SAMANTHA MEI PAULL

AUTHOR | SCREENWRITER | ACTOR

.

FORTHCOMING NOVEL

THE VEIL OF SHATTERED SOULS

PREVIEW CHAPTER 1
OF THE FORTHCOMING NOVEL

THE VEIL OF SHATTERED SOULS

Nyssa Drazhan has a thirst for making enemies, revels in swiping what they treasure most, and doesn't at all mind reducing their world to ruins in her wake. But as an artifact of immeasurable value emerges, Nyssa's obsession takes a personal turn when it's linked to a ghost from her own turbulent past.Consumed by revenge and greed she and her sister, Fallyn, are forced to ally with their mortal enemy, Kenso Umekashi, to assemble a worthy crew and steal The Key.Pieces of the sisters' past begin to unravel, along with a web of betrayal, with one daring heist at the center of it all.

CHAPTER 1There was something satisfying about stealing from a thief. Any fool can learn to pick a pocket or a lock, existing only within the shadows, but to be able to slip past the most paranoid type of people, suspicion etched into their very bones, that is something to be proud of.One does not simply steal. If something is so small, so insignificant that a child's clumsy hands could swipe it, it might as well be a lonely pebble lying on the side of the road. No, one must scheme, concoct, and prepare for everything.Nyssa ducked as a bullet whizzed past her ear, shattering a porcelain vase behind her as it hit.Another bullet cut through the air and she looked up, the crystal chandelier looming over her, a chain suspending it from the ceiling. Sparks flew as metal hit metal and the link snapped, hundreds of crystal teardrops clanging against each other as it plummeted towards her. Nyssa rolled out of the way, shielding her face as the wooden floor split, the chandelier shattering on impact, crystal shards scattered across the floor.Nyssa stayed low as she scooted to the far wall, her sister's head poking through the blown out window beside her.“Not to criticize…”“Then shut up.” Nyssa silenced her, tucking herself as far into the wall as she could, bullets whizzing past her. Grabbing her revolver, whisps and swirls etched onto its surface, and a handful of bronze bullets from her vest pocket, she shoved the bullets into each empty chamber before spinning it back in place.“Nyssa,” Fallyn shouted over the gunfire. “This has gotten out of hand. Kenso could show up any second. The only way this ends well is if we leave now.”“The only way this ends well,” Nyssa started, pointing her revolver towards the sky, squeezing one eye shut, the other trained on its sights, “is if I get what I came for. If Kenso shows up, we’ll deal with him too.”A teeth-rattling bang rang out in her ear, smoke drifting from the muzzle of her revolver as the bullet struck another chain and a twin chandelier went plummeting to the ground across the room. The three guards beneath it hardly had time to look up before fruitlessly flinging themselves out of the way.“Cover me.”Fallyn looked at her, incredulously. “Where is Bingham?”“Outside.” Nyssa shouted, returning fire on a particularly trigger-happy guard inching closer and closer.“Doing what?”“His job, as I would implore you to do the same.” Nyssa landed a bullet in the guard's neck, dropping where he stood. “Cover me.”“Wait–” Fallyn protested, but her sister was gone, running through the hail of bullets towards the front of the manor. “Nyssa! Nyx!” Fallyn cursed under her breath, fumbling with a revolver of her own.Nyssa slid across the wooden floor splintered with bullet holes, crashing into the banister of the towering staircase. She spared one last glance at Fallyn, ensuring that she was occupying the guards attention before making a run for it, only to be met with the image of a woman standing at the window, malice carved into the lines of her scowl, her gun pointed directly at Fallyn.The revolver vibrated in Nyssa’s hand as the bullet shot out, lodging itself in the guard's skull. Fallyn flinched as crimson freckles splattered across her face, watching the woman go still and then sink to the floor. Her frantic eyes locked on her sisters across the room, Nyssa giving her a reassuring nod before slinking up the staircase.The steps of the ancient mansion creaked, Nyssa placed a hand on the railing only to whip it back up when she felt the warm slick of blood between her fingers, her hand print left in a pool of dark crimson dripping off the banister.When she reached the top of the stairs, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end, an invisible shadow stalking her.She scanned the room and froze when she saw