Remains

 

Going to extremes

To feel anything

Or nothing

Then a certain death

Like a vampire has sucked me dry

Stuffed me with salt

Glued me to sheets

Rotten with my own remains

Pride is a fictional memory

I can’t seem to dig up

No dignity

No monument to my shame

It’s invisible

The pink girly version of anger

A sparkly shade

Of nobody cares

And everyone forgot

The original sin

I never had the pleasure of committing

 

 

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By jmnauthor3000

Writing it out…

 

Some days I don’t feel like writing.  But then I know what that means.  It scares the shit out of me. 

I’m not the best writer.  My stories could do with more work.  My WIP needs more work.  There will always be someone out there better than me, with far more interesting ideas.  Probably considerably better looking too.  And with one of those Instagram perfect butts.   I swear to god, if I see that peach emoji one more time…

There might be clicky, mean spirited, judgey types who just don’t like my face or my name or where I come from and decide to reject or ignore me in whatever way possible.  Maybe they’re insecure.  Maybe I’m insecure.  I AM insecure.  I don’t actually know them. 

In those terrifying moments when I don’t feel like writing, I remind myself that this feeling is temporary.  It isn’t going to last forever.  And it doesn’t. 

But that gaping black hole of no purpose, no direction, not tired and yet the opposite of energized.  That depleted and flavorless void threatens to take me somewhere I can’t afford to go to.  Where I sense but not hear my own screams. 

I try to fill it with food and booze but such pleasures are agonizingly fleeting and I am a greedy monster who comes from a long line of greedy monsters.  I have the feasting tendencies of a Roman emperor. 

I am at times, my own emotional vampire. 

But it can and does pass.  Eventually the wretched monster within me sleeps.  Eventually I’m satisfied. 

And I realize that the only wholesome thing about my actual person is my writing. 

I’m not the first to say that writing saved me. 

But it did.  And it does.  And no matter how hard I try to ruin everything, writing never leaves me. 

It’s stronger than my demons. 

So, ignored or shunned though my work may be called by those who matter, it’s pretty bad assed. 

I’m scared. 

But more importantly, I’m pretty fucking scary. 

 

 

 

By jmnauthor3000

The Salvation of Thomas Winterborne

 

Colonial Rhode Island….

 

There was a beauty that arrived with the cold that Thomas Winterborne drank in, though it did no good to alleviate his mounting thirst.

Will it always be like this? He wondered.

It was that time of the year when winter’s chill triumphed over summer’s heat.  Insects were silenced, birds fled and the fertile green forest slowly went to sleep.  Death awaited the glory of its true season.

So, here he was staring down a leaf strewn road, lined with large, drowsy orange and yellow trees.  The thing that was most alive was the wind.  It was busy, fetching and carrying the cold like buckets of water, tossed into the air to nurture the chill.

Thomas Winterborne’s eyes begin to ache.  He winced but it did no good.

It’s the light.  The rising sun.  I should have known.

Thomas craved darkness like he used to crave a warm blanket.  But the dawn attacked his flesh like an infection.

“AH!”  Thomas doubled forward, his bones and muscles refusing to obey. There was a fence lining the road, yet outside that fence was a vast field and no trees.  The trees could only afford so much protection.

He was trapped.

Whenever the fledgling rays grasped at him through gaps in the branches above, that burning pain smothered his flesh.

Then a smell hit his nostrils that entranced him yet tormented him further.

Blood.  This was different to the cavorting warlocks he’d encountered last night.  One of whom had been his father, a man who had always sworn by his godliness yet who only dealt with demons.

However, this blood wasn’t tainted with greed and wicked conjuring.  There was clean, animal blood.   Horses.

Two men.  One driving the carriage, another inside.   Their intentions were indiscernible given the presence of animals and his own pain.

I should imagine I will get better. Wait…get better at what?

“You there!”

In his other life, Thomas would have fled and hid behind a tree.   He’d have been ashamed of being a wandering vagabond, unable to cope with sunlight.   Yearning for something, he wouldn’t have been able to name.

