The Witch’s Memory part seventy six

Then she found the source of the noise

Three women of regality and poise

Sat around a cauldron with a song in their throat

In the middle of a deep moat

The water was purple, deep, and rich

The princess knew immediately each one was a witch

Just like the one she met in the forest

She became even less stressed

Surely they were here to help her on her journey

To help her be where she needed to be

A smile came to greet her face

Confidence abounding she stepped into the space

Inkslayer’s Journal Entry 5

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Hey everyone! Still reeling from getting Beyond Here out into the world. Make sure to get your copy. Also if you message me I can set up signing and delivering you a copy if you wish. In the meantime here’s a free read of a flash fiction piece that I hope to make a full fledged novel at some point. I hope you enjoy!!

Ghost of the Arena

Her nights were always the same. 
The blood and her lone symbolic act were washed away with coarse goat hairbrushes. With each pass through she felt her wounds begin to tear anew. It reminded her that she will still alive. That the gods thought to curse her for another day.
She slept bare under the canopy of stars, the night sky matching her skin of coal. Each blazing jewel in sky was an unanswered plea for the release from the misery of this world. Before the morning light a new star would be born.
By the break of day she’d be awakened by Doc, a member of her troupe. In spite of overwhelming sense of death and horror which hung over the arena Doc managed to be cheery, sunlight dancing in his blue eyes.
“Perhaps you shouldn’t take a direct shot to the shoulder today. That is unless you’re not attached to it,” he said as he traced her collarbone with his finger.
Her waking pain was the same yet new nonetheless. “Are you giving instruction to your lanista?”
“Simply observing. It’s what I do.”
His olive skin never ceased to look pale against her own dark tones. The sun had taken its toll on his flesh leaving weathered lines behind in its wake. They paled in comparison to her menagerie of scars.
“How are the others?” she asked as she stood, her nude figure unabashed in the morning rays.
“Surviving.”
“That’s all that can be asked.”
“Indeed.”
They held a mutual respect for each other. A quiet means of foreplay that would proceed no further. There was no love for gladiators, not even amongst themselves. 
Before eating or partaking in the meager water rations provided she had to become the warrior she was made to become, the ghost of the arena. As she slumbered through the night the crew used a large kiln to dispose of the losers of yesterday. Their ashes would be ready for her by the rising of the sun, a mixture of grey and ivory. From the top of her head to the soles of her feet the dark skinned warrior dusted herself in the regret of yesterday. When she was done she was new, baptized in the death of fire.
From here she dressed herself in her armor before joining her troupe for their rations. Although the only female amongst the several men they held her in high regard. Her actions in the arena had saved their skin on numerous occasions.
The rest of the morning consisted of practice, practice, and trying to find out why she was a black girl sentenced to die in the arena. Soon it was mid-afternoon and the daylight was saturated with the cries of a bloodthirsty audience. The games were set to begin, and her and her Poison Apples were set to take center stage.
But today was different. 
The gates would wait longer today to open, to usher them into the madness. A trove of royal guards entered the confines of the area they called home, carrying with them the scent of sweat…and of her. The queen stank of nightshade, as poisonous as her heart. The queen considered herself to be a mother to the people, but to the gladiators made to fight on her behalf she may as well have been a wicked stepmother.
With her robes barely touching the tainted sand the queen made her way down the line of the Poison Apples until she reached the ghost of the arena. It was hard to discern anything about the queen behind that damn porcelain mask she wore.
“Will you win today?” the queen asked, her voice darkened as the sky as the sun sought to be tucked under the horizon. 

The black girl painted in ash didn’t speak. Her time spent as a gladiator gave her the impression the queen had something to do with her imprisonment. 
Although she couldn’t see it the warrior felt a cruel grin arch from behind the porcelain facade. “One can only hope so. My favorite apple in the batch. My Snow White.”


