Sharp as Sword Blades, ch. 4: April Guthrie [null]

Monitoring: April Guthrie [null]
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

1:25 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Monday, August 4th, 2014
17:25 Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, August 4th, 2014

Rewind—

Face turned to the lionfish on her table, April watches out of the corner of her eye as Hannah converses with Simon’s mystery people. Even when they reveal their knowledge that they are being watched and Señora Viejo, as she is apparently named, blatantly looks around the restaurant, April keeps her face impassive. They know about two PALATINATE agents and one of those is almost certainly Mary, so there’s a fifty-fifty chance that her cover is intact. Continue reading

Advertisements

Sharp as Sword Blades, ch. 01: April Guthrie [null]

“Ask very pointed questions. Sharp as sword blades…if you catch my meaning.”
Afterlife, by Mike Monroe.

Monitoring: April Guthrie [null]
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

12:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Monday, August 4th, 2014
16:45 Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, August 4th, 2014

Fast forward—

“Table for one,” says April. “Over on the right, if you don’t mind.”

“The right?” asks the greeter.

“I think I’d like the view better from there. I hope that’s alright.” Continue reading

Awful Shadow, ch. 11: Olivia Garcia

Monitoring: Olivia Garcia
Mesa, Arizona, USA

12:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time
Monday, June 9th, 2014
19:45 Coordinated Universal TIme
Monday, June 9th, 2014

Rewind—

As far as Olivia can tell, nobody is following her. At every intersection she has to press a button and wait for the crossing signal to change, and she takes each stop as an opportunity to look at the yellows and scan her surroundings. It’s a lovely motivation to start learning, quickly, how to distinguish one person from another. Olivia thinks that she’s doing an alright job but can’t know for sure. Up till now she’s never cared much whether a given body was this person or that one, even at the school. Even when she wasn’t more concerned with the big picture stuff and had an interest in the details, caring about who she was looking at would have been like giving names to each brushstroke of a painting. When Olivia was seeing yellows, it wasn’t about people. Continue reading

Awful Shadow, ch. 10: Simon Martin

Monitoring: Simon Martin
Vienna, Virginia, USA

4:50 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Monday, June 16th, 2014
20:50 Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, June 16th, 2014

Fast forward—

Simon is in a clean, brightly-lit room. There is a white-and-blue checkerboard pattern in the floor tiling, and kitschy animal figures on the shelves. Most of them are elephants, and all of them are engaged in various activities usually reserved for humans, playing golf or putting on bowling shoes or reading the newspaper on a park bench. A few are wearing bowler hats; the rest are bareheaded.

(He’s so cold, but it isn’t the room. It’s him. It’s his body, frantically flipping switches to try to stay alive. If it is alright to personify his organs and bodily systems, then all hands are on deck and every one of them is running terrified.) Continue reading

Awful Shadow, ch. 9: Olivia Garcia

Monitoring: Olivia Garcia
Mesa, Arizona, USA

7:45 a.m. Mountain Standard Time
Monday, June 9th, 2014
14:45 Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, June 9th, 2014

Fast forward—

The world as only Olivia can see it is an ocean of yellow paint. There is no difference between any two specks of it but all the same she has somehow learned to differentiate, say, between the yellow that made the outline of a person, and the yellow on top of that. There was yellow inside each person, and a few months ago she became able to distinguish between the yellow that was their organs and another yellow that was in and around those things. In that way, it’s like an amorphous onion, with a multitude of layers. Continue reading

Awful Shadow, ch. 8: Mary Rucker [null]

Monitoring: Mary Rucker [null]
Vienna, Virginia, United States

11:10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Thursday, June 5th, 2014
3:10 Coordinated Universal Time
Thursday, June 6th, 2014

Rewind—

Hannah had been perfect. Her discovery couldn’t have been arranged more perfectly: a kid gets superpowers and makes a beeline for somebody who everyone knows is willing to shell out a million dollars for proof of the supernatural. Rucker thought it’d be a good idea to check out James Randi, and sure enough it had paid off. She hadn’t even needed to follow up on any of the other groups like his, just surveil his house for a few days and pretend to be surprised when a teenage girl walked up to his door.

After that, searching for the other children was more annoying than it was anything else. Maybe it was because they had better powers and, unlike Hannah, there were obvious applications to what they could do and they didn’t have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find a way to benefit. Simon had discovered an apocalypse and Austin was fighting house fires. God only knew what the other kids were spending their time. Continue reading

Awful Shadow, ch.7: Olivia Garcia

Monitoring: Olivia Garcia
Mesa, Arizona, USA

6:15 a.m. Mountain Standard Time
Monday, June 9th, 2014
13:15 Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, June 9th, 2014

Fast forward—

Olivia wakes to a pair of blaring alarms, one on either side of her bed and each requiring that she walk to one side of her room or the other. She’s been sleeping more deeply than usual as of late, but she can’t afford to stay in bed. By the time that she’s hit both alarms and dumped a glass of water on her head, Olivia is, if not wide awake, at least in a better position to force her legs to move away from her bed and get to the morning’s business. Continue reading