a guard laying on his stomach, rifle in hand, pointed out the window and towards the ground. The floorboard creaked beneath Nyssa’s boot, pursing her lips as the guard flipped around, his gun trained on her within a second, but not getting a shot off before she put a bullet in his hand, sending the rifle crashing to the ground. The man cried out and lunged at her, wrapping his arms around her waist, sending them both flying to the ground. Nyssa gripped his blood-soaked wrist, pulling it towards her, clamping his arm between her legs, and twisting it backwards. A chilling pop sounded from his elbow and he let out an animalistic wail as the arm went limp and Nyssa tossed it to the ground, scrambling to her feet.Nyssa lifted her boot, delivering a blunt kick to his stomach and sending the man plummeting down the staircase, a trail of blood smearing in his wake.Nyssa wiped the beads of sweat from her brow before rushing over to the window that the gunman had been aiming out of. She leaned out, seeing Bingham on the ground, attaching rows of makeshift explosives to the outer wall.Bingham’s head shot up, brows furrowed as he saw Nyssa extend her arm out the window, opening and closing it in a grabbing motion. Bingham fumbled through his cream colored satchel when he finally realized what she required, pulling out a smaller explosive and hurtling it into the air.Nyssa extended her arm further, gracefully but nearly catching the weapon. Her eyes glared down at Bingham, his slim face gone pale.“If I hadn’t caught this, you’d be smeared all over that wall.” She scolded.Bingham swallowed. “Then… thanks.”“You better pick up the pace out there.” She yelled down, stuffing the explosive into the pocket of her long, black coat.“Right on schedule, boss.” He assured, his stutter leaving Nyssa utterly unconvinced.She turned back inside, picking her revolvers up off the ground, putting one in its holster, and keeping the other raised. Shots continued to ring out through the manor as she made her way down the hall, slow and deliberate, examining each room that rolled by.Finally, she stopped when the study came into view a few doors down. She took a step towards it and instantly jumped back, a bullet flying up in the air right in front of her. She looked down to see a hole in the floorboard, mere centimeters away from her feet. She dared to take another step, provoking a second bullet. This time, Nyssa peeked through the small hole to see a guard on the floor below her with her pistol raised. Another impossibly perfect shot rang out and Nyssa leaned back, wiping her head to the side just in time for the bullet to graze her cheek, heart racing at the proximity it had been to taking her nose clean off.The spent bullet landed on the ground beside Nyssa’s boot, a light catching her eye as familiar golden tendrils spread across the lead, pulsing with light as she bent down to retrieve the object. She didn’t dare to take another step as she examined the shimmering, jagged vines weaving across the surface. Nyssa pinched the bullet between her fingers and pointed it at the ground, the guard's pistol trained back up at her, poised for any sudden movements. Nyssa shut her eyes, feeling the warmth radiating from the bullet between her fingers, and dropped it.The splintering of wood and cracking of bone echoed from below her and Nyssa opened her eyes to see a warm glow emanating from a hole in the guard's head where the bullet had lodged itself. A bullet enchanted to aim true every time. Only a Weaver could bewitch an object so.Nyssa watched through the floor as the woman fell, blood pouring from the glowing crater in her head, downed by her own power.Nyssa straightened, continuing swiftly on down the hallway, and into the open study. It smelled of old parchment and singed candle wicks, a dark mahogany desk with a waxy finish sat at the far end of the room accompanied by a tufted leather chair. Nyssa ignored it all as her gaze landed on the left wall, knowing precisely where to look, where he had hidden it seeing as it was precisely where she would have hidden it. She made her way over to the wall and the sailboat painting hung upon it.She ran her long fingers along the edge of the golden frame, searching for the latch she knew was there. She heard a satisfying click when she found it and the painting went limp in her hands, catching it and setting it on the ground. Where the frame had hung now sat a smokey-gray safe consisting of countless layers of impenetrable steel.Well, nearly impenetrable.She took the makeshift