Pestilence

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This is another installment that is part of something that has been percolating for a long time. It started with a shorter piece, The Miracle and there is a lot more to come. The working title for this collection is called, Vessels. I was having a terrible time finding the right image until I stumbled across Jenny Marie’s beautiful Pestilence illustration and while this isn’t my character, it sets the perfect mood. I think you will agree.

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Click image for link Artist is Jenny Marie aka Autonoe on Deviant Art

 

Pestilence appraised her reflection in the mirror. The very corner of her lip curled in an almost imperceptible smirk of approval. She dipped a brush into the little pot of powder on the table in front of her and swept a shimmer of violet across the pale skin of her eyelids. Next, charcoal liner for a touch of smoke and finally a quick whisk through her lashes with the mascara wand. Her eyes; bright green glass, shattered and reassembled, seemed to be swimming in the soft cloud of colors she’d framed them with. Reaching into the top drawer of her vanity she pulled out her comb. It was carved from the back of a tortoise and inlaid with silver. Something had died so that she could comb her dead hair. This amused her.

She ran the teeth slowly through the sleek icy bob. How long had she had she had this comb? She remembered that it was an antique. A gift from her mother, perhaps? Or maybe it had been passed down when her mother died. A piece of dead turtle from her dead mother to comb her dead hair. She laughed softly, white rectangles peeking out from behind rose colored lips and creamy skin. She slid a small clip into the hair just above her left ear. The elaborate little piece was carved, a dragonfly curled around a rose, delicate and detailed. In the center of the rose was a tiny skull. It was her favorite.

On the way out of the house, she gave herself  final inspection in the hallway mirror. She ran her hands over her blue sheath dress and slipped on her coat, its crisp lines were echoed in the sharp triangle of her clutch. She smiled again. Whenever she smiled, she felt a buzzing, a rattle against the back of her teeth. She knew it must be her imagination, but she sensed a thousand flies beating their wings against the pristine enamel, pushing to get out. Sometimes she felt that she literally had frogs in her throat, but she had never seen one. She found the thought of being a creature full of other creatures more entertaining than macabre.

She had snakes sliding through her veins as well, their venom hissing through the arteries to her heart;  invisible, but very real. Nobody knew, least of all Pestilence, who had been named Selene. Selene lived up to her name, cool as the moon, calm as the surface of the reflecting pond in the atrium where she spent an hour meditating every other afternoon. As far as anyone knew she was a lovely girl who added a certain elegance and grace to any room she entered. She was a woman who could turn heads in blue jeans or Prada. She made people uneasy and yet, charmed them with her warmth. She didn’t put on airs. She was the air; a flawless  breeze.

Selene was the witty and gorgeous guest you wanted next to you at your event table. She was the most charming date of whom no parent could find fault. She donated to charity. She held season tickets to the ballet. She did yoga. She was always eager to pitch in when her church asked for volunteers. She drove an expensive, but not too ostentatious car. She never shared her love of dead things in polite company, even feigned the proper touch of disgust should a gruesome topic ever enter a conversation. She was a perfectly lovely girl.

And she was teeming with death and disease.

 

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Did Someone Request A Bedtime Story?

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Once upon a time there was a little girl with pink hair.

I know, I know, you are thinking her name probably starts with an A or a V, but you would be wrong. You’re thinking of a grown-up with pink hair who has delightful childlike qualities. This story is about a little girl, remember?

ANYWAY! The little girl in this story’s name is LuLu.

LuLu, by anyone’s standards, was a most adorable child. Her face was round and glowed like a peach. Her eyes were wide and blue, like a doll’s, but not one of those creepy dolls.  They were ringed with marvelously thick lashes that bumped ever so gently against the crest of her cheeks when she grew sleepy, which was frequently. When she smiled, her dimples were simply incorrigible! She wore her rosey hair high in two soft puffs, each tied with rainbow ribbons.

