Your quickly flicking glances, the stance that I know is a practiced kind of casual, your watchful pretense at relaxed conversation, gently swaying it from one side to the other to cover the range of information required by your whims, I know you. I’ve seen your kind lurking in musky corners.

Yet, I honor the ghost of dances past. Your heady presence draws me closer, the parts of my heart that become so painful when they rise, I hear their song. I’m slipping, swallowed into despair as I feel Undying Hope, in her callous innocence, rising to take my place.

This is not a club of promise and illusions, young would-be lovers peddling white lies. We are in the forest held by your heart, reflected in eyes full of shadows, where primal hungers rule.

I walk through trees growing twisted in their age and desperation, wind-torn leaves fluttering rumors as I pass. A glimpse of your light leads me onward through treacherous ground, the hold of the muck growing ever stronger as I fall into the heady lure of danger.


Twitter #GrimList2019 prompt: Will-O-The-Wisp

P.S.- I wasn’t going to do the prompt today, but Emika’s Wicked Game was playing during my morning coffee/Netflix routine and shit happened.

The Souvenir

“Supposedly, Janice Marie Rodgers, age 17, knew nothing of the legend surrounding the item she found when she entered the house. Neighbors saw her walk directly into the home through the unlocked front door, and she was only inside for a minute before she walked back out and continued on her way.

As was previously reported, there is no forensic evidence tying her to any activity within the house other than the trail of footprints she left as she walked directly to the display cabinet, and there is evidence that she removed a single figurine before turning around and walking out again. There is no evidence tying her to any of the murders in that home, or to the previous tragedies. All evidence corroborates with Baker’s confession, and he claims to have no knowledge of Rodgers.

It is unlikely that a teenager from a neighboring town with no social ties to any of those involved would have walked directly into a murder scene and have been so unaffected. Currently, investigators believe that Miss Rodgers may already have been on the brink of violence, and her happening upon the scene was coincidental, though likely to have motivated her final psychotic break.

Exactly how the figurine reached Colin David Brand is not known, but it was not found on or near the body of Miss Rodgers. When police raided his hotel room, it was seen as the focal point of an altar Brand decorated with belongings from his victims, but while police were still in the room, the figurine seems to have vanished. Brand’s whereabouts are still unknown.”

Excerpt from The Liffey Chronicle, May 18, 1992


Twitter #GrimList2019 prompt: cursed object.


He makes her forget when she looks into his eyes. No more dusty echos of terrors skittering around her head. Doesn’t feel crazy when she’s with him, he makes it feel right.

It’s nothing but a little dance when she’s with him, spinning and preening for his affections, sliding her hips a little more, breathing a little deeper, watching the world go soft as his smile lights up her heart. It all turned out easier than she thought it would, she wasn’t horrified after all. They don’t seem like little cherubs then, just little gifts to give him for his amusement, something to whet his appetites.

Oh, those appetites. He can give her what no other can; gentle lips and soft hands soothing the rage, making her hatred sing with adoration of his hands, his lulling poetry, his compassionate patience with her fears. No other lover is willing to test her limits, no one else knows how to set her free. No one else understands what it takes to become more than human, to rise above the chains they tie to you, to learn to enjoy sliding next to darkness, skin to skin, the scent of blood as heady as the scent of sweat and fear.

Without him, she is trapped inside her own dark chains. Without him she knows the nature of Hell. She does not worry what awaits her when they are caught. She knows he will not be near forever, she has but moments of pleasure to enjoy while she can. It is her time to live in the light, to proudly step from the shadows and stand by his side, letting the sun shine on her monster within.


Twitter #GrimList2019 prompt: monsters.


We thought she was going autistic. Every day at 3 pm, she crawled under the table. Mama would have to croon to her to come out so long that she took to piling her ironing on top of the table, so she could fold and make the time have more purpose. She was there crooning, just as she did every day, with all that soft laundry piled on top of that old table when the plane crashed in our field, and the giant picture window she always loved to look out of as we ate dinner, it blew inward and a largish shard kind of chopped off her head.

