Saturday, April 27, 2013


Manny grunted as he leaned forward. Sweat rolled down his forehead and into his eyes. “OH god!” he growled through his clenched teeth and grabbed the walls with both hands. The toilet creaked underneath him.
Manny was busy for some time relieving himself and felt like he had lost 10 pounds in the process. When it was all over, he felt like a new man. Pulling up his pants he attempted to flush the toilet. It didn’t work. But Manny didn’t care, he was liberated.

 He felt so light that he thought he might break out in song. “Ah…much better.” He pushed open the stall and headed toward the sink. Turning the faucet, he realized the water didn’t work either.


Reaching up, he flipped the light switch. He wasn’t surprised, that didn’t work. Manny flipped the light switch once more and got nothing. “Oh forget it.” Manny walked to the door and attempted to fling it open. The door would not budge. He pulled and shook the handle but nothing. Manny pulled harder but the door only seemed to wobble. No matter how hard he pushed or tugged, Manny couldn’t get the door open. He yelled as loud as he could.

“Hey!Somebody, anybody…let me out! Hey!”

For moments he heard only the machines repetitive garble. Minutes later, he heard something closer,a scuttering just outside. He could hear footsteps outside the huge metal door. His heart raced. Manny panicked often when he felt he was relinquishing all control.

Her voice was raspy and sarcastic, but he was relieved to hear it anyway. “Just a cotton picking minute. Didn’t you see that ‘out of order’ sign on the door? Damn temps.”

Manny stepped away from the door and let the mystery lady do her job. Rattling and fumbling echoed in his ears.

“Thank you, oh thank you.” He gasped as he watched the door screech open. Bright light surprised him making his hand go up to sheild his vision. A middle aged woman with a bad perm, manifested in the doorway. She was furrowing her eyebrows and pursing her lips. “the next time I aughta leave you in here. These toilets do not work, see the sign, there.” The maintenance lady pointed a bony finger at the smudged paper on the upper part of the door. Manny smirked.

“I was just about to go home. You better be glad I had my headphones off or you would be staying the night.” The srawny woman rubbed her greasy hands on her nose leaving black residue there. Manny stared at it.
“Hey, I am sorry but I kind of had an emergency, sue me.”
“Listen here, there’s a bathroom up front,lord boy.” she shook her head and turned to grip her cart. “I have to get out home.”
“Thank you miss..uh” Manny was cut short by the cleaning lady’s retort.
“Just stay outta that bathroom, that door is tricky besides that bathroom is out of order.” the aggravated lady walked away
cussing under breath.
Manny walked away too, hoping his stomach would feel better tomorrow.
Manny couldn’t sleep. All night long he tossed and turned and woke feeling worse than the day before. But who was he kidding, he had at least another couple weeks until his probationary period was over, he couldn’t miss work.
“Damn, I feel horrible.” he sat up and rubbed his face. Deep within his abdomen, a growling rumbling monster threatened to tear through his bowels. He jumped from the bed and rushed to the bathroom.
Despite his discomfort, Manny showered and got dressed for work.
The rest of his morning, he tried to keep his diet simple. Surely this would pass. He didn’t even know what was wrong with him. “Maybe I have a stomach virus and the worst of it is over.”
He rummaged through his medicine cabinet finding some kind of generic antacids. He happened across some tums and took them as well. “Ah, yes, this should do it. Just 8 hours and maybe this will have run its course.
He decided it would be better to lay off lunch for the time being. Nothing in and maybe nothing out, he thought. Bobby Joe and Merle sat with him and a couple other newbies on probation. Bobby Joe and Merle were old hands and thought it funny to recount all the accidents that had happened years past at the factory. Bobby Joe’s eyes widdened when she told the story about the girl who was maimed at the molding machine while Merle added to the story. Images of peeling skin and severed digits almost made Manny gag. He tried to focus on the break room television to ground himself and keep his stomach settled.
Waves of nausea passed through his stomach and made his flesh grow cold. His discomfort was noticed and seemed to fuel the others grusome gusto. Manny sneered and lay his head down on the table.
Finally after the torture of listening to the horror stories and going back out onto his job site, Manny felt a little better. He glanced over at Meredith as she sealed containers and packed them neatly into boxes. Manny thought Meredith was beautiful. Maybe if he could just focus on her beauty, then he wouldn’t feel so bad.

“Hey, Manny.” A gravely voice pulled him from his daydreaming.
Manny turned to the voice and frowned. Tate, the forklift driver threw up the bird and flew by chuckling. Manny smiled as best he could and went back to work. That son of a bitch loved to fuck with him. Wonder what he was up to now. Tate was still looking at Manny when he almost ran right into the supervisor. The close call made the supervisor call Tate down from the forklift and join him in his office. Manny laughed. “Good for you, asswipe.”
As hours went by, Manny felt secure that the worst of his stomach problems had passed. There had been no nausea since lunch and he had even managed to down a can of soda and a couple of chips with no bad after effects. He felt certain that he would make it the rest of the night. All he needed now was a good night’s rest.
About an hour before quitting time Manny still felt good. He started to work faster, moving more parts than the old hands were moving. He smiled and even joked around a little with Bobby Joe and Merle. He was going to be fine, it seemed.
Manny’s tummy rumbled, just 10 minutes before time to leave. He laughed and pushed himself harder. Just as he reached his last crate of parts, Manny bent over and stopped abruptly. A sharp pain shot up through his bowels and into his stomach. A wave of sickness welled up suddenly keeping Manny in his bent position. Manny raised up slowly and stood still. The rumbling grew worse and Manny leaned against the press machine. A rumble and then another, followed by a lurching sensation within his esophagus reminded him that he was still sick.
“Oh hell, not now.” Manny began to sweat and chills broke out all over his body.
Merle noticed his abrupt stop and walked up to him. “Hey man, are you alright?”
Manny couldn’t speak, the pains in his bowels were getting worse and coming fast. He knew he wasn’t going to make it. He looked at the clock on the wall and swallowed the lump in his throat. The clock told him that he still had five minutes left before he could leave for the night. Manny had to go to the bathroom and he had to go quick.
He looked toward the bathroom in the front and saw Meredith. “damnit” he said and wiped the sweat from his forehead. Manny wasn’t a coward but he wasn’t going to break lose in the bathroom by where Meredith was standing. Hell no, he would feel humiliated. He glanced toward the other bathroom and sighed. “Oh shit, I cannot believe this.”

Manny guts roared and a stronger wave of nausea passed over him suddenly. He didn’t think much past the sudden heaving, and rushed toward the bathroom. The ‘out of order’ sign flopped as Manny threw open the door and ran to the nearest stall. He didn’t know what to do first, puke or the other undesireable solution to his present problem. The next several minutes were like minutes in hell, he imagined. When he was finished with his ordeal, Manny was covered in cold sweat. He collapsed against the wall and felt the relief. The cold metal wall soothed his torment for a moment. He forgot everything else in existence for that moment and the next. He completely lost all track of time. When Manny finally realized his predicament, an unknown amount to time had passed. Manny stood and pulled up his pants. That is when he noticed the stench.
“Damn Damn Damn…it smells like someone died in here, well, someone besides me.” manny pushed open the stall and headed toward the door. The door would not budge. Then Manny remembered.
 ”Well fuck me, now what?’ He stood for a moment with his wet hair against he metal door. Then he came to life with sudden urgency. Manny knocked at first, calling to whoever would listen.
 ”Hey! somebody, anybody…can you get me outta here?” Manny stopped
and listened. “Hey, please….somebody help me!” His voice grew louder still and he began to pound upon the ungiving door. Manny put his ear to the cold surface and listened. Nothing, not a sound could be heard except for the air rushing through the hundreds of air hoses throughout the plant. No whispers, no laughs, not even a single machine noise could be heard. Manny began to pound again.

“Hey, Miss cleaning lady…are you out there?” Manny beat the door with both hands and then gave it a hard kick. He grabbed the handle and banged it inside its housing. That is when he contemplated breaking the damn thing off. He remembered how, as a kid he had gotten out of many situations such as this by simply man ‘handling’ the problem. Everytime his brother had locked him in the bathroom, he had just kicked the door down and beat the hell outta him. But this was a metal door and Manny didn’t know what he was going to do. He could hear nothing from the other side and he was really afraid that it was too late.

The putrid smell brought him back suddenly to his senses and Manny assaulted the door once more. He kicked and beat the door until his hands were raw and his toes were killing him. Manny stood back and enjoyed a fit of hard breathing and exhausted limbs. “Oh please…I swear I won’t use this bathroom again.” Manny felt suddenly hopeless. His whole being was tired but fortunately, his stomach problems were curiosly absent now. “Oh, so now I feel just fine, except I feel like shit.”

