
I can taste the coolness of the air.
We’re surrounded by the sounds
Of crickets chirping and frogs croaking.
This is where I belong, among nature’s wonders.

With a powerful swing of her muscular tail,
Glyca flips Duckson’s carcass so it lies face up.
“This is a new feeling,” Glyca says, touched,
“That someone who loves me
Goes through the trouble of providing my meal,
Just like a mother bird feeding me worms.”

I chuckle. “I would have used another simile,
But as long as you’re happy, I’m happy.”
“Oh, I’m so happy, and hungry!”
Glyca’s claws tear out chunks from Duckson’s chest.
“This is nice,” she says, “a meaty torso.”
It makes me a bit jealous, but I understand.

Glyca’s scales gleam in the moonlight.
Her slim, graceful tail wags placidly
As drops of oily fluid ooze from its bulbous tip.
I stand there observing how Glyca eats.
She rips open Duckson’s belly
To scoop up chunks of meat, fat and innards.

Glyca’s so focused and passionate when eating
That most of my heat rushes to my crotch.
I reach down to unzip my fly.
I would have loved to say
That my big cock sprang free
So I could fuck my Glyca doggy style,
But I can’t even fuck her in missionary
Because my dick is too little to penetrate.

I lean forward and lick the slime
Off the bulbous end of Glyca’s tail.
As she shudders, and lets out a moan,
Which causes her to spit some meat,
I suck the tip into the cavern of my mouth.

My tongue licks at the slit, and inside is warm.
The taste is not unpleasant. It’s like a nutty flavor.
Glyca moans and spasms. Her tail thrashes around,
Spreading a thin, salty layer of lubricant on my skin.

“W-w-w-what are you doing?!”
Glyca asks flabbergasted and horny.
As she turns sharply, her eyes are glistening,
And her mouth is smeared with fresh blood.

My mind is spinning, and I shiver warmly.
“Sorry, my love, I couldn’t help myself.
Your tail is beautiful beyond compare.”
“I-I wasn’t complaining, mind you.
It felt so good, I was surprised…”
“Nevermind, I’ll let you eat in peace.
I’ll wait for you to finish your meal.”

I turn around and head to the pool
As I take off my sweaty clothes.
I hear how Glyca tears meat with her teeth.
Something large splats against the ground.

Although I have killed Duckson,
I am strangely calm and relaxed.
Maybe because Glyca is fucking sexy,
Or maybe it’s the relief of knowing
That we have obliterated my enemies
And that nobody knows our location.

When dive into the pond, I gasp.
I didn’t expect the water to be this cold.
But I’ll never worry about my dick shrivelling,
So I have that going for me.

I figure that I can endure the cold,
And I swim a few laps around the pond
Although I keep shivering like crazy.
When I return to the shore closest to Glyca,
The first thing my gaze falls upon is her pussy,
Which is open as if staring at me,
And its fluids are dribbling onto the leaves:
Droplets of sticky liquid,
Leaving a trail of pungent odor.

From Glyca’s chin, blood is dripping
As her tongue curls around the chewed remains
Of Duckson’s stupid freckled face.
My heart is beating hard, I’m biting my lip.
“Glyca, isn’t it my turn already? I’m hungry,”
I say hoarsely. “Come sit on the shore.”

Glyca looks quickly over her shoulder,
Then realizes what I’m waiting for.
She lets out a joyful sound.
Giddy, she slurps a piece of meat,
Skips up to me, sits on the shore,
And rests the back of her thighs on my shoulders
So she can slide her wet pussy onto my face.

A couple of hours later, my ass feels sore,
But I’m calm as I’ve never been
As Glyca and I lie in each other’s arms,
And we look at the stars through the trees.
I think how lucky I am to be with someone
Who’s willing and able to provide for me.

“So, who are we eating next?” Glyca asks.
I let out a deep sigh, and smile.
“No one.”
Glyca is confused, and props herself up.
“How come? Aren’t there many more?”
“No need to eat anybody else I know.”
“But so many people at school mocked you.”

I stare into her beautiful black and crimson eyes.
I have been stripped of hatred and spite.
“They insulted me, and made me feel terrible,
Because they’d rather stare at a cockroach
Than at my disgusting, cystic face,
But it’s fine. I’m ugly as hell, after all.
My classmates never beat me, nor robbed me.
They just turned their heads and went on their way.
They’ll grow old, find jobs, get married, have kids.”

Glyca lowers her gaze, and twists her mouth.
“Do you understand what I mean?” I ask.
“I think so, my boy. They don’t deserve it.”
“That’s right. Nobody else has to like me.”

I reach out to stroke Glyca’s scales.
“None of them matter anymore,
Nor anybody else but you and me.
We’re together, we love each other.
Nobody will ever hurt us again.”

I slept in her arms, and enjoyed a pleasant dream.
It was summertime. The sun shone brightly.
Birds chirped joyously, flowers bloomed.
Children played outside while their parents chatted,
And under the grass where they stood and ran around,
Lay dead bodies, some freshly killed, others decomposing.

A terrible scent wafted through the air.
Suddenly, everyone was frightened,
And they whispered among themselves,
Not daring to speak loud enough to be heard
By those who were lurking nearby.

‘A Millennium of Shadows, Pt. 6’ by Jon Ureña

A Millennium of Shadows, Pt. 5 (Poetry)

I’ve got bacon and eggs in a pan over low heat,
As the cracked open window lets in morning air.
I barely slept last night, and I keep yawning.
A bit later I drink some coffee at the table
While the smell of crisp bacon fills my nostrils.

I bring a morsel of egg to my mouth.
I want to take my time savoring every bite,
But then my father walks into the kitchen.
His eyes are sunken in their wrinkled sockets,
And he’s sporting a thin layer of gray stubble.
He’s wearing a T-shirt stained with sweat,
And old jeans covered in rips and holes,
Like something that’d belong to a homeless man.

My father doesn’t say anything
As he stares down at my breakfast.
He looks like he’s standing at attention
In his old army fatigues.

I lower my head and take a bite of my eggs.
I wish I were alone, I wish I had stayed with Glyca,
But I need to pretend that I’m living a normal life,
Because my girlfriend has no use for money,
And I can’t live by eating human beings.

My father is standing next to the table,
And I feel his gaze on my face.
“Son, what happened to you?”
He asks with a voice hoarse and weak.
I look up, but I wish I hadn’t;
I can’t stand that sad look in his old eyes.

“I came late because I was busy,” I said,
“I was hanging out with my girlfriend.”
“Your nose is broken. Who punched you?”
I lift a hand to the wound;
The skin is gaping and the flesh tender.
“Yeah, whatever. It’s not like it matters.
This clubbing guy socked me one,
But my girlfriend ripped him apart.”

I avoid facing my father’s sour expression
While he gets some water and prepares toast.
He ends up taking a seat opposite me
And staring as he bites a piece.

“Can’t you tell the truth?” he asks.
I take a deep breath, annoyed.
This old man will ruin my digestion.
“Why would you think that I’m lying?”
“C’mon, what’s this about a girlfriend?
When you first came up with that nonsense,
I didn’t say anything to avoid upsetting you,
But it’s not right to avoid reality like this.”

My nostrils dilate. I glare at my father.
“So you think I couldn’t get a girlfriend, huh?”
My father trembles as he lights up a cig.
His fingernails are yellow with nicotine stains.
“Son, you know you are too ugly.
You don’t have any friends, never have.
You always choose to spend your time alone,
So this girlfriend must be imaginary.”

I’m an emotional wreck since forever,
And now my father is being an asshole.
“You’ve been locked in here for years,”
I blurt out acidly at the old man.
“Maybe if you went somewhere else,
You’d have a clue about how the world works.”

I feel my heart pound, I’m so angry.
He just sits there with a dumbfounded look,
And it takes a while for his brain to work.
“I’m sorry, it wasn’t my intention to upset you.”

“If you really want to know, dad,
I did meet this girl, and we’re in love.
She’s beautiful, intelligent, and funny,
And she also has a great body!
I wish I could show you a photo of her,
But she’s always draped in shadows,
And using a flash would hurt her.
Anyway, her name is Glyca.
She’s some sort of mythical reptilian
Who has been around since ancient times.
She’s super strong and eats people alive.
She also enjoys arts and crafts as a hobby.
My Glyca is the coolest girl in the world,
I want to be her mate and nothing else.
I want to stay with her even after I die,
Even when I’m rotting in my grave.”

My father looks down,
Showing me his bald, spotted pate,
While the cig dangles from his lip.
For a while, he just smokes slowly,
Then he rubs the back of his neck.

“I’m sorry about that stuff in your face, son.
Facing the world can’t be easy for you.”
I swallow the rest of my egg,
But my father has made it taste foul.
I drop the fork onto my plate.
I look up at the old man’s sad, tired eyes.
I hate him, I always have.
My biggest fear since I was a child
Was ending up just like him.

I dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot.
I imagined myself soaring through the skies
Above all those countries I hated,
So I could shoot them to pieces.
I fantasized about impaling people,
And exploding their eyes with a machine gun.
I dreamed of blowing people apart with grenades.
I wanted to be the most badass motherfucker
In the whole wide fucking universe.
I’d be a general giving orders to lots of soldiers,
Who’d have to follow my insane commands.
They would call me General Fuckface,
And that would make me happy.

I want to blow away entire cities,
And burn the ground with nuclear fire.
I’ll keep on slaughtering until the end,
Until I see the blood of every enemy.
The war will never stop, it’ll never cease.

“You know, dad, you should be sorry.
You had plenty of acne when you were young.
It must have ruined your social life,
Because nobody wanted to date you.
That screwed you up for sure,
Yet you thought, hey, I’ll pass it on.
It’s not just the myriad of hideous cysts;
I’ll likely go bald, I’m scrawny,
Hairs grow in places where they shouldn’t.
Worse yet, what’s with this tiny dick?!
It’s two centimeters hard, I can barely pee.
Maybe the smallest in all of history!
I’m embarrassed to even admit it to myself,
But my penis is truly pathetic, it hurts to see!
How would I attract women with this thing?!”

The morning sun hits at an angle, illuminating
My father’s billowing cigarette smoke.
The old man is staring blankly at me.
His sunken, bloodshot eyes are filled with pity.

He speaks with voice weary and defeated.
“Life isn’t a curse or a war against fate.
I’m sure there is a better future
Waiting out there somewhere.”

I shake my head, then I stand up.
I recall when I made a rope out of bedsheets,
Tied them together so they formed a loop,
Then tried on the clothes I wanted to die in.

