Fiction

Parental Rights

This fucking skirt. I could give a shit less what I look like if I’m not comfortable, and this skirt sucks. It twists, it clings, it’s all over the damn place. Of course, I can’t stand still, so that could be a factor. My left foot bops, my right attempts to jitterbug. My shaking hand holds a cigarette that will burn down to the filter after a few cheek hollowing, lung harrowing inhalations.

I can’t decide which is worse – the grey outdoors where I’m standing, the sun on vacation, leaving us mortals clinging to its memory and feeling only half alive, or the painful harshness of the indoor fluorescents, the sadistic and efficient creators of which are on my find-out-I-have-a-terminal-illness hitlist.

No Smoking, says the door. Yeah. Fuck you.

I eye every person that passes, searching. Not you, not you, definitely not you; you do not have the answers to the questions that I am asking. I am twenty-five years old, defiantly clueless. You do not have the answers to the questions that I am asking.

Hello, I rehearse in my head. Hi. I’m your daughter.

Stranger words have never passed through my mind and I want to grab one of the grounded in well-being and ask them if they have ever had to say those particular words in that particular order. Excuse me, have you ever had the pleasure of introducing yourself to one of your parents? If so, how did that go for you?

Hi. I’m your daughter. Still strange.

I turn my head and I see her staring at me through the window. I was told she’s my grandma, but I’m not sure how to process that information. I’ve never met her, there are no over the river and through the woods cookie baking memories between us. As soon as she realizes I’m looking back at her, she looks away. Hi, I’m your granddaughter. Still strange.

My body can’t handle one more iota of nicotine, so I light another cigarette, and man, it hurts so good. There are so many butts strewn on the ground it looks like a homeless man came and made a collage. I look for pictures in them, like you do in clouds, but it’s just dirt and garbage. It’s nothing.

Hi. I’m your daughter. Still strange.

I take as deep a breath as my riddled innards will allow and pull the door open. Yes, that’s right, hush your conversations and stare. I will offer you a smile, regardless.

As the door whooshes closed behind me I am in another dimension. Though this first room is barely larger than my high school homeroom, I have never been somewhere that felt so cavernous.

I chant my mantra in time with my steps- Hi, I’m your daughter. Hello, I have never seen a single person in this room before, will you welcome me into your family with comforting arms, because this hurts me too you know, or will you all just keep looking at me like you’re more afraid of me than I am of you?

An arched doorway, into soft lighting, softer music, and the stink of flowers.

I know from television that the insides aren’t inside, the organs removed and weighed and recorded in posthumous posterity, and the mouth has been stuffed so you don’t notice the sunken cheeks. For a moment, looking at smooth eyelids, I get a mental flash of garish, cartoonish, giant black X’s stitching them shut.

I shake the image away, take a waxy hand in mine, and bore my words through the shell.

“Hello. I’m your daughter.”

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Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

Anthony and Eli

The stained glass imploded and the man sitting in the front pew turned towards the heavy wrought iron crossbars as they were wrenched apart by powerful, invisible hands.

“You do so love your entrances,” he remarked blithely.

The black cloaked figure descended, shiny pointy shoes making two little clicks as he settled to the floor. “But of course,” he replied. More tiny clicks from his heels as he made his way towards the seated man.

Anthony rose from the polished wooden bench and followed Eli up to the altar, dark curls shadowing his face. As they sat and settled themselves on the carpeted steps, Eli’s nose wrinkled at the overpowering scent of incense and, what the hell was that, lilacs? He shook his head with a grimace of distaste. He looked up, about to speak, and saw a tear drip onto Anthony’s silk shirtfront, the damp splotch spreading like a blood stain across the dark material. Anthony glanced down at it himself, and slumped over in a heap.

“Stop being so melodramatic, Anthony.”

“Oh, shut up Eli! God, you’re so boring these days,” he mumbled this last part, face pressed into the carpet. He rolled over and propped his head on his hand. “I’m tired,” he offered, by way of apology.

Eli shrugged. “They never really gave us a crash course on what exactly was meant by the job title Guardian Angel. I might have tried out for a different rank.”