Manny slid down the wall plopping onto the floor. His tired hands caught his head as it felt forward. He suddenly felt sleepy and thought he just might take a nap. What difference did it make anyhow, he might as well get some sleep considering he would probably be here all night.
Manny relaxed and drifted slowly in and out of shallow sleep. Every little noise woke him and made him strain to hear. But nothing, nothing would be helping Manny tonight. He just had to get that through his tired skull. Manny finally found a deeper sleep and leaned against the corner snoring.
Manny awoke with a start. He could hear rustling and a loud clang from outside the his prison. He bolted up and made for the metal door. OH how he wished he had a peep hole at the moment. Manny could hear various scamperings and scufflings just outside and he tried to hold his breath in the illusion that he could figure the sounds out. Then, as loud as they were, they suddenly halted. Manny strained even harder to hear something inside the absense of sound. He growled and waited. Lifting one fist, Manny made a face and proceeded to knock on the door. But right before striking the surface, Manny paused. He encountered a strange thought.How did he know who was out there? What if someone had broken in the plant? Maybe they were thugs and maybe they would beat Manny senseless or even kill him. Manny took his hand down and waited but no sounds came. Manny moved back to the spot where he had rested and slid back down the wall. For a long period of time, he heard nothing but then he thought he heard a whisper…or something.

It sounded like a woman or a child maybe and what it said…Manny couldn’t be certain. He strained and put his ear on the cold surface of the wall. He heard it again. A soft sweet voice called to someone from somewhere on the other side of his entrapment. She sounded scared, she sounded lost even, maybe she needed help like Manny. Manny imagined one of his female coworkers locked in the women’s restroom on the other side of the men’s room where he was. That made perfect sense to Manny. Manny moved to the far wall that attached to the women’s room and listened again. Her voice grew louder and Manny smiled. Yes, she was trapped as Manny was, and probably had been here for hours as well. But why hadn’t Manny heard her before? Manny stopped pondering for a moment. The woman was crying, he was sure of it. The soft muffled gasps made Manny feel really bad for the woman. He decided to speak to her, calm her or maybe just be there for her.

“Hey, hello?” Manny ventured out with a soft tone but loud enough to be heard opposite the bathroom wall He waited but there was no reply. Manny noticed, though, that the girl had stopped crying. Maybe she was straining to hear him. Manny spoke louder.

“Hey! I am trapped too!” Manny yelled louder and instinctively pounded the bathroom wall.
Manny could no longer hear the poor woman’s pleadings. He felt strange and confused. The silence returned and he just sat by the wall listening, listening for anything that could prove to him that he was not alone.

The door opened. At first Manny thought he was halucinating and that somehow he may have fallen back to sleep again and was dreaming of his freedom. His breath caught in his throat and he stood way too quickly. Manny’s head spun and he staggered forward. He crept slowly toward the open door, a little wary of what lie beyond. Who opened the door for him, he wondered?  Maybe someone had come back in to clean up before the day shift. Manny walked to directly in front of the open door and stared out. He saw machines, as they were before he ran into the bathroom. No tools lying around, nothing out of place to signify the noises he had heard earlier. But lights were on, the whole factory was lit up like production time. Manny felt strange. He was entering a colored world from his black and white prison of metal and putrid wastes. He took a chance, Manny rushed from the bathroom and bent to his knees in relief. He was free, finally he was free.

Then he heard her voice again, calling softly from somewhere. He looked over to the ladies room directly beside the men’s stalls. But strangely, the sounds didn’t seem to be coming from there. A short sharp clang sounded from somewhere within the plant then a muffled dragging from somewhere else. Manny turned from side to side looking for the source of the noise. Someone had let him out of the bathroom, now where were they?

“Hello? Is anyone here?” Manny questioned, wanting to pay thanks to his hero of the night who set him free. No one answered him with words. But more various clanks and shuffles sounded across the department and then sounds erupted from the other departments as well. Manny started walking toward the front of the plant. He was getting out of here now. He was quite fed up with strangeness for the night. Besides, he felt better and needed a drink.

Manny almost had a heart attack when a broom fell across his path and tripped him. He tried to keep his balance but his brisk walk made him tumble down upon his elbow. His arm gave way and Manny rolled over against the huge press machine. His heart beat wildly as he scrambled to understand what had just happened. But when he tried to grab hold of the side of the press, a hand reached out for him. Manny gasped and fell back onto the floor in fear.

“Shit! You scared me.” Manny exclaimed without looking up. He was just begininng to feel the sharp pains coursing up through his arm. The hand reached further down, coaxing Manny to rise. Manny looked up but didn’t attempt to take the hand. He pulled himself up and stood with his own efforts.
She was nice looking and maybe around her early or mid 30s and she was wearing casual clothing much like anyone else wore while at work. Manny stopped cursing long enough to smile at the pretty lady then continued to pamper his sore arm.

“Hi, my name is Tina.” the girl spoke and offered her hand again. But Manny was still whining and acting too much like a baby to shake her hand. Finally Manny decided to speak.

 ”Hi, I’m Manny, I didn’t know we had a graveyard shift here. I was stuck in that damn
bathroom for hours.” Manny regained his sensible thoughts and spoke again. “Hey, did you let me out of the bathroom? Thank you.”

Tina’s face looked puzzled and she chuckled. “Oh, no that was probably Peter. He is the night maitenance man.”

“Well, I appreciate that. Thank him for me. I have to get out of here. I have to be back at work tomorrow afternoon and if I don’t get any sleep, I won’t be worth much.”

Manny caught Tina’s eyes and saw something dark that suddenly gave him chills. He held her gaze until she dropped her pretty blonde head and stared at her feet.

“Hey, it was nice meeting you, Tina. I will catch you around here sometimes.”

Manny turned and walked on to the front doors. He reached out and pulled the handle and got nothing. It wouldn’t budge. ” For christ’s sake!! Now what?” Manny felt as though he was going to lose his mind. He had spent what seemed like many hours in the bathroom, now he couldn’t even get out the front door to his car.

“Hey!” Manny started as he walked back toward where Tina had been. “Can someone please let me out.” Manny looked from side to side for help but strangely there was no one to be found. If there was a graveyard shift, then where was everyone? Manny walked through one department to the other and found no one, no trace of any people moving parts or packing boxes. It was as if they didn’t even exist. The factory fell into silence again. Manny was really losing his nerve now. First a night spent inside a smelly bathroom that was cold and damp, now he couldn’t even leave the plant. His hands began to shake. Manny ended up right back in front of the ‘Out of Order’ bathroom. He stared deeply into its open mouth.

“This is ridiculous.” Manny felt something tapping his shoulder and spun around.

Nothing, there was nothing but machines and parts from wall to wall. Manny listened and heard the deafening silence of many inactive machines. ONly the air through the hoses reminded him that he was real. He felt the poking again but much harder. Manny spun around faster trying to catch whatever was vying for his attention, but the factory was still curiously empty. Where had the workers gone, where was Tina?

Then he heard the whispering voice again but was unsure of where it was coming from. He turned and turned, stepping this way and that. His eyes scanned every corner of the factory. The poking continued upon his shoulder.

“I cant take this.” Manny shouted to whoever might hear him and then bolted back toward the front door. He rammed the door and knocked himself onto the concrete floor. Manny looked up from where he lay. He saw the bright lights swaying from the ceiling. They were covered in cobwebs. He closed his eyes and tried to keep an grip on his sanity. When he opened his eyes again, he saw a half man. Manny couldn’t move.

Standing above him smilng was some man who was mutilated almost beyond recognition. Half his face was melted away and the rest of his body was tattered and covered in wet gore. Manny pushed against the concrete floor and scurried backwards away from the creature. “What the hell?”

Then he saw Tina. She stood beside the horrible man and didn’t seem afraid at all. Her face was pale but her smile was comforting to Manny. He tried to focus on her face so as not to look at the ugly man. But out of the corner of his eye, Manny was tormented by what he saw. He shook with fear.

“Manny, are you okay?” Tina spoke softly and held her stomach. She then reached out and offered him another hand of help.

Manny crawled all the way back to the front door and pulled himself up by the handle.

“What’s going on? Who is that or what is that?” Manny questioned Tina and looked in horror at the mutilated man. “Is this some joke or something?”

Tina looked sad. Her head tilted and she walked toward Manny. “Don’t be afraid Manny. I won’t hurt you and Jim isn’t a bad person. He just got hurt really really bad.”

Manny was confused. He didn’t know what to think, what to do or whether or not he was dreaming. He figured he would wake up pretty soon, this was just too unrealistic and creepy.

 ”Do you work here or is someone playing a prank on me?”

There was no answer from Tina in fact she looked worried, very worried. She glanced from side to side irratically.

Manny felt a thickness in the air much different than anything he had ever felt. The lights flickered and a loud hum, or better yet, a roar began to build throughout the factory. Manny’s ears started to ring and even the concrete beneathe his feet vibrated softly.

“What is happeneing?” Manny spoke over the roar of the machines.

“They’re coming Manny. You have to hide.”

"Who...who's coming, Tina?" Manny asked in stark fear.

Tina screamed right before Manny passed out.

 When Manny opened his eyes, he was in the bathroom stall again. His hands were sweaty and the stench was horrible. The big steel door was shut and Manny felt the muscles in his hands cramp horribly. He rose and walked toward the door. He tried the handle but it would not budge. Manny was still trapped. His long exhale was followed by a stream of curse words. Then Manny wondered about what had happeded before. He could not get the face of the half man from his mind. It had seemed so real, not a dream at all. It was quiet, so quiet for hours to follow. Manny checked his watch for the time and smiled. It was almost dawn, the cleaning lady would be here to help him soon.