explosive from her jacket pocket, along with a lighter, and adhered the clay casing to the safe. She sparked the lighter and the flame danced in the dim room, illuminated only by the rays of moonlight shining through the window. She lit the detonation cord, fizzling as it burned the string, and hurried to the opposite side of the room, curling behind the mahogany desk. Her breaths were shallow, her eyes squeezed shut, cool blood trickling down her flushed cheek, and sweat brimming on her brow as she anticipated the explosion. The sizzling got louder as the flame chased the string, getting smaller, smaller, smaller… Nyssa covered her head as the wall erupted in a loud bang.She peered over the desk to see pebbles of brick crumbling off the wall, a thick fog coating the room. Once the dust had cleared, she pushed herself up and sped over to the remains of the safe, the door blown out, exposing a marbled purple artifact. She held it in her palm, wiping the dust from its surface with her thumb, revealing the brilliant, shimmering stone beneath. A solid piece of tanzanite, the gem cut into the shape of an arrowhead, intricately carved designs across its surface like an unsolvable maze.The Key.Something this valuable ought to be in a museum.Lucky for her, it was not.A smirk tugged at the corner of Nyssa’s lips as she tossed The Key into her pocket.“Nyx!” She heard her sister yell from the floor below, barely audible over the gunfire. Nyssa rushed for the door, poking her head out of the study.“Nyssa!” Fallyn repeated. “Do you have it?”Nyssa called back, voice echoing through the hall. “Tell Bingham he has thirty seconds!”“Nyx, do you have it?”“Go!”“Nyx…”“Go!” Nyssa ordered, stepping back into the study. She waited for a moment, listening to see if Fallyn had obeyed. She knew she had when the echo of gunfire began to dim.Out the study window, she heard the faint fizz as Bingham ignited the detonation cord running through the explosives perched, waiting on the outer wall.Nyssa began counting in her head. Thirty seconds.One…Two…She stood in the doorway, listening intently, waiting for the thud of floorboards beneath her feet that finally came as half a dozen guards emerged, marching up the staircase. Bullet holes in their legs, shards of glass stuck in the dried blood on their face, guns raised, gaze trained on Nyssa.Eleven…Twelve…She lunged out of the room, taking off running to the opposite end of the hall as the guards quickened their pace and shots began to ring out around her.Sixteen…Seventeen…She sprinted down the corridor, her legs sore, dodging the whizzing bullets, the lucky ones striking the window at the end of the hall. As she got closer to the window, its structure weakened with every new bullet that was pelted at it.
Thirty feet. Another bullet flew past her, marking the window.
Twenty feet. Another struck the window.Ten feet. Another.Crack.The entire window split to its edges from the point of contact, a gust of wind could send it crumbling, and Nyssa didn’t slow down.Twenty two…Twenty three…She blocked her face with her arms as she went crashing through the weakened window, glass shattering all around her. She reached out and grabbed onto the thick, black rope dangling off the roof of the mansion, sliding all the way down, grimacing as the rope rubbed her palms raw. She saw the guards skid to a halt at the gaping hole, fumbling with their weapons just as Nyssa’s boots hit the ground and she ran around the side of the house.Twenty seven…Twenty eight…The fizz of the detonation cord was louder from the ground, hissing in her ear as her legs carried her as fast as they could around the house. Shots rang out behind her, leaves crunching beneath her steps, into the dense woods behind the manor, she ran.Twenty nine…Thirty.She was nearly knocked off her feet when the whole world shook around her, the forest illuminated in a flash of orange and yellow.She saw the flames first as she turned back to face the manor. The raging fire burning red at its core, spreading as it engulfed every inch of the manor, no corner left untouched by its scorching embrace. The walls crumbled and fell, the roof caving in, the only evidence that remained of the mansion being fractions of the seared west side, the other half blown apart, breaking further as it folded in on itself.Nyssa stood among the trees, pine needles and wet leaves squishing below her feet, glass shards scattered through her dark hair, blood cooling her face in the night breeze, staring at the mansion, ablaze, as a grin crept its way onto her lips.

