Sunday Writing Prompt: Poem – Prose-Poetry – “Orreries and Moonscapes” #amwritingprosepoetry #SundayWritingPrompt #MLMM


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the Sunday Writing Prompt. From the choice of terms I’ve chosen the words: orrery (solar system model) & Divan (sofa without end), Alice blue (color), Eucalyptus (scent), circle (shape), photograph (item in purse/wallet).


Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie


“Hope in the Air”


She traced the gold paint bitter,

It gleamed as didn’t dirty pennies.

Her measly sum was but a crumb,

And she had risked it for a piece of man-scum.

She returned, here, always — never too far;

Her childhood land of faeries; her home.

She approached the library orrery,

Spinning the sun’s gleaming gold orb.

A sigh escaped her diva-dream lips; she bit them.

Don’t let a woman fool you,

Scarlet lips, they never stay put,

The lipstick travels, blips.

But, masks blood if you chew them;

If you forget the earth’s relation to the sun,

Your relation to reality.

So, she dreamed adrift,

In knotted flannel shirt and skinnies;

Stroking grandma’s velvet Divan,

As if she could fashionably faint.

As if she could divine meaning, stroking Alice-Blue upholstery;

In cup of tea tumbled, crushed nearby;

China splinters dust, fancy tea spilled.

Some relief in eucalyptus leafs soothing;

She can, finally, breathe in her favorite tea;

Nose no longer useless.

She flips off patined-ruby shoes;

Kitten heals meowing, released.

Wiggling her toes painted with satin-ribbon;

Bemoaning her lost love, traitor, worthless, and without guile.

“I never would have done what you did to me,

To anyone, not ever.”

Last words she thinks, but never hurled.

Her Alice-Blue eyes darken,

Trace the doors golden pattern;

Images she modernized, decor, and memory intertwined.

Turquoise-tranquil dreams as her head burrows in velvet;

Arm thrust over head, maiden helpless — but she’s not.

The Orrery still twirling in a circle as —

Red-herring anger flashes.

Red-lips torn, pain to forget frustration,

Tears as a Phoenix waiting to burn, to discover renewal.

And not enough fresh air in the room,

Library dust, mildew, overpower eucalyptus.

She peers at her gram’s patined heals cherished,

They’ve escaped bone-China chips;

Their antiquity safe on Robin’s-egg plush carpet.

A peculiar aroma, dust, eucalyptus, book spines, horse-glue;

Ancient editions, thrown away,

In her family the women restored; she does to this day.

Yet, the photographs of history split her childhood dreams,

Summers here, years of tea parties, and creamy-egg-salad sandwiches.

Wuthering Heights, The Moonstone,

Peter Pan, and The Sun Also Rises;

Scattered between old-editions, photo-albums,

Pictures, preserved photographs; her addition to family history.

Saving literature, pictures, from sunlight, and tears;

She lies back, stretches and dreams,

Alice in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables,

The Yearling, and Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes.

She’s humming a tune,

“There’s hope in the air,

There’s hope it the water,

Not even for me. . .”

Until she yanks out her wallet,

Throws out two twenties;

Penniless, but beyond rich with orreries and moonscapes.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

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First Line Friday: Fiction – Stenham House #amwriting #fiction #FLF


Thanks to Dylan of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s FLF.

——-

Credit: http://bigproof.ru

——

“Stenham house was an ancient locked thing and nothing returned there except for crows.” 

Lost in the forest Marybeth was charmed by the crumbling facade of the ancient mansion. She wondered what the house looked like on the inside as she slipped through the rungs of a creaky black gate.

“What’r you doin’ here, Marybeth?” her older brother Winston cried, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her.

“Mom’s worried. Said you’d been out so long she was ‘fraid you were lost in the woods for good. You know you’re too young to be out here alone.”

“What’s in there?” Marybeth asked Winston pointing to Stenham house. 

” You don’t want ta go there, ” Winston said matter-of-factly. “Tommy Johnson went in there and never came out the same. He’s a touched now.”