Softly, from somewhere outside the big steel door…Manny heard a woman’s voice. He strained his ear and pressed it tightly against the cold steel. He clearly heard her speak this time.
Manny looked at his watch again and gasped. He had only been trapped for an hour it seemed and it would be quite a while till dawn. Manny couldnt understand what had just happened. He could have sworn that it was almost dawn.

The ladies voice came again, softly but clearly. She spoke two words.

“Help me.”


The leg, the foot and the left side.
General William was ready. As he buttoned up his jacket, he thought about Elizabeth. her sobs wafted in from the bedroom and landed upon his ear. She didn’t want him to go but she knew it was his job. Problem is, she didn’t think he would return to her. The general smiled at such a notion then his heart sank at that same notion. What if he didn’t come back?

Patricia was coming, already just over the ridge and would take care of Elizabeth for him. He knew Patricia was a good colored woman and wouldn’t let his wife ‘do bad things’ this time. Those women could only be trusted with some things and that is why Lavinia and two other old negros would help her. They could all keep an eye on each other. William chuckled at the thought and the silly visual he was having. What a sight that would be.

He was afraid, he was. His hands trembled as he pulled on his gloves and tightened his belt. He knew the bloodbath that had become his beloved south and he understood the stakes in this battle. What a strange notion, abolishing slavery, he still didn’t understand the whole idea.

William glanced in the mirror once more and ran his hands down the gray jacket. His hands shook. What was he really doing, was there any point to this? He reached up and ran another hand over his mustache and grunted.

“Well, I reckon I should be going.” he said to no one in particular. William glanced to the bedroom and decided to pay one more visit to Elizabeth before he rode away.

Elizabeth lay in bed with her head pressed into a white feather pillow. Her beautiful gown was crumpled in her right hand serving as her handkerchief.William winced at the mess his wife was in. Her blond curls were frizzed and tangled and her face was pale. Elizabeth was getting worse.

“Elizabeth, honey, come here.” William sat on the corner of the bed and pulled his wife from her pitiful nest. A large gasp followed by more tortured sobs came from her open mouth. William grasped her head and turned it toward him. Her eyes were shut tight, head was shaking. Elizabeth drew her baby blue gown to her mouth and wept.

“Listen here, girl…you know I have to be going.”

William started, “Patricia is almost here, she will help you with the baby. Where is that Lavinia?”

William glanced toward the hallway. The slave girl should have been walking by with linens or pillows or something, busying herself. Something was suddenly odd.

“Elizabeth, where is Lavinia?” William shook Elizabeth lightly and waited for her reply. Elizabeth’s swollen eyes opened and she stared at William.

“I sent her away William. She was putting that native stuff all around my room. There’s this one doll, over there by the closet, the one with the striped arms and blond hair. It scares me William. I tell you, those girls are trouble.” Elizabeth’s eyes grew wide in fear at the thought of her own words. She shrugged free from William’s hands and sat upright in bed.

“Elizabeth, you need those girls here with you until I return.” William exhaled heavily, “I must be going now, I will tell Patricia to fetch Lavinia and a couple more young ones from over at Earnest’s place.”

William rose from Elizabeth’s bedside and pulled his belt into place. His eyes met his wife’s swollen baby blues and he swallowed the lump in his throat. No matter how hard he tried, he knew she could see his fear. She knew him, like no other woman had, she felt his dread.

“William, come back to me..” Elizabeth spoke as another tear trailed down her cheek. “I am afraid of these people here, I am afraid of those damned dolls and I am just afraid of this place.”

William couldn’t understand his wife’s depression. He could only comfort her. And after he was gone, she had only the good lord and those colored girls to look after her. William looked toward the door and then back to his wife. He was torn between his duty and his …duty. What more could he do but walk away. His boot heels made a dull thud as he went toward the door. Elizabeth’s sobs became muffled as she fell face first into her pillow.

“I love you dear.” William spoke, touching his hat and then left the room.


“Suppose Mrs. Lizbeth seen you doin nat..” Patricia snatched the doll from Lavinia’s hand and smacked her across the face.

Lavinia grit her teeth and stood taller. “I aint no slave
 o yaws. Don be hittin me like that.” lavinia’s chest heaved and she snatched the doll back from her elder.

“Listen Lavinia, I tell you, theyz don understand our ways, you an me.” Patricia pointed to Lavinia and then to herself. Her anger had mounted. Just as she was about to explain her point further, she saw William walking toward them. He was obviously upset and about to be on his way.

“You go up there and talk to Elizabeth, I don’t need her working herself up any more than she is now. You hear, go!” William spoke as he walked toward the door. “And, remember what I told you about the work around here. Elizabeth is not to lift a finger.”

And that was all he said, and he was gone. Lavinia made a face and caressed her little doll’s matted hair. “Mean ole white man.”


Elizabeth was screaming. Not minutes after William had mounted his horse and head out over the hill, did she let out her wailing. She was up, running to the bowl by the window and splashing water in her face. “OOOOh my William, lord have mercy on me” She wheezed and gasped for air then fell in the floor by the table.

Patricia ran to her side and stroked her face. “Mrs. Elizabeth, come on now….shhhh”

Lavinia stood in the doorway and stroked her doll. Her round brown face was stricken in fear.

“I can’t take it Patricia, don’t leave me.” Elizabeth cried and pulled the slave woman’s dress sleeve. She just wanted to find a place to hide. Anything would work at the moment.

“Listen honey, you got to be strong. Ms. Betty and Nona is watching the baby. You just need to come on downstairs and see your little Margaret.” Patricia smiled and wiped Elizabeth’s forehead with a dish cloth. Elizabeth’s eyes suddenly went vacant. Her sobs quieted.

“I need some privacy, Patricia.” Elizabeth looked at the woman and dropped her gaze. “I have to do my personal business, if you know what I mean.”

Patricia laughed before she could contain it. “That’s right, You just start with the little things then. I will help you souz you don fall down.”

“…I want to be alone. You shouldn’t have to do those things in the company of other women and I won’t do my business in front of no….I mean, I don’t need any help.” Elizabeth sucked up the remainder of her tears and started to stand. Her legs wobbled underneath her and her tangled curls fell into her face.

Patricia stood back obviously hurt by her ladies intended insult. “Fine then, You jus go on and do your ‘business’. I will wait jus here.”


Elizabeth pulled up her long ruffled sleeve and glanced at her arm. The lines were barely visible.
Her husband’s straight razor came down and pushed against the soft flesh of her forearm. Elizabeth winced as she drug the blade across her skin. Fine beads of crimson blood welled up and streamed across her arm. Her heart raced. She giggled hysterically.
Elizabeth chunked the razor into the sink and then the door opened.

“Mrs. Elizabeth, I knew youz up to that again. I heard that funny laugh youz be doin. Oh dear…”


Two weeks later

Lavinia shoved the pin into the shaggy haired doll and smiled.

“You bad ole man. Iz told you not to talk to me like that. The blue cavalry is going to get youz and Iz gonna be free!”

The second pin sent into his foot and the third pin hung pendulously between Lavinia’s fingers.

“Now what ya gonna do, Mr. white man?”

Lavinia turned the pin around in between her fingers and brought it just over the doll’s heart. A loud bang  sounded through the house and she shoved the pin just inches from the x, the man doll’s heart place. “Well damned be to hell, whats goin on in this place.”

“LAVINIA!!! I need you to come here, girl. What you doin in there anyhow?”

Lavinia took the doll and tucked it away underneath an old quilt. She was so tired of that woman always yellin at her. Maybe someday when theyz all free, she would make a doll for patricia.


Two weeks later

She had looked everywhere and she couldn’t find the doll. Her head felt dizzy and her stomach churned. Lavinia knew she was in deep trouble if Mrs. Elizabeth found that thing. She was already spooked about the ‘native stuff’. Lavinia just played around anyway. Nothing more than some silly stuff her cousin told her. When she made the doll, she didn’t think it would work.

When news came of William’s death and how it happened, Lavinia fainted. She didn’t care about that ole white man, in fact, she hated him. But lord knows she didn’t know how to kill him.

She saw right where that pin went. The leg, the foot and the left side of the doll’s chest. Mr. William had been killed by a giant ball, they come outta that cannon and hit him…leg, then foot and then the left chest. Oh lord, Lavinia thought.

She dug further into the old chest, pulling up quilts
and afghans, throwing aside old bonnets…but nothing.

“Are you looking for this?”

