‘Death Defying’ by Lindsay Flanagan

sc july 18

Time traced one long finger across her lips as she sat in her clock tower, watching as the three demigods approached her lair. Death led the way, his mouth set in a rigid line. His royal-purple cape blazed behind him, caught up by the breeze of his gait. On Death’s right was Life, whose brow was furrowed, his hands crossed behind his back. Birth, who was taller and more graceful, followed behind in stride. Her expression was unreadable.

Time thought, with a wry smile, that she’d never seen Death look so mad. She wasn’t afraid of Death’s anger. But she’d never broken a commandment before, never overstepped her domain and crossed into Death’s realm.

And Death was coming for a reckoning.

She made her way down the spiral staircase to the bottom of her tower, finding that the demigods had invited themselves in and were waiting. Birth nodded politely to Time.

Time strode over to greet them as if she had asked them in. “Please. Have a seat.”

Death’s violet eyes flashed at her. “You.” He blew his breath through his nostrils, making them flare, and, although the force of it couldn’t have made his long white hair stand on end, Time amused herself with the thought that his breath was what raised hell.

“What can I do for you, Death?” Time asked.

“You know damn well what you’ve already done, and it wasn’t for me. It was against me. You have flouted me!” He sputtered and stopped, rage damming his tongue.

Time raised an eyebrow, determined not to show that fear was creeping into her chest and setting it on fire. She sat down on her leather couch, smoothed her black dress, tucked a copper strand behind her ear, and fixed her eye on a point above his head. “I outrank you.”

Death’s eyes bulged and his hands clawed into fists.

Birth cut in. “Time, we know you outrank all of us.” She looked to Life for agreement. He nodded. “However,” Birth continued, “Death is a little, well, upset that you didn’t consult him before you—well, you…”

“Ripped a page from someone’s book?” Time supplied.

Death slammed his fist against Time’s mahogany coffee table. “It wasn’t just a page, Time!” The color of Death’s face almost matched his cloak.

“His ending. I tore out his last page and destroyed it.”

Continue reading “‘Death Defying’ by Lindsay Flanagan”

‘Voyager’ & ‘I Gave Up My Sword To The Black Hole’ by Lindsay Flanagan

sc june 18

Voyager

Siphon the ink and I will pack my bags
and leave without you. Re-write the story
of sword fights, and of us smoking long drags
of life, close escapes, and forgotten glory.

Embellished tales of our near encounters
with blue-wild devils and red-wild wounds;
blocked by barricades of old reminders
that years, as knights, fall away all too soon.

But warring with the past never resolved
Novembers that bled into Decembers,
scarlet snow of which we’re never absolved;
Hail Marys we’d rather not remember.

But no retreat, I’ll implore; forget fear.
I’m unpacked, it’s revised, and you are here.

I Gave Up My Sword To The Black Hole

I cut open the sky with a vengeance.
It bled stars, clouds, and time—

but the black hole stole my sword,
blew stale cigarette smoke in my nose,
and snarled at me with a graveled tongue.

I was watered-down, decaffeinated,
I wanted only to recollect time.
I was stretched from the first century to the last.

The bleeding sky stretched out his hand,
shining silver, aching azure:
I touched his fingers, refilled my coffee cup with his stars,
and stitched the sky’s wound with a romance.

Lindsay Flanagan writes poetry, short stories, and fantasy novels in the times between working as an editor for Eschler Editing and acquiring manuscripts for Immortal Works Publishing. She earned her Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing and spent over a decade working in higher education before committing to the editor life. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Mused Literary Review, Page & Spine Literary Magazine, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and more. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s chasing her favorite rock bands around the country or riding motorcycles with her husband. But the thing she loves the most is being a mom to her two brilliant and beautiful daughters. You can find her tweeting about writing at @LindsFlanagan