My distorted words
Lead to your aborted lust
And icy rejection turns
My sad skin
And weary bones
My distorted words
Lead to your aborted lust
And icy rejection turns
My sad skin
And weary bones
Midnight always leaves a mark
Mouth going 60, brain in park
Take his hand, take a chance
Pretend you ever learned to dance
Overreact, push him away
Pull him back because you want him to pay
Twirl your hair, tug at your dress
Fake a smile though your makeup’s a mess
Bass is thumping but it’s all too loud
Surrounded by bodies but alone in a crowd
Shedding eyelashes like tears
Some on the table, some in the beers
Swear off drinking, swear off men
Knowing well you’ll do it again
Fall in love every Saturday night
Fall back out when the lights aren’t so bright
My poor stomach churns
As I listen to the dead
Man in my closet.
The land was barren
The sky was black
Once again my vulnerable mind
Had fallen under attack
Leading his powerful army
Over the hill with a shout
Came the commanding General
He’s ready for the battle
And armed to the hilt
With Second-Guessing, Self-Hatred
Mistakes I’ve Made, and Guilt
A little behind the General
Is someone I’ve already met
And I have no defense against
The weapons of Colonel Regret
As each arrow strikes me
The what-ifs flood my mind
That boy I should have talked to
The times I should have been kind
My defenses are already down
So who next could it be
But the one who eats away at my soul
She tells me I’ll never be good enough
And I cover my ears but still hear
About my flaws and weaknesses
My embarrassment and fear
Near the back of the group
Looking positively manic
The one who leaves me out of control
Of course it’s Sergeant Panic
I feel my stomach clenching
My pulse races, my palms burn
I could have maybe fought the others
But this one will have his turn
Bringing up the rear, the last soldier
Comes up slowly, almost at a crawl
Though he doesn’t look that dangerous
Private Memory’s the worst of them all
He seeps into my broken brain
Showing me what I’ll never have again
The faces are blurry, the voices fuzzy
A painful montage of “way back when”
So I wait it out, like I always do
And beg them to be on their way
I’ll live to fight the Army
Of Anxiety another day
A cacophony of shadows, and all I feel is fear.
Our village lives in terror of the Night Shadow, the supernatural being who supposedly decides which townspeople live and die. As a means of warding off death, the village chooses one young woman a year to give to the Shadow in marriage. They always make the sacrifice during a full moon in March.
I’ve known since I was old enough to understand the stories that my name would eventually be called, and yesterday it was.
Tonight I stand in the middle of a forest, with my arms tied to a rope wrapped around the tree. This is where the villagers leave the girl every year. In the morning, when they come back, the rope is always cut, and the young woman is always gone. None have ever returned.
I don’t know what happens to them – no one does – but we all assume the same thing: The Night Shadow accepts the village’s sacrifice and kills the girl.
Through the treetops, I see clouds moving to cover the full moon. Instinctively, I know I’ll see the Shadow soon.
I hear no noises; shadows are always silent. But a change in air pressure assures me that he’s close. I spent all of last night awake, wondering what I would say to him and how I could best plead for my life. But now that the moment is here, all I know is that I won’t die whimpering or begging, as the previous girls assuredly did.
“Hello, husband,” I say, trying to sound amused.
The breeze pushes my hair into my face, and I blow it away.
“I was beginning to wonder if you’d had a change of heart. Cold feet and all that.” I focus on a tree a few feet away, looking for the shadow in my peripheral vision without being obvious. I think I hear the slightest laugh, but it could be branches moving.
“I really don’t remember accepting your proposal,” I continue, “but I suppose I must have. Congratulations to us both.”
I feel something brush my neck, and tell myself it’s the wind.
“I really can’t wait to meet your family,” I say. “Are they quiet types, like yourself?”
I feel him behind me, and I notice the moon has now cast a second shadow on the ground by mine. I shiver when he speaks.
“Beg,” he whispers.
I should. I know I should. But I don’t.
“No,” I reply.
“Do it,” he presses on.
I close my eyes. “I won’t beg. Ever. Kill me or set me free, but I will never beg.”
I listen for a response, eyes still closed.
I feel a release of tension in my wrists. The rope has been cut.
“Will you beg?” he asks one last time, mouth inches away.
“I will not.” I don’t look at him.
“Maybe next year,” he breathes.
And he’s gone.
I’ll be here when the villagers return in the morning.
Hey, you. And you. And even you.
I’ve gotten behind on some of my Writing Wednesdays, so I’ve decided to aim for every other Wednesday. (Set the bar low, friends.) I’ll talk a little bit in these posts about where I am in my writing, maybe share some excerpts, or give you some tips I’ve picked up on.
In today’s post I wanted to share news about my short story, Seeking Spirits. I’ve finally completed/edited it, and my plan right now is to release it digitally on Amazon on New Year’s Day. Right now Seeking Spirits: A Paranormal Short Story is sitting at 11,500 words and I’ll be selling it for 99 cents. I can’t wait to finally get my writing on Amazon and to hear what you all think of it. 🙂 Here’s my blurb about the story:
Elizabeth Harding contacts the crew of cable TV’s smash hit ghost-hunting show, Seeking Sprits. She has a major problem with her new house – it seems to be haunted by a jealous, territorial male spirit who won’t let her entertain any male guests. The crew heads to her house to shoot an episode, expecting to hear maybe a few bumps in the night and see a shadow or two. What they don’t expect is to be locked in overnight with an angry, vengeful spirit who doesn’t like even one male visitor, let alone four.