Yet now, a new instinct over-ran his senses as a carriage door opened.

Thomas stopped and bit his tongue, forcing his eyes to remain open despite the agony the morning was subjecting him to.

“Good day, sir.”  His voice was controlled to the point of sounding foreign to his ears.

“May I offer you assistance?  You appear as a man who has had far too long in the tavern.”

One corner of Thomas’s mouth turned up.  He folded his hands and replied humbly.

“I am sober, sir.  But I have an ailment where the light doesn’t agree with me.  I had to come out to seek sustenance in the forest, but the sun has taken me by surprise and I find myself disorientated.”

The gentleman inside the carriage was a few years older.  His shoulders were straight, he held himself similar to the way English officers did.   With the haughty discipline required of any occupying power.

“Rather dangerous, don’t you think? Wandering in the woods all alone?  The natives could be anywhere.  There’s nothing for it.  You’ll have to come with me.”  The gentlemen reached his hand out.  Thomas accepted the man’s grip, thirst and hunger rushed his senses, nearly robbing him of decorum.   It was the sensation of the other’s pulse, beating a vigorous rhythm within rivers of blood flowing just behind the calloused flesh.

Likely affluent, this was still a healthy man who knew hard work.

The shelter within the carriage was an immediate balm to Thomas’s affliction.

“Goodness man, you’re pale as death.  Yet your skin is on fire.  Are you quite well?   Drive on!”  he shouted, knocking on the roof.

Thomas leaned back in the seat, the clip clopping of the horse hooves and rocking of the carriage a natural lullaby.  He grinned sleepily.

“I have always been like this.  It was foolish of me to be in day light.  It’s a childhood condition I’m afraid.  My dear mother could hardly go out with me as a boy.”

The lie came from his tongue with ease.  Where had his shame gone?

“I am called Benjamin Williams.  I have a house, not far from the fort.   It’s…nice and dark, if you need somewhere to stay.  Unless, you have family..”

“I have no family.”

“No?  You answered so quickly.  You don’t have a wife or..”

“No.”  Again Thomas answered quickly.  Fatigue was making him cross and as the carriage ambled along the forest road, slumber beckoned him to submit.

“Are you..”  Benjamin’s voice was muted suddenly.  Thomas’s consciousness was extinguished like the flame on a candle.

Thomas awoke in a mercifully dark room.  His head snapped towards a gust of air that blew over his body. A black cloth covering the window billowed, revealing the world outside.

He saw a fading orange sunset shifting into dusk.

I cannot remain awake long while the sun is out.  And when night falls, my eyes open again. 

Thomas swallowed and winced when a heartbeat thrummed from somewhere nearby.

“Hello, Benjamin. “  Thomas said, recalling the man from the carriage.  Footsteps sounded and the door to whatever chamber he was in opened.

“You wake, finally.  I wondered if I should send for a physician.  But then, I imagine no doctor could help you.”  The feather mattress sank with Benjamin’s weight.

Thomas sat up, keeping his eyes locked on Benjamin as he searched for some sort of threat.

Benjamin smiled and said, “Childhood afflictions that carry on into adulthood, are rarely curable. What regretful ailments we are forced to bear, eh?”

Then, Benjamin removed his outer coat and began unfastening his shirt sleeves and rolling them up.

Thomas remained still, although thirst was starting to tug at his control.

“You’ll have to get used to it.”  Benjamin said

“What do you mean?”

“Being thirsty.”  And before Thomas could think of a reply, Benjamin had placed his bare wrist before Thomas’s lips.

Like a magnet, Thomas clamped his mouth around Benjamin’s flesh.  Teeth that were his and yet not sunk deep into the skin, avoiding bone yet drawing on the rich flowing river within.

Thomas’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and he had visions of the orange and yellow forest path.  Only this time, the leaves turned red and fell from the branches, dropping on the road like drops of crimson rain.

The tormenting light cooled and darkened, easing his memories of the morning’s pain as well as nourishing him.

He squeezed Benjamin’s wrist and pressed it even closer to his mouth.

