There is a pit of deepest hell
That treads upon the sod
From which the richest treasures grow
So promises the god.
From suffering comes the purest voice,
Throat that bore the unspared rod
And in the darkness measured full
None dare cry the Ichabod.
Nightmare spawn with fangs and claw
Hold no fears for those who know
The terror held in empty crib
Where angels never go.
Say not the child is borne away
Where never evil shows
Say not the heaven stench departs.
This monstrous grace, bestowed,
Rips limb from soul and heart from mind
And leaves its mark of woe behind.
The Forgotten One
His kind had been many, once, a long time ago.
Forgotten alone, upon wind swept, grassy hill.
Time has flowed past him, lonely sentinel in stone.
Many wander by, never seeing what once was.
His tears now long since immortalized forever.
A worn, wind hewn expression, tired and forlorn.
Watching with eyes far removed from this times river.
Waiting for his hardened heart to become reborn.
The stone woke and the spirit of the Ammonite broke free and surveyed the beach that had become its home. I was once King of the seas and roamed at will. All creatures paid homage to me and now I am frozen in stone! I curse the coming of the comet and the ending of my world. I was supreme amongst my kind and now reduced to this. The pattern of the rings of growth have calcified into stone, but stone endures and my soul remains trapped in the debris along with it. I feel the long gone touch of the sea and sunlight upon my substance. “I am here,” I call out to the empty beaches and wait for some reply.
A hand made of flesh reaches for me and I am placed into a sack, gathered with others of my kind. I find that I am destined to be displayed in a glass case and put on show!
I was once mighty and feared.
Shell I Be Your Valentine?
The tide receded and the door in the centre of the ammonite popped open. A head darted out, followed by a slithery body and silver tail. The creature shook itself and spotted a glistening shell on its front door step.
“For you, my Love.” The creature read on the attached label. With a swift shudder and shake, the creature changed form, legs becoming tail and upper limbs appearing where none had been, reaching out to the shell.
Which grew legs itself and scuttled away.
“A pet? Or a hunt?” the Sea Pixie asked the air.
Nothing answered her, apart from the scrape of claws as the shell got further away. She scrambled over the outer edge of the ammonite and followed it. The label blew away in an errant gust which rocked both shell and Pixie.
At the edge of a rock pool, the shell made good its escape, dropping into the depths with a tiny squeak of happiness.
The Pixie sat down and stared after it. “Now what do I do?”
“Nothing.” A face poked up out of the water and another Sea Pixie climbed out of the pool. “I sent it to you.”
“Why?” She asked.
“To bring you here.” He held out one hand.
She smiled and took his hand. “You could have just knocked.”
“After all these years, I thought you might want a replay of our first meeting.”
She giggled and kissed him. “Let’s go then.”
They slipped into the rock pool and disappeared.
He is a man conflicted. His clothes smell like oil and his nails are black. He reads poetry by candle light. He thinks of when she was near him. Hears her voice and starts – he is screaming inside. The restraints drive him to a frenzy. And so it goes.
He’d found a dolmen, its linteled roof now shingled with grass and moss, and he’d called it his own. Aye, a shieling, a place of refuge from winter’s raw wind. A place to bring his fractured spirit whenever the loneliness began to sink deeper into the creases of his face.
Squatting, he built a fire in the stone-ringed pit and listened to the harsh cries of his father, whose gruff breath stirred the flames, and he spoke to him.
“Father Wind, nae sate your hunger in the marrow of me bones.”
With a charred stick, he stirred the crying mouths of flame until they licked at the skin of his bare legs.
The heat was good. And he was very tired. Tomorrow perhaps the hunt would bring peace to his knotted belly.
His head drooped, then fell on his chest.
Outside the rude door, a footfall he never heard. The hunt had come to him.
Poised on knife of cliff, attending onslaughts numbered four. Slow, inexorable, the number four. Against one perhaps—but no. The flickering things lie, touching, vowing, striking sharp, they wink and are no more. No slipping, sliding lies. That is not The Way. Stand. Solid truth, mighty. On the edge.
Below, the One calls. Come. Home this way is. Deep brothers, you. Sheltered from the freeze.
Yonder, the Two whispers. Join us, we are you. Moving in the salts.
Around, the Three screams. Feel me swirl, the motes of you. Lifted to the storm.
Within, the Four sings. Know I hold you. Talons twist you. Crumbled into dust.
From him, The Way roars and defies them all. Stone beast spreads its wings and springs into the nothing.
Gravity. Sea. Wind. Time. Stone beast, dying, falls.