I continue to toil

So that no enemy of mine

Lays before me

With a swing of my soul

I have removed

Almost all from my path

But there is one

Who I cannot defeat

No matter how hard I try

He laughs at my accomplishments

At my failures

For they are all dust in his eyes

And he knows all my secrets

All my fears and hopes

For he is me

So I swing, and I plead

But he remains

My enemy.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


In the morning I wake
and the pain is there to remind me
that I am broken
with no hope of escape

Simple things like picking up a glass
or cooking a meal
or even typing a passage
burn to the core

Nothing I can do to calm it
No painkiller removes it
nothing deadens its voice
as it screams its rage

Others have it worse
and I remind myself
but knowing that my walking days are numbered
chews away at the center of me

Ha, ha, ha, I laugh.
Nothing to see here
But the useless remnants
that continue to exist

Image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay

Hope, Love, Belief

Though I have experienced love
it is hard for me to believe in.
The horrors one commits to another
in the name of love
only reminds me of the hate I’ve known.

Is it that love, like faith,
requires hope?
And hope needs belief to thrive?
How do we deny the truth
that there is no hope?

Is belief the key?
Can hope grow within the belief
that it exists?
And within that faith?
And love?

Is it will that is needed?
To reshape your future
to be loved, to be needed
only requires focusing on hope?
Is it all a trick of the mind?

Can it be as simple as that?
Invest the will
to create the hope
and that will build the foundations of belief in love.
Is that all it is?

Image by ธนาชัย ปานกลาง from Pixabay

End of Things

How can this old-worldness be forever combined with such wide-eyed naivety?

How can the blackness in the human soul coexist with the bright wonder?

Gripped with the fore-knowledge that we will all burn yet still choose to believe these flames shall light our way out of darkness.

To understand the history of all things and still expect better.

To understand the choices made no matter how depraved.

Is this wonder? Is this hope?

What remains of my spirit battles with this essence and the dream survives daily. Should it?

I no longer know but I fight on and on until the end of things.

Image by Public Co from Pixabay

The Things in the Fold

She woke with a start, but the room was still blanketed in darkness.  The red glow of the clock blinked greedily into her left eye as it showed the dreaded 12:00.  Her eyes swiveled around her bedroom and some light bled in through the curtains from the streetlamps outside or maybe it was the moon.  There was an odd softness to the dimness and a coldness that felt… unnatural.

A loud clatter exploded into the quiet as something fell to the floor followed by the thump of small feet on carpet. 

“Mira?  Is that you?” she called out.

Silence answered until a strange hissing echoed from the other side of the room.  Her eyes tracked over as something darker than the walls slithered up and disappeared into the upper corner.

Her voice shook as she whispered, “Are you in here, Mira?”

A heavy lump fell from the ceiling and onto her chest.  The lump was moist and the eyes shone pale in the low light.  The lump moved a tiny bit closer to her and she recoiled when she realized what the matted lump was. 

A raspy voice slithered out of the mouth of her expired pet, “Alissss….  Alissss, are you in there?”

Alice was just able to make out a long, thin shadow that emanated from the spine of Dagobert and went up to the ceiling fan above.  The cold, dead eyes stared into hers.  She pulled the sheet to the brim of her nose and slammed her eyes shut. The raspy voice chuckled as she whispered a mantra out loud to dispel the nightmare.

“Alissss, you read from the book,” the voice grated.  “You called me, Alissss, and now I am here.”  The sound of scales writhing over each other fell toward her as her dead cat inched closer to her, “Are you in there, Alissss?”

Dagobert’s claws scratched at her face until one hooked into her lip.  She was paralyzed in fear as her mouth was pulled open.  She felt the whuffling of the feline’s stagnant breath blow across her face.

“You are so close, but you cannot hide from me, Alisss.  I can smell you inside that prison of meat.”