Inhaling sharply, he flung himself back against the headboard, cracking the wood.

Benjamin didn’t flee.  Rather, the man appeared flushed, his chest heaving and a small amount of sweat dotted his forehead.

There was something in the air, Thomas could barely discern as it was so alien.  Yet the excited look upon Benjamin’s face…

Was something like when he’d seen Mary, his beloved,  trying to caress Prince, who had been their slave.

Merely from the memory he now knew that Mary’s advances were against Prince’s will.  At the time he’d been only confused and betrayed.   He’d spent much of his life yearning for Mary Hawthorne’s caresses.

As it turned out, she only desired men when she had control.   When she preyed upon the one she touched.  She could drive a hard bargain with Prince, demanding a lusty performance.  Not all women were like Mary, he reminded himself.

Before he could consider anything else, Benjamin’s hand was on his cheek.

“So…astounding.  I often wondered if there would be creatures in this New World what are in tales in England and Europe.  Did a witch do this to you?  Did…did one of the savages do this to you? I’ve heard they can do magic.”

Thomas sighed, Benjamin’s blood tasted like wine made from berries and meat cooked over flames.  There was a lust radiating from the man who, despite being older had an aura of naivety about him.  His accent suggested he was reasonably new to the colonies.

Thomas licked his lips and said, “We rarely encounter the savages.  Father used to speak of great slaughters and righteous victories.   I think, savages have much more to fear from us than we from them.  We are the monsters who dream of being holy, yet we operate with cruelty and trickery that would make the devil proud.”

Benjamin tilted his head, nodding slowly before saying,

“Hmm, I do fear the consequences of the sins committed in this land.  But you are not like that.   I knew you wouldn’t hurt me.  We can do great things together, you and I.  You will be…exceptionally strong.  You have an air of someone to be feared.  The young man in the woods…imagine it!  I am good at hiding.  Our services could…be useful.”

Benjamin stood up and bit his fist and faced the window.  He ran his other hand over the top and back of his head, clutching his loosely tied hair.  He released the brown grey strands and turned back around, his blue eyes wide.  He all but lunged at the bed.

Benjamin’s face drew closer to Thomas’s.  All Thomas could think of was meat dripping with juices and swallows of berry wine.

Thomas placed his hand upon Benjamin’s chest, the pounding human heart beat inciting him to grip and bite the man, so fierce and sudden was this urge.

Instead, he said in a tight voice,

“Tell me, are you from England?  Do you have family here in the colonies?  Do those stationed at the fort know of you?”

To stay Benjamin’s visible disappointment, Thomas reached out and placed his hands upon his arms gently at first, then he began to knead the taught muscles as a sculptor would manipulate clay.

Thomas’s touch was obviously a distraction for Benjamin, whose brows were knit together, wariness warring with lust.

Benjamin said, “Tell me, you have killed before?”

“Yes.” It was no lie.

“So have I.  Only, my victim was a fellow soldier of the King.  I was….young and foolish but he was not a good man you should know.   My family had money, though much of it was spent to put me in hiding.  My parents died, mercifully I suppose, I’d been such a burden despite their love for me.  After some time in Europe I was led here.  I am…a different man.  This is a new life.  I have yet to make my presence known at the fort but soon no doubt they will know of me.    I’m….rather good at espionage as it turns out.  And here, in this wild place I will make my mark.  However, secret it will be.”  Benjamin smiled and winked.

Thomas’s chest fluttered with memories of all things belonging to a yearning heart.  Sorrow sang in his mind, reminding him of his absent pulse.

But what sort of existence was it?  Perhaps one worth forgetting.

His previous life of unrequited love and misery faded like a ghost fleeing the scene of its mortal death.

A heaven of satisfaction and love could be his.

But then again…who is this man?

“You will use me?”  Thomas said, doubt slithering into his happier thoughts.

“I will.  As I should imagine you will use me.  But, trust and faith are necessary to take full actions.  Else we’d stumble in half steps, starving before we even reached the dinner table.  Imagine such foolishness, Thomas.  People would become hollow corpses, expiring inches away from sumptuous feasts.  So, do you trust me?”

