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Seven days in AutumnEarl Carlton died in a tree-house of vines, twisted boughs and Autumn leaves surrounded by the scent of earth and vanilla musk. His wife cried for him at the foot of his rope ladder and begged him to come to bed each night as the mercury dropped and the storm clouds rolled in.
"I can't" He eventually responded on the 3rd night and by that time, people had gathered in earnest to witness the man's downfall.
"Why not?"demanded his wife, shivering in wool with her hair whipped behind her by the prevailing winds.
He thought about this for another four nights and the crowds grew bigger and each time his wife begged him to come down and be amongst the people once more. He beckoned her closer on the seventh night and she unsteadily stepped onto the lowest rung of the ladder, tottering precariously.
"I can't come down," He shouted across the high winds, "Because if I do, nobody will ask for me anymore."
A murmur of admi
FadingBefore he was lost completely, the best parts disappeared. The touch of his hand upon her cheek in the early morning hours. The bite of his lip when he was trying so hard to fight back a smile. His call at the front door when he let himself in after work. These things were the first to go along with his excitement at the smallest events. The way that he spontaneously danced with her before they tumbled into bed.
It was subtle at first, the things she missed that he started to take away. The habits she had once scorned or taken for granted disintegrated into the void that neither one of them had asked for. He was there of course, in body. He still kissed her before she left for work but his lips didn't linger upon her mouth like they used to do. She clutched at the being he had become, until one morning, he wasn't there at all.
When he died, it was a different kind of loss. Everyday since that day she had watched him drop a little bit of himself carelessly upon the win
Sea Glass and SandThe only day she could recall that they lived without fear, was a trip to the beach when the children were small. It was late September and an Autumnal breeze whipped skirts and peeled their long blonde hair back from their heads without mercy. Nobody complained though. They spread blankets on the fine sand and despite the chill the sun warmed them briefly - just enough to get by. That was all she ever would ask for. They drank hot chocolate from the cafe and didn't eat the grainy sandwiches that she had lovingly packed that morning. Instead they bought fish and chips and shared a carton of mushy peas, warm and sweet. The children swam in waves that gently caressed the shore. Whilst she pretended to read but really kept two well trained eyes on the bobbing heads, they hunted sea glass and sand dollars. When they finally heeded her calls to the beach they were shivering and salty, their hair knotted and woven with the ocean. She enveloped them in bright blue towels and instantly the sme
The Grey LadyWhen I first saw her, sitting in the middle of a vast armchair, staring out of the window - I was reminded of the Grey Lady. She was Grey. But she couldn't have been more than eight or nine years old. Her hair was long and perfectly straight but it looked dusty. As if she had been sitting there for years, forgotten. Her eyes were sunken, sallow. Her skin was a pallour of grey that I've never seen on a human being before. Dark, damp, but it looked as though if you touched her a cloud would form in front of you. Dusty.
I was one of the unfortunate parents roped into going on a residential school trip to the Lake District. It was my job to tick off the names as people left the reception of the school and clambered into the bus. I ticked my own son off as he stood beside me, nervously reaching to catch my free hand and continued through the list of his classmates one by one. The grey girl didn't move and I hesitated as I ran my finger down the register. I had ticked every name and it was a
Dancing with HailHailstones were dancing the day I wasn't meant to save your life. The grass was the fresh kind of green that comes alive sometime between the end of March and the beginning of April. The ice bounced noisily from the wide windscreen of the ambulance as we sped through country lanes, red lights and sleepy hamlets. When we stopped at the edge of the valley, overlooking endless fields of grass the air became silent. The hailstones fell silently here, but they danced among the blades.
