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    Weapons stories

    Coward's Sin thumbnail
    Coward's Sin thumbnail
    Coward's Sin thumbnail

    Coward's Sin

    My comrades slumber eternally after falling in battle.
    White gravestones form neat rows⁠, and I offer a flower to each.
    Then, from out of nowhere, a single
    black feather floats in front of my eyes.
    The bu■■ of wings grows l■■der. A s■■rm of black birds
    descends, scattering my prof■■■■■ flowers. They rid■■■le
    me without mercy; they know my strategy sent my
    squadmates to their ■■■■■■.
    As bl■■■ feathers ra■■ down, I ■■ok into the b■■ds' eyes
    and see ref■■■■ed ■■ them the faces of my ■■■■ comrades.
    ■■■■ hate me. They scr■■■ at me. They c■■■e me.
    This is ■■ fault. All ■■ fault—all ■■ sin. Yet only the birds
    ■■■■■stand this. They ■■■■ I am h■■■d for it, and so
    ■ ■■tend a hand ■■■ ■■■■ly reach out. Come to ■■...
    Hamelin Prototype Sword thumbnail
    Hamelin Prototype Sword thumbnail
    Hamelin Prototype Sword thumbnail

    Hamelin Prototype Sword

    I was placed in a platoon of rejects. I hated it, but we were
    going to do a good job and force our superiors to accept us.
    It was the only way I'd ever be able to look my sister in the eye.
    So many of us are dead. Is it my fault? Was my strategy poor?
    How does my sister handle failure? Wait, that's dumb—she
    wouldn't fail in the first place.
    Maybe I'm just not in the same league as my sister.
    I'm infected. My body doesn't move like I want it to.
    Looks like I'm going to die with everyone else here.
    The moon is so beautiful...
    I wonder if my sister sees it too. I miss her so much.
    The Legion and I killed every last officer in the organization
    as retribution for sending us out to die.
    You don't belong in an organization like this,
    my sister—and I'm coming to save you.
    Hamelin Special Sword thumbnail
    Hamelin Special Sword thumbnail
    Hamelin Special Sword thumbnail

    Hamelin Special Sword

    My little brother and I wandered the empty city.
    We hadn't eaten in days. We were filthy.
    But there was a monster about, and every time I sensed it,
    I felt my heart stop. I had to protect him.
    Years have passed since I joined the organization.
    I thought I could create a world where my brother and
    I could live together again, but all I did was run
    through the dark chasing impossible dreams.
    Our ship was attacked by monsters. Most of us died.
    I hadn't grown at all since those days in the city—I couldn't
    protect anyone. I fought the monsters, but eventually
    succumbed to the dark.
    Someone calls my name. The worried voice says it's
    here to save me before becoming light and shining down.
    I can't die here. I need to eradicate the monsters from this
    world—for my brother's sake.
    Staff of the Titan thumbnail
    Staff of the Titan thumbnail
    Staff of the Titan thumbnail

    Staff of the Titan

    Once upon a time, there was a king who loved curios.
    One day, upon hearing tale of a brown jewel,
    he summoned his soldiers and made his way
    to a cave nestled deep in the mountains.
    The cave was riddled with dangers. There were bottomless pits,
    acid leaked from the walls, and it would occasionally
    be assaulted by gales so fierce they could lift a man into the air.
    At long last, the king located the brown jewel. It had a most foul
    smell to it, but he was elated all the same. However,
    as he took it in hand, a low rumble echoed throughout
    the cave accompanied by a most violent wind.
    With tremendous force, the king and the brown jewel were
    ejected from the cave. When the king finally came to,
    the cave, as well as the surrounding mountains,
    suddenly blinked out of existence.
    Fortune's Masses thumbnail
    Fortune's Masses thumbnail
    Fortune's Masses thumbnail