“That depends…what is on the dinner table.”  Thomas replied.

“Will you partake with me?”

“I would like to.”

“Then let me make the decision for you.”

Thomas’s next words were all but strangled in a coarse, savage kiss.   Ecstasy roared within him.

Instinctively, Thomas knew his strength was superior to Benjamin’s.  Yet he allowed Benjamin’s rough hands to ruthlessly guide him in an act he’d only heard mention of in Father’s horror stories.

Details were always denied, but the insinuation was crystal clear.

What hell awaits God’s enemies when he sends his glorious angels to punish them. 

Nausea nearly rushed Thomas at the memory of Father’s oily, murderous voice.   This, was nothing like tales of shameful wickedness he’d heard.

Indeed, sleep well Father.  What a loathsome demon you were.

And for the first time in Thomas’s existence on God’s vibrant, conflicted earth he experienced joy that only comes with the freedom to choose one’s own path.  Benjamin was like an angel.  Both were unrepentant in enjoying the gifts of this world and other higher planes.

Thomas Winterborne’s rescue from the light turned out to be his utter salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By jmnauthor3000

Bacchus

 

Bacchus , I was not meant for you!

I should be dry and savior devoted

And deny my clingy, wet nature

My mind crawls through a misty, aching song

The desert with its arid, holy sands

Dulls my happiness

Heat seen yet never felt

Not inside

Where you flow through me like a river

A deep, secret possession

Soaking my will

Gasps cease, silence takes over the air

Cheers and bring you to my lips

Look at me

Only swallows can make me fly

Towards a heaven

A dream where you pull me under

Show me what’s truly sacred

No thin, dusty papers

Over-run with expired ink

Threatening me with eternal thirst

More your ancient wine

Like rich blood

Calls my trust

And drowns me in pleasure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By jmnauthor3000

No Regrets

 

It’s not even like they are vultures. 

No cruel, hulking monsters salivating over sadism. 

Rather they are devoid of feeling.

Robotic collectors of resources.

Callously targeting the lonely public. 

No measurable distance between anything.

Only an unknown chasm and unidentifiable sources.

Stone faced lies to cover up yet more stone faced lies. 

The thickest of walls to protect the thickest of thieves. 

Bloodied beaks and black hearts. 

Blind obedience to a system that thrives from indifference.

Watches love rot on the barren earth.

And with no regret,

lies down to die upon silken pillows.

Ignorant to the truth behind its bland misery.

Not one number or symbol available to calculate,

the calculated death of honour. 

 

 

 

 

 

By jmnauthor3000

Black Hole

 

Ready to self-destruct.

To level down and lose a part of ourselves we once valued.

If the soul can be forgotten, it won’t be mourned. 

When all that’s left are the less than admirable parts of ourselves, what then? 

After a few decades, we won’t know the difference. 

The only evidence of any goodness will be a few extra pounds of bitterness.

We can look back fondly on moments of heartbreak. 

Subject the past to a trendy makeover.

Black out the failure. 

White out the anger. 

Forget what color ever looked like. 

When drunk is normal and sober is stupid. 

And we are always, always right. 

Guilt is brutally strangled with a wire of lies. 

Death to reason.

Make morality worthless

at all costs. 

Fill any gaps with fleeting pleasures.

Ignore the ghosts.

They can only get to you in your dreams.

And dreams have no value.  

Get swallowed by your darkness then. 

If it pleases you so. 

Choke on your odious worth.

 

By jmnauthor3000

Agenda Driven Writing…

 

I’ve been getting kind of into #Twitter #hashtag author games lately. I genuinely like reading the sort of varied concepts, quotes, characters, etc. my fellow writers are cooking up based on the theme prompts.  I also get a little thrill when I see consistent appreciation from people who know how it feels to be a frustrated writer.

