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.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


 “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."

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.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Little black cats, when the moon is full
Creeping through the darkness
Looking for their souls

Fur shining bright, on a full-moon eve
Lurking in the shadow
Looking for reprieve

Muddy little paw prints, leading up your walk
Right up to your front door
You didn't hear them knock?

Little black cats, sneaking through your dwelling
You can hear them closing in
There is no reason yelling

Claws tippy tapping, all across the floor
As soon as they can catch you
Your soul will be no more

They'll find you in your closet or underneath your bed
The covers cannot save you
You're as good as dead

They're scrambling much faster, scenting on their meal
Target dead in their sight
Tracking on your heel

Frantic racing all around, trying to get away
The kitty cats are coming
And they want to play

You are now encircled, feline beasts surround
Moving in to steal your soul
They bring you to the ground

Final screams are never heard, by neighbors in your know
One kitty cat has eaten
One hundred more to go

Kiss the Bride

It had finally arrived: the day every girl dreams of. Beautiful dresses, dancing, marrying the man of her dreams. Here I sit in my exquisitely decorated room ,compliant to my handmaids perfecting my hair, weaving fresh jasmine in my curls. The scent is intoxicating, I feel light headed. I am fitted into a white, gauzy flowing gown, making me feel vulnerable and erotic. I do not know who it is I am to marry, I've never met the man. My handmaids all wear the same expression of sorrow that reflects my own. I can't help but wonder if they know something about this man and are keeping some secret hidden from me. Perhaps he is cruel, or wicked. Whatever he may be, I am to be his bride on this night. I have no choice.

From the open window, I can hear the cries of the wind sweeping across the fissured limestone of The Burren, a lifeless tract of land that lies at the foot of the Cliffs of Moher. Echos from the cliffs scream out into the night, warning of the danger should one try to climb this time of year. The sound is haunting and frightening. Stories of wild, shape shifting beasts eating men alive are passed down to keep children from wandering to that barren wasteland. They are just stories, I tell myself as I shiver, from the damp cold or fear, I do not know. Something seems amiss, no one will talk to me. My thoughts are interrupted by a knock at the door, it is my guard, Gavin. He has come to collect me and escort me to my wedding place. Hesitantly, I rise from my chair feeling a deep abyss form within me. I do not want this night, I do not want to be given to a complete stranger. I open the door to see Gavin's face looking down on me, a deep sadness in his eyes. I lightly touch his hand and smile. This is the man I would rather be bedding tonight as wife. This man with hair as black as coal and eyes bluer than ice. He is my secret love.

As we begin the decent down the castle steps, I begin to shake. I feel hungry, perhaps I should have eaten earlier, at least a wedding means a feast. Gavin takes me gently by the arm and continues to show me through the castle and out into the cold, dark night. I walk bare footed along the dirt path feeling bits of stone and patches of cool grass beneath my feet. Through town, the people await my arrival, lining the streets for this exalted event. As we pass, the crowd grows behind us. I look up as we walk the gauntlet, seeing the dour faces of my people. I glance briefly at Gavin, looking for comfort, before turning my eyes back to the dirt. I want to run, right now. I could hide in the cliffs, surely the legends aren't real. I could survive. His hand grips my arm a bit tighter as if he can read my thoughts of escape.

At last we reach the site. Gray, stone pillars reach towards the sky, torches are lit, shedding spectral light upon the scene. Bouquets of fresh, scarlet roses and white baby's breath adorn every surface. A wintry breeze numbs me. It is alluring and majestic. I see my father standing off to the right, adorned in his best velvets and silks, he smiles sadly at me. I return his smile and start my hesitant walk to the altar, where my groom awaits my arrival. To my surprise he is handsome. Tall, elegant, with dark hair, green eyes- how lovely he is indeed.

My apprehension is dissolved, I am looking forward to having this man who stares at me with large eyes. Hot feelings flash from my inner core, making me forget the cold, as I approach the altar and kneel. The priest begins his ritual words binding this delicious man to me. I can smell the scrumptious aroma of tonight's feast being prepared, my stomach growls, my mouth waters. At last the priest finishes his solemn words to us, we are bound forever.

I get up and lean to my new prince for our first passionate kiss. He struggles against the chains binding him to the altar and screams as I climb atop his writhing body and plunge my elongated fangs into his flesh. He thrashes against me, as a lover in the deep throes of passion as I drain his life's blood from him. I am famished and do not take my time with him. Quickly he grows silent and lifeless in my arms.

I feel a strong hand on my back, letting me know the deed is done. Gavin assists me in getting down from the altar. Smiling, he wipes the remnants of tonight's feast from my mouth before pressing his lips to mine. Smiling in return, I kiss him back, thinking to myself, mmmm dessert!!