    Fortune's Masses

    It was just the two of us after Mom got divorced. She started
    working as a hostess at a bar, where she got in good with a rich
    old guy. He even bought us a house. Mom dresses really fancy
    now, and we don't have to worry about money anymore.
    The old guy is good to us. We eat out and go on trips together
    more often lately, and he even bought me nice clothes.
    He bought me gloves I wanted for my birthday,
    and he plays with me when he has time.
    One day, I asked Mom why she hadn't married him yet.
    Thinking I wouldn't understand, Mom just told me it's because
    she's too busy. I was upset that Mom wouldn't make time for
    me anymore, but I thought up a plan to fix that.
    Mom and the man broke up. I'm classmates with his son,
    and I told him about their affair. Now I've got Mom all to myself!
    Easy come, easy go, huh? It feels like just yesterday I told
    Mom that I thought my last dad smelled nice.
    Passionflower thumbnail
    Passionflower thumbnail
    Passionflower thumbnail


    Speaking of love is easy; it has been expressed in all
    sorts of ways for ages upon ages. But to define it?
    To prove it? Ah, there's the rub.
    At one point, love was divided into eight categories.
    But those words described relationships only—they
    didn't form a definition. Indeed, they spoke of love as if
    the reader already knew what it was.
    Is it fondness for another? Breeding instinct?
    Powerful attachment? None of these feel real because
    the selfsame "love" is used for all sorts of situations and is
    the impetus for all manner of actions.
    And so, I define love as an innate act.
    Though it is an emotion beyond description,
    its whims hold sway upon so many.
    Yet we continue to attach words to it—and to justify it.
    Blackbeak Spear thumbnail
    Blackbeak Spear thumbnail
    Blackbeak Spear thumbnail

    Blackbeak Spear

    #FFF1CF (255, 241, 207)
    A cheery cream color, like the eggs parent birds so lovingly warm.
    #006956 (0, 105, 86)
    Duck Teal
    A vivid blue-green named after the loving parent
    ducks that swim by the water's edge.
    #95859C (149, 133, 156)
    Dove Gray
    A gentle color with a purple tint, like the
    pigeons that leisurely peck at the ground.
    #12020E (18, 2, 14)
    Raven's Wing
    A lonely black, like a powerless chick waiting for
    food in a torrent of endless rain.
    Blade of Chance thumbnail
    Blade of Chance thumbnail
    Blade of Chance thumbnail

    Blade of Chance

    My final memory is the hellish sight of being killed in
    front of my big sister. When I wake, I'm in a tank of liquid.
    How did I get here? Where's my sister? I remain frozen,
    my questions unanswered.
    Researchers subject me to daily tests.
    They're all so painful, but I grit through the tears and
    remember the modest, yet happy times I spent with my sister.
    I believe she will come save me.
    I hear the screams again. Someone else. Somewhere else.
    We're tools for experimentation, discarded if we break.
    With no hope of escape, hate eats away at my heart, and
    I lose the human side of myself.
    At the end of an eternity, my sister finds me.
    The smile she wears is full of love, yet I do not wish
    for things to return to how they were.
    I simply want to spend my final moments in happiness.
    Ironcore Gun thumbnail
    Ironcore Gun thumbnail
    Ironcore Gun thumbnail

    Ironcore Gun

    War means money,
    especially for people like us who deal in weapons. Speaking of,
    we received another huge order from the military today.
    Yes! Work, work, work! Keep those factory fires burning!
    My laborers ask,
    "Is money important enough for you to sell tools that claim lives?
    Does the food you buy with such coin taste any better?"
    What stupid questions! They don't know anything!
    The capitalists say, "It is fun to work the lowest of the low
    like dogs and reap the profits.
    Wine drunk while watching them scrabble tastes all the sweeter."
    Fools! They don't know anything!
    What I seek are bullets.
    Gunpowder. Death. I don't want money or renown or status;
    the only thing that matters is the fact my
    weapons will be laying waste to other people's lives. Glorious!
    Snakeheart Spear thumbnail
    Snakeheart Spear thumbnail
    Snakeheart Spear thumbnail

    Snakeheart Spear

    I almost want to curse how blessed my life is.
    I have caring parents, good looks, skill with a sword—the
    whole shebang. I even have a wonderful
    master whom I love with all my heart.
    My master is the beautiful seventh princess—one who is
    often mocked for being the product of the king and his mistress.
    But she treats everyone kindly,
    and I'm charmed by her pure heart.
    All praise us for being the ideal image of master and attendant,
    and she eventually gives me her family's spear.
    But this is wrong; my true form is a monster
    who slaughters the innocent at night.
    I am obsessed with human bone. Human flesh.
    I kill and I kill and I kill, so tonight⁠ I will plunge this spear into
    my chest and pray to be reborn. Because if I am,
    I will rend her flesh myself.
    Type-2 Dawnstar thumbnail
    Type-2 Dawnstar thumbnail
    Type-2 Dawnstar thumbnail

