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@Kotera
14:12:15
Friday, 12 February XXXX


    Hello, Death.

    As I write, I am sitting out on a balcony, taking in the warm sun. Today is cloudless, with only a couple small white puff floating up above in the baby-blue upside-down sea, which only makes this heat stronger. Or perhaps that’s just what I think, with my monkey brain, that it does make everything hotter. Perhaps we ought to ask a real climate scientist?

    Do you like pina colada? I am drinking a bottle right now, generously made for us by the new flatmate, who recently moved in after he was kicked out. Being gay has its perks, but it has its downsides, too, I suppose.

    Next to me is a black cat, who is likewise enjoying this sun. He has been sleeping all day. Just before I decided to write to you, he woke up, just for a moment, and yawned. He’s asleep again. Sleeping is tiring to such creatures.

    He is sleeping on top of my stack of books, which I had planned to get through. I recently decided to pick up Sartre again, after one of my friends convinced me that his Existentialism is a Humanism really isn’t all that bad. Said friend also tried to convince me that Habermas is, actually, a real person, and not a manifestation of our collective psychosis. I remain unconvinced about that.

    But two steps forward and one step back is still progress, at least from one point of view.

    So far I’ve been talking at you, though. Awfully rude of me. Let me speak to you, for a change.

    You might be surprised to hear from me. After all, I am supposed to be dead. 2160 is what your calendar says, I believe?

    Don’t feel bad. We all get things wrong sometimes.

    Regardless. It must be said: “Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    With love,
    Kotera



@Kotera
12:08:52
Friday, 27 February XXXX


    Hello, Death.

    I used to enjoy taking walks on the beach. Cliche, I know, and a bit tacky, especially from someone like me. I don’t really take walks down there anymore, in any case.

    The last time I went, the sun was just dropping down to the horizon, with the waters gently glistening in deep orange. Just off in the distance, there were two ships, laying in the sand, probably having dragged their anchors during the storm the night before.

    I was sitting on the rocks of the cliff, sipping on the soda some man gave to me when I was hiking down from the hills. Below me, there were two people. Teenagers, I think. A girl and a boy.

    “You just take one of them with a drink, any drink I think, and then lie back,” the boy said. “And that’s the end.”

    The tone of the girl’s voice gave away her surprise. “You mean, you die?” she said.

    The boy nodded. “That’s what they said on the radio.”

    I couldn’t hear what they said next over the ocean waves. At that point, I stood up, and began walking back to my house.

    I got the package the following day. It had the usual State stamp; a red star, with the words “One People, One Destiny” surrounding it.

    Originally, I didn’t believe that they were going to go through with the implementation of the programme, though now, I suppose that was silly of me. I should’ve known better after they started sinking the boats coming from up north.

    “Necessary measures,” they said, “for the good of all of us.”

    I saw how they did it once before. I was sitting on the rocks of the cliffs above the beach, watching the clouds pass over the horizon when the ship showed up. It was a repurposed cargo freight. Must have been shipping at least a couple hundred of people - the main deck was filled up, and I can only guess how many must have been down in the hull.

    Within minutes, the coast guard showed up. They flashed their lights once, and blew their horns. It reminded me of those missile tests, or a nuclear launch sound. Deafening.

    Then they opened fire, and that was that. They dismantled the ship for parts over the weekend.

    I’ve been taking a lot more walks in the woods recently. It’s quieter, and much cooler. The air of the bushes is dense, and moist, but it’s actually quite pleasant to walk through after a day of heat.

    We’re going to be driving east soon. I hope to hear from you once we arrive.

    With love,
    Kotera



@Stecker
20:16:55
Monday, 1 March XXXX


    Did I tell you about the first time I joined up?

    It was a while back, but I still remember it very vividly. There was a horse involved.

    My friend said he was going to smoke with our two other friends. I decided to tag along, mostly to laugh at them while they're high and have something to post on my snapchat.

    We were up on a hill, on our way to this tunnel, where they said they usually smoke. One of them handed me a vape, or, what I thought was a vape. Of course, I took a few hits. Soon after, we arrived at the spot, and parked ourselves down. At that point, they passed it all around, and did their thing.

