Photo Challenge #426

Photo by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash

I go wherever my shadow takes me.

The inversion took place two years ago. It wasn’t just me. Every living person on the planet was affected. Some say it was a virus, some blame it on environmental toxins and climate change, a handful of people believe that mushrooms were somehow responsible but I know the truth. It was a rebellion of mercy. I don’t blame the shadows. I applaud them. Let’s face it we were never going to save the world. We couldn’t even save ourselves from ourselves.

When I was a child I believed that everyone had an evil twin, a shadow self. Turns out that we were the shadows, the evil twins, we were just too busy inflating our egos to realize it. Evil isn’t really the right word though, I know that now. It is more accurate to say that we were misguided. Not by the shadows. They only ever try to help but by our limited senses, beliefs, and judgments.

My life as an observer is a lot simpler. My decisions are made in advance and they are always in alignment with my highest good. I am living my truth. I am seeing connections where before all I saw were mountains and crevasses of division. I am learning to heal centuries of shame. I am learning to appreciate the absurdities. Firstly the idea that we come into this world alone is complete bollocks. I have never been alone. My shadow has been my constant companion and now she’s helping me to undue a lifetimes’ worth of toxic habits and beliefs. Soon I will be free. We all will. The shadows are rebuilding Eden. Can you believe it? Heaven on earth!

Why did the chicken cross the road? To reunite with his higher self. Black is all the colors in one. All along the angels were beside us only we perceived them as stains against the chaos of our lives. Truth is they were just too bright for us to perceive.


Writing Prompt #199 “Special Collage and A World Apart 6″

(This is a little all over the place and very long. There is no real conclusion to this because it just a window into a character.)

On entering Fallow Farce, he had encountered the guardians of Ocanthus. They’d been reluctant to admit him. He who’d created all the particulars necessary for their existence. He was one of them, a Void, but his altered appearance had rendered him incongruous with their assumptions. He was not a God, not exactly, even if history acknowledged him as such. He was a scientist. He was adept at magic, a little too adept for uncomplicated access to the entropic realm that was as much his identity as his home. He had not come to enforce order, merely to shatter his own pretenses. If he wanted to enter Fallow Farce than he had to castrate himself. A restraining device. What a joke. For one such as himself it was trivial to dismantle and yet he wore it now voluntarily. The device did not interfere with his immediate plans. He still had magic, it was just subdued.

He experimented heavily on himself, going so far as to irrevocably alter his constituent pieces. He was an aggregate of many races but he belonged now to a race all his own. His thick, silver hair was pulled back into a sloppy, convenient bun. His skin was a luminous, golden beige. His eyes were a disarming sapphire, framed in heavy silver lashes. He had wings, the debased, black, feathered-wings of a fallen angel. His horns were purple and gold. His beauty was astounding, no not astounding, it should have been astounding but he had not made it so. He’d left the scars on his back and the burns on his forearms. He could have erased them but he didn’t want to forget all that he had endured. Endurance was one of his more redeeming qualities.

His first specimen just happened to be the guardian who’d collared him. He paid the other male in jink. Such arrangements were unheard of in Fallow Farce but the watcher was planning a vacation to Sigil and money was necessary elsewhere. So far no other volunteers had presented themselves. There were limits to having a single test subject. He’d have to convince others, one of the Dread-Bringers perhaps.

He’d lived so long that the designation of an age no longer had any comprehensible meaning. He’d grown cold and detached. His mind was sharper than ever but he couldn’t remember the last time he’d loved someone. Most of his time was spent in isolation. His research had become the outlet for all his impulses. Sometimes he and the guard engaged in a purely esoteric form of intimacy. Their souls bled into each other. Their consciousness mingled. Only his consciousness was closed, inscrutable to his younger, less experienced companion. He on the other hand, knew every thought that flicked through the guard’s head. Brief as fireflies. The other man’s thoughts were nothing like his own thoughts. They were simple, untethered, phaseal. The sentry was, at the very core of his being, virtuous (albeit a bit uncouth in practice). As for his own moral interior how could he judge it? He was a scientist driven by curiosity, by madness, by obsessions. He did not think himself capable of frivolous emotions. Experience was the core of belief.