    Type-2 Dawnstar

    The small, cold room smells of mold.
    This is my dad's entire world,
    and I've decided to clean it up over the weekend.
    I'm sure he'll start feeling a little better if I put things in order.
    I began cleaning one weekend morning.
    Kitchen, bathroom—all clean. But in the closet,
    I find a pen my brother gave me for my birthday,
    as well as a picturebook from Mom. They really take me back.
    I look at the gifts and recall how I was convinced we'd be
    together again as a family. So convinced, in fact,
    that I kept these things. But it's time to toss them out;
    such happy days will not come again.
    The next day, Dad gives me flowers for my birthday—little
    blossoms I don't know the names of. I'm going keep them
    even when they wither away, because
    I want to cherish everything from him.
    Blackpolish Lance thumbnail
    Blackpolish Lance thumbnail
    Blackpolish Lance thumbnail

    Blackpolish Lance

    Some people—like me—are worms who can only live by taking.
    But I didn't have the talent for stealing—not from the living,
    anyway. So instead, I stole from dead
    members of the royal family.
    A great mausoleum stood outside the city.
    Inside slumbered corpses of the royal family,
    clad in jewelry they once wore in life.
    But while the bodies had rotted, the jewels remained for me.
    I snuck in and found a grand throne topped with fine ornaments.
    I had a terrible feeling, so I pulled my hand back
    and leapt out of the way.
    It's important to know when to quit, right?
    Too late. They buried me, and I could no longer move.
    I heard a cracking noise coming from my body,
    and realized they took flesh from both the living and the dead.
    Ah, they were so much better than me.
    Devoted Memory thumbnail
    Devoted Memory thumbnail
    Devoted Memory thumbnail

    Devoted Memory

    I've been searching for something for a long, long time,
    but can never find it. That's why I decided to have it crafted.
    I hear there are tailors who can make it for me—tailors
    who craft lives and memories for people. Rumor says they'll
    make whatever the customer wants, and do so to perfection.
    Mine should be simple. It's mundane, really.
    All I want are memories of spending
    days with a loved one and our child.
    You can do this, right? I won't let you say no. I've paid a
    hefty price to come this far, and I can't turn back now.
    But you already know that. Don't you?
    Type-2 Sunset thumbnail
    Type-2 Sunset thumbnail
    Type-2 Sunset thumbnail

    Type-2 Sunset

    Yesterday was Mom and Dad's anniversary.
    What kind of flowers would they want, I wonder?
    My sister and I pool our coins and head to the florist.
    I've been getting less allowance recently, but I saved for this.
    We talk to the florist and finally chose a strawberry plant with
    little white flowers that's said to bring happiness.
    Mom and Dad have been fighting a lot lately,
    so I hope it helps.
    When we get home, Mom and Dad are fighting again.
    We step between them and hold out the present,
    and they both stop to smile. My sister and I are so
    happy now. I hope they stay get along forever...
    The plant we gave our parents is nice, but Mom is still unhappy.
    We're all unhappy. But I put hope in the tale of the little red fruit,
    because it would be too painful to live without it.
    Darkstrike thumbnail
    Darkstrike thumbnail
    Darkstrike thumbnail


    The blade is sleek and black, yet seems to give off light.
    Its beauty remains untarnished even after testing it
    on my servants, which makes it a personal favorite.
    Alas, it has been stolen by a thief.
    The scoundrel who stole my treasure is well-known in low
    corners of the city. He's said to have a young face,
    as well as a small frame that makes him an adept thief.
    Just the thought of him makes me rage.
    I search the city and find him gliding silently through the streets.
    My treasure dances in his hands,
    plunging into the bodies of his foes.
    Shaking with anger, I suddenly leap before him.
    Cut me down! I cry. The blade's black sheen is so much
    more lovely that when I wield it, and I feel a great desire to
    witness it up close.
    Yet the thief scoffs at me and refuses to grant my wish.
    Type-3 Sword thumbnail
    Type-3 Sword thumbnail
    Type-3 Sword thumbnail

