Sail, Or

This ache it’s like the ocean,
So vast, as it ebbs and it flows;
I chase pretty eyes that spin pitiless lies
& drown to the sound of “she knows”.

What I crave is a ship carved from giants,
& a map only plotted in stars;
Pirates and monsters and bullion,
A history worth all these scars.

Oh my heart is a midnight struck soundly,
& my eyes show the truth of that blow;
My compass it’s needle spins wildly
As I struggle – to stay or to go.

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Hunting Rapture

Blitz

Hunting Rapture

Rapture remains elusive, and Natalia shakes off the disappointment; she is still earthbound in the aftermath. Warm in body and cold in heart. Natalia waits till he falls asleep, then quietly departs, before the sun rises and his body is too tempting to leave in the dark. She pockets the cash from the side, and ignores the doorman as she exits the polished foyer. Her heels rat tat tat on the cobbles of the private cul de sac and she squeezes her coat tighter about her, fat snow flakes starting to fall. Somewhere a siren wails, and her eyes scan the skies. It smells like burning rubber and snow. London is glowing softly by firelight in the distance and it makes her heart ache. London has been dark for such a long time now. She misses the lights, and wonders if she will ever heal enough that she would see them from above one day. The lights will return. London is a survivor like her.

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The Lady Wore a Shawl

This short story was published in New Fairytales, Issue 5 .

**

“Is that her?”

“Is she here?”

“Did it work?”

A chorus of questions fill the dank air, as she glides through the streets; touching walls, smearing glass, humming softly. Children rush out of the darkness, a sense of celebration filling the eerie quiet as they clutch at her dress and skip around her as she moves.

“Is it you?”

“It is you!”

“You came I knew you would!”

Their words echo about the ruins, splashing into puddles and bouncing off  the rusty  husks of abandoned cars. Small bare feet sidestep rubbish and spent shell casings with practised ease. The children are moths to a flame, pride and excitement lighting their eyes and puffing out skinny chests. They smell like sweat and fear turned sour, but the city smells of rot and damp, the scent of death is sickly and taints everything.

She remains silent, and wariness creeps in, the current of jubilation deadened by her cool stare. Quiet surrounds her and flattens the city where she treads. Her shawl clings to thin shoulders, and the jade satin gleams and winks as she passes.

The children scatter from her skirts then and hover behind corners, watching as the woman floats above the mud and debris, down streets once busy with traffic and noise and life. Now the alleyways are stained with the memory of the flood, holding secrets much darker than illicit kisses bought and paid for. Disease festers in the ruins, reaching beyond the tumbled walls and shattered glass to curse the survivors two times over. The visitor appears untouched by the decay of the city, and the children grip slimy brickwork, craning dirty necks to catch a better look as she wafts on by.

“I think it worked,” a blonde boy whispers, his eager bright eyes following her passage reverently. “We did it.”

“She don’t look much,” another grumbles, chewing a torn thumb nail nervously. “You should ask her.”

The blonde boy shakes his head, but the others crowd about him, nodding and pushing him on.

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Poppy Juice

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Now

 

I blink awake at 5 each morning, and I picture your face. I wait for it to hurt less, for your eyes to fade from memory, but it doesn’t and they don’t. I wonder who will be discovered first, me or you and I begin to wonder if it matters, then shake that thought away. Sometimes, you are just a story I tell myself, a ghost I chase  The city outside the window is tired, and the pale wash of dawn shows it’s age. The bodies that litter the streets are shushed away before the lie of the day begins, and the scarlet stains run pink and soft into overflowing drains.

 

I know where the wagons go, and I know where they’ve been.

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