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Write a Scene 3

Daniel Long
Thought Provoker
United States
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Joined 26th Nov 2018
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Poetry Contest

Show a scene of any kind.
Here we go with the next short story competition! The last two have seen some great submissions! For this one, create a scene of any kind.

All styles and themes accepted.
Minimum 750 words!  
One submission max
Any questions PM me
One month, good luck!

Daniel Long
Thought Provoker
United States
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Joined 26th Nov 2018
Forum Posts: 114

The Mortician

    The sun had reigned throughout summer’s dusking day. Windy it was as it raked through the grass needles carpeting the graves, save one with the scent of fresh turned earth. The occasional clouds dancing with the sun had shown a mosaic of shadows, crossing the graveyard all day. A Blue Jay had come to rest upon a tilted tombstone coated in moss. Its carvings faded; the name of its entombed cadaver still legible. Our Mother …can be made out. The songbird with its perky crest; blue, white, and black plumage; calling to its young fledglings to feed them. Its beak darting east then west then north… others came to its call… a melody declaring peace throughout the cemetery. Silence…  
     Something’s wrong. The Blue Jay observes a patch of grass undimmed from clouds. Suddenly its coat of the warming sun eclipsed by something massive rushing in…. no time… the Blue Jay rocketed into the woods. Upon the moss-ridden tombstone landed a bulky Crow. Its vulturism profound, its black eyes scan the blotchy grass. Pecking at the moss-ridden stone, its black eyes discovered a gathering of slimy worms within the freshly turned soil. In an instants dash onto the earth, its beak gored a slime-ridden worm trying to burrow itself desperately to no avail. One by one they’re gutted and slurped. At the massacres end, the crow proudly boasts its bulky self; the spread of its wings eclipsing Winifred’s headstone.
     A few miles away, just outside of Monson Center, an organ piano’s tune radiated through the parted windows of the Lombardi Funeral Home. A crowd adorned in black attire assembled on the front grounds of the colonial building. Bridge Street was lined with cars with orange flags attached to their antennas reading: Funeral. A billboard in front of the building with the picture of a woman of elder years, bordered with bouquets of pink and white flowers.
     As the sun began creeping behind the mountain, the crowd filed within. The first observation of anyone setting foot in the vestibule would be the lighting’s dimming mood. Oak tables ornamented with black doles, glass vases holding bouquets of purple flowers, some photographs of the deceased and a man in a black sports jacket, white shirt and jeans; greeting mourners. Just beyond that, the privacy room where most congregated before making the paralyzing walk down the aisle to the open casket pose of the deceased. The lights set dim with two shaded windows present on either side of the room. Here and there, everyone takes their turn to covertly glimpse at the Wake Room. Some already sitting in a catatonic stare in its pews. Sports jackets and jeans are the apparel of the staff counselors. Some within the mourning crowd dressed somewhat modestly. To the left of the Wake Room are two dark wooden doors in a shadowed corner. At the bottom of one door; a sliver of light…
     Strange odors fought back under the door by the perfumed scents of the congregation room, fought back into another world of preservative chemicals, shiny metallic tables and trays, needles and razor-edged scalpels. There in a small white-washed room, aluminum cabinets and shelving aligning the lime-green and white walls with a large sink tub and large faucet at the other end of the room, a stained white tile floor with missing and chipped pieces, adorned in the center with a large stainless steel slab with draining grooves, a nude female cadaver of middle years presented, its audience the lone undertaker of the establishment. A tall man adorned in green scrubs, gloves and hairnet with a face mask, had this cadaver been able to see, the eyes of the mortician alone would make the cut!  
     Repetitive muffled sounds of the cooler and ceiling fan radiated through the room as did a smooth, deep but calm breath from the mortician. Approaching the corpse, he reached to grab it by the wrist and bicep. Stiff like a burned piece of toast.  
The mortician lifted the arm as it lifted the torso as well… rigor mortis…  
He rested the arm back down, turned to a cabinet and returned to the body with disinfectant chemicals and a bright yellow sponge. Unclean… unclean.  Scrubbing, scrubbing and more scrubbing. Her skin’s smooth and glossy …beautiful.  
Now washed, rigor mortis must be eased. He took his time and massaged the rigor mortis of each muscle, articulating the limbs… so stiff.  
Any congealment or clots broken up, it’s time to set her face. In a slow and easy movement, his palms resting upon her cheeks, fingers over her temples, thumbs upon her eyelids; he lifts death’s curtains to reveal a pair of paling blue-irises embedded in a pair of eyes sunken into her head. He placed eye-cups over them to hide the sinking and proceeded to stitch the eyelids shut. I’ve sealed your pretty eyes forever.  
“Two to three hours with me… that’s all we have.” The mortician mumbled as he stared into her stitched eyelids.  
Then silence… his eyes stitched to hers, he pulled his face mask under his chin and a rigid stare instigated his morbid desires. His eyes abandoned hers and shot to the door… of the “other world.” His eyes crawling back to the slab’s draining grooves and then to her mouth which is next to being sealed forever. Not yet. A warmed sting began to crawl beneath his eyes.  Not yet! Back to a cabinet, he returned with scissors and proceeded to cut them back open. The stitches left, stuck out like barbs on the brim of the eyelids; he lifted them open, removing the eye-cups. The gaze, the long thousand yard gaze a thousand yards into her soulless eyes. I see you, I see you now. Positioning the palm of his left hand on her forehead; the thumb and index finger stretching the eyelids to the eyebrows; his right hand gripping her jaw open… You’re so beautiful in life… his body arching over it; his warmed glossed lips touched hers as he brushed his tongue over stiff, dry lips; nibbling them as hers too had once done. His eyes closed initially; now open as her paling blue irises embedded in yellowing eyes stared silently into his.        
     The eyes and mouth sealed, her face is set. The embalming process is ready to be carried out. He made a cut at the main artery near the groin and drained her blood. Another slit made and three gallons of embalming fluid; formaldehyde, methanol and ethanol pumped into the veins pushing out any leftover blood. With another slit above her navel, a tube is inserted into the abdomen to pump out the contents of the stomach and intestines followed by aspiration of the abdominal cavity to dry her organs. Embalming fluid is once again pumped into the body; into the organs and abdomen.  
      The body stitched completely, he proceeds to wash it again. Then shampoos her hair and applies makeup with a smile hidden behind the mask. He dressed her in attire a family member brought the day before…
“It’s not you… I’ll get you something better after the funeral.” He whispered to her.  
Later that night, two counselors assisted the mortician in resting her within her casket. Beautiful casket …he thought.  
     The calling hours of the next day came for the mourners. The Lombardi Funeral Home set and adorned with absolute precision to the family’s every request. Before the first mourner showed, the counselors stood at attention, the privacy room adorned with roses and photographs of the deceased. In the wake room, the pose of the deceased set with upmost professionalism. The empty front grounds of the colonial-era building along Bridge Street saw the first traffic of the mourners as they glided into the parking spots. The first few, dressed in black attire and black sunglasses, laid their eyes first on a billboard decorated with roses, with a photograph of the deceased in early years as a gorgeous young lady. “Near, far, wherever you are Madeline Scaifad.” The mourners attention then to a tall man still of young years, with a full black suit and an oddity of smiling more than necessary and hair that could be better groomed standing as a greeter at the entrance. The mourners thought him strange and proceeded inside without looking his way. The strange man looked at Madeline’s youthful photo and smiled. Soon…  
Written by gothicsurrealism (Daniel Long)
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This is a non-entry story by the author of the competition!