“Yeah, well, we didn’t and now we screwed everything up, and we’re not ever allowed to go home again! Fucking Aslan guarding the pearly gates for Christ’s sake.”

Trying and failing to contain his laughter, Eli let it loose until he fairly shook with it. “How the mighty have fallen, you blaspheming angel,” he hooted. “Besides, it’s not like we got a healthy dose of free will mixed in with our angel DNA.

“It’s not funny! These damnable creatures don’t even want our help anymore. They call modern day wizards called Life Coaches now.” He switched topics abruptly. “Do you know a teen-age girl tried to seduce me the other night? After she asked if I wanted to smoke some weed with her.”

Eli waited a moment. “And…” he prodded.

“Well, shit. Her self proclaimed ‘bodacious body’ was…lush, but her face,” he waved a hand distractedly. “Vacuous. Vapid.” He shrugged. “Haven’t you ever looked at them like that, though? Seen something more in their faces, seen more than the sheep we thought they were?”

Eli sat silent for a few seconds. “Those are dangerous words, especially to be spoken aloud here.”

“I’ll say what I like, when I like, wherever I like,” he replied indifferently. “How could they punish us beyond banishment? Truly though, you’re telling me that you’ve never had a moment where this human you’re with becomes nothing a purely carnal creature, you no longer care what brought you there in the first place, you don’t remember what she suffers or what she needs, because she’s so close to you and you know you could just reach out and touch her?” He was crying again.

“No, Anthony, I haven’t.” Eli dropped his head into his hands. “You’re speaking poetry. They are not there to help us, you know this.” He pulled a handkerchief from a hidden pocket in his cloak and leaned forward with it.

Anthony shoved the hand away and drew backwards. “I like my tears just fine where they are, thank you,” he said petulantly. “You’re the one who wanted to meet anyway, so why don’t you start talking.”

“I don’t know if I can make you understand, because as you seem to grow closer to them every day, so I grow more and more dissatisfied at the end of each mission.” Eli glanced around furtively, as if the boss himself were present. “I don’t like them, they’re pointless and they’re boring. Nor do I care very much what happens to them. I find myself wanting to sabotage their meager little lives for my own petty enjoyment.

“Now who sounds like a madman,” said Anthony sarcastically. He stood and straightened his jacket, pinched the crease sharper in his pants, and lit a cigarette that had materialized between his lips with a lighter procured the same way.

“So, what do you say we give them what the really want?” Eli asked, an evil grin splitting his face.

“Let’s give ’em hell,” Anthony smirked back.

They ascended together, through the window that repaired itself behind them.

***

So ends my submission for the wonderful Grammar Ghoul Press, Challenge Numero SIX already: Go here, read the things, write the things, vote the things, appreciate the awesome Ghouls that populate the page:
http://www.grammarghoulpress.com/gg-writing-challenge-6/#more-612

This piece was completely inspired by the prompts for this week – the word bodacious and this really cool painting by Rene Magritte, titled Homesickness
homesickness

Cheers,
Shannon

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Courage

With my halcyon days so far behind me that
they no longer even cast a shadow,
as what I know to be my last years begin
to climb out of the depths,
wrapping their ropes around my ankles to
slow my steps, hunch my back,
eke the marrow from my bones,

I find myself wandering the cemetery
in the sunshine,
under fluffy clouds and winging birds,
to visit a plot that for a decade,
I pretended did not exist.

I stray from the path, because really,
why not, when there’s no one on guard;
I doubt there’s much market for broad-daylight
grave pilfering,
but I wouldn’t know much about such things,
myself

I had heard you were gone; even in introversion,
news travels as fast as the speed of a click
and there’s always some who
can’t seem to wait
to start a conversation with the words ‘oh hey, have you heard?’

I still thought about you all the time,
even then, so many years from
when I had last seen your face,
my own eyes shimmering tears, doubled
the sheen of those gleaming in yours
and then, pfft, never again

would I have looked longer,
I wonder,
if I had known that I would
never see you face to face again?
It didn’t seem like a thing that could be,
a truth that still made no sense,
when reality sits in your lap
and you don’t even realize you have company

And so here I am now,
shuffle stepping to your marker,
stooped and angry,
still mad, still furious, that you
couldn’t manage to be that man,
the one that I saw the first time that I met you,
that was leaps and bounds ahead
of the one that I left behind,
even though I loved you

i’m not here to say goodbye,
I’ve talked to you so often in my head
and doing it when you’re alive and not near
is even more pointless than doing it
when you’re already dead.