Lavinia turned to see Mrs. Elizabeth standing in the doorway of the slave girl’s room. The white ladies arms were a pattern of slashes and scars. The doll with the gray jacket and pin through leg and foot dangled in Mrs. Elizabeth’s hand. A red blotch covered the place where the x went. Elizabeth was fuming and sobbing at the same time, other hand holding onto William’s straight razor.
Two men came to stand behind the distraught white lady. They held ropes and mean faces. Lavinia rubbed the quilt she held tightly in her hand. She barely felt the pin prick in her thumb. She looked down in shock and saw the pin…the red tipped one she had drove into Mr. Williams chest. The one that killed that ole white man.


forever beasts

Did I really hate him, of course not. But was I frustrated by the fact that he didn't save me from my demons...maybe. I just wanted to go away. I wanted to go away from it all and just die.
I heard him calling to me quietly, inside my head. He was frantic and quiet and I knew time was of the essence. I knew that in order to escape, I had to answer him. His mind was an open feild to me now. He knew that in order for me to trust him, he had to let me inside to see what he held within. I walked the halls of his mind quietly and surveyed all that was there inside him. I started to calm gradually and consider going back to him. Reaching into my little sachel, I retrieved two sprigs of Alonitum and chewed absent mindedly. How long could this go on, even in the wild. I fingered through the bag of seeds and wondered if I held the answer to this problem. I had little time to think and to roll these things over in my head. Things were not as they seemed and I could see this in his thoughts. I could see everything, peices of my dead parents strewn across the forest floor, Tamas, writhing in pain as his silver arrow protruded from the beast which had attacked him. The beast was dead but Tamas and I were wounded. Tamas lie dying in my mind...dying on the forest floor with my name upon his lips and the name of my mother there as well.

I wept upon the cavern floor as Tamas called to me desperately. I wept for undoing, my demons and my fate which was still dangling by a thin thread.

I heard them then, I smelled them coming for me...for us. I knew they were nearing our location and I had to do something. Without much further thought, I made my decision.


We were running, Tamas and I...trying to escape death on horseback. The huntsman pounded the path behind us and we ran faster. Tamas squeezed my hand and pulled me further.

"You must run faster, Roma. They are gaining on us." Tamas didn't look as winded as I, so he pulled me again and urged my forward. I felt my belt slipping and looked down just in time to catch the small sachels containing my meds. My hand gripped the loose leather strap and pulled the bags up to my breast.

Tamas stopped momentarily and looked at me. "What is that? It's the Alconitum." Tamas answered his own question after quickly searching my mind. He frowned and pulled me on....running again...galloping back to full sprint. In a turn or two we encountered a high slope and decided to climb. Tamas pulled me, simply dragging and tugging, up the hillside. At the top of the slope, he dodged behind a  huge oak and took my face roughly into his hands.

"I don't want to run anymore, Roma." Tamas looked defeated and broken. "I don't want to hide."

I was astonded by his confession of weakness. I smiled weakly and held tight my herb bag. "What do you mean, Tamas?"

Tamas caressed my face and spoke. "I have no Alconitum."

I looked at the bag and nodded. "Then I shall share with you, Tamas. Besides, I think I have seeds to grown more when we can...."

Tamas interrupted me and spoke sternly. "Roma, we don't have time for that. Planting takes days to come to fruition. We do not have days left until the moon moves away...until the danger has passed...We do not have enough time."

" I have 4 sprigs of Alconitum left." Just as I announced the fact, I was floored. I did not have enough to keep myself human, besides sharing with Tamas. I knew that this was over before I even spoke. I knew that soon, our humanity would be gone and there was nothing I could do about it. "So what do you propose that we do, Tamas?"

Tamas glanced around the oak and then back to me. His face was a mixture of sadness and love. There beyond those simple feelings was the fact that Tamas had already made peace with the beast inside of himself. He didn't have to say a word for me to understand and yet he did. He found the humanity within himself to speak those hurtful and dreading words that he longed to hide from me. "Roma, we have to change...or we will die. We have to let the beast have its way."

I frowned and shook my head in denial. For such a long time, I had lived off the Alconitum. I had made a life for myself in Malvachia for years. Things had become routine except for maybe a little mishap here and there. Overall, I had done very well for myself with the help of the taltos people who roamed the vasts forests. I almost covered my tracks until the last mishap which drove me into the caverns. I opened my mind and showed Tamas what I was feeling, what had happened to me and why they were hunting me. Tamas smiled and caressed my face again.

"I know...I know what you did and its not your fault. He was just one of them...he was a hunter. They will never forgive you for defiling one of their own. They will kill you, Roma." Tamas looked ashamed at what he had pulled free from my mind and so he put it back there and covered it back up for me.

I exhaled and dropped the velvet sachels on the forest floor. I knew that Tamas was right and there was no other way. I connected with his mind and he saw my answer clearly enough.
"Okay sweetheart...just stick with me and don't be afraid. We have until nightfall and then....we must be ready to attack. You are free and you shall remain so." He pulled me up and we ran on up the hill and over the ridge.


I am not sure how far we ran but I know that we only stayed ahead of the huntsman for this time, they persistant. The waning of the moon had left them with false security of what the night would bring. All their legends and stories which had been shared with them by their elders had led them to the false comfort of safety. Their hearts pumped wildly and their horses frothed at the mouth. They pushed on and on and grew closer as the day died. I heard their excitement and their anger at both the prospect of my murder and the fast fading fear of Tamas. They were willing to face the blue eyed demon in exchange for the capture of the beast. As far as they knew, I was loaded up on Alconitum and it would be a breeze to bring me down. Ten strong men could surely reign me in along with their renegade scout...which to them was surely human enough in their eyes by now.

The mud was curling around our feet pulling us down as we trudged through the mire and muck. The newly falling snow was melting and creating a strange captive force for us to reckon with. But still, Tamas pulled us onward...onward and through the spring, the valley and closer to the northern regions. By the time that the sun was falling low, we had reached a high ridge and could run no more. I looked into the sky and saw our lunar friend crawling up the heavens in an early hello.

I dropped the Alconitum and starred at it in fear. It was my crutch, my helpmate for years that had passed. I had released its hold on me and now I was ready.

 I saw the moon first and so I nudged Tamas to look up and into the sky at its brilliance. When the light shone on his face he smiled.

 "There it is....the light which revealed the truth" Tamas looked over at me still smiling like someone gone mad. "and the truth was not pretty at all...but the truth was free."

His words sent chills throughout my body and tickled my skin. I felt those words gripping my mind, pulling me under and dragging me down into something that I was not accostumed to. I panicked suddenly and dropped to all fours. Tamas snatched the velvet bags from my reach and chunked them both over the ridge. I fell onto the ground and gasped in defeat.

"Tamas....I...cannot do this." I lay down and curled into a ball. I didn't know how to transform. I only knew how to remain human at all costs.

Tamas squated beside me and looked into my eyes. I could see the pupils dilating quickly and the color of his face was darkeneing. "It is upon us, Roma. It is here and we are ready...I am have to be ready. They are coming up the hill now. Accept who you are and do it now!"

At the end of his words, I felt the contraction. I felt it spread up and into my bowels, every organ inside was on fire. I cringed and screamed out suddenly. In the distance, I heard the horses whinnying and snorting in fear. The hunters were talking and yet they pulled onward. I screamed again and then the hunters paused. I felt their every fear become concrete, I smelled their cowardis suddenly and I smelled my own animalistic changes proceeding onward. I looked for Tamas but he was gone. In an attempt to rise, I saw Tamas writhing on the ground and growling loudly. His body shook and contorted in the brightness of the moonlight. I would have tried to help him but I couldn't think clearly. I felt my vision grow blurry and the colors began to disappear. I reached up to feel my face and it was hot as hands were shaking and I felt as if I was going completely insane. My last thought as a human was ...why...oh why was I on fire?


I was staring into the face of a beast. I should have been frightened, I know. There are so many things in this world that should frighten us. But I was not scared at all. I was simply fascinated by what I saw. Its fur was covered in shimmering red drops of something beautiful. I could see everything around me as well and the beast did not try to hurt me at all. I could hear it growling gently along with all the other creatures of the forest. The beast just stared at me at first then it loped off down a I followed. I could smell death...death all around me but I did not look. I was so enamored by the creature and its strength. And that is when I noticed something odd about myself. My vantage point was odd. The trees, they seemd to be in the wrong position...and I was no longer cold at all. I thought of Tamas, I thought of his beautiful face and his love. I missed Tamas. Suddenly, I was a little afraid. Where was Tamas...why did he leave me here alone with these beasts? I grew saddened by his absense and the further I went down the trail following that horrid beast, the more I missed Tamas. I felt a pain inside that nothing could explain...not even I. I could not stop following the beast...I could smell him and he was so familiar but I could not read its thoughts. The beast stopped and turned back toward me. His blue eyes twinkled in the moonlight and my soul just died a little. I lifted my head and screamed because I knew that Tamas was no longer Tamas.

I heard my scream and it killed me inside for all I heard was a loud...piercing .... and monstrous howl.

I knew that we were beasts and I knew that what had happened could not be undone.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

beasts 4

He stopped crawling toward me and looked up. There he was...the man I knew as Tamas. But who was Tamas? All in flesh and blood....and eyes...penetrating eyes. Those eyes were so close that I could fall into them and drown forever. It was rather ridiculous, really... the way they made you feel. There was more magic there than in the transformation. I was thrashing and paddling in those waters, trying to keep myself afloat in those orbital unknowns.

I just couldn't help myself...I really couldn't. Something in my heart was about to burst and I had no idea why. I reached out with one soot covered hand to touch the man that I was sure was only an illusion.

"Tamas..." I whispered as a smile broke his countenance.

"Yes, it's me Roma."

Tamas turned his body this way and that trying to face me and yet be comfortable. The cavern was tight and his legs were pulled underneathe him. He wriggled a little more and pulled his body into a semi comfortable slumping position. He seemed okay with it and so he smiled again.