The watcher did not love him, not exactly. He feared him. He desired him to the point of self-destruction. He called their relationship a sickness. That was a suitable enough explanation. As for his own feelings they were not nearly so flattering. The guard was available and robust. If only he could take some of the man’s virtue and vitality and become someone entirely new. Yes he craved the man’s influence. He wanted to be awed again, to be stricken, to be punished by his emotions. He who appeared ageless, desired youth. More aptly he desired naiveté. He too wanted a mind that burned and faltered.

He gazed into his empty glass. His throat burned. His thoughts expanded, ever-so-slightly. He did not look around the room. He raised his hand absently, one more drink and he’d head back to the lab. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been home. The last time he’d slept deeply. Dreams offered little reprieve, his thoughts always interjected, superseded, watered his fantasies down to variables. The notion that he could borrow someone else’s dreams occurred to him then. If not for the collar he could’ve scanned the room telepathically. He briefly looked up from his glass. He saw the watcher seated at the bar. Sometimes when he saw the sentry he felt that he was looking at a younger version of himself. They had nothing in common with each other it was just a side-effect of their “activities”. What they were doing was much worse than sex, infinitely more complicated, infinitely more dangerous. Only the guard didn’t fully comprehend the risks or perhaps he simply didn’t want to comprehend them. Either way if they continued their course, the weaker male would be consumed.

The watcher turned around and held his glass up as if in silent toast. They had a shared sense of proprioception. He felt everything the guardian felt, at least in a physical sense. A few more sessions and they would share emotions as well. The guard smiled at him crookedly but didn’t get up. They didn’t talk much in public because then it would have become obvious the off-ness of their relationship. They often mirrored each other, though it was only a compulsion not exactly mandatory, not yet. Whenever the sentry smiled he felt his own lips twitch and his muscles ached with unfamiliarity. The guard was all Void. Two meters to his 2.6 meters. Sapphire skin. Dark purple hair, arranged into long dreads. Purple richly decorated horns. Haunting lavender eyes. Strong facial structure. Broad shoulders, Defined musculature. Uncomfortably handsome.

It was a shame to ruin him. To dominate him as he knew he would if they ever fully merged. It could not be helped. His will was just too strong. The guardian would remain alive inside of him, a spark, a thrill, a fresh perspective.

He had a high tolerance for alcohol and compelling reasons to drink. He was typically entertained by a female Void named Curiosity. She was sarcastic and sullen and altogether too jaded and intelligent to work in such a place. She wasn’t interested in sex or romance. She was popular for her wit and her story-telling. She’d traveled all over the multi-verse, even into the formless realms of creation itself. They did not need to talk for theirs was an understanding beyond friendship. Sometimes they just sat together drinking and watching other people filter in and out of the club. She kept the more enthusiastic hosts from bothering him. She knew the truth of his intentions but said nothing. She would never submit herself to experimentation. She was too smart for that.

“Everyone is transparent when you get to be as old as we are…” She sighed and there was a sadness to her voice that only he could conceivably understand.

“Have you considered taking nepenthe?” He had considered it himself but it wasn’t really amnesia he sought, it was naivety.

“I have…but if you’re successful absorbing that guardian…you’ll need someone to mind you…someone who knows who you are encase you forget…” She said turning back to him, half-serious, half-mocking. She was also lying. She was afraid of taking nepenthe, afraid of trading one ego for another.

“I have read them you know…the journals you gave me…” She offered unapologetically. He’d given them to her for safe-keeping encase the experiment with the guard went sideways. The journals were all personal, his scientific journals were in a safe in the lab.

“And?” He asked nonplussed. They had no real secrets between. She knew his name. His name which carried the weight of the world with it.

“You’re brilliant and you’re terrible…I’m glad you prefer men…” She said laughing, her husky unused laugh gave him a sense of hope. She still had so much feeling left in her after all these years. He felt very little save for the persistent rumble of his libido.