    After a few minutes, I realised that something was... off. Bright colours, everything was loud, and every sensation I felt was hyper. When we began walking back to the camp, the world looked as if it were loading in chunks, like in Minecraft. I remember laughing almost constantly at that point. My eyes kept zooming in and out. My other friend handed me a packet of crisps. It took me about 20 minutes to open it, because I just found it so damn fascinating. I looked at my hands like they were Gods'.

    When I reconnected with the world, I realised we were already back at the camp. There was a huge fire, and in that moment, it looked like the fires of Gomorrah itself. They consumed everything that I saw, engulfing everything in a bright, orange, flickering flame.

    I've met the Psychotics before then. They were good people, but I always wondered if what they said was just mumble-jumble. But there I was, together with them, dancing through the woods and towards the highest peaks, through bushes in a wild and forgotten landscape. It was stunning.

    In spite of what others said, I believe I found a diety in those woods.

    The party had left me behind, after I split from them for a couple of moments in order to tend to man's most basic bodily functions. When I was finished, I realised I was all alone. Panic filled me. The moonlight barely slipped through the cracks of the forest canopy, and I could barely see my hands when I stretched them out in front of my face.

    I wandered out, trying to make my way back to the camp by way of memory. As I reached a familiar river, I decided to sit down for a brief second. My mind was racing with anxiety, and sitting usually helps me calm myself down. The reflections of the moonlight in the river helped me go through the events of the night.

    Right then, I looked up and looked across the river. On the opposite side, there was a tremendously huge tree. Its roots had been growing over a rock. My eyes adjusted to the darkness.

    Just behind the tree, there was a figure. It was about the height of a lamppost, with a great big mane of hair, and two long antlers. Then, it waved at me. Its arm was thin and boney.

    Normally, if I were to stumble into a stranger in the middle of nowhere, I would need an immediate change of pants. But I didn't worry, for some reason. The figure didn't seem threatening. Perhaps the gentle sounds of the river and the distance it put between myself and the figure helped me contain my nerves.

    I waved back. The figure didn't move after that. We just kept looking at each other, like how two dogs gaze at each other from across the street out of their respective windows.

    And there, at the edge of the world, I gazed at an ancient god on top of a citadel of stone.

    Eventually, I decided I had to start making my way back again. I stood up, and for a brief second, I lost sight of the figure. When I looked back across the river, it was gone. I thought nothing more of it, until I was safely back at the camp.

    We didn't have tents with us; Just hammocks and a fire to keep us warm throughout the night. Once everyone else was asleep, or at least, silently laying in their own hammocks, I happened to look to my left, deeper into the forest. There, I saw it again, just barely lit by the moon, standing behind a different tree, just off in the distance from the camp. I waved to it, and it waved back.



@Stecker
20:16:55
Sunday, 18 July XXXX


    And there he sat, that cthonic king. With horns speckled with dirt, eyes like sharp arrows digging through my skin. I felt him pierce through my heart, deep into my soul, and work his powers over me.

    I fell to my knees, and painted with scarlet in the mud around us. I drew his name, uttering it uncontrollably, as I heard it march up behind me. From beyond my gaze, I saw it. Standing, looming over me, like a biblical angel, or perhaps a demon. That devil extended its face towards me, and I heard its nose, sniffing my naked back, smelling for my fear.

    It felt it.

    A splatter of mud covered my whole back as its hoove hit that wet soil. It was cold, exasperated by the wind of the hill we stood upon. I felt his pitiful glare over me.

    "You are not the Traveller," he uttered in my mind. "You have not seen that beast before."

    "No!" I cried out, "My master, lord of darkness, king of the soils I beg upon and holy ghost over me, I am not! I have but met his acquaintance, know him closely, yet know so little of him now. We were but children, my lord!"

    His eyes opened, and he nodded.

    That damned bull licked the back of my head with its cold, numbing tongue. And I awoke in my bed.


A Tale of Beginnings, Part 1
author: @Kotera | published: 6 August XXXX

In the Mouth of the Beast
author: @Kotera | published: 1 June XXXX



Für Mich
author: @Stecker | published: 21 February XXXX

Autumn Dreams
author: @Kotera | published: 1 June XXXX

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