    Type-3 Sword

    The researchers give me and my brother weapons and
    tell us to fight, promising freedom to the victor.
    I thought we were almost free, but now this.
    What am I going to do?
    I glance at the rustic blade in my little brother's trembling hand.
    The researchers say it's great at dealing pain,
    which doesn't suit his kind heart.
    And since I want him to be happy, I make a choice.
    I make an awful face so it's easier to attack me and leap at
    him with a roar. As I hope, he holds up his blade in fear.
    Good! Use the blade to cut down your big brother!
    Find your freedom!
    I begin to scream. I begin to writhe. In the corner of my eye,
    I see my little brother lift the blade again, sobbing. Yes...
    Please. Do it quickly. Set your brother free...
    Stellar Halberd thumbnail
    Stellar Halberd thumbnail
    Stellar Halberd thumbnail

    Stellar Halberd

    I keep my eyes closed.
    There is nothing here for me to see, after all.
    I keep my voice silent.
    My words will reach no one, after all.
    I keep my face placid.
    This is my sole resistance, after all.
    I keep no hope.
    Because I know I will be betrayed. And yet...
    Adhering Memory thumbnail
    Adhering Memory thumbnail
    Adhering Memory thumbnail

    Adhering Memory

    We are tailors.
    Come to us if you desire to wear a masterpiece!
    We will make anything to suit your body, your mind,
    and your heart. A bespoke article of stunning
    beauty lovingly created just for you.
    We will grant you blissful memories that bring you
    to a peaceful death. We will grant you hateful memories
    that give you the strength to survive the morrow.
    Oh, what a busy day it's been! People cannot
    live without one reason or another, but it's so hard
    coming up with false lives... Oh, a customer!
    What sort of memories are you looking for today?
    Enchanting Claw thumbnail
    Enchanting Claw thumbnail
    Enchanting Claw thumbnail

    Enchanting Claw

    Teacher got mad at me again today—told me to stop
    sleeping in class. But I'm sooooo sleepy!
    *yawn* Oh, and when I dream, I see a monster...
    Yay, Mister Monster! I'm so happy to see you again,
    'cause you don't bully me like everyone at school.
    Thanks for always playing with me. I love you, Mister Monster.
    Mommy and Daddy keep telling me to wake up,
    but I'm so much happier in the dream world.
    They don't get that, so I decided to show them.
    That's why I put them in an eternal sleep.
    Good morning. I don't understand.
    I'm sorry. Good bye. Daddy. Help me. Mommy.
    I won't see you again. All alone.
    Novus Staff thumbnail
    Novus Staff thumbnail
    Novus Staff thumbnail

    Novus Staff

    Long ago, as the Earth was warming, it suddenly began to cool.
    Though scientists had theories, the cause remained unknown.
    Soon, the planet began to freeze,
    starting with the seas nearest the poles.
    As a result of the cooling, the amount of water covering the
    Earth dropped from 80% to 20%. Large ocean mammals,
    unable to find enough food to sustain themselves,
    began to go extinct.
    Large fish were the next to go, followed by others in order of size.
    Soon enough, the diminished amount of water
    became a matter of life and death for creatures beyond sea life.
    The old humans fell to starvation, and their numbers plummeted.
    The global population that once sat at seven billion fell to
    roughly ■■ people. This number was an extreme problem indeed.
    Obsidian Gem thumbnail
    Obsidian Gem thumbnail
    Obsidian Gem thumbnail

    Obsidian Gem

    Grandma was the only mage in the village,
    but she's gone now. Starting today, I'll follow in her
    footsteps and become the village mage. I clutch the obsidian
    gem she left me and vow to do my best.
    Finding lost items, telling fortunes, healing the sick,
    crafting good-luck charms—I do my best from her notes,
    but there's so much I don't know. Like,
    what is this obsidian gem on my desk even for?
    Today, a woman came by to pick up medicine for her sick child.
    As she looked around the workshop, she said,
    "Oh, she's gone." I figured she was talking about
    Grandma, so I gave her a little smile.
    Today I heard a tapping from the obsidian gem.
    The woman brought her healthy child around to share
    dinner with me and said, "Oh! The familiar laid an egg!"
    I can't wait to see what hatches...
    Syringe Gun thumbnail
    Syringe Gun thumbnail
    Syringe Gun thumbnail

