She.

Her inaudible voice was a whisper upon the wind, her sudden visage so beautiful he could have wept in his slumber. In the hazily listless way of dreams she came to him, crisp and cold as a winter’s morning. Surrounding her as though a crown, white roses in triumphant bloom. From the sky, the icy petals fell upon them as she squirmed beneath him, naked as the day she was born. The only thing she wore was a pendant around her neck, silver upon alabaster skin.

She had given herself to him completely; her cool body becoming his ocean, beating back against him as relentless as the current breaking against immovable rock. Her grey eyes were endlessly pained, rapture and torment all at the once. He was bringing her close to the edge, an edge which he had long since fell headfirst over.

She moaned. Then, for the slightest second, she became a black phantom made of ice, ice that pierced into his burning flesh.

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Guilt, or Duty?

The Guilt that Haunts Me

It seemed like her heartrate had pummeled out a furious beat for eons now, never relenting. She half expected herself to die of heart arrest. Surely, she thought, it couldn’t go on like this. Cruelly, however, it did. Beat, after beat, after beat. It was all she could concentrate on. A tingle spread throughout her body, centering on her left arm. She looked downwards at the glowing orb, pulsating in time with her heart, and passed it gently to her other hand, where the skin was marked by streaks of red.

She closed her eyes, soft brow furrowing as she recalled the smell of fear and the indomitable gaze of defiant blue eyes. Was it really only hours ago that she had been half dragged her through the crumbling halls to that most  sacred place?

She gripped the orb as tightly as she had gripped his hand.

‘What is it you want me to do?’ She had asked him, scared. Timid.

His hard expression had softened, pain in his eyes. He leaned down and kissed the nape of her neck. His wet hair had dripped, cold, down her bare back. She had shivered.

‘I need you to die.’ He had said, so softly.

From Me to Him, Him to Me

Literate for a Day

He turned to her, finding a tunnel vision to her icy-grey eyes, eyes that were aflame with curiosity and awe. He had noticed quickly – last night, in fact – that she wasn’t of a nature to hide her feelings. Rather, they unashamedly manifested themselves across her face for the entire world to analyse. He found himself thinking back to their meeting on the tower that afternoon, how he’d been stalled by her wild beauty, unapologetically natural. The way her accent fumbled over words, heavy and alluringly course in her mouth. The way he’d watched as the cold air nipped her pale cheeks rosy, and wisps of dark hair had frustrated her as she’d walked. The way he watched the pink fullness of her lips, and wondered what it would feel like to kiss them softly. Mostly, the way he’d noticed for the first time how graceful her collarbone was, curving gently downwards towards her surprisingly ample chest. He winced then, almost voicing an entirely hollow humourless laugh. You’re just a man, after all, the wry voice within his head spoke.

Is there an attraction? Arthur had asked him, ever keen, less than an hour ago.

No. he had lied, the first time he could remember doing so to his oldest friend.

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Powerful Imagination

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Powerful Suggestion.”

Small hands wrap around shaking ones. Fear and fear, together. She doesn’t cry; she’ll wait until later, a quiet girl emboldened by will entrapped in anxious possibility.

She forgets to breathe, withdraws. Suddenly, in this de-oxygenized state, they appear; familial strain upon the mount of War, shock and fear upon Pestilence, emotional void upon Famine and cancer upon Death.

Her life is changed forever.

I shake my head, watchful. A figure beside me. Bigger hands wrap around steady ones.

I call out, wistful: Real things in the darkness seem no realer than dreams.

She looks to me, big brown eyes.

I hold her,: Don’t fear the unknowns, Kitti. They only exist in your imagination.

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Hunger.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Interplanet Janet.”

A cold land of eternal mist it was,

         Of dreams that die with the shut of the eye;

       And of looming castles high in the grey,

         Forever the slave of a winter sky.

High in the bare trees, a raven caws.

