Short Story: Annual Sky Watching

Features the siblings from The Sky and Its Shadow.

~Annual Sky Watching~

They started every Christmas with a church service in the morning. Then, car packed full with enough supplies to last them the rest of the day, they headed to his sister’s location of choice.

Their father just got off his crutches after a nasty fall earlier in the year, so this time, instead of mountains or beaches, his sister selected a large park. They weren’t the only ones around, but there was plenty of clear space for them to spread out their picnic mats.

While his little sister could happily spend all her days watching the sky, when she wasn’t painting them, the rest of the family weren’t as keen. But once a year, they slowed their busy pace to join her. It had taken some practice, but it no longer made them antsy to just let the day pass without doing anything.

He folded an arm behind his head like a pillow and took a long breath.

Looking up at the variegated skies with his family safe around him felt better than coming back from a successful mission. In his mind, he thanked God they could all be together now, and prayed that they would be able to do this again next year.

~End~

Genre: family, slice of life

A/N: Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you’re having a great festive season ūüôā

Short Story: A Sky Worth Staying For

Features the siblings from The Sky and Its Shadow.

~A Sky Worth Staying For~

Today was a good day.

She had a new camera, a wonderfully pleasant weather, and a sky with a gorgeous cloudscape.

It didn’t matter that she already had folders and folders of cloud photos. It didn’t matter that her train was coming in five minutes. It didn’t matter that she was supposed to grab lunch on the way to the station.

Imagination could do many things, but there were always gaps and blind spots. Before she saw it with her own eyes, she couldn’t have imagined how a rainbow could hide in a cloud, or how something made out of water could light the sky like a bonfire.

And with her new camera and its more advanced lens, she could immortalise even more details that she couldn’t before. She happily snapped away, capturing every angle as the changing light painted the cloudy sky in all kinds of hues.

“There you are.”

She startled as her brother appeared beside her. She was even more surprised to find that the late morning sky had darkened to twilight. Her brother reached over to scroll through her camera’s gallery, his eyebrows rising as the pictures she took revealed how long she had spent in the same spot.

“Good day?” he asked.

“The best!” She smiled, mind already racing to all the skies she can draw.

Her empty stomach wasn’t as happy, releasing a low growl. Her brother chuckled.

“Let’s go home.”

~End~

Genre: slice of life

September post count: 11/12

Short Story: All in the Mind

Takes place after One Sky, Many Faces and Contract Job. Should still make sense as a standalone.

 

~All in the Mind~

The monsters were only illusions in her mind, conjured by the hallucinogenic her captors injected into her to stop her from running away. She knew that intellectually.

But faced with sulphur hot breath steaming out of shadow matte muzzles filled with ivory sharp teeth, facts melted like ice under hot water.

She pulled her knees to her face and curled into the smallest ball she could contort herself into. It was hard to breathe, but at least this way she knew where all her limbs were. And the monsters wouldn’t be around forever. She just needed to wait it out.

“There you are.”

She thought her brother’s familiar voice¬† was just another illusion, until his shadow wrapped around her like a blanket and pulled her out of the draughty room that had been her prison for the past day.¬†The monsters followed, no less real in the safety of her home.

“I was careful,” she said as she pressed into her brother’s arms. She hadn’t known her latest clients moonlighted as kidnappers until they plunged the needle into her skin.

Her brother ran his fingers through her hair. “This one’s on me. I didn’t catch them when I did the background check.”¬†

The monsters let loose a howl that raked freezing fire through her ears. She choked back a cry, as if her silence could hide herself from the figments of her imagination. 

“Next time, I’m coming with you,” her brother said.

“What about your job?”

“I’ll figure something out.”

That would be nice. Despite the bad experiences, she still wanted to paint. If anyone could figure out a solution, it was her brother.

The monsters still prowled, but in her brother’s arms, it was easier to remember that they were just hallucinations in her mind.¬†

~End~

Genre: fantasy, superpower, family

Related stories about the brother: Help from the Shadows | Agent Sunshine | The Sun That Shone Also Burned

Short Story: The Sun That Shone Also Burned

Help from the Shadows (start here) | Agent Sunshine | The Sun That Shone Also Burned

Genre: humour

It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“Your sunny disposition never fails to light up my day.”

They had teased him for too long.

“Morning, my only Sunshine!”

It was time to show them that the sun that shone also burned.

“Anyone seen my boots?”

“Where’s my charger?”

“I can’t find my… #$@&*! What’s it doing on the ceiling?”

~End~

Stories about his sister: One Sky, Many Faces | Contract Job | All in the Mind

Agent Sunshine

Help from the Shadows (start here) | Agent Sunshine | The Sun That Shone Also Burned

My response to the prompt shine.

~Agent Sunshine~

They really needed to review their modus operandi. Ever since he developed the ability to travel through shadows, all his team did on rescue missions was send him in alone and crack jokes while he worked.

Right now, the topic of interest was his his catchphrase.

“I’m Sunshine. Agent Sunshine.”

“That’s old.”

“It’s a classic.”

He waited in the shadow under the bed until the girl was left alone.

“When the shadows of the world threaten you, remember that I am there. Who am I? Your sunniest shadow. Agent Sunshine.”

The guard finally left. He stepped out of the shadow. The girl let out a startled cry and hid behind a pillow.

“It’s ok. I’m here to help,” he said.

“Who are you?”

“I am the superhero who shines your way in the darkness. I am… Agent Sunshine!”

“A superhero. Your parents called me to bring you home. Let’s go.”

He slowly scooped the girl into his arms.

“Close your eyes and count to ten,” he said.

“What happens at ten?”

“You’ll see your parents.”

The girl closed her eyes.

“One. Two.”

He sunk into the shadows.

“I’m Agent Sunshine, and it’s counting time!”

When he got back, he was going to hang everyone upside down on the roof.

~End~

Stories about his sister: One Sky, Many Faces | Contract Job | All in the Mind