If my epitaph stood next to yours,
these many crumpled years later,
Yours, I think, would say goodbye.
And mine, mine would only say I tried.

***

So, I used to join in at The Speakeasy (which I really loved) with Suzanne, and it was brought back into the fold of the Yeah Write community – so I figured I’d give it a try over here.

I pretty much wrote the whole thing around the optional prompt that was given:
What is written in the stone?

As soon as I pound some more words out for NaNo, I very much look forward to reading the other stories. Click on the badge at the top of the post if you’d like to check out all of the other cool stuff going on.

Categories: Fiction, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Daughters

Cloaks slid off with a synchronicity of movement that bespoke a ritual oft practiced. Skyclad, bowls of flame at their feet, curvy and slim, tall and short, light and dark, the Daughters raise their hands to the sky.

The First tips her head, parting lips and opening her throat to sing out a high, clear note, held longer than should humanly be possible. The others follow suit to the last, a girl, whose voice creaks out like a rusty saw until she gathers her courage around her like the cloak she has just shed and forces the note to smoothness.

The offering bowls are gathered and carried with ceremony, placed around the feet of the girl; those who would become her sisters step back. She stifles a tide of hysteria, and not just a little terror, at the power she feels growing with each careful and studied placement. She sways on her feet as the song changes, tone and tempo evolving, pulsing, layering questing tendrils, crackling live wires of noise borne only upon their own strength.

In the midst of this growing maelstrom, only the First remains static. Her wide eyes drink in the moonlight and reflect it back from pools of black onyx, gaze fixed on the one this night is dedicated to, the last Daughter. Without lowering her lancet stare, she bends and places her hands, one each, on the two blades that lay in the grass at her feet. One offers acceptance and does not allow violence, but the other offers itself only in the cause of sacrifice. Of their own accord her limbs begin to move as the song worms into muscle to straighten her, crawls in her ears to bring the chosen knife behind her, and electrifies her skin to clasp her hands behind her and begin the walk of the sacred path to the Initiate.

From the blackness comes a drum, thumping, through the soles of her feet, echoing her heart’s steady beat. Crossing the center point of the circle, quiet descends like a blanket gently laid over a sleeping child and, swirling their arms in sinuous, circular motions, her Daughters fall in behind her, a sphere of flesh that dances yet, to the memory of music.

She stops inches from the girls face, brings up the blade she holds so that it hovers at the exact point between the Initiates eyes. The distinctive, scythe-like shape comes into focus, and the handle to tremble in time with the girls knees.

“Wicked,” whispers the First. “This blade names you. You have been found wanting of the purity that this family requires.” An inadvertent gasp escapes from her Daughters. She could not warn them that she had dreamed this outcome, and for that she was truly sorry. They had come with joy in their hearts, to welcome a sister, with love. Now, as their Mother demanded, they were required to offer her instead, with condemnation. Judgment is law, no appeals to be made.

Her arms were grasped, pulled behind her back, pushing her chest forward. They gather her hair in their hands and hold her, a wall of implacable limbs that does not seek to hurt but offers no succor.

The blade’s point pierces just below the collarbone, and as the First begins to drag it downwards, her Daughters chant. “Wicked. Wicked. Wicked.”

Blood wells, expertly carving a half moon around the areola, completing the symbol of the bolline, upside-down, as befits a Betrayer. The First cut as shallowly as she dared, and the blood that seeped out was thin. She does not desire to harm. The Daughters release the Initiate and the girl is held rooted in place by a power not of herself.

The fires at her feet began to dim, and as they go out, one after another, the flames begin to simmer behind her eyes. A whimper escapes her lips, and with it, fire dances. She is engulfed, from the inside out, tongues of fire darting from her nostrils, licking out from her ears, bursting her eyes from her skull with a sickening, melting pop.