I’ve noticed some trends amongst us.  Few authors make a living only from their writing.  Unless you are Stephen King or J.K. Rowling most of my mutual follower Twitter buddies seem to have day jobs or kids or a combination.   Stephen and J.K. don’t follow me of course but I dig their tweets so I keep them on my feed.

All of us, whether doing the indie writing thing or pursing traditional publishing REALLY want our stories to be read by a wider audience.

Since November, I’ve entered the cycle of querying for my paranormal romance novel, In Love With the Past.  I’ve researched (okay, stalked) agents, I’ve joined Publisher’s Lunch and paid attention to what is popular, etc.  I’ve sent the first thirty pages or three chapters or whatever of my manuscript to around twelve different people.

I participated in #PitMad, which is a twitter hashtag game with a difference.  Basically you pitch your completed, finished project in a tweet with the required relevant hashtags, etc.  The difference here is, that ONLY publishing industry professionals can like your tweet.  If they do, it’s an invitation to query with them.

I got no likes.

I have had four polite rejections from my querying efforts.

I know I know…I can hear the voices of my fellow writers and published authors.

“You have to get at least 100 or 1000 rejections before you think about changing something”

“You MUST have thick skin for this gig”

“People are going to tell you that you suck.  You are going to be invisible.  But don’t you ever, dare stop.”

That is all true.

Now, aside from my genuine theory that frankly the intro section of my manuscript isn’t enticing or gripping enough and the paranormal romance market is utterly saturated, I have another theory as to why my manuscript likely won’t grab any big New York or London agent.

First, let me give you my pitch:

Amber begins seeing the spirits of an old couple who built the original homestead she has restored in North Dakota.  Martin, a builder from Chicago comes to the region for business and seeking escape from the memories of his parent’s troubled post-WWII European childhoods.  When Martin comes to Amber’s house for a job, they discover a shared background and that a lost love between his great grandfather and her great grandmother was interrupted by emigration and class snobbery in 1909.

That’s how the pitch starts.  There’s an alternating time line, and a European setting, as well as the North Dakota one, dealing with a lesser known “ethnic German” group who lived in Eastern Europe.

Okay, now bear with me, please hear me out because unless you know me and where I stand on most issues you might get worried right now.

My story basically involves a bunch of white people.  Not only that, but there are points of view of white people who were not from Britain and America during WWI and WWII…possibly of awkward when you write in English and want an Anglo/American audience.  What happened to ethnic Germans living in Eastern Europe after WWII (bearing in mind that some, not all, of these people were active, enthusiastic Nazis) isn’t commonly taught or discussed in American/British history classes.  BUT you know who does talk about it?

Apart from descendants of those communities like myself?

Nazi sympathizers.

People who want to say that the actual Holocaust wasn’t what people thought it was but that the disenfranchisement of ethnic German communities was the real, “Holocaust”.  Really.  I found a website of some neo Nazi crack pot trying to say that.  Dick.

My genuine point of view is this:  Comparing the genocide and horror of the Holocaust with the disenfranchisement (and yes, there were war crimes, mass starvation, rape, etc.) of ethnic Germans living in Eastern Europe after the second world war is frankly, ignorant and unhelpful.   But looking at both events is important.  The latter would not have happened without the former, but both instances should be studied and heard.  Not, however in the context of one competing with the other.

Because if we don’t explore these events, people who occupy a small minded, agenda driven place will take such events and use them to stir up outrage and polarization.

We really need more of that, don’t we?

The only outrage should be that such inhumane horrors took place (and still take place) in our world at all.  But OF COURSE we need to recall that such horrors happen, the when and the tragic sorrowful why.

I could go to the wicked place and sound like a conservative or far right person who says, “Oh, see?  Everything has to be about minorities now.  Nobody cares about Christian white people anymore…we’ll be the minorities soon…it’s reverse discrimination bla bla bla.”

I literally have no time for this argument.  It’s rubbish.  Christian white people are not being persecuted.

