Esh, eight years old and small for his age, leapt from the orphanage entrance and out onto the streets. Ash fell from the sky and covered his already dirty hair. He was a happy kid, though he had no one to share this happiness with. No one liked a purple-haired freak like him. No one liked a humanoid who broke a sweat under the Red sun. He wasn’t like them. Not entirely.
     Trying his best to make friends, he followed the other children down the street, struggling to keep up. His breathing intensified as the Red sun whipped the back of his neck and dried the air around him.
     “Esh!” cried the orphanage head mother. He turned around.   “You forgot your mask!” She was right; he had completely forgotten in his excitement. The ash in the sky had already begun filling his lungs, and he had started to cough. He ran back and grabbed his breathing mask, which was a simple crafted sort of thing made of linen. It clasped around his head with a pinching elastic string making it look like he was wearing a muzzle. It was large, bulky, and made the air so much hotter to breath.
     “Thanks,” he told her shyly.
     She bent over and peppered his forehead with her nasty kisses, but he was happy to have them. Any affection would do. Everyone hated someone as different as he was, and out of all the humanoids he’d known in his lonely eight years at the orphanage, she was the only one who didn’t treat him like a monster. Her fat made her fun to hug, and her giant boobs were great to stuff a crying face into. He called her his fake mother.
     He turned and raced to catch up with the other kids, the mask’s strings already rubbing the back of his neck raw.
“Eww, it’s following us,” he heard one of them cry. “Ugh, he’s gonna freeze us,” said another.

It was true that he was always much colder to the touch than the other kids, and that he could not take the heat. As far as he knew, he was the only one of his kind who had to wear this annoying breathing mask which made it even more difficult for him to make friends.
     “Guys, wait up!” he gasped, holding his side as they began to cramp.
     It didn’t take long before he was on his knees, pulling back the elastic band of the mask with one hand to give the back of his neck a break. He turned his face up to the sky and squinted at the fiery red ball that stared right back at him. Ashy sweat filled his eyes as he turned his gaze to the other three orbs in the sky which, in his opinion, were much more pleasant-looking. It wasn’t that they were more beautiful, but that it was actually possible to look at them without your eyes melting.

In the North, Esh could see misty blue dust floating around the sapphire sun, and if he looked closely, he could make out the waves that moved and crashed against each other.
In the West was his favorite sun of all, the Green sun, which looked like a giant furry Green booger. Some of the kids said certain animals actually lived in the forests upon its soil—but they may have just been screwing with him. He had no way to discover whether it was true, because the library close to the orphanage had no photos of any other territory but his own. His fake mother had told him that once, a long time ago, the library had carried such photos, but they had been purposely put to the flame.
     The last sun, which resided in the North-West, was the dead sun. It was rotting and falling apart, casting a dark shade over its territory, and one could almost smell its decay. The sun looked as if it might, at any moment, just tear apart and fall onto the territory it had once nourished. Even if it had been possible for Esh to visit this territory he wouldn’t have wanted to, but the sun was still very beautiful in its own creepy way.
When he was rested, he got back up to his feet, and was disappointed to find that his fellow orphans—his companions, as he thought of them—had all run away. He decided to just walk until he saw or heard them.
As he walked he made sure not to step on any of the bugs that crawled into his path—not for fear of squashing them, but of hurting his own foot on the sharp metallic outer shells which protected their soft gooey parts from the dreadful sun.

‘Dreadful sun’? What he meant was the all-powerful sun of flames, the life-giver, the source of the strength and knowledge of the humanoids of Reah. That’s what his schoolteacher would have made him say.
He waved to a butcher who was holding down a non-compliant metal animal, which he was about to open up with his large sharpened-bone-blade. At Esh’s friendly wave the butcher dropped his blade, and it crashed to the floor as he lifted his hands to make a horribly rude gesture. Seizing this opportunity, the animal leapt from the table, speeding past Esh.
Lessons in the Reahlic language were taught at his school, once in the morning and once before school let out. Esh took this opportunity to learn as much as he could in order to become more like his race, more like the humanoids of Reah.
     However, despite his position at the top of the class, Esh still struggled to gain acceptance from his peers and having a good command of Reahlic wasn’t helping.
     He looked down at the ashy road he was walking on, and wondered what it looked like under all the black soot. It was impossible to find out, for he knew that even if he dug a deep enough hole, it would soon be covered up by one of the molten rains that the massive volcano, Gurgamosh, vomited out every so often.

Humanoids who’s profession it was to predict Gurgamosh’s combustions and warn about upcoming molten rains would blare the announcement of impending doom. Everyone would then scatter to the shelter of their metal-covered huts. The humanoids of Reah could tolerate the heat, but the rain was different. If it touched your skin, you would melt, and once it got on you it was impossible to shake off. You just had to let it take its course down your body, devouring flesh and bone alike. It was no wonder the great aristocrats of Reah had chosen this as the method of their death penalty.
Finally he heard it, the laughter of his fellow orphans just around the corner, too. He took off in the direction of the sound.

As he rounded the corner he stopped in place. The kids were having fun alright, but not the kind of fun that he himself enjoyed, not at all. The mean orphans had found the trash worker, the lowest and most degrading job that can be given to a humanoid of Reah. Esh had seen this old male before and the only reason he had noticed him was because he was the only humanoid who had never once shot him an evil glance, spit at him, or called him names.

The elderly male, not paying any attention to the derogatory remarks thrown his way by the children, picked up the trash on the side of the road. From broken liquid canisters to rolled up fume sticks, the worker picked them up and placed them in a bag over his shoulder. What was astonishing was the way he picked up the trash. To Esh’s amazement, the Elder slipped his food under a slimy looking piece of trash and swooped it straight into the air while turning his back just at the right angle to catch it in the sack on his back. He did all this without breaking a sweat and with his eyes closed!