"I know you." My mind reached out again and tried to strengthen the newly formed connection. As tendrils of my brain touched his, he withdrew just a tad and his smile faded for a moment. It was as if he was trying to protect something in the midst of letting me see some of the things that might help me to understand the present situation. His eyes shifted down and then back again to meet mine. He bit his lip absently.

"We should leave, Roma. They are onto your scent. They have the hounds with them and they expect your location on my return. They trust me, they own me in ways, you know. I am like a scout to them, you know. It is so very hard to explain to you about what all these things mean. I promise that I shall clear it all up for you....but you must trust me....please."

Tamas took my hand and placed it on his left cheek and closed his eyes. The thumb of my right hand brushed the bridge of his nose and I stroked the skin almost as habit. There was something oddly intimate about such a simple gesture. Turning his face into my hand, he sniffed the warm flesh of my palm, my wrist and my fingers. He seemed as fascinated with me and I was of him. I could see so much in the dim much of Tamas. He looked into my eyes again and I saw even more of Tamas. I saw pain that was extraordinary but so well hidden. I saw anger and frustration and yet I saw a desire to be needed and accepted for what Tamas really was. In short...I saw humanity....and I desired that humanity.

"I know you...but why? How do I know you, Tamas?"

I reached, searching for anything that his mind could offer up to me. But he was guarded again, frightened...or maybe I took a wary protection as fear when there was no fear at all. Tamas was saddened suddenly...even defeated. He placed my hand back into my lap and looked down at his own fingers.

"It's not your fault Roma. I did this thing and I should have stayed there....helped you learn. I did not protect you....I did not stop it soon enough."

I started to understand nothing. I was more confused and his mind was a wall. I felt desires and hungers rising up from within. I pushed and pushed at veneer of Tamas's mind, hoping beyond hope to make a crack in the wall. I chipped a little away finally and saw just a bit of something. I saw a hunger...a hunger to rival and yet defeat my own. I saw desires so similar and so carnal but yet they were not mine. I saw things that Tamas had learned to control that appeared so much like my own crutches, my own defeats...and yet, he was broken...broken as I was broken.

I became angry. I felt the surge of flames rising up inside as I looked into those eyes. I saw the little girl alone in the forest crying...I saw the little girl through his eyes and then I saw the wolf...through my own eyes. I felt so small, so vulnerable. Then there was the huntsman. I looked up from a very small vantage point to see the huntsman standing above me, crossbow at ready...shouting in a language foreign to my own. I was crying. Then, again...switching to and fro...I saw through the eyes of the lycanthrope but not through my lupine acknowledgment...but his. An unknown predator, the wolf stalking the baby, the wolf wishing to devour the small child and the ..hunter...the hunter...his eyes so blue, his hair a mass of black and his face stern in concentration. Silver tipped arrow head quivering in the bow. The lunging of the wolf, the wound on my baby innocent arm. The cut, no...the the bite. I saw the hunter taken down in the jaws of the beast and so I ran on little legs. Trees flashing by me, rocks and then....the cavern.

The luminecent light danced on the cave wall making Tamas squint. I was here, with him and he was frowning. His forehead was furrowed. The face of the hunter, the eyes of death. It was only Tamas and I, alone inside the earth talking of things that should not be spoken in silent language of the mind. I looked down at my forearm and moving my tattered sleeve up and away from the rest of my arm. There were no wounds, only small star shaped scars dappled along the cold flesh. Hardened and healed by time, they were, things with not story until now. Why hadn't I remembered? A sudden pain erupted through my head and then visions of fur flying, elongation and hot hot blood trickling down my chin...the turning.

I gasped and pulled away from the man before me. I glared into his face, his reaching thick hands and I glared deep within those blue eyes.

" I hate you!"

Growling, I turned from Tamas scratching and scrambling attempting to  pull myself deeper into the cavern.... further away from the that I could hide.

Beasts 3 (my dear Tamas)

She is dead. Deep within the forests between Malvachia and the northern region, I found her body. She had been burned and piled with others...others that I did not know. I knew it was her because...I just knew the smell of the taltos. There were other things as Benti but yet,were no other beings such as Benti; she was the only one who I knew to have the source of my humanity. Her little hovel had been ransacked. The huntsmen had pillaged her home, taking what they wanted thinking of what they might be rewarded for by thier theivery. They had attempted to burn her home to the ground but the flames had stopped just short of her bedding. Maybe it had been rains, maybe the magic she held within or maybe nothing at all. I was beginning to think it was nothing at all but fate. Her supply of Alconitum was gone but I found something...something that maybe was much more valuable than the Alconitum itself. I found a small grey sachel of seeds. I smelled the little round bits and found the smell to be curiously like that of the Alconitum herb.

I whispered softly in awe. "Wolfsbane seed...could it be..."

Then the breeze brought a scent to my nose. An alarming human scent came wafting up the hillside and invaded my senses. An inner warning started to ring throughout my brain of coming enemies. All humankind, except for a few were becoming my fast enemies. I cringed and thought of how much I wanted to bury Benti, the taltos, in her own earth before running away again. I did not want to be scared from here...not just yet. And so I hid behind the hovel and into Benti's earthen vault. The thing looked rather intact and it would seem that no one had found this hidden treasure. The place smelled of all different sorts of meats; venison, boar and rabbit. My sense of smell was on a thrill ride but it was just too dangerous to let my guard down to enjoy a fast meal. Looking around me, I saw them. The hanging bodies of vermin of all kinds...cold and preserving...just as I felt to be doing with myself at the moment. The cold radiated throughout me almost to the point ot teeth chattered and so I held my jaw tight with both hands. Up above, I heard two humans rummaging through Benti's things. I was furious...but I did not move.


8 more sprigs of Alconitum...

I found rest in a cavern south of my destination. Here I ingested two more sprigs of Alconitum. It had been two days since the advent of the full moon. Soon, I could put away what I had left of the Alconitum and try to find a place to grow the seeds. If I truly possessed the seed of Wolfsbane, then there was no limit as to how long I could survive as human. I was torn inside....truly torn and terrified. If I was wrong and maybe only possessed some seed of culinary herb, then what would I surmise to do when all the sprigs of Alconitum were gone. I guess that is when I move to plan become that which I was meant to be. I let out a long deep breath and painted the air with white puffs of life. The temperature was dropping drastically and I knew by the smell of everything around would snow soon. I had to find semi permanant living quarters. Maybe I could find sanctuary as a young woman who loved plants, could cook and maybe I could take care of the children of a small family, perchance... But who was I kidding, I was a monster and this silly fleeting dream of mine to be normal was just a disaster waiting to happen. Within my mind, I saw the seeds of failure and I saw the bodies of those dead children...their blood on my hands.


I heard the commotion about the cave entrance. I gathered myself, crawling tighter into the crevice that I had slept in the night before. The sounds of crackling dried leaves and twigs grew louder. I sniffed the air and was taken aback by what I inhaled.  I knew this human but I couldn't read his mind, which maddened me. The scent was very familiar, musky yet sweet; it was human pheramone mixed with sweat and something else. I couldn't quite place what I was smelling and I could not yet pick up any other thought patterns to further make the visitor recognizable. My curiosity held me in position. The sound stopped and another louder sound took its place. A frustrated grunt announced the visitor coming closer to my sleeping place. I watched the pinpoint of light that wavered back and forth with the movement of the lone figure. The tunnel was long and narrow but with my animal eyes, I could see the man coming closer. I held my breath.

Within moments, I caught a glimpse of something within his mind. A wolf..a lone wolf standing in the forest glaring at me. Then a glimpse of something else... a child was crying on the forest floor. She wiped the her dirty tear stained face and then called his name.

"Tamas....Tamas..." The vision faded.

I heard his voice call out echoing on the wet walls of the cave. "Roma...Roma, It's me, Tamas!"

I sat there stunned at what I had seen...what I was hearing now. I sat there stunned because that strange and interesting man was invading my sleeping place and he was calling to me. He was casually announceing himself as if we had been good friends all our life. I couldn't run for there was no other way out of this place. This man was brave, very brave and he was coming for me. He was alone and that was at least a small releif. But what did he want. What on earth could posssess a human man to crawl into the lair of the beast, look her in the face and ....tempt to lay his cards before her.

I saw his thoughts and realized that this is what he intended to do. He was gradually and inevitably opening his previously secret thoughts to me by simply mending some connection. That is when the other things came back to me.

We had met before...some life, some time...ago...before the change.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

beasts 2

I knew the sun was setting for many different reasons. I felt the hair standing up the back of neck, I heard the roar of the last rays of light tickling the tree tops and then cooling quickly and I heard the hunters thoughts about what was happening. They were deciding to head back to the village and wait it out. According to their memories, the caverns went on for miles underground and it was just too far to travel within the darkness consdering the dangers of Malvachia. I sat for a moment and gathered my remaining human senses. I had to go back and find the Alconitum. In haste, anger and indecision; I had dropped the whole sachel and prepared to become what the night wanted of me. I now regreted my hasty decision. Fore in every joint of my body...I felt the elongation beginning.