And then she was no more. All that remains is a single, blackened blade of grass that is plucked to be tucked away.

The First turns, gathers them into a sphere of comforting arms. No tears, they are not permitted for one that has been denied, and so they must hide their desire to shed them.

“Remember, Daughters. It does not pay, to be wicked.”

***

Editing this story down to 750 words was truly a feat for me, slicing and dicing away, much like the First. This is my submission for Challenge #5 over at Grammar Ghoul Press – our word prompt was wicked, which I decided to make a lot of use of, and our visual prompt this week was the gloriously bizarre video for Spectrum, by Florence + the Machine. As her voice is one of my favorites to listen to when I’m writing, that added an element of fun for me.

Check out the Grammar Ghouls here: (DO IT): http://www.grammarghoulpress.com/gg-writing-challenge-5-open/

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

Slumbering Heart

I have fallen off the edge of the world
and seen what lays beneath,
I have flown over the desolate void
and thrown flowers in supplication to that which sleeps beneath

Drawn forth by whispering vines that crept,
slithering, across my skin,
my bones fell apart my false face slid off
and I painted on a happy grin

I danced beneath that blood red sky,
and dreamt I never left,
I skipped a stone and went
from blissful to bereft

I lost my place,
I was lost in time,
no compass to my marker
no harkening to call me home,
no shouting carnival barker

I dreamed my way back into my heart

I slumber even now,
wrapped amongst the loveliest dreams,
without the soundtrack of screams
and backdrop of broken vow.

Categories: Fiction, Poetry | Tags: , | 4 Comments

If We’re Lucky, We Get to Say Goodbye

Fingertips scrabbled at rock on the inside of the crater. My fingernails were bloody and my toes ached, struggling to support weight on a ledge just wide enough for the balls of my feet. Putting the pain of the effort aside, I dug my fingers in, feeling new fissures open in the skin, dug my toes in, and heaved myself over the side.

I was breathing heavily, hands to the side of my head, leaving bloody streaks as if I wore a crown of thorns. The ground up here was no more forgiving than the walls had been; I could feel my ass bleeding along with the rest of me as I scooched farther from the edge. I had dropped into that void once and had no desire to plunge like a stone into its nothingness again.

Memories zipped through my brain like darting minnows of shiny destruction. Headlights flashing; hydroplaning across a wet road; over-correcting the steering wheel; Nick screaming as the car flips; Nick scarily silent as the car cuts a swathe of destruction through trees, plunging off the freeway, spinning in circles on it’s roof. Me, oddly silent, as we teeter to a stop nose first in a shallow creek bed. The odd silence continuing, even after I shake off enough of the daze to call Nick’s name, or try to. Turning my head, terrifyingly slow, towards the back of the car…

My head snapped up so quickly that it felt like a giant rubber band being twanged. “No! No, you motherfuckers!” I didn’t know where I was, why or how I was, I didn’t know what in the hell was going on, but I knew that Nick wasn’t here, couldn’t be here. I had seen his staring eyes, and the strange cant of his little head, flopping from his neck.

I cried then, big fat tears that burned like sulfur. Nicky was gone and I was here, bloody and broken, on the ground. I felt detached, had no burning desire for answers. I sat, and bled, and cried. So disconnected I heard nothing, had no warning, before a skeletal hand descended to my shoulder. Not skeletal as a descriptor, skinny and crone-like, but skeletal as in fleshless distal phalanges curled into my collarbone.

With a sense of deja vu, I turned my head slowly and looked behind me, up and up, tracking from pelvic bone to spine to skull. A distant part of my brain whispered, with an almost religious hush, ‘My god, it’s beautiful.’

It was beautiful; in my disassociated state, I could appreciate the whorls of color that decorated its leg bones, the flowers painted on its ribs, the jewel like studs that surrounded empty eye sockets. No fear as it released me, hand clacking as it made a universal gesture for ‘follow me’. It cupped my elbow and helped me up, slid down my arm until our fingers linked, pulled me forward.

