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

 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 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

Inkslayer’s Journal Entry 2

The long trek to publication continues. This week I saw my first sketches for the cover to Beyond Here, and I’m beyond stoked.  This all wasn’t feeling real until I saw them. 

With this being the first time I’m seeing sketches I’m debating on pushing back the publication date to the first week of June. When I’m thinking of this I don’t know if it’s my own fears talking or if I’m being rational. I don’t want the cover rushed, but I want it out in the world too…Ugh! 

Thoughts? 

Oh well. Brief update today. Until mext time have a writeous day!

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 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?

The Witch’s Memory part forty four

King Roland came to the very edge
He took the crown from atop his head
Placed it on the ground and said
“I plead upon the souls that are lost
Standing before you no matter the cost
I ask from you this very day
To take from me what you may
My life is but a petty thing
Taking any prick or sting
There is not much that I cannot take
However my daughter is not worth this stake
My father took from you all that did bloom
No matter the incoming doom
I ask of you to reverse
This stale and awful, awful curse
If it is my life that I must give
I will do so if my land and daughter will live
Strip from me my soul and title
But I can no longer remain idle
It is the blood which courses through my vein
Which has caused you so much pain I could have done more to prevent all this
To repay you is my only wish
Please, I beg, hear my plea
Take this debt away from me”
To his knees Roland fell
Wetness of his sorrow began to well
In his eyes he cast down low
If this was to work he did not know

The Witch’s Memory part forty three

First of the litter was strapping lad
No more charming smile was there to be had
But this young prince had a wandering eye
And a penchant to all out lie
This one would be surely no good
Princess Ree deserved to treat her as a prince should
Next came a charming brute
Who came with an array of battle scars to boot
As many brutes do he was given to ale
And the weaving of a boisterous tale
However he was also expressive with his hand
Not caring where his fist did land
More often than not his hand met the face of Ree
Leaving a difficult sight to see
After this King Roland brought her home
No longer allowing her to roam
His decision had caused his daughter pain
And a darkness upon his soul did stain
How could he keep the princess from harm?
To avoid this land’s evil charm?
With his daughter safe within the castle walls
The king ignored his advisors’ calls
And wandered to the cursed kingdom
The source from where his problems came from
Willing to lay down his life for those
Who this life thy had not chose

The Witch’s Memory part thirty eighy

While he sat and contemplated
The kingdom was kept distracted
By the goings-on of their newly crowned king
And all the drama that his royalty did bring
Before the coronation of his kingly crown
Princesses from all over began picking out their wedding gown
Vying for his clear affection
Hoping to not receive rejection
In spite of the bleating of his heart
For the love of the girl he could not part
His counselors advised him to take up a wife
To dissuade his citizens of the ongoing strife
So he did as he was told
And found himself bound with a band of gold
To a woman from a distant land
He gave her the courtesy of his hand
She was beautiful, with hair of sunlight
In spite of her looks all was not right
Roland knew he should be grateful for such a stunning bride
A ghost of his true love would not leave no matter how he tried
But he smiled true and true
For each day he saw all the way through
He muddled through each day of his life
The pain of such a thing cut like a knife
Yet he smiled and endured as well as he could
Doing all the things a kingly king should

The Orphaned Chapter Six

*After this chapter I’ll return to The Witch’s Memory once again. I hope you’ve enjoyed what’s been produced so far! 😃😃😃*