My manuscript might not be standing out with ambitious, big name agents because it doesn’t involve particularly diverse characters and it touches (briefly) on a point in history the general American and British populace might be squeamish about: Specifically that while Allied folks in London and New York were celebrating the end of the war and victory over all evil, large amounts of innocent (yes, innocent because not all ethnic Germans believed or participated in Nazi ideology, particularly young children and the elderly), were being forced out of their homes and into labor or starvation camps in places like former Yugoslavia.

The WWII bits are not really what the story revolves around, but they did have an inevitable effect on my character’s lives.  Because war messes with people, it ruins lives.

For stories more plot driven and closely revolving around the first two world wars, I would look to author, Christoph Fischer who actually wrote some wonderful stories revolving around Jewish-Germans, ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe, Polish slave workers, etc. taking place in Europe during the first and second world war.  Luck of the Weissensteiners and Sebastian, I would highly recommend.   His stories are more revolving around those identities and how the wars affect everyone.  There is some romance but it isn’t the main aspect.

His stories are really more of a, “Look how war fucks with peoples lives, whatever side you happen to live on.”

And obviously, whatever side you live on, people who sincerely and fervently embrace Nazi ideology are assholes.

My story is really a ghost story and a romance.  Martin and Amber fall in love.  Martin and Amber have issues in their lives but they are not assholes.

Then again, I don’t get into the pipeline controversy in North Dakota.  Between you and me, Martin and Amber would not be into a pipeline going through sacred Native American lands.  At one point, Martin is helping put up some outdoor structures on a community farm project run by Native American folks.

Because Martin is awesome and worth falling in love with.  But the story isn’t revolving around that controversy or the historically tragic treatment of America’s original inhabitants.

Now…I COULD find some right wing Christian/Conservative type agent or publisher (they no doubt exist) and portray my story as a really lovely clean romance involving white Catholic Americans who are horrified by their shady Eastern European/German potentially Nazi history.

But my romance doesn’t have an agenda.  It just tells a story.  And I am definitely NOT right wing or politically conservative.  I’m also not “far left”.  I am not THAT easily offended but I do roll my eyes a lot.   I’ll admit, this isn’t an explicit or “steamy” romance but Martin and Amber do really want each other.  They think about it…a lot.

Even I’m bored with the notion of “clean” romance.

Lately, with so many Christian white folks trying to use ‘civil rights’ language to perpetuate some notion that white people are the new oppressed people or whatever, I feel incredibly disturbed.

Someone should write a powerful story about the protests over the pipeline in North Dakota and the karma that might be creeping up behind the ruthless corporations as pay back for violating with sacred, spiritual property and endangering water sources.

Someone should write more in depth about how Nazi propaganda did reach German communities in Eastern Europe and how some were pulled into the German army and committed crimes against humanity.  They appealed purely to their ethnicity, encouraged them to have a sense of superiority over their Serbian or Romanian neighbors.  Danube Swabians in the nineteen forties had no physical connections to Germany, yet suddenly were told to have a sense of loyalty to the Fatherland.  That’s messed up.

Someone should write more about how the perpetrators of such wickedness generally made their way to South America when Hitler was losing and left the poor buggers they’d bullied into joining the Nazi party to fend for themselves when the victorious Red Army rolled in.  How they’d left their women and children and elderly open to labeling as murdering Fascists by vengeful communist Partisans.  How people who commit true evil…often get away with it.  Hitler certainly got off light in my opinion.

Dictators suck, the worst that happens to them is often a fairly quick death.  Or they get pressured into finally leaving office as old, delusional men.  Boohoo.

Someone could write a love story between a Communist Partisan and a widow of a fallen German soldier who had been told at gun point to fight for the Fatherland.  A fate from which he obviously never returned.  Maybe the communist partisan showed mercy and love when his colleagues encouraged him to punish any “Fascist scum” with violent vengeance.

Someone could write a story about a love between a US soldier told to stop the protests in North Dakota and a Native American.  How love makes people see things more clearly.  Maybe he spotted a crack in the pipe and felt shitty about the rubber bullets they’d been encouraged to use.

I’ve written a story involving ghosts, history, art and love.