“The more you talk, dad, the less I like you.
Your voice sounds like a dying dog,
And I’m starting to feel nauseous again.
You never seem like you enjoy being alive,
So why would you have brought an innocent
To endure through this nightmare of a world?
But you’ve never offered answers, nor help,
Just empty phrases from an empty head.
I’ll leave before I vomit onto my plate.”

I got together with Glyca in the late evening
So she could transport us to a suitable place:
A forest where the light barely penetrates.
Dark trees loom overhead,
And their branches reach for each other,
Forming a thick canopy.
The ground is covered in leaves and moss.
As we stroll, our footsteps echo.
There is no wind; the air is stagnant.
Glyca’s scales shine in the dark
Like the surface of the ocean.

I don’t think we remain in my home country;
Near a pond where the water shimmers,
We run into an elk who looks vaguely Russian,
And I doubt we have such huge elks at home.
The poor beast looks startled to encounter us,
And even scared when it stares at Glyca’s eyes.

Glyca laughs softly as she caresses my arm.
“The beasts of this world are adorable.”
“Far more than humans, for sure.”
Glyca smiles and pinches my cheek,
Which probably burst a pimple or two.
“You’re quite strange,” Glyca says sweetly,
“As if you’re not human, but something else.”
“Well, I hate humans, so thank you.”

Two large large, dark birds fly overhead.
They have sharp claws and beaks.
One lands upon a branch nearby,
And its tail swishes as it preens itself.

“Most people don’t notice they’re barely alive,”
I blurt out after thinking for a while,
“And when they are hit by the realization
That the world around them is mostly fake,
That reality itself is illusionary and unreal,
For most of them, life continues normally,
But I was always the strange one, I guess.”

Even when I’m in a crowd, it feels like
I’m standing alone in some distant land.
People who know me usually ignore me.
It’s like my presence is a stain
That’s too big to hide.

Glyca’s black and crimson eyes hold my gaze,
And her lips curl upwards in a sweet smile.
Her long tail swishes in the silence.
“I’m grateful every day of how odd you are;
Normal people would have fled from me.
I’m just glad that I found a person like you,
So I will never be alone anymore.”

We only hear the sound of leaves rustling,
And that of twigs snapping under footfalls.
We come across the entrance of a cave
That contains a small pool of clear water,
Fed by a stream that runs through the woods.

“Let’s rest for a while, Glyca,”
I say as I point at the cave.
“And besides, I brought a sketchbook
Because I intended to draw your portrait.”

Glyca laughs, and it echoes throughout the cave.
Her big, red tongue wraps around her mouth.
She’s licking the tip of her pointed teeth.
“A portrait, huh? That sounds so nice.
I’m a bit uncomfortable with this body of mine,
But I’ll see myself through your loving eyes.”

I feel the coolness of the cavern.
I take off my shoes and socks,
Then I sit on the stone floor
While Glyca lies sideways in front.
I pull out my empty sketchbook
And my series of graphite pencils.

I want to capture that beauty
In all her mysterious glory.
I will paint a picture of my love
With my heart’s blood.

I am sitting cross-legged on the ground
As I outline the contours of her body
With fine, precise strokes.
My hands keep trembling slightly,
And I feel the moisture in them.
Glyca is watching me with a soft grin
While her black eyes shine with warmth.

Glyca can tell that I’ve finished.
I’m inspecting my effort with disappointment.
My drawings lack clarity and precision;
I’m not good enough to depict a goddess.

“C’mon, just let me see!” Glyca says,
Then snatches the sketchbook from me.
I fear looking up at her face,
But she lets out a cry of joy.

“This is a lovely drawing! Very well done!
Now I can see my true form in your art.
You really captured my essence.
You can go ahead and frame this masterpiece!”

I blush bright red, my chest gets warm.
“You are so kind. I’m just an amateur.”
Glyca bites her lower lip, then sighs
As she crawls seductively towards me.

“I know you aren’t a pro, my boy,
What matters is the love you put into it.”
“So I could have just scribbled anything?”
Glyca laughs softly, and caresses my neck.
“It’s good. I would frame it on a wall.
But more importantly now, my sweet boy,
How can I ever repay you for this gift?”

I’m getting the tingles in my crotch.
My pathetic dick aches to spill its seed.
Glyca smiles, then climbs onto my lap.
She sucks on my lips, pushes her tongue in.
My girlfriend’s slimy saliva fills my mouth.

As I stroke the smooth scales of her back,
I close my eyes to feel her tongue better.
I wish her sharp, pointy teeth
Would peel open my lower lip.
I want my cock to explode
And fill the cold, dark cave with my cum.

Glyca is breathing heavily
As she starts grinding on my crotch.
I had never felt her this turned on.
“Please, my boy, take your pants off.”

I’m overwhelmed by a sudden panic,
And I push myself away from Glyca.
As I try to stand up, I stumble and fall.
My skin is hot and sweaty, my head spinning.

Glyca is kneeling in front of me.
Her crimson pupils observe me with concern.
“What’s the problem? Are you hurt?”
“No! I can’t let you see! You’ll leave me!”

Before I know it, I’m sobbing hard,
And I bury my face in my hands.
I’m back to being an eight years old kid,
About to be abandoned.

Glyca wraps her arms around me.
Her breath tickles my right ear,
And goosebumps rise along my spine.
She rocks me in her arms for a while.
My shoulders relax, and I stop crying.

Glyca pulls away enough to look at me,
Then she licks a tear running down my cheek.
“You are so cute when you are like this,
But you don’t need to be sad, silly boy!
I’ve watched you countless times
As you fondled that clit of yours.”

Moonlight is pouring into the cave,
And I feel the cold touch of the night air.
I wipe my nose with my sleeve.
“So all those times I was jerking off,
Like in my bedroom, let’s say,
You were crouched in the shadows
Watching how I pulled on my dick?”

Glyca kisses me softly on the lips.
“Many times since I met you, sure.
I was hiding there as I touched myself.
Sometimes we even came in unison.
I don’t know how I restrained myself
From jumping on you and raping you,
But I already felt you were special,
And I only wanted us to make love.
So please, let me pull down your pants
And take care of your tiny cock.”

I only gulp and nod.
Glyca’s eyes glisten with lust
As she unbuckles my belt,
Then takes off my pants
And almost rips off my underwear.
The thin fabric is moist with pre-cum.

When the night air starts cooling my dick,
I tremble from head to toe,
But Glyca places a hand on my shoulder.
“Relax, sweetie. Just let me touch you.”

She slides her palm slowly down my torso
Until it reaches my exposed groin.
A shiver goes through me
At her contact with my naked flesh.

The tip of my dick is a small bulb,
The only thing that protrudes from the scrotum.
My testicles are the size of golf balls,
And I have no hair on the shaft.

I squirm uncomfortably as I tremble.
Glyca grips my thighs tightly,
And pulls them apart
As she stares intently at my tiny prick.

Her cold, slender finger traces circles on the tip,
As her other hand gently massages my balls.
My dick has stiffened as much as it can,
But, of course, it’s hardly noticeable.

Glyca looks up at me with glowing eyes.
She opens her mouth wide,
Revealing the rows of sharp teeth.
Slimy saliva slides down towards her chin.

Glyca’s voice is low and sensual.
“Your genitals are beautiful, my boy,
So sensitive and delicate.
Your testicles are adorable too.”

My heart is pounding, my skin is flushed.
My tongue can barely move in my dry mouth.
“T-they are worthless, defective parts
That would never pleasure you like I want to.”

Glyca wipes the saliva dripping from her lips.
“I don’t know, boy, I bet they taste delicious.
If you have no use for them, would you let me
Just bite them off and munch on them?”

I flinch, my throat gets tighter.
I imagine Glyca chomping down on my dick,
Her teeth ripping my testicles open.
My genitals are tiny, useless appendages,
So I figure that if it would pleasure Glyca
To consume them and digest them,
At least they’d have served for something.

“Alright, Glyca, eat them if you want.
I’ll give you anything of mine you desire.
Just please, don’t make it too painful.”
Glyca reaches out to stroke my cystic face.
I feel her cool fingers on my cheeks.
“I was just teasing you, boy.
Don’t worry, I’d never hurt you!
Besides, genitals this beautiful
Deserve tender treatment.”

She lowers her face towards my dick,
And her cold, slimy saliva drips on it.
I tense up, my body is shuddering.
“There’s something about your little penis,”
Glyca says as she licks her lips,
“Something magical about it, my dear boy.
I want to hold it, and kiss it, and lick it.
I want to suck it, and fuck it, and breed it.”

Glyca’s viscous tongue feels cold and wet
When she licks the tip of my tiny dick.
I gasp. A warm shiver runs through me.
Her black, crimson eyes stare into my soul.

Glyca’s wet lips smother my penis.
Her two tongues wrap around it;
One licks the shaft, the other the head.
Her slippery saliva coats my genitals.

My skin is hot and moist.
My body is trembling with excitement.
My penis is throbbing and pulsating.
My toes curl, my fingers tingle.

Glyca’s sharp teeth hold me in place:
They are about to pierce the base
As she slurps noisily on the head.
Her other hand squeezes my balls.

My hips jerk and thrust forward.
My testicles tighten and swell.
I’m panting hard, and sweating.
I want so bad to come in her mouth.

I feel something reaching under my ass
To rub those cheeks, and tease my asshole.
I feel the tip of her tail secreting lubricant
As it throbs and aches to get inside me.

I explode, unleashing streams of cum
Deep into my girlfriend’s oral cavity.
With every spurt of semen,
Glyca lets out groans of satisfaction,
And increases the intensity
Of her suctioning motions.

When I come back to my senses,
I’m lying face up on the cave floor
As Glyca towers over me.
Her pussy gapes obscenely open,
Revealing a deep pink flesh beneath,
Pink meat surrounded by delicate hairs
That sprout outwards like tentacles.

It’s a dark, shadowy cavern
Where I can’t wait to hide.
I’d jump inside headfirst if I could.
I should be able to enter with my manhood,
But it’s a tiny bud, a tiny bulb, a tiny knob.
Its tip a tiny, whitish mushroom cap,
While Glyca’s tail is an enormous snake,
Lengthening beyond my sight.

“Let’s fuck!” Glyca suggests excitedly.
She almost drops on top of me,
To fill my mouth with her tongues
And align her opening with my cock.

Her inner labia part like a flower petal,
And they wrap around my swollen glans.
“I-I think that’s as far as it will go,”
I complain, then I contain a whimper.
Glyca deserves someone with a huge cock,
A handsome, virile, magnificent male,
Not a worthless shit like me.