” So what happened out there?” Jones didn’t even bother to look Harmon in the eyes. Instead he tapped at his keyboard. The sound of the keys being struck made it sound like the world was shivering.
Harmon focused on where the man’s eyes should have been. It would’ve been easy to express himself simply to the glare of his eyes, but the man never gave him that pleasure.
” Everything is in my report,” Harmon groaned through clenched teeth. ” There’s nothing else to say.”
” You know as well as I that what is put to ink and paper is not really the whole story. Have someone says it is the truth. It allows you to around between the words, dig up the facts, implications, doubts, secrets you want to keep from the organization.”
” I’m not hiding anything.”
” Then you will be no problem recounting how a simple mission resulted in an Orphan being shot and paralyzed.” Now the master of the house shot a brief glance his way. Those cold ice like eyes boring through him.
They stood that way for some time, having a mental showdown before Harmon finally broke. He did so with a groan and a pang of something awful in his stomach. Harmon never broke eye contact with Jones as he recounted everything that had happened. Speaking the words that change the fact he could hardly believe what his Susanna had done. She had never moved like that before, her strength was unimaginable. She also had never broken a direct order before. He did his best not to betray any of this to Jones, keeping his voice steady as he could and keeping those gunmetal eyes locked on his target.
This interview was not about what he felt.
But what he felt like it Susanna terminated.
As he broke down every nuance he was capable of remembering he Susanna on his mind. He was her charge. He was her damn father. To him it was no different than the minimum and he had served with years ago. As this thought flittered through his mind he knew it was a lie. His Susanna was different.
Susanna never asked to be here in the situation. She never volunteered to protect their country, to have scientists treat her like a guinea pig, to have a portion of her memory wiped away. Yes he left his military family he would lay down his life for them, but for Susanna… For Susanna he’d take the fight to death to come back and protect her and die all over again. He hated the title of Father and Mother the Orphans were made to call them. Yet he had to wonder if this was how a father felt with their child. That viselike grip constricting around his heart.
Was that fatherly love? You decide he wrapped up his report with how we found her paralyzed the room, and how Romanski attempted to run. He omitted however calmly fired on an unarmed man and how in truth Romanski surrendered. Harmon also did not mention the laugh the Russian gave as he sat there bleeding from his knees. No, you don’t tell Jones things like that.
One Harmon was done he kept his eyes on Jones, barely blinking in the process. The baldheaded Jones back in the leather care, his fingers people in front of his lips. One could see the words swirling around in his eyes like a balance load of laundry. Bang bang bang bang banging around, begging for someone to take them out and make sense of them.
” So what do you think?” Jones asked finally.
” About what Sir?”
” Your Orphan. Did we misplace her? If so she should be with Honors. Honors are very hard to come by.”
” She is not an Honor sir.”
” But the way you describe her –”
” it may have been a glitch in your serum. You gave me charged over her for the past three years, I know her and have trained her myself. She is not at the level of an Honor.”
Jones sank deeper into his seat. ” Perhaps that’s the problem. It’s no secret you are… The weakest of the Fathers in the program. You’re too afraid to rough up your girl as the others do. Frankly I’m wondering if bringing you on was a mistake.”
Harmon allowed his contact to be broken as he stood up swiftly. His teeth were clenched so tight that they appear to be on the verge shattering. That tightness around his heart was even tighter now.
” You won’t touch her.”
” Excuse me? She is our property. A tool. A glorified pet. And a pet you have never successfully housebroken. I’ll give her to someone who will properly trained her.”
” No, you won’t.”
” And why wouldn’t I?”
” Because if she is an Honor then I trained her to be without all your techniques. I did it my way. If you truly believe she was misplaced thing you’re saying I was right. Besides, she’s wounded. She may never be had to do such a thing again. Training her would mean compensating for her injury. There’s no one here who would do that. I can and I will. So yes I believe you won’t be sending her anywhere.”
The subtle smile on Jones’s face fell hard. He sour grimness appeared on his face followed by flush of pink to his cheeks. Flame shot up behind his eyes. For a moment Harmon wondered if the man would actually pull out secreted gun he kept under the desk and kill him in cold blood.
But he didn’t.
” Get the hell out of my office.” The words slithered around the man’s teeth leaving a venomous trail into Harmon’s ear.
Harmon turned and headed for the door. Before his hand twisted the knob to the to leave he craned his head back to call back to Jones. “Susanna will be off-duty until she heals.” Jones remained silent. ” I’ll be taking her off premises for an extended time, she deserves it.”
He turned around to leave once again and this time Jones called to him. “Two days. You get two days. If you’re both not back by then I will send the Honors after you to wipe you off the face of the Earth. Is that understood?”
Harmon left without an answer, heading in the direction of Susanna’s dorm. Around him the hallway felt like it was closing around him. He will be so happy to finally leave the walls of this place. More so he wanted to keep riding away escape was Susanna, giving her the life she so rightfully deserved. Before long he was at her door, knocking. The door opened silently to reveal the blonde head of Veronica. Before the door and opened he registered that she was all smiles. There was something about the park that drove her to fix that smile onto her face yet she keeps her eyes on the floor like a puppy that’s ashamed of what was done.
He walked past her, giving her a cursory glances he did so. As he walked in he heard Susanna gasp. Harmon turned in her direction. Susanna sprang to her feet, meaning. Her fingers straightened out the wrinkles in the schoolgirl outfit she wore. She looked good in spite of the wounds.
The words came tumbling out of Susanna’s mouth. ” I’m so sorry. I’m never do anything like that again. I don’t usually do that. Please please forgive me.”
He waved his hand dismissively. ” Don’t worry about it. Come with me.”
She shivered. ” I’m sorry.”
” Nothing is going to happen to you.” He smiled. ” You did a great job. So great in fact that we have a couple days off.”
Her lips stretched wide as the words and on her ears. ” Yeah?”
“Yes. Meet me in the lobby in a hour.”
She nodded and he left. Just like that all was right in their shattered and fragmented world.