The Witch’s Memory part 5 (recap)

Then the king headed off towards the sun
Leaving our leader to wonder what had been done
He leapt to his feet headed in the direction
Of the once great man who was now an infection
Burrowing deep in our land to rot it from within
With lies, corruption, and all manner of sin
He went to the home, pounding till his hand was sore
No time for pleasantries as war was upon their door
With no answer he peered inside
Where it looked like joy came and died
Darkness smothered every possession
Casting a sense of desolation
Shadows lurked and danced carefree
Our leader wondered where Jaspeak could be
Then amongst the darkness something did shuffle
And a scream of horror he had to stifle
A very frail figure descended the stair
Seeing it was almost more than he could bear
It moved in the darkness with great ease
Though appearing to be haunted by a grave disease
Upon the arms as thin as bone
Several pus filled boils shone
The movements were spastic as if there was no control
Over the body and certainly the soul
Long, hair greasy and dark
Struck over leader as rather stark
This was not Jaspeak of that much he was sure
This was the girl from before
The king’s daughter sold to a madman
It was so overwhelming he could hardly stand
Our leader fumbled and began to reel
“My dear friend how do you feel
Is everything fine, is everything kosher
What trouble brings you back to my door?”
“The veil has been lifted from my eyes
Now I am keen to all your lies
I cannot believe I once called you friend
Your actions I can no longer defend
You are a monster from head to toe
Our people shall not be a part of the evil you sew
Tell me what has brought you to this
That has led you astray and so amiss”
Said our leader with a renewed strength
Angered he let it go to such lengths
Jaspeak approached as cool as the breeze
Unburdened by being such a world class sleaze
The treble in his voice was deep and low
“I suppose it’s about time you know
Loathe is too lowly a word
To describe what I feel for the non-magical herd
Too long have they gone unscathed
Many wars they have waged
Lives taken for an unseen glory
Spilling blood to tell their story
They are savages my friend and nothing more
Then the earth chose to settle the score
Handing gifts to the ones who should rightfully rule
If you cannot see that you are a fool
Your gifts you should have learned to embrace
To help me prove we are the master race
Side by side like brothers in arms
Casting in new magic and devious charms
See while you chose to pander those creeps
I mastered a new art while everyone sleeps
I mined it from a part of my heart
A piece of me calling to me from the very start
The darkness my friend that hides in us all
Showing me how to make the non-magicals fall
Summonings, curses, and a trove of terrible jinx
Anything at all worse than you can think
I learned how to possess a human soul
Mold it, break it, until it surrenders control
My will running through their bone
Creating an army of my very own
I call them witches, my special breed
Making them all I could need
Vessels to hold onto my dark arts
Letting it consume the entirety of their hearts
That’s not their only use before they meet the tomb
They also have use in their vacant womb
To bear child I shall raise
To help me set the world ablaze
I have ascended far beyond this realm
To bring forth a new era with me at the helm
No longer a wizard to come and mock
Fueled by my rage I am now a warlock
A being willing to do what it takes
To claim what is ours no matter the stakes.”

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The Witch’s Memory part 4 (recap)

