The Witch’s Memory part 15 (recap)

What she said next would haunt her for days
For weeks, months, years, decades in many different ways
She would remember this moment with creeping dread
“I wish you were dead.”
As soon as she uttered the words she wished to reel them back
Hoping she’d be cut some slack
That she could apologize and set things straight
But at once she knew it was far too late
The treacherous words dwelling inside
Refused to stay hidden no matter how hard she tried
“I’m going to go” Jaspeak began
“This abuse I will not stand
Count your blessings if I choose to return
Know it was you who let this bridge burn”
At once both hot and cold
Although that part from the story would go untold
She stomped off not dating a second glance to take
For if she did she knew her heart would break
Jaspeak heard her father speak
The mere sound of his voice making her weak
She ran off without a word
Thinking this was all a bit absurd
This was the moment that would withstand time
To never be captured in prose or rhyme
When she abandoned her people for the sake of a boy
So why oh why did she feel this joy
This sense of peace and glorious calm
Feeling the electric prickle in her palm
This wealth of emotion bursting inside
All because her former self died
Now she had to rush to be with Roland
To be with someone who’d surely understand
What it was like to be so alone
Someone who could see what was inside shone
So she cast away her worries and her woe
Knowing where her heart needed to go
Jaspeak trekked through valley and mountain
She travelled through morning and nights dark as sin
Until she came to an unknown place
Nestled between two mountains as if they were giving it space
Her heart thundered as she knew
This was the home of the one she knew to be true
Roland the idiot who stumbled into her life
The one who was more than worth the strife
She found a cluster of trees for her to wait
For the boy, praying him not to be too late
The sun fell giving way to the moon
This burdening anticipation had to end soon
At last her wish was granted
As she peered beyond the trees where she was planted
She spotted Roland as he came shuffling in
When she saw him she broke out into a wide grin
“Here I am!” she had spoken
And at her voice his trance was broken
Now no smile came to greet his face
His eyes had lost their luster and grace
She asked “What does trouble you my dear?”
“I wish that you were still far from here”


The Witch’s Memory part 1 (recap)

