Killer

    Phantyna Segregata’s abilities were not in hunting and gathering; in fact, she didn’t need to do those things. She perfected the art of trapping. She didn’t work well with others and so chose a solitary life. It may be lonely, but it served her well–she did not have to provide for another, did not have to worry about anyone else’s safety but her own. This might change in the future, but for now, it was only herself for whom she had any concern. She knew the benefits and art of patience. Now, she calmly waited as she heard the Dipteran approaching. She did not move.

“Come closer,” she said to herself. As if in response to her request, the Dipteran did, in fact, approach and was ensnared in her trap. She moved quickly, before he had a chance to free himself. She was good at trapping, but even the best snares were not unbreakable. The Dipteran struggled–even more so when he saw Phantyna approach. She almost felt sorry for him–almost.

“N-n-n-no…please,” he begged, but it was pointless. He spoke in the language of his species, which she did not understand, nor did she care to. Nevertheless, it wasn’t difficult to recognize the fear and desperation he felt.

    Before she had too much time to think about it, she injected him with her homemade serum. It took effect quickly, which made it much easier when she tied him up. The serum would eventually kill him; until then, she would wait. It seemed most of her life was spent waiting–waiting for others to die, but also for her own life cycle to come to an end. She knew it would happen, eventually, but hopefully not before she was able to have a family of her own.

    She may be a killer, but there were creatures that would easily turn her into their prey. Phantyna was good, though, and knew where to hide so she wouldn’t be caught. She rested a moment, looking down at the Dipteran lying quietly in front of her. She sighed, languidly. The excitement of the moment took a lot out of her. “Back to bed,” she said to herself. She looked around first for signs of movement and then hurriedly went back to her lair.

    The next day, Phantyna peered carefully from the entrance of her hiding place for possible predators and then went to her victim. Dipteran were useless life forms, overall. She really did the world a favor, didn’t she? She knew he was dead; did not need to check. As she untied him, she vomited. It was an automatic reaction and happened every time she made a kill.  She knew which parts to eat, and there were some that she did not, would not eat. After she feasted, she discarded the rest of the body for other scavengers.

Phantyna did not see the Blatella behind her, but as she turned around, he was caught. She would have no compunction about this kill. The Blatella were despised by most who were familiar with them. She started toward him when a shadow distracted her. She ignored her potential kill and moved quickly to hide from the danger from above.


    “That one’s an Apex Mesh Weaver Spider,” Roger said. “Looks like she’s got a cockroach caught in her web.”

    “Cool!” Nickie responded with awe.

    The Phantyna Segregata scurried away into a hole, and there she remained, patient and cautious. The kill would have to wait.

Photo by Pille Kirsi on Pexels.com

Lie

Tell me that you want me,
I won’t ever ask why.
Tell me that you need me,
Even if it’s a lie.

Be with me and hold me,
If only for today.
Promise me forever,
Even if you go away.

Tell me that I’m lovely;
I don’t care if it’s true.
And when I profess my love,
Whisper, “I love you, too.”

Tell me that my happiness,
Is more precious than your own.
Lie to me just one more time,
So I won’t die alone.

Taken

By Brandon Ellrich

Darkness.  Some people fear it.  Maybe because they fear the unknown.  You can’t see what’s in the dark, don’t know what may be waiting out there.  For us, it meant protection; at least, most of the time.  On rare occasions, one of us would be taken during the night, unexpectedly.  Most of the time, though, we had at least a warning when the door to the cavern was opened.  The light was a sign of danger.  

We came from many different places, backgrounds, and were mixed together and became one unit.  Then we were separated, broken apart and shaped, molded into whatever they wanted.  We had no choice.  We are all young; the older ones are less desirable.  

We travelled through intense heat and rose to greatness.  We became hardened to stand against what we would be faced with.  When they thought we were ready, the alarm sounded and we were sent out to face them.  Some of the others were taken before they even had a chance.

Those of us that remained made it to this cavern where we thought we might be safe.  Judging by what we found here, we were not optimistic.  There were remnants of ones who had come before us.  Pieces of their lives could be found strewn about–evidence of past generations, but all with the same result: not a single survivor.  

We weren’t able to rest long before the attacks came.  The monsters.  We had no other word for them.  At first glance, they seemed harmless, but it wasn’t long before their true nature was revealed.  They were ravenous beasts with insatiable, self-serving desires. The door of the cavern opened, light flooded the interior, and one by one we were taken, plucked out.  We were defenseless against them.

I had hope, at first, that maybe we would be different from the others.  That we would somehow survive.  Now I am the only one left and I have abandoned that hope.  I decide to leave something behind–a piece of myself that makes me special.  Others who come later will see it and know that I was here.

I hear noises outside the walls and I know what is to come.  Light floods into the cavern and I am taken.

“Mom!  Nickie took the last cookie!”

