On Hiatus

When I started this blog, and all through maintaining it, I have been laboring under the delusion that I could maintain this as a side project while I wrote a novel. That hasn’t happened, I think that perhaps I’m the kind of writer who must focus on one thing at a time, or I loose my train of thought and give myself writer’s block.

Finding time to write is hard enough with a toddler, and with fibromyalgia, it takes me a lot of effort to keep on top of chores, and often migraines or chronic fatigue and what they call “fibro fog”, a difficulty concentrating, all seem to combine to limit my writing time.  Trying to find something to retweet that I haven’t retweeted lately is getting to be more difficult, and I’d really like to pull my act together and focus on finally writing a book.

I’ll still be around on my non-fiction blog occasionally, where I’ve already started a little discussion on the book and its inspiration, and I’ll be back here because I love writing flash. Just got to focus, and buckle down for a bit.

Enchanted

I couldn’t sleep with the need to see you, so I have come. You’ve held me captive from the moment we met, my mind is a prison dancing with your image, your song, your laugh. My thoughts know nothing else.

You are an artist in your seduction, flirting and flickering around me. Preening, then darting off coyly. You trap me with your enchantment, like a nymph, a will-o-the-wisp.

You gaze at me gently, your skin pales as your love trickles from your fingers in delicate lacework of red, pools at your feet that shiver with every drip, every tiny giggling plink.

Your graceful fingers reach out to touch me, then shy away, beckoning and flirting, the smile glimmering in your eyes as you pout and pretend to be upset, candlelight shining from your manacles like the brightest gems.

But soon you give way to me, relaxing against me in our embrace, weak to your desire. Your hips sway to the rhythm of your chains across the concrete, your movements rich with your love of turning all the world into a song as we dance together in this prison I have come to love.

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Archeon Tarot Prompt: 9 of Swords. 196 words. More tarot stories.

P.S. – This repost brought to you by my current distraction with cats. New things will be coming, but I need to let a few things simmer while I research.

The Student

The love songs of the night gave way to the chatter of birds as the girl made her way across the prairie to the hut. Dew drops reflected the overcast sky, turning the field into a dreamlike silver, cut through with a green brush stroke winding behind her as her toes tickled the dew to the ground.

She watched a butterfly opening its wings in the rising dawn, fluttering lazily, enjoying a few more minutes in its silky floral bed. She was tempted to tease it on to her finger, but catching butterflies was a child’s game and she was too old for such things now.

Father had stopped howling. He was likely either dead or sleeping. The virus didn’t grant him much peace, she wasn’t sure which one she preferred.

Inside the hut, the smell had quieted down, grown more earthen. She would have expected something sour. Like when fruit turns to wine. This smelled more like mushrooms. He sat quietly, observing her as she observed him. He wasn’t breathing.

“I promised Mother I wouldn’t kill you. Do you remember Mother?” He was still enough to be made of stone. Except for those eyes, which were darker now. The irises were larger, large enough to be seeing rather well in the dim light. That explained why the monster had stuck to the shadows, his eyes were likely sensitive.

She opened the curtains, letting the dawn creep closer to the thing that used to be her father. The chains rattled as he shifted his weight away from the light, but there was no other reaction. Interesting. That implies physical distress, but not at a critical level.

“We never did spend a lot of time together, Father. I think I will remedy that. I propose a partnership. You shall teach me exactly how to defeat the plague. I pray I don’t cause you too much discomfort in the process.”

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Zombie Tarot Prompt: Page of Swords. More tarot flash stories over here.

P.S. – I really thought I would do more Grim’s List prompts in October, but I guess my life is too busy right now to have multiple writing projects. I’d like to spend some time focusing on just one thing until something important to me is more developed, so I might do some reposts (like this one) for a few weeks.

Will-O-The-Wisp

Your quickly flicking glances, the stance that I know is a practiced kind of casual, your watchful pretense at relaxed conversation, gently swaying it from one side to the other to cover the range of information required by your whims, I know you. I’ve seen your kind lurking in musky corners.