Thanks for reading this preview of The Veil of Shattered Souls, Chapter 1. If you have feedback, I'd love to hear it. Send me a DM on Instagram.

© 2024 Samantha Mei Paull. All Rights Reserved. Distribution and reproduction prohibited.

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Samantha Mei Paull

Samantha Mei Paull is the screenwriter, producer, and lead actor in the short film Blackberry, screenwriter for the short film The Heist, and actor in numerous other short films. Now stepping into the literary world, Samantha Mei introduces her debut novel, The Veil of Shattered Souls.Rooted in the creative spirit of Portland, Oregon, she weaves her experiences into her storytelling, creating narratives that resonate with authenticity and imagination. The Veil of Shattered Souls is more than just a novel; it's a testament to her ability to blend the vividness of cinema with the depth of novels, offering readers an unforgettable journey through her characters and worlds.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you!

Short Stories & Poems

All Will Fall At The Call Beyond The Wall

The air in the room seemed to go still as she walked in, her boots clacking against the white marble floors as she strode through the lab, no one daring to get in her way.“Where is he?” Dr. Taylor demanded of the young man stepping in front of her.“Dr. Taylor, please…”“Ronnie,” she addressed the man.“You tell me where he is right now or I swear to God.”“Dr. Zukhar.” Ronnie corrected, trying to hide his fright with a haughty tone. “We both know where he is.”Dr. Taylor’s eyes burned with rage, a look that would leave anyone in a puddle on the floor, but Ronnie simply tipped his chin higher as she pushed past him, speeding toward the portal on the other side of the room.Through the portal sat a serene meadow of colorless grass, and a sky that was never touched by night. All day, every day, nothing in sight beyond the meadow, not even animals passing by. If it hadn’t been for the wisps of clouds that floated through the sky, it could have been an image frozen in time.“Ravi!” Dr. Taylor called, trying to get a glimpse of the boy who was nowhere to be seen.Rage boiling over inside of her, Dr. Taylor turned back to the room full of scientists. “How did this happen?” Her voice boomed through the deafeningly silent lab. No one dared to speak up. “Huh? No one? Not one of you pathetic mutineers was here when your esteemed leader chose to send a civilian child over the wall?”Everyone sheepishly glanced at Ronnie as Dr. Taylor motioned to the smug man now making his way towards her.“Fine. Maybe you can enlighten me, Dr. Zukhar.” She mocked, stepping up to the young man. “You tell me what happened to that boy right now or you're going in with him.”“Relax,” Ronnie said. “Your little protege is fine.”“He is a civilian, as you once were.”
“And when I was starting out you had no problem throwing me into the deep end.”
“I sent you on supervised assignments to collect samples from closed sites. That is uncharted territory!” Dr. Taylor shouted, gesturing to the portal. “I wouldn’t send my most qualified man in there alone!”“We needed someone on the inside.” Ronnie argued. “We have been staring at the same half mile of land for months. We need to know what’s beyond it.”“So you undermine my authority and send a civilian child across alone?”“Exactly. He’s a civilian, which makes him expendable.” Ronnie snapped, catching the attention of everyone in the room.Dr. Taylor took a step back, shock and disbelief clouding her features. “Were you expendable?” She pushed on, Ronnie’s arrogant demeanor beginning to slip as he saw the betrayal.“I get it, you want to prove yourself. Show us all that you are not that snot-nosed kid anymore, that you don’t need me anymore. And, may I say, you’re doing it brilliantly.” Dr. Taylor mocked. Ronnie simply stood there, retreating further into himself as she went on. “Waiting until my back is turned because you’re too afraid to stand up for yourself, and throwing an innocent kid into an unknown world to do your dirty work for you. That’s solid leadership if I’ve ever seen it.” Dr. Taylor spat, turning her back to Ronnie.Ronnie’s voice cracked. “He agreed…”“He didn’t know what he was agreeing to!” Dr. Taylor barked, eliciting a flinch from Ronnie. “What do you think is out there to find? Huh?” She pressed. “You have no fucking idea, do you? None of us do. We don’t spend all day, every day staring out that portal for fun. We do it to see if we find something in there that’s trying to find us.” Dr. Taylor stood before Ronnie, gawking at the once young, wide-eyed boy before her in disgust. “What have you become?”Ronnie’s head hung low, shame written all over his face, feeling suffocated by the stares from around the room.“We have him on comms. If he’s in any danger, we’ll pull him back.” Ronnie explained in a hushed voice.Dr. Taylor laughed. “You see, that would be a solution. If we knew how to get back through the wall.”The room fell silent. No one dared to move or breathe as the weight of what they had done sunk in. All of the color drained from Ronnie’s face.“I didn’t kn…” He stuttered.“No,” Dr. Taylor cut off. “You didn’t know because you weren’t privy to that information!” Without awaiting a response, she marched over to Dr. Marshall at the comms station. The doctor stiffened as she approached and snatched the headset off of his workstation. She placed it on her head and spoke into the attached microphone as she pressed down the glowing red button on the consol.“Ravi?” Dr. Taylor called after the boy. No response.She glanced up at Dr. Marshall who merely shrugged. “Try again.”
She held down the button once more.
“Ravi, it’s Jess, if you can hear me please let me know if you’re alright.” She spoke in a tone so gentle, so foreign that it startled Dr. Marshall.Still, static was her only response. “What’s the problem? Why isn’t it working?” She asked the doctor who was frantically examining his equipment for faults.“I don’t know. All of our equipment is working properly, you should be getting through. Whatever the issue is, it’s on his end…”Before Dr. Marshall could even finish his thought, an ear-splitting shriek erupted from the microphone connected to Ravi’s comms, loud enough to make every person in the room cover their ears and double over in pain. The sound didn’t stop. It wasn’t coming from the microphone. It was coming from beyond the wall. It wasn’t a scream or a solid stream of sound, it was constantly morphing. Getting higher pitched, then lower, louder, then softer, but even at its quietest, it felt as if your brain was melting. One by one, the scientists began to fall, blood dripping from their ears, their own screams drowned out by the shriek from the other side. Dr. Taylor’s eyes began to blur as Dr. Marshall dropped in front of her. She glanced around, everywhere she looked was another fallen scientist.Her eyes met Ronnie’s, on his knees, blood dripping down his hand from where he cupped his ears, still conscious. He didn’t try to speak, but his eyes screamed at her. Begging for help, or for forgiveness, she didn’t know. Before she could act, his eyes slid shut and he fell.Dr. Taylor dropped to her knees, the ringing in her head wouldn’t stop, her clouded vision making it nearly impossible to have noticed the figure that appeared before her. She saw the small shoes stop just a foot in front of her. Her squinted eyes traveled up until they landed on the face of the being looming over her. Her vision was too foggy to see anything but the caramel skin and the dark curly hair of the young boy before her.“Ravi?” She uttered before she, too, fell.