LuLu’s mother let her pick her own clothes. She never went outside without her favorites, a lavender overcoat, heart shaped tinted glasses, leopard print galoshes and an umbrella to match. The umbrella had a dangerous looking spike on the tip so LuLu’s mother had put a bit of cork on it, for safety. What she didn’t know, is that LuLu took the cork off as soon as she was out of her mother’s sight because you never know when you might be having an adventure and need to poke at something.  It rained often where LuLu lived and she was always hoping to find a nice, splashy puddle,

LuLu liked to go outside, but it didn’t happen very often because the other thing that LuLu was always hoping for, was to stay awake. Most of the time she was too sleepy to go stomp in puddles, chase butterflies or catch frogs. (The frogs were greatly relieved) Everytime she even thought about going outside LuLu would burp loudly and start to nod off. While other little girls tried to go to sleep and failed, she wanted to stay awake but couldn’t keep her lids up.

LuLu’s apparent narcolepsy was sometimes so severe that the little lass fell asleep while holding her mouth open for her mother to help her brush her teeth at night.  “Lulu,” she would scold as she flossed the little bits of meat from between the bicuspids on the inner row. “Tsk,” she clucked, “You shouldn’t eat so much, especially so close to bedtime. You are eating us out of house and home! For goodness sake! We can’t keep a cook and the school says you won’t be able to attend, if you can’t learn to control yourself.”

LuLu snapped back to consciousness with a snort and spit out her toothpaste. Her wide blue peepers were ready to spill saltwater in a heartbeat. She loved school almost as much as she loved her lavender overcoat. School had plenty of another thing she was always hoping for; food. School had snack time and lunchtime and naptime. While she slept, she dreamed of eating, chomping and gnawing. When she was awake, LuLu was always hungry.

But Mama! I love school! And I excel at naptime!

“LuLu, none of the other students can take a nap with you! According to their parents, most of them can’t sleep at night either. We are having quite a time smoothing things over. We may even have to homeschool you. IF we can find a tutor who is willing. Really, LuLu, I don’t know what we are going to do with you.”

LuLu pouted. She was even more adorable when she pouted. She didn’t cry, but her pink pom poms drooped a little. “But Mom.”

Her mother extended an arm, handing LuLu her pajamas. They had a funny print on them; crocodiles with bowler hats, penguins doing penguiny things, robots eating ice cream cones and of course, rainbows!

LuLu gave her mother a goodnight kiss and let herself be tucked in tightly. The light was turned out and she heard the latch click, firmly securing the door. Her mother told her this was for her own good. LuLu sometimes walked in her sleep and wandered off looking for food in the middle of the night. Through the heavy wood she heard her mother sigh, “I know you try to get along with others, LuLu, but your classmates are all terrified of you!”

I know, Mother.” LuLu answered solemnly, while in the dark she smiled, all four rows of teeth softly luminescent.

“But I can’t help it. They are delicious!”


*I scribbled this out quickly, for my friend, A, also known as Victoria Victrola, who like me, suffers from insomnia, because she requested a bedtime story.
She didn’t specify if she wanted a story to make her sleepy or one to keep her awake. Oh well. This is a silly little tale, so I hope that it does the trick.

The Holding

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This little paragraph has been sitting around for awhile as you can see. I wrote along with the previous post for something that inevitably I didn’t use it in. Also, like the previous piece, it feels as if it could work in poem format. I’m not sure I am ready to do that though. It could certainly be read with the cadence of a poem so I think I shall mark it as both, for now, And reserve the right to do something else with it one day. I did like the idea.
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Found on Pintrest. I think this is called, Final Resting Place by Miro Johannes


I sit, not silent as the grave, for I am the grave. I am cavernous earth waiting to cradle your flesh, bones and finally your dust. I have lessons for your soul. I have messages from your ancestors and your ancestors’ ancestors! I prepare to listen to the weeping, the remembering and then, the forgetting. I wait to sing you into the great unknowing with the silent music that only angels, oaks and stone markers dance to in their perfect stillness. I sit waiting to hold you. Waiting to bear witness. Waiting to absorb your story into all the stories that have come before.
 