    Syringe Gun

    I devote all my days to saving the patients
    who come in. But no matter how much
    I sacrifice of my own life, the patients never stop coming.
    I'd wanted to save people from a very young age,
    so I studied to become a doctor.
    But now I feel less joy in saving others than
    I do distress at seeing them in pain.
    After examining an emergency patient who came in after
    getting shot in a gang war, I found myself wondering
    why people always hurt each
    other no matter how hard I try to heal them.
    The truth of illness is that the malady will spread so
    long as the original tumor remains intact.
    That's why I discarded my scalpel and syringe
    for a knife and a gun and left the hospital.
    AGW-M26 thumbnail
    AGW-M26 thumbnail
    AGW-M26 thumbnail


    .again good everything make to machine time my use just
    I'll !worries no, Well .feet my at lays wife my be to used what,
    senses my to come I When .fly blood and
    Flesh .down blade my bring I ,rage my In
    .sad am I .own my of ahead needs her putting ,secret in it
    eats and market black the from food gets wife my Yet.
    less eat both we means together living so,
    household per meal one are Rations
    !her kill never could I ?!thinking I am What !
    No ...around weren't she only If .back thin wife's sleeping my
    at look I .starve to going I'm fear I,
    again rations reduces government the When
    .hold may it what matter no her with future the face will I;
    machine time my use never I'll But .time happier a to back
    go to machine my use can I,
    pass to comes worst the if that says wife My
    Pitiless Rite thumbnail
    Pitiless Rite thumbnail
    Pitiless Rite thumbnail

    Pitiless Rite

    No matter how many years pass, I still dream of my late mother.
    It's always the same: She seeks knowledge from a bird so she
    might grow wings. But it always ends the same.
    She is human. She cannot fly.
    Mother told me so many t■■es she wanted to be cre■■■■■,
    and her ashes scattered over t■■ seas. I was■'t able to ■■
    that in the end. Maybe this is her way of
    sh■■■ng s■ite for what I de■■ed her.
    The moment I saw my ■■■■■■ ■■■■ed, mem■■■■■ of
    Mother flashed t■■■■■■ ■■ mind. I felt dis■■■■■ knowing
    she had been kil■■■ with her heart still t■■■■ed in a cage.
    Black birds ■■■■■ on my ■■■■■■■■ ■■rpse. I'm ■■■■
    with that. At least ■■■■■■ of her will ■■■■ their ■■■
    to mo■■ ■■■■■■■■■
    places now—in o■■ ■■y or anot■■■.
    Snakeheart Pistol thumbnail
    Snakeheart Pistol thumbnail
    Snakeheart Pistol thumbnail

    Snakeheart Pistol

    Guns. We love guns. Can't live without 'em! Everything
    in life—health, communication, money, singing, playing,
    childmaking—it's all done by putting a gun to a
    head and pulling the trigger.
    But my girl said our guns are fake, and that real guns kill people.
    "Kill?" I asked. "What's that?" She smiled and said,
    "It's telling someone that everything in the world is a lie."
    Every day, she and I pointed fake guns at each other in
    our secret base, accessed the network, and tried to learn
    about real guns. Her dream was to kill with one—but one day,
    she stopped coming.
    Later, people in white came to my house.
    My mom screamed when they pointed a gun at me,
    and when I realized it was real, I got jealous.
    If I'm ever reborn, I want to shoot a real gun with my girl.
    Ironcore Spear thumbnail
    Ironcore Spear thumbnail
    Ironcore Spear thumbnail

    Ironcore Spear

    No normal smith coulda made this spear; it never rusts or chips.
    Selling it can net you a year's supply of booze—in fact, the coin
    that bought this pint came from my doing just that.
    What, so I ain't allowed to own what I previously sold?
    Heh. Don't matter what I do, the spear always comes back.
    I ain't loved—I'm cursed. And these hands?
    They'll never be clean.
    Each drop of blood makes the blade sharper, so it don't
    wanna stay with folks what can't use it. I'm a top-notch fighter,
    so it always gets to drink its fill—especially on
    full-moon nights like this.
    Eh, I'm kidding. None of that's real, but it's the perfect story for
    drinking, eh!? ...Oh, you're headed home? Take care then—
    and be sure to check out the moon.
    It's almost as beautiful as you.
    Ritual Pike thumbnail
    Ritual Pike thumbnail
    Ritual Pike thumbnail