Maybe the beginning (which is the bit that agents request) needs tightening so that an agent more open to folksy rural love stories could be more tempted.  That’s…likely it.

But…

Maybe it is just not dealing with trending issues involving more diverse characters that makes the agents go “nah”.

I am honestly okay with that, and I won’t stop querying.

I’m okay for this story to remain unpublished, if getting it out to a wider audience meant accepting the support of anyone other than a truly moral agent.

Know why?

Because I’ve got other stories.

I’m still learning.

I’m not a one dimensional writer.

I’m also not a political agenda driven asshole.

 

 

 

 

By jmnauthor3000

Rose Water

 

I start running my fingers up and down the ceramic vase.  The friction of my nails against it conjures a noise like distant wind.  Up and down, up and down.  The stunning blood red bloom escapes my notice.  I’m proud of not looking at it.  I can’t see the water in the vase but I imagine it’s rippling behind its black wall, insignificant to all but the spiky stem slowly sucking its cool liquid.   

I’m thirsty.  I’m jealous of the flower. 

The most beautiful flower in existence, its oil is worth its weight in gold.  Nobility in cultures spanning the globe valued tiny vials of it.  Princesses soaked in ornate baths strewn with fragrant petals.   I try to swallow but my throat is still parched.  My nails are still dragging across the vase, making me think of black sand.  But my finger pads bear no tiny midnight granules infiltrating the unique crevices of my flesh. 

My skin is dry. 

Up and down up and down and the wind groans against the window beside me.  I refuse to look at the rose.  Maintaining a dead stare ahead, my arm a failing ninety degree angle as my fingers refuse to stop their wind calling rhythm. 

Great beauties all have secrets.  Sprits their faces with rose water in the morning.  Put rose oil in your bath.   Put rose oil behind your ears, it will give you confidence. 

Wake up and smell the roses.  Hold the stem between your teeth while he twirls your body around a wooden dance floor.   Toss the bouquet to the next lucky woman.  Candy the petals, sprinkle their delicate fragrant parts in sugar.  Put them on a cake that would take renowned experts hours to create.  Consume their beauty. 

Become them. 

‘I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden…’  I start to sing softly.

I want the water.  I want to drink the water and bathe in a tub of rose water laced with rose oil.  I want pretty pink petals to float past me.  I still won’t look at the flower.  I’m so damned thirsty.  I shake my head in refusal. 

My eyelids flutter, gaze rolling back into my head.   I don’t want to groan so instead my breaths come in gasps, further drying my throat.  My desperate voice creeps out against my will and I sing the tune again. 

‘I beg your pardon….’ 

My weak, dwindling will.  My fading desire.  My dying beauty. 

I stand, humming and grab the rose by its head.  I crush the petals until I smell the fragrant aroma and know it’s staining my hand.

Laying the broken bloom on the table I grab the vase.   It’s awkward on my lips but gulping the rose water is easy.  I drain it and set the empty vessel back down, putting the crushed rose back inside. 

But the rose isn’t crushed.  It’s still vibrant, still beautiful.  Like it’s just bloomed and been cut from the garden. 

Then the door opens and my love enters along with the wind I called.  It carried him to me.  He’s holding a bouquet of blood red roses.   His smile fades a little when he sees me.  As if he doesn’t recognize me. 

It takes no time to reach him.  I’m so refreshed by the rose water.   

I think I will have a special rose oil bath later. 

My fangs pierce his neck like thorns.  But they go much deeper and I drink.  He struggles but I won’t let him deny me this.  This feels so much better, like a rare tonic.  His salty rich red energy fills me and I grunt against him with satisfaction. 

Forget diamonds, forget chocolate, this is what I needed. 

I look deep into his fading eyes and helpfully place a stem between his teeth.

‘They’re beautiful.’  I kiss his damp cheek. 

He’s still alive when I take the roses and leave. 

 

 

By jmnauthor3000

Stare

 

Ian walked into the bathroom, regretting not putting on slippers.

Yesterday, he’d encountered a massive black spider in here.