Short Stories & Poems

Quicksand

Her eyes stung as she lifted her weightless eyelids. She watched her feet circle beneath her, whirls of beautiful blue water trailing behind them. Not a sound could be heard beneath the water's surface but the distant chime of church bells and the growing storm of the night. Her lungs burned where the air was beginning to turn stale but she didn’t want to let go of that burn. She would stay under until her body took control of itself, once it stopped trusting her mind to make those decisions. She could feel the seconds ticking by, the burn becoming less bearable, her body aching to come up for air. She could feel its restlessness getting the better of her, but before she let it give in, the water lit up before her. The sting in her eyes became forgotten as she watched the ripples of water, devoured by a white light. The air bubbles seemed to almost shine against the glow.Finally, Riley’s head shot up, oxygen flooding her lungs, drops of water cascading down her face, dripping from her hair. The faces of her friends were blown out by the blinding light. Then, she heard one of their voices from a distance, barely audible over the loud rainfall.“What’s going on?”The question, it seemed, they were all asking.Another voice was heard over the rest. “Shit, we must have tripped an alarm or something. The whole place just lit up.”“Should we leave?” Riley called, to no one in particular. She was met with a slew of conflicting responses.“If we did really trip an alarm, the cops are probably on their way.” Said another faceless voice as the spotlights continued to shock her pupils.“Let ‘em come!” Brady. She knew who that one was. Riley felt the water begin to ripple faster around her and she looked left and right, trying to tell if people were leaving or if the wind had simply picked up. Finally, her eyes began to adjust and, by the looks of it, almost everyone was quickly swimming to the nearest edge, ready to leave nothing but wet footprints behind for the cops. Just another dog in the pack, Riley began wading her way through the water, nearing the wall, the harsh wind chilling her rain-soaked skin. As she scooped the water up in her arms, pushing it behind her, she stopped, looking around.No one had yet reached the pool wall, suddenly it looked as if everyone was trapped in slow motion. Riley’s eyes were now sharp enough to make out Mabel, her friend, in the water not 10 feet in front of her, seemingly stuck in place. She readied her arms to propel herself forward, but was met with a jarring amount of resistance as she attempted to glide through the water, but it didn’t feel like water at all. She looked around again, at her friends. They were not moving in slow motion, the water simply became too dense for them to move more than an inch per second. Her heart began pounding in her chest, the water stuck in her ears, throbbing against her drums as the rain chucked down harder. She tried to kick out her legs but they merely felt like they were being submerged in gelatin. Another voice called out from behind her, the water too thick for her to turn around.“Guys, what the hell is going on?”With every movement, the liquid only seemed to thicken.“I don’t know!” Mabel called out from in front of her. “I… I can’t move my legs!”About 25 feet to her right, Riley spotted James’ face turning red as he seemingly pulled with every ounce of strength in his slender frame to set his arms free. When they finally broke the surface, they appeared to be covered in gloves of clear honey, the substance drizzling off of his fingertips, leaving strings along the surface of the gummy pool, rainwater beginning to puddle up on its surface as the liquid thickened.James tilted his head, examining his gel-covered body. “What the hell is this stuff?”“Guys!” Riley’s head snapped up as she heard Mabel call. “Somebody, please! I can’t move!” Riley’s eyes landed on Mabel, her body completely stiff, unable to keep herself afloat as she sunk deeper, the viscous fluid slowly climbing up her neck.“Mabel!” Riley called out, pushing her body forward, fighting to move in the sludge.At the sound of her voice, Mabel’s head whipped this way and that, trying, to no avail, to get a glimpse of Riley directly behind her. “Riley! Riley, help me, please! I’m right here!”