    Ritual Pike

    The grand palace is a symbol of wealth and power;
    the princess within a prisoner of her own home.
    Eventually she loses the will to smile—
    until the day she meets a sailor who changes everything.
    She has another face—that of a fortune teller.
    But things still feel so empty; no one notices the part of
    her she keeps hidden. Will the sailor take the
    opportunity to see her for who she is?
    She falls in love with the sailor. But she has doubts,
    so switches places with her maid to test him.
    When she sees the pair of them absconding off
    ogether, she knows she has been betrayed.
    She rushes through the city with spear in hand,
    knowing the sailor's tales to be mere fabrications.
    In her despair, she surrenders herself to the vast,
    unfathomable ocean.
    Kurezome thumbnail
    Kurezome thumbnail
    Kurezome thumbnail


    He spends his days studying and working, casting
    aside a normal high school life to focus solely on
    his goal. He does this all so he might become a doctor
    and save his ailing mother's life.
    His classmates do nothing but slack. His coworker is nothing
    but talk. The boy's days are weight down by all of society's ills,
    and when he gets news of his mother's impending death,
    it breaks him.
    He plans to kill himself so his mother might have his heart.
    His final moments stretch into eternity.
    But before he can consume the poison,
    the phone rings, informing him his mother has died.
    He gets revenge on his father—he who drove his mother to death.
    But then he realizes that her death was, in fact,
    a homicide, and vows to spend the
    rest of his days in search of retribution.
    Akagi thumbnail
    Akagi thumbnail
    Akagi thumbnail


    Grades. Friendships. Evaluations. The girl has long
    played every role in the part of an exemplary high
    school student, all so her destitute father
    might find a way to smile again.
    She works an immoral job to repay her father's
    debt—one where others suffer as a result of her actions.
    But she continues to break the law for his sake.
    She does it all for him.
    When her crimes are laid bare, all her hard work crumbles.
    With a heavy heart, she heads home to the one thing
    she never wanted to lose, only to discover her
    father swinging from the ceiling.
    She gets revenge on her mother—she who drove her
    father to death. But then she realizes that his death was,
    in fact, a homicide, and vows to spend the
    rest of her days in search of retribution.
    Gilded Blade thumbnail
    Gilded Blade thumbnail
    Gilded Blade thumbnail

    Gilded Blade

    Can't stick with the boss anymore.
    Sneaking into the Thieves' Graveyard?
    He's mad! We've been through a lot over the years,
    but this is a step too far, even for me.
    Things fell apart on the way home after escaping the Graveyard.
    It was the kid's fault, of course—he treats us like dogs.
    Worst part is that he's more
    talented than any of us and we know it.
    Everyone knows who he is: He leads the nation's best thieves
    guild and takes everything he wants. The way he acts...
    The way he steals...
    Every thief in the land wants to be just like him.
    Finally saw the kid in town. Was relieved to see him alive,
    but shocked at how different he was.
    What happened to his bejeweled clothes? His sharp gaze?
    Did he get a girl? Oh, my brother...
    Moonlight thumbnail
    Moonlight thumbnail
    Moonlight thumbnail


    To the next queen:
    Tomorrow is the fifth full moon. Alas, I was not able to escape.
    I pray you will not commit the same mistakes
    I did—and that you will survive.
    To the next queen:
    The king's mood has soured, and my days are few.
    He has hidden himself away within the palace.
    If I learn anything of note, I will write it here.
    To the next queen:
    I tried to kill him! I was a fool! I don't want to die!
    I don't ■■nt to ■■■! My leg ■■■■■ stop ■■■■■■■■!
    ■■me■■■ ■■■■ me! ■■lp...
    I write these words as proof that our efforts bore fruit.
    The room in question should be prepared.
    The bell ringing now mourns the death of the king.
    I am his last queen.
    Shiny Wand thumbnail
    Shiny Wand thumbnail
    Shiny Wand thumbnail