As the stars and the moon sat up straight

The people of Durbin did celebrate 

For their lost princess did return

So far that they would let their candles burn

Into a liquid pool of wax and goo

And they’d still dance and sing the night through

Her appearance alone would have been enough

For the people to gather round and strut their stuff

Yet their celebration would be a hundred fold 

As she brought a boy with her brave and bold

One who wanted to take her hand

Before he knew she ruled over all this land

For this they’d dance until their feet were sore

Doing dances never done before

The curse was broken, filling the kingdom with joy

All hail the princess and the soon to be prince boy

While all of this was going on

Before the morning saw its dawn

A witch traveled through the haunted wood

Heading to where the cursed princess had stood

A princess made a dragon, full of fright

Too afraid to let her true self be seen in the light

Cursed until a boy saw the beauty inside

Stripped of misconceptions and any semblance of pride

All had gone according to plan

One weaved with her very own hand

She darted through the trees, grass and dark

Arriving at the cave so gloomy and stark

The witch traveled down into the cave so deep

Where the dragon did once sleep

Setting her bare feet on the magical soil

No longer filled with strife and turmoil

Seeing the hollow oh so empty

Filled the witch with unbridled glee

Now her mission could go undisturbed 

Left to do as she pleased unheard 

The witch inhaled a great breath

Laying eyes on what was left

Upon the dragon’s cave floor

Laid all her dreams and more

In place of the dragon’s stead

Were the tears the beast had shed

Upon the ground there were tiny shards 

Shining brilliant with a texture quite hard

The witch picked up the gem and started to grin

Remembering how this all came to begin

It began a long time ago far from this cave

Where magic roamed free and the people were brave

Back in the land of Sluggatero

In a time set a thousand years ago

The people of Sluggatero were happy and carefree 

Just as any group of people should be

The citizens were all magic imbued

Across the kingdoms others’ fears were not subdued

What they didn’t understand made them cringe

And fear the people living on the fringe

Fearing they would craft a spell

To make sure all in the world was not well

They pleaded with their king to end this mess

Of the magic folk they believed wished them stress

What was the king supposed to do

But scheme and plot the nights through

On how to handle the situation 

With the people who worked divination 

As the king thought up a way

To lead the magical folk astray

There was a girl and her family true

Playing under a sky so blue

The girl did laugh and giggle

While in the sky squawked a full

Flying free and unencumbered

As if not knowing the people’s days were numbered

After this particular tickle session

It proved time for another magic lesson

The father fell in the lush green grass

Flecks of grey peppered his moustache

His smile beamed bright like the heavenly sun

He was quite winded so playtime was done

“Come here my sweet child,” laughed the dad

“Surely another day there is fun to be had

But now is time to learn to sift

From what is curse and what is gift

Come now lass and take a seat

A respite from this summer heat

Let me impart a bit of knowledge in your head

Smarts I earned not just read.”

The girl sat down with a smile

And the grass accepted her, making her cozy for awhile

As the winds kicked up, caressing her face

Her father spoke with patient grace

“When it comes to magic you must be wise

A simple spell could mean your demise

Because all magic comes at a cost

Some spells can never measure what is lost

Know this little girl, know all the rules

Or a life of magic can be quite cruel

Lesson one can never enough be said

There is no bringing back the dead

Although your heart may ache from the loss of them

If you follow through the results will be from

Unspeakable horrors better left untold 

Leaving your spirit bound and cold

A fate I do not wish for your little one

Buy hold your questions until this lesson is done

Lesson two could easily have been the start

As it deals with the matters of the heart

You may never use magic for the purpose of love

No matter what tribulation may come to shove

Love is a matter best left for the soul

Corrupting it will certainly take its toll

Love is powerful and meant to be free

If the person is not meant to live you, let it be

When it comes to lessons this’ll be the third

Please young one, do not find this absurd

Magic is a weapon that you can arm

But you must use it for good, not to bring others harm

We masters of magic were called for a great purpose

The violent ways of others is not meant for us

You were called for so much more

To do wonders never seen before

Don’t waste your gifts on petty revenge

I know all too well this is a challenge

People will push you to be oh so cruel

To fight, plunder, and certainly duel

I ask you now to let it go

The good in you needs to show

Our good shall bring us into the light

Where there will be no more trauma or need to fight 

Where we can live in peace with those without the gift

And the wall that stands between us will lift

Only then will we truly live in peace

Unyielding love for every person each

When you truly understand these rules I gave

Then you will know how to behave

Once the world tries to steal your joy

So no matter what tricks they choose to deploy

You will still be our little one and make us proud

If you have any questions speak them aloud

Better to know now than not at all

Ask your query child before nightfall.”

NaNoWriMo Day 10

“Everybody wants to feel that you’re writing to a certain demographic because that’s good business, but I’ve never done that … I tried to write stories that would interest me. I’d say, what would I like to read?… I don’t think you can do your best work if you’re writing for somebody else, because you never know what that somebody else really thinks or wants.”

-Stan Lee

Writing Quote Wednesday 

Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”

 — Stephen King

The Witch’s Memory part seventy nine

The dark appeared to stretch vast and tall

As they crept up the side of the wall

The women’s faces were stark and gaunt

An image that would forever haunt

The princess throughout the rest of her days

Until the moon saw its final phase

They were ancient and decrepit 

Their teeth were blackened and split

A cackle escaped their collective throats

Making it seem that her heart did float

As it trailed up her airway

Leaving the royal with nothing more to say

The Witch’s Memory part seventy eight

“It must be you,” said the princess with glee

“That I have been instructed to see 

I met your kin outside these walls

Where the wilderness pleads its call

Your sister showed me things bordering the impossible 

Sights that left me with a deep chill

I fall at your feet with gratitude 

For your generosity is too much to exude”

With that she fell to her knees

And it seemed the world did freeze

All went still and quiet

The women turned toward the girl

And at that moment her world did swirl

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

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.
“That’s all that can be asked.”
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.”