Glyca presses her cold body against mine,
And her breath tickles my earlobe.
“My boy, I want to be inside you,”
Glyca whispers as she breathes hard.
“I need it bad, worse than anything before.
Please, let me get in. Even just a bit.
I beg you. Please. I need you.
I’m so hard I’m about to burst.”

She lifts my left thigh with hers,
Then she resumes probing my asshole.
I close my eyes, and I feel her tail,
That bulbous tip aching to dig in,
Like a fat thumb trying to fingerbang me.

Glyca’s tongue bathes my neck.
“You taste so good, boy.
Your salty sweat is delicious.
Your skin is smooth and soft,
So much nicer than my own.
Ah, you are like a dream come true.
I want you so bad, I can barely stand it!”

My penis is throbbing and twitching
In contact with her wet folds.
I can feel her heartbeat through her pussy.
My head is spinning with lust and arousal.

“Please, tell me you want me inside you,”
Glyca whispers hungrily into my ear.
“I want to fuck your virgin ass,
And maybe fill it a bit with my sperm.
But don’t worry, I won’t breed you yet.”

“A-ah, alright, but I don’t know how.
My asshole just won’t open by itself.”
“You are clenching it tight,
As if you wanted to keep me out.”

Her tip traces a circle around my asshole,
Like a slimy tongue licking around the rim.
“Relax your anus, boy, and let go.”
“I-I don’t know how to do that.”
“Just like you were pushing out shit.”
“But in that case I may shit myself!”

Glyca giggles in my ear, then sighs.
She reaches with one hand down
To spread one of my butt cheeks wide.
“You are ready, my boy. Just push.”

Her lubricated tail massages my hole,
And as soon as I manage to relax it,
It opens and accepts the slimy appendage.
It’s a snake sliding into a rat’s burrow.

I can barely breathe as it enters me deeper.
My anal ring is burning hot with pleasure
As her tail fills me, stretching me out.
I can only moan and writhe and gasp.

I hear Glyca’s moans and whimpers.
Feeling something burrowing into my ass
Is sending shivers throughout my body.
I don’t have to wonder whether I enjoy it;
My dick is throbbing and aching for release.

Glyca presses the surface of her teeth
Against my neck, which is slippery with saliva.
“Damn,” she manages to say as she pants,
“I’ve been dreaming of doing this with you.
That way you twitch and spasm under me…”

I can hardly move.
I’m a helpless, limp noodle.
I’m a love slave, a sex toy.
I’m a cum dump,
A red cyst filled with sperm.

Glyca kisses me passionately.
Her two tongues give me nectar and oxygen.
Each pump of her tail becomes wilder, rougher.
It’s a serpentine snake of flesh,
Moving rapidly in and out.
It seems she can’t get enough of fucking me.

I’m a worm with a cockless cunt,
She’s a beautiful, lewd, horny snake.
A pair of lovers in a world gone mad,
Where love is a crime.

The pleasure grows stronger and stronger,
Causing my legs to shake uncontrollably.
Her pussy lips are massaging my tip.
I squeeze Glyca’s ass cheeks tightly
As her firm thighs encircle my waist
And her tail pulsates deep in my guts.

“Oh yeah, fuck, it feels so good,”
Glyca grunts as her tail pumps.
She throws her head back,
Then she gasps and groans loudly.
I am filled with a warm, moist feeling;
Glyca shivers as she releases her load,
And in response, my tiny dick spits too.

The pleasure has overwhelmed me.
I’m lost somewhere inside my mind
Where nothing exists except pure bliss.

Glyca’s blood runs through me.
Inside my pores,
Down my throat,
All over my arms and legs,
Under my nails,
Deep within my ears,
Between my toes,
In the hollows of my bones.

A growl escapes Glyca’s throat,
Which resonates inside the cave.
She rolls off my chest,
Then hugs me tightly from the side.
My girlfriend sighs contentedly.
Her tail withdraws from my insides,
Leaving me horribly empty.

We snuggle close, wrapped tightly.
Glyca smells like a blooming flower,
And she tastes like the purest honey.
We breathe evenly as the tension drains out.

We lie motionless, silent,
For what feels like half an hour.
I can’t comprehend what just happened,
Except that it was incredible beyond words.

I open my eyes and I stare at the ceiling.
The moon illuminates a few bats
Which fly past the opening of the cave.
They flutter their wings loudly,
And emit loud squeaks and grunts
As they search for insects.

Dawn breaks across our bodies.
Waking up next to Glyca’s smiling face
Is the most beautiful waking dream.
We kiss softly as we caress each other.

“I love you, Glyca,” I blurt out without thinking,
But I mean it with every fiber of my being.
Glyca’s smile is as bright as the sun.
“Oh, my sweet boy! I love you as well.
I love you for your kindness and goodness,
How you try to make the world a better place,
Even though you are so different from them.”

I reach my hand and touch Glyca’s cheek,
And I kiss her gently on the forehead.
“I love you because you are a gem,
An exquisite work of art,
A rare treasure that I want to hold.
I love you because you are a goddess,
Your scales are smooth and soft,
Your eyes are black and full of mystery,
Your body is slender and graceful,
And your tail is long like a horse’s dick.
It is an unending source of wonder,
And it can be used for sex or war.”

Glyca laughs lightly and playfully.
“It’s much longer than that!
I can elongate it at will, in fact,
So it will always be able to reach
My sweet boy’s most tender places.”

Glyca has a smile like a sunrise,
Like a brilliant star,
Like a solitary rainbow
That pierces the clouds,
Or a shooting comet
With a tail of fire.

Glyca is a miracle.
She is the essence of life itself.
She is a spark of divinity.
My symbol of hope and beauty.

“I hate to mention this now,” I say,
“But we haven’t gotten rid of the worst,
And until he’s gone, I won’t be at peace.”
Glyca props herself on one elbow,
Then lets out a carefree laugh.
“I haven’t forgotten, and I’m hungry.
Let’s get to hunting then, my boy.
We’ll celebrate his death with more sex!”

‘A Millennium of Shadows, Pt. 5’ by Jon Ureña

Festerbump’s Fantasy Village, Pt. 4 (Fiction)

The three villagers and I had given up on venturing deeper into the forest, and instead we tried to listen for the trickle of water to locate the stream. It was complicated to distinguish between the sounds of birds chirping and the wind rustling through the leaves and branches, but the trickiest part was the sound of the villagers’ footsteps. Even the softest step on the carpet of dried leaves made a crunching noise, so they had to keep a careful watch on where to place their feet. We found two different edible species of mushrooms that didn’t look too disgusting, which the villagers added on top of the berries amassed in the basket.
The sound of running water grows loud enough that we know the surrounding trees must be hiding it. We follow the sound, and we suddenly reach the edge of the forest, arriving at the riverbank, which rises steeply on both sides of the brook. The stream flows swiftly between boulders, rushing past with white foam, carrying bits of wood downstream.
“Well, it appears we have found a source of drinking water,” Kurtz says, relieved.
My villagers stop in front of the bank, and peer into the crystal clear waters. The bottom of the brook is muddy, full of slippery stones. Us four gaze for a while at the silvery flow and listen to its soothing song. The midday sun warms my skin, the gentle breeze caresses my cheek. The air is sweet with the scent of growing plants.
I find myself comparing this pleasing moment with the world my real body is stuck in: lying on the lounge chair in a darkened room of a cramped apartment, located in an ugly and crumbling world that I wish I could forget. It must be around two or three in the morning, and tomorrow I’ll have to work on my freelance contracts or risk losing a couple of clients.
“Let’s walk along the edge until the riverbank goes flat,” Joseph suggests.
“I need to rest for a good while,” Kurtz says as he follows the older human. “This day has already been quite tiring.”
The villagers have to walk around lush vegetation, including tall reeds, that have grown besides the waters. Further upstream, the brook forms a few shallow waterfalls. As soon as the slope flattens enough for the villagers to walk on the pebbly riverbank, Sue hurries to fetch some water. Her breasts bounce around inside her peasant dress. She kneels on the bank and dips a cupped hand into the brook. When she drinks, she closes her eyes and lets out a squeal of delight that would have made my real body much warmer. She also splashes her cheeks and neck with cool water.
I sit down next to a boulder and stare at the rushing water, which carries away leaves and twigs. I’ll need to log off soon, and it has soured my mood. When was the last time I walked through a forest in real life? Maybe back when I was a child. But the virtual experience is so immersive and compelling that I guess it makes no difference. Even the nastier monsters that we might come across wouldn’t damage me. Once again I wish I could be plugged into this system permanently so I could never leave.
I look up at the sky. The bright blue dome is dotted with white clouds, and the wind rustles through the leaves of nearby trees. When I look back down, Kurtz is plunging his hands into the cold water, then he washes his face until his long beard is dripping wet. Joseph has headed to the largest piece of driftwood, which is floating near the closest edge of the brook. Joseph kneels beside the driftwood, places both hands under its broad flat top, and lifts the heavy object. When he sets it down on a patch of soft mud, two tiny frogs pop out and dart towards the trunk of a tree growing close to the stream. They hide among the roots.
“What is that about?” Sue asks. She approaches the human as she holds her hands behind her back.
“Now that we’ll be able to feed ourselves decently enough,” Joseph says, “until we start growing crops, we’ll have to figure out how to build a few huts.”
The dwarf sighs as if contemplating the work ahead.
“So we’ll have to haul large pieces of wood back to the clearing. How do we plan to carry them?”
“We’ll have to chop most of them up, and then find a way to fabricate a few log carriers.”
“I assume that the higher being among us will help with that,” Kurtz says, then looks around as if to locate me, but he realizes that I could be anywhere now.
I float closer to them.
“I’ll help you, of course, but I’ll also have to start saving up for more significant boons.”
“Shouldn’t we also need to carry some water back to the clearing?” Sue says as she drinks more from her cupped hand.
“I guess so.”
I conjure a big wooden pail with a metallic handle. The three villagers flinch, but Sue is pleased.
“Thank you, lord Festerbump! It’s such a relief that we can rely on your support.”
It feels so satisfying when the villagers praise me, particularly this elf I have a crush on, that I want to help them all the time. I don’t recall anyone praising me like this in real life, even the few times I went out of my way to make life easier for others.
“If there is anything else you need, please let me know,” I say.
The three villagers sit in a circle to rest for a while. Joseph puts down the bow and quiver next to him, then lies back on the pebbles and closes his eyes. Sue and Kurtz eat berries and mushrooms hungrily. When Sue is full, she lets out a long sigh and lies down as well as if to take a nap, and crosses a forearm over her eyes. I leer freely at how her breasts stretch the soft fabric of her dress, at how the breeze plays with her dark gold tresses.
“I guess we’ll have to start gathering wood until the evening,” Kurtz says, disheartened.
“The sooner we start, the fewer nights we’ll spend sleeping under the stars,” Joseph says, his eyes still closed. “One of these days is going to rain for sure.”
“That would be miserable,” Sue says.
“At least the rain would wash away some of the mud,” Kurtz says as he checks his clothes.
“Also, if our godling is kind enough to produce a sturdy axe,” Joseph says, “we could chop up suitable trees right next to the clearing.”
I sigh.
“I’m sure that an axe will cost you plenty of effort, given that I have to pay for it. So you’ll need to spend your energies gathering decent wood for the rest of the day.”
“Well, I’d rather collect wood or chop down trees than hunt dangerous animals,” Kurtz says, “so we can leave all the shooting to you, human. And I’m talking about animals far more dangerous than deer and the nasty spider we came across.”
Sue’s chest raises as she fills it with air.
“For a while let’s just enjoy the sun and rest for a while, alright? This life is worth very little if we can’t take a break from time to time.”
When even the dwarf lies down, I face that my break has ended. I need to wake up from my lucid dream, log off and return to my dreary reality. I have the urge to say goodbye to my new friends, but they won’t know I’m gone. I stop the game, and the VR system returns me to the hub. It’s an endless, silent grey space with only the barest mesh forming a dome over my head.
I shut off the system. My eyes are closed, but I feel myself lying on my lounge chair, as well as the weight of the VR helmet on my head. I open my eyes and face the ceiling of my dark, cramped bedroom, and I smell the dust and my own sweat. A small lamp casts light onto me and the mattress next to the chair. I left the window open, which lets the sounds of the street drift into the apartment. The usual drunks are jabbering loudly in the nearby bar, as freely as if the world belonged to them, and I guess it does. They can keep it.
I close the window and lumber to the kitchen for a glass of water. I sit at the table, drink half of the water, then freeze with the glass halfway to the table. I can’t focus my gaze. My mind is trying to organize by itself all the work I’ll have to struggle through tomorrow, possibly until three or four in the afternoon. I feel a surge of fear when I realize that I’m not sure I’ll be able to accomplish any of it.
A familiar sentiment overwhelms me: I wish I were fucking dead. I’ve never been cut out for this life, and I have no idea why I bother enduring day after day of this nonsense. I want to return to the virtual world and be with fake people who understand what it means to live a real life, or else I want to grab the nearest knife and slit my wrists.
I slam the glass against the edge of the table and watch the shards fall. I’m not thinking straight. My senses have become dulled by the soft haze of the VR world, and the sharpness of reality is overpowering. I can’t stand it anymore. I hope I’ll manage to sleep for enough hours.
I go to the bathroom and splash cold water on my face. I walk to the bedroom, I switch off the lamp, and pull the sheets off my mattress. I crawl under them. A couple of minutes after I close my eyes, when the darkness feels total, I let the tears flow for a while. There’s nothing to do except weep, and I need to empty the grief from my body before I fall asleep.