As I picked out footing on the uneven ground, trying to keep pace with the long strides of my guide, lightness imbued its steps and it skipped towards our mysterious destination. I ran to keep up, clinging to its arm now, steps turning into a dance that spun us towards the incongruous sound of music which reached out and swirled around my mind, so that I was almost laughing as we turned a corner that I had not seen until we were upon it.

In a clearing that opened to a cavernous ceiling, sunlight streamed down upon the altar that sat in the middle of a group of giggling children good-naturedly shoving each other as they grabbed for the most outrageously decorated coffins and skulls from the piles that littered stone shelves.

‘Mom!’ A brown headed bullet launched itself from the candy fray and tore towards me across grass so green it was almost iridescent. Nick hit my middle with a force that squeezed an ‘oof’ out of me, and wrapped his arms around my waist. He grinned up at me, eyes dancing, and tightened his grip til I had to protest. ‘Wait, you’re not dead, I saw you! I was leaving, but you were there still, you were crying, you were alive, I saw you!’

He started to pull away, to scrutinize me from a distance, but I grabbed onto him and pulled him back to me. ‘No, Nicky, no, I’m not dead.’ I stroked his fine hair off his forehead. ‘We’re just being given a chance to say good-bye.’

****

I remember being a kid, maybe 10, and reading Stephen King’s ‘Pet Semetary’. I thought then that one of the things that I would have to learn to do to be a great writer (at that age, King was the pinnacle of authors to me) would be learning to delve into the things that are the most painful, and not be afraid to compromise my own emotions to get to the truth and honesty of the matter. In this case, to imagine the death of a child, especially when you have your own, seemed like one of the hardest things you’d ever try to write. This is proving very true for me, as I almost feel like I’m jinxing myself, which fits in with the superstitious but still somehow Dia de los Muertos. I’ve always been kind of fascinated with this particular celebration, as evidenced by the necklace I just happen to be wearing right now…

Bull dog

This was written for the 4th prompt from Grammar Ghoul Press: we were given a word prompt, void, and a really cool short film as our visual/media prompt. Click the adorable little badge at the top of this post to visit their site, read some truly fantastic writing, join in, vote, what have you. Go here to watch the award winning short film by Whoo Kazoo, Dia de los Muertos – it’s really an awesome little piece of work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCQnUuq-TEE#action=share

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , | 16 Comments

The Frayed String Snaps

The spotlight turns toward her, aged metal hinges creaking unintentional atmosphere into the performance. Her feet splay in bow-legged display, arms held out to her sides, head bent forward in repentance for an as yet unnamed sin. The audience cannot see the flakes in the rouge spots on her cheeks peeling off, cannot hear the skritch of her wooden joints as the strings, the fraying strings, pull her gently across the stage, a broken doll flung aside in slow motion.

They, the they whose human faces she has never seen except in shadow, work their levers and turn their wheels and make their adjustments with soft grunts and sometimes not so soft curses from behind the heavy curtains, equipment no longer up to snuff for the demands that they make of it.

There she is now, in place at center stage, fully steeped in the spotlight’s beam. She can feel them starting to lift her head, to force her eyes once more into the glare of the floodlights, to make her look out upon an audience who does not understand that she doesn’t want to be their entertainment any longer. They do not see the splinters escaping from under her painted eyelashes, little tears that look like tears; they would only add to the sad ambience of her painted face could anyone see the detail.

She does not want to be on the stage any longer. She had been the pinnacle, not the penultimate, but the zenith at the time of her creation. She was given no direction to go but down. How could every show, then, not be more of a disappointment than the last? The sighs and gasps and applause are a saw blade drawn against violin strings to her psyche, leaving her more and more an empty shell. She does not want to dance any more, having already been forced to reap more than she had ever hoped for simply by catching the eye of someone who thought that they came bearing a gift.

Her middle pulls taut as all the strings are tugged at once, a crescendo of agony behind the rictus of a smile, and they pirouette her across the boards, a blur of ragged beauty through steps that have not been altered in a hundred years. She yearns for silence, she prays for release, even as she drips joy across the horizon of bodies that sit in rapt attention at her stocking feet.

