Photo Challenge/Tale Weaver: Poem – Free Verse – “Stairway from Forever Winter” #amwriting #poetry #TaleWeavers #PhotoChallenge #MLMM


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting photo challenge #220. Also, thanks to Michael from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the Tale Weaver prompt on the them of a voyage of discovery.


Credit: Silvia Grav


Shivering as if I’m shedding,

As if I’ll never know heat;

Or a belly without ache.

Crisp bacon and sausage sizzles,

French toast with cream cheese;

Clouds of whipped cream,

Maple syrup flowing in valleys;

Sweet strawberry jam,

Tart on my tongue,

The crisp-softness of toast;

Homemade bread devoured.

Orange juice with champagne,

Sweetness and fizzing bubbles.

Chatter, hands passing,

Sniggers and giggles;

Raising the bar; the bets are laid —

Who can eat the most pancakes?

There is plenty in this dream,

Richness and generosity abounds —

Reality’s barren and frosted.

No warmth of hugs or arms over shoulders,

Until a burning stillness settles.

The sensation of hovering above,

Until your firefly soul lifts.

The memory of family, breakfast with ice-cream,

Strawberry sauce and flaked croissants;

Of food so boundless that all gnawing hunger’s abolished.

No daydream with clawing pains,

Only serenity, path into a place —

Where loved ones suffer not.

Where there’s no war to justify —

No battle to survive;

Nor land that will not thaw to grow.

Above, there’s glowing prosperity,

A joyfulness that never pales.

No ice-white skin preserved in chill,

No forever winter.

A flame that flickers and overwhelms,

Sparks and heat spread,

As butter melts on fresh bread.

Reflecting on golden streets,

A feast as none knew before.

Temporality extinguished,

The relief of a forever home

Not hunger nor strife.

It’s unimaginable,

But after all the misery —

This stairway’s an easy flight.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

#NovemberNotes Day 2: Poem – Free Verse – “Of Abuse” #amwriting #poetry #dVerse


For November Notes Day 2 the song is “New Rules” by Dua Lipa. I’m combining this prompt with Björn from #dVerse Peet’s Pub on defining a monster you fear. 
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Credit: Miranda Whiperfurth via Unsplash
—-

Dua Lipa – “New Rules”

—-

I saw him walk, 

Saw him fire randomly. 

Searchimg for specific victims, 

Fear was palpable, hanging heavy —

In the sunlit air, deceptive for the scent of blood. 

Pungent, stinging my lungs, 

As if breathing in a mustard gas. 

No one should ever have to know —

Deaths putrid scent. 

See it pooling, 

From a loved one or friend. 

No one should have to see, 

How medicine cannot always heal; 
By knowledge or by quickness. 

That the scariest monsters are the ones, 
Seemingly kind, normal, 

Even attractive humans. 

Those who cannot function, 

Losing control by illness, 

Or by self-indoctrination. 

Breaking to pieces, 

Flipping their humanity switch. 

Or lost in a terrifying nightmare, 

Blurring into their edges.

They’ve nothing soft left, 

No heart remaining, 

In cold blood or insanity. 

He may have been a gun man, 

Or perhaps, he was a manipulator? 

A lesser monster whose pain, 

Transformed into rage. 

A monster stealing peace of mind, 

Security and safety. 

Through vile methods. 

He’s the twenty phone calls your ignoring, 

Sleeping with him anyways, 
Just so he’ll go away. 

Because you don’t feel anything, 

Cringing at his touch. 

Under him it’s all to clear,

Your never over him; 

Until you don’t let him return ever. 

But he enjoys the tatters,

While regret knots in your stomach, 

Grows agonizing when he —

Doesn’t hear all your “No’s” and “Stops.”

But you stay with him, 

You let him believe, 

Because has the power to harm, 

A craziness in his eyes. 

Different bullets than the gunmen, 
Bullets just the same. 

Ban the ballots, the gunpowder, 

Save those trapped, 

By gun toting diehards,

And fools who take advantage —

Wielding obsession and abuse. 

—-


—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Saturday Mix: Poem – Blank Verse – “Addiction Nightmares” #amwriting #poetry #saturdaymix 


Thanks to Teresa of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s Saturday Mix Prompt. The prompt is to write a Homeric or Epic Simile. 

———

Credit: Angel Jimenez via UnSplash

——-

He lived his life did, what he could, but could —

Not find a way to escape the demons. 

He could not escape his addiction; the —

Monster sunk his teeth into him when his, 

Guard was down; he would feel wonderful, 

Healthy, good, then he felt it’s teeth gnawing. 

The biting, the teeth claiming his flesh, would make, 

His skin itch until he wanted to tear it, 

Off; running for the bathroom where he hid, 

His medication, the pills he so craved. 

