Update: Getting Settled In

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on any of my pages, well that is mostly due to the fact I’ve moved several states over for personal reasons. I am no longer in the Milwaukee area, I am now presently in upstate New York. It’s taken a bit to adjust to this new area, as well as a new schedule and conditions, however I do believe things are finally starting to look better with that regard, ergo I should begin to be posting things more often again.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Preview: The Goblin on the Moor

Hello, been a while since I’ve posted on here. Truth is I’m a bit stuck with To Die Upon a Kiss at the moment hence why there’s been no new chapters in a long while. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing, as I do have another novel idea that struck me this semester. I’ve been working on that a lot of late and I thought I’d share a piece of it to garner a bit of interest if I can. It’s titled The Goblin on the Moor, a story inspired by a classic poem by Christina Rossetti. The piece I am putting up is a clip from the second chapter. Please tell me what you think….
ᴪ ᴪ ᴪ
Ginny cursed the darkness. She had blindly charged into it, following a bell that seemed to call to her like the trumpets of Zion. She had been overcome by an almost irresistible urge at its sound, as if it was meant just for her. Now she was trapped in an ocean of sickly gray green, suddenly very cold and no longer able to hear the sound that had brought her to this demise in the first place.

She looked all about, but not a thing, not one landmark could be discerned in that mist. It was like trying to peer through the earth itself in order to see the moon on the opposite end of its orbit. “William!” she cried, but the fog gave no reply. What a fool she had been, but what could she have done? The bell had seemed to cast some sort of devilry upon her, and her limbs had moved on their own. It was as if she had been pulled witless into some wicked tale of the land, drawn by malicious faeries upon pied-pipes to meet a hapless and insignificant end lost and forgotten. Poor William, what panic must now be overcoming him, what must he think of her? Her parents had entrusted her to him, and through no fault of his own he now had failed that trust. What a wicked child she was, deserving of whatever devilry was in store for her.

Beginning to cry she toppled to the grass. Best to remain here, cold as it were, but safe on the Tor, rather than to stumble aimlessly and drown in one of the mire. Still, even upon the island of secure granite the danger of her mind began to close in. Her imagination began to whisper to her of eyes in the dark, recollections of Doyle’s hellish hound and the Great Grimpen Mire echoed in her thoughts. She began to curse her cousin forever lending her his copy, or her own desperation as she had begged him for it. Her teeth began to rattle as her arms drew in tight around her, her whole body shivering in tense anticipation for the looming shadow of some beast to appear and quench its wrathful appetite.

Instead, there was a soft and subtle clang, far off on the ridge. Then another, and another. It was the sound of kettles bouncing together like a pair of cymbals, tapping the rhythm of a traveler marching along unhindered through night fog. Who on earth could be so careless? Such a night was no time for a merry stroll through the countryside, and yet on it came drawing nearer with each metallic chime. Finally the mists seemed to part and sure enough, there emerged a rather curious shape. It seemed to be a stout, strange little man, with comically large ears bouncing around with each bounding step. His skin was a deep green, like the leaves of an oak tree in the height of summer. He was adorned in foreign attire, Chinese in origin it seemed to Ginny, with a round mandarin cap adorned with a cute little ball on top and weathered talisman jotted with indiscernible oriental figures scrolled in a messy hand seemingly nailed to its front. Beneath that sat a mask, looking much like a silly grinning pine marten hiding the true features of this unusual character. Upon his back sat an impossibly large load, drawn on a frame like some burden for a pack animal, the copper kettle she heard rattling about against a ladle creating quite a racket as he hopped along.

He did not seem to notice her as he went on his merry way; he seemed to be in a hurry. On he pressed passing straight under her nose. Ginny didn’t notice her shivering had stopped, overwhelmed by this curiosity emerging from the mists. Finally the creature stopped, and bounding back a couple steps suddenly turned and looked straight up at her. For a moment neither party moved, holding an awkward staring contest broken only by the occasional perplexed blink from Ginny.

“Yip!” Remarked the figure, finally breaking the silence.

“Yip?” Replied Ginny.

“Yip I say, are you daft woman!?”

“I beg your pardon!”

“Do you not know a squirrel when you see one?”

Ginny, forgetting her fear and cold from moments ago, put her hands against her hips in a scolding pose. “I most certainly do know a squirrel when I see one, and you sir, are no squirrel. If you were trying to refer to that rather rubbish mask you’re wearing then you are equally wrong as well. That is clearly more of a marten or a ferret then a squirrel. Perhaps it is you, sir, who do not know a squirrel.”

Another awkward pause until finally a chuckle cracked from behind the mask. “I concede; you win. Still it’s a wonder that you saw through that disguise.”

