The Witch’s Memory part seventy two

Give me one moon to conjure 

A spell truly big and major

One that will be a blessing

One that will make your heart sing

I’ll need you to run way over yonder

Where you will get better from here on out

No more fussing or need to shout

Let the wind guide you where you need to go

Moon gilded lilies will start to show

The path that’ll keep you safe and sound

Once there you will not be found

For one night and will be well

Just one night and no more hell”

The Witch’s Memory part seventy

The wind swirled with ribbons of color

And the scent of rose petals began to smother

The staleness of the night air

Meanwhile Jaspeak’s blood flowed without care

Drop after crimson drop by her feet

From this bit of magic there was no retreat

All around where the blood did flow

The grass grew and the flowers did glow

Lilies stretched up to the moon

Large enough to make grown men swoon

Solid white luminescence saturated the night

Like the witch had become sun bright

It was as though she became a conductor to the stars

A beautiful entity kept afar

The Witch’s Memory part sixty nine

At that moment Jaspeak struggled to hold back her tears

That held all of frustration and tears

They came up hot and heavy

Threatening to breakthrough like cracks in a levy

But she was able to keep her resolve

Although her pain was an open wound dosed in alcohol

Jaspeak continued on in her speech

While her past clung like a hungry leech 

“I can go ahead and feed you lies

To do so would be of no surprise 

But in looking at you I can see your pain 

So I will have to refrain 

Causing you anymore with my words and phrases

It would do so little against someone so courageous 

With that the witch pulled out a blade 

A wicked sharpness it did display 

She ran the knife across her palm

Her eyes vacant and her nerves calm

Jaspeak let several drops of blood fall free

What happened next was a sight to see

The Witch’s Memory part sixty seven

She let her words drift on the air

Not knowing there was someone there

There came a rustling from the grass

And the princess wondered who could be so rash

To her surprise a woman sauntered out

One beautiful but carrying no clout

With hair painted deep midnight

And a smile that was so beguiling and bright

The princess found herself unarmed by the woman

But she rose to her feet with all she could summon

“I mean you no harm” said the woman with ease

“But I heard your cries and I can appease

I have talent that cannot be denied

And deny most have as it has been tried

For I am a witch cast aside by your ilk

Although I am harmless as woven silk magic may have been denied by your kind

Out of sight and out of mind

But my time forgotten has been of great use

Allowing me to get in contact with the muse

To embrace magic long thought gone

Until I was deemed oh so strong

The Witch’s Memory part sixty one

​This was his lot and he’d wear it well

From place to place and sell to sell

He knew he was deserving of much worse

And he’d endure to see an end to the curse

As he struggled for the end he did seek

Always watching was the beautiful Jaspeak 

The witch watched on with interest 

Sure that she would get the best

Of their exchange so many years in the making 

Vengeance was all hers for the taking

Yet over the years with pain and heartache 

Roland the horse seemed willing to take

That and this and perhaps even more

Losing the battle but winning the war

Her patience was certainly being tested

Her own plans never once rested

Five years passed and Roland’s daughter had matured

A better princess could never be found

Even if you searched the world around

Life got better under King Roland the second’s rule

While the original king was a glorified mule

If this was his lot he’d gladly accept 

Until the new king said something that filled him with regret

The Witch’s Memory part fifty three

​A cool finger brushed her hair

Careful not to wake her with a scare

Throughout his life Roland was not one for tears

It was unbecoming of someone of his years

Now tears flowed free of their cage

Afraid to turn this life’s page

“My dearest daughter” King Roland cried

“I could not save you as hard as I tried

Death comes for me this very night

At the time I thought my decision right

A kingdom toll left unpaid

From a deserved curse so long laid

In my haste to make sure you did not pay for my folly

My lineage was still enough to sully

Your gentle soul throughout time

Although you have committed no crime

Of your forgiveness I’m not deserving

Our bloodline is a dark, black thing

The Witch’s Memory part thirty two

“What once was lost shall return

To where the cleansing fire sparks and burn

Magic flowing clean and pure

To make sure our kingdom shall endure

Darkest night and brightest day

Our very truth shall not sway

We come with peace deep in our heart

With this in our core we shall not part

Our founder spoke these words as true

We speak them back to the fire of blue

Do not lead us astray trusted Jaspeak

Lead us not into a world so bleak

Dearest founder come and rise

Save us from all we despise

Shape the world as you see fit

Upon a throne of fire and bone you sit

A crown so befitting rest atop your head

Rise oh rise from the dead

Your faithful servants await your grace

For the rightful ruler to take his place.”