* * *

The sun of the early afternoon bathes the trees in light, while birds fly freely between the branches above us.
“So should we build a hut for each villager?” Sue asks enthusiastically.
“Our options will be limited by the amount and quality of materials we can gather,” Joseph says, “so that’s going to be a problem, even if our lord Festerbump grants us an axe.”
“And most of the valuable resources are buried,” Kurtz says. “So we’ll probably end up having to dig.”
“I’m sure you’d feel more comfortable in an underground home, but we’ll have to make do with the materials above ground.”
The three villagers keep looking around at the fallen branches and trunks we come across.
“Let me tell you an example of how not to build a house,” Kurtz says, and sighs. “This happened a few years ago in a community I used to live in. They tried to construct a building mostly out of mud bricks. We had no proper tools to dig the foundations, and as a result, when the walls weren’t yet finished, the floorboards collapsed underneath. The workers managed to salvage the construction, and a family lived there for a while, but when spring arrived, the floor gave away completely and buried them under a pile of dirt. What I mean is, we have to be extra careful if we barely know what we are doing.”
Sue grabs a fallen branch, then leans on it as she gazes thoughtfully into space.
“We’ll have that in mind,” Joseph says, “but I’m worried about getting decent lumber to begin with. Transporting logs to the clearing would be a pain. Our best option would be to chop down trees in the edge of the clearing. And that way we can use the same wood for all the huts as well.”
“I’m telling you now,” I say, “I can’t conjure an axe with the goodwill you have accumulated through your efforts, because I’ve spent too much of it. So you’ll have to focus on gathering available materials first.”
“Alright, then we’ll have to change the order in which we gather the materials. I was thinking of using straw for the roofs, and it would work as rope too. It does wonders to protect against wind, rain and snow. But we can’t make it without the stalks of cereal plants.”
“What about those rushes and reeds that are growing along the riverbank?” Sue suggests.
Joseph nods as he rubs his stubble.
“Yes, we should gather them. They will provide good insulation, and they can even be made into a basket, when we need more and lord Festerbump could use his powers for better options. The main issue is that we don’t have any tools to cut the plant stems, but I guess we can just gather them for now and rely on the axe later.”
“Let’s get to it then,” Sue says. “I don’t want to be caught in the woods when it gets darker.”
My three villagers barely speak as they head to the brook, a stretch of which passes by a kilometer or so away from the clearing. I accelerate time until they reach it, and they busy themselves gathering reeds and rushes. Sue walks with a light step as she does so, sometimes humming to herself. I can’t stop watching her. She moves with the gracefulness of a dancer. Her hair flows behind her, long and golden like wheat fields, and shining brightly in the sunlight. The men look awkward as they outstretch their arms to root out the most suitable reeds beside the stream.
I wish I had been born into Sue’s skin, or I guess into anyone like her. I might then enjoy doing things like these. I’d be useful, for a change. I suppose it’s too late for that.
When the three villagers have piled up a large number of long, slender, green reed shoots, they set out for the clearing with the load. The dwarf, who’s holding one end of the bundle of reeds, staggers at times, visibly exhausted.
They leave the reeds on the grass of the clearing, next to the pail full of water. They stand around as they recover their breath.
“Is this enough work to reward us with an axe, godling?” Kurtz asks in a sarcastic tone.
“It’s very close. I’d say that if you spend a couple of hours gathering more useful stuff, I’ll have your axe ready for tonight.”
The prospect of racking up two more hours of tiredness must have gotten to the dwarf, because his legs tremble, and he lowers himself wearily to the grass.
“Just stay here,” Sue says to him. “I’m sure Joseph and I can do the work by ourselves.”
“Alright,” the dwarf says as he fails to hide a smile of relief. “But don’t get carried away.”
Joseph and Sue scour the surroundings of the clearing, and they stack piles of suitable sticks, fallen branches and tree bark to haul them to the clearing eventually. These materials will later serve as planks, beams, roof tiles and such. By the time they decide to finish, the trunks surrounding them are blocking most of the sunlight. A breeze has picked up, and in the dimness, the branches sway in unison.
The two working villagers return to the clearing, hauling a few branches that were at hand. Joseph’s arms are scratched from the bushes and thorns. They sit down on the grass close to the dwarf, and wipe the sweat from their brows.
“That went by quick,” Kurtz says.
I bring up the interface to conjure tools.
“Hard work deserves a reward.”
In a few seconds, as the villagers wait expectantly, an axe appears on the grass in front of them. It’s made of black iron. The blade is thick, but not too wide, and ends with a small spike at the back. The handle has a grip like that of a machete.
Sue claps.
“An axe!”
“A mighty weapon that can cut through anything,” I say.
“It’s beautiful,” Kurtz says as he reaches out for it.
After the dwarf picks up the axe, he stands up and examines its blade. He runs his fingers along its edges, testing its sharpness.
“I can hardly believe it,” he says in a thin voice. “Just where do these tools come from?”
I shrug.
“From the world of the gods.”
“You have our gratitude, lord Festerbump,” Joseph says, tired.
“A thousand thanks to the great Festerbump,” Sue adds.
My villagers’ gratitude barely registers a blip in my consciousness. I feel like I’m interacting with them from behind the glass of a zoo exhibit. My mind is getting fogged up.
“I guess I can be decent enough from time to time,” I say. “I wish I could do more, though.”
The next time I look over to Kurtz, he’s taking off his shirt. The hair that covers his muscular shoulders connects with his hairy chest, and his thick brown beard flows down his powerful torso. Thankfully he’s keeping his pants.
“That’s wholly unnecessary,” I say.
Kurtz smirks.
“You two, follow me,” he says to the other villagers. “I’ll show you how this thing gets used.”
He walks towards the woods. Sue and Joseph stand up, and they walk behind him.
“This axe is a gift from the god of the universe, I guess,” Kurtz says as he grips the axe with both hands. “I’ve never had one before, but I just need to hold it to feel that anyone with it would be able to make a good living.”
“That may be your dwarven blood speaking,” Sue says.
“I would have rejected such a notion just days ago, but you may be right.”
A short distance away, in the woods, lies a huge tree trunk that has recently felled itself. Its branches are heavy and thick, and they spread wide. Kurtz grips the handle of the axe tightly with both hands. As he grits his teeth, he raises the axe above his head and brings the blade down with great force. A loud crack echoes. He strikes the log again and the sound of splitting wood resounds throughout the area. His muscles bulge as he swings the axe once more, then again. He has to stop every few seconds to catch his breath, but he keeps at it. The axe has carved a deep groove through the hardwood, nearly cutting through.
“Whoa,” Sue says.
Kurtz stops after the fifth or sixth swing. The axe has split the tree trunk into two pieces.
“You’ve done well, master dwarf,” Joseph says, “but I think we’d better rest for the remainder of the day. I’m sure we are all hungry.”
Kurtz nods, but he’s looking at the axe he’s wielding as if surprised of the effect that holding it has on him.
“Sure, I can leave more chopping for tomorrow,” he says. “I don’t know what happened to my body, but I feel so strong now.”
The sun sets on the horizon, casting a warm glow over the clearing. After my three villagers sit down close to the basket with berries and mushrooms, and the pail full of water, their exhaustion gets to them. Kurtz breathing sounds ragged. All of them are dirty and covered in more or less dry sweat.
They eat in a trance, gobbling the scavenged food like beasts, without any thought or emotion. The first stars begin to appear, shining like jewels, and by then, the three villagers have collapsed onto the grass. They’re asleep before they know it. Kurtz starts snoring. One of his hands is almost touching the axe, and its blade gleams dully.
I float towards Sue, who’s lying on her back, eyes closed. Her dark gold hair has spread across the grass. I stare at her pretty face for a while as I fall into a trance of my own. I wish I could sleep that peacefully. I wish I wasn’t alone in this world.
A few minutes later, I log off from the game. I need to nourish the real body I’m trapped in.

