Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Wrapped Refrain – “Caged in the Keep”  #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Credit: Majestic Golden Rose

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My prison or my home? I shall, 

Never know what these empty halls —

Are; if they contain friend or foe, 

If they care about me, don’t know. 

Married off to a stranger, not unkind, not cruel, 

Not a friend, not yet a foe, stately and no one’s fool. 

——-

Behind these walls, a sullen keep, 

I’m kept, without sunlight’s relief.

My thoughts aren’t considered, nor my —

Opinions valued, I’m defied.

No special princess, just his highnesses wife kept, 

Safe from the world, from experience, trapped, bereft. 

——–

Where did childhood’s freedom go? 

Where are the green fields, wild flowers? 

I just want outside but then you’d, 

Never find me again, I’d far go —

Back to my father, to a life of freedom glad, 

My prison? Tigresses caged attack when mad. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

Photo Prompt: Fiction – Teegan’s Potion Part Two #amwriting #fiction #serial 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo challenge:

HERE’S PART ONE 

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Credit: SirLounge.com

 

Tallia anxiously glanced at Teegan who was asleep on her waiting area couch. She was sure Teegan would be angry at her for drugging his coffee, but Tallia didn’t feel she had a  choice. Something was off about Teegan and the darkness surrounding him and Tallia didn’t want to make his potion rashly; there could be dire consequences.

She had found one ingredient which was odd, scrawled off to the side of the ingredients and directions for the potion for Teegan in her Aunt Willow’s tome. Apparently, the potion required a giant gold fish. Tallia wasn’t sure why Teegan’s potion would require the gold fish, but it was something she would have to leave the store to buy.

Teegan had told her if he drank his potion the darkness surrounding him, the shadow that caused a sensitive magically inclined person such as Tallia to hurt and feel pain, would leave for a long time. How long was a long time? And how old was Teegan really? To her he looked about thirty-five.

If he was as old as she thought he might be, she knew he might understand the sleeping drought in his coffee, knowing Tallia as a magic shop owner, had to be wary if Teegan’s potion involved dark magic. Tallia had no way of knowing how long he would be asleep from the drought. She had tried calling Jude, the owner of The Black Coven magic store numerous times on his cell.

Jude must be having a brisk business at his store because he or his assistant, never picked-up the store phone either. Jude was about eighty-years-old as best as she could guess. But his family magic shop dated back to the Middle Ages. He had to know something about Teegan and the potion.

Tallia checked on Teegan one more time, she hoped he’d be out another two hours at least. She needed to leave the store buy the giant goldfish as well as visit Jude. Something inside her told Tallia it was vital she gathered as much information she could get on Teegan and his potion before she set about making it.


 

She drove her Vespa to The Black Coven first. It was located in an ancient, rundown part of town dating back to the 1400’s. But those who needed to visit Jude’s magic shop, knew how to find it. As Tallia’s own magic shop had been with Aunt Willow, Jude’s place was also a hole in the wall.

The streets were narrow here and Tallia knew her Vespa would be more inconspicuous, as well as, she would be able to travel down narrow streets she couldn’t maneuver with her car. There was a bit of parking lot a block down from The Black Coven. Tallia parked, leaving her Vespa in a parking space.

She walked down to the ancient magic shop, opening the creaky old wooden door and removed her side-bag. She had placed her Aunt’s great tome in her bag. She turned the book to the correct page, listing ingredients and directions to make Teegan’s potion in the script Tallia did not recognize.

Then she called out, “Hello Jude, are you there? It’s Tallia, Willow’s niece. I’m sure you felt me coming. Was there a reason you didn’t pick up the phone? Or have you guys been extremely busy today?”

Tallia received no answer. She gazed around the dusty store, it appeared empty.”Um, Jude’s assistant, Aspen, are you here? We’ve never meant, but last time I talked to Jude, he’d said he hired you to take over from him?”

Again Tallia received no reply. She walked around the magic shop. The Black Coven was a mishmash of magical items all stored on old stone and wooden shelves in no particular order or thought to design.

Powerful and dangerous items were among those items which were standard, and pretty harmless magical items. She saw crystal balls, different statues, and a wall with ingredients for potions and spells kept in jars.

She was shocked to see certain items used only for dark sorcery. These items frightened Tallia. She could sense there blackness in her mind. They were much worse than the darkness which followed Teegan — at least she thought so.


 

Jude had always been grandfatherly to Tallia. She had meant him many times as grew-up. He often had coffee with her Great-Aunt and Aunt. She wondered why he wasn’t answering her. Tallia walked up to the counter where a 1950’s cash register sat in dust. There was a bell and Tallia dinged it a few times.

Eventually, a man about the same age as Teegan came out. He looked Tallia over and before she could say anything he held up his hand.

“We knew you were coming Tallia. It’s alright. Jude hasn’t been well lately and he’s in the hospital. For his age, he has done well until now. It’s why he hired me to handle things. I’m one of his great-grandsons, I’m. . .”

“You’re Aspen. I know, Jude told me about you last time I saw him a few months ago. He attended my shop’s re-opening. I run Fairy Dust.”

“Yes, Jude told me about you. You rang his cell, but he has trouble talking right now my Aunt told me. He had a stroke. I’m sorry I was busy when you called out in here. From what I can glean from you, you’re dealing with some sort of darkness from a client and you need some advice,” Aspen said.

