Evanescent - By Addison Moore


In the eyes of God, the truth is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The truth lay before us cloaked in the lie of expensive clothing, fine education, dollar bills stacked to the throne of God. The deceivers pulled out all the stops with their sleight of hand, offering a new life, new bonds, forsaking the old, forgetting them entirely. But the metallic scent of blood lingered in the air. The smoke of the past occluded my vision. It burned and stung until I cried out for mercy and found a path of light that offered the clarity and peace only the truth could bring.

True love burns bright in the eye of adversity. It is the heart that nestles the past, cradles and cares for it as if it were a newborn. But wounds drilled craters into those cherished memories. Hurt and pain adulterated all that was once precious and unspoiled. Then a new love came with the power to bind the aching wounds, to stop the bleeding. It healed the heart, the soul, and promised to build a path to the future.

Sometimes you have to say goodbye to the past entirely to ever set foot in the future, but my heart lies in the precarious balance between the old and the new. I walk the tightrope made from adulation and allegiance with no net and no compass, leaving me stranded in the middle without an inkling of which direction to turn.

They say old friends are the best, but life has taught me that sometimes new friends are better. They are the bridge, the safety net I so desire, and it is through them that sanity and reason usher me to the safe haven filled with the answers—the resolutions I long for.

True love. I hold it in my right hand and my left. I cannot breathe without one and cannot survive without the other. In their own way each takes me to those pleasant places, those hazy days of sugared lust and treasured kisses, but in the end only one will remain. I cannot breathe without one or survive without the other. A part of me will surely die.

Just outside the borders of the truth, death waits for me with its open arms, its hasty grin as I lumber toward it like a bird with oiled wings.

I cannot forget the past, I cannot endure the future—either way, it all ends in tragedy.

God is right. The truth is a double-edged sword, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. He never said it wouldn’t hurt like hell.

And it does.


The Slaughter of Plenty


The October sky lies, blank and wide, soft as felt with the stars freckling the expanse in a spectacular show of bravado. The evergreens spear into the night like charred daggers, like spirits rooted in bondage, unable to flee to the promise of some unknowable paradise.

“Welcome to the Slaughter of Plenty.” A voice cuts through the dark clearing.

It’s eerie like this, standing in some demonic circle with at least a dozen Counts from the local chapter. I recognize most of them from Ephemeral—the boarding school in which we reside. Wesley and I stand in number, shoulder to shoulder with our long velvet robes. The cool satin that lines the inside inspires my teeth to chatter. I’ve never been to the Slaughter of Plenty before, some mandatory ritual to start the New Moon ceremony off with a bang—or more accurately with a murder.

“Ready the sacrifice.”

I know that voice. It’s Blaine, Wesley’s supposed brother. In the real world, where the Countenance kidnap their victims from, Wesley has no brother. He has a different mother and a different last name all together, but for the sake of sanity and reason, I play along and declare a throaty Amen when the mock prayer comes to a conclusion.

“This isn’t going to be a big deal.” Wesley blows the words hot over my ear, sending a shiver up my spine. “I promise.”

I glance at him. Wesley is sublime in this shadowed world. The reserve light gravitates to his features and illuminates him as some mythological creature, a god who slays women by the sheer heft of his beauty. His dark hair feathers back like wings. His sea green eyes deny the darkness its right to bleed them of all color and they burst to life under these dismal circumstances. He’s so gorgeous it takes