by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) “Babe,” I said, “you are going to lose us our deposit.” Mimi rolled her eyes as she peeked out around the corner. “Please. You think we’re introducing the ancient Athenians to the concept of nudity? Have you ever been to an art museum?” I was absolutely not going to admit […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) illustrated by The Winter Cynic As he opened his eyes, John felt the serpent’s tail already coiled around his throat. Something had gone terribly wrong. He had gone to sleep in his own bed, alone, as was his lifelong habit; he’d fallen asleep easily enough and dreamed of nothing in […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) “You were really good out there.” Tanya looked up from her phone to see a very familiar face — even though she didn’t know the woman wearing it. Tanya remembered her from the competition, though. She’d chosen a more contemporary Anaïtis look, something like what Anaïtis had worn on […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) The slipper itself was beautiful. Jean-Cristophe referred to its substance as “miraculous fairy crystal” and seemed quite disappointed every time they stopped and someone asked about “that glass shoe”. Right now it was resting on the toes of a curvy farmer’s daughter, stubbornly refusing to go over her heel. […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) Staring down from atop the great height of her dapple-grey horse, the one-eyed knight was formidable indeed. “Halt, brigands!” Mia glanced from Sefir at her right to Kalshinai at her left, then back to the knight. “Excuse me, brigands?” Mia echoed, confused. Admittedly, the lady knight has missing half […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki. “Jesus,” said Meg. “Hop in before you catch your death out there.” Despite being absolutely soaked with rain, the young woman hesitated. Meg supposed she couldn’t blame her — there were a lot of weirdos out tonight, and weirdos in cars […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) It’s hard being a secret exhibitionist. For starters, I can’t think of anything more self-defeating. I’ve always had a head full of fantasies about exposing myself to crowds of shocked yet intrigued onlookers, but in real life, I didn’t even take my shirt off at the beach. Every time I […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) Silviestro was going to die. He had known this for nearly a year now, ever since the astrologers had checked their charts and calculated the dates, then pointed to the calendar at what would be his twenty-second birthday. He’d been reminded of it in every plate of food brought […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/332448.html) The cathouse at the edge of town was dead quiet, considering the hour of the morning and the day of the week, but it could have been lit up like the Streets of Glory for what a sight it was to my sore eyes. “Catch up with you […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/329318.html) 1:05 Minh looked up from his phone just in time to see the man stumbling toward the elevator, trying to manage a narrow box almost as tall as he was, and almost as heavy, from the looks of it. So Minh did the only polite thing and jammed […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/318061.html) It wasn’t the weirdest thing that had ever happened to Delroy on that stretch up to Levelland, but it was close. Of course he knew about the Marfa Lights, and he’d even been to that weird museum in Roswell once where an older lady with wild crimson hair […]
by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/307424.html) “Amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant.” Bailey snorted and kicked a loose bit of stone down the cobbled road. “Is that supposed to impress the girls?” “It’s not supposed to depress them, which is more what you’re known for.” Higgins elbowed him in the side, causing Bailey to […]
There was always a perfect moment of weightlessness upon hitting the water, a single instant where buoyancy met gravity and he was held aloft by watery arms, caught between sea and sky. Then those arms gave, and he exhaled by reflex as the rest of him sank into the high, salty tide.
Seconds later, he was shoved back up toward the air by two strong hands, and though he could have surfaced all by himself, he wasn’t about to complain. He treaded water with one hand and pushed his long black hair from his face with the other, smiling as its dark curtain parted to reveal Beckett’s bright grin. “So cold!” gasped Kai, kicking with his black-rubber flippers to keep in place. The waters of the marina were still, especially on a calm, bright morning like this, but the living ebb and flow of the ocean never stopped, and Kai’s legs already bore years of tiny nicks and scars that came from drifting too close to the barnacle-encrusted jetties.
Beckett just laughed and submerged, and seconds later a bright purple fin rose from the water; Kai didn’t even have time to shield his eyes before it smacked the surface, drenching him with the spray. “Oh, very nice,” said Kai, spitting seawater as he spoke. When Beckett surfaced again, Kai rolled his eyes. “Aren’t you cold?”
“Fish blood,” said Beckett with a wink, and when Kai rolled his eyes again, Beckett laughed.
As he sat in the emergency room, trying not to bleed on the papers the intake nurse had handed him, Deshawn started to laugh.
“Don’t you start,” said Kellan. “Don’t you even start, you make me look enough like a crazy person already.”
That made Deshawn laugh harder, some sound of which vibrated out his nose — which hurt like fuck and made him snort out another little bloody spray, and that just made him laugh even harder, because yeah, he was a crazy person. “This is just not how I expected the date to end,” he managed despite lacking the ability to make any nasal sounds.
Kellan groaned and buried his face in his hands, and Deshawn laughed so hard he bloodied the whole inside sleeve of his sweatshirt trying to muffle it. At least with the zoo that was an ER waiting room three on a Sunday morning, his strange hysteria wasn’t too far out of place. His mom and aunt had both been night-shift nurses, so he knew as long as his outbursts didn’t involve anyone having to call down security on him, he was going to be fine. Everything was going to be just fine.
When they called his name some ten minutes later, Deshawn stood, then looked back down at Kellan, whose adorable face was no less adorable for the look of heavy misery weighing it down. “You don’t have to stay,” Deshawn told him. “I can get a cab or call someone.”
Bless him, Kellan responded to that like Deshawn had just smacked him in the face. “No way. I’m right here.”
“Thanks.” Deshawn gave him a little wave and what he hoped was an optimistic smile, then followed the nurse on in.
When she’d seen the ad in the paper, Mari had thought it sounded exciting — romantic, even. And besides, it wasn’t like she’d been planning on doing anything else with her half-completed atmospheric science bachelor’s degree this summer, considering that all of the local news stations had old snow-haired meteorologists who’d been there a thousand years each and would probably still be standing in front of blue-screened weather maps when the inevitable collapse of human civilization came a thousand years on. Shitty old-boy networks like that tended to keep their own. Maybe someday she’d impress them, but for now she was more concerned with impressing her landlord with her ability to pay him.
What she hadn’t thought was that she’d wind up stuffed in a ratty, ancient baby-blue VW bus with a broken radio and doors that looked ready to fall off their hinges at any moment, holding a brand-new 1992 Rand McNally Road Atlas, its spine already permanently broken over the Texas panhandle. She was also sweating like a pig and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. “What are we–”
“Shhht!” Camille hissed at her, shooing at her with the hand that wasn’t fiddling the dial. This far out from most civilization, the best signal they could get on the tiny, battery-powered Sony radio was one where Mari could hear maybe every tenth word coming in over the AM stations, if she squinted and pretended. Camille had been doing this for years, though, and by now, she seemed to speak static as a second language. She put one well-pierced ear up to the speaker and shut her eyes, chewing on her lower lip and frowning with concentration. Mari more than half-suspected her crazy boss just did this for show most of the time, then ‘interpreted’ the hisses and infrequent signals to mean whatever she wanted to mean. At least she wasn’t looking for tornadoes on commission.
So Mari reclined the driver’s seat as far as it would go and tried not to die of heatstroke. She’d started the day with a bra, undershirt, t-shirt, and ratty old polo barong she’d stolen from her dad, but was now down to the undershirt only, and even that was soaked through with sweat. She could see her dark nipples clearly through the drenched white fabric. Well, thank fuck nobody but the jackalopes was out here to see.