A few days ago, when I finished the previous part, I was sure I wouldn’t write again for a long while, but the next morning I started writing as soon as I prepared my coffee. My brain is a mess. However, the overall state I have fallen into has worsened; I feel that every task is unsurmountable despite any previous experience, and I just want to crawl under the sheets and sleep for weeks.

More importantly for this story, I think I’m done with it for a while. I just can’t manage to make writing it fun for me, although I’m not sure if I can make anything fun at this moment.

Festerbump’s Fantasy Village, Pt. 3 (Fiction)

As my three villagers walk slowly into the forest, the morning sun shines through the leaves overhead. The sounds of insects and birds fill the forest with noise. Kurtz grumbles every now and then as if being surrounded by beauty bothers him, while the other two villagers are warming up to the prospect of building a home here.
Sue stops next to a clump of ferns beside the path, and points at a patch of mushrooms growing near the roots of a tree.
“Look! Look!”
Kurtz stops walking and peers suspiciously at the little white caps poking out of the mossy dirt.
“Are they edible?” Sue asks.
Joseph steps forward and looks closer. He reaches down, twists and pulls the bottom of the stem of one of the mushrooms, then tears it off. He holds the mushroom up for Sue and Kurtz to see. They both take a sniff, but shrug.
“It smells sort of funny…” Sue says with suspicion.
“I’ve never eaten anything that came from a mushroom before,” Joseph says.
“You don’t eat things that come out of the mushroom, human,” Kurtz says, “just the mushroom itself!”
Kurtz turns around and starts to walk away.
“Wait,” I call after him. “Where are you going?”
“To find that stream,” he answers curtly.
“I mean, why don’t we pick some mushrooms for breakfast?” Sue asks.
“We’re not eating that shit,” Kurtz says without turning back.
“Will you wait for a second?” Joseph asks.
Kurtz stops, takes a deep breath and walks back reluctantly.
“Do you know how many mushrooms are poisonous? I haven’t seen that variety before. You have no clue what you’d be putting in your mouth.”
“I know, but…”
“But nothing. I can’t be the only person who knows that plenty of mushrooms are dangerous. It’s a simple fact.”
I clear my throat to get their attention.
“My godly powers can help with this predicament.”
“How so?” Joseph asks.
When I interact with any object of the game world, I can bring up a panel that shows its properties. It floats next to the patch of mushrooms as if I were wearing AR glasses. This is one of the species of fungi that the developers of the game brought over from the real world. It’s called Amanita bisporigera.
“One of my powers consists on the ability to identify anything we come across, and I can tell you that eating even a small amount of this deadly mushroom could kill you.”
Sue steps back.
“You’re kidding!”
“This fungus is called the ‘destroying angel’, and it’s extraordinarily poisonous. Its toxin causes cellular necrosis.”
Kurtz frowns.
“Cellular necrosis? I don’t know what either of those words mean.”
“It means don’t eat that shit,” I say.
Kurtz shakes his head, narrows his shoulders, and resumes walking. The other two villagers follow him this time.
Joseph looks over his shoulder to address me, assuming I’m following them, and he’s right.
“We can rely on you regarding whether any of the potential food we come across will kill us, right?”
“Of course I will. I have no reason to lie about something like this, and my knowledge is perfect.”
“Plenty of berries are poisonous as well, aren’t they?” Sue asks warily.
“Many things in this world will try to kill you even passively, for sure. But let’s just keep going and see if something out here might be edible. Don’t worry. We’ll all be fine. It’s my job to look after you three, and I promise to do it as best I can.”
We come across a small bush with berries that the developers have invented. I don’t retain the nonsensical latin name for this species. They are greenish purple spheres covered with bumps. Their texture reminds me of rotten meat, and its scent comes across as strawberry jam mixed with pus.
Kurtz shakes his head.
“I don’t care if these ones are edible. I don’t want to witness any of you eating them either.”
“They are poisonous,” I say.
“Let’s just continue…” Sue says, deflated.
Shortly after, we encounter a small plant whose stems produce small flowers.
“Those flowers are poisonous too,” I warn my villagers. “Don’t touch them. Also, see that leafless branch above us, with all those white dots covering it? This kind of tree is poisonous too. Don’t climb it.”
The three villagers stare at the branches, which are about four meters off the ground.
“Are you serious?” Kurtz asks as if I’m making a cruel joke.
“Why did you choose this poisoned forest of all places for us to found a village? Was this a punishment?”
I rub the eyes of my avatar, which feels the same as if I were inhabiting my real, decaying body. My criteria for picking this coordinate of the generated world was reduced to it containing a temperate forest and being far enough from hostile settlements. I went ahead with the first coordinate I came across that matched those criteria. A more careful player would have gone over the lists of flora and fauna that this world had produced to make sure that the forest didn’t contain, for example, radioactive trees or carnivorous plants.
“Well, a forest that contains plenty of poisonous vegetation is unattractive for the kinds of pseudo-sentient animal or monstrous species that may have wanted to raid your future village otherwise.”
“But it’s also unattractive for people who need to forage here to survive!”
Joseph approaches the source of my voice. His expression is level-headed, or aloof.
“Are there edible berries in this forest, godling?”
“That’s what we ventured into the forest to figure out,” I say as confidently as I can.
“I guess we now know why you aren’t a major god,” Kurtz mutters.
My heart sinks, and I have a hard time looking directly at my villagers although they can’t see me. I’ve abandoned previous playthroughs of other games because the sentient AIs ended up hating me, so the temptation to rage-quit remains, but now I’m mainly worried because I have learned very little from my experiences. I want to blame it on depression. I want to blame a lot of things that have gone wrong in my life on my old demonic pal.
I take a deep breath.
“Listen, I chose this forest to found a new village because it’s in the middle of nowhere. Very few sentient species ever come here, and there’s hardly anyone else living nearby. That diminishes the chances that if someone does stumble upon us here, they will attack us. Currently, we are very vulnerable, so we need to speed up our efforts of locating sources of edible food other than hunting.”
“Alright, let’s try to solve this issue as soon as possible,” Joseph says decisively.
Nobody breaks the silence for a few minutes as we proceed deeper into the forest. The bushes become thicker and taller, and as the undergrowth gets denser, it’s harder to spot the plants. Both Kurtz and Sue are sweating, and already tired.
A group of butterflies flutter past my invisible head. They are orange, black and yellow striped.
“Look how they dance in the air,” Sue says dreamily.
She reaches for one of them, and it lands on the back of her hand. The insect’s wings are a brilliant iridescent orange. Its body has four short legs and a large abdomen that houses a pair of tiny eyes. A row of small teeth runs along the inside edge of each wing, and the tip of the sting is curved and sharp.
“Ouch!” Sue complains.
She retracts her hand sharply, which causes the butterfly to fly away. As the elf steps back, a bead of blood appears on the patch of skin where the butterfly had landed.
“Are you alright?” I ask.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” she answers with a forced smile.
“Those butterflies were venomous.”
As Sue gets paler, Kurtz grimaces in disgust without sparing the insects a glance.
“How bad of a venom are we talking…?” the elf says in a thin voice.
“It won’t kill you,” I answer. “Just don’t scratch it, no matter how good it may feel. Anyway, let’s keep moving.”
I was getting increasingly dejected until I spot a cluster of black berries growing among a bed of grass. There seem to be thousands of tiny fruits protruding from stems made of fuzzy hairs. Most of the berries are ripe, soft round seeds encased in traslucent jelly.
“Finally!” I blurt out. “Those are edible, and very nutritious as well.”
Sue smiles like a kid who got her hands on an ice cream cone. She plucks a handful of the berries and places one on her tongue. She chews on it for a few seconds.
“It’s good! Just a little bitter, but tasty.”
Joseph takes a berry from her hand and pops it into his mouth. He chews it thoughtfully.
“This will work.”
Kurtz sighs. He grabs a handful of berries and munches on them as if he’s trying to get a dose of vitamins or minerals from them. He seems pleased by their taste.
“So we’ll get to eat at least berries, possibly some mushrooms, apart from whatever animal we kill.”
“We should thank God for providing such abundance,” Joseph says as he crouches to pluck fresh berries.
“Abundance? We have strayed far from the clearing, and we have only found one species of edible berries. Nevermind, how are we going to carry them back?”
I bring up the interface with the list of all the stuff I can spend the accumulated points on. I conjure a large basket made of straw, which appears on the grass between my villagers. It will take them a while to get used to stuff popping up into existence, but the three of them take big handfuls of the berries and drop them into the basket.
“That should be more than enough,” Joseph says. ” We shouldn’t be excessively enthusiastic in plucking berries unless we are sure we will eat most of them.”
“One day we’ll make jam out of them,” Sue says perkily.
As Joseph carries the basket full of berries, we walk further in the same direction. There isn’t much sunlight filtering down down into the forest. We move cautiously, walking around obstacles without touching them.
I had noticed that Kurtz hung his head low and seemed deep in thought. He suddenly starts talking over his shoulder to me.
“Godling, why can’t you just make a bunch of useful stuff appear whenever you want? What’s the limit here?”
“It depends on the amount of actions my villagers perform and which are conducive to their survival and the prosperity of their future village. The harder you work, the more power I have to grant you boons.”
“So you are unable to conjure stuff otherwise?”
“I’m serious, yes.”
“Who the hell made that rule? Some god above you? Or is this a property of reality?”
I have nothing to gain from revealing to any sentient AI that they exist in a computer simulation. My job is to keep them going, which will contribute to distract me from my own problems. I’m not like those other players who enjoy inflicting existential crises on their subjects; I’ve had to struggle through such crises for my entire life, and I want to spare others from those nightmares.
“There are mysteries on every layer of this universe, my friend,” I say grimly.
I would have expected Kurtz to retort something to annoy me, but he furrows his brow and scratches his long beard. The silence between us four grows awkward.
“How old are you, by the way?” Sue asks to the dwarf.
The elf’s arms sway gracefully as she walks briskly. She seems much happier than before.
“If you should know, I guess I’ll tell you,” Kurtz says reluctantly. “I’m twenty.”
“Is that dwarf code for something?” Joseph asks as he snaps his head towards Kurtz. “As in you have actually lived for a few hundred years?”
“No, I’ve literally just lived for twenty years!” Kurtz says with a bit of annoyance, and then he takes a deep breath. “Given how ruinous the last war was for my people, I’m lucky that I have survived so far.”
“But the length of your beard…” Sue says while she gestures as if she herself had grown one on her delicate face.
“I guess you have met very few dwarves! For you taller peoples, having a beard is a sign of maturity and wisdom, but even dwarf women start growing their beards before their first period!”
“Weird, isn’t it?” Sue replies.
I shiver.
“Disturbing, more like it.”
Kurtz shoots me a look of outrage over his shoulder.
“I was working in my store when you chose to involve me in your existence!”
As I was about to reply, Sue interrupts me.
“So I’m older than you, Kurtz, by a few years! I’m your big sister.”
Kurtz looks down.
“I had a real sister before the orc war,” he mutters in a thin voice. “I don’t want a new one.”
He walks on in silence. I notice that his shoulders are shaking slightly.
A few minutes later we spot something troubling among the trees ahead of us: a giant spider web. Several webs. The sticky strands stretch across the path in front of us, covering a large area. A dead, desiccated rabbit is suspended from the tangle, as well as a few other cocoons.
“What the hell?” Kurtz says.
“God, I hate spiders,” Sue says as if she wished she could shout it.
“They are terrifying, evil beings,” Kurtz agrees quietly.
Joseph steps casually towards the web.
“They are intelligent creatures that build intricate traps to capture their victims. This particular one has worked well, since there is plenty of prey in it.”
He picks up the rabbit carcass hanging off the thick strand, and I cringe.
“Hey, don’t touch that nasty crap.”
Sue attempts to grab the dwarf’s arm, but only manages to touch his shoulder awkwardly as she points with a trembling finger at a hole in a nearby tree. The hole is covered in silky hair, and at first I only make out a big, bulging eye staring at us. The creature inside is motionless, its mandible closed tight around a large moth. The arachnid’s carapace is greyish brown, rough-looking like sandpaper, but glistens faintly in the dimness. Two pairs of legs emerge from behind the spider, one pair reaching up to support its body and the second pair folded neatly along its abdomen. Its round thorax sits on top of the third leg pair, supported by a cluster of bristles. From the base of the abdomen protrudes a fat tail ending in two tiny pincers. As if sensing we have noticed it, the arachnid swings itself off the wall of silk, leaving the empty husk of the moth behind. Its movements are surprisingly graceful despite its size.
Before I know it, the three villagers are running away. I call after them, but they ignore me.
I’m alone with the cat-sized spider, which is crawling slowly over the webby grass. Although I should be invisible to the arachnid, there’s something eerie about how it’s staring in my direction. To my surprise, this one creature isn’t venomous.
I turn around and float in pursuit of my fleeing villagers.