There was something about the way her shoulders were set when we found her, out in the yard, something about the way she sat as she was waiting with that copycat smile, and we could see where she came out of the rubble, the path she cleared under the clothes that kept the shards away from her tender skin, there was something in the way her eyes were kind of rusty at the edges, the way she seemed to slither behind secrets in her usual silence, it just wasn’t her anymore.

I almost think it started when mama started dating him, well I mean I know I smelled that breath myself once or twice. It was like he was of decay, one of its things walking around on earth in a human skin. We hated him, but he seemed fond of her, I saw her brace herself against his breath every day.

I think it was around then when she started looking lost in her eyes, when she seemed to always be looking upward and aside when you talked to her, when her fingers stared itching over her skin and she started mumbling quietly in the corner. The shrink said it was a self soothing ritual, and I asked why was she practicing magic, but the shrink said no, it wasn’t. But it was then that she started hiding under the table, every day, right at the time that mama died and after that, that man wasn’t allowed to keep us.


Twitter #GrimList2019 prompt: ritual.


Once, as she looked upon him, her blue eyes would darken with love as they snuggled, and she would smile at nothing while she stroked his hair. She was happy that he would keep her company while she binge watched her shows, though they both knew they didn’t interest him much.

That’s how he proved his love to her, with little gifts of compassion, conceding to her desires and fulfilling his promise to take care of her. Yes, it helped keep her near him so he might take care of his needs, but it became more than that. He had become quite fond of her.

He stroked her hair, alive with trembles reflecting the light, her eyes bright and sparkling, she seemed to glow. It was a shame he had to betray her. He knew she would never accept that he always loved her laugh, he admired her perspectives on literature, he considered her to be strong and capable and beautiful. Of course he truly loved her. It is not sacrifice without love.

rose on headstones

GrimList2019 prompt: sacrifice.


Here comes my shame, in the form of tears. My heart aches as I know I’ve lost all hope of being taken seriously, at being heard, at being humored out of respect or compassion because emotions mean I’m being silly. Silly like a child.

I reach for him, I step toward him, I open my hands in plea as he sneers and stands superior.

“We have bills to pay and I don’t have time to play your games. You watch far too much television.” I’m always just oh, so silly.

“Please, I feel it in my bones.” Some phrases have no meaning, seem empty but pretty combinations of words, until your shins almost itch deep inside with an odd tingle, your shoulders grab themselves tight, your spine slams tense, bracing itself for the blast.

Despair sets in as he walks away, a flash of his lucky cuff-links sets me to grieving though I don’t know why. Until the airline sends them later, the only thing that was left, their fiery gleam charred to a lifeless black.


P.S. – For those who follow me through wordpress, for yesterday’s prompt I put a haiku on Twitter.



Umber leaves as teardrops

Restless skittering whispers

Blanketing the dead


A bored carnival worker looks at me. Security might seem light here, but carnies are a suspicious lot, aren’t they? Doing their own shady things?

“What would you do to get him back? To fix your mistake?”

I know my hands aren’t shaking, though my stomach says they should be. Can she see my nerves on edge? Does she think I’m a pickpocket? Do they have some kind of a guild or gang where only their people can work the crowd? What if I draw enough attention that she remembers my face?

“Are you a kind girl? Are you loyal, compassionate, a good listener, a true friend? A good big sister?”

Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter where this leads for me. It’s Joey, and if something happens to him because I couldn’t pull my shit together… Start moving. Don’t look at the carnie. I smile and try to look interested in a booth full of colorful trinkets and tapestries. I try not to fidget.

“It’s cute that you worry about the child’s life. Death isn’t the worst thing I could do. You don’t have to taint your sweet little soul. I could just keep little Joey for company.”

I see two clowns and a janitor standing in a huddle by an empty tent. Are they on break? Or do carnies work together, whispering of suspicious types who walk alone, riding no rides, playing no games? Fuck it, move, grab one, get out. I only need one. A child for a child.


P.S. – For Twitter #GrimList2019. I had video footage that fit the prompt :). Also, without pitch adjustment, I sound more like the villain than the teen.