Ginny scoffed, still hurt at the insinuated lack of intelligence. “Hardly a disguise if you ask me.” She glanced away, attempting to add emphasis to her declaration. Turning an eye back she found the creature now peering from behind a partially removed mask, his dark green complexion gazing up with an odd sort of wonder at this girl through glimmering white eyes. She suddenly again became aware at the curious nature of her new companion. “What, pray tell, are you then sir? Being neither squirrel, nor ferret, nor obviously human?”

A wry grin crossed his face. “Why, I am Almond!”

Ginny’s eyebrows perked. “An almond? Are you trying to mess with my mind again sir?”

“No no, not an almond, just Almond. It’s my name.”

“You’re named Almond?”

“Most certainly, t’is an honor for a goblin to be named after such a delicacy as an almond.”

“Ah, so you are a goblin then.”

“Was it not obvious?”

“I must admit, sir, I’ve never met a goblin.”

“Yet you see through our disguises as if they were glass. On that note, what is a pretty little human flower such as you doing wandering the moor at such a late hour, and in such weather without an escort to boot?”

“What would a goblin want to know that for? You’re not getting any unsavory notions about me are you?”

Almond raised his hands defensively. “Can a soul not show concern for another? It is rather dangerous out here, and human eyes often fail their masters.” A knowing smirk crept across he lips just then. “It wasn’t perhaps this that brought you out here?” With this remark he drew out a tiny sleigh bell and gave it a ring. Ginny found herself overcome again by the same sensation that drew her into the fog. Even stranger, another bell chimed some small distance off. “Ah good, it’s not much further then.”

“What isn’t much further? and what is that bell, that it, that it…”

“That it brings a blush to your face and makes your heart feel as if it sprouted wings?”

Ginny’s face turned red, her mind baffled at how intimate this small creature seemed to be with her senses. In a way she almost felt violated, that her emotions were read so thoroughly. Yet at the same time a strange sense of relief was mixed in, perhaps an unfamiliar communion was there and before her stood someone she could finally relate to.

Almond smiled, reading her reaction, and calmly took her by the hand. She hesitated. “Well? Are you coming or not?”

“Where are we going?”

“To the market of course.”

Posted in Alternative Stories | 1 Comment

Something To Note About This Page

While I most certainly appreciate the complimentary comments I receive on my works, I must admit I really would like some critique as well. I started this page as both a means to get exposure as well as a tool by which to workshop what are effectively the rough drafts of my work with people of literary intelligence. Now obviously I cannot force anyone to read my work, let alone view it through a critical lens, but just thought I’d put this out there to clarify my motives and perhaps encourage it a bit.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Broken Branch and Mining Autumn

From Ales and Tales last night…

Broken Branch

I tug and pull but never yields
The dying child to mother tree.
Desperate to return again
To warm and wooden bosom deep
From which wind has orphaned him.
Never to return
Still clinging
To memory.

Mining Autumn

If we could mine horizon
And harvest autumn sky
Would we carve disaster
Into the season’s eye?
To justify the shaping
Of emerald turned gold
Of rubies wrought in facets
Of ragged silver mold
And in the waning moments
Of high indulgence tired
Will autumn grace be tarnished
To quench our envy’s fire?

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Sandpiper and Bad River

A few more from the northwoods trip, including one inspired by the beautiful Copper Falls State Park, the title is based on the river that flows through the park and makes up the falls.

Sandpiper

Sandpiper sandpiper in dusky white gray
Please share with me your menu today.
Is it meal worms or bugs or small creeping things?
Or leftover snails from others with wings.
What about dragonfly or sun ripened fish?
Certainly that would prove a wonderful dish.
But whatever delight you feast on today
Sandpiper sandpiper please don’t fly away.

Bad River

Hot river red and running wild
Over the ancient magma child.
Falling with liquid fires white
Glimmer with shards of mid-summer light.
Hot river red and growling with thunder
Waking crag and canyon in slumber.
Echoing call amidst the pine towers
Through Devil’s Gate send shimmering showers.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

One With the Stream and Lonely Mornings

I wrote both of these after waking up early one morning.
Here is the first…

To be one with water
And drift as is deemed
By wind and by current
And fall as a dream.
Be warm, clear and shallow
Or deep bitter cold.
To host loon and heron
And hide secrets old.
To dance when excited
Or mock sky when calm
To be one with water
Is to be in its song.

And now the second…

Mornings are the time alone
When all mankind still slumbers.
But loneliness is still a stranger
As in the misty timber chambers
Wander many restless eyes
Be on earth, in pool, or skies.

Posted in Poetry | 1 Comment

Loon Song Concerto

Will be contributing a good amount of poetry over the next few days, most from my adventure to the north woods this summer. Here is the first piece.