Unfortunately, I’m on the verge of dropping this story, and maybe writing altogether for a while. These past couple of weeks I’ve felt unmotivated, lethargic, out of it, and unable to focus on even the stuff that I usually enjoy. I rarely want to do anything or go anywhere. I’m likely depressed again. In addition, I’ve had to handle huge messes at work, and the usual idiocy of many of the users I have to deal with, as well as being pursued to solve problems that aren’t my responsibility, has gotten to me. Then I look at the current state of the world, and how the leaders of what remains of Western civilization manage to take even more insane and suicidal decisions at every turn (somehow in the back of my mind I retain the hope that at any new disaster they will surely have learned their lesson, but they never do). My city has gotten so unsafe in the last few years that I rarely want to go out unless I have a reason or it’s sunny enough to go in the woods. In general, everything is either shit or feels like shit for me at the moment.

Festerbump’s Fantasy Village, Pt. 2 (Fiction)

Like most nights, I lie awake as I stare into the dark. I can’t breathe properly, something is squeezing the inside of my chest. I’ve wasted the last few hours turning over in bed because I can’t switch off my brain. I need to get at least a couple hours of sleep, because I’ll spend the first half of tomorrow programming the latest gadget for a client’s website. I can see myself hunched over my desk, programming away to meet the deadline, the entire time wishing I were sleeping instead. Even the crazier dreams make sense to my subconscious, while waking up makes less and less sense every day.
My thoughts continue churning. If only I could reach out, grab hold of something solid. A rope ladder that leads upwards. A staircase that leads downwards. Anything that doesn’t disappear under my feet whenever I put my weight on it. Or maybe something to lean on, that would support my tired heart.
The whole night passes in a feverish blur. When the alarm blares, I can’t tell if I have slept at all. I can hear cars passing by on the road below. I sit up in what I call my bed, which is just a mattress and a blanket, and I rub my eyes for a while as I gather the strength to stand up.
I prepare a warm cup of coffee and I sit in front of my desk. I’ve received new emails from a few clients who want updates, but I haven’t managed to reply to other clients who wrote to me days ago. They wait to hear from someone who’s barely here anymore.
After some long hours of typing, I’ve had enough for today. I make myself a grilled cheese sandwhich for lunch. I face that I will need to go out and buy stuff to fill my almost empty fridge; it may be around a week and a half since I bought groceries. I take a shower, mostly to clear my head. After I dress myself with jeans and a shirt, I grab my old-fashioned leather jacket, my oversized black woollen beanie, and my favorite heavy boots. Once I walk down the stairs, I realize I’ve left my apartment without the obligatory mask. I turn back and grab one from the coat rack.
It’s dark outside, as if the sun was already setting, because the clouds hover low, threatening rain. The air is damp and chilly. On my way to the supermarket, I pass in front of the occupied outside tables of bars, mostly frequented by strange people whose languages I don’t understand. Everybody speaks so loud. I want to shove my index fingers into my ear canals.
I hadn’t worn a mask for a while. I’m breathing lukewarm air mostly made of carbon dioxide, and every time I exhale, air escapes through the gaps between the mask and my nose, blowing particles into my eyes. I feel sick to my stomach, and every step is an effort.
As soon as I enter the supermarket, a staff member checks my temperature, then lets me pass. I feel a sudden wave of exhaustion. It’s so hard to ignore the constant noise of the shoppers, and the brightness of the fluorescent lamps, and the smell of the food stalls, and the background music, and the sound of the cash registers. My head is bothering me, my skin itches.
All the customers are wearing masks, and most are dressed in warm clothes. They stand at a safe distance from each other while they check out the goods. I try to avoid meeting anyone’s gaze, afraid of being infected with whatever virus they are carrying, or with their humanity.
I spot someone familiar out of the corner of my eye. For a split second I recognize Sue, who wears a coat and a scarf, and holds a shopping basket while she reads the back of a cereal box. But she’s just a middle-aged woman with long, dark blonde hair and above average breasts. She looks like a mother.
Sue. What a stupid name for an elf. Other players complained about the lists of names from which the generators make their choices when creating new NPCs. There must be mods out there to expand or improve those lists, but I haven’t bothered to search for them. Besides, the game just updated, so those modded lists may not work with the current build.
I’m already infatuated with that elf; she’s as perfectly hot as only a virtual person can be, she admires me because I’m powerful, and she belongs to a world where I’d rather live instead. I can hardly wait to return home and lose myself in the virtual realm, where I may forget, even if just for a few minutes, that my real body lies on a lounge chair located in a world that’s crumbling at an exponential pace.
My head hurts. A dull ache, like a hangover. I’m waiting in queue to finally leave with my groceries. I smell stale sweat. The noise level is unbearable, especially when the store assistants try to communicate in loud voices. I’m nervous, tense, as if I were standing close to wild animals and waiting for them to attack me.
As I hold my three shopping bags filled with groceries that may last a couple of weeks, I hurry out of the building. I’m feeling increasingly ill. While I head straight towards my apartment building, my vision is blurred, my mind feels foggy. A feeling of unreality lingers in me, as it has for long. I feel as if I could punch a wall only for my fist to pass through the molecules of the paint and the bricks; it would make sense if this entire world was a scenario built to fuck with me, given how every aspect of it assaults either my senses or my mind.
I just notice that a rancid reggaeton song is increasing in volume and approaching me from behind when the source brushes me by: it was a couple of teenagers on a bicycle, who are zigzagging through pedestrians as if racing at an obstacle course. At least I’m not the only pedestrian who stops and glares at the couple of shitheads, who know that riding a bike on the pavement is illegal, but that even if police officers were to spot them, they wouldn’t bother telling them off.
When I finally reach my apartment, my right hand trembles as I unlock the front door. I shut it behind me. I take my mask off and throw it on the console table. I wish I never had to leave the safety and sanity of my apartment. How does anyone tolerate spending time around human beings?
Once I’ve undressed myself down to my underwear, I set my purchases on the kitchen table. I unpack the groceries and put them away either in the few cupboards or the fridge. I’m itching to lie on the lounge chair to lose myself in virtual reality, but I’m also hungry. I pull out a couple of tins of tuna and eat straight from the container. I wash it down with water.
A few minutes later, I’ve done all I needed to give up being human for a couple of hours. I lie back comfortably on my lounge chair, I put the VR helmet on my head and I adjust it. When I exhale, the accumulated anxiety that had been squeezing the insides of my chest leaves through my nostrils. My mind is now calm, clear, almost lucid. My heart is pumping fresh blood into every part of my body.