Wanted to quit; to never take again, 

But the monster clawing down his back would, 

Never stop; not until he claimed him for–

His own; made him demon too, who hits her, 

His girl; who loves him, though hallucinates, 

Of the Hell monster,  he lives in terror of, 

He wakes from Hell to find his family, 

Has deserted him; he’s alone breathing; 

Trying to forget the demon who would start, 

Eating him alive soon, making his temper —

Rise and his fists fly as he imbibes too, 

Craving the second monster who is the, 

Only way to handle the greater, 

The worst monster, the devil hiding. 

Evil itself repeatedly gnawing, 

Trapping him in Hades, stripping his —

Soul; so he feels that he does not exist;

For anyone, but to grind and lash out. 

To battle the demon, his addiction, 

And no one can help him, they’ve given 

Up all hope; so one day he thought he would, 

Give in let the monster finish him. 

Bind and seal the deal, his soul in hell for, 

All eternity and he was going, 

To jump when he saw —  a light, awoke; 

In the room of the addictions unit. 

At the hospital and the nurse tells him, 

“It’s okay it’s been a month and you’re —

Dreaming again; it’s a wicked —

Nightmare and not your reality now.

Keep clean and the monster, he’ll leave soon, 

Then, you’ll be free as you’re here and —

Remain aware; when you leave stay far from, 

Put those drugs, the alcohol behind. 

And soon you must embrace your new life, 

Make your apologies and live.” 

The man sighs almost crying, so —

Happy the demons are distant dreams. 

———

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – “The Healing Touch” #amwriting #poetry 


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo prompt challenge.

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Credit: Laura Williams

———

Many faces have I, but don’t let me evaporate.

Too many masks I wear within to cover the scars that bind,

The twisting vines of ruined skin,

Not even plastic surgery could heal.

And the whispers of the dreadful night,

They haunt me in my sleep.

Each nightmare worse than the last, entrenching me in madness.

Crying and shaking, in a world I cannot escape.

My screams echoeing from the domed ceiling,

In St. Peter’s Basilica, my heart a kindled pyre.

Does God hear me, my fervent prayers without pride?

I know if He did, he would answer what I seek,

Provide relief from the cruelty of my suffering;

Of the ache and the burn in my skin.

He’d be a cooling gentle wind to end the burning flames,

I hope in my meekness for God as Elijah knew.

I try to forget. to move on, hiding behind masks so I’m safe.

My scars are not physical but they hide beneath skin,

Where plastic surgery cannot salvage a broken soul.

I’m a wretched bloody mess and my stomach is churning,

Why are the worst injuries, the ones you cannot see?

Why do people only see skin deep?

Not many will peer beneath the perfect layers of white ivory,

To see the layers underneath charred and scorched.

Many will not look past the words on your lips,

They are not interested in how a person says certain words,

Or why they say what do.

Many people hear only what they want to hear,

And if you choose to scream,

Than you’re the crazy one seeking attention.

But many screams are silent,

Before they are ever heard out loud,

This is why we need listeners and those with empathy,

To overcome those overflowing with ignorance and apathy to life;

To realize there is meaning in helping your neighbor out.

For we all have hidden scars and screams,

And most of them are dug deeply within our souls.

They wind around a person’s heart, a choking vine envokes —

A cry for help, so please hear it, long before we shout out loud,

Be still for a moment and listen well.

Respond before the masks hide many other faces and mine;

Act before you start cutting into our hearts,

Doing much more harm than good.

Watch your words and carefully avoid —

Assault and battery, for refusing to help those in need —

Refusing to help those lost in their pain. 

Heal with laughter and conversation,

A piece of your precious time.

Do not forget the meek and lowly,

We all need help discovering pathways into stardust.

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Tale Weavers: Fiction – Teegan’s Potion Part Four – The Beginning of Teegan’s Sanity #amwriting #fiction #taleweavers


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s Tale Weaver Prompt. The prompt is to have a character visit this centre of relaxation and cover and recount their experiences. I will use it as continuation of my Teegan’s Potion story. This is Part 4. Here are the links to the other parts of the story. I apologize for taking so long with this last part. 

——

Part 1 – Tallia, Her Magic Shop and The Stranger

Part 2 – Visiting Jude’s Magic Shop 

Part 3 – Teegan’s Potion and Passion (Rated R)

——-

Credit: Maria Skanig

——

Teegan couldn’t recall ever being at a spa before or a place of retreat. But he hadn’t been given a choice. He was a thief, a crookster. He conned people out of their money, he had been doing so for a couple of hundred-years. 