– LM 2013

Censored

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Here is another snippet from the larger piece I am working on which at the moment I am calling, The Misterious. At this point it is not necessary to read these in any sort of order, but if you go to the menu bar at the left and click on stories, you will find a tab that gives you all the posts related to this story. Sometimes deciding what to post is tricky because at some point, things I would rather leave out now will be plugged in later. For one, the place I am writing about, I think I intend to base on a real place, but I want to leave that out now.  Just think of it as a journal of sorts written by a person in a place that may or may not exist as we would know it. Okay. I am explaining too much. Enjoy!

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CENSORED


Despite being physically isolated, we do get physical things from the outside world and communication isn’t completely cut off. It’s just spotty. As I write this, I’m not sure that anyone out there will ever read it. Getting through to someone via the phone or internet is an unpredictable venture and once you do get signals you can’t count on them to go as far as you would like. You can get on the internet but you can’t see everything. Strangely enough, you can almost always get communication within the city itself, just try to reach anywhere outside and success is a toss up. There’s no explanation or even acknowledgement of this. When you try to talk to anyone from out there about the weird things going on in here or if you ask, what the heck is happening where they are, the connection drops or you get interference. I suppose it’s a bit like what people have dealt with for years in countries where the government controls everything. There’s no, “access denied message” or warning. What you are looking for is simply not there.

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It would be nice to find out something tangible. Coming up on two years and I still don’t know who’s in charge out there, why we’re stuck here or whether that weirdness is really anything to be concerned about. After all, it hasn’t made me sick. I think I’m still sane. I haven’t seen zombies or anyone with an arm growing out of their forehead. Then again, I stay the hell away from that part of town! Why take chances?

Today, I talked to Quinn. Quinn was lucky Continue reading

The Moonlight

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I’ve been posting a lot of poems of late and people have been asking for story bits. This is one of my favorite little pieces of writing. I admit, I am ridiculously fond of it. I haven’t decided if it’s a “fragmeant” that I may develop further or if it’s complete as is. “The Moonlight” is only a working title. I’m not quite sure what to call it. Ideas?

A magical thing doesn’t lose its usefulness if it changes its state.

PhotographerThe moonbeams scattered everywhere, fractured light spilling all over the carpet!

“Oh no!” the Sunny Marmalade Cat cried out softly, “You’ve broken them! Every single one!” He tried to sweep them into a pile with his tail but they began to degrade into a shimmering powder, transforming into a dancing puddle of light. Bits of silver stuck to his fur like beads of mercury and scattered as he flicked his tail, vexed.

“Oh Dear!” the Asynchronous Clock ticked nervously.”Oh Dear. Oh Dear. Oh Dear. What shall we do now?” And though she tried to keep her hands from moving, they clicked into place, striking the hour and she began to chime!

This caused the Good Mourning Dove to coo and cluck and leave a little icing on the edge of the window sill.

Everyone froze, poised to flee at the sound of a breath or a step, but all remained still.

The Midnight Velvet Cat hissed for attention and once she had it she pushed at the remains of the moonlight with her paw. “We have to be moving, now! We mustn’t let ourselves be discovered. But we can’t leave this here. They will never understand.” Continue reading

Ghost Town

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(At this point it is not necessary to read these in any particular order)

I’ve been on a roll of late posting a lot of things that aren’t stories or even bits of stories. I have been writing fiction, I just haven’t been posting it. I suppose if I ever get in the habit of posting daily or a few times a week with regularity, more will get here.

This is the first thing I’ve posted from a longer work that has been percolating for awhile. I have decided that I need to do some research on things like climate change, natural disasters, geography, politics and economics, among other things before I flesh it out in any serious way, not because I am going to need them all that much in the story, but because I personally want the foundation to build it on. I guess it’s sort of SciFi, maybe more speculative fiction. I’m vacillating between it taken place somewhere that exists now vs somewhere completely imaginary. Oh, it’s a hot mess that wants to come out!