* * *

I’ve returned to the clearing surrounded by a temperate forest, and I’m floating weightless. The hands of my avatar are as transparent as a jellyfish, but my whole body remains invisible for the three people I left sleeping on the grass. I fly down to observe the young woman lying in front of me. Sue is curled into a ball with her hands covering her face. Every last one of her dark gold hairs is perfectly placed.
As pleasant as the scene feels, I won’t wait around for hours until my three villagers wake up, so I accelerate time. The villagers stir frantically in slumber. Kurtz, the dwarf, snores loudly, while Joseph tosses fitfully, turning every now and then as if enduring a bad dream.
The sun hasn’t risen yet, though the day is starting to turn blue. A cool breeze rustles through the trees, carrying the smell of dew and pine needles. The birds are chirping happily in their nests. Now that the villagers are mostly silent, I hear that water trickles somewhere nearby. Everything is vibrantly alive. I’m overwhelmed by an urge to explore and learn more.
This clearing and the surrounding forest will be home soon enough, both for the villagers and for me. Life will begin anew. We’ll grow food together, we’ll hunt animals for meat and fur, we’ll make baskets and wickerware. We’ll live together in harmony. And in time we will forget how miserable we really are.
Sue’s hair is spread out around her face, and her breathing sounds like a gentle sigh. Her eyes appear closed, but they are merely covered by her eyelashes. Her lips are slightly parted, revealing the tip of her tongue, and a strand of saliva is dripping onto her chin. Her arms and legs rest motionlessly next to her torso, giving the impression of an angel statue come to life. I wonder how her skin would feel like beneath my fingertips.
When the three villagers finally wake up, though, they’re hungry, tired and irritable. Kurtz stretches his back carefully while grimacing, as if it hurts.
“So, where does your god go every morning? To worship himself?”
He laughs at his own joke. I’m not sure whether he has a sense of humour or simply likes to provoke me.
Joseph scratches his stubble. The sun shines bright upon the dew-covered grass.
“I doubt that a god needs to sleep.”
“He’s also your god for now, Kurtz,” Sue says. “But I sure hope he appears… I don’t want to spend a whole day here without any direction.”
Kurtz shakes his head. He looks down at his boots, which are caked in mud and dirt.
“I guess the only thing a dwarf can do is obey god, and then ask for forgiveness when he makes a mistake.”
“Try to avoid making mistakes to begin with,” I say with my booming voice.
The three are startled and turn sharply towards the source, although I’m invisible for them. The dwarf frowns, but Sue seems relieved.
“Did you three sleep well in this idyllic clearing?” I ask.
“I did, yes,” Joseph replies.
“I had such pleasant dreams,” Kurtz starts resentfully, “knowing I have been kidnapped into slavery.”
“What slave master are you talking about?” I ask.
“You! Damn invisible wizard!”
“That’s ridiculous. There’s no slavery involved.”
“Don’t play dumb, magical fart! You stole us away from our people! From our stores! You think this place is heaven?!”
“It is a beautiful forest,” I say.
Joseph is quiet, gazing intently into space, and the lack of support bothers the dwarf.
“What is it with you, human?” Kurtz asks to Joseph, and taps his arm with the back of the hand. “Don’t you care that this god has snatched you away from home?”
“I haven’t had anything resembling a home for years,” Joseph answers calmly. “This is a nice break for me. I feel quite free here.”
Kurtz snorts, and shakes his head.
“Free? Free to what? Go and commit suicide? Join the army of orcs? Wander around the forest and get eaten by wild animals? I guess some people are made for servitude!”
“If not a godling, a baron or a count. At least a god, even a local one, has genuine powers.”
“There’s nothing noble about serving another person. Serving is just submission.”
Sue lets out a noise of disbelief.
“I guess you are single, Kurtz.”
The dwarf’s face turns red.
“W-why would you say that?!”
“I can tell you don’t like to share. Serving others means helping other people achieve happiness, isn’t it?”
“Sue is right, Kurtz,” I say. “We’re all equals here. We’ll help each other out and work together for the common good of our community. That is a sort of mutual service. Right, Sue?”
“Equal?” Kurtz mutters. “To a minor god?”
“Bottom line, Kurtz, if you are unhappy, you should just quit. Don’t want to live in this beautiful forest? Then leave.”
The dwarf grunts, and rubs the side of his nose.
“Yeah, right! Just walk off into the woods alone? Without money? With nothing except the clothes on my back?”
“So it’s in your best interest to cooperate.”
The dwarf’s anger disappears, replaced with sadness.
“I don’t have any choice. I can tell that you are a prick, godling. The kind of minor god I wouldn’t approach willingly. But now I’ll only get to leave when you allow me to.”
I sigh.
“Good enough for me. Any other objections?”
Joseph stares at the forest as if he’s devising a plan of action.
“We can’t afford to waste any more energy. We have work to get started on.”
“You can’t see me smiling, Joseph,” I say, “but you are a breath of fresh air. How about you, little elf lady?”
Sue looks down shyly. Her golden hair falls onto her eyes and she tucks it behind an ear. She smiles sweetly and shrugs.
“Sure thing. It feels good to be useful.”
Once again I regret that the developers of this game have refused to add the ability for the players to interact physically with the villagers, because I want this elf so fucking bad. All I can do is fantasize about her naked body, and once I log off I can masturbate furiously.
Kurtz stops rubbing his eyes, then speaks in a dejected tone.
“Have you three forgotten that we lack any food, that the deer carcass has spoiled? How are we going to work on an empty stomach?”
“That’s true…” Sue says. “Godling, you couldn’t conjure a barrel full of grain by any chance, right?”
I suck air through my teeth. To be fair, any decent player would prepare a list of provisions carefully before embarking on a new playthrough, and those provisions would have fed my villagers for at least a couple of weeks. But I was so depressed that I couldn’t be bothered. Poor bastards.
“I made sure to pick a forest with plentiful berries. And whenever we locate the nearby stream, we’ll have clean water that you won’t need to boil.”
“It’s not exactly the same as finding a big bag of rice,” Kurtz grumbles. “But I guess there are worse ways to fill up our bellies.”
“Alright,” Joseph says as he bends down to pick up the bow and arrow. “What direction should be follow to find the stream?”
“I don’t remember,” I admit, embarrassed.
“You don’t remember?” Joseph repeats, unsure if he’s heard me right.
“I’m a minor god, not the God, if there’s any in this universe. I forget things. Just explore the forest for a while. You’ll come across water, I’m sure.”
Sue points at the knife lying on the ground. The blade is stained with dried blood.
“Who’s handling that?”
The dwarf grunts and picks it up gingerly.
“I guess it belongs to Kurtz now,” Kurtz says.
“Just don’t kill any of your new friends with it,” I say.
He rolls his eyes, and looks at the human and the elf as if to reassure them.

Festerbump’s Fantasy Village, Pt. 1 (Fiction)

My mind is fogged up again, my eyesight has started to go funny. The world is turning a dull, flat grey. My old pal depression is paying me a visit.
I’m so tired all the time now. My head feels heavy and leaden. Whenever I try to force myself to leave my cramped apartment to take a walk, I wonder what’s the point. There’s nothing for me in those streets. No friends left behind to greet. All gone, or just never there at all.
I have the means to escape, the old tried method: I take a pee and a shit, I undress myself down to my boxers, and I lie down on my VR chair. Then I strap my brain into place and load up the virtual hub.
I’ve been trying this recent game, an advanced clone of the old ‘Dwarf Fortress’: the player is a godling that oversees the development of a fantasy village. The sentient AI characters are the stars, for as long as the player can stand to witness their beloved villagers suffering.
It takes some skill and imagination to build a medieval village that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out. It’s complicated to get the right balance between resources and population density and infrastructure and housing stock. You need to plan carefully, arrange everything like a clockwork mechanism, and then keep an eye on things as they happen, so that you can respond if something goes wrong. I’m barely getting the hang of the game.
I start from zero, in a generated world. Temperate forests are newbie territory, but the depression hinders my ability to focus, and I’m using this game to distract myself. I choose a wide clearing surrounded by a forest. The trees are full of little green leaves, the grass is bright yellow and lush. It smells fresh here, clean and sweet.
I generate my starter three AI villagers. The RNG gods provide a nice combination of personalities: a human farmer (Joseph) who hates his life; an elf girl (Sue) with big breasts; and a dwarf merchant (Kurtz), who thinks he owns everything.
The villagers stand around confused, while my avatar, invisible to them, hovers over the scene.
“How did we end up here?” Joseph asks.
The dwarf, Kurtz, narrows his eyes in suspicion.
“Dunno. Maybe you’re the one that got us into this situation,” he grunts.
Joseph rubs his temples.
“I think we were all wandering around in the woods when suddenly we found ourselves here.”
Sue is looking around frantically. Her hair reaches down to her waist, and is a pretty dark gold. I can tell I will spend plenty of this playthrough ogling this virtual creature. If she survives.
“My sister is home alone!” Sue says in a high-pitched voice. “I need to get back!”
I speak to them with my stentorious voice, “Listen to me, villagers! I’m your god now, and I have brought you here to this forest so you three would establish a new village. This is an adventure that will test your abilities.”
They all stare blankly in my general direction. Then Sue looks down at her chest.
“I don’t have abilities, merely big breasts.”
“Yes, I’ve read your bio.”
“What’s the point of having these? They just get in the way sometimes.”
“You’ll develop some. Abilities, I mean. Anyway, get to work. You need to entertain me, or else there might be consequences.”
“Why are you even doing this to us?” Kurtz asks. “I’ve been through enough already. We didn’t ask for any of this.”
I sigh as I hover above their heads. The three of them look up at the source of my voice, puzzled.
“H-how should we call you, godling?” Joseph asks.
“Refer to me as Festerbump. It’s an internet thing. I’m going to give you three a chance to prove yourselves worthy of the task that lies ahead of you. You must build a village in this sacred land, and survive for at least a few years. If you do, then I shall reward you handsomely.”
“A-a few years?!” Sue yells. “My little sister is alone!”
“Your sister will be fine, I’m sure.”
“When will we return to our homes?” Kurtz insists. “I have a store to run.”
I laugh bitterly.
“Oh, the three of you are too pathetic. There’s no such thing as a home, only a prison cell called reality. Now to begin. Start working!”
The three villagers look at each other nervously.
“What do you want us to build?” Sue asks. “I’m not good with tools.”
Joseph, the farmer, rubs his stubble as if thinking about the weeks or months of work ahead.
“For anyone to visit our future village, we’ll have to figure out where exactly we are, and build a road…”
“This is stupid!” Kutz complains. “Why have we been chosen, of all people?!”
I’ve gone over this crap with other games that feature sentient NPCs. A significant part of the playthrough involves convincing the AI to do your bidding, or preventing them from going insane.
“I let the RNG gods choose you because I need to switch off my brain, forget how bad things really are,” I say. “So just get to work, damn it. Make something. Build a house. Build some houses.”
“Build some fucking houses,” Kurtz mutters. “You know, you could build yourself a house instead of making other people do it. You are supposed to be a god, aren’t you?”
“I’m not omnipotent,” I confess. “I don’t have that kind of power.”
Joseph keeps talking to himself out loud, “They’ll need roofs, doors, windows. And furniture.”
Sue puts a hand on the dwarf’s shoulder to calm him down, but he shoots the elf woman a nasty look.
“Hey, a god has put us to the task,” she says. “We are building for someone, aren’t we? So let’s make sure he likes it.” Sue looks up to address the invisible presence. “Will you make sure my sister doesn’t suffer any harm while I’m gone?”
Her sister likely doesn’t exist as data in the game, but this kind of background info helps round Sue out as a character.
“Sure, I’ll take care of your sibling,” I say, then sigh. “So all of you, stop bitching and get to work already.”
Kurtz keeps shaking his head.
“Just leave me alone, damn it. Do you think we know how to make houses? I’m a merchant! I can tell these two are clueless as well!”
“You’ll figure it out, I’m sure,” I say. “Quit whining.”