He was almost nomadic, roaming the forests and the woods. He could not help when his curse took over him. He was learning to control it, but even to control it a little was difficult for the first one-hundred-years he lived as this ‘thing.’ Whatever you would term him. 

Teegan wasn’t sure himself what he was. But he knew when he was upset, he was still prone to rages where darkness, the shadow of the beast hiding inside him took over. He was in a little town when it happened this time. He’d been in a lodge having a bath, cleaning himself up, shaving his beard when his room was suddenly filled with men. They had come to collect him and in turn the bounty on his head for his years of murderous deeds. 

“Teegan of the Forest, we’ve been after you a while. My Father spent his life chasing you and my Grandfather, half his life too. I’m ending it here and bringing you in. You’re a plague on society. I don’t care you can control your wickedness at times. I only care when you’re angry you cannot,” a man named Henry Barger said. He was the brother to a son of the local earl, who had come across Teegan on a bad night. 

He vaguely recalled Henry’s father and grandfather, both had been named Henry and hunted him. It wasn’t Teegan’s fault they’d died. They kept pushing him, attacking him, refusing to leave him in peace. 

Presently, the men surrounding Teegan tried to rough him up, so he’d be easier to take the Earl of the land. But this wasn’t going to happen so he let his anger grow and consume him. In moments, Teegan’s bedroom had become a bloody battle field. Not one of those men had stood a chance. He hadn’t wanted to kill them, but what choice had they left him? Why in God’s name had the wretched wizard cursed him in the first place? He hadn’t been that evil had he? 

He sighed getting back in his still warm bath among the carnage, bathing himself clean of blood before changing his clothes. Teegan snuck out the window and with his wits about him, entered into the forest he knew well. 

—-

Hours later, he found himself surrounded again by monks from the local monastery. He laughed, but at the same time, definitely did not want to kill men of the cloth. 

“Please let me go,” he said. “I don’t want to hurt any of you. Especially since you’re holy men. Leave me in peace and you’ll never see me again.” 

A priest appeared from among the monks. His face lined but his stature regal. “Teegan of the forest, I know a great deal about you. I’m Father Matthews. I know you were cursed to live a long life, to suffer. I know what you initially did to invoke your curse. I’m not here to turn you in for coins to the Earl, I’ve come to save you.” 

“Save me, why?” 

“Because Teegan,” Father Matthew’s replied, ” More killing or trying to kill you, only results in more death. Also, I have a bit of insight into the souls of men and I can see, yours is shredded from your deeds. You will never be able to stop the monster inside alone. But I know someone, a woman of blessed magic who can.” 

Teegan rolled his eyes but Father Matthews continued talking.”I have spoken with Hazal and we both feel, she can help you. As long as you drink her potion twice a year with her, she says you will not turn evil when your temper ignites, when you’re unable to harness the beast inside you. We can help Teegan, please let us.” 

“I don’t want, I don’t need some witches help,” Teegan sputtered indignantly. 

“She’s not any witch and not pure evil as the Wizard who cursed you. He was a ‘Wizard Demon,’ and know one wants to find him after dealing with the fall-out of the curse he gave you. You don’t have much choice Teegan. You need to retreat with Hazal and her clan, they will help you.” 

“But if you don’t,” Father Matthews said ominously, “We will end your life right now and we know how to do it. If you choose to meet Hazel, I will bring you to her and once you’ve worked with her for a while, you can go about your life. As long as you always find Hazel and her female descendants, to take your potion twice a year, you’re a free man.” 

Teegan nodded his understanding at Father Matthews. He gazed around him at the monks in their sack clothe, with torches lit. He peered confused at the priest who instead of trying to hurt him, wanted to help Teegan with his curse. No one was kind to Teegan, not since he’d been human. 

 He felt the priest was a good man in his heart, trying to help Teegan for Teegan’s sake and everyone Teegan came upon, so he didn’t hurt them unknowingly. Father Matthews promised him what he had always wanted to be able to do, to live his life without the darkness, the shadowy curse which made him a monster. 

“Alright Father,” Teegan said. “I will come with you. But promise me this woman Hazel, she will not harm me? Or kill me, herself?” 

“I promise and she will say the same.” 

Teegan followed  Father Matthews back to the monastery. He hoped no one found him before he saw Hazal. He would have to start over in the new world he thought, perhaps,  convince this Hazel to come with him if she was pretty? But for now, the monestary was the safest place for Teegan to rest. As he fell asleep, he wondered about this witch, could her potion actually control his curse? 

Sighing he dreamt of a woman with hazel eyes and a soft touch. When he awoke he found himself not in the monestsry, but asleep in a tranquil room in a comfortable bed as those of nobility slept on. The room was ornately decorated and sighing, thinking it was all a dream, Teegan faded back into sleep. 