Yet, I honor the ghost of dances past. Your heady presence draws me closer, the parts of my heart that become so painful when they rise, I hear their song. I’m slipping, swallowed into despair as I feel Undying Hope, in her callous innocence, rising to take my place.

This is not a club of promise and illusions, young would-be lovers peddling white lies. We are in the forest held by your heart, reflected in eyes full of shadows, where primal hungers rule.

I walk through trees growing twisted in their age and desperation, wind-torn leaves fluttering rumors as I pass. A glimpse of your light leads me onward through treacherous ground, the hold of the muck growing ever stronger as I fall into the heady lure of danger.

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Twitter #GrimList2019 prompt: Will-O-The-Wisp

P.S.- I wasn’t going to do the prompt today, but Emika’s Wicked Game was playing during my morning coffee/Netflix routine and shit happened.

The Souvenir

“Supposedly, Janice Marie Rodgers, age 17, knew nothing of the legend surrounding the item she found when she entered the house. Neighbors saw her walk directly into the home through the unlocked front door, and she was only inside for a minute before she walked back out and continued on her way.

As was previously reported, there is no forensic evidence tying her to any activity within the house other than the trail of footprints she left as she walked directly to the display cabinet, and there is evidence that she removed a single figurine before turning around and walking out again. There is no evidence tying her to any of the murders in that home, or to the previous tragedies. All evidence corroborates with Baker’s confession, and he claims to have no knowledge of Rodgers.

It is unlikely that a teenager from a neighboring town with no social ties to any of those involved would have walked directly into a murder scene and have been so unaffected. Currently, investigators believe that Miss Rodgers may already have been on the brink of violence, and her happening upon the scene was coincidental, though likely to have motivated her final psychotic break.

Exactly how the figurine reached Colin David Brand is not known, but it was not found on or near the body of Miss Rodgers. When police raided his hotel room, it was seen as the focal point of an altar Brand decorated with belongings from his victims, but while police were still in the room, the figurine seems to have vanished. Brand’s whereabouts are still unknown.”

Excerpt from The Liffey Chronicle, May 18, 1992

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Twitter #GrimList2019 prompt: cursed object.

Monsters

He makes her forget when she looks into his eyes. No more dusty echos of terrors skittering around her head. Doesn’t feel crazy when she’s with him, he makes it feel right.

It’s nothing but a little dance when she’s with him, spinning and preening for his affections, sliding her hips a little more, breathing a little deeper, watching the world go soft as his smile lights up her heart. It all turned out easier than she thought it would, she wasn’t horrified after all. They don’t seem like little cherubs then, just little gifts to give him for his amusement, something to whet his appetites.

Oh, those appetites. He can give her what no other can; gentle lips and soft hands soothing the rage, making her hatred sing with adoration of his hands, his lulling poetry, his compassionate patience with her fears. No other lover is willing to test her limits, no one else knows how to set her free. No one else understands what it takes to become more than human, to rise above the chains they tie to you, to learn to enjoy sliding next to darkness, skin to skin, the scent of blood as heady as the scent of sweat and fear.

Without him, she is trapped inside her own dark chains. Without him she knows the nature of Hell. She does not worry what awaits her when they are caught. She knows he will not be near forever, she has but moments of pleasure to enjoy while she can. It is her time to live in the light, to proudly step from the shadows and stand by his side, letting the sun shine on her monster within.

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Twitter #GrimList2019 prompt: monsters.

Ritual

We thought she was going autistic. Every day at 3 pm, she crawled under the table. Mama would have to croon to her to come out so long that she took to piling her ironing on top of the table, so she could fold and make the time have more purpose. She was there crooning, just as she did every day, with all that soft laundry piled on top of that old table when the plane crashed in our field, and the giant picture window she always loved to look out of as we ate dinner, it blew inward and a largish shard kind of chopped off her head.