* * *

The three villagers venture into the surrounding woods to gather sticks and logs light enough to carry. Watching them walking around is boring, so I make time pass faster until, a couple of hours later, the three villagers have amassed a decent haul. They are already tired, but they start building a simple wooden fence, enclosing a square plot of ground. It’s just planted sticks and logs that will keep the villagers inside the boundaries of their future village, and hopefully will keep dangerous wildlife outside.
Sue is busy planting a few saplings along the perimeter. The other two villagers watch her as if they had nothing to do.
“I’ve never built anything before,” Kurtz grumbles. “Why should I have to do this?”
“It gives you a sense of accomplishment,” Joseph replies. “You’ll look at the stuff we will build, and you’ll think ‘I was partly responsible for that’.”
“I don’t even know what I’m doing. I just want to go back to the city.”
Sue stands up and wipes the dirt from her hands. Then she looks up at the sky as if I were floating in the clouds.
“Godling, we are hungry. How does one survive here?”
“Yes, what kinds of crops grow well in these lands?” Joseph asks me. “Is there water nearby?”
I’m hovering close to them, and when I project my deep voice, they are startled.
“You can hunt deer, or wild boar. Also, I believe I picked an area with a stream. I’m sure you’ll find it.”
“Hunting?” Kurtz complains. “That sounds like so much work! And we don’t have any weapons!”
“Well, then I’ll help you. I’m a god, after all. The more you obey me, the more points this game, so to speak, grants me so I can in turn materialize tools for my minions to use.”
I look up in the interface what I’m able to buy with the points these three useless villagers have accumulated by gathering the sticks and logs and building that fence. There are only a few things unlocked, mostly simple objects like a hammer, a pickaxe, and a shovel. However, I could spend the points on a big knife or a shoddy bow with a dozen arrows.
A few seconds later, the three villagers are staring with a mixture of awe and fear at a bow and a quiver full of arrows that has appeared on the grass in front of them.
“Now you have a tool able to murder simple animals,” I say. “Let’s get to hunting.”
“That’s amazing. It came out of nowhere,” Joseph says in a thin voice. “You truly are a god, oh mighty Festerbump.”
Sue steps back, looking paler.
“Our god has granted us a boon. We owe him now.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Kurtz mumbles.
“I’ve never used a bow, though,” Sue says.
“Don’t worry, I’ll do it,” Joseph tells her. “It will be easy.”
“I guess we could use some meat for tonight,” Kurtz mutters. “And vegetables.”
Joseph picks up the bow and the quiver. He seems impressed by their size and weight. Then he pulls back on the string as if testing it.
“Alright, let’s find out if there’s some game in the woods,” Joseph says confidently. “Come with me.”
Kurtz shakes his head.
“Nah. This is your project. Do it alone.”
Sue frowns in disbelief.
“What kind of a merchant are you? Don’t you have any respect?”
The dwarf shrugs as if he doesn’t care one way or another. Sue sighs, but then she walks up to Joseph’s side.
“I’ll go with you! Because you will provide food for us, right?”
Joseph gulps, and looks away from the elf’s breasts. I follow the two villagers as they walk into the woods together. I accelerate the passage of time until the two villagers come across a bunch of deer. Joseph and Sue crouch behind some bushes. The farmer nocks an arrow carefully, then draws the bowstring and holds it against his cheek. He whistles as if calling to the deer. When one raises its head, Joseph lets the arrow fly. It hits dead center between the deer’s eyes with a sickening sound of impact, followed by a grunt and a fall onto the grass. The dead deer twitches feebly.
After the rest of the deer have scampered off, Sue cheers and grabs Joseph’s arm.
“Good shot! We’ll eat deer tonight, thanks to you!”
“Yeah,” Joseph says with a grim smile. “I forgot how good killing feels. My wife hated hunting.”
Sue’s own smile falters.
“Alright, I’ll… help you carry the carcass back to our camp!”
She bends down to grab the deer by the legs. Joseph follows her lead and lifts it up. They stagger back towards the edge of the clearing.

* * *

When we return to the clearing enclosed by the fence, we find out that Kurtz had kept busy gathering firewood, and is tending a campfire.
“Oh, so we are eating deer tonight,” Kurtz says as he stares wide-eyed at the carcass. “I thought you two would return empty-handed.”
“We were lucky to come across some deer,” Joseph says.
“It was a magnificent kill,” Sue adds.
Sue and Joseph leave the carcass close to the fire, and sit down wearily.
“If we hadn’t been able to kill a deer, I’m sure that the godling would have produced some alternative,” Sue says confidently. “We won’t starve, not with a god watching over us.”
I wouldn’t be sure about that.
“This place is getting on my nerves,” Kurtz says as he stares at the flames. “There’s nothing but trees and bugs here. And I can’t even smoke.”
Joseph is kneeling next to the carcass.
“But how do we prepare the meat when we lack the proper tools? Maybe I could use an arrowhead to skin the deer…”
“That’s where your god comes in,” I say.
Thankfully, Joseph killing that deer had produced enough points for me to buy a big enough knife. I materialize it on top of the deer carcass, and the three villagers let out surprised noises.
“Now you own both a bow and a knife, to hunt, prepare the food or defend yourselves from the numerous monsters that likely await their opportunity to hunt you down. Rejoice!”
“Does it have any special powers?” Kurtz says as he inspects the blade carefully.
“It’s just a fucking knife. It should be more than enough at this juncture.”
Joseph sighs. The three villagers stare at the blade curiously as it gleams silver and gold in the flickering orange glow of the campfire.
“I’ve butchered a few living creatures in my time,” Joseph says. “Or do you guys want to do it?”
“No, no, take care of it,” Kurtz says.
Joseph cuts open the pelt with practiced ease. He pulls back the hide, exposing a bloody mass of muscle and fat. Then he slices the flesh into chunks. The elf watches intently at first, but then she starts trembling and grimaces. She covers her mouth.
“Are you sick, Sue?” I ask. “You are sweating quite a lot. Do you feel unwell?”
She blushes. Her eyes dart over to Joseph, who is plunging the blade into the ribcage of the beast with a crunching sound. Sue swallows hard and turns away.
“Y-yeah, I’m feeling a bit nauseous.”
After chopping the deer’s legs off, Joseph places them beside the torso. The guts are exposed to view, and the smell of blood has filled the air.
“Don’t worry, it’s only a deer,” the human farmer says casually. “It’s not like what I ate in prison.”
“Prison? What did you do?”
“Oh, nothing.”

* * *

The night has fallen, and the three villagers have filled their bellies with cooked deer meat.
“As a bonus exercise,” I tell them, “let’s see how far you idiots can throw a stick.”
Sue picks up one of the sticks that Kurtz had gathered for the campfire, and holds it as if it were a spear. She throws it a few times, determined to get better quickly, so that she can prove to me that she deserves to be my follower. Joseph has let another stick fly through the air in a straight line. Kurtz has ignored my godly request, and is sitting cross-legged by the fire. He shakes his head from time to time. His long beard makes him look like a madman.
Both of my willing minions get bored in a few minutes, and sit on the grass to contemplate their pitiful existences. Sue brings up how unused she is to hanging out with both humans and dwarves, and that gets Kurtz going.
“I’m sure you would be able to mingle with humans almost anywhere in the world, but my own species has nearly died off. Only the lucky survived the war against the orcs.”
Sue hangs her head low, and hides her face in her forearms.
“Don’t remind me of my brother,” she mutters.
“Your brother?” Joseph asks casually. “What happened to him?”
Sue hesitates. She takes a deep breath before answering.
“He disappeared during the war. As I looked for survivors in the nearby villages, I kept hearing rumors that many had escaped the approaching orc warbands. I held on to the hope that I would catch up with my dear brother eventually. But several years passed, and we never received any news.”
“I’m sorry,” Joseph says. “It must have been terrible for you.”
“His name was Eric. He was a farmer, same as you. He always hated it, though, always complained. He used to say he wanted to change the way society worked. That the whole system needed fixing. But one day he simply walked away, and nobody saw him again…”
Sue cries softly into her forearms as her shoulders tremble.
I wonder if the game made up that piece of backstory for Sue because she didn’t seem interesting or sympathetic enough. I recall vaguely that the process that generated this new game world spewed out notifications about orcs taking over other races’ settlements.
After a minute, Kurtz breaks the silence.
“We should all return home,” the dwarf says grimly. “The sooner we leave this place, the happier we’ll be.”
“You can’t, though,” I say. “You need to build a village.”
Kurtz looks with contempt in my general direction.
“But we can count on your assistance, can’t we, oh mighty god?”
“I’m sure I can do a thing or two for you.”
Sue sniffles and peeks out from behind her forearms.
“You’ll keep us safe from orc raiders and other vermin, won’t you?”
I shake my head, but they can’t see me.
“Of course.”
“If we die for whatever reason, will you send our souls to heaven?”
I don’t believe there’s a heaven, nor a hell. Life isn’t fair. But I need to keep these idiots believing in me, or else they may rebel. Even kill themselves.
“Sure. Just don’t blame me if you end up in hell instead.”
Joseph chuckles nervously. Sue kneels and thanks me profusely as tears run down her cheeks. It makes me uncomfortable, but the angle gives me a privileged view of the cleavage of her peasant dress. All that tit meat makes me wish I had a physical body.
“Then we shall trust in you and pray for protection!” Sue says.
“Good, good,” I say, and clear my throat. “That settles it for today, I think. I’m leaving for a while. Go to sleep, and I’ll see you in the morning. Just remember to avoid killing each other in the meantime.”
“Right, godling. We won’t mess it up,” Joseph says.
I remain among them for a while after I’ve stopped talking. Sue wanders around alone, deep in thought. Kurtz sits by the fire and eats more deer meat, most of which will spoil. Their lives move slowly forward. With time, this place will become a home for them. Then the orcs and trolls other crazy shit will likely come to destroy everything.
Now my villagers lie down to sleep on the grass, exhausted after having spent all day gathering firewood, hunting, preparing meat, throwing sticks, and erecting a fence in a tiny patch of land.