“Well he still lives in the neighborhood,” Marybeth argued. “I see him at school. He doesn’t play with the other kids much but sits in a corner and reads. There’s nothing wrong with that. What happened in that house?”

Winston shook his head, “You’ll have nightmares Marybeth, I can’t tell you. Mom’ll kill me.”

“S’okay I’m a big girl now. I’m seven. I can handle it.”

Winston sighed,”They say a family was murdered there. An axe murder came in and hacked them all to pieces. Grandma, Grandpa, the parents, and worst of all the children. There were four of them and the oldest was eleven.”

Marybeth gasped, “That’s bad. I saw the curtains moving I think someone still lives there.”

“There was a fifth child, he was a tot. The nanny hid him but was butchered herself. Even though the little guy was adopted, he always woke up with nightmares about the murder, even as an adult,” Winston whispered. 

” He lives there now, I think.” 

“He decide to live there when he ‘came  an adult. It was the only way he could face his demons. That’s what Aunt Sally told me.”

“Does Aunt Sally know him?”

“Yeah, they were in the same grade.”

Suddenly the front door to the delapitated house flew upon. Winston and Marybeth saw a gaunt middle aged man standing at the entrance. He motioned them over but then the crows began to fly and circle around the children, diving at them and pecking them when they tried to reach out to the man. 

Marybeth screamed batting at crows as she ran all the way back home to the safety of her mother’s arms. Winston followed his sister, his screams even more terrified. 

He swore to his sister, later, he saw the man at the door to Stenham mansion disappear into thin air. Marybeth believed him and decided to stay away from Stenhem house until she was older and wiser. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.  

Sunday Photo Fiction: ‘All Hope Abandon Ye Who Enter Here’ #amwriting #flashfiction #Dante #TheInferno


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.

——–

Credit: A Mixed Bag – Alistair Forbes

——–

“THROUGH me you pass into the city of woe: Through me you pass into eternal pain: Through me among the people lost for aye. Justice the founder of my fabric moved: To rear me was the task of Power divine, Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love. Before me things create were none, save things Eternal, and eternal I endure. All hope abandon, ye who enter here.” –  The Divine Comedy, The Inferno (Canto III. Lines 1 -9). 

——-

“Abandon all hope? How can this be right?  I didn’t kill anyone and I was no pervert. I stood for my political office. I did what I had to do,” Ker said. 

“How do you know it was the right cause?” 

“Well, I just do.”

“What about those you hurt along the way? Your wife, Meredith, who now rests in Heaven’s fold? You’re here at the gates of Hell at the river Acheron for a reason,” the wise Charon told Ker. 

“I didn’t mean to hurt her, to use her to get where I needed to go. I loved her, but I didn’t mean to leave her. I prayed and I apologized. I admitted my sins to a priest in confession. Yet, here I am in Hell at the Traitors’ Gate, why here?”

Charon sighed and whisked the regretful Ker’s soul into the boat. “I wonder Ker, where Midas will send you? Will you be in the eighth circle as a corrupt politician or the ninth circle for being a traitor to your wife, to your family? Will you spend eternity ‘a Judas?'”

Ker shook his head, “This is nothing but a dream. Dante’s Inferno does not exist. I won’t abandon hope, I won’t. Meredith is not dead and I’m not really here.”

“But you did stop hoping and you’re a traitor so now you face the Traitors’ Gates. You are one of them and that’s why this gate is where you will enter into the ninth circle of Hell.”

“What?! I’m so sorry, I mean it. I repent. I’ll do better and change my ways. Tell me this is just a dream, let me have another chance.”

Charon chuckled and shook his head wearily.”It seems someone up high is fighting for your soul, Ker, I don’t why because your soul is pitch black. Yet, you will have another chance. Remember you won’t get another.”

—–

Ker awakes suddenly whispering pleading prayers in words of Latin and Ancient Greek. He doesn’t know why he understands these prayers to God, but he does. Ker attempts to pick up his smartphone nearby but feels terrible pain whenever he moves. 

