Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Visit with J. Nelson Leith

Today, I'm heading over to J. Nelson Leith's site to check out a new twist on an old tale. You know how I am a fan of dark and twisty; sometimes, not all the endings are happy. Come check out "The Princess and the Pea" as told by J. Nelson Leith.



Original artwork by J. Nelson Leith.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Death's Calling

My trouble, you see, is the very truth that you have haunted me every minute of my very existence. You with all your wonder, your tantalizing allure that always drew me into a spiraling madness of venomous demons whose company pleasured me. My failure to resist opening myself to you rests firmly, and solely, on my own shoulders. I am to blame for tempting you to come for me. Though I blame and hate you, you are not to blame, nor to be hated. My heart raged at the very thought of you, yet my thoughts would not release you – how I weakened at the knees mentally exploring the life we would have. Now you are here for me, I quake in fear. You are a battle I do not have the will to fight. As is our desire, you shall have me, my darling, there is no turning back. 

 The midnight hour tolls - the sound no longer music to my ear. Chiming tones reverberate around this sullen room with warning that my time draws near. I crave release from this life that chains me. I cannot be bitter at your acceptance of my invitation. You merely answered my call, as lovers do. I should not be alarmed that you are here, as you have always promised, singing to me your deadly lullaby. The melodic tone of your voice calms me, your haunting song lures me deeper into you. I close my eyes and you are all I hear, my love. The tolling chimes silenced. 

 Time slows while night draws in, but the darkness I so once craved is now a blanket of fear that wraps me within its icy arms - your arms. You see, the very essence of you resides in the darkest of the still night, waiting for my light to extinguish so that you may possess me. Silently I await for you to claim me. My body still, all I feel is you, my dear, sweet darling. 

I have wanted you for so long, to embrace your beauty. Yet now that you are here, I am sure that my very soul is in dire peril. I want to cry out, hoping someone will rescue me from your charms, but I am alone with only you. I am at your mercy and cannot quiet the rapid beating of my heart. My stubborn pride does not want you to hear how I feel. How can my greatest desire be the very thing I fear most? Your soothing voice speaks my name, a caress that touches me to my core, and I know that you are ready for me. 

 So be it, my love, take me. I am ready for you. Ready to be carried away by your chariot and dark horses to the next life. Oh, how I hope you will favor me above others and grant me amnesty from the creatures of hell and their tortuous games. I have not lived a chaste, nor wholesome life. I am broken and damaged by the ravages of this world, my body worn from time and injury. Take me now, my love. My breath hitches at the press of your lips to mine, drawing me out of the flesh-laden husk that was my home for so long - a bloody prison I pleaded out of to let this misery pass quickly. Now there is no longer anticipation. You, and only you, can grant my dying wish and free me. You want me as I want you. Your kiss is filled with a passionate desire to consume me, I cannot resist - I let go. My spirit soars into you, for you are everything, and I am now eternal dust. I am yours, my love.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Untitled

 “Are you a gift from the gods?” he inquired.

“I like to think so, sir, but occasionally I’ve been called the devil herself.” I giggled at the face he threw at me.  Fear, disbelief, somewhere in between, either way, it was funny as hell.

“I beg you not to take my soul,” he cried.

Oh boy, there I go again, upsetting the natives.  “Get up you fool.  I’m not going to take your soul.” I paused before I mumbled, “But I might nibble your liver.” I’ve been getting better at keeping a straight face when I screw with people.  I’m sure if he looked beyond his terror, he’d see the twinkling glint in my eye that always gave me away.  

“I have liver, madam.  If that is what you wish, I’ll gladly give you all the liver in the world in exchange for my soul. I have children you see, and the missus would be lost without me. I’ll even take the neighbor’s liver for you.”

Great, another married one.  I sighed heavily, my disappointment showing.  I refused to use the married ones for my tasks.  A girl has to have some standards and I refused to be known as a home wrecker, especially if the dude up and died on me.  Some men are frailer than they let on, you know. I commend them though, choosing to take the very well-being of another’s life in their hands and guard it. Some fail miserably.  Like the fella in Sabat that whored around while his wife starved at home, penniless, and no means to even seek the basic needs of survival. His brother was much better suited to her.  So don’t ever tell me I’m always up to no good. 

“Naww, that’s alright.  I don’t want any liver right now.  But, you had better walk the path of righteousness and be a provider for your family, else I shall return and claim your soul.” I flicked my hand in the air, dismissing the poor fella. He bowed as he swiftly backed away from me, then turned and ran.  I knew I didn’t have long before the rumors started about the devil being in town. One day I was going to learn to keep my mouth shut.  Sadly, I succumbed to my only form of amusement whenever possible.  Geesh, maybe I was the devil. I shucked that thought from my brain; if I were the devil, I’d have wings for sure.  There’s no way I’d be a wingless devil. And besides, the devil is a male.