What if it crawls over my feet?

He ignored the chill on his feet and checked himself out in the mirror, instantly comforted.

Ian smirked at his reflection, running his left hand through floppy blonde hair.  Happy that he didn’t have any dark circles beneath his eyes, even in the unflattering fluorescent light, he still looked good.

Handsome devil.                              

Ian suddenly jerked his arm in reaction to a tickling sensation and heard a squeak.

Do spiders make noise?

Ian’s breaths became rapid, his chest puffing at an alarming pace he couldn’t control.

In out in out in out…slower Ian breathe slower

Whatever it was wasn’t letting go of his hand but it wasn’t biting either.

He’d abandoned his reflection and backed away from the sink to the middle of the bathroom.

Spindly, curved black fingers made him think spider!…but this was something else.

Chest still heaving he turned his hand over slowly.

Can’t startle a poisonous animal attached to you…something about that

‘I’m not poisonous.’

Ian cursed and the tiny yellow eyes widened.

‘Wha wha whaaaaat’ his voice wouldn’t elevate above a terrified whisper and his tongue refused to cooperate.

‘Get your breathing under control, Ian.’  The creature’s gruff, demonic voice didn’t match its size.

Coarse black hairs sparsely covered the thin grey skin of the…whatever it was.

It was ugly. 

‘I’m your fear’ its tone was mocking and superior.

‘I’m afraid of spiders.’

‘You don’t know what I am.’ It replied.

At any moment, it was going to strike.  Bite him, something.

‘You don’t know what I want.’  Again the base voice spoke with a superior, mocking tone.

‘Ah!’  Ian decided that any potential pain or even death would be worth it and began to violently shake his right hand.

It didn’t move, only dug its dull claws deeper.

Ian stopped.  He drew breaths yet it was as though the oxygen had been siphoned from the air.

Staring into its yellow eyes, the thing’s gaze was as though it too was terrified.

Ian fell to his knees.

Again the voice came out of its snout, completely at odds with its vulnerable, diminutive appearance.

‘You are frightened of being ugly, aren’t you?’

When the bright yellow eyes widened, oxygen permeated the air again.

Only it was like ice in his throat.

Hideous.  Ridiculous.  You don’t even know what it I am.  You wouldn’t even look me up I bet.

Some think I’m cute.

Handsome devil.

Ian’s internal voice was still his own, but was saying things he hadn’t sanctioned.

Delicate bones started to move, back and forth. Tiny joints shifting in a strange dance

The tiles beneath Ian’s knees were freezing.  He needed to get up but it was impossible, one handed.

I am going to melt you.

A sound like a whoopee cushion being sat upon filled the room.

The yellow eyes popped out like buttons and the pee wee sized bones evaporated.

Mini dumbo ears and grey skin sagged onto Ian’s palm.

Like a macabre deflated balloon, it slipped off his hand onto the floor.

Ian picked it up, unable to find the eyes.

No wiry hairs, no snout or blood or any evidence of a living thing.  No tiny teeth or claws.

‘Ah!’ Ian shouted

His palm stung as though shaved glass injected his hand.

Ian grimaced, expecting to find bleeding flesh, but it was unbroken.

Ian’s gaze narrowed as his skin…moved

Like some tiny animal rolled over beneath it.

Ian looked into the mirror and shouted in a voice that wasn’t his.

It was making fun of him.

Yellow eyes stared back.

They were his now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By jmnauthor3000

Magic

 

A luminous shower of undeserved magic

Land on skin

Seep into pores

Deep into the soul

No escape

Wincing, belly clutching

Trying not to look

Trying not to feel

Hidden

Frightened by the knowing gaze

Of discovery

Slow panic

Threats of throttling

By invisible hands

Unknowing

Overcome

Blessed without innocence

Unglamorous sin

Seen by Angels

Ashamed

Vibrant, luscious fruit

Without appeal

Desperate to tempt

The blood in the Moon

Close, so close

Brazenly exposed

Poised to rain down

With neither guilt nor malice

 

By jmnauthor3000