The Witch’s Memory part seventy four

She wore each mark like a badge of honor

Ready to embrace this new destiny thrust upon her

Deep into the woods she went

Onto the cave that she had been sent

A dark maw black as death

Chilled enough to steal her breath

She was ready to step in despite the lack of light 

When fire erupted voluminous and bright

Torches lined the slick onyx wall

Seeming to take life from some unheard call

With a ginger foot one after the other

The princess felt there was no reason to dither 

She let herself be free to roam

In this place that for the night would be home

The cave was made for a giant or two

Walls stretching high and deep deep blue

She was dazzled by the cave’s glory

Like walking into a captivating story

The Witch’s Memory part seventy one 

The spell had dwindled to a flicker

To the princess’ surprise the air seemed thicker

Thick enough to chew and swallow

Without the magicthe world seemed hollow

It was a drug that she’d been given a taste

Leaving her tongue to fly with haste

“Whatever it is it’s yours to take

Any amount of gold to my days to wake

Your magic is power that much I can see

Of royal blood I don’t want to be

I trust in your skill and in you

Please do what you must do”

With this Jaspeak gave a grin

“Well well well where to begin

The Witch’s Memory part sixty nine

Soon the spell came to an end

Her eyes no longer had to fend

When they adjusted the princess could see

And what she saw left her with glee

It was as though the witch had captured sunshine 

Leaving her in a garden of plants of varying size

The moon replaced with a glorious sun

A comparable sight there was none

And there stood Jaspeak a sight so beaming

Amongst the forestation gleaming

The princess was speechless in front of the woman

“That is but a taste of what I can summon 

I assure you I am not about death and disease

If that is enough to put you at ease”

The Witch’s Memory part sixty four

With his equine eyes he looked around 

No sight of the witch could be found

Yet he knew with his beating heart 

That Jaspeak set this up from the start

But in his current form there was nothing to do

But wait for the inevitable pain to ensue

Day turned to night and crowd went their way

On their tongues nothing more to say

And just as Roland the Horse had feared

That beautiful princess he had reared

Stole away into the night

In an effort to avoid this plight

She had her father’s cunning, pluck, and his nerve

To not settle for a life she didn’t deserve 

The only ones to see her were the night guard

And stopping royalty proved rather hard

She took off as quick as her feet would move

Shortly finding herself in a groove

Whipping through the copse of trees

Not minding the scrapes along her knees

All while thinking her father had gone mad

What had become of dear old dad?

Writing Quote Wednesday

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Does anyone else feel like their characters are running away, taking your story and your sanity for that matter on crazy Thelma and Louise like road trip? Hmm…Maybe it’s just me. I’m ‘pantser’ type of writer. In other words an idea hits me, I start writing, and I have no idea how it’s going to wind up. I’ve always been this way. Many times I have made the attempt to plot and needless to say those stories never even started. I admire the writer who can plot, knowing how many chapters their book will be, when a character is supposed to show up, etc etc. But I have a feeling that plotter get as frazzled as I do from time to time, where your crafted world does not want to cooperate. Le sigh. Whether pantser or plotter, how do you deal with a stubborn story?
Until next time have a writeous day!

Happy Easter!

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No matter if you celebrate the holiday or not, take the day to reconnect. Whether it be with family and friends. Your passion that you put on the backburner. Your dreams. Yourself. Whatever it may be. Reconnect. Remember why it was worth it in the first place 🙂 Have a great one!