Alsooooo, here is the intro section:
She peeked through her living room blinds and saw the huge van sitting in her driveway. She watched four men pile out of the vehicle, stretch, laugh, and push each other around, then open the back of the van to start unloading equipment.
Elizabeth closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and opened her front door, letting the four men into her house, and into what had recently become her nightmare.
Make sure to follow me on social media for updates about when my story will be available for purchase!
I’m also in the process of working on two other short stories (one is supernatural, the other is about a psychotic truck stop waitress), and those will be available on Amazon as well, although I haven’t decided if they’ll be sold separately or as part of a short story collection. Exciting stuff!
Speaking of exciting, this month I saw my name in Writer’s Digest for the first time. (Yes, I said first time. I’m an optimist. That glass is freaking full, people.)
Lastly, I’ll be sending my query letter (and hopefully manuscript) to agents early in the coming year. Send good thoughts and prayers my way, por favor! I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the heck out of the season. 🙂
She is a painting.
She rests by day in a frame. Four walls and four corners.
From 10-6, every day, she is stillness itself.
Everyone eventually leaves, but she sits for another hour, just to be sure.
Finally, when darkness falls and street lights glow, she knows it’s safe.
And she’s free.
She leaves her perch and roams all night.
Her favorites are the landscapes. She walks sunny trails and snowy hillsides, smells roses and wishes upon stars.
She stares at bowls of fruit in the still life section, waiting for something to move. It doesn’t.
Colors surround her in the abstract room. She doesn’t know what any of it means but it makes her pulse race.
The black and white photography always makes her sad, although she doesn’t know why. The pictures of soldiers make her miss someone.
As the sun rises in the real world, she rushes through self-portraits to return to her perch.
And by the time the gallery opens, she is a painting.
Then she’ll be free once more.
No flowers will ever be as pretty as the ones from your childhood.
Grass will never smell as strong as the grass you rolled in as a kid.
Have you ever found honeysuckle that smelled as sweet as the kind you found at nine years old?
When you think of the smell of a rose, you don’t think of the rose you smelled this summer. You’re remembering the dark pink bush from your grandfather’s garden.
Autumn smells wonderful these days…but nothing like it smelled in your parents’ back yard.
And you’ve never found a butterfly as beautiful as the one you chased when you were seven.
Has the world gotten less beautiful and vibrant?
Or have your senses just gotten older?
You know the feeling.
You walk outside right before a storm. The air is warm – almost stuffy – and tense. Something needs a release, and time is running out.
There’s heat, sure – but is it the good kind? Or is it suffocating?
Thunder rolls in the distance, and you know it won’t be long now.
Just a few more humid breaths.
And then –
What I’m saying, dear, is you’re the storm.
And I don’t know what’s worse.
This bloated moment as I wait for you to rumble through.
Or watching you break.
Riddle me this, Batman. (If you’re actually Batman, then I’m beyond stoked that you’re here. Big fan.) How is it that one individual can write over 50,000 words in 29 days, and then barely 2,000 in the 3 months that follow?
Please tell me I’m the only person whose writing hit the skids when November ended.
Oh, NaNoWriMo. You were delightful. Why did you have to end?
I’ve still been editing my novel a little, mind you. And I’ve written quite a bit of poetry, several short stories, and blog posts (obviously). But from the end of November to the end of February, my manuscript’s word count total moved from 50,000 to barely 52,000.
I’ve finally pinpointed two issues that I can blame for my writing coming to a halt, and I’ll be spending this month and the entirety of Spring (and Summer?) working around them.
1) Television is the devil. I mean, it’s fantastic. But still, very much the devil. Why (why?!) have I gotten so invested in these TV shows? Why did I have to start watching that delightful series Cops? Why is Netflix the greatest thing ever invented? My nights pretty much feel empty if I haven’t watched a few episodes of The Office or Family Guy. And I don’t necessarily think that having favorite television shows is a horrible thing – I love writing in all art forms, and relaxing is great for your mental health. But the TV time definitely has to be limited, and that’s something I’m starting to work on, especially since I’ve realized that I CANNOT write and watch TV at the same time. Nope. not working.
2) Some people *raises hand* NEED a deadline. Yep, I’m that person. I love structure, I like rules, and I keep a list for daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, etc. I was the college student who had homework done days before it was due, I did all the bonus work the professors assigned, and any test score less than 95 seemed like failure to me. So yes, I LOVE deadlines. I love feeling like I’ve reached a goal. And it thrills me to think that I’ve finished something ahead of schedule. Seriously, friends, NaNoWriMo was custom made for me. So I’ve decided I’m going to start giving myself new deadlines. Word counts each day, page totals for the week, and so on. I’m also interested in Camp NaNoWriMo next month, but I don’t really know much about it yet. Anyway, the fact that I wrote 50k words in 4 weeks should be a pretty big testament to the fact that I do my best work under pressure.
Obviously a LOT more goes into writing, editing, and revising than just the two topics above. But I’ve noticed that watching television and working without a deadline are pretty much toxic as far as my productivity is concerned. If you have any tips for me and other people struggling with these issues, please share below!