The caves grew cold and unforgiving and seemed to close in around me. My lupine eyes adjusted quickly to the darkness that accompanied the cold. All around my body, I could feel the suffocation squeezing and compressing. My bones started to hurt and the cramps shot up through my abdomen. To turn here would be precarious and complicated. Never before had I twisted and contorted in such a tight space. I wondered about this...insane imaginations flashed throughout my brain as the hunger churned. I could hear myself growl and my breath grew like fire. I had to find the Alconitum.

I turned back...scrambling through the enclosed crevices and crawl spaces. My senses heightened and pulled me back toward where I had dropped my sachel. The smell grew stronger the further I crawled. And what would I do when I found my sachel? Should I really take the herb and kill the urge just so that tomorrow would bring more torture and animalistic instincts. I would find the Alconitum and then I would leave...I would run run far away from the caverns. I would find a new village and I would learn to live there away from my history. I could live from the Alconitum until they forgot about looking for me. Then, maybe then, when there was no more medicines, if the taltos failed me...I would run back into the forest and join my own kind. Maybe by then...the huntsmen would have found a new past time... a new prey to hunt down or maybe I would have forgotten my values and then I could rid myself of them.

I found my velvet sachel in a pool of cave water. Despite the water logged bag, the Alconitum was curiously dry. I crammed a couple sprigs into my mouth and lay back against the cool cavern wall. I felt the cramps in my stomach intensify and then slowly decrease. Reaching up, I touched my fingers to my canines and felt the bone gradually pulling back into the flesh. I could still see every detail of the cave and my nails were not shortening either. I decided to make due with the little humanistic changes that the small dosage afforded me. By the looks of it, I only had about 10 sprigs of Alonitum left and I had to make it last until I could find the taltos, if I could find the taltos. She could provide more Wolfsbane....maybe even enough for me to start over somewhere as human. I was saddened suddenly by the realization of what I had become. I would never taste the true sweetness of love as human women experienced. I would never have children...I could not afford to make them into what I was...and I would never ever be free from the binds of magic. What exactly did I run for? Wouldn't it be easier to let them kill me and end my suffering? Then I saw his face again...the man whom I knew nothing about in reality. He guarded his thoughts so throughly that it angered me. Bits and peices escaped the fortress of his protecting and these bits and peices so intrigued me. I saw him walking toward me holding out his hand. I saw the strange semblence of love in his eyes....the eyes...oh, those amazing eyes that held so much and allowed so little to escape. I saw flashes of things that made me blush. His thoughts for me were carnal yet loving and this confused me to no end. How could he care for such an animal as I had become and why did he yet hide so much. I could read all the others...all of them. I could see their cowardice, there dispicable ways and I could see their families as well.

And the quickness that was my mind...I saw his name....Tamas. They feared Tamas...I saw this now. I sat up straight in the tight crawl space. It was so abrupt that I slammed my head into the overhanging rock. My surprise at the information that was filtering into my brain prevented me from feeling the human pain of anything at the moment. Tamas was feared by them...the other hunters. I saw this and other peices of information slamming my brain with pulse after pulse of radiating connection. Tamas had the eyes of the spirits...they were blue, of course...he wasn't seen as the others. He was ....he was once hated by the others. They thought Tamas to be a demon. Then, as abruptly as the thoughts came through to me, they were gone. Tamas was falling asleep. I saw him falling into deep sleep and then the connection was broken.


I heard them outside the caverns, baying at the full red moon. My brothers and sisters had gathered around the high rocks of Malvachia forest. The smell of the humans were radiating all throughout the trees, the leaves and drifting upon the very air. I could smell the wolves... their blood and and I could smell their rich coats. They circled the caverns and waited for something to satisfy their hungers. I couldn't forget so quickly that I remained in human form and more than likely, they smelled the human on my flesh and in my blood. I do not think that they would kill me because I am their kin but I was frightened. Something in the woods was keeping me on edge. I pushed myself into the moonlight. The last rock of the cavern gave way under my feet and sent me sprawling out onto the hard surface of the cliffs. I grunted and looked around at the shimmering night that blanketed Malvachia forest. The moon was upon us full force and high in the sky. Everything was alight with the fake day. Humans could see very well in the full moon light but with us, it was amazing; it was something that almost falls beyond explanation. Every detail was illuminated...brought to yet more light underneath the lumanescense of that lunar star. I saw their eyes flitting here and there and their growls; my brothers and my sisters in the curse. I sensed that they cared not to feed of me at all and so I started to rise from my fall; I assumed logically that I would leave a bad taste in their mouth and so I laughed. I gathered my sachel in my fist and took off in a run toward Crotrali, the village in the north. No one followed me.

Monday, April 22, 2013


I could hear them coming for me. I could hear everything which surrounded me; the birds, the falling leaves and the sun. I could hear the loud roar of that unforgiving ball of fire as it shot beams through the foliage. I heard the hounds baying through the dense forests of Malvachia, my home.  My mind was a whirling mass of emotions and...fears. But among the sounds; I could hear the hooves of those horses and the chatter among those greasy burley men...the huntsmen of Malvachia. They were running me down and they were enjoying the prospect of skinning me a live and throwing my bones to the ashes. But more that, they would enjoy taking me; each and every one of them would take me at their pleasures before feeding me to the flames. I read each and every thought that fleeted through  their minds as they searched for me. And the thoughts were thus-Each of them force feeding me Aconitum while I writhed beneathe their sooty fingers...gagging me with some putrid cloth to keep me from biting and as many ways as they could deter and keep the beast at bay, they had made plans for thus. My senses were enthralled by the horror of it all. As well as my senses being alive with the thought of that one man in the group who secretly wished me no least no harm as to kill me.  Underneath his fervent agreements to end my life, he secretly wished that I could outrun them and run to him instead. On some night, after the hunt had been called off...he knew what he would do...or at least he fantasized and entertained thoughts on the matter.  Alongside that blasphemous thought  of secretly finding me and enjoying the pleasures for his own...he hoped that I would offer myself up to him freely for  he, being my savior, would expect this. I could feel, I could hear and I could smell all sorts of things. I could smell this man and his scent was stronger than the others...not a bad scent but a passionate thing which wouldn't let up. I raised my head to the touch of the breeze...nose to the wind.

 So many things invaded my being that I was losing my sense of direction. I held on tight to the bark of a pine and tried to steady my breathing. My body reeled and rocked; my breasts heaved against the laces of my corsette making the breathing yet harder still.  The smell of dead venison caught me off guard. It was not long dead but it was already ruined by its on excrement. It drove me a little crazy making my pupils dilate and my mouth water. I turned toward the rancid smell and caught the smell of live wolf...just wolf...not wolf as I had become. As I turned away from the carcas and its predators, I smelled the hunters were  growing closer...still fast on my trail. I had no choice and I couldn't stay here. I had to run again and so I ripped a wider potion of my peticoat from the hem of my dress and prepared to gain distance between me and my certain devils. With a purpose that I was unsure of, I rose from the forest floor and made my way to somewhere .

After gaining ground, I found the place. It was just as it had been before, when Petra and I had hidden from the other children of the village. The caverns seemed smaller than before. But, since I had been starving myself, I was able to squeeze into the mouth of the west end. I held tight, my little velvet bag filled with Aconitum, vetivert and horsetail; these being very important herbs and medicinal objects. I wriggled this way and that until I lodged myself firmly in between two large crevices.  There, I  found rest just inside the mouth of the Dachal Caverns....and so I slept for a while. No beast disturbed my slumber...nor my dreams....excepting the beast in myself.

I dreamt of him again. He was gaining on me but he was growing nervous. He knew that the others would kill me so he was thinking of a way to assist me in my escape. I heard his thoughts as they raced through his head and I was curious by him. I knew that I should not trust him because he was human and humans are never what they seemed to be. Why did he really want to help me; it could not possibly be only for carnal reasons. I could feel his presence in my sleep and felt, that part of his mind was trying to link with mine. And I saw his eyes ...they were the most beautiful blue and unyielding that I had ever seen.  But, despite the beauty and allure of his gaze, there was something very painful residing within this man.  Unlike most humans with such pain; I could not open his soul to my reading. And so, I opened my eyes and saw the wet rock in front of me. I looked around and all I saw was wet rock. I heard the trickling of water in the distance and I heard the trotting of horses. They were very close and their arrival would be soon. But, the most important question was, would they find me? Of course they would find me or their hounds would. I could hear the barking grow louder making my ears itch and I could smell them too, their rich blood, similar to mine. There was at least 8 of them and they were on my scent. I could not stay here but was it too late to run? My pulse quickened and I felt my teeth pushing through my gums. I was having a very hard time keeping from anger and my mouth was bleeding because of this fact. I reached up with the strip of peticoat and wiped my bloody lips. I just could not seem to keep from tearing my gums in both anger and hunger. My instincts and strange ways were taking over me..the beast wanted out and it wanted out now.

"no..." I whispered to no one and then crawled deeper into the cave. As I crawled, I pulled at my little velvet sachel and took a few twigs of Aconitum from the bag. I slipped the bitter weed into my mouth and  chewed fervently. The effects were quick.

