beauty, love, lust, poetry, sex, women

Hide And Seek

I’ll let you hide first

Not because I can’t

Blend into my surroundings

But why should I?

If someone sees me

They seldom are the same

Afterwards

So let us play these games

You test my determination

Thrilling at the thought

Of being found

My hands grasping at you

But as my rough hands

Pinch and play

I will tell you a secret

I knew where you were hiding

All along

I always did

Listening from the first words

You ever said

To me

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beauty, books, creative writing, women, writing

Shameless Self-Promotion – Infernal Ink.

I know, you’ve been reading this and as enthralled as you are, you experience a tangible thirst to read more of my work in other publications. It’s not for my benefit, you understand but I am compelled to tell you about my short story being published in the magazine Infernal Ink.

It is called Women and Children First, I hope you will enjoy it and support my work and those of the other featured authors and artists involved in this.

Thank you.

20170326_132058

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beauty, fiction, love, Uncategorized, women

Velour Recluse

I gasped with surprise when the letter arrived. It was handwritten on pink personalised stationery and when I opened the envelope, there was a delightful puff of lavender in my nostrils which made me sneeze. An invitation from a part of Hollywood’s regal, decadent past.

Lorna Hammond. She only made one movie, a clumsy but beautiful affair called The Incorrigible Ms Evans. It captured the imagination for a time, enough that Ms Hammond managed the trick of fame without the unnecessary effort of producing art.

She made the most of it, attaching herself to a succession of handsome artists then distinguished captains of industry before age and culture consigned her to a dusty exile. I wrote my thesis on her and kindled the flame of it into a solid career as a pop culture and feminism commentator.

She let her legend wax in the silence. The lack of biography added to her allure. There were no children or close family to offer anything to her profile, just a series of sightings and rumours, strung together like cheap paste jewels on a string of pearls. It held my attention for a long time.

I wrote to her agent who had died five years ago. His assistant sent a cheque once a month and never heard from her. She was exhausted enough to give me the address without any argument.

I wrote to her several times. She did not reply, but that did not stop me from writing a book about her, and went onto talk shows to talk about it. I spent the whole time worrying about the alleged ten pounds that the camera adds and wishing I had worn pants rather than a skirt.

When an independent film studio approached me for the rights to the book, I received a letter from her inviting me to sit with her; I replied coolly, but inside I was trembling with a giddy joy at the thought of seeing her.

The etymology of giddy, refers to a state of being insane, mad or stupid. That should have occurred to me at the time, but we always lack clarity when it comes to our enthusiasms.

She apologised for not replying to me sooner. The note enthralled me and I spent many hours finding hidden meanings in its terse structure. I was invited on a Sunday afternoon; she sent directions which tickled me as I had watched the building from Google Earth, disappointed that it was a squat, smoke-stained carbuncle rather than a candied mansion house.

The penmanship was shaky in places, but I put that down to age and excitement.

I imagined her crepe paper skin, the febrile persistent tremor of her hands as she wrote and the excited thirst in her eyes as she anticipated another fix of attention, the only true sustenance she had ever known. It still took me two attempts to find the place in person, which made me late for the appointment. I hoped that her need for recognition was greater than her adherence to civility.

It was a scarred doorbell next to a curled, yellowing sign pinned under scuffed plastic.

L HAMMOND

I pressed it and heard the harsh bray of the bell, even through two floors up and insulated by the walls.

The intercom coughed into life.

‘Ms Hammond? I’m Gloria Davis.’

A faint rustling sound.

‘Miss Davis.’

The voice was thin, almost a whisper but the poor quality of the intercom lent it a dark, hollow volume.

‘It is such an honour to meet you.’ I said

The intercom belched like a dyspeptic robot and the door clicked open. The sour, greasy odour of fermented garbage stuck fingers in my nostrils hard enough to make my eyes water. I hurried up the stairs and held my breath.

Her door was peeling and had faded from a fire engine red to an infected pink in places. I knocked hard and the door clicked open. I pushed it open and walked into the thick, velvet darkness of the hallway.

Adjoining rooms had been recruited to the service of her ego. Piles of correspondence, yellowing newspapers cut into rectangles and pictures adorned every possible surface. A pang of envy dug out from inside my breastbone at the towers of papers before she called to me in that thin, whispering voice again.

Her room was set at the back of the apartment. The door was slightly ajar and as I stepped forward, the hairs on my arms went up with an excited unease.

Squalor and glamour are two sides of the same sour coin No manic pixie starlet imagines a point where they become desiccated husks sustained on fleeting glories. The same would apply to the likes of Hammond who would look back and never be able to work out exactly why their beauty closed as many doors as they opened.

It was the fuller figured envious obsessives like myself or the irony-saturated hipsters who fed and sustained the two-faced dreams of these women. In ancient times, they built temples and now we had blogs and books instead. I should have been overjoyed, but I fought the sudden, vicious urge to turn tail and run.

They say you should never meet your heroes.

The lights were out and the curtains drawn.

A faint scratching started up, gaining volume with each second, a million yellowing fingernails, stroking at a million chalkboards. I saw the impossibly thin brown legs of spiders advancing, dense and packed like a broom.