He, the great sentinel, unfolds his magnificent ebony wings and watches with keen eyes, and even keener knowing. Atop his wooden throne he has endured the stagnant progression of time as though he was not that which he is; a living creature. He hops forward once, then twice, peering downwards upon that which he protects; a path of uncertain time, meandering through a land of uncertain myth. Darkness looms forever heavy in the moist air of this place, lingering like suffocating ropes between the tall phantoms of his forest. Though it is daytime, the light is diluted and grey.

Again, he caws, this time louder and deeper; defensive. He flutters over to a lower branch, hopping upon the bare wood with frantic, clutching claws. Something drips from the wood that his sharp hold penetrates, and in the obedient light of the dusk it almost has the appearance of blood; thick and dark. Cocking his head, he is drawn to the clattering sound of wood on rock, foreign noises in a world where the only sound is usually that of silence itself.

Experiments in Colour

Blinding, white.

A frozen bluster howls around ears deaf, numb sensations rooted within a vacuum that beats relentlessly. In their hundreds, they line the edge of this white world, each of them as similar as the next is different. Large pairs of onyx eyes stare blankly from trenched, sterile faces. Bleak phantoms, can you see? And even if you can see, what have you here to look at?

A voice, light and green as a child’s, wisps through the vacuum. It is a stolen, criminal thing; “Magic.” it whispers and it is one with the wind, as though it was never there at all.

Is this heaven? Is it hell? It must be something. No, it must be a dream. Reality, fragile by nature, offers nothing of this numb release. Reality is ever unyielding, alive and golden even as it sludges past platform after platform of grey humdrum. This sterile place is an accelerated station of humdrum… this is singularity.

Suddenly, a burst of colour and all the world seems to come ablaze with the palette and sensuality of a Spanish summer. Pulsing, radiating, Richard appears and gives his Battle in Vain. Yet now, as then, there is no horse, and as quickly as the relief was borne, it dies. Untouched, unperturbed, opaque, the Watchers remain. In their hearts, the blackest of black borne against a ceaseless sea of white.

Are they the dead? I think, quite laboriously, drunkenly. Afterall, when we are alone in the world, what else can we do but bring the dead or the lost into being?

I must have spoken aloud, for I got the reply: “Coming and going are the easy parts. Act Two is the scary chapter.”

I wait.

Sterile, white.

A tear releases from the black eye of one of the Watchers, as mottled and stark as a blackcurrant stain. They live. They teach me that white is surpassingly more than a simple lack of colour. White is a most clinical and fearful thing, as powerful as red, as desolate as black. In turn, I teach them nothing.

After a time, Richard appears once more, his posture deformed, for he misses his York and his Battle and tells me that he cannot Give properly without them. He asks me where to find them, as though I have the answer. He accuses the Watchers of taking them, as they take everything good and hopeful. I resent his words, and find myself bursting forth only to stumble, frozen with immutable fear.

I look up to find them looking at me. Turned towards me, glaring, eyes endless and thoughtless and motionless. I realise, ridiculously, only for the first time, that I am trapped. I look down at my hands and they glow orange, as orange as the chair I had occupied that fateful day they sent me here. Then, I think; is colour fear? Is orange the true colour of my fear? No, that isn’t silly to suggest. The true hue of fear, I think, is never that which you think it is; simply it morphs from one colour to the next, depending on the route by which it finds easiest to burrow into your heart. Perhaps it’s black and grieving, perhaps green and rotting and monstrous.

Perhaps that is why I am here, to relieve me of fear.

Perhaps I am one of them.

And then, quite suddenly, there is a magnificent burst of colour, hue after hue; sunrise russet, the crisp green of an apple orchard in bloom, the crashing azure of the ocean, and the filigree fleece of pearly clouds at dawn… They glow, and then they fade, and then they sing; words of starlight and love. They call in unison, yet are nevertheless able to create branches of the most magnificent oak with their voices, a fabric woven with all the colours of the world and the Universe. A tear of my own releases; I had never known such beauty, for I had never heard harmony.