As claws bit into her gums, the… thing that wore the corpse of her pet as one wears an ill-fitting suit pried her mouth open.  She felt the dank fur brush against her lips as the head slipped within the confines of her jaws.  An appendage rougher than a cat’s tongue licked hers and a frightful vision sprung to her mind’s eye.

“There is a price to pay for using the book.  You cannot hide from it….”

Her eyes snapped open, and the book lay on the corner of the bed with its pages open.  Shimmering light rippled from the corners of her bedroom.  Sinuous shadows stretched outward as the chitinous clacking of insects grew louder.  “I didn’t know!  I didn’t understand!  I only wanted to know more!” 

Her voice quailed, “I had to know more…”  She looked away from the corners and realized that her pet cat was emptying its engorged contents down her throat.  As she choked, her eyes fluttered as she lost consciousness.

She awoke suddenly.  With a hastily sucked in breath, she pushed herself against the bedrest.  Sunlight shone through the windows and bathed the room in a warm glow and the only sound was her ragged breathing.  As she looked around, her eyes settled on the long shadows cast by the sun.  Everything looked normal, disturbingly normal.  “Maybe it was all a bad dream.”

She slid off the edge of her bed and felt the rug squish under her bare feet.  As she looked down, she spied the empty carcass of Mira half-hidden under the bed.  As she screamed, the dry rasp of scales echoed eerily in the bedroom and the shadows slithered around her.

“It was real… it was all real!”

There was a sudden pain in her stomach, and she folded over.  Her hands pressed against her belly and she could feel the sinuous flow beneath her skin.  The pain increased and she fell to her knees.  Pressure from inside of her body stretched out her ribs and a memory percolated to the surface, “There is a price…”

“Where is that damn book?  There must be a way!”  The rustle of pages stroked her mind and she spied it laying on the floor near the dead cat.  As the pain increased, she reached out for it and it leapt into her hands.  The words on the page shimmered as she struggled to read them out loud, “B, b, b, b.”  She giggled as her fingernails raked slivers of her flesh free from her arms. Suddenly, they became clear, “Burn it…  Burn it all.  And with the ash, the spell is broken.”

Mad laughter sprung to her lips as the book slammed shut.  She threw it into the fireplace and the half-burnt logs exploded into a blaze.  Her laughter grew more shrill as the flames licked the wallpaper and spread.  Once the ceiling caught, she could see the shadow creatures slither into the cracks and corners of her bedroom.  Madness bubbled to the surface and she swayed in flames and smoke as she repeated over and over, “… with the ash, the spell is broken.”

Once the fire was out and the braying of the sirens disappeared around the corner, a young boy spotted something amongst the burnt timber and the ash.  The corner of an old book poked up from the detritus.  Something about beckoned to him and curiosity finally bit him hard.  He slipped under the safety tape and watched in horrific fascination as his hand grasped the book and pulled it free.

The cover which he knew was made from human skin sweat with the sudden contact.  “Secrets…  Dreams…  Power…” whispered into his ear. 

An odd smile spread across the boy’s lips as he clutched the book to his chest.

Image by Данила Кривошеев from Pixabay

Cautionary Tales

Do you ever wonder at the creatures in the darkness?

Have you ever seen their eyes glint in the light from the stars?

Would you breathe in their scent as it wafts along with the wind?

Alone in the forest, can you feel their presence all around you?

They sense your shadows, smell your fears, and know your weaknesses.

For the fey are dark apparitions when they desire your blood…

If for no other reason than to stain their hats and teeth

while they savour your cries for help.

mage by Piotr Wompel from Pixabay

Cyclical Reflections

What is so pleasing to the soul as that which is round?

A wheel as it rolls its way on by?

A simple plate as it bears our vitality?

An umbrella as it shields us from the rain?

The effect of a dress as it fans its way out in dance?

A ring primed with promise as it encircles our finger?

A ball as it bounces or a cup that holds within its walls our joy?

Why does the round hold itself so close to our hearts?

Image by Sebastian Kopf from Pixabay