The glimmer of their eyes, implacable and vicious.

I screamed and ran, swatting them away as they poured through the door. A fast-spreading brown mould that wanted to infect me.

My screaming alerted someone and I was outside, weeping and gibbering until the paramedics arrived.

It was not until I was released from observation, that the details I had fled from, emerged into matters of public record.

The spiders were Loxosceles, the recluse spider. They had travelled in the knotted twists of the wig that Ms Hammond had ordered no more than three weeks ago. The wig had come from New Mexico. The eggs had grown warm and full nestled against her scalp and they were born hungry.

They had to fumigate the building after that.

Details returned to me by degrees.

The piles of correspondence and newspaper clippings.

The ashtrays that were perfect cones of cigarette butts and ash.

The wigs mounted on wooden mannequin heads.

It was a beautiful wig once. No wonder she had worn it so often, clinging to the last threads of a faded glory whilst bearing the pain of spider venom coursing through her flesh.

Perhaps it was the closest she had felt to beautiful in a long time.

Hollywood recluse eaten by same was a headline I would have killed to have written.

No one could explain the voice, the invitation I had received. The times were as fucked up as the situation and in the end, they released me rather than try to explain them.

Yesterday, I was sat in the kitchen, looking out at the street when I heard her voice rustle into my ears and a perfect row of spiders on the window sill.

Thirsting for my attention.

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beauty, love, short fiction, women

Of More Woe

Juliet watched the trees. She had been laid prone here since sunrise, setting up her gear and strapping on an adult diaper in order to remain in position.

She popped a piece of jerky in her mouth and sucked it between her back teeth. She picked up the range finger, gauged the distance and wondered if the wind would change before she made her shot. The ravine shielded her from most of the wind, even though it meant that the noise might echo around for a little longer than she would have liked.

She was just under a mile away. An impossible distance to the layman, but she had the eye and enough gun to do the job necessary.

With a target like this, the further away you were, the better.

Her eye came from thousands of hours behind a rifle scope. At first with her daddy, then on her own, then in the military, serving in the Corps until her mom took sick and she came home. She never went back because Daddy had taken her passing harder than anyone had anticipated. There were long, sick stretches of weeks where he had to be moved from room to room, a figure of warm plastic and sad breathy sighs who looked out with glittering, pained eyes and could not speak of his pain aloud.

A plague on their house, he had muttered to himself. Juliet sighed and swallowed her feelings down, she could not lift them and him together. Nurse was too old to manage him alone. She had gone out into the town to collect the groceries when she had bumped into him, leaning against the brick wall, too old to carry off the juvenile delinquent look any more but his amber eyes stared into her and she shuddered with forbidden delights.

He was from the other family. Sworn enemies, forever condemned to mutual hatred without pause or quarter given.

‘Are you staying, Juliet?’ he asked.

The rough, sawn whisper of his voice went straight to her bones. His danger was inherent in the musk of his scent, the light fur on his lean forearms and the raw knobbed cheekbones that gave him a grace that belied his nature.

She shook her head.

‘Just until things settle.’ she said.

She sought to keep the emotion from her voice. Duty and honour had made for fine defences right up until he was at the barricades of her, calling her name in his smile and his easy, deep eyes to fall into again.

‘I need to get inside.’ she said.

He grinned, but the wound had been made, there in the pained light of his eyes.

She went inside, held it together until she was back in the car and weeping behind the steering wheel. If people saw her, they did not disturb her and by the time she was done, the windows had misted up from the inside.

They had written one another’s names in the mingled fog of their breath.

That started her crying for a second time.

It had gotten desperate, last time around. He had been willing to either bite her or take his own life alongside hers. Either one would have been a death sentence, literally but Nursey had been quicker on her feet back then and pulled her out of the priest’s back offices, sweeping the barrel of the revolver across the room as R had spat and clawed at her, feral with grief and love.

It was either the military or they would marry her off to Tib, her cousin.

She never regretted that decision. Tib had come out at Thanksgiving, introduced everyone to his boyfriend, a retired Army colonel and Juliet had gone to her room and cried into a pillow with relief. Her family motto had affirmed her decision.

‘ad laetitiam consolationis non hoc errore deciperis’

The colonel had been accepted into the fold, especially when he showed them the livid scar across his chest from when he had gone hand to hand with one of the other family, in the late eighties, on a camping trip after one of them had murdered his wife and children.

She had returned to the house, unpacked the groceries, read to her father and helped put him to bed before taking the key to the armoury and spending a few careful hours down there, making her choices.

Love made some things easy.

2.

She had gone with the heaviest rifle in her father’s collection.

The Barret.50 cal. It was why she was a mile away from the other family’s compound and still comfortably within range of him. She had found up the silver jacketed rounds, four in total, although she knew that she would only need one.

It would be kinder that way. R would appreciate the romance of it if she had told him what she was planning. It spoke to her pragmatism and his soulful violence that they would be sundered apart, and not even touching when it happened.