“I see you!” she called out, the cold rainfall was the only thing stopping her from breaking a sweat as she struggled to close the distance between them.“Guys!” Another voice called out. “I can’t move either!”“Neither can I! Brady, help!” Then another. Chaos ensued as some sank faster than others, the lucky ones left to watch as their friends began to disappear beneath the water's surface, unable to push themselves far enough to reach them and the harder they tried, the harder the substance tried to stop them.Mabel held her head at a 90-degree angle, her nose aimed up at the sky as the liquid began to graze her jaw.“Riley!” She called over the choir of voices reaching out to one another as the viscous fluid trapped them firmly in its grasp.“I’m coming!” Riley shouted, more to herself than anyone as her heart pounded in her head, her muscles crying out as they were pushed forward an inch at a time. Ever so slowly, Mabel got closer. Too slowly. As the substance crept up Mabel’s chin, Riley forced herself forward, the pushback was too great. Thunder cracked in the sky above them. Mabel opened her mouth wide, sucking in a deep breath before pressing her lips tightly together as her mouth was engulfed by the rainwater layer, then by the ooze that lay beneath.Screams and cries echoed through the pool, but Riley couldn’t let herself look away, she couldn’t let herself put even an ounce of energy into anything but reaching Mabel. She watched as her friend's eyes grew wide, her nostrils flaring as mere centimeters separated the goo from blocking her last source of air. Riley felt herself beginning to sink as she fought to propel herself forward, so close yet so far from her friend. Her fingers stuck into the sludge as she tried to pull herself through, getting slower by the second.“Mabel!” She called out, thunder cracking again, swallowing the sound of her voice. Mabel’s eyes darted towards her, her half-submerged head unable to move, water droplets rippling off of the rain puddle under her nose. Riley could feel the substance beginning to thicken around her ribcage, not letting her chest expand as she tried to gasp for air for another push. She stilled herself, pushing her arm out in front of her, reaching through the muck to Mabel just three feet in front of her now.But, it was too late.Her heart nearly stopped as she watched Mabel take in one last deep breath before the clear blue ooze crept up her nose, sealing it off from oxygen.“Mabel!” Riley called out, her chest tight, her arm aching as she pushed with everything that she had to reach her friend. Mabel closed her eyes as the sludge took that too. Riley held her chin up, trying to escape the every encroaching muck that crawled up her neck. Her hand, so close, her fingertips practically grazing Mabel’s arm as she watched her friend slip away, the last bit of skin disappearing under the honey-like substance that filled the pool.And she was gone.A thick, gelatinous bubble burst on the surface, splashing rain water up with it, where her friend had just gone under. Riley’s eyes stung as tears threatened to fall. Despair for her friend and terror for what fate she was about to meet overwhelmed her. Finally, a tear slipped free, rolling down her cheek and landing amongst the raindrops.She looked around at who remained above the surface. Three left from what she could see. Everyone else, gone. Slowly sinking further and further towards the bottom. Then, one by one, those few who were left, they sank too.She watched them go under.She saw one disappear as the muck covered her lips.The seconds submerged as the substance filled her nostrils.Just as she was about to close her eyes, she watched the last one sink. Thunder cracked in the sky above, echoing off of the pool's surface.Finally, the substance took her too. She squeezed her eyes shut, her whole body stiff as she felt herself being pulled below the surface, the sludge sucking every ounce of energy from her body as she sank deeper and deeper and deeper.That burning in her lungs returned and she knew that this time, there was nothing that her body could do to relieve her from it.