“Nickie!” his mother admonished, “I told your brother he could have the last one.”

“Sorry,” Nickie said through a mouthful of cookie.    

“Well, we can always bake some more tomorrow.”    

The lid to the cookie jar was replaced.  Nothing but crumbs and a single chocolate chip was left inside.

Grow Your Nose

I’ve met many people who can’t see past the end of their own noses. As Mary Poppins said, it may be through no fault of their own. That’s not to say that people can’t change.

I grew up in a very small community, almost completely devoid of diversity. I heard a lot of racist comments and “jokes” (in quotations, because jokes are supposed to be funny, and these were not). These people had very short noses, indeed. I knew from a young age that racism was wrong, however, and did not understand why other people could not see that.

It wasn’t just about race, though. They were examples of individuals who simply couldn’t (or wouldn’t) see any other belief, custom, or way of life that was different from their own.

I hope that every person will examine your own behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. If you find that you can’t see past the end of your nose, I hope that your nose will grow at least a mile long!

“Just Get Over It”

Not long ago, I was privy to a conversation about people with depression. Obviously, neither of the participants in the discussion had ever experienced clinical depression, and said that everyone got “the blues” every once in a while. One of them said that they [people suffering from depression] should “just get over it,” just “be happy.”

If you have ever been diagnosed with depression (or even if your condition has not been labelled by a mental health professional), you know how ridiculous these suggestions are. Even if you have never experienced it, I would suggest that you research the signs and symptoms of this quietly alienating mental illness. A simple attempt at empathy can go a long way toward helping someone who may be suffering so silently that it can be deafening.

You might feel unqualified to talk to someone about their problems, that what you say won’t help, or that you can’t really understand what that person is going through. Well, to that I say…just get over it.

Is FOMO Ruining Your Life?

I like the phrase, “It is a waste of precious time to focus on where you are not.” Focus on worry and other negativity is pointless and only serves to bring one down. I recognize our changing world and the reliance on social media for connecting with those whom we cannot see every day, but I am also cognizant of my own tendencies to become addicted to such venues and, I must admit, would likely fall victim to dreaded FOMO. For this reason, I opt not to have a Facebook account. Hopefully, those who do, are able to practice moderation.

Dr. Eric Perry

Written by Dr. Eric Perry
Image Credit: Pixabay


“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.” ~Ann Brashares

We are living in an age of ubiquitous distractions and interruptions. Technology has given us the ability to stay connected to each other every single second of the day. You can watch events unfold throughout the world in the palm of your hand. Like no other time in history, you are given unparalleled access to the lives of others. In today’s society, there appears to be no such thing as oversharing. Unfortunately, access is granted without a warning stating “Beware… what you see may just be an illusion and may not be good for your mental health.”

We live in an instant world with disposable dreams. Unanchored to anything real we float from one distraction to another looking for the next thing to anchor ourselves. Our thoughts…

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Thank you, Critics

Even the best writers need another set of eyes to help edit their work. I spend so much time with my creations, I can no longer see what’s right in front of me. I try to be grateful for the critics. If not for them, I wouldn’t grow.

If all I received were praise and accolades, it would make me feel good, but it would mean that I must be perfect, and so I have no reason to change anything. Therefore, I would not strive to be better, and would remain stagnant, in a false sense of perfection. False, because no one is perfect. 

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?”

Robert Browning

Negative critique, or “constructive criticism,” to me, is much more helpful than a smattering of praise. Don’t get me wrong, though, I appreciate acknowledgement of a job well done, and I do hope my readers like what I’ve written.

If you’re not aware, a book’s ranking and popularity on Amazon is dependant on reviews as much as number of sales. So, whether or not you like my (or any other author’s) books, I encourage and implore you to leave a review. It could be as simple as “good book,” or “didn’t like it,” but this profession relies on the reader. Read, review, and recommend to others.

Life-Long Writer

Encouragement is everything. When I was in eighth grade, my teacher complimented my writing. Then, in high school, I took creative writing and poetry classes. My teacher, again, said that I was a good writer and even compared me to a well-known author. That encouragement led me to pursue more classes that were focused on language arts and literature. I had ideas for a few books, and eventually, decided to write them down. I showed one of them to one of my college professors and she told me that I should try to have it published. I hope that you read my books and that you enjoy them as well. I would like to make this my life-long career.

Success

We all have reasons why we don’t or can’t accomplish our goals. The truth is, the word “reasons” can easily be replaced with “excuses,” because that’s what they actually are.

I can list so many obstacles that may prevent me from attaining what I want; we all can. The obstacles may or may not be immovable, but either way, you can always find some way around them. You may have to take risks, you may have to do things the hard way, you may have to do things outside of your comfort zone.

Even after all that, you may still fail–and I hope you do. Otherwise, you won’t learn anything. Failure is simply evidence that you have tried, and the reward will be much greater when it is achieved.