The man whose job it is to tighten all knots and inspect all ropes, to adjust wardrobe and touch up wig, has taken it upon himself to become lackadaisical.

Her weight is being raised from the floor, she is on her tippy toes, they are in the air, and all of her is now suspended in an airborne arabesque, to the delight of the squealers. Her left arm is beginning to droop noticeably lower than the right, her side is canting, and she imagines she hears, layer by layer, the already frayed rope coming apart above her, over the voices of the men as they scramble and over correct.

She begins to jerk a bit, from side to side, corps de ballet de grotesquerie.

An infinite glee comes with the sudden snap. Her prison is collapsing around her and for the first time since she looked out from behind the dead material of the face she had been forced into, she re-awakens to bliss. A broken ragdoll of disjointed bits is all she is now, sprawled in an untidy heap upon a dirty floor, legs and arms akimbo, soul winging up through the rafters and into the ether.

The audience is stunned into silence at this unexpected ending, this abrupt departure from the tawdry bows and curtsies that tend to follow such performances as these, but then shake free and welcome the new and rise to their feet, a hootenanny of hollers and cries for an encore that can never come.

The maestro, the magician, the darkness that had encapsulated her soul, cries quietly behind the scenes as his queen, his triumph, arcs towards the heavens and leaves him, alone, ever more.

*****

So, I was listening to Lindsey Stirling and this story popped up….

Okay, so here’s a crazy thing…the erudite and awesome Suzanne, whose blog I have followed since I first found her through the now defunct Trifecta Writing Challenge (go read her here, both her fiction and non-fiction posts will either have you thinking or laughing or learning, sometimes all at once http://lucidedit.wordpress.com/ ) recently announced that she was launching her own writing challenge DUN DUN DUN here: http://www.grammarghoulpress.com/gg-writing-challenge-2-open/ and that got me excited because she attracts other writers as talented as she and I love the word ghoul. I just happened to write this story for the hell of it this morning while I was supposed to be working, and then just now realized that, by adding a single sentence to incorporate the word prompt REAP, that it fits the word and picture prompt.

I’m rambling like a crazy person. I’ll shoot for extra coherence later. No guarantees.

Read, write, love, sleep,
Shannon

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

A Sedimentary Lifestyle

“It’s too much.” Harv wheezed theatrically, not as over-dramatic as he pretended.

Helen pooh-poohed him with a derogatory arch of brows, herding him up the incline. “You’re not that out of shape. Look, it flattens out a bit ahead.”

“I’ve been living a sedimentary life since I retired. You didn’t give me a chance to shake shit up first. My joints are very confused about what’s happening to them right now.”

Stifling the laugh over his hatchet job on ‘sedentary’ she took a deep breath. “If you start settling towards your bottom, I promise I’ll help you up.”

***

Linking up again with Light and Shade Challenge
http://lightandshadechallenge.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/light-and-shade-challenge-friday-5th.html

The photo reference is the picture above (image courtesy of cheva and taken from the Wikipedia Commons), and the quote reference is: Shake well before opening – instructions on a milkshake bottle

Seriously, keeping these to 100 words or less is a hell of a lot harder than I would have imagined….

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

Rowan’s Journal (Part 9)

He waited for an hour; Rolly tried not to be the kind of listener who just waited for their turn to speak, but the longer Rowan had gone on, the more the incredulity had loosened his tongue, til it was flapping about his mouth like a trout out of water and he could barely keep silent.

When Rowan stopped to take a couple deep breaths, Rolly shot his hand up in the air, quick as a pouncing cat. “Wait wait wait,” he said. “Before you go on, and I really want you to and I’m really sorry for interrupting you, but I have to ask you a question.” He took his own couple of deep breaths and glanced at Mara, who was looking at him with bemused encouragement, reaching her hand out to fold over his. “Did you keep a journal? I mean, like, a journal about all this stuff that was happening to you? Did you have your own Dreamer’s Chronicle!” The last question bulleted out like an accusation and Mara’s comforting hand squeezed his tightly in reproof.