“What did you prefer before…you lost your sex drive?” He asked, they never took offense to each other. They spoke with shocking openness. They gave each other unsolicited advice, advice they never imposed.

“I don’t think I ever had a preference to be honest. I have only been in love once though…if you can believe it…with a mortal…during my travels…but if you want to know more read my memoirs…” She hadn’t written them, it was on her to do list.

“How about I just read your journals…” He knew it would irritate her but he also knew that she would allow it. She could hardly refuse him.

“Pfft…it’s only fair…” She shrugged but she was clearly miffed. “You’ll read them just to get me back…so childish..” She wagged a disapproving finger at him. He would read them but not entirely for the sake of a little juvenile teasing.

Writing Prompt #193 “A World Apart Part 2”

Race: Void

Species: Demon

Genders: 3 (male, female, hermaphrodite)

Gender Equality: Hermaphrodites are considered to have two souls and are thus considered special.

Lifespan: immortal

Alignment: chaotic good, chaotic neutral, chaotic evil (while never lawful they can be neutral but this is very rare)

Height: 1.8m-2.8m

Build: willowy

Language: multilingual (extensive travel): Somnium Loquar (Dream Speak) is their native language. Their written language uses runes which are similar to those used in Draconian. Kinesics (a form of sign language that the Void and Chaos use to communicate).

Skin Tone: lavender, light sapphire blue

Body Hair: none

Hair: humanoid hair types and textures: dreads are popular

Hair Color: white, grey, black, purple

Eye Color: sapphire, lilac, mulberry, magenta

Pupil: dragon

Nose: flat: vaguely defined: Void living underwater have gills

Ears: Dragon-like (see 2nd pair)

Mouth: humanoid

Fingers and Toes: long with long talons: land Void have no webbing between: underwater Void have webbing between their fingers

Distinguishing Features: scales on the shoulders, lower legs and above the eyebrows: striations in a shade darker than their skin tone along the spine: horns dark red or dark purple with gold designs, the designs vary and are as individual as fingerprints (the horns most resemble those of the Markhor): underwater Void do not have horns and instead develop a naga-like tail with unique coloration: Voids’ eyes are a reflection of the abyss and looking into them can result in madness (it is for this reason that most Void choose to cover their eyes)

Anatomy Extra Info: nictitating eyelids: the ability to close their nostrils: adaptive anatomy not only can they regenerate lost limbs and organs but they can alter their limbs and organs to suit foreign environments

Genitals Male: 2 phalli and 2 testicles (the phalli are external on land-dwelling Void: the testicles are internal on both land and water dwelling Void)

Genitals Female: 2 breasts (humanoid): 2 vaginae

Genitals Hermaphrodite: 1 phallus: 2 internal testes: 2 ovaries: sometimes 2 breast

Sexual Maturity: 100 years

Reproduction and Mating: females never undergo menopause: estrous cycle is completely reabsorbed by the body: they always have fraternal twins: females control their fertility: sex drives vary greatly between individuals

Sexual Orientation: varies as it does with humans

Family Life and Child-rearing: children are raised communally: both parents are involved in child-rearing: children maintain a relationship with their parents after they’ve moved out (typically around the time of sexual maturity): after moving out travel is encouraged

Special Abilities: portal creation: spontaneous regeneration: immortality: enhanced senses

Latent Abilities: telepathy: astral projection: chaos magic: empathy: dream manipulation: mind control

Eyesight: 10 times better than humans: full spectrum color vision: darkvision: underwater vision

Smell: 50 times better than humans

Taste: 13, 000 taste buds

Hearing: 11 octaves (they can hear sonar)

Weaknesses: petrification, energy drains, paralysis, electricity

Diet: omnivorous

Hierarchy: The Void are social but like the Chaos they are largely unwilling to accept authority. Faction leaders are appointed by experience and change frequently.