They repeated these lines several times

And Jaspeak found herself lost in the words and rhymes

The women were oblivious to her presence

So she remained veiled in her silence

In awe of the unity shared between

A love for each other she couldn’t glean

Soon after her arrival the song came to a halt

And Jaspeak approached this strange cult

Drawing near she felt at ease

With the sisters in their threes





I mirror their smiles because it’s all I know how to do. The bigger the smiles the worse the news. I learned that a couple of years ago, or maybe it was something I always knew but refused to accept. I wanted to keep believing in hope. And truthfully I still do believe in hope and miracles, but it seems to favor everyone else.
A group of four parades into the room bearing balloons, flowers, and one enormous stuffed bear. Telling them I’m too old for these things and I’m fairly certain I have an allergy to this particular genus of flower seems cruel. So I accept them with a thank you. I stretch my smile wider, although I’m very, very tired right now.
They’re feeling festive. Behind the saccharine grins are even more layers of sugary delights like digging to the core of Candyland. God, I hate that game.
The leader of the group was a bubbly eighteen or nineteen year old blonde. She introduced herself as Jenny. She looks like a Jenny. Jenny is that type of girl you know immediately is a head cheerleader and valedictorian. So put together and sure of herself. Well, this is what I assume a girl like her looks like. All I have to go off of is movies and books after all.
This would be my freshman year of high school if I was able to attend. The closest I’ve come to school in some time has been through the words on the page. And from what I’ve read lately everybody seems to be a supernatural entity caught in a love triangle. So maybe this is all for the best. Although I’d love to meet a werewolf for myself.
So cool.
“These are my friends,” she says with a smile so sweet it could give you stage two diabetes. “And we’re from the Make-A-Wish foundation.”
My mom, who in my hazes had forgotten was here with me, lets out a squeal of excitement. If she wasn’t so tired, so stressed out from the long nights with me and the longer days of her crumbling marriage, she may have shouted so loud the windows would shatter. That’s something they never tell you in all those “How To Cope With Losing Your Child” books which are churned out like printed money. Though I suppose a chapter on how two people who say they love each other are placed in a situation that can’t be summed up in words they are reduced to survival instincts.
Fight or flight.
More often than not the latter wins. One, two, three. Ring the bell, baby. It’s a wrap.
I sit up further in the hospital bed. The IV wriggles a bit, but I hardly feel it anymore. To mask the needling feeling in my bones I grin like a birthday clown. The worse it hurts the more I smile. Law of the land.
Mom grabbed my hand, and I can feel her tremble. She always calls me her rock, her foundation. Yet even as she stands beside me shaking like a newborn calf, looking as exhausted as she was, my mom is the strongest person I have ever seen. Each day I sample a bit of her strength just to get me through the day.
She is my Hercules.
My Atlas.
“So,” says the possible cheerleader. “If you could think of one thing to wish for, anything at all, what would it be?”
I close my eyes and do my breathing exercises. To the outside world it looks like I’m excited. In reality however I’m merely counting the moments until it would look okay to finally answer. The breathing exercise came courtesy of a new age healer who had been brought in a few times to help me deal with the pain, the bouts of sickness that would leave me covered in last night’s dinner. It did help, but on most occasions I used it to block out the world. Block out the melody of the machines. Block out the voices of worry. Block out everything, allowing time to slow into an abyss I wish I could settle into for all eternity.
What would I wish for? Survey says! Not to have cancer that’s spread to my nerves making everything I do painful. A few years ago I took up sketching. Mostly superheroes and stuff like that. I wasn’t that good, but it was a gift that was mine. Something I could do. It made me feel normal. But if this girl and her friends could grant this wish they’d be miracle workers.
So I move onto my next thought. If I could wish for anything at all I’d wish for a girlfriend like Jenny, Ms. Perky Cheerleader with a heart for sick kids. Sure it may be a little selfish, but if a cancer kid can’t be selfish from time to time, who can? A hot blond on my arm to kiss and fool around with. Hell, if I’m going to go off into the great adventure beyond this world does it have to be as a virgin too?
Sex though is not really the reason I want her.