I slipped quietly out of the alleyway, trying to remember the layout of the old map. Let’s face it, I was useless when it came to direction. I always figured it out eventually, my Zen GPS would kick in and bring me where I needed to be. Besides, the fun involved in being lost was priceless.  You never know who you will meet or where you will end up.  So off we go…

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Resonance of Life

Darkness resonated from him~ called out to me. I could feel him standing across the dismal, cold room staring, malevolence emanating in waves. Don't look!~ my inner voice screamed ~ I won't! ~ I answered back. Forever bound to the icy, stone wall, unable to run, I kept my head bowed downward staring at the dirt floor of my prison. The action futile I knew, he would win. He always won, but I refused to make it easy~ even for him.

"Look at me!" He demanded. Head down, I laughed. He was grinning at my impudence, amused by my efforts to fight him. But he was counting on my defiance; it fed his soul to have control over me. Satisfied the hunger within him. He knew his inner darkness, the beast that created me, was stronger than any I could imagine.

Foot steps.. falling softly on the ground, he slowly made his way to me. My arousal amplified by his nearing proximity. Oh how much I loved him, but never let him know. But he knew, didn't he? His musky, primal scent abounded stronger the nearer he came until it surrounded me, until I could inhale his very essence. His scent always tempted me in the most intimate ways, luring me, but I always resisted. He leaned into me, his hand running softly across my bruised cheek. His touch seemed to absorb the pain of my wounds. He whispered, warm breath across my ear, "Look at me." An order issued in the most tender of ways. Lusty passion heightened within me, but still I looked away, afraid. "Look at me, my love," he again whispered to me. I could resist no longer. Slowly I raised my chin, this time without pride, without anger to see him for the first time. An action he knew would break me and put me in complete surrender to him. An action I knew would have him surrender to me. Fear!! My shackles tightened around my wrists, squeezing, shooting pain throughout my body, mind and soul. I cried out in agony. "Do not be afraid, my love. " His voice soothing, calming. "Fear only pretends to love you, pretends to protect you. He does not love you, I do. Now look at me my love, see me for what I am." He commanded again.

I began to submit to him, I looked at him. Our eyes locked, my chest heaved, breath catching. Electric shocks of excitement coursed in me. In that moment, able to see the pain and weariness in his eyes I knew there was no place I'd rather be. I wondered what he saw when he looked into mine? The same? He broke our gaze, pressing his face against my neck, his breath warming my chilled flesh. How long had I been bound here? How long had I quietly endured the pain of this captive life? Always wanting to break free to feel the sun shine down upon me, to feel the rain cleanse me, to breathe the air deep into my lungs and smile, to feel green grass under foot and laugh. But no. I endured this cold, callous prison the uncomforting touch of abrasive walls, freezing ice storms. This dreariness could all fade away, if only....

"Submit to me, my love." I closed my eyes against his voice and inhaled, habitually steeling myself to be strong, to fight, to endure. I could feel the tears behind my lids wanting their release. I had only to submit~ my eyes shot open, the salty drops fleeing captivity, running. It was time!

He pulled back, taking my face in his hands, his eyes boring into mine. Then he was there, his mouth pressed against mine, his magic engulfing me, warming me, healing me. My shackles released ~Freedom! ~I wanted to cry, but he was there, taking my words, his tongue brushing softly against my lip, finding his way in~ passion ~ passion unlike any I've known before filled me. Free! I was finally free to feel, to be. I touched him for the very first time, entranced by his beauty. "Say my name," he requested of me. I paused as fear reached for me, causing my shackles to clang against the wall behind me, a reminder. "Say it!" He commanded.

"Life!" I cried, "You are life!" A solitary tear fell from his eye, a tear for me. "Yes, I am life my love. I have been waiting for you and I'm all yours." My arms unbound and Fear behind me, I embraced him. "Promise me, my love, promise me you will never let me go again," he asked, wrapping his loving arms around me. "I promise."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Reflections of Beauty

I stand in front of a square of mirror each morning carefully applying the paint of an urban female warrior. This is what I do, this is what I am trained for. Each brush is skillfully used to embellish every facial feature to perfection. Swirling colors to blend so you cannot tell where one stops and one begins. My face a daily canvas to be remade to reflect sexy, charming, in control.

Golden strands of hair fall around my face in soft flowing waves. All in place designed to be stared at; to be touched.

Matching clothing flattering just the right curves of the body.. coordinated handbag and shoes with not a speck of dirt on them. Which sunglasses to wear, to tie a pretty bow on the package?

A quick look in the mirror to ensure all is right. Pretty girl staring back with empty eyes. I look away for fear of confronting the truth.