I saw your car first, before anything else. There was a police car, a fire engine and an alarmed Farmer leaning heavily on his walking stick, breathing hard, shock. Ben shifted his pack higher up his back and whistled sharply through his teeth. 'Boy that's wrapped around that tree good and proper.' His heavy Somerset drawl elongated the vowels and I frowned. I hated the phrase, nobody wraps a car around a tree. I'd been to seven of these incidents. The tree always pierced the car, stabbing in through the bonne
The HappeningAnd this? This he could remember. The constants in his life began when the sun rose but never made another appearance until it set. He waited throughout the day for this happening because it was the last string of sanity that he could grip onto. When the sun disappeared and the shadows lengthened? Well that was when depression would sneak its hands around his neck and into his memory, removing yet another thing that he wanted to keep safe forever.
He was afraid to sleep.
Afraid because when he woke up another thread of normality had gone. And even though the sun rose, the gaps in-between and the hours he had to wait to see it sink, grew wider and more confusing. He hated Summer. He waited longer.
They called it Alzheimers. He called it Hell.
Counting BonesTo An Unknown Lady,
They found your remains a few days ago. They speculate that you were buried more than half a decade ago. Yet people have only been looking for seven days. Properly looking I mean. Somebody somewhere must have searched out of love for you the minute you disappeared.
We don't know much about you yet, but the newspapers will begin to piece together fragments of your tragic life and how you came to be lying in the earth without recognition. No gravestone, no testimony to your living and breathing existence, not even an empty vase with the congealed dead particles of flowers to signify grief.
There are flowers there now. Does that make you feel any better? That hundreds and hundreds of people now know of your existence in death? Recognition such as this would never have been craved in life, but if it was all you could claw back once you had died would you have shouted from the hilltops that you lay beneath cold grass?
You're not the only one. You are
I am more than oneFor many, the belief is that there is no such thing as death - but merely a changing of worlds. She wondered if this wold could be stumbled upon accidentally. She mused quietly whilst watching the man on the operating table in front of her.
Could he access this world?
She bent forward, almost touching him with her hair as she prepared to whisper in his ear. Before she could an exasperated voice hissed at her from behind.
"Dr Sophie!" A nurse pushed her aside and began preperation. Sophie stepped back guiltily. She wanted nothing more than to be in the world that her daughter had slipped into without a whisper six months ago. She would do anything, even if that meant questioning the half dead.
In the taxi on the way home (because she still couldn't bring herself to drive a car) - Sophie watched the shadows with tired eyes. Shapes merged until shadows and owners became one and the same. She watched a group of teenagers as they waited at the side of the road, their tall sh
You can't have it allbut you can have the glazed heat bursting from the blacktop like a broken
fire hydrant. You can have the jangle of keys
swinging from your hip with each stride.
You can have the tactility of leather and the graze of
bathroom mosaic tiles under a cold shower pelting
bullets and when the water cuts off
you can have dry book pages. You can have happiness,
though it will often be bitter, like finding a stranger’s
wallet full of pictures of smiling children until you
return it to find that the couple is barren.
You can have the scratches on the back of his knuckles,
faded, yet raw. You can have the translucency of sheets
in the sun, silhouettes but no details,
never revealing anything more than a fringe of hair
and frayed laces tripping over themselves.
You can drop obscenities like bombs until
they don’t mean anything anymore. You can pull out the Monopoly board
that broke your family. You can’t put it back together,
but you can pretend the thimble is your mother and the
FoggyThe waves were the worst in November. The fog settled on the lakes like a sheet of ice. My grandfather wandered into that fog 20 years ago. We all thought him dead until last year when he washed ashore thinking it was still that day in 1993. We didn't know how to tell him otherwise.
Time Enough at LastI never wanted accolades or Escalades;
I’d be just as happy in the stacks
watching all my time elapse
as the world around me dilapidates.
My spine is a ribbon unraveledYou asked me to write your eulogy,
but there’s three sides to every story
and it is not enough to write.