——-

When he awoke again, and the sunlight was pouring into the lavish room, Teegan arose from the softest bed he’d ever slept on. It was plush with furs and woven sheets. He longingly gazed back, wishing he could sleep forever away, but he realized he was here to receive help from the gifted witch of blessed magic named Hazel

Her family lived well, he thought to himself. He wondered again why, the priest would save someone as terrible as him. Teegan had murdered and hurt so many people when the beast overtook him, especially in the beginning of his cursed life, when he had no control at all. The priest knew what Teegan had initially done to be cursed. Teegan thought back to that day ages ago, almost two-hundred-years.

——

Back then, he’d only been around twenty-five winters, he wasn’t exactly sure. He’d grown up spoiled, a son of the aristocracy. A future Lord and Vassal, yet he hadn’t known enough to value his position. He hadn’t cared much but for mead, women, and fun. 

No women ever caught his attention long. He imagined he had a few bastards here and there among the village lasses and the barmaids. Then there were the maids and courtesans

There had been a lovely one with dark black hair and blue-eyes. Eyes such a stormy blue,  he felt he was drowning in them the first time he saw Eleanor’s eyes. But everyone knew Eleanor was off-limits. She was the Earl’s personal and most current favourite mistress. 

But Eleanor had beguiled Teegan as a young man. She was a seasoned suductress and she drew him in. 

“Such a handsome man as yourself, all alone in the Earl’s court? I’ve noticed you’ve stopped bringing the servant girls and other courtesans to your bed? The Earl prefers his vassals to be properly taken care of, is something the matter?” Eleanor had asked him, fluttering her lashes and rubbing his arm. 

 “No Madam, nothing is wrong. But I’m not interested in those women because they’re all the same after a while. I have in my eyes the picture of the most elegant and graceful women in the land and no other woman compares with her beauty or kind manner,” Teegan told Eleanor, who laughed. 

“Ah, so is the son, of the Lord of the Forests, in love then?” 

“He thinks perhaps, but he is waiting to see what the woman he longs for says to his request. He cannot touch her, but desperately wants to be with her. He would defy all authority to have her. Do you know who she is Eleanor?” 

Teegan must have shown he was a tad nervous. He’d never had to proposition a woman before. He’d known what a dangerous situation he was getting himself and his family into, but the price was more than he’d ever dreamed. 

Eleanor laughed again,”You play a complicated and deadly game young Teegan. You wouldn’t be the only person defying an Earl or the wretched wizard who follows him around. You’d best consider some other courtesan. Then you will not be killed or worse for touching me. Then again, I like a guy who lives a bit dangerously. Shall we go for a walk in plane sight, so no one thinks we’re doing anything wrong?” 

Teegan had agreed and Eleanor had been a wonderfully skilled storyteller, entertaining him, but never touching him, making it seem as if they were keeping each other company, while she waited for the Earl to call for her. 

Then, Eleanor had pretended to fall and while Teegan aided Eleanor in righting herself, she whispered: “Meet me at the gamekeepers cottage, tomorrow night.” 

Teegan had agreed and they had made love madly there for hours when the Earl and his consort, walked in on Teegan and Eleanor. Eleanor pleaded and was instantly forgiven, the Earl adored her so much. She did nothing to try and save Teegan, saying the whole idea was his fault. 

“I’m only a woman, how could I resist him, he charms all the women where ever he goes,” she told the Earl. 

He kissed Eleanor, “I forgive you, my love. You couldn’t help yourself. My Wizard will deal with this scoundrel. He’ll make Lord Teegan sorry.” 

Then the Earl and Eleanor left the cottage and it was only half-naked Teegan and the evil Wizard. The old man cracked his fingers, his dark eyes eating into Teegan’s soul. Teegan was terrified . . . 

——-

Then someone was shaking him awake.

“Teegan,” a melodic and gentle voice said. “Teegan wake-up, we need to have your potion now.” 

He mumbled something than yelled. When he was finally awake, a woman with auburn hair, milky skin, and vibrant green eyes was staring at Teegan appearing worried. She brushed the hair back from his face and rocked him as the edges of his nightmare faded. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

 

Friday Music Prompt:  Poem – A L’Arora – ” Obesssion Deludes” #amwriting #poetry #music 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the Friday Music Prompt. Friday’s song was, “Waiting for Tonight” by Jennifer Lopez.

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“Waiting For Tonight” – Jennifer Lopez

——-

Credit: Art Nouveau VSCOcam, painting art on Instagram

——–
(Her View) 

Tonight’s the night he’s meeting me here later

Passions ignited, we’ve fires, need sating

All the desires of our time together, at last met

I’ll be shaking, moaning, chasing the stars

Caught in the moment, we’ll shatter as glass

Wrapped in your strong arms, I’ll have a blast. 