The sun had set. She watched the gate at the rear swing open and R stepped out, naked aside from a pair of loose jogging bottoms. His skin glowed pale against the last traces of dusk, his eternally boyish physique already starting to twist with the pangs of transformation.

She would kiss him with silver-jacketed lips from afar. She slid back the bolt, rested her cheek against the guard and stared into the scope.

Magnified, she watched fur sprout like weeds from his skin as his limbs wrenched backwards and his jaw dislocate and lengthen into a maw bristling with razor sharp teeth.

She slipped her finger around the trigger.

‘Oh happy dagger, this is my sheath.’

She took a deep breath, until her universe was the scope and the supported angles of her position, bone on bone and whispered that she loved him.

‘There rest and let me die.’ she said.

She squeezed and part of her died with him.

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fiction, short fiction, women

Baby Brain

via Daily Prompt: Symbiosis

image (7)
(http://ashsivils.deviantart.com/art/Seed-187186503)

1.

Birth and pain are interdependent.

I thought my headaches were the result of stress, sourced in a fear that I was losing my ability to cope with work. My doctor said I needed to relax, so I ran a bath, poured a liberal amount of wine into a plastic beaker and sunk into it.

I tried not to think about how much the website was costing us, or if my sister was right to marry Justin.

Jenny, will you please stop it?

I sat up, knocked the beaker to the ground and shrieked.

‘What the fuck?’

Interesting question, I know that I exist and I’m absorbing a lot of interesting information.

My skin prickled with unease and I wrapped my arms around myself.

‘You’re a voice in my head, you’re not supposed to talk to me.’

That’s different. I am inside your head.

I shivered, despite the heat of the water.

Literally inside your head.

I ran my fingers over my scalp, combed through my wet hair and tried to imagine what lay inside my skull.

My grip on reality had become fragile.

‘You’re a tumour? A talking fucking tumour?’

I don’t know what I am. It’s not a matter of scale, because I don’t think I am taking up any room in here.

‘I’ve been getting headaches.’

Well of course, you’re horribly stressed out, you don’t eat or sleep properly.

‘Hey, Jiminy Cricket, stop doing that.’

A wave of utter bliss fell upon me, and I sank back into the water as my thighs fluttered with delight.

‘Did you just do that?’

I did but I’m not sure how. We’re connected.

‘But I can’t even see you, you’re just a voice in my head. Ish.’

What if it could make me feel other things? Methods of control. The thought was shrill and ugly, twisting in my stomach like an old wound healed wrong.

No, Jenny, I would not do that to you. We’re connected.

‘But I can’t see into you. How do I know you won’t make me feel bad things if you needed to?’

Another wave of pleasure fell onto me and I sighed with a narcotic sense of wonder.

You can see into me if it helps you.

I figured that I should get out of the bath for that. I dried off, got into warm, comfortable pyjamas and wrapped my hair in a towel before I laid on the bed and looked up at the ceiling.

‘So, how does this work?’

Close your eyes. Focus on the space between your eyebrows. Breathe in and out.

‘I could fall asleep.’

Each breath built upon the last and I began to experience a deep, glorious release. Away from thought and down into feeling.

You’re not falling asleep, Jenny. You’re waking up.

3.

Jenny handed her resignation with a mix of excitement and embarrassment. She did not have long to stop and talk, she had a plane to catch.

Everyone said how different she looked. A slight cast in her right eye, but she was trialling a new contact lens.

She did not have time to explain that the trial was her own. She had built a computer last night, using bacteria and the lens was how she operated it, using eye movements to draw up the information she needed.

She had built it in a single evening, and despite not having slept, she moved within a storm of positive energy. It was her and Jiminy against the world now.

They were going places.

They were going to do incredible things.

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beauty, love, lust, poetry, sex, women

Ocean Size

Pale cream and honey sand

Pitted with paw and footprint

Unique yet featureless

A feathery breeze

Caresses my scalp

The ocean moves

I breathe it in

I walk, the sand

Shifting beneath my feet

But not in my heart

Ears full with the white noise

Rush of the waves

I close my eyes

Feel you as I stand there

Calling your name

An interceding force of want

Large as the ocean

Before me

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beauty, love, lust, poetry, sex, women

Thoughts As I Looked At You

I do not force decisions

Onto you

I match your intensity

Penetrate your mood

When it is foreign and dark to me

Standing full, present

Unreactive

Until we pass through

Wildness

And you find your trust in me

Free and loving

Within your chaos

Breath full

Body strong

Cracking the shell of

You and massaging warm

Love into the cracks

In your silence

You will settle for nothing less

Than my divine masculine

Relaxing in your radiance

Settle in the direction

Plant your roots

In the soil of my certainty

As I would plant them in you

You, with your precious gem eyes

Your skin, the brush of silk

Your smooth, graceful limbs

The soft roll of your flesh

Your throat a golden vase

Supple, penetrating thoughts

I aim to capture it

In lines such as these

The failing is sweet

So, in lieu,

Let me lay you down

Part you with my fingers

Kiss words into the damp

Hidden heat of you

It is mine to drink from

Drop by drop.

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