Then, his beautiful Meredith walks in the hospital room door. “Meredith? I thought you were dead. That you would never speak to me again. I thought you were in Heaven and I was in Hell, I dreamt it.”

Meredith smiled at Ker with love despite how he had treated her recently: “Who do you think asked God to give you a second chance? I gave up eternity for a later time, hoping you will be there with when I return. Now you must fulfill your promises made in front of Charon.”

“So, can you change, Ker? Can you stop being a traitor and fight for ‘the good’ in this world? Can you fight for me, for us, for our family?” Meredith asked. 

Ker was just grateful to be alive. He swore to do better in life, in love, and he did. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

20. How Was Last Night For You: John’s Confrontation with Talise


Please read Chapter 19 here.

Chapter 20: John’s Confrontation with Talise.

John carefully crept along the beach to Talise’s cave, concealed by more stone edifices, until he reached the shrouded entrance. Thoughts of the past week’s nightmares were fresh in John’s mind. He shouldn’t have thought about his dreams. The fact that John’s nightmares could be a glimpse of reality, weighed heavy on his mind. However, John knew he was of no benefit to Nina or himself, trapped in the tendrils of his recent dreams.

John slowly crept into the cave. He couldn’t see anything and had no choice but to turn on his flashlight. He pushed buttons blindly with his thumb until a portion of the cave was revealed in a circle of light. John was relieved when there appeared to be no one in the cave. Talise wasn’t here tonight.

John circled the cave, tensely gripping the flashlight. He was searching for any unusual items Talise might have hidden in the cave. Perhaps a magic orb such as the one Nina’s soul was enclosed in, in John’s nightmare. But there was no sphere or dagger concealed in the cave. Not that John could see much in relative blackness, with only the small circular light of his flashlight.

Instantly, John felt his spine tingle in fear. He spotted a smoldering fire, recently extinguished by the caves entrance and he froze. A small arm encircled his body and cold lips kissed his neck. Heinous laughter filled John’s ears and the cave was cast in brilliant light, much stronger than the flashlight provided.

John turned around into blinding light to find Talise standing behind him. She had dark purple stains beneath her eyes and she seemed to have aged. There were strands of white throughout her blond mane; however, she still held a compelling and terrible beauty.

Talise looked up at John and smiled wickedly. John perceived that the old Tia, the girl he once knew, had disappeared. The seawitch that stood before him was someone else entirely. A dark and desperate creature.

“So you remembered where my cave was, did you John?” Talise asked. Her voice was harsh and gravelly; she snickered at John.”Why would you come here John?” Talise asked. “This is my place. My haven from the world. Why invade my personal space, unless you are looking for something…” Talise laughed again, a cruel sound.

” I was looking for you Talise,” John said raising his voice to be heard in the cave. “We need to settle this. You need to uncurse me. I’ve suffered as you wished for nearly ten-years Talise, isn’t that enough for you?” John pleaded with Talise. She simply smiled, an infuriating smile.

“No John, ten-years of suffering is only the beginning for you…” Talise said spitefully.

“I never meant to hurt you Tia,” John reasoned.”I was twenty-five-years-old and I’m not akin to a mermaid or a sea witch. I didn’t have years of experience behind me. I should have told my brothers, my family, how I actually felt about you. I loved you Tia. You were my first love.” John admitted.

“First love, eh?” Talise cackled, “but not your only love. You were never committed enough in our relationship John. You were too busy building Mergers. You never truly loved me; otherwise, we would’ve been married. Anything to do with ‘us,’ was never your main focus. You are worse then Ethan was…” Tia muttered, half to herself.

” Who’s Ethan?” John asked.

“In the Victorian Age, Ethan was my husband. We couldn’t have any children because I’m unable to have children. When Ethan died, my two nephews (who were as sons to us) told me Ethan had been having an affair with another woman, for many years of our marriage.” Talise said, tears brimming in her bloodshot eyes.