Then the king headed off towards the sun
Leaving our leader to wonder what had been done
He leapt to his feet headed in the direction
Of the once great man who was now an infection
Burrowing deep in our land to rot it from within
With lies, corruption, and all manner of sin
He went to the home, pounding till his hand was sore
No time for pleasantries as war was upon their door
With no answer he peered inside
Where it looked like joy came and died
Darkness smothered every possession
Casting a sense of desolation
Shadows lurked and danced carefree
Our leader wondered where Jaspeak could be
Then amongst the darkness something did shuffle
And a scream of horror he had to stifle
A very frail figure descended the stair
Seeing it was almost more than he could bear
It moved in the darkness with great ease
Though appearing to be haunted by a grave disease
Upon the arms as thin as bone
Several pus filled boils shone
The movements were spastic as if there was no control
Over the body and certainly the soul
Long, hair greasy and dark
Struck over leader as rather stark
This was not Jaspeak of that much he was sure
This was the girl from before
The king’s daughter sold to a madman
It was so overwhelming he could hardly stand
Our leader fumbled and began to reel
“My dear friend how do you feel
Is everything fine, is everything kosher
What trouble brings you back to my door?”
“The veil has been lifted from my eyes
Now I am keen to all your lies
I cannot believe I once called you friend
Your actions I can no longer defend
You are a monster from head to toe
Our people shall not be a part of the evil you sew
Tell me what has brought you to this
That has led you astray and so amiss”
Said our leader with a renewed strength
Angered he let it go to such lengths
Jaspeak approached as cool as the breeze
Unburdened by being such a world class sleaze
The treble in his voice was deep and low
“I suppose it’s about time you know
Loathe is too lowly a word
To describe what I feel for the non-magical herd
Too long have they gone unscathed
Many wars they have waged
Lives taken for an unseen glory
Spilling blood to tell their story
They are savages my friend and nothing more
Then the earth chose to settle the score
Handing gifts to the ones who should rightfully rule
If you cannot see that you are a fool
Your gifts you should have learned to embrace
To help me prove we are the master race
Side by side like brothers in arms
Casting in new magic and devious charms
See while you chose to pander those creeps
I mastered a new art while everyone sleeps
I mined it from a part of my heart
A piece of me calling to me from the very start
The darkness my friend that hides in us all
Showing me how to make the non-magicals fall
Summonings, curses, and a trove of terrible jinx
Anything at all worse than you can think
I learned how to possess a human soul
Mold it, break it, until it surrenders control
My will running through their bone
Creating an army of my very own
I call them witches, my special breed
Making them all I could need
Vessels to hold onto my dark arts
Letting it consume the entirety of their hearts
That’s not their only use before they meet the tomb
They also have use in their vacant womb
To bear child I shall raise
To help me set the world ablaze
I have ascended far beyond this realm
To bring forth a new era with me at the helm
No longer a wizard to come and mock
Fueled by my rage I am now a warlock
A being willing to do what it takes
To claim what is ours no matter the stakes.”
Our leader took this time to flee
All the while his head buzzing like it contained a bee
The world he knew swept out under his feet
Leaving him to wonder what end his people would meet
Jaspeak declared war on the non-magical ilk
A distasteful act like sour buttermilk
Our leader pleaded to all of our kind
Speaking of the great wizard had lost his mind
He told them of what the man planned
Then he made a plea, not a demand
Calling on the good within them all
To help him complete the great wizard’s fall
There were a few who sided with Jaspeak
But there was no reason for our leader to grow weak
Those who were willing to join the fight
Were great in number, courage and might
A line had been drawn on the proverbial sand
Armed with magic and followers at his command
Our leader led the charge against all that was dark
For goodness he claimed would leave its mark
So a war waged on between evil and good
A battle for truth and no more falsehood
Jaspeak proved to be a formidable foe
Leaving his enemies with nowhere to go
Only to press forward through all he could conjure
Making an army of all manner of creature
Nightmarish beasts and blood drenched demon
Anything at all that the great wizard could summon
The war waged on for far too long
Our leader and the heartbroken king plunging headlong
Into the center of the terrible battle
The faith in their cause refusing to rattle
Until at last the king’s blade struck true
In the warlock’s chest and Jaspeak’s face went blue
The wizard fell upon the ground
They were victorious but certainly bound
By woe, misery at those they had lost
Their victory coming at a great cost
Many of the valiant lay dead in the wake
Waiting for the grim reaper to take
Their souls to the heavens or the depths of hell
A resting place for them to eternally dwell
The king and our leader were left on the battlefield
What had been broken could never be healed
Although they had fought side by side
A solace between them it did not provide
The uneasiest of truce was brokered that day
Sending the two on their separate way
The non-magicals would go about their life
And about their work without an iota of strife
As long as the magicals stayed to ourselves
In the land where dark magic delves
Search parties were sent out for the missing daughters
Hearts were fearful they met up with marauders
Of them there was neither hair nor hide
Leaving the king to suspect they’d died
But what to do with the one who remained
The one pregnant and caught under the dark magic strain
Ready was the babe to go through the trials of birth
Although its mother was no longer much worth
Madness dwelled deep in her dark eyes
Dark like the magic we all despise
What to do with this girl now
“The daughter I once knew is dead like a slain cow
She with her sisters far away from this place
Away from the dark things and her father’s disgrace
This thing before me is no child of mine
So what you choose to do by me is fine
Though I ask a favor if you please
Set her ablaze to rid her of this magical disease.”

The Witch’s Memory part 2 (recap)

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.”

The girl took a moment to have herself a think

As she pondered, the sun did slowly sink

The clouds were outlined in blood orange and indigo

Then the girl blurted. “Oh I know

Daddy how come we are made to hide

Instead of walking around with pride

We are stronger isn’t that much true

Heck I couldn’t imagine anyone beating you 

So why not do more with our magic

Instead of protection and other tricks?”

With that the father and mother shared a glance

Saying this was a subject not meant to dance

Around or even beat around the bush

The world went quiet as if told to shush

“What is your name?” said the father to the girl

“Jaspeak, father.” answered the child, giving her hair a nervous twirl

“Who were you named after?”

“Why, my great great grandfather.”

The man settled into the cool earth

Appearing devoid of his former merriment and mirth

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 begun 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

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

Inkslayer’s Journal Entry 5

 http://pin.it/RIPtsPf

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 five

Further in the light continue to burn 

Bringing her the freedom that she did yearn 

Yet now she felt her heart stir 

As she noticed a faint whisper 

Starting off as delicate as a kiss 

Booming into something impossible to miss 

The sound was a haunting song 

Pushing and pulling her right along 

Three distinct voices, lithe and feminine 

If she were to describe the beauty she couldn’t begin 

She knew the end of her troubles with soon 

As each note cause her heart to swoon

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 three

There was no time to agree or not

This simple instruction was what she got

Before the witch turned to stardust 

Disappearing in a slight gust

The princess felt her heart pound

What a piece of luck she had found

An answer to all her silent prayers

A letting-go of all of her cares

She took off in the direction she was told

Feeling brave and awfully bold

A new life was a day away

A glimpse of sun throughout the gray

The princess pushed through the bramble

Letting her skin take the gamble

Of cuts and rash and purple bruise

Subtle reminders that this was no ruse

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 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