Waiting for tonight, excitement beaming

When you and I are lovers holding,  fast. 

——

Preening, applying makeup and shaking

Preparing for you, our first time creating. 

Ensuring our night’s perfect; it’ll end complete. 

Skin grazingcaressing, nothing sub-par

Lovers busy enjoying repast

Perfect lingerie, beneath a gown fast

Becoming a favourite; it’s perfect and tight

Rip it off, no need to be so classy

——

Waiting for tonight, our love embracing, 

Perfection between us, this night for our sake. 

I’ve planned it exactly, we’ll not overstep

Each moments vital, at the finale beseech. 

Give into our lust, marvel in love far —

Better than any you’ve ever had; here we’ll last, 

Until mornings stunning rays of light

I wait for him, he’s mine; trembling, my hands clasp.

——

(His View) 

Tonight it came, the nightmare couldn’t wait

She’s obssessed, unstable, any day she’ll break.

Better to stop, was never invested, not set

On staying with her; she’s a whale beached.

Though thin like a beanpole, not nice at all

Loathsome personality, running fast —

Driving passed; her obsession frightening

I was ‘nice’ once or twice, now there’s an impasse.  

——

Need freedom, her annoying voice I hate,

Can life be normal again? Not Hell made? 

Can I touch the one I love, and not regret

Bringing him into drama; twice I cheated, 

Boyfriend enraged; a dumb girl caused my fall. 

 Told her, “I like men most;” but left aghast —

She doesn’t care, spoiled girl; not smart, no insight, 

Traps into engagement; I’ll always pass

—–

© Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Sunday Photo Fiction: Poetry – Octain Refrain – “Three Lights” #amwritng #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

——

Credit: A Mixed Bag

—–

Three lights in the darkness, pitch black all ’round. 

A night deep, the black ink deftly hiding, 

Criminals, the lost, truly evil find. 

Misdeeds better performed where every sound —

Is a nightmare calling, no justice found. 

Unrevealed secrets proffered, ungrounded, 

Realization of innocents expounding

Out here ‘neath stars, curse of night, hurt resides. 

Three light in the darkness, pitch black all ’round. 

—–

Three lights in the darkness, pitch black ’round, 

Presence of luminescence, rats scatter . 

Lights are strong, don’t flicker, they matter. 

Bring attention to the wounded, those drowned

All their sorrows piling-up —burdens

Shine your light thrice, save them for certain. 

Demonstrate there’s another way clattering

Sing songs of broken hearts; at last they’re found. 

Three lights in the darkness, pitch black all ’round.

—–

Three lights in the darkness, pitch black all ’round.

Though we may fear darkness, here there’s no need, 

As long as there’s light radiant, just heed. 

Never let your fears overcome, light resounds, 

Washes out creepersshadows; it centres.  

Gives hope for tomorrow, transformed life mends

Malevolence abounds, stay grounded

Light always wins —brilliance all precedes. 

Three lights in the darkness, pitch black all ’round. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.


November Notes: Poem – Day 27 – Laurenelle – “Both to Blame” #poetry #novembernotes #amwriting #music


Today’s prompt song is “The Night” by Black Lab

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“The Night” – Black Lab

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Credit: Jay Johansen Studio – Flickr Hive Mind

——–

Night calling and it bleeds with today’s pain, 

Your words, riddles linger, we’re both to blame;

Shower of diamonds, your words cut, blood rains.

It’s the anger you give me, my heart strains
To feel the comfort, the closeness, not this hate;

Can I forgive? Your inner monster reigns. 

He doesn’t hit; he’s inside you unsated
He’s your temper, you destroy us, words dwell

Lips sting abusive words, past ignites, lost faith. 

You think I won’t forgive; I’m your lover, a shell, 
I don’t want to live as Belle, trapped in prison. 

I know beast’s heart; goodness hidden in hell. 

This nightmare, sleeping alone, nothing given, 
Brought us down, broken paths, this our last night? 

You want sleep, you want peace — but I’m livid. 

I’m tired of the bore, this game playing, our fight, 
So I’ll wrap the sheet around you, I’m stupid

I care you’re warm, your sight gives me hope — light. 

My soul’s battered, yours is too, let’s erase —
Our problems; your eyes lift, I stroke your face. 

Night calling and it bleeds with today’s pain, 

Your words, riddles linger, we’re both to blame. 

——

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

#OctPoWriMo – Day 9 – Tankas – “Spiralling Nightmares” #amwriting #poetry


Day 9 Prompt – SPIRAL

“I love that you can find spirals from the tiniest places (our DNA) to massive expanses (the Milky Way) and everywhere in between. Free write about spiraling and see where you go – do you spiral up or down? Find where this word takes you and go from there.” 