My family will mourn me. They have to. It’s how these things work. A piece of the bloodline dries out and the bloodline covers it up.
If I was lucky a few kids I called friends from elementary school may show up at my funeral. They’d show up, only to forget me again when I’m in the ground. The reason I want Jenny Rah-Rah-Shish-Boom-Ba is so someone else will miss me. Someone who doesn’t have to love me. Someone from another bloodstream. Mom, will of course, place a rose on my headstone. Why should that rose be alone?
I don’t know. Maybe I just read too many books, and they’ve put a bit of romanticism in me. I should be happy I’m not in high school after all if I’m going to be this saptastic. Any sappier you could drill a hole in me to flavor your flapjacks.
But as much as I would want her, would want to have her to want me, to love me, it would never happen. Girls like her didn’t stay single long enough for the tears from their recent breakup to form before the next pretty boy came along. All brawn, no sense. It was girls like her who wouldn’t get the guy they truly deserved until their thirties once the jocks sucked them dry. Then here come the lowly ones to replenish them again. Bring her back to her former glory, the glory of Jenny Jenny Shish-Boom-Ba.
Besides I want her to actually love me. I want her to be my first, my last. Sex may be great, but call me old fashioned to want a real relationship. To form a connection with her greater than her physical body before we did it.
Again I think I’m reading too many books.
Next on the wonderful list of things not likely to happen is certainly never going to happen. If I could wish for anything in the world to come true it would be for my daydreams to be real. I’ve kept these dreams to myself. If I spoke them aloud I’d probably wind up getting a psych eval along with the other battery of tests. And I don’t want the docs to take them away. They bring me a little peace.
What I dream about is being a superhero, just like the one I read about in the comics. I call myself Ultra because…well, it sounds friggin’ awesome! My suit is gold with a royal blue cape. Such a classic look. My hair, oh yeah I still have hair, is a black that looks like spilled oil. It’s so tall and outlandish it could give young Elvis a run for his money.
Yeah baby, don’t step on my blue suede cape.
In tonight’s episode of Ultra: Man of Action we find our hero in the clutches of the nefarious Dr. Wicked and his gang of henchmen. That’s right Ultrateers, Ultra is trapped! Strapped to the mad doctor’s Chemomatrix. (Pause for audience gasp). How long will our Man of Action last? Find out in tonight’s thrilling episode: Healthcare Havoc!
At least once day I fantasize about being Ultra. And what’s a hero without his gallery of rogues? Mine are made up of everyone I meet here in the hospital; doctors, nurses, transport, you name it. My personal favorite is Dr. Weiss aka Dr. Wicked. With is untamed white hair, and his glasses that never seemed to stay straight he had evil villain written all over him.
On most occasions though he was the nicest guy ever. So why not toughen him up a bit? Make him the scourge of the seven continents with his horde of nurses armed with poison syringes and super strong gauze to tie up Ultra when things got hairy.
It was fun. I’m just having a little fun with these people every day in my head. There’s no crime in that. If they could grant me this wish…man, that would be something else.
But they can’t.
There’s not a whole lot outside of my top three wishes that I honestly want. What more could a dying boy ask for? Well, that’s what I think anyways. Yet I know that’s a lie.
I look over to my mom. I see her hopeful glimmer taking cover behind her dampening eyes. It’s so beautiful and yet frightening at the same time. I want to lose myself in those pools. I want to cry…but I can’t. I need to be strong for her. Keep her hope alive.
What I wish for, what I really wish for, is for this look of hope and happiness to stay with her as long as possible. My wish isn’t about me. It’s about her. About us. And I’d gladly give her a thousand of my wishes if I could.
The answer comes to me. Now all I have to do is make it sound like it really is about me.
“I think I know what I want.” I say as nonchalantly as possible. “I’d love to be part of a Broadway musical. Wicked maybe. I always wanted to try my hand at acting. My mom can come too, right?”
I smile so hard it hurts. She always wanted to see Wicked. If nothing else I want to be there when she does. Hell, I’ll be one of the extras on stage perhaps. A great memory to have of me when things get rough, too hard to handle. Mom buries her face into my chest, seeming to forget that that actually hurts. Then I feel the hot wetness of happy tears soaking through my hospital dressings. The pain eases away. This is more than enough for me.
More than I could want in a lifetime.

