8. Policing the Neighborhood

Brutus has been breaking into the same tobacco warehouse for years, now that looters have stripped the pharmacies and convenience stores. It’s perched on a narrow strip of Native American land, along with a defunct casino: a two-story building painted to resemble a barn, but with a drive-through window. The choices have dwindled. Brutus eyes […]

31. Let’s Roughhouse, Baby

Tereus descends the stairs rapidly, realizes the last alcohol in his system has burned out. It’s bright in the kitchen — he lifts the bar and slides the deadbolt by feel while his eyes adjust. He hears a series of heavy steps, throws the door open, grabs his nephew by the armpits and guides him […]

30. Stay Cool, JP

The dregs of light and color drain from the clouds; the sky goes black. It’s a cloudy night, the dark of the moon. Just as Tereus is thinking of lighting a candle, he hears a whinny of terror from the stables. There’s a frantic equine scream, and then a chaos of sound: Paris smashing his […]

21. Lost Children Returning Home

8/31/17— We retreated to the hayloft again. The days are so very long. We were tired, and I think we felt that we deserved a small reward for all our hard work and diligence. He made no attempt to persuade me. We lay in each other’s arms in a dream-like state, as if we were […]

6. One Episode in Decades of Combat

The ink dried on Tereus’s quill long ago. He sets it aside, covers his face with his hands, blocking out the fading light. His jaw is clenched, his throat is working. He’s trying to bring something up, or hold it down. Long before the events of that day, during his first command, he came upon […]

5. Part of the Flesh Itself

After tea, Tereus shuts himself in the library to consider Lucius’s words. He lights a cigarette, kicks back, props his feet up on the massive, marble-topped desk. Lucius is right, of course. In his misery, Tereus has managed to recreate the atmosphere of stifling terror that cloaked the house when Agamemnon was alive. And no […]

89. A Close-Run Thing

Consciousness returns unsteadily. Later it seems as if he was awake and lucid for long stretches, explaining complicated matters to people who wouldn’t listen. He feels that perhaps he was interrogated at some point, and that he may have had visions, none of them memorable, thank God. When he’s first truly conscious, it’s evening, and […]

23. A Sense of Imminent Loss

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn In the wake of the battle for Liamelia, Valentine feels that he is slipping away, releasing his hold on the city and its people, the family he thought he’d found. His grief finds some solace when he memorializes his 10 kills with […]

17. Incidents May Occur

The following morning, when Alexandra and Rosalee finally arise from their long, human sleep, Inglorion tells Alexandra, “I came for a reason, you know. I’m here on tribal business.” Alexandra looks up from helping Rosalee to dress. “What is it? Should we go outside?” “No. Better to discuss it in here. I can’t tell you […]

55. Zero Minus One

Soundtrack and Video: Lo Fidelity Allstars, Battleflag Zero hour comes early. Inglorion’s instructed Theo to walk by whistling “Singing in the Rain” when the other slaves are gone and he’s leaving Antigone’s residence open and unguarded, with her alone inside. If anything goes wrong — if Antigone has visitors, or decides to attend the festival […]