I wondered what to do now. Should I drop the bloody cloth and hope that the scent of it would deter the hounds long enough for me to get through to the other side of the cavern? Should I hope for nightfall and desist from taking the Aconitum, thus releasing my curse to welcome them? But I wasn't sure that I could take them all and the hounds too. Should I call for others fore I knew there were others in this vast forest who would come to my aide if for nothing more than a free meal. I had many options and so I kept crawling. My fingers dug into the earth as I pushed along. I tucked the bloody cloth into an alcove in the wall and squeezed through a small hole to my left. I heard them as them came to the opening of the cavern. Their minds were confused and chaotic. Some of them wanted to go home now, now that the sun was traveling further down the horizon. Some of them had grown angrier and wanted to find me all the more. Some of them were climbing down from their steeds to ready themselves to enter the cavern. And some of them were talking about the thing that I wished they did not have the intellect for...some of them knew about the other opening to the cave and they were trying to remember its exact location. These were the ones whom I truly feared, the ones who were smart enough to follow through. Then I felt the fringes of his thoughts again and I saw him. He was very handsome, dark haired and average build. A beautiful man really...he turned toward the setting sun and spoke his concerns for his huntsmen. I saw beyond his concern to something foreign. I pulled myself away and continued to climb further and deeper into the caverns. I dropped the Aconitum onto the wet cavern floor and used my body to shimmy yet into a smaller crevice in the rock. It was only a matter of time now...until there would be only one feed.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


The fear was crippling. It gripped her and brought her back to reality and reality was not where Penelope longed to be. She knew in her heart that she wasn’t meant for this time and age. She knew that somewhere and somehow, her people were meant to be free. A freedom where colored folk weren’t colored folk at all–they were just folk like the rest.

When he put himself inside her, she would think about how good it was living in the big house. Penelope was just what her master wanted so that she got the nice food, the nice clothes and then sometimes a nice word; if she behaved. Her mind seemed to transition to a place that made her something other than African American but not quite white. No, Penelope didn’t have all the privilages but she could pass and the master liked her alot. She was in the best place, in her opinion, that any colored could be in.

Master only asked her to do it occasionally; so what did it hurt? It wasn’t as if he asked her to do it on a regular basis. Penelope was special to master and when she did it right; he let her stay with him for weeks on end, in the big house. Penelope learned to swallow it and move on and yes, she knew she was a sell out but life was like that. She felt the baby kick and it reassured her that she was doing the right thing. Penelope smiled and rubbed her belly thinking of her beautiful child inside her. Nothing would take that from her…not even her own people could take the miracle. she swallowed the huge lump in her throat and tried to steady her nerves. Tonight, she would have to do it again. She was so nervous that her hands shook in convulsions but Penelope clasped them together and said the lord’s prayer. Yes, the lord understood her. Her knew the life she had to protect as a mother. He understood…surely he understood.

Penelope stood beneathe the tree with the the whip in her hand. She thought about the coaching she had given herself at the ranch house, she thought about her baby which kicked her now suddenly and she stared up at her cousin who sat upon the restless horse staring at her with tears in his eyes. Penelope turned from him and stared at the beautiful sunset. This was the most beautiful sunset she had ever seen in her given life. As a calm reserve passed over her; she rubbed her belly and struck the horses ass.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

With my own

It tis not as morbid as you would conjure, while drinking all dark things into the mind as with a terror tale. Of all the imaginations that can be imagined, this is something that cannot be fathomed by minds of most.

 Although it is cold here, there are no enemies at the gates, no spies on the hillside and no one is trying to wrap me in strange jackets and confine me to the dungeons. I am in freedom,alone, I am this and there is no need to pretend. For I have long since past the time that I was in need to entertain.
I roam the corridors desolate, as I have roamed them day after day and month after month. I have no regrets of this fateful decision. For many months beforehand, I have weighed my options. I have felt each consequence and each blessing and I have put them to the scale to find my answer. And there is was...the truth. sat before me, starring with orphaned eyes. I picked up the truth and held it close...examining and honoring it's purity. I knew what had to be done and it was simply nothing.
To do nothing more for the time being but to stay and to reflect.

Morning has come again and I shall not rise and greet the sun. No, this is not my time, no long shall it be as it has been. This has become my time to slumber, my time to recollect of the past years reasserting my decision. I sleep below the keep; a darkened concrete tomb that I procured from one of my unknown ancestors. They shall not sorely miss their sleeping quarters, I am sure of it as well. I laugh then at this thought as I laughed when I pulled free the dry bones to covet my bedding...and my frigid crypt. I reflect on these things as my heavy lids shut upon my pupils and I fall into the nothing ness. This crypt was sacred to me...and well below where I walked as if in human form.

 There were 256 steps to descend to my resting place. I had counted them a few weeks ago while on my descent. Everything has a number now. There are 15 windows on the upper floor, 8 windows below that one...and so on...I find details to be mesmerizing to my night trained eyes. I shall count the rivets in the stone work on the landing on the morrow. I have noticed their twinkling and shining on my way down to sleep. They demand my attention and so what's left of me shall be at their service. I count the night birds, the moths and the stray cats that wander into my lair...and I count their bones as well. So many things have numbers and my mind had never quite wrapped around this significance.

I removed the mirrors last month. I had grown weary of their insistance that I should care about my own visage. The last opportunity that I had to glance upon my face, I was shocked. My hair had grown to clear below my waist and my face was gray pallid. The dark circles below my eyes were no worse as I was so much worse for wear. A fine layer of dust had collected upon the glass and so I wiped it clean with my thin white hands. As I made this motion, I noticed the tips of my hands to have acquired dangerous talons of which I had seen no other human female to carry. I  jerked my hand away and hissed at my own reflection. My eyes were dark still and held the truth of all things. When I finally tore myself away from my self gaze, I broke the mirror into peices. Those that were not shattered I tore them down and stored  them deep below my crypt...exactly 204 steps below my sleeping place. I was then free of the sight of what I had become. And so my metamorphosis remained a mystery inside my desire to be alone...and I was alone..I was alone....

My tattered wardrobe was more than fitting for a recluse such as I had become. To more spoil and comfort me were luxurious and jewel enlaid garments left behind...but I did not have need of their materialistic pleasure. Although, for pure joy and curiosity, I would adorn such silly raiments and parade around as some other fiend unknown to me. Their heavy fabric would drag through the  dust of the marble floors as I re-enacted some silly ditty from the past, either that or I would simply roam the halls as some ghastly apparition forever grieving those who had left before. But I did not grieve a'tall; I was enamored by the empty halls and their secrets.  For, I was alone and glad in my lonliness.

Although, if mirrors were still lined upon these walls, they would say that I was terrible sight...they would reveal the thing beyond which could not be contained by those of normalacy. I was a creature of habit; a thing of human pleasure still. The pattern of cleanliness remained within me as I had been obsessed with the beautiful scents left abandoned in the vast rooms of the castle. I found exotic parfumes, oils and incense left carelessly behind by those who ran screaming on that lost and long ago night. I found Exotic Amber, perulent Rose and amorous essence of lilac. And there were powders and sweet scented undergarments. I would play and try them all to my pleasure...but I would never again look upon myself.

As I said, I was clean-a creature of habit still... I found moonlit waters along the hillside to be in perfect sync with my reclusive lifestyle and so I bathed there nightly while listening to the night birds. Then, I would stroll through the forests of the night clad as I was born. My flesh wished to feel all the things which surrounded perfect oneness with my needs. I was alone...but yet, I was surrounded by things that fed and slept and drank as I did. The creatures of the vast black lands welcomed me into their habitat for a bit then crept away in fear as most other things eventually did in my presence. I was alone...

The libraries were filled and filled with parcments and volumes of lovely things...some of these things  I had already read many many times before. There were exactly 32,589 bound volumes inside the library...but I have not finished enjoying some their beautiful, deadly and destructive tales as to date. This was always a nightly habit of mine as well ; to read before the sun rose and shone its organge glow on the faded pages of a well loved story. Then I knew it was time to slumber and time to dream of nothing again. I was alone and alone I would be until I grew weary and flew away, simply traveled fast upon some other morrow. The time would come when the volumes and volumes of good works would be expended, the scents would fade fast away and I would tire of this place...called home.

Then, I would move on. But more than likely, the lovely comforting feeling of being alone would still accompany me. I had weighed these other things and they were not to my liking. I shant ever feel the warmth of  human gratitude as I had done before. I shant forget the pain of misunderstandings which made hiding, so much more like home. I shant forget the look on the faces as I stood before them uninhibited and naked in my monstrosities. I shall remain...
and remain I shall.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Too late....for love

It found me…but is it too late.
It was never meant to happen. Not the words, nor the moments tilting our heads with the music. This simple game was supposed to pass the time for me and yet it became so much more. I dreamt of things as these which filled my time with wonder. i dreamt of things as these which would captivate my soul.
While in my room, just fresh from puberty, I would wonder about such fictional love. My brain would entertain the silly notions of true admiration. Oh, how I would use the hours to draw silly pictures and write silly ditties under the influence of some brandy stole from my brothers stash. I wanted lots of things on those lonely nights. I wanted to be an artist, I wanted to have freedom that I never knew before…and most of all I wanted to know that thing they called love. Love was a myth, they say–oh , love wasn’t real. They told jokes, all those elders of mine, about how love had made a fool of some poor old idiot once again. Love was devious, they said and love was the craftiest trickster. But I wanted to know him. I wanted his breath upon my cheek. Who cared what the old ones said.
I would sneak past my father’s room and sit vigil with the night, hoping I would see love pass by me. The stars watched silently as I read my poems aloud to them. One by one they winked and slowed their love for me. But, it wasn’t eough. I climbed back into my bed and exhaled the longest breath on those nights and was determined that I would meet love in my dreams. But those silly little nightmares would wear  loves mask and pretend to woo me into the night. I might awake with a moist pillow and a silly Little giggle but love was nowhere to be found.
It was never meant to happen…but love found me. But I had already lost hope in love.