Trust Me

“Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain. Isn’t that what I always tell you, boy?”          
My tongue may as well have been embalmed for it laid flat on the floor of my mouth. I nod instead. Dad and I are at his office in all its sterile, white glory. I’ve been here before many times, seeing what dad did, learning the trade, however this time…this time it felt wrong.          
It was difficult to see him underneath the layers of his surgical garb. The most I could see were calm blues resting in the chasm between his surgical hat and his mask. Perhaps it was best to see him this way. I can pretend he’s someone else who just happened to share the same eyes. A stranger in dad face.          
“You trust me, right?” Dad asks. In truth I’m afraid of what would happen if I say no. So again I nod; a life-sized bobblehead, pull me back and watch me agree. I swear I hear his smile from behind the mask and the distance between us. “Good. It’s so hard to trust people Bobby. I think that’s what my father was trying to teach me growing up. You have to trust people though at some point, otherwise humanity ceases to be. You have to have trust to build relationships.”          
He pulls on his gloves with a dramatic snap that rang out like a bullwhip. This was his signal that he was ready to precede. It happened to be my signal to get his instruments as well.
Bone saw.
Dad gladly accepts each one, and as he does the dread in my belly begins to kick, ready to be birthed into the world. This feels so wrong now. I don’t want to question him, but my mind strays to the other times we’d done this. All my life I wanted to be like dear old dad, the healer. Now I’m not sure that’s what I want, or if I ever did.          
Dad picks up and studies the serrated edge of the bone saw, running his finger over the jagged teeth. “Textbooks tell us the brain is in the skull, but how do we truly know?”          
“We open it.” The words come out of my mouth like a stray bullet. Bile wriggles its way up my throat on spiny tentacles.          
“Exactly.” Dad makes his way to the patient who is paralyzed in her seat. There’s enough drugs in her to make sure she won’t feel what’s about to come. “So what do we do when we can’t trust someone?”          
“Open them up.” I hate my tongue.         
  “Good. So you understand why I have to do this? You understand that if I trusted her, this wouldn’t be happening? I have to see if her brain is where it should be. See why she betrayed my trust. So I can understand. It’s science, son.”          
I nod. Since the day I saw the medical transcript crumpled in the trash with the terrible words, big and bold, stating I was not my father’s son I knew this day was coming. And although I knew…I still wasn’t prepared for it. I feel ill.          
“Do you trust me?” Those chilled blue eyes turn my insides to sludge.          
Dad puts down the bone saw in favor of the drill which whirs to life with a shrill shriek. A tear rolls down from the eyes of the patient as that is all she can manage with the cocktail of drugs coursing through her. She wouldn’t feel anything externally. Internally though…          
“I hope he finds what’s wrong with you mom,” I whisper through a windpipe clogged with emotion. “He’ll make you better. Trust me.”