    Shiny Wand

    Oxygen Level: 79%
    I'm sure rescue will be here before my time runs out.
    Until then, I'll drift through space enjoying the beautiful stars.
    Oxygen Level: 45%
    I've lost track of how much time has passed.
    Rescue has yet to arrive. I feel so
    insignificant in this vast ocean of stars.
    Oxygen Level: 12%
    I feel as though I'm going mad as my inevitable
    death creeps near. I want to end it all, but the life support
    system on my spacesuit won't allow it.
    Oxygen Level: 3%
    The woman finally passed away. Her oxygen level had been
    depleting 1% per year. She was finally freed from solitude.
    Cause of death: old age.
    Blackspot Staff thumbnail
    Blackspot Staff thumbnail
    Blackspot Staff thumbnail

    Blackspot Staff

    Did you know I can understand what birds say? It's true!
    No one believes me, which is why I've been treated like
    a weirdo since I was a kid.
    Do you understand how painful that's been?
    Now that we're talking, I'll tell you something that happened when
    I was a kid. On a bright summer day, a black bird of passage
    came to me and said there would be a great storm the next day.
    I went to the adults and told them, but they didn't believe me.
    The next day, there was a massive storm, the mountain
    collapsed, and everyone died—including me.
    Hmm? You don't get why we're talking like this if I'm dead?
    People can still talk in death, silly! I mean, you're dead too,
    so stop acting like I'm the weirdo around here. Sheesh!
    Scheming Gladiator thumbnail
    Scheming Gladiator thumbnail
    Scheming Gladiator thumbnail

    Scheming Gladiator

    One morning, the statue of the great counselor overlooking the
    colosseum was found in pieces. This sort of barbarism must be
    the work of one of the gladiators. With the honor of our nation on
    the line, we sentinels began searching for the culprit immediately.
    We captured a few suspicious gladiators and lined them up in the
    colosseum. All of them were former prisoners of war, meaning
    hey must of had a grudge on the counselor. We'll torture them
    for answers and then publicly execute the perpetrator.
    The suspects refused to speak, no matter how much pain we
    inflected on them. That was until high noon, when all of
    a sudden they all began to confess at once.
    "I destroyed the statue!" "No, it was I" "It was my doing!"
    "Enough with this foolishness! Execute them all!" Just as one of
    the sentinels exclaimed, the gladiators smirked. All of a sudden,
    a guard cried out from the watchtower "The rest of the gladiators
    have escaped! Those suspects were a decoy!" There was an eerie
    glimmer in the eyes of the gladiators waiting for their execution.
    Splitting Axe thumbnail
    Splitting Axe thumbnail
    Splitting Axe thumbnail

    Splitting Axe

    This prison is surrounded on all sides by cliffs.
    Only the greatest of criminals come here.
    No chains bind them. No bars stand tall.
    For so long as I hold watch, none of them will ever escape.
    A number attempted escape after I took this post.
    Foolish criminals and their sins—criminals with no hope
    of salvation. My trusty axe removed the heads of
    all who tried, and soon the attempts ceased.
    No one escapes this place; I kill every sinner who darkens
    its door. Another arrives today. Another will arrive tomorrow.
    All who commit crimes are sent to me, for this prison is eternal.
    We keep our worst criminal—a axe-murderer—in a prison
    surrounded by cliffs. We send sacrifices there every day
    to keep him happy, even though we recognize how
    terrifically cruel the practice is.
    Temari of the Stars thumbnail
    Temari of the Stars thumbnail
    Temari of the Stars thumbnail

    Temari of the Stars

    Dear God,
    I have a wish. I want to smile a lot with
    Mommy and Daddy this year!
    Dear God,
    I have a wish. I don't want Dad to bully
    Mom anymore, and I don't want her to beat me anymore.
    O God, please hear my plea.
    Please scold my mother and father this year,
    for they are terrible people who continue to terrorize me.
    Almighty God, hear my plea!
    Grant me strength—I beg of you.
    Grant me the strength to strike my parents down.
    Synthetic Exorcism thumbnail
    Synthetic Exorcism thumbnail
    Synthetic Exorcism thumbnail