Sirens echoed in the night, red and blue lights flashing, reflecting off of the road, slick from the night's rainfall. The sirens ceased, car doors opened simultaneously as a burly man stepped out, followed by his slender counterpart. Wet boots squishing on the ground as they walked towards the gate, blinding lights illuminating the darkness. They stopped at the gate, looking through the bars at the light bouncing off the pool.
The pool. Clear, blue, still, silent.“It must have been a false alarm.” The brawny officer says, his partner. “Some stupid kids pulling a prank or something”The smaller man nods, following him back to the car. They turn off the flashing lights and turn the car around, driving off into the night. Leaving the pool behind them.The pool. Calm, peaceful, empty.

Short Stories & Poems

All The Dead Artists

All the dead artists,
Why is it that they aren’t appreciated until they have parted?
Are we so scared of being outsmarted?
Of seeing that which is not for the faint-hearted?
Not until the end of their life has started,
Unable to correct our misconceptions of the wisdom they imparted,
For their work is not that of a painter or entertainer but of a dearly departed thinker,
A trainer, a reclaimer of that which is not favored among the ill fated,
Those who think without speaking and speak without meaning,
Those who dream of living but don’t live for dreaming,
Those who see a painting but can’t see its meaning,
Not because they aren’t thinking but because they aren’t looking.