——–

http://www.thebuzzfeed.com

——-

Whispy visions form, 

In our minds, in dreams, in sleep;

Foggy images, 

Are we us in our dreams so real? 

 Perhaps, we’re who we desire? 

——–

Perfected, ideal. 

No flaws, idiosyncrasies, 

We save the day and —

Our wishes come true and life, 

Is exactly how we would want. 

—–

Then again most dreams, 

Are ghastly and confusing.

People don’t make sense

You’re chasing someone or you’re —

Being chased — there’s no escape.

—–

You’re afraid and lost,

Your dreams, colourful, and vivid. 

Childhood friends are here, 

People you’ve seen only once —

Nightmares spiral, ripe with fear.

——

Facing an enemy, 

Bully from school, or those you —

Loved, or part of you does? 

What’s real? Will you remember? 

Why do your friends hide and yell? 

——

Or perhaps, you dream, 

Much more serenely and feel, 

A peace never felt,

 In waking hours never found, 

Tough living life; then you sleep . . .

—-

Do you sleep enough? 

Perchance to dream, feel refreshed

Or do you thrash and —

Scream, spiralling nightmare, 

Taking ahold preventing —

——

No waking, no sleep; 

Twisted and caught inbetween, 

What’s real and what’s not

The savage territory, 

Our mind’s fears torturing us

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Resevered. 

23. How Was Last Night For You: Rianne’s Mugged and Nina Disappears.


Please read Chapter 22 here.

Chapter 23:  Rianne’s Mugged and Nina  Disappears.

Rianne’s head ached badly, and so did her once broken arm. She had been lying on it for what felt like forever. The more Rianne tried to escape the tiredness that plagued her, the deeper she fell into nightmares

Rianne dreamed Nina had a fish tale. She dreamed Jasper and herself were visiting Nina on a beach. Nina kept the lower half of her body beneath the waves and refused to come any closer to shore. Behind Rianne, Jasper regarded Sam and Eric playing in the sand. They were building sand castles as Rianne had shown them how to do properly.

Sam and Eric adored Auntie Nina and wanted her to come play in the sand too, but Nina only smiled at John’s nephews sadly; she waved her hands at them blowing both boys air kisses which they pretended to catch with their hands. Rianne reached out for Nina but her hands only grasped lake water. Her best friend and childhood pal, swam away into the Sirene Lake, a mermaids tale flicking behind her.

Rianne recalled Nina had always stood up for her since the time they first met in primary school. Nina was the girl who despite being shorter and smaller, beat-up other girls for pushing Rianne around on the playground and calling Rianne names. Rianne had grown tall and sturdy, but not until high school when she began to workout and play basketball. Rianne had been nearly fifteen-years-old before she began to grow into maturity.

Rianne wrinkled her nose. It smelt like Chinese food in her dream, Chinese food that was stale. Something wet dripped on Rianne’s face and she abruptly awoke. A homeless man leaned over Rianne, his water bottle in hand. His weathered face showed concern.

“Lady, are you okay? Sorry about pouring water on you, but you looked passed-out and I didn’t know another way to wake you without involving the police. We’re you mugged? ”

Rianne gazed up at the man from the sidewalk where she lay on her bad arm. She forced her body into a more upright position and realized her savior could badly use some help of his own. His shoes had holes, his clothes dusty, ragged, and tattered.The man carried an old backpack and his face was covered with a straggly grey beard. Rianne tried to thank the man, but no words came out of her mouth. She was relieved this homeless man was no foe.

“There’s a bump, a red goose egg on your forehead. It looks as though someone knocked you out and robbed you.” The homeless man said to Rianne.

Rianne groaned and rose to her feet hanging onto the homeless man for balance. She felt dizzy but not all that bad considering the bump she saw on her forehead in her reflection on the glass of the Chinese food place. Rianne checked the time on her watch which hadn’t been stolen. It was early morning, around 1:00 am; how long had she been passed-out?

After a while, Rianne was able to walk without help leaning on the homelessman or the window of the Chinese restaurant. Rianne smiled at the man in gratitude.

“Thank you for waking me up and ensuring I’m alright,”  she told the homeless man with sincerity. Rianne’s voice sounded groggy. The man grinned, showing teeth that needed dental work she knew he couldn’t afford. “I wish I could give you something, some money for helping me, but my purse is gone. It’s lime colored, you would see it if it was here.” The man chuckled.

” Someone stole your purse when they knocked you out. I’ve seen it occur before. It happens to quite a few woman at night. Maybe buy a cheaper purse next time. I’m betting your purse was designer.” The homeless man said knowingly.