Tallia nodded, “Poor Jude, that’s awful. I’m sorry for your family.” She put the tome in front of Aspen and waited as he read and reread the potion procedure and ingredients.

“These seem to be pretty normal ingredients, except for the large goldfish. But maybe the potion requires it’s life force? I’m not sure what to tell you Tallia. What’s Teegan like?”

Tallia couldn’t help but blush thinking about Teegan.”He’s demanding but seems to be understanding enough. I thought he was about your age,  when he first came to my shop. I could feel the shadow emanating from him. It made me sick, especially when he came back the second time.”

“The second time?”

“Well I pretended I was sick the first day, even though he did give me a headache. I went home for the afternoon and I hoped he’d go somewhere else. But the next day he was back. He told me he was old. My Aunt and Great Aunt made him his potion before. He was able to stop me from feeling ill, from hurting me, by chanting a few words,” Tallia said.

“I’m not sure what I’m dealing with, will the potion truly make Teegan well? Will it make such evil leave him?”

Aspen was paying attention to Tallia’s words carefully. She noticed he was concentrating. He wasn’t bad looking himself. He had auburn hair and bright green eyes. He was tall but not as tall as Teegan. He was attractive but more in a nice guy way. Teegan was definitively what women would call a bad boy. 

“Well,” Aspen said,”I think your Teegan is cursed. That’s why he needs the potion, quite badly I’m afraid. You really should hurry back and make it for him. We’ve an extra goldfish around here somewhere, we must.”

“Cursed, cursed by what or whom?”

“It’s hard to say Tallia. Jude would know more I think. Even so I believe Teegan is much older than Jude by hundreds of years. I’ve heard whispers of Teegan. He must have done something terrible in the past would be my guess. Something awful enough to warrant being cursed to live so long and to require a potion.”

Tallia sighed, letting out her breath.

“I have a feeling if he doesn’t get this tonic, he’ll be a resistant foe to deal with Tallia. There’s a reason he takes it. I doubt he wants to be who he is when he’s dark. He wants to be normal and this potion allows him to be.”

“You know all this?” Tallia questioned. “How did you know?”

Aspen smiled mysteriously, “There’s things I’ve heard Tallia. Also, I can read through you, what you felt around Teegan. I can feel his presence too, so could Jude; he’s a powerful guy. Go back and make his potion quickly. He’ll be awake soon.”

“But . . .”

“Tallia, such as you and many other magically inclined people, I have a sixth-sense. That’s how I know these things.You have one too, although less developed. It’s telling you to go back to Fairy Dust and hurry.”

Her blue eyes became huge and Tallia nodded mutely. Aspen handed Tallia a bag with the giant goldfish.”On the house,” he said with a grin. She wondered how they had this giant goldfish just lying around. It wasn’t a typical magical ingredient.

Tallia called back to Aspen lightly,”Stop by come check-out my store some time; have coffee.” He walked her to the door and Tallia stuffed the tome back in her side bag.

“I’d like that,” Aspen said grinning. He winked at Tallia as she left. She was deep in thought and was surprised to find herself getting onto her Vespa, placing the fish on the back of it.

She told herself to pay attention and hurriedly drove back to Fairy Dust. Tallia too felt she needed to make Teegan his potion and fast. She prayed he wouldn’t be angry with her or worse. With such darkness within him, she didn’t want to be an object of Teegan’s wrath.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Weights We Put On Ourselves


Sometimes I find that I find I am in a precarious position in life. That I do something or want to do something that is having a bad effect on me. I call these problems ‘weights’ we put on ourselves. Or another good term might be creating your own burdens to carry.

It took me weeks struggling with this problem, tempted one way and tempted another. Then finally, tempted, teased, and treated like I wasn’t even a person I realized that this thing I wanted was very bad for me. Isn’t that the way it goes we always want what what we shouldn’t. Or we ignore the little signs along the pathway telling us this is not the way to get what we want. That there are other and better methods and right now isn’t the right time or person. But this morning I finally made the right choice and it felt like a weight literally had been lifted off my shoulders. Sure, it was exciting being kind of bad but what I wanted would have hurt me and other people in my life. What I wanted could’ve scarred me for the remainder of my life or left me with a regrettable experience.

Other people don’t always know better. And they aren’t always who they appear to be. But I still can’t help feeling sorry for this person and praying for something better for them because they are walking around in darkness and they don’t even know it. They would tell me about all the bad people in the world but I didn’t know they were talking about themselves. In some ways I think they were talking more about how they view themselves because I caught glimpses of a helpful and non judgemental person beneath the meanness. And I’m pretty sure a slip of the tongue ( there tongue) made me see how mean this person could be, a slip that was a weakness they didn’t want exposed. So you separate yourself from impossible people even though they aren’t all bad.

You refocus your efforts on other people and other things that are a better fit for you and a better way to spend your time. Still I liked the good things about this person a lot, it’s too bad they weren’t a little nicer and looking for friends. It’s hard to meet people and make new friends these days.

Tonight I’m going on my pre Valentine’s dinner with A. We thought Valentine’s Day would be quite busy so we are going ahead of time. Hope your sweet hearts spoil you wherever and whomever they maybe.