Misty vapor curtain calls
And quietly receding
While heckling cracks the nervous crows
Amidst the pine tree concert halls
For vain distraction pleading.
Then from rain-soaked morning shawls
A heavy shadow careful crawls
And in the silent dawn break pause
A symphony starts singing.
Ancient chorus rises then falls
And deep in the soul it rends and claws
Till cheek bound tears start streaming.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

To Die Upon a Kiss: Fanart/Inspired By Part 1

Thought I’d start posting exceptional art inspired by the story by fans, with permissions of course. I do plan to feature a good bit of the art done by my friends from whom the characters are inspired, however many of those are still in the works. In the meantime here is one by Nedoiko which I have gotten permission to use as an avatar on the site. It is a bit of a hint of some things to come, as it features Armand crying because of something. Enjoy:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To Die Upon a Kiss Part 3: A Dagger I See Before Me

It seemed almost ethereal; the pale cloud that manifested in the chilled night air with each breath. There was a tension to that cold, filled with confusion and a trembling fear of the darkening gloom of starless night. Yet against this chill, there was something warm wrapped about his hand. It felt familiar and welcoming, and alive! He turned and stared into the deep pleading eyes now piercing his gaze; a young girl. She was fair; a lovely blonde youth adorned in fine clothing, her hair twisted into carefully tended curls that shimmered in the ghost light of the moor as a cruel and empty jewel. Yet, even in that pallid world, there was warmth to the site of her that seemed to swell within the body.

Then he saw the tears; those hopelessly sad tears running rivers down her white cheeks, circling the rim of her paling lips as they mouthed voicelessly a single word. Was she calling to him? He couldn’t tell, and it seemed to him that she was slowly drifting away from him, her fingers slipping from his outstretched hand.

Then came the hoof beats. From the mist emerged what seemed a horse and rider, if only as a shadow and suggestion of such a thing existing solely in mockery. More like a well it was, an endless pit manifest as animal and man, and he could feel the very breath of life drawn from his lips and sucked endlessly into its void. It drew on growing louder, echoing in his ears, bearing down with malice upon the girl. He saw the arm rise, it was holding something! He was upon the girl! Her eyes shrank in terror, her voiceless lips screaming the word in agony! Down came the arm!

“ARMAND!”

A light flashed red, and then everything became cold and completely black. He turned around again, and to his shock there was the girl, at least most of her. She had no head!

Her arm reached out as she advanced toward him. No longer did the site of her warm him, now he felt as terrified as a hare sought by a predator. He ran, and stumbled. Falling to the ground he came face to face with the missing head, her eyes still flooded with watery grief.

“Don’t leave me! Why did you leave me?!”

A shadow passed over her eyes, conjuring a suggestion of a skull, and it seemed to him the head leaped forward with a hiss. He stumbled backwards, and again he was in darkness. Alone, cold, there was nothing left. From whence was this emptiness derived he knew not, but now it seemed to consume him utterly.

Then before him in the gloom he saw something; a small table, or perhaps a desk, it was hard to make out in the blackness. Upon its surface though, he caught the pale sheen of the sole shard of brightness and light amidst this gathering shroud of endless sorrow. There, upon the polished amber wood, was a knife.

His arms seemed to move without thought as they reached toward the metallic light. Slowly the fingers wrapped about the ebony handle, trembling with some anxiousness brought by a reason he neither knew nor cared about; all attention was on that blade and the light it had in this void of despair. Slowly the blade traced up the contours of his chest and to his neck. There it hovered, the tip grazing the skin drawing a red droplet as he sat trembling, tears boiling from his eyes!

This was goodbye.

Then a jolt came as the arms were thrown down and the blackness evaporated. He sat staring into his own moist and terrified eyes, was he before a mirror? No, it wasn’t a mirror, it was Armand. Wait, wasn’t he Armand? No, now she recalled. She was Chai. Why had she thought she was Armand? Why was she holding a knife to her throat? Why was Armand now holding her hands trembling?

The window suddenly flung wide and the sound of fluttering black wings was heard echoing about the cottage. Armand turned toward the sound of the wings with a terrible glare and, taking hold of the fallen knife, bounded toward the open window with almost unnatural agility.

“Armand!” Chai cried out trying to follow after, but still trembling from the terrors she had witnessed, she found her legs collapsing beneath her. Master Grey suddenly bound from the adjacent room having heard her cry out.

“Chai, what is it? What’s wrong!?”

Unable to find the words, Chai merely pointed to the open window and muttered “Armand.” Master Grey needed nothing more to be said. Something sinister had occurred and the boy had foolishly had run out onto the moor as a result. Muttering a curse under his breath, he quickly grabbed some device from a nearby table and bounded out the door in his own pursuit, leaving Chai alone with her thoughts.