“They said….my nephews said, Ethan didn’t love his mistress. He only wanted a lineage, children who had his blood. He had eight children with his mistress bitch…I loved him more than I loved anyone. . .” Sorrow laced Talise’s voice.

“I couldn’t do anything to Ethan because he was dead, even his mistress was dead. I have a great deal of vengeance to wreak John. You will pay for your own sins, you will pay for Nina’s stupidity, and you will pay for Ethan’s affair because he isn’t alive to pay.” Talise shouted.

John was appalled by Talise’s hatred.” Nina or I, have no control or fault over what Ethan chose to do over one-hundred-years-ago. We weren’t alive then. Stay away from Nina, Talise. Touch her and you’ll regret it.” John grated and Talise cackled.

“I wanted you to be with me John. I was going to appear to you and tell you ten-years anguish under my curse was enough. You were supposed to take me back and love me again. I imagined we could have a life together. We could’ve adopted children, as Ethan and I adopted his nephews. But, Nina . . . she worked her way into your heart. You love her, I can see it in your eyes when you tell me to stay away from her.” Talise raged, perplexed.

” Because you love Nina, I’m going to stab her with this . . .” Talise said picking up a thin particularly, sharp dagger.” I received this dagger from a friend who was retiring,” Talise murmured smiling murderously.” Well, actually I killed her. She was an old seawitch, at the end of a terrible dark reign. It was my turn to embrace my darkness, to be the most feared seawitch in the Sirene. I traded my soul for this John, and you’ll never find my soul. It was taken from me by the dark powers that be.” Talise said a crazed laugh escaping her throat.

John looked at the dagger Talise held in her hand. It was tarnished silver with red jewels on the hilt, it looked dangerous. Talise grasped the dagger in her small hands, hands that had appeared to have aged too. There were tiny wrinkles and visible blue veins, on the skin of Talise’s hands. In the harsh light, John could see wrinkles around Talise’s eyes and mouth. Part of her youth was a price Talise had paid to become a demonic seawitch, John thought.

“Please,” John begged Talise.” I will do whatever you want Tia. Just leave Nina out of our feud. I should’ve kept away from her, I understand that now. But Talise, you and I can still be together. We can have a lifetime together such as you and Ethan had. I will always be faithful to you. I won’t hurt you like I did before, or like Ethan did.” John said softly, cajolingly. He watched as a tiny smile appear on Talise’s lips, bringing back an echo of her youthful glow. But then Talise opened her mouth and laughed, a crazed unstable sound.

“Nice try John,” Talise uttered darkly. “But it’s too late for our ‘happily ever after.’ I told you Nina’s heart or yours .  .  and you didn’t decide which heart you wanted to give-up. But I know you love Nina, so I know you cannot give me your heart freely. And it’s too late for me because I’ve made my choice. I’ve turned…dark and now I’m going to thrust this dagger through Nina’s heart, and I’m going to take her soul.” Talise said chillingly. She sounded disgustingly cheerful about her decision. “Don’t worry John I’ll be back for your heart. I have special plans for you…”

John’s mind raced back to the nightmares he had been thinking about before entering Talise’s secret cave. He had been right, to his horror, the nightmares were a forebodence to what could happen to Nina and John. John’s nightmare was coming true. He should’ve known before coming here, he knew his dreams could be premonitions of terrible events.

John watched Talise closely, waiting for a moment when he could attack her and steal the dagger. He pictured ramming the dagger through Talise’s demonic heart. At the same time, he felt a twinge of guilt. It made John sad to think about the girl, Tia. But now John had to think about the woman he loved forever. He chose Nina over Talise, he always would.

“I know your plans Tia because I have dreamt about them. You want to bewitch me so I have no free will. You want to force me to watch as you murder Nina.” John said, watching Talise and waiting for the right moment. Talise looked surprised at John’s admission.

“I’ve never given you any nightmares John, except for the one where I asked you to choose Nina’s heart or your own. Your dreams are a sign of your own guilt, your imagination running wild. You’re at fault for the position you and Nina are in. Now it’s too late.” Talise yelled turning to face the crystal mirror on the cave wall as it came to life like a television screen. To his amazement, John could see Nina, home at her condo. She was waving goodbye to Rianne. His body tensed, Nina wasn’t safe alone.