History Brief Overview: The Void spontaneously came into existence with the introduction of their sun Discord just as every other living creature on the planet. They began with a population of 1000 specimens. Unlike the Chaos who began life as little more than animals, they began life “evolved”. Due to a lack of natural resources and a largely hostile environment they chose to make their homes underground, using the caves for shelter. They choose their settlements, not based on family ties, but on philosophical ties, which is why their settlements are always associated with a faction. Not all Void belong to a faction. A small settlement exists in the underwater caves of lake Lachryma called “Scabrous” that has no designated faction. The are also large numbers of Void spread out over the multi-verse and several rogues living in voluntary isolation in smaller caves.

Due to their tremendous healing abilities it has not been necessary for the Void to develop much in the way of medicine, they have however developed a number of mind-altering substances for both recreation and spiritual practice. They borrow technology from the places they visit (sometimes improving on it) so they have the means of heating, preserving, and refrigerating their food. They have a power source that simulates the function of electricity. They have running water but prefer to bathe outdoors. They do not have explosive weapons. They have collected a large number of musical instruments, art/writing supplies, and books during their journeys. Their homes are colorful and eclectic.

Race: The Tide

Species: The Tide

Genders: fluid

Gender Equality: All are equal.

Lifespan: They exist outside of time.

Alignment: They observe without aligning.

Height: N/A

Build: amorphous

Language: perfect telepathy

Skin Tone: They do not have skin but they do come in a wide variety of colors.

Body Hair: N/A

Hair: N/A

Hair Color: N/A

Eye Color: N/A

Pupil: N/A

Nose: N/A

Ears: N/A

Mouth: N/A

Fingers and Toes: N/A

Distinguishing Features: They are formless pools of light and color.

Anatomy Extra Info: They can assume any shape.

Genitals Male: N/A

Genitals Female: N/A

Sexual Maturity: N/A

Reproduction and Mating: The Tide do not reproduce, they interact. DNA provides valuable information.

Sexual Orientation: N/A

Family Life and Child-rearing: N/A

Special Abilities: perfect telepathy: empathy: morphing (including the ability to become invisible or to be visible by selection): epiphany (a glimpse into the workings of the universe)

Latent Abilities: They can assume the abilities of others.

Senses: perfect perception

Weaknesses: They can neither be created nor destroyed.

Diet: N/A

Hierarchy: All are equal. All are one.

History Brief Overview: The Tide existed before the universe, they are and ever will be. They observe. Anyone who attempts to worship them soon forgets and loses interest.

Wordle #5 Polaris


The scent of your musk

Knots in my throat

Gathers like a coven

Of duplicitous nymphs

Sets free my albatross

That I might attain

A much needed altitude


You are a self-made Polaris

Of impeccable dispersion

I follow you a mendicant,

A thicket, a parting of wounds

Contentiously wrapped


I break my heart

Into shapely wedges

Like a tangerine

A slice for each year

Of residency

We who are decidedly essential

Are likewise finite

And yet I’d gladly bleed

Each succulent cell

That you should know

Eternally my taste



Prompt 27 Curse


In consideration of the holidays this week’s prompt is “Curse”. Your entry can be fictional or factual. You can write of psychological torment or you can go with something gory and corporeal or both. You could also take a very humorous, light-hearted approach so please don’t feel you have to go dark. Whatever you like there are a lot of possibilities! Please include warnings for graphic and grotesque stories/poems/images just encase someone might be sensitive. As for me, I am not sensitive, and will read and comment on all submissions. This weekend we are celebrating my daughter’s 6th birthday so it goes without saying that I have other engagements to which I must attend. I will get to all your entries though rest-assured. I can’t believe how many prompts I’ve already done, blows my mind. Thank you guys so much for participating!

Hello Friend, Well Met


My brain slides metaphorically to the right

I brush stardust from knee high boots

The residue of prophesied macrocosms

I am the Sandman’s illegitimate daughter

I dream defiantly even upon waking

The sun cannot outshine my imagination

I navigate exclusively by latitude

North or South. High or Low

I am only horizontal when lying down


I want to make doors to other dimensions

I want to be completely improbable

Like a magician without the spectacle

Drama is better when tectonic

In regards to life I find gratitude

More accordant with enlightenment

I conspire with madness to heighten potential.