Many things were now racing through her baffled mind. Firstly, why had she thought that she was Armand? Had it been all a horrible dream? Who was that girl? Who was the rider? Why had she seemed so sad and scared? Why had Armand felt so warm when he saw her? Why had there been the knife in the dark?

She shook her head and slapped her cheeks a few times. “Get it together Chai”, she thought, “you’re too smart to be so sad!”

Now she began to assemble the pieces of this puzzle. Assuming she had been Armand and assuming it had been a dream, than all of this must have been his memories. Chai wrapped her arms tightly around herself feeling a tear swell again. What horrible memories, it was no wonder all that sorrow felt so real and overwhelming. He must have really cared for that girl, whoever she was; and what she saw, what else could it be but his own regret. The knife must have been his desire to die, even she, the one Master Grey had once called a bottomless cup of optimism, had been consumed by the pain and despair that had flooded his thoughts. Had the knife she was holding been a result of acting out that dream? No wonder Armand seemed so disturbed and scared when he woke her. He must have recognized what she was seeing by how she was acting.

Then that would mean, she was almost ready to kill herself, and it was Armand who had saved her life. She grabbed hold of the towel she’d been using as a blanket and wrapped it tightly around her. The notion of almost dying while sleeping at your own hand sent horrible shivers across her whole body.

No, she would not let this trouble her. She had been saved, by the very person those memories and that despair had belonged to. He didn’t want to die, no matter what that dagger would portend. There was something else twisting those memories for some malicious end, and Armand and Master Grey had gone after it. She was certain they would find it, and whatever it was they would defeat it!

Warmed by her newly won motivation, Chai sprang from the blanket and marched to the window. A crawling mist had swallowed the expanse of the Dartmoor the old cottage stood adjacent to, and a shiver crept again over Chai. She again crawled down from the window trembling, but still putting on a brave and encouraged face. She glanced about the room as if searching for something, then with a smile lept into a bundled pile of fabric and thread. She emerged later from the mass, adorned with a thimble upon her head like a makeshift helmet. It was held on by a bit of thread tied about her chin and over the tiny piece of metal, apparently too small to fit her properly. About her shoulders she had tied a small red shred of leftover fabric from the hurried outfit Master Grey had quickly sewn for her, sporting it like a cape. In her right hand like a great spear she held a large metal spoon, and in her left was a match.

Now comfortably armed against the night terrors of the moor she again climbed upon the windowsill and, striking the match, lit the lamp seated next to her. There she stood, a lone sentry guarding the beacon to light the way home for her Master and friend, now hidden deep in the hazy horror before her eyes.

Posted in To Die Upon a Kiss Series | 4 Comments

Ink Black Blood

Take note, this work is a bit dark as it was written when I was in a very dark place psychologically.

Also a note; the accompanying picture was a birthday gift by an anonymous friend, who I am incredibly grateful to, and who incidentally is the inspiration for one of the characters that will eventually be present in the “To Die Upon a Kiss” stories.

Sulpher embers of burning desire
Locked in a fist of molten ice
Tense and writhing, a trembled pain
Melting to nothing in despair’s clutch.
What confusion and sorrow lurking within
Spilling from pen’s mortal wound.
A black blood to weep on tattered pages,
Unable to speak, too lost to listen
Lost in that pool of guilty void.
I cannot move, to make myself free
From the melting frosty clutch.
Just embers of desire mixed with water
To flow like blood to the paper.
Is liberty in the paper?
To fall from that cold grip
Would it freedom’s kiss bring?
I find there only strings for a puppet
Dangled from the digits of despair
Tendrils of black blood clinging to me
To lock me in a danse macabre
Saint Leon’s libretto mocks
As my limbs I find locked
In a dazed and fruitless Coppelia.
Am I but a puppet of Hoffman?
Wound by Drosselmeyer’s hand?
A tortured jolt driving the spine,
Legs spread, arms circle the heart.
The black blood oozes in pools
Drenching my feet in stagnation.
My key is unwound, where is my Swanhilde?
I cannot move, the blood is choking.
The orchestra has moved past me.
I cannot move, why am I not dancing?
Wasted ink dying the avatar of my soul
As a bird swamped in oily menace.
I cannot move, where’s my Swanhilde?
Will my Coppelius never fix me?
No more the wasted ink,
Embers of desire mixed with water
To flow like blood to the paper
Flooding at the feet of the avatar of my soul
A useless doll locked in pose
Never to move only to drown
In the black blood he spilled himself.

Posted in Poetry | 2 Comments