I’m delighted to have my dark fiction story ‘Patterned in Ebony‘ published today at Gobblers & Masticadores. This is my contributor’s post for December. As always, a big thank you to editor Manuela Timofte for trusting in my work.
Gobblers & Masticadores is a wonderful online magazine of poetry and prose with a new post almost every day. I would thoroughly recommend trying it.
Please check out this wonderful magazine and all the fantastic poems and prose included. Amazingly, it is free to do so! This is Issue 2 of Verum and my work appears on page fifteen. I hope the magazine has many more fantastic issues to come.
Some time ago, the wonderful Manuela Timofte, Editor at Gobblers and Masticadores, set me an interview to complete. I’m not one who enjoys talking about himself, but just for once did. Manuela has now published my answers to her questions HERE!
I hope you find my words interesting and that they cast a slightly different light on my work.
Written for Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge Today’s prompt was Scream.
There were divisions. Some might have termed them fractures. Everyone wanted everything, and no one wanted to pay. The silence of society’s splintering echoed a dire nothingness. I liked the quiet.
The flyers flew with wings for arms. The walkers walked on exaggerated legs. Some swam, like the almost-fish they were. A few even rolled. I glided.
Everyone ignored me, and I ignored them, as they left in their ships of steel and stardust. No one remained. That’s when I realised I was already dead, and even then, hadn’t a clue as to how long. I got the better deal.
There is an unfashionable feather tickling at my throat, not hard enough to gag, nor soft enough to seduce. This constant pressure delights at first, but soon irritates. I wish for it to stop. I hope for it to slice.
Beneath the moon, this weeping almost-woman rubs her throat like a pensioner might a knee. I feel the invisible noose, the fingers of the ripper, regardless. I know I shall always feel it. Destiny or fate, this truth is unavoidable. I retire to bed.
The next morning, and the pain is lessened. Time seeks to diminish what the feather seeks to impress. Time is my new best friend, and I celebrate with a walk.
Green shoots pepper the park. A few random daffodils make galaxies of the area, popping up between the dying snowdrops like blazing suns. I smile, then wish I hadn’t. The corners of a mouth better used to misery tug at my neck and throat. The discomfort returns. I run the rest of the way.
I have always had a thing for bridges, one of humanity’s least imposing constructions. Sometimes, they even improve the view, as does this one in its curved steel and towering stanchions. Strength, I think. It projects strength.
I sit all day like a lazy gargoyle having tumbled from a church, pitching to one side. The rabid traffic rushes past in blurs of colour. Every vehicle stinks.
Night. My second. The feather presses harder now. More dagger than lover’s fingers, the feather would cut if I’d let it. And I will. I must.
Midnight slips over me like a warm, favourite jumper. There are no stars and the moon is a celestial stranger. This night is as dark as that night. My mood lightens.
I jump without the rope this time. There are no mistakes. There is only a steep dive and a shattering liquidity. The plunge is less than I expected, but more than enough.
I lay in a crate some call a coffin. There’s a pressure on my throat, soft and continuous. And despite the darkness, the fact I am clearly dead and should feel and realise nothing, I do. The feathered fingers are mine. I’m almost home.
I’m thrilled to announce that The Winter Lily, a co-written project with the wonderful Gina Maria Manchego, is published today in issue 19 of Impspired Magazine. This fantasy short story will also feature in the Impspired Volume 10 print edition scheduled for early 2023. A big thank you to the editor Steve Cawte for putting his faith in us. See Impspired.com for lots more wonderful writing
It was a real joy writing with Gina, so much so, we have a lot more co-written work on the way. I hope you get a chance to read The Winter Lily, a delightful short story, and our first co-published piece.
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