Then he looked at the bags of food  by Rianne’s feet and smiled. “Can I have your food?” Rianne looked at the man confused at first. “Your Chinese food, it’s probably still okay to eat. I felt the bag, it’s kind of warm yet.”

“Are you sure it might be dangerous to eat now?” Rianne asked the man. He smiled at her again.

” For me it’s fine, I’m used to eating food with recent expiration dates,” the homeless man said chuckling again. Rianne slowly, picked up the food with her good arm and gave it to the man. She was sorry that stale Chinese food was all she had to give.

“My watch,” Rianne said suddenly, “you could take it and pawn it. It’s worth a lot. I received it from my Mom for my twenty-first birthday?” She held out her precious watch to the man. He took it placed it in her hand and closed Rianne’s fingers around it, shaking his head. The man observed Rianne closely.

“Are you sure you’re feeling okay, Lady?” Rianne nodded slowly.

“I’m a tad dizzy and my head hurts but I’m alright. I need to get back to my friend. I told her I’d be back with food hours ago. She’ll be worried.”

The homeless man thanked Rianne for the food after Rianne had reassured him she didn’t need to go to a near by medical clinic.

Rianne thanked the man again, for caring enough to wake her up and they parted ways. She wished there was a way to help him more, to give the homeless man something better then old Chinese food. But he seemed happy and declined to give Rianne any information so she could find him again and give him money.


 

She walked as fast as she could, back to Nina’s condo building, passing The Manhattan which was full of people having a good time before last call.

Rianne didn’t have her key, but luckily a neighbour was coming out the door and recognized Rianne as Nina’s friend. Delighted to see her and asking Rianne about the bump on her head, the kindly woman waved Rianne through the condo door entrance.

Rianne rode the elevator up to Nina’s condo on the seventeenth floor. She had a sick feeling in her stomach, as if something was wrong. Not only had Rianne been mugged two blocks from Nina’s condo, but she had had a weird dream about Nina being a mermaid.

Rianne contemplated her dream, wondering why she remembered it with such clarity. The dream about Nina being a mermaid seemed awfully coincidental considering curses, magic, and sea witches had become real to Rianne in the past few months. She pondered if her dream was as John’s dreams, a premonition of what could be.

Rianne’s head was pounding out a study rhythm when she entered the condo. Nina’s front door had opened without Rianne having a key. Rianne prayed this meant Nina was home safe. Instead, when Rianne walked into the condo she could immediately tell the condo was empty; something wasn’t right.

A messy scrawled note from Nina read that Nina was staying at Heather’s tonight. Nina hated staying at Heather’s place. Heather was a nice lady, but lately, she had had a lot of male company. Company Nina more then a few times, had run into as they were half-naked. Heather would later tell Nina: ” Oh he’s no one.” But Nina had preferred not to stay over at her Mom’s after running into her Mothers various lovers.

All these thoughts sprang to Rianne’s mind in an instant. She needed to talk to Jasper but she didn’t think she had a phone. Nina had no landline, only her cell and Nina’s cell was in Rianne’s purse. Amazingly, Rianne found her own cell half-charged in her pocket. It’s lime leather cover matched her stolen purse.

Rianne sat down at Nina’s kitchen table. Her arms were suddenly wet, there was water all over Nina’s table from a water pitcher. But the pitcher wasn’t leaking so how did the water get there?

Rianne dialed Jasper on her phone; her head throbbed painfully.

” Jasper, sorry to wake you but it’s me. I was mugged on the street picking-up Chinese food for Nina and I. It should’ve taken me fifteen-minutes but someone knocked me out. I have this horrible bump on my head.They took my purse. When I arrived back to Nina’s condo, her door was unlocked and she isn’t here. Her condo is empty.” Rianne said as quickly as she could manage.

” Huh, what?”  Jasper said sleepily but concerned, “Are you okay? Do you need to go to a hospital? You could have a concussion you know. Did Nina leave a note? Maybe give her a call on her phone?”

“Her phone was in my purse Jasper. I took it away from her because she kept looking at her phone to see if John had answered her messages to him. I was so stupid. I shouldn’t have taken it from her.” Rianne said.

“And there was this note. It was really weird it was on the kitchen table which was sopping wet. There is water all over the table and that is unlike Nina to leave water all over her table. The water pitcher wasn’t even broken.” Rianne was getting tears in her eyes. She was usually self-contained.

” What did the note say Ri?” Jasper asked her gently.

“It said she was staying at her Mom’s tonight. But Nina hates staying at her Mom’s house. She would’ve told me if she was going to be sleeping there earlier. I called Heather’s cell but she’s not answering. I’ve left several messages. What if Talise has Nina? What if she took Nina away and wants to kill her like John said?” Rianne was full-out crying now.