Esh seemed to be the only one who noticed this graceful motion for the orphans, realizing their words were having no affect, began to throw stones.

“Look at this piece of shit,” said a taller and fatter male child, picking up a sharp looking stone and hurling it towards the trash picker.

The Elder still paid them no mind and was dodging each stone with the least amount of effort and movement while picking up trash. Was he dodging? Or was it by accident?

Finally, one of the stones reached its destination, hitting the Elder in the chin.

“Yes! Take that shagra shit!” said the taller one picking up yet another stone.

“Stop it!” Esh screamed with his high childish voice making every orphan turn towards him.

“Oy! You don’t like it? Why don’t you come here and make me stop!” said the tall kid walking towards Esh. However, he was stopped by one of his ugly comrades who pointed him towards where the Elder had been… Had been… He was gone!

Esh was shaking, he knew what was to come. He turned to run but the older orphan had gotten to him. His name was Mehch but Esh always called him nasty ears because of all the ear wax that was stuck inside them.

Mehch gripped Esh’s shoulders so tight that it made him squeak in pain. “Look what you have done little kid! That old fart was able to slither away on its belly because of your dumbass interruption!”

Thirteen year old Mehch pushed Esh hard into the dirt and held him there with his left hand while using his right hand to rip at Esh’s shirt. With a few tugs, Esh’s back was completely exposed. Mehch bent over and Esh could feel his heavy sinister breath.

“Soooooo,” Mehch said, shoving Esh’s face into the ash, “Why are you still alive?”

The question sent Esh’s heart racing. Half of him did not understand the question and the other half completely understood. Why was he still alive? Why did everyone hate him? Was it because his hair being a different color?

He started to sob.

“That’s right, that’s right, cry you baby. You know you’ve done wrong. Your birth is a slight against us true bloods of Reah!”

Mehch flipped Esh onto his back. He could now see into the yellow eyes of the monster before him and that’s when he noticed the flip bone knife in his right hand. Mehch, following his eyes grew a very devious smile. His eyes gave away his plan.

Esh began to shriek. He went completely delirious with fear, calling for anyone, anyone at all to come and rescue him. And humanoids did come, oh yes, but not to help. They came to watch.

“You aren’t one of us, you aren’t pure! You belong to the loathed!”

Esh heard only half of what was being said, for he was concentrated on the mini bone-blade being lowered to his chest. He squirmed harder and harder to no avail as Mehch was far too strong. He felt his hands and legs being pulled apart from his body, his arms held by his fellow orphans and his legs… by adults.

“This is long over due, you piece of shit. You need to be marked with the sign of the loathed! The sign of the despicable!” Mehch cried, finally touching the skin under Esh’s shoulder with the fiery tip of the blade.

The adults and orphans began to chant Loathed! Loathed! Loathed!” which evolved into laughter as Mehch’s blade pushed deeper, making cold blood rise to the surface. Esh screamed and screamed but nothing made the pain stop. Mehch’s hand drew the blade slowly from the upper shoulder, down his chest, and to the opposite hip filleting him wide open.

Esh stopped screaming and his eyes stopped focusing. The adults and orphans released him and stepped back. Some even left out of boredom.  He wasn’t able to lift his head but used a hand to touch his torso and trace the river that had been carved across his body. There was no pain.

Esh had somehow alway knew this would come. He was despised by all and should never have been born. He deserved this he supposed and let himself smile. Finally, it was over.

Mehch spit on the ground and turned his back to Esh. He flung the blade into the air over his shoulder. The bone-blade spun in the air until it stuck deep into the middle of Esh’s river in the center of his gut. Still, no pain, only cold pressure.

He was all alone, or at least he thought he was alone. Then the hallucinations began. Some sort of animal crawled up next to him, brushing him with its hard metallic body. It began to howl or cry, Esh couldn’t tell. The beast probably wasn’t even there at all, but either way it kept him company throughout his transition to eternal bliss or eternal suffering.

Esh was sure that the sun would be the last thing that he saw, until a sudden darkness was over him. Had the sun finally gone out? Or had he? Were these his final moments?

He smelt a mixture of dirty stench and alcohol. Was this what hell was like? He deserved it… He wasn’t true a Reahlic. 


About the author

Blink Savage

Bio: Hey guys! I’m Blink Savage (aka Stevie Collier) and word on the street is I’m an International Bestselling YA author. I like to explain my work as a fever dream you don’t want to leave 😉
Or, as my girlfriend calls my writing “It’s just a gumbo of good shit. It’s got everything you need in it to make you feel warm and uncomfortable at the same time.”
I like to write books that are true to myself rather than write what is popular.

When I’m not writing I have a literal list of things I enjoy doing all of which helps me to be more creative 😊

My hobbies include:
🐺 Walking my best friend: (My White Siberian Husky name Spartacus :) )
✒️ Writing
🕹️ Gaming
🥋 Judo
🌐 Languages (I speak French and am working on 🇯🇵 Japanese now)
📺 Movies (Sci-fi, adventure, action, and horror)
🐡 Anime (Stein's Gate, My Hero Academia, and HunterxHunter are some of my favorites)
✨ Philosophy (Really into Stoicism right now)
📚 Reading (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business, and self-help)
🃏 Cardistry (ask me to do a trick!)
🐲 Dungeons and Dragons
✈️ Traveling
🏄‍♂️ Surfing
🏂 Snowboarding

I grew up with too many creative ideas in his head and so I was forced into an ultimatum. Either sit and write down all these stories... or allow my brain to explode fantasy all over the walls.

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