Anyway, the title for working purposes only, is, The Misterious, so that’s what it will be tagged as when I post other fragments of it! I’m not entirely happy with this bit, but it wanted out of my head desperately so, here ya go:

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GHOST TOWN

I try to time my late night ramblings so that I will have the lowest chance of running into another soul. If I head out too early in the morning I’ll likely catch maintenence, blowing off the sidewalks, cleaning the glass and storefront trims, watering plants  or hosing off the benches. Sometimes during the day or early in the evening  I’ll see a lone vehicle or run into an actual human being on the street or sweeping their porch. Too early in the late evening and you might run into a PigBot, have to explain yourself or worse. Too late in the late evening and you might run into a wild animal you can’t handle or the Red Eyes. Jimmy likes to call them the Cylons. That makes me laugh.

The perfect time for me is the middle of the night. Lights might still be on in some of the buildings. I make a game of guessing which yellow squares of light are actually occupied and which simply had lights on when the inhabitants left, with no reason to suspect  they wouldn’t return. Building lights are mostly on automatic, but individual apartments and houses are more intriguing puzzles. For weeks, after it happened, my attention was fixed on a large television screen visible through an upper window in a building about a block from my place. It must have been set on a timer as  it came on early every evening and shut off at one every morning. I walked past the apartment building it sat in nearly every day. It’s my habit to scan windows, doors and porches in particular.  One day, I could see it was gone. Presumably, a neighbor finally decided they might as well have it.

There are small clues. Sometimes bulbs will burn out and you know there is no one living there because once they go dark, they stay that way. Keep watching and more lights in the same place will go out and stay out one by one. On the floor below the place with the TV is another apartment that caught my eye.  It has four long curtains, knotted Continue reading

The Flower and the Boot

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And the flower looked up, her petals curled in puzzlement and dismay
Why? Why did you step on me, good sir?
I opened all my petals for you.
I gave to you my sweetest and most pleasing fragrance
I tilted my face to greet you as if you were the sun
I wilted a little each time you stepped away,
Only a little so you’d know you were missed
Not so much you’d think I couldn’t bloom without you

There was a time you couldn’t get enough of me
My lushness and my nectar
My unique design
I only wanted to make you happy
And now you’ve crushed me
I may never recover
The least you could do is tell me why you’ve injured me so

The man stood silent
His face blank as a moonless sky
I am finished with you, he said bluntly
I still want you to like me
I’d even like you to bloom for me
And to turn your face in my direction
But I don’t want you

I don’t want to feed and water you
Or to take any responsibility
I just like knowing you are still there
For me
I don’t know how to leave anything better off than when I found it
And though I’ve said it wouldn’t bother me,
I don’t really want you turning your face toward anybody else

He examined his boot
And besides, he whispered
Though I strive to be compassionate
I’ve always been careless
So cut me some slack little flower
Can’t you see I’m doing my best?
Can’t you see I’m busy doing things
with my life?
Can’t you see I’m busy looking outward for inner happiness?

The flower drooped
But her petals bristled with anger
No, she said
That’s not good enough
I deserve better than that

He considers her reaction
And does not like it
This flower he no longer wants
But cares so much about
Refusing to be compliant
She won’t accept rejection
Won’t go away AND stay as he wishes

He glares at her, indignant
I don’t have time for this, he pronounces
And his boot comes down again

As she cringes , still defiant
The wind catches the little flower
And she dances away just in time
Her petals ringing like truthful bells
Telling all his stories
Sending them off on the wind
Even if she doesn’t recover
He won’t get away with it
Not completely
The wind will tell

Still, as she blows away
A soft, sweet fragrance lingers
And she turns her best face to him
Decorated with dewdrops that travel slowly ‘cross it
And drop to the ground behind her
Leaving a trail that he might follow
With his heart instead of his boots

LM 2014/2016