There is no more music in me:
You bound our spines,
where I end and you begin,
but maybe you never belonged to me.
impetuousin finding my way
i feel i lost myself.
i want nothing more
than to strip you
of your barricades
and witness your bleeding soul
in all its glory. to know
the hidden truths
you hide yourself behind.
to see the guts
of your mind
tucked beneath the flesh
of your appearances.
the way is surely lost.
the way is now and i see myself
reflected in you.
what lies we tell ourselves,
what diverging truths consume us.
you and i.
fingernailsfingernails have stories. attached
to the phalange. attached to palm.
thumbs mean good things
but the lonely index is like a toddler
[choose me. point. pick me. point
it was him. it was her. point. jab. kill]
caress with palm [bump. by bump. by crinkle]
scrape up the excess drippy-drop dead
constantly dragging over the cheeks.
such high. high cheeks. like a movie star
[sucked out. hollow. no-lunch-for-you dreamer]
she's really a model without the paint thinners.
[but she is kind of thin. paper stick lady]
fingers have bones
i love bones. chew on them whenever the
family meets for our unrequited love me.
love you fest
[do you really love medown to the limber
chew toy of my piece by piece puzzle anatomy?]
chicken parts get
BeautyPerhaps we got beauty all wrong
Maybe it's the falling instead of standing
Maybe it's the crying instead of laughing
Maybe it's the frowning instead of smiling
Maybe it's the dying instead of living
Maybe it's the people not me
Maybe it's the emptiness not the sea
Maybe it's the mind not the heart
Maybe it's not the pieces of the pictures together
Maybe it's when the picture is torn apart
CupcakesIt was four o'clock in the morning, and she was icing cupcakes.
She'd been there for so long that the mere thought of licking that smudge of buttercream from her hand made her feel sick. She'd been there for so long that food colouring had dried, tacky like blood, onto the counter.
And still, not one of the cupcakes was finished.
She'd spooned buttercream clumsily onto them, then scraped off again as it landed lumpy and messy. She'd repeated that cycle God knows how many times; with the same result. Then, she'd tried with a piping bag. Every time she'd held it, steady and perfectly positioned, above the cake- and every time her hands would spasm, sending buttercream squiggling right across the baking tray. Still, it somehow managed to miss most of its target.
She could not afford to mess this up now. These could not be the last cakes she made for her daughter. For years now, she'd been known as Eilidh's-mum-who-bakes. Who would she be, when she could no longer do that?
Eilidh's mum who
And I will Always be the MoonWe have gotten so attached to these days and these months,
but a deer doesn't know a Tuesday from a Thursday
and a caribou can't comprehend that it was born on a September afternoon,
but they can understand this instant, this moment, this breath,
only now, no longer the past, and only the future when they get there,
there's a healthy lack of awareness in that,
escaping the fear of death but thriving off the instinct to live,
everything so primal and based off gut reactions,
I guess you could say ignorance is bliss,
but ignorance only actually applies when it comes to humanity,
oh I would like a life like that,
one that is organic, tangible, and ripe with bloody berries,
one where carnal creatures run rampant,
one where we rise from the dirt with muddy thighs
because we were bred into these earthly bodies
to hold seconds in our palms like newborn children,
and to throw our heads back and howl against the awareness that we are dying,
for oh this skin is only our host,
And then there was oneThey didn't sound like gunshots. That's all she remembered thinking at the time. The bitter noise slicing through the hazy summer evening started off like a gunshot but ended up as something sharp. Perhaps somebody had dropped something on a building site across the Valley. That's what she allowed herself to think the first three times she heard it. Then the traffic on the distant motorway stopped, the echoing vibrations of cars racing home abruptly finished. Noise stopped traveling down through the trees and across the length of the river. The sky, which had begun the day as a cobalt blue had morphed into slate grey. The sound came again, but this time it wasn't alone. It didn't sound like gunshots. That's all she could think of, when the door splintered and there they were.
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^Nyx-Valentine arrived in our community and started whipping everyone into a frenzy with her relentless desire to bring the Artistic Nude and Fetish galleries to the fore. 9 years later, and it's safe to say that Nyx is not only a leader as a photographer in these galleries, but she has also established herself as a much sought after model. ^... Read More