Rufus beamed, his tutored pupil got the right answer on a pop quiz, and Rowan frowned at Rolly like an over-taxed older sister. “Jesus, what the hell are you yelling at me for? Yes, I did, in fact, keep a journal about the Nightscape. I was a regular old Martha fucking Stewart about it. If everyone already thought I was crazy, I can’t imagine what they would have thought if they had seen my construction paper nightmare collages.” She snickered at the thought, finding the discomfiture of others highly amusing as a general rule. “It was sort of like I had to. I couldn’t very well walk around with my nightmares running around my brain all day. The weird thing, well, like the eighth weird thing, was that after I would paste the freaky little bastards into my book, I never saw them again in my dreams. I mean, there were still, like, a gazillion monsters every time I had nightmares, but the ones I put in my journal never came back.”

She shrugged, her favorite default gesture. “I’d show it to you and we could all have a giggle down memory lane, but I lost it.” She thought for a moment, worrying her lower lip with her teeth. “Actually, I didn’t lose it, the damn thing disappeared one night.” Her shrug this time resembled more of a shudder. “It was really bad that night. It was, like, a monster council meeting or something. Some of scariest shit I’d ever seen. I’d never seen them look even remotely organized before, and here they were, standing around in a circle, talking to each other. They sure as hell weren’t speaking English, so I couldn’t understand their actual words, but somehow I knew it was about me. They’d noticed me, no matter how much I’d tried to stay hidden, and my nightmares were meeting to discuss me.” Her hollow eyes were aimed at Rolly. “You can understand why this was way more frightening than watching them rip each other to bloody pieces.”

He nodded mutely. Yes, he most certainly could understand that, very well.

“So I bit my tongue and pinched myself and dug my fingernails into my palms until I woke up. I was sweating something fierce, shaking all over, but I was determined to get out of bed and get as many of these dirty bastards pasted into my journal as I could, and hope I could make at least some of them disappear. Disband their council, and they can’t very well plan a war, right? It wasn’t there, though. My journal. I always kept it under my pillow, and it was just…gone. I don’t think I’d ever felt such disappointment as I did at that moment, my groping hand finding nothing but cool sheets. I gave up, I gave up and I gave in, and I cried until I sobbed and sobbed until I choked and choked until I threw up. My only weapon against my nightmares was gone.”

Rowan trailed off and sat back. Mara blinked back the tears pricking her own eyes, seeing the lost child with no hope left to cling to, shaking alone on her bedroom floor.

Rufus made an incongruous throat-clearing sound, and while it didn’t seem like much, Rowan zeroed in with a laser stare. “Oh, for Christ’s sake, Rufus. Did you take my damn journal?”

* * *
I think that this works, at least in part, as a stand-alone bit of a story, however – The Nightscape is the place where our demons and nightmares live. Rowan and Rufus are a part of it, on the outskirts, as no longer quite human. Rolly and Mara are a human couple that were pulled into it with no explanation, thusfar…

The Speakeasy is back in business after their summer hiatus, and I found that I very much wanted to get back in on the fun. This week we had a sentence prompt to use as our first line “He waited for an hour” and a photo reference: school-supplies-300x187

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Categories: Fiction, The Dreamer's Chronicle | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Once more, my love

We must come to the conclusion,
my dear,
that the bustle and joy
are no longer here

Days have passed
and nights so long,
comfort is nil,
affection all wrong

Every word uttered
ends only in spite
there is no longer a path
to lead to well, and right

Once more, my love,
come into my arms
so as to remember
only my charms

To taste only laughter
and not a salty tear,
we have reached our journey’s end
and must part soon, my dear

* * *

I’ve been away from writing for awhile, but have wanted to join the Light and Shade challenge since I saw it pop on Thomas Marlowe’s blog, Marlowe Manor
http://thomas-marlowe.blogspot.com.
For this challenge, in 100 words or less, you write whatever comes to mind in regards to either a text prompt, a photo prompt, or both. I am a fan of the lack of restrictions for this, I admit. http://lightandshadechallenge.blogspot.com/2014/08/light-and-shade-challenge-friday-29th.html

I wrote this based on the quote prompt for this round:

True is it that we have seen better days.
-As You Like It, Shakespeare

Categories: Fiction, Poetry | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments