The touch of your hand brings me to the brink of my last breath. The promises of the Shadow King, slick words that linger on your lips, never verified as authentic, come across as cosmic lies; abbreviated testament to his lack of a purpose beyond serving himself. And yet I breathe, reminding myself of how, but not why.
She spread her wings, tipping her golden feathers in the light of the rising sun. “I promised,” she screeched. “You shall see my name writ across the sky in fire.”
A great push from craggy talons and a strong downing of golden wings launched her from the peak of the mountain, out into the cold morning air. Murder in her eye and ice in her heart.
He stepped into the sphere. When the opening irised shut behind him, the sphere pressurized which made him yawn to unstop his ears. Hate that. Once in the lotus position, he donned touched the dark control panel in front of him. The board lit up with a series of colored lights that coalesced into a single white circle, just the right size for his thumb. His print scanned, Marcus relaxed. He’d learned the hard way not to tense up, to resist. The transition from meat space to virtual on his first transit had given him a wicked headache. Better to let the sphere do its thing: projecting the immersive images on the inner shell, pumping in ambient noises from the 3-D speakers that surrounded him, convincing himself he was someplace other than where his body sat.
“Game on,” he said.
She inspects the mask, the ultra-smooth opalescent finish, the sleek contours. Too much money, by half, but worth every penny. With this mask and that dress, no one will question her presence at the reception. Still, a sliver of doubt poked her spine, sending shivers through her legs. Even the thought of getting caught gave her a jolt of adrenaline. She’d find out soon enough; her horse-drawn chariot had arrived at the entrance to the Great Hall. Time to don the mask and step out into the world of beautiful people.
She loved shopping discount, consignment, and secondhand stores, imagining the lives of the previous owners, wrapping herself in their lives, placing herself in the orbit of their families and vocations; a second skin of wool and cotton and lace.