Inside a slow scream starts to form.. pushing it’s way up, wanting to be set free. Push it back down, it cannot escape, there is no time for dwelling on what should be.

Echos haunt my mind, “you’re such a pretty girl” ; “how can you be sad, you’re so pretty”; “you have it made, you're so pretty”; “we like being around you, YOU’RE SO…. PRETTY”

SHUT UP!! I cannot talk to you now, I have beauty to throw around, tell your lines to somebody else. They mean nothing to me.

Look into my lifeless eyes and tell me how pretty I am once you really see me. Tell me how pretty I am now that you know the truth, now that you see reflections of beauty in me.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Star Dust

She was once the patient one, always willing to wait. The one who always understood being left behind. She was once brave, standing in the face of fear and shouting in it's face to end it's injustices against those who cannot defend themselves. The one who can hide the hurt bestowed upon her in the most secret places, no one can find. Falsified, personified by appearances, she was the pretty one, an easy guise to feign. To all who knew her, she was a rock, seeming to stand solid and strong, while inside she crumbled as easily as a thin layer of shale. She would hand out smiles she could barely muster, hiding tears that wanted to fall.

In the dark of night alone, wondering what it's all for, she is weak. She knows she has failed herself, has lost her potential to be someone, because she chose to always help someone else. Now she is alone and scared. She is tired, age slowly stealing her youth, wasted energy sapped away by the selfish ones. A willing sacrifice, her light slowly fades like the setting sun. She has no one to blame but herself, for allowing to be set aside like a little doll , to be abused, to be unknown. As she was in death, she smiled as she surrendered to the end, the darkness come to engulf her soul.

A shining star, dimmed by the world, to dust she does return.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Grams' Last Wish

I've always hated hospitals. They're where people come to die.

So here I sit holding onto Grams' fragile hand. Her skin feels soft, but paper thin. I think to the future, when one day it will be my young plump hand that will be transformed into an aging, fraile stick of bones covered by the thin sheeting of flesh. I wonder if anyone will be holding my hand when my time comes?

I look around the plain room, beige walls, one single picture of sunflowers hanging so the person in the bed has a view. Poor Grams, I think to myself. This room is so dreary, no wonder it's easy to die here. At least she is in her room alone and won't have to share her death with a stranger.

"Can I get you anything Grams?" I ask of the old lady whom I have adored my whole life. Her hair has thinned, along with the rest of her. Her gray strands surround her face like a fine feather down. Face wrinkled from her 86 years of life. Her eyes are still bright and knowing though. I am again grateful she never lost her mind. Sure people may have said she was crazy, but I know she just wanted to lead them to believe that.

"No thank you, my dearest child. You took care of what I asked you?" Her voice is raspy and weak. I know her time is coming soon.

"Oh Grams, you know I would do anything you asked of me. Of course I took care of it. He should be here soon." I answer her. Grams and I have always been close. I am the only person in the family she trusts.

"You're a good girl sweety." She smiles at me, her green eyes twinkling. I have Grams' eyes, and have been told by everyone that I am indeed, her spitting image. I can't see how that can be. I've seen pictures of her when she was young. She was a stunner. Besides, my eyes don't twinkle like that. It always surprised me she was never married. Always amazed me that she managed to have a child out of wed lock in her date and time.

She managed to eek a living, and feed her only son, my father, by selling things she made. She educated him and managed to save enough money for him to go to college. When he was 18 he left her, alone in her little log cabin in the woods. It's no wonder the rumors about her were created. Grams is the evil old witch who eats children, according to town lore.

My father broke her heart when he left. He never visted except one time to show her me. I used to sneak out of the house at night beginning when I was 5, to go see her. No one ever knew. She told me they would keep me away.

Grams taught me to make all the little things she did. How to cast spells, and to chanel the dead. Yes Grams is a witch, but she does not eat children. She told me it is a special gift, passed only to the women in the family. I always kept our secret and never told anyone about what we did.

"So your father will come see me on my death bed then?" She asked me.

"Yes, Grams. He should be here anytime now."

"I hope he hurries. I can feel my time growing thin. What's keeping him?"

"I don't know Grams. Maybe he had to work late."

"That bitch of a wife of his is probably trying to stop him. She's like that, as you know. Controlling bitch!"

"Grams, don't get yourself all worked up. Besides, that bitch you're talking about is my mother. I know you don't like her. I don't even like her. I wish it were her lying here on this bed, not you! I don't want you to go, Grams."

"I know my dear. Just remember that Grams is never going to leave you." Her eyes twinkle at me again.

I smile back at her, and try to make it as happy looking as I can.

"I don't deserve your love, Sophia." Grams says to me.

"Stop that crazy talk, Grams. I love you and that's that!"