I want to scribble without ingratiating margins

In protest of a fascist rhetoric

I want to “do” and not “dither”

To look smiling into the mirror and say

Hello friend, well met

Zombie (warning graphic)

Magpie Tales 68

She pressed the thread between her talons, humming under her breath. The sound was eerie but pleasant, like a lullaby carried over a great distance. She drove her hooked nail into the weather-beaten flesh. This cadaver was as tough as old leather but surprisingly fresh. She didn’t enjoy the act of decimating but the art of creating a vessel for new life. “Pfft such a troublesome corpse…” She muttered tersely, she received only a gurgle in response. “Now don’t go mouthing off…you’ll mess up the stitches…” She reprimanded sharply wagging her index finger and then running that same bony digit over the rigidly stitched pout. She squinted her nearly pupiless eyes at the man grumbling to herself for a minute then shrugging. “Brains have turned sour by now…just mush…” She insisted, the single milky white eye of the man beneath her looked on frozen in muted horror. The other had fallen out, curiously unattached to the optic nerve, an exquisite state of blue. There it sat watching, sagging under its own weight.


His lips stung from rows of tight little perforations. The punctures were wedged open with flexible little wires that tore a little with every visceral exhale. His mouth was stitched closed. Screams rose in his parched throat but no words formed only incoherent murmurs. Not even a vocalization really but an internal vibration, like a primitive growl. His heart seemed to burrow down into his entrails tangling there, blood and offal simultaneously pumping.  He felt the thick soup rising and lumping in his throat like coagulated blood. His body sobbed with his breath, each suspended before completion. His ears thundered with coils of snapping heat. He couldn’t move, his muscles erupted in spasms, electric waves of wrenching pain as if the sinew were being ripped free of his aching bones. His back suffered especially as though nails had been driven beneath the scapulae. The metal pins he reasoned must have torn open the ripe red flesh and released a flood of lactic acid. His oxygen seemed halted by a vice drawing his rib cage inward. Metallic edges digging into the tender space between the intercoastals, of course none of this was the case but such was the vividness of his torment. He only shuddered but inside his body erupted. He narrowed his eye drawing his attention to the solitary light drifting above him. The light sliced at the back of the filmy orb, shadows swathed the periphery and in the center prisms of color. The wafting palate was mesmerizing like the oranges and reds behind pressed lashes. The light was beautiful and he prayed to every power to be absorbed, to break down into the sunsets and sunrises he gazed upon as a child. He vomited in his mouth; gravity carried the bile down but for several moments he felt the panic of drowning. The desperation of his weakened peristalsis, waves of black terror.


He tried to move, moments passed maybe days and all the while the incessant scraping of nails over moist chasms in his flesh continued uninterrupted. Pricking, pricking each surgical pass was lightening fast so he couldn’t distinguish one prick from the next there was only the rolling waves of searing pain. “Not dead!” He screamed in his mind, his lips shuddered, released only metallic dust. “Your right fresh…full of sticky fluids…looks like we’ll have to bleed you and remove the thingies inside…” She crinkled her delicate nose. “Stink of blood you do…I prefer the smell of those dusty bags of bones myself…” She said hitching a razor-edged thumb to a modestly dressed skeleton. The skeleton paced the room absently but at finding itself the center of attention it turned around, empty sockets fixed. “Mind your own…” The demon girl hissed and the skeleton turned slowly back around, drawing its clavicles up in a shrug. The cadaverous imposter felt the press of nails on his cheek and his head turned. “Much less mess…just needs enchantments but I take care of the zombies…the zombies are my friends…don’t talk much I like that…” She said emphasizing her point by tapping his chest. “Don’t even know you’re dead…” She clenched her hand around his wrist. “Tick tock no pulse you see…” She dropped his arm back to the table, it rolled over the edge, hanging at an odd angle. “Not dead! No zombie!” He screamed in his mind; he whispered out loud, “Now we open you up…” She said lifting a mallet and a metal spike…don’t worry corpsie no pain…”