“Here John,” Talise said. ” You can watch me bewitch Nina in the looking glass.Watch me take Nina out to the Sirene and thrust my dagger through her heart. No one will find her body. I’ll bring you back her soul when I come to take your heart, to take your free will. Just as in your dream . . . I’m coming for Nina and there is nothing you can do to stop me John.”

Talise closed her clouded green eyes and began to chant a spell, holding the dagger between her hands, as if she were praying to the devil. John seized the moment to jump Talise and wrestle the dagger from her hands. Talise screamed as John fought her. As in his dreams, Talise was abnormally physically strong.

John’s hands grasped the hilt of the dagger after several minutes struggling. He finally, threw Talise to the ground. She had stopped chanting and was fighting John’s hold on the dagger in earnest on her knees. Talise grasped the edge of dagger’s hilt. But John’s grip was stronger, he was too determined to keep the dagger.

Talise’s eyes filled with loathing and fear as John thrust the dagger at her chest.Talise rolled away and  John stabbed Talise in the arm and stumbled. He watched dirty red blood flow from her wound. A filmy red mess stained the floor of the cave, visible in the bright light Talise had first cast.

“Arggg….” Talise shouted. She chanted words under her breath quickly. The wound healed slightly, but still bled. “I’m going to kill Nina,” Talise remarked coldly, her voice weaker. “I can still drown her, even if I can’t stab her heart or take her soul.” She cackled with glee.

Talise fled the cave and John tried to follow her, but an invisible magical force stopped him. Tia looked back at John and she smiled, an evil gleam in her dull green eyes. “This will hold you, John. The spell will last long enough for me to drown Nina.” Talise said darkly.

“Remember to watch the looking glass John, watch me kill the woman you love.” Then Talise was gone and John heard nothing but strange echoes in the cave until he heard the engine of the motor boat purring.

John swore and pushed against the magical shield, multiple times, and he couldn’t break through the magic. He had the dagger, but Talise would be at Nina’s condo soon. John had no phone signal in the cave and he wanted to kick himself for his own stupidity.

He shouldn’t have come here alone. John should have brought Jordan with him when he borrowed Jordan’s motor boat. John yelled helplessly, letting off some of his frustration. He turned around to punch the cave wall, and the looking glass crackled and shattered beneath his fist which had struck it dead centre.

John watched in awe as the crystal mirror splintered into hundreds of pieces. He saw the magic field at the cave entrance shimmering purple. To John’s surprise, he was able to dive out of the cave into the sand. His hand hurt awfully and was bleeding, cut in several places from the broken looking glass crystals.John didn’t have time to access and care for his wound. He needed to swim quickly if he had any hope of reaching Nina and hindering Talise’s threat.

In the back of his mind, John thought he might be able to finally break the curse and save Nina. He would sacrifice his life for Nina’s. It didn’t matter much to John if he survived, unless he could spend his life with her. His ray of hope, his favourite lazy Sunday afternoon with popcorn and Netflix.

What mattered most to John was Nina’s survival. There was a painful uneasy feeling in John’s stomach. It made him think he might already be too late. He concentrated on his hand which stung terribly as he swam in the Sirene, hoping to reach the shore fast.

Please Read Chapter 21 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Nonets –  “Changing Direction.” 


Variety is amusing when you,

Search tirelessly for new,

Finding what you wanted,

Was with you the whole —

Time, you discovered,

The latest,

Was old —

You.

——-

Significant realization,

You existed in my pocket,

Conversing hours with you,

Randomly circle,

Do this each week,

Running far,

Direction,

Change.

——

Warmth and laughter, ice cold chiseled,

Eyes reflecting, a mirror you see,

Attracting what I give,

Start reflecting more light,

Growth, absorption.

Live something new.

Attracting,

Someone, 

Through.

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.