    Synthetic Exorcism

    Once, a woman sent her husband an arrow.
    It served as a prayer he might return safely from war
    after felling many an enemy to great acclaim.
    The prayer worked, and the woman's husband returned
    home having accomplished great things. Indeed,
    the arrow she sent him was the selfsame one which
    pierced the enemy general's skull.
    Word spread, and soon people swarmed the woman,
    asking her to imbue their arrows with prayers.
    They were used for decoration, as well as to banish evil
    and bring good fortune to the owner.
    But then an age came where machines ruled over humans.
    Though arrows held no value as weapons,
    the government claimed them as such, and burned all who
    owned one alive along with their homes.
    Blade of Early Spring thumbnail
    Blade of Early Spring thumbnail
    Blade of Early Spring thumbnail

    Blade of Early Spring

    feet crunch firmly over first frost

    i mind not the mud on my boots
    winter plums bathe the city in pink

    with the first shot, they turn a deeper red
    white drifts between clouds of smoke

    is it snow? ash? i close my eyes
    her voice echoes in the silence that follows

    life persisting despite death
    Festive Cold Steel thumbnail
    Festive Cold Steel thumbnail
    Festive Cold Steel thumbnail

    Festive Cold Steel

    Once there was a special establishment,
    open only on New Year's Day, whose sole purpose was to
    sever relationships. The village women gossiped
    that it could help a person end old, bad ties.
    One woman heard the rumor and took her good-for-nothing,
    gambling husband to the place, hoping to be free of him at last.
    With resolve in her heart, she knocked on the door.
    The door opened to reveal a beautiful woman with a katana
    as large as the wielder. The husband ogled her,
    but once he realized he was there for the purpose of divorce,
    his attitude changed.
    As he thrashed about, the woman brought her blade down,
    sending the husband's head sailing through the air and severing
    the relationship for good. When the wife saw the woman smile,
    she screamed.
    Wandering Corpse thumbnail
    Wandering Corpse thumbnail
    Wandering Corpse thumbnail

    Wandering Corpse

    I peer into the mirror and see a hideous monster.
    When I raise my hand, the monster does the same.
    Even the background scenery is the same.
    Ah, I see. I am the hideous monster.

    The next thing I know, I'm screaming—my voice a horrible
    combination of machinery and a beast's howl.
    I don't know where I came from. Or who I am.
    I am certain only of the incessant pangs of hunger that wrack
    my body, so I wander this desolate world in
    search of a way to sate my longing.
    Only the eating of dreams can make me forget my
    pain and despair—but those moments last only so long.
    Ever hungering, I resume my long trek across a desolate
    world in search of further sustenance.
    Sublime Acceptance thumbnail
    Sublime Acceptance thumbnail
    Sublime Acceptance thumbnail

    Sublime Acceptance

    There was once a fishmonger who worked harder
    than anyone else. One day, he sold a great catch to a royal
    official and received his pay in an envelope.
    Excited, he returned home to his mother.
    As his ill mother lay abed, he counted the money in the envelope.
    But the amount was not as much as he was expecting,
    and when he finished, he was no longer
    certain that he could afford her medicine.
    His income lessened as time went on, and he grew
    increasingly weak. One day, the official summoned him:
    A thief had stolen from a rice dealer,
    and blame had been pinned on the fishmonger.
    The fishmonger, of course, had stolen no rice.
    But he accepted the blame with a smile,
    pleased that he no longer had to look after his mother.
    Helical Dance thumbnail
    Helical Dance thumbnail
    Helical Dance thumbnail

    Helical Dance

    All that I worked so hard to build vanished one
    morning in an instant. If it was all indeed a falsehood,
    I would not feel this delighted.
    If the lies are ■■ consume me, then ■ myself ■■ a lie.
    If I turn what is false ■■■■ the real,
    the world will ■■■■■■ to how it was.
    Lie after ■■■ ■■■■■ lie.
    The world can no lo■■■■ su■■ain their ■■■ght.
    Let us dance ■■ ig■■■■nce, and wait
    ■■■ the moment ■■ all com■■ crashing ■■■■.
    Black birds ■■■■ through ■■■ sky, sig■■■■■g ■■■ end.
    Happiness ■■ lost. I ■■■■■ out, but ■■ is ■■■ ■■■ me.
    My fe■■ s■■p in the ■■■■ pat■■■n.
    We are pr■■■■■■■ined ■■■■■■.