I notice the sun setting through the blind covered window and wonder where the hell my father is? Grams has nodded off again, and I can't help but wonder if she will wake up this time. Her breathing has grown very shallow and she looks very pale. I wish he'd hurry.

I get up from the hard chair I have been sitting in and start to go through the closet and drawers, gathering her things. I figure I might as well start collecting her personal items. I don't think she's going to make it through the night.

In the drawer beside her her bed I find a packaet of stationary and furrow my eyebrows. I don't recall seeing it before. Perhaps one of the nurses brought it in to her. There is one nurse here that has taken to Grams. She is from another country, Sweden I think, but can't quite remember her name. I look through the delicately designed papers and find a note written in Grams' hand. I know I shouldn't intrude, but my curiosity gets the better of me. The letter isn't addressed to anyone in particular, so I read:

I want to thank everyone in my life for keeping me going. I am grateful for all the time I got to spend with you, getting to know you and watch you grow. I am thankful for the gifts you have given me each year and the gift you will bestow upon me in death. I have only one regret.......

"Hmmm," I say outloud thinking perhaps this is a draft of a letter to someone as it seems incomplete, no heading and no closing. I shrug my shoulders and set the stationary back in the drawer and notice Grams looking at me with a sad look on her face.

"I'm sorry Grams. I didn't mean to be so nosy, I know this is your personal business."

Just then the door to the room opens and in walks my father.

"Hello Sophia, Mother." He says as he sets a vase of beautiful red roses on a table near the wall under the sunflower painting. Those are so much prettier to look at. I smile and greet my father with a hug and kiss on the cheek.

"Gregory! You made it!" Grams says with such excitment in her voice.

Father strides across the room, leans his tall frame over Grams and kisses her forehead. "How are you, Mother?" He inquires, emphasising "Mother" and with a strange smile on his face. Perhaps he is just trying to be strong. Perhaps this is really bothering him more then he is letting on. I'lll have to talk to him later.

"My you have grown into a handsome man, let me look at you," she says, a big grin on her face.

I unzip my jacket as I start to feel a bit warm. I've had the heat on al day since Grams seems to stay cold all the time . The heat in the room is stiffling. Father looks over to me, a worried look crosses his face. "Are you alright Soph?? You don't look well."

"It's just hot in here. I guess it's hitting me now that I am up and about."

"Sit down sweety, I'll get you some water." He walks out the door.

Grams reaches the control on her bed and moves it to a sitting position. I can tell it is taking a lot of out of her to accomplish.

I start to get up, "Let me help you Grams."

"No, no hun. You just sit tight. Your father's right, you don't look too hot."

"Oh trust me, I am hot." I try joking. I can feel the beads of sweat falling from my hairline down the side of my face. My father walks back in with a cup of iced water in his hand and offers it to me.

"Thanks, Dad." I gulp at the water, the coolness winding it's way down my throat. It feels good. I hand the cup back to him and lean my head back on the chair. I feel very weird, like I am in that stage of sleeping when you aren't quite there and not quite awake. I swear I see my father bring some candles out of his briefcase and light them. How peculiar this dream is. I giggle a little. I hear voices chanting around me and feel something wet being put on my forehead. I can't seem to hear what is being said and don't know what is on my head, but it feels cool. I can't move. I hate dreams like this. Then I start to fall into a deep sleep, met by darkness.

I don't know how long I slept, but feel very groggy and weak upon opening my eyes. Everything is blurry for a minute then my eyes finally focus somewhat. I still can't quite manage to focus. I am staring at the picture of the sunflowers, and the vase of bright, blood red roses under it. I am confused. Am I sick??? After all, hospitals are where people come to die. They must have moved my chair.

Then I hear my voice asking me, "Grams, grams, are you okay?"

I shake my head and try to speak, but my mouth won't work. I can barely breath. I turn my head and see me staring back at me. God, I've got to wake up!! This is freaky!! My father walks up behind the me I am looking at and leans down and kisses my neck, only it is not my neck any longer is it? This just keeps getting creepier and creepier. And ewww on my dad hitting on me.

I feel a warm hand on what is now my own and look into eyes that are mine, but not mine. My eyes don't twinkle like that. I realize this is no dream. "My only regret, love," I have visions of the letter written on the pretty stationary, "is that it had to be you. I am sorry for this, but you see, I had to find a way to be with your father again. Gregory and I have been in love since we were young and we found a way to be with each other forever. A soul for a soul and you are my sacrifice."

Panic engulfs my mind as it gets harder and harder to breathe. The door opens again and in walks the Swedish nurse. "Is it done?" She asks in her heavy accent.

Gregory steps forward and stares into my eyes, "It is done." He is smiling as I feel my last breath slip away from me, then all is dark again.