Little Secrets

*Here’s a new flash fiction I put up on Webook for their June competition. I got some good feedback, but I’m aware the end is a bit rushed. Still I hope you enjoy! Have a writeous day!*

It’s not every day you find yourself stealing from your Mother’s purse. But I suppose I’ll make this my little secret. My whole family has secrets, such as my mother who said she stopped smoking but sneaks out of the house to walk two blocks away and indulge her sin. In her bag was the silver lighter I hoped was there now.

Dad has plenty of secrets too. His biggest secret is that he loves his wife. Not the type of love you see so often where two people occupy the same space, waiting for the other to honor the ’till death’ part of their vows. He honestly loved his wife. The type of love where he came home from work early to be with her. The type of love where he knew of her little secret and looked the other way like he couldn’t smell the distinct scent of Pall Malls on her clothes.

That was my dad. His love for my mom is what drives my social or rather dating life. All I want is to find someone to love me like that. A man who could surrender everything for his family, yet look like the richest man in the world. It was hard for boys in town to be anything like him. Just the way I’m sure he intended all along. That was my secret I kept from the boys.

I need that lighter…among other things. First things first though. I need to make my way over there.

While I ready myself for the task I think about the other secrets my family has. Such as my dad was going to surprise mom on their anniversary which was now three weeks away. The man pinched pennies for nearly a year to give her a diamond ring, the one he always said she deserved. To get it though meant a lot of long nights at a second job at the docks.

He showed it to me. What little light there was seemed to be magnified a hundred fold as I held it up to my eyes.

“Think she’ll like it?” He asked, his eyes radiating with hope.

“She’s going to love it. If she doesn’t some other woman will.”

He laughed in that boisterous manner reserved for Santa and circus bears in your dreams. “There’s only one woman for me sweetie pie. I hit the jackpot with her.”

“It’s the other way around Dad.”

He smiled and proceeded to hide his gift in the garage, the same one I’m in now. If I look hard enough I can make out the aquamarine box holding the gemstone. It hurts to open my eyes though. I can only get my eyes wide enough to make out the purse on the work table as well as the unpleasantness on the floor besides me.

Mom has another secret though. She’s been smoking more because what she calls ‘the bad bad’ has been harder to get rid of. The bad bad were the voices in her head. Those grating voices that suggested things to her like running a knife across her wrist, or driving into oncoming traffic, or your husband must be cheating on you.

All of his late nights working, and the lies he had to tell to keep it a secret hadn’t helped with the bad bads. She believed it because the bad bads told her so. And no amount of smokes could soothe the hurt from their words.

So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when me and dad were sitting on the couch watching some tv, enjoying the late night styling of Conan O’Brien before he had to head out to work when my life changed forever.

“Who is she?” Mom whispered. “Are you leaving me?”

Dad never had a chance to answer or even turn to see what was coming as the bat connected with the back of his head. Immediately I knew he was dead. His eyes were wide with horror as he looked my way. His mouth, the one he used to speak so well of his demented wife, hung slack as dark blood streamed from his tear ducts. He wanted to say something, but those words would remain frozen on his lifeless lips.

“You made me do it!” Mom screamed at the corpse as it crumpled onto the floor. “You made me!”

Those were the last things I heard before I met nearly the same fate as dad. I don’t remember mom hitting me too. I remember the cold black that came over me like swimming in dark silk that refused to let me me go. When I came to I was tied up to a chair, my dad lying beside me with that horrible, wide-eyed grimace forever etched on his face. He still looks as though he wants to say something to me, the words floating around in his now milky eyes.


That’s what daddy’s eyes said. Live. And live I shall. I spot mom’s purse and remember the lighter. I can burn through the ropes. Hopefully.

I rock back and forth before I topple over onto dad’s lifeless body. Moving like a worm I make my way over his body, the cool body that had produced the laughter I wish I could hear again, just for a moment. He already began to smell. Damp, musty, and whatever smell entices maggots to this realm. The smell is so thick I can chew it.

And as I crawl over my dad I have a thought. I think mom must be trying to have a smoke. Awful hard to do that without your lighter. She’d be back soon. If I wasn’t free by then I would be at the mercy of mom and the bad bads