The dark thing

Upon the hill in the midst of a long summer rain; puddles form and reflect a melancholy scene. A female figure is hard at work on the task that lies before her...unfinished...always unfinished. The wind blows, it howls but it doesn't cover the strain in her voice. The grunting and moaning of her desperation as she digs deeper and deeper into the soil of the cemetary. Her fingers are calloused, hard worn from night after night of unearthing the dark thing.
She the midst of her revealing and she stares down at what lies in the hole. Her heart sinks as it flies high above the knarled treetops. Her tears fall down dirty cheeks, washed only by the falling rain. She crouches down and reaches into the earth. Twitching fingers, shaking knees-she is tired from too many sleepless nights of dreaming of this point in time that reverberates and repeats itself.
The dark thing is pretty, it shines in the light of the nearby streetlamps. It twinkles in the prism of the raindrops. The dark thing stares up at her and she stares down into its depths. She pulls the thing to her chest, against her heartbeat and whe weeps fully and uninhibited.
"I shall not let you die. I shall not hide you away from myself. I will not let you be known to the others...but I shall protect" she grasps the edges of the dark thing and releases her hot breath. The mist of her soul wafts up and up and then dissipates between the drops of rainfall.
"I shall not lie...I shall not hide but I shall bind my lips and take forth my tongue to protect you."
The dark thing doesn't speak to her at all. It settles within her hands and is quiet as quiet things are therefore it is inanimate. The dark thing offers no comfort for her soul. It is a text, a book a document. It is a picture, a window and a projected image. It cannot speak nor can it deliver what the girl needs to be fulfilled. The dark thing stares upward from within the clear blue of its soul...and it remains silent. It is hard, it is solid and it is expected. The dark thing is as it is and it is no more than that.
The girl screams and holds tight to the dark thing as if it were the only thing in which she could steady her rambling mind. She glances down in pure desperation and caresses the dark thing. Her heart breaks and melts into her chest. Her soul is barren, numbed by the intensity of the pain.
"Oh, how You hold me still." She lays her dirty cheek against her prize letting her matted red hair flow over its unforgiving edges. She cannot hear it nor can she feel its arms around her. She can only feel its pain that remains alien to her even now. A pain that drew her to the dark thing in her first moment of love.
Still on her knees, she takes one more look at the dark thing in her hand and then she replaces the object into the dark dark ground. The mud pools up between her fingers and reclaims the dark thing for its own. She smiles to hide the hellish pain inside and then she picks up the spade to resume her work.
Quietly and painfully, the girl buries the dark thing. Tomorrow she shall dig this hole all the nights before and all the nights to come until the dark thing is nothing more than tattered remains of what she could never have.
The rain falls harder sweeping around the lone figure.  Deep within the ballroom of souls and among the cold tombs; the sounds of the night join the constant loud thumping of the broken girl's heart....
...and she bends to her task.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kindred zombie

As Joe hiked up the trail, his thoughts returned to Marsha. Her beautiful auburn hair falling upon his chest, the small hands grasping him in joy; the pain of these memories made him clench his teeth and push harder up the hillside.

Joe remembered that they had planned this trip together; worked out evey detail of their getaway. Marsha had been so excited as she hugged him and planted a wet kiss on his lips.

 " is going to be so much fun baby." Marsha softly spoke in his ear with unspoken promises of wild love making in the forest. "We can finally get away from everybody and all their rules."

Joe's chest heaved with the warning of oncoming tears and he mumbled incoherantly into the chilly air. He pushed onward until he entered the clearing which was supposed to be their rendevous point. But of course, she wasn't here.

The car accident had ended Marsha's life instantly. She had been on her way to Joe's house, with a sack full of movies and take out. "Just down the street.." he whispered to himself. "Just down the street..." The crazy druggy had hit her head on sending her into a tree by the road side. Joe would love to believe that Marsha never felt a thing--but whose to say what she endured.

As he lay his backpack upon the ground, Joe looked around the clearing and inhaled deeply. "Oh Marsha.." Joe lay back onto the ground allowing the slight breeze to waft up over his body.

The moon was huge this night and very red. He loved how the moon and stars sometimes came out before the sun set. Things like this reminded him of how much Marsha loved the strange aspects of nature. Joe felt as if he was not alone; and for a moment, he reached out beside him and rubbed the earth. He imagined Marsha lying beside him staring off into the wild night sky. He could hear her small voice rambling on about the constellations and odd stories about the stars and what they meant to her. Joe loved to be entertained by Marsha's random tidbits.

He gasped and brought his hands to his mouth as if he could catch his breath and send it back down. His sorrow welled up inside him and he rolled over and curled into a ball. Joe wept.

Night fell quickly as Joe  rose from the ground and scrambled to finish putting up his small tent. He seemed well prepared for the night with his big pile of fire wood and rustic cooking utensils. After completing his shelter for the night, he pilaged through his backpack looking for matches. By the time the sun set, Joe was resting comfortably by his small fire. The night made noises periodically bringing Joe back from his catatonia but when silence fell again; he was back to reminicing. After a while; Joe fell asleep in the entrance of his tent with his backpack for his pillow. The moon gazed down on Joe's tear stained face.

"Joe!" a sweet voice called. "JOe!"

Joe bolted upright wiping the drool from his face. "What?! Who?!"

A dark sillhoette blocked the moon. A figure stood above him.
Joe was scared but realized that it was woman. As he squinted, he could see features in the face; but something was wrong. Joe pulled himself up and crawled closer until he could get his feet underneathe himself. The closer he got, the more defined the features were. Joe stopped moving when he realized who his visitor was.

"What's wrong Joe; I told you I would be here, silly." The voice was raspy but sweet. She giggled.
Joe's face softened and he tilted his head. "Oh Marsha...oh my god." Joe's heart ached as tears ran down his cheek. He walked forward for a moment then stoopped. The realization of what he faced took root inside him. He became very frightened.

Marshed turned to the side revealing herself more fully in the moonlight. She was beautiful and pale except for the fact that she was missing an arm. Her lips were blue and her skin was pale white. Below her hairline was a gaping gash running from her left eye up to meat her matted hair. She hobbled as she turned an hugged herself with her remaining arm. "Oh Joe...I am so sorry."

In the light of the deep dark night, Joe stared at Marsha; truly a kindred soul...a kindred zombie. Yes, that is what she was. There could be no other explanation for her being here. But something strange stirred within him and he gagged at the thought. Joe's feelings were the same despite the thing which stood before him and he walked up to his deal girlfriend. As the breeze passed by them, he could smell the remnants of her perfume...odd and slightly stale.

Marsha's milky eyes met his and she smiled. "I am cold Joe. Would you hold me?"

Joe hesitated then wrapped his arms around her and pulled her cold body close to his. It took all of his strength to keep from weeping again....weeping like a baby. Wild emotions swirled inside his as he stroked her dry hair.

He remembered wishing for her return. He remembered crying at her grave, clawing the earth in desperation. He remembered the nights without her calls. Beyond that smell of the grave, beyond that rotting flesh; there was still his beautiful Marsha. Oh, how he loved her with all his being. He had known from the beginning that they were meant to be together.
Marsha fidgeted and turned her face to him. Her blue lips quivered. Her right eyebrow lifted and Joe knew what she was thinking. Joe didn't know if he could handle it. But as he shifted against her, he felt his desire was still for Marsha. He blushed and sighed.
"Come sweetie." Joe spoke gently as he took her hand. "Let's roast marshmellows."
Marsha followed him to the fire shambling in the moonlight.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The thing...forming

Yes...there is a thing within. It grows impatient, it grows listless and it grows....more and more each day. It does not share its host with alien life forms.

I see it, sitting in the darkness with gossamyr wings. It licks its claws and then smiles at me. I see the crimson on its lips and I know it will not be sated for long. I turn around in the darkenss and notice that there are twinkling shiney things drifting down from the heavens...dark heavens filled with stars. I think for a moment that maybe the sky has fallen and the stars are coming down to greet me. I turn toward the creature which is me and she smiles. I notice that she is surrounded by the twinkling and shining a dust... a shimmering beautiful dust. She speaks to me and it sounds like tinkling bells chiming in the distance; but I cannot understand what she says.

She stands, languidly strolling toward me as her wings flutter behind her.  I see her lips purse and she says..."shhh"

One finger reaches up and brushes my cheek lovingly and then she leans in to kiss me. Her mouth is very near my ear and so she speaks again.

"Do not deny me...and I shall not deny you."

She backs away and disappears. I am in darkness again.

I begin to scratch my arms. I do not stop until I feel the blood trickle down onto my feet.