There was something about the way her shoulders were set when we found her, out in the yard, something about the way she sat as she was waiting with that copycat smile, and we could see where she came out of the rubble, the path she cleared under the clothes that kept the shards away from her tender skin, there was something in the way her eyes were kind of rusty at the edges, the way she seemed to slither behind secrets in her usual silence, it just wasn’t her anymore.

I almost think it started when mama started dating him, well I mean I know I smelled that breath myself once or twice. It was like he was of decay, one of its things walking around on earth in a human skin. We hated him, but he seemed fond of her, I saw her brace herself against his breath every day.

I think it was around then when she started looking lost in her eyes, when she seemed to always be looking upward and aside when you talked to her, when her fingers stared itching over her skin and she started mumbling quietly in the corner. The shrink said it was a self soothing ritual, and I asked why was she practicing magic, but the shrink said no, it wasn’t. But it was then that she started hiding under the table, every day, right at the time that mama died and after that, that man wasn’t allowed to keep us.

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Twitter #GrimList2019 prompt: ritual.

Sacrifice

Once, as she looked upon him, her blue eyes would darken with love as they snuggled, and she would smile at nothing while she stroked his hair. She was happy that he would keep her company while she binge watched her shows, though they both knew they didn’t interest him much.

That’s how he proved his love to her, with little gifts of compassion, conceding to her desires and fulfilling his promise to take care of her. Yes, it helped keep her near him so he might take care of his needs, but it became more than that. He had become quite fond of her.

He stroked her hair, alive with trembles reflecting the light, her eyes bright and sparkling, she seemed to glow. It was a shame he had to betray her. He knew she would never accept that he always loved her laugh, he admired her perspectives on literature, he considered her to be strong and capable and beautiful. Of course he truly loved her. It is not sacrifice without love.

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GrimList2019 prompt: sacrifice.

Bones

Here comes my shame, in the form of tears. My heart aches as I know I’ve lost all hope of being taken seriously, at being heard, at being humored out of respect or compassion because emotions mean I’m being silly. Silly like a child.

I reach for him, I step toward him, I open my hands in plea as he sneers and stands superior.

“We have bills to pay and I don’t have time to play your games. You watch far too much television.” I’m always just oh, so silly.

“Please, I feel it in my bones.” Some phrases have no meaning, seem empty but pretty combinations of words, until your shins almost itch deep inside with an odd tingle, your shoulders grab themselves tight, your spine slams tense, bracing itself for the blast.

Despair sets in as he walks away, a flash of his lucky cuff-links sets me to grieving though I don’t know why. Until the airline sends them later, the only thing that was left, their fiery gleam charred to a lifeless black.

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P.S. – For those who follow me through wordpress, for yesterday’s prompt I put a haiku on Twitter.

 

Cemetery

Umber leaves as teardrops

Restless skittering whispers

Blanketing the dead

Carnival

A bored carnival worker looks at me. Security might seem light here, but carnies are a suspicious lot, aren’t they? Doing their own shady things?

“What would you do to get him back? To fix your mistake?”

I know my hands aren’t shaking, though my stomach says they should be. Can she see my nerves on edge? Does she think I’m a pickpocket? Do they have some kind of a guild or gang where only their people can work the crowd? What if I draw enough attention that she remembers my face?

“Are you a kind girl? Are you loyal, compassionate, a good listener, a true friend? A good big sister?”

Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter where this leads for me. It’s Joey, and if something happens to him because I couldn’t pull my shit together… Start moving. Don’t look at the carnie. I smile and try to look interested in a booth full of colorful trinkets and tapestries. I try not to fidget.

“It’s cute that you worry about the child’s life. Death isn’t the worst thing I could do. You don’t have to taint your sweet little soul. I could just keep little Joey for company.”

I see two clowns and a janitor standing in a huddle by an empty tent. Are they on break? Or do carnies work together, whispering of suspicious types who walk alone, riding no rides, playing no games? Fuck it, move, grab one, get out. I only need one. A child for a child.

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P.S. – For Twitter #GrimList2019. I had video footage that fit the prompt :). Also, without pitch adjustment, I sound more like the villain than the teen.