When he found the woman’s body it was unrecognizable. The smell of burned hair and clothes the flesh rose from the scene like mist of a dew-drenched field, but with none of its beauty. The husky corpses were all smoldering.
“Check them!” he called to his men. And they went to work checking for survivors. Byers knew they would find none.
He looked down at the skeletal head of the woman and his eyes strayed to her bloated belly. It had boiled and cracked open from the heat within it. Amid the blood that flowed warmer now for the fire within her, he could just make out the smallest of fingers. Had her whole body fissured?
It had heard of children cut from the wombs women in times of modern war. But he was no frontline soldier. No crazed beserk. He was a man of Arifel. A man of a God-Angel, and even Arifel, he knew, would not look kindly on this.
“What do you see?” he asked his men.
“Dead. Their all dead, Sir.”
He nodded and looked to more corpses and as his men said, they were all dead.
“Do you see the children?” he asked.
“Aye. Each one, aye,” said Worsten and captain Byers looked up to see the young soldier.
Worsten’s sandy hair was a mess of sweat and his smooth cheeks were streaked with dirt and grime and smoke from the seething bodies. He looked not a boy at all.
As Captain Byers approached the other bodies he examined their strange and distended stomachs. Each has burst even down through the womb and inside each, he could see a couple fingers of a tiny clenched fist. Even the men. Even the children.
“It is not possible,” said Worsten, behind him. “Men and children with child? It is not possible.”
Byers straightened from the corpse he examined. He had been burning witches since–since before Worsten was born. He thought he’d seen everything, and more than once. Aye. And now this. This. He looked at the young soldier and he saw the same fear and doubt in the boy’s eyes that filled his own heart. That the world was not neat. Not orderly and that there would always be magiks and gods unknowable to him was the only certainty.
He ordered his men back to their horses.
They road out not one speaking to the other. Each in his own thoughts. Each with the weight of an unknown world within.
Wasted Space #11
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Finally, it is good to be back in one of my favorite comics. Wasted Space returns with a brand new arc, a new direction, and some fresh ideas that make this new installment a joy to read. It even offers some awesome, mind-bending paneling that really takes advantage of the comic medium.
We last left Billy Bane and his crew as they set off to destroy “The Creator.” Another way to put this is God. They’re looking to kill God. I do apologize if that offends anyone; it’s just what the story is about. Now, the plot jumps around a little bit in this issue, skipping here and there and months at a time, but much of it is character-driven. We get to see the social consequences of the actions taken in #10. The result is a different kind of reading experience than any of the previous issues. This is all going on while Billy and his crew try to fly through “The Slip.” It’s all mysterious but makes for good reading and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Read my full review at Sequentialplanet.com