“What do we Jasper?” Rianne said fatigued.”John is out at Talise’s cave and Nina is mysteriously gone from her condo. Somethings wrong Jasper.”

“Call Heather again right now,” Jasper ordered Rianne. “I’ll be over soon. Maybe, I can reach John on his phone. He should be back from the cave by now, depending how things went. I should’ve never let him go alone, but he insisted. . .”

“It’s not your fault Jasper. John’s headstrong, especially where Talise is concerned. I’ll try calling Heather again but I don’t think she’s picking up the phone. Maybe she’s out with one of her boyfriends? Come quick and bring ice for my head.” Jasper sighed. She could tell he was exasperated with the entire situation.

” A homeless guy woke me up in time Jasper.” Rianne said trying to stop him for worrying. ” I’ll be okay. It’s Nina I’m worried about.”

“Alright, stay there at Nina’s don’t move.” Jasper told Rianne. “I’ll buy you a new purse and we’ll figure out where Nina is…What did the homeless guy say? I hope Nina is safe, John’s going to kill me. ..”

” Hurry Jasper, don’t worry about the purse right now. I love you.” Rianne told Jasper, hanging up on him before she started to bawl. Rianne didn’t say anything to Jasper, but she knew she was the person supposed to be watching Nina for John. This was her fault, Rianne told herself sternly.

Her head hurt painfully. She got up from the table and took two Advil from Nina’s medicine cupboard. Rianne changed out of her sweater with wet sleeves from the pool of water on Nina’s table, before soaking up the water with paper towel.

Exhausted and frustrated that Jasper was taking so long getting to Nina’s Condo, Rianne lay on Nina’s soft suede couch. She drifted in and out of a sleep of nightmares, none as clear as the one she had when she was unconscious earlier. Rianne knew she shouldn’t be sleeping after being hit on her head so hard, but she couldn’t help it; she passed out.

Suddenly, Rianne awoke. She heard the door knob turn on Nina’s front door and it startled her. The room was dark except for a lamp Rianne had turned on earlier. She arose carefully, and went to meet Jasper at the condo door. He hugged Rianne hard when he saw her, towering over her and giving her security.

” Are you okay? You shouldn’t be sleeping with a bump like that on your head.” Jasper shouted at Rianne. She glimpsed past Jasper’s shoulder and was relieved to see he hadn’t come alone, he had brought Jordan with him.

“Thank God your both here,” Rianne said tears sliding down her freckled cheeks. “I’m worried about Nina, we need to find her. Did you hear from John, either of you?”

“I talked to him briefly,” Jordan said curtly. He was trying to not upset Rianne and she could tell.

“Sit down both of you,” she commanded, “are Sam and Eric alright?” Rianne asked Jasper, slamming the front door and sitting beside Jasper.

“Yep,” Jasper said his arm around Rianne as he gently felt the bump on her head and reached down to a grocery bag for an ice pack. The ice stung Rianne’s bump but after a minute or two her head felt better. Jasper continued:

“Mom is watching the boys. They’ll be okay. Super thrilled to have Grandma take them for swim lessons tomorrow. How are you feeling Ri? That bump is nasty. I want Mom to look at it tomorrow.” Jasper seemed to be stalling and Rianne who was usually calm began to panic. She looked at Jordan:

” What did John say? Does he know where Nina is? Is she with him?” Jordan looked uncomfortable but began to talk anyways.

“John’s phone wasn’t working too well. Too much water got in it. He ran into Talise on her piece of paradise. She tried to trap him in the cave, but he managed to steal her dagger. She took my boat to shore and she was coming after Nina. But um, John injured Talise when they fought for the dagger, it effected her magic; she’s not as strong as she was and her barrier trapping John in the cave broke. John had to swim to shore. . . he’s so afraid for Nina. Then, John’s phone went dead . . .” Jordan let out a breath.

Rianne’s eyes were as big as saucers. “No, Talise can’t have gotten to land so fast could she Jordan?”

Jordan swallowed afraid. “John was at the harbor when I called him. We need to go there, I think. If Talise has Nina, that’s the first place she’ll be. And we need to find John, he must be exhausted and freezing.”

” I agree,” Jasper said. His voice was firm and he looked angry as Rianne had never seen him before.

“Let’s go guys,” Rianne said, “Damn it, my keys were in my purse.”

“You hurt your head,” Jasper said tenderly, ” I’ll drive.”

All three of them ran down the stairs as it was faster then taking the elevator. They sped off in Jasper’s car towards the harbor, to the Sirene. All of them were afraid of what had become of John and Nina.

Please Read Chapter 24 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.