Giving in wasn't an option. The first time Ted died he didn't really notice, being in a full on berserk. One of his incisors was embedded in the top of his shield. He only felt its loss after he lay beside the gnawed wood, head split by a centurion's short sword. Like most warrior souls, he didn't leave it there of course.

The second death was a spear. Ted bled out over a few days, his last fevered thought - blood poisoning - being one of confused pride he had all his own teeth 'this' time.

Ted's third demise was...

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Th dapper man picked up a penny and turned it over in his fingers, scrutinising it.

"Yes, this is definitely his," he said, after some time.

"How do you know?" his companion prompted, with bemused admiration.

"We know our chap must have had a lucky penny. This one is worn, as if it has been rubbed many times - for luck, you see - but it is still dirty. Our chap is a dockhand; it is grime from his workplace that has become ingrained in the coin. He must have dropped it when he realised he was being pursued."

"How...

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When I was 12, I went to sea. Don't ask me which. I don't know.

It was sometimes blue, and it was sometimes green. And when it got dark, it was black.

The air always felt clear and cold, pushing itself down into your chest. It filled your belly up. Then it would come out hot. Hot and wet.

You could look out, and out, and out. There was just the sky, and then there was the sea. Don't ask me which. I don't know.

Just the sky sitting on the sea.
Except once, there was something else.

Once there...

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"Travel light, but take everything with you," he said, his sky eyes looking off into the distance, "you never know when everything will leave you."
I suppose it didn't matter to me anymore, whether or not i took my life with me. there wasn't much there, really, just pieces of broken hearts and crystal tears that hit the floor. His words still echoed through my hollow body, the remains of bones crumbling beneath every sorry heaving breath. "Why wasn't I good enough?" I had asked myself, but I never knew. Perhaps it wasn't me....Perhaps it was you. Perhaps it was...

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I carry you with me.
I carry you with me here.
Right here, in this tender spot
in this hollow space.
I carry you with me.
I carry you on the tip of my tongue
Just on the tip, so that I can
carry you with me here,
in my words, in my sounds
There. That word, that sound -
Said just as you would, just as you have
Because I carry you with me,
I carry you with me here.
Right here, in the downturn of these lips,
In that expression you wore had that carried with it a...

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I woke up this morning fuzzier than usual.

It's easier to remember in my sleep but the memories are now tied with hopefulness--your hopefulness. Your jacket was cold on the outside as I hugged you, and I remember your body warm as I slipped my hand in and tried to squeeze. I remember you tried to kiss me goodbye and I moved from it as I sobbed. I didn't want to miss that kiss but still I moved.

The journey alone has been quiet. You text me or email me or my own brain will write your words for me...

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"Midnight on the roof.". That was all her note had said. He smiled to himself as he climbed the stairway up to the small rooftop. Sure he'd been a bit rough with her when he'd cornered her at the party but some girls like it that way. Well she obviously had otherwise she wouldn't have contacted him again. Panting a bit he arrived at the security door and pushed his way through. She was there waiting for him as he had hoped but he wasn't alone. "Have you met my big brothers Mark and Jamie" she said as she slipped...

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Before the crone could lift the latch, the outsider entered unbidden; not something wisely done at a witch's door. The boy seemed to need folding to miss the oak lintel. Felt cap respectfully in hand, he spilled over the urgent threshold.

"Some rich master has stolen my Bess away from me!" he blurted out.

The old woman assessed him bending his way through the old wooden doorway. Green doublet. Old but smart. Yellow hose. Bachelor. Sixteen Summers. Mayhap a little more, but large - she smiled - in every respect.

He hadn't noticed the maid, half shoved behind the door,...

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The city was empty. The day had swept by on the brush of a filthy broom, skittering over the edge of the world. We were happy.

But we'd always secretly reveled in disaster situations. When the status-quo was torn asunder, that's when we came alive. It was the status quo that we couldn't deal with.

The last bits of ash were falling out of the sky. The TV said that this might be the end of it. But they also said it might not. Storm clouds at night make the world all that much darker. So we lit our candles,...

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I walked along the flat stones that made up the busy road and let the bustling crowds swallow me whole. My heart pounds in my ears. I hear a sharp shout from behind me and instictively dive over the bright green barrier. I press my body into the lush grass and take shallow breaths. The sound of thousands of footsteps set my nerves on edge. For a moment, my mind wanders to the many times my friends and I used to play hide and seek in this garden when we were younger. Children squealing in delight and running in circles....

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