The Witch’s Memory (revisited) part three

*The third part of The Witch’s Memory is up 🙂 Enjoy and stay writeous!*

A heaviness perched upon his shoulder
Making him appear several years older
She snuggled in his arms, her eyes aimed to the lowering sun
Her mind wondering what it was that had been done
What had been done to cause her father this woe
The answer her curiosity had to know
“Well your great- great-grandfather Jaspeak,”
He father did speak
“Was a great wizard beyond any compare
So much so it was considered unfair
To those without any kind of magic
In fact their lives seemed rather tragic
Because of Jaspeak we had no worries about being fed
From his magic we learned how to heal when we bled
We could create fire with the flick of the wrist
And that is only the beginning of his achievement list
Almost everything we have, food and supply
Came because a man named Jaspeak did try
Meanwhile outside of this land we call home
The spirit of pestilence did roam
Touching the crops, the water, and folks’ health
With all that combined it touched the kingdom’s wealth
The king at the time was no better than a pauper
All of his gold reduced to a handful of copper
Desperate the king came to us on bended knee
Making a most generous plea
For us to stop watching them suffer
He had very little to offer
In exchange for crops and fresh water
He would provide us more land and his first daughter
For most of us folk his offer was far too generous
All he had to do was ask, no need for all this
Jaspeak however thought otherwise
He didn’t care for the ungifted’s cries
Deep in his heart these people he did loathe
No matter how hard the people strove
For peace, love and unity
To him this was not how it was supposed to be
Jaspeak was all too aware of their plight
Considered it a plague to rid the world of this blight
Magical folk were superior he thought in his head
And he considered this the reason he had been bred
To bring his people into the dawning of a new age
Where he would be crowned most wise and sage
He’d build castles on the bones of the unfortunate
His place in history already set
He convinced our leader to take the deal
His plot beginning to churn its wheel
The did retrieve his firstborn
Who was lovely if not a bit forlorn
Wouldn’t you be if you were found in her predicament
No more than a commodity meant to be spent
A royal made to be a bargaining chip
So it was understandable she had a tremble in her lip
Jaspeak claimed the girl as his own
his plans for her laid unknown
But no one would dare question a wizard so great
That is until it was much too late
Back to his home went Jaspeak and his unwilling bride
His heart swollen with unearned pride
Pride in doing what he felt right
A course of action to bring his people to the light
You see my sweet dear
The sold princess had need to fear
Jaspeak wanted to create the dark art
Of curses, jinxes. It was his plan from the start
And the lovely young girl would be his practice
A litmus test for his dark magic
So our folk went along with the deal
And soon the non magical folk began to heal
From the troubles that plagued them so
But how were they to know
That their troubles were far from an end
If they had known they would have began to fend
To protect themselves from the troubles that loomed
Perhaps then they may not have been doomed
For several years the truce between us seemed great
We were devoid of harm and devoid of hate
We could call our non magical brethren friend
The lines between enemy and friend started to blend
Then one day as the non magicals were reaping their wheat and hay
They found their crops withered and reeking of decay
This was the first time they had been met with woe
Since the deal had been struck so long ago
The non magicals cried out about what had befallen them
With winter approaching things may turn grim
Our leader befuddled by this new predicament
“Something happened. Magic awry it went
Our own crops are fine and doing quite well
Why this happened to you I don’t know what to tell
We’ll seek for you an answer to this
No stone unturned until we find what’s amiss.”
This soothed over our relations
And the king’s people went back to their vocations
As the non magicals went about their life
Our leader sought to end the pending strife
What better way to find a solution to the matter
Than to seek Jaspeak for a little chatter
Our leader sought out the great magician
Hoping he’d play the part of magical physician
He marched over to the wizard’s home
To find Jaspeak waiting on his porch alone
Out leader wished to ask about the king’s girl
Curious to the answers that would unfurl
But a greater matter rested at hand
A matter that would effect the land
To his surprise the situation was known to Jaspeak
A solution he already did seek
He told our leader to go about his way
Perhaps he’d have a solution by the end of the next day
This pleased our magical lord
Those actions were the reason Jaspeak was adored
Happy that Jaspeak was hard at work
He felt there’d be an answer to this murk
Then the next day came as the sun did rise
And more complaints were brought to our leader’s surprise
This time the king was a part of the company
Our leader said “What bring you to see me?”
The king could not hide his countenance
“It seems we’ve been plagued by a new circumstance
This has nothing to do with the deal we’ve made
But we’ve exhausted options, unheard went what we prayed
Gone mad every animal has
They hiss, growl and even spazz
Their eyes glow garnet red
They gnash and bite, and don’t crave to be fed
All they do is run crazed and wild
Just the other day a wolf bit a child
This child fell ill and rabid as well
Quite a situation as you can tell
For now the young one is locked in the tower
As you can imagine this all has been rather dour
We can not begin to eat such beasts
For fear of becoming the same at least
We have little to offer in way of wage
Any help at all would be so sage.”
Our leader waved away this jest
“We will all do our best
Something strange is happening in this land
An answer to this is what I demand
Take back to your castle an eased heart
Jaspeak will know just where to start.”
The king and his folk bid ado
Now that this conversation was through
Our leader sought out Jaspeak once again
Hoping with his wisdom he’d know where to begin
The sun gave way to the night’s pearl eye
Our leader felt dismayed yet he didn’t know why
He knocked on the door for the wizard Jaspeak
Instead of strongly the knock came meek
Strong or not the knock was heard
And Jaspeak wore a grin like a cat who’d caught a fat bird