I couldn’t sleep. Walking the streets I came upon a small sign: Séance Sessions. Ten dollars.
“Letting go. Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end to this labyrinth called life. In reality”, said the medium, “you were here before your time and you will reappear many times after your body succumbs.” The lights suddenly flickered. The charlatan’s fingernails dug into my palms. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head as her mouth moved in synch with Jim’s booming voice. “You killed me. I shall never forget. You shall suffer all the days of your lives and . . .” The medium’s body lurched forward. Her head crashed onto the table. She was obviously dead. I could see the dagger I’d carefully buried in my garden, sticking out of her back. Sirens began to wail.
I met her most nights – somewhere between succumbing to sleep and waking fever-drenched at dawn. Unable to meet the woman of my dreams in reality, I’d created her in my mind. But she was not the image that came to me night after night. This was a half-woman, half-monster, chasing me through horror. There was always a knife. Next morning my bedding was always bloodstained from the self-inflicted scratching of old wounds.
This night, whiskey drunk, I avoided my bed. Stumbled instead into the moonless night. I went out to the hazel wood. Because a fire was in my head, I tripped over roots, crazed to find this she-devil. I wanted to kill her. End these nightmares. Instead, I died that night, victim of her crazed claws They found me in light snow, hazel tree branches clicking in winter’s wind.
Note: Hazel trees are noted for often having protruding roots. They can be either trees or shrubs.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today is Prosery Monday where we’re given a specific line from a poem, and we must insert it, word for word (although the punctuation may be changed) into a piece of flash fiction. We must have a beginning, middle and end to our story. It can be no more than 144 words sans title.
Kim is hosting today and asks us to include this line from Yeats’ The Song of Wandering Aengus: “I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head.”
Caldron nearby she is the enigma, silver flowing garb white hair plaited high. Index fingers encased in wax, flame extinguished by gust from fleeing bats.
Eyes heavenward, pointing skyward she seeks illumination. Answering nay, consumed by clouds, lunar glow dims and disappears. Tear soaked cheeks dried on thinnest cloth sHow dwindling faith . . .
consumed moon pearls from tissue candle salve skulls of saints spiritual songs
her crooning voice cracks this hallowed eve. This burial ground, last chance to find her gods. All sounds, all hopes cease.
Pleas unanswered she returns to abysmal cave, forsaken and alone.
Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Laura hosts and refers us to the American Poet, Samuel Greenburg. His “…feverish tubercular episodes gave him a verbal recklessness that lent itself to surrealism.” In The Pale Impromptu, written in 1915, he strings words together in indentations and to Laura, they appear like charms on a bracelet. She has listed for us twenty-one of these “charm” phrases from The Pale Impromptu and asks us to use five of them in our poem. I’ve attempted to use his form as well as five of his “charms” which are italicized for easy recognition. My apologies to Laura and Samuel Greenburg if I’ve not explained this very well.
I should have known. She silked the room, entered with swishing skirts. Eye-lashed me in that coquettish way. Wove words into delights. Spinning wheeled me, unlike any woman I’d ever known. I could not escape her wiles. I skeined under her spell. First hands, then arms, then eyes, then heart. My senses spooled as one, tautly captured in her clutches. She left me, forever specimened. Pushpinned my veins until I was but a dried shell. Once a vibrant man, now locked in despair. I shall never love again.
Written for Meet the Bar at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets from around the globe. Today, Bjorn asks us to “verbify” in our poem. That is, to use a noun, or several, as verbs in our poem. Photo taken a number of years ago at Ricoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.
I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended. My mother taught me love could be turned on and off. As a teenager, I could only go steady with a boy for six weeks. She kept track on her calendar. I hated her every time I fell in love. But then, after about five weeks, I’d tire of the boy and happily blame the break-up on my mother.
When she died, so did my excuse. So I became a recluse. Until I met John. He surprised me with his persistence. We met in coffee shops at first. Then his place. I was a good girl and told him no sex until I got a ring. I marked that special day on my calendar. Now I’m in widow’s weeds with a blood encrusted knife holding this year’s calendar on the wall.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today is Prosery Monday.
Merril is hosting and asks us to use, word for word, the line “I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended” in a piece of flash fiction that is exactly 144 words or less, sans title. The line is from Jane Hirshfield’s poem, I wanted to be surprised.
She’d agreed to this assignment. Put retirement on hold for one more case to smoke out a mole. The honeypot. Dumb blonde stereotype. She still had the body for it, so she gave in to their persuasive pleas. And he’d fallen for it.
Now as he snored, she quietly rolled over, about to get up and finally walk out on this life. Until a cold blade chilled the back of her neck. No sounds except her gasp of shock. There are moments caught between heart-beats. Some see their whole life flash before their eyes. She saw only what could have been.
His hand tangled itself in her hair. Jerked her head back. One last look at that god-awful bare ceiling fixture. It looked different from this angle. More sinister than when she was lying on her back. The yellowed light flickered. Then sputtered out.
Kim is hosting Prosery Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to use the line “There are moments caught between heart-beats” from Louis MacNeice’s poem Coda in a piece of flash fiction that can be up to or exactly 144 words. Back Again is 144 words. Photo from pixabay.com. YES! Even though dVerse is usually poetry….this is a prompt for flash fiction, using an exact line from a particular poem.
Beneath blood-red sunset
she met her ex.
Tinction blotted sky
with angry cloud canopy,
festered over sea.
She should have known.
His, not hers.
His passion revealed in fists.
Her dignity recouped,
but at a price.
Sky now cement blocks.
Posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Linda asks us to use the word “extinction” or a form of the word, in the body of a quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Extinction does appear in Lifer. Do you see it?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines tinction as the act or process of staining or dyeing: coloring matter.
Simmering . . .
daze on end.
Days and weeks
on the back burner.
Simmering . . .
One – quick – STAB.
His blood flows
till warm no more.
Days later he lies
beyond the pale.
beneath the earth,
cold to touch.
As is her soul.
I’m hosting dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. Prompt today is to somehow involve the idea of “temperature” within your poem – in any of its diverse meanings or uses. The word itself does not need to be in the poem….but we must be able to tell how “temperature” is related to your poem. IE — to take one’s temperature, red-hot with anger; temperature of a nation, being in hot water, passion, etc. Prompt goes live at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us! And apologies to my readers today….I’ve gone over to the dark side with this post. Photo from Pixabay.com
Serial killer, folksong singer,
croons Pete Seeger tunes.
Strums guitar strings
while pressing fret on neck.
Wicked smile then splays his lips
when nightfall comes, he changes gigs.
Metal strings undone from fret
now seek a human neck.
new strings needed tomorrow.
Kim hosts Quadrille Monday today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to include the word “fret” or a form of the word, in our post. Quadrille: a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Photo from Pixabay.com
Is there a beauty in insipidity,
blending in to all around? Stupidity
amassed beyond the pale,
in group-think, mass-appeal.
Invisibility, thou art cruel
Tread instead through morbidity
following ancient ways
as Plato did with Socrates.
Follow deeper still
with final sip,
Mish is hosting Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today she asks us to include the word “sip” within our exactly 44 word poem, sans title. For some reason, I went to the dark side with this one: “insipidity” and “sip.” Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!