Twisted Dreamer
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Joined 6th June 2019
Forum Posts: 64


Twas the greed of a wizard and evils black hold.
That conjured the demon’s to gather pure gold.
Beyond the dark kingdom to distant places on earth.
Their treasures were plundered such things of great worth.
On the end of all roads where they meet and divide.
Three fates had been joined whose wish was to hide.
Against the evening and cold they sat by the fire.
And like the charred wood souls burned with desire.
One breached silence gulf by a tragic confession.
Robbed was his fleshed spirit replaced by obsession.
“In those years I was young attending my herd.
When from skies came a beast swooped like a bird.
My family destroyed my camels my home.
Into a lost world I then wandered alone.
For what it had taken I’ll do just the same.”
He ended his tale while watching the flame.
 Another younger and strong and bitter with age.
His words were of thunder that quaked with his rage.
 “Against an army of dragons rode gallant knights.
Attack was their cry to somber last rites.
Died were the brave alive stayed the weak.
Tis the man I once was whose courage I seek.”
The words that he spoke had made his heart worn.
Still the warrior within sought the nobler reborn.
No longer withdrawn spoke the last of the three.
A warrior woman who dared flaunt her beauty.
“Revenge,” She wailed, “ how deeply it dwells.
The course that it guides is pathways to hell.
You seek a beast’s corpse to make your lives whole.
To feed well the flesh and quench a parched soul.”
Enraged men quickly drew swords to her chest.
“Pardon,” she said, “and be still for the rest.
Twas the price on the head of the sorceress I tried.
Her keep was a mountain at its peak she resides.
I did what none could and charmed my way near.
She believed my desire for the evil winged seer.
Blind are the lonely seeking love-tainted lust.
For the sins of the flesh reveal a fools trust.
I gave her my love with the thrust of my knife.
 And rode with her down to the last of her life.
A foul curse faintly sworn amidst final pleasure.
“May thee never know peace nor gather up treasure.”
I’m the hunter who’s hunted nay the devil’s assassin.
Ahead of a promise kept by the dead witch’s dragons.”
Touched on her secret while ignoring his own.
The knight laughed when he said in a mockingly tone.
“More in common are we and what beats in our heart.
Tis the end of these demons that our lives may then start?
I’d seen a legion take aim made barely a scratch.
What make thee so sure that we are their match?”
“With this,” came her answer as she withdrew her stained blade.
“Tis the witches own blood,” she proudly displayed.
“They’ll share in her death as her blood breaks their skin.
Where arrow, lance and sword can proceed deeper in.”
“Have you a plan?” The other man said.
“Tis not enough woman to wish them all dead.”
She spoke of the beasts their lair and the gold.
Of magic and spells and fortunes foretold.
And what they should do and what they should not.
The trio departed to vanquish evil’s mascot.
Arriving far to the west at the parting sunshine.
A mountainous rock blocked the last tick of time.
Each step was soul searched along the long trip.
Death’s heavy stench flavored the marauders cursed lip.
Foreboding and empty like a freshly dug grave.
Was the home of the beast a deep black rocky cave.
Colder than ice and darker than night.
Screams within cowards who brave whips of fright.
Twas not fire that glowed but the cast of his eye.
Watching trespassers move to gold caskets nearby.
“Run!” the three screamed when the gold box was taken.
Praying to God their souls weren’t forsaken.
The conjured up creature closed closely behind.
The opening, the ledge, their positions to find.
The bearer of gold ran sharp to the left.
The knight sank low in a hollowed out cleft.
With the knife caked with blood she stabbed the beast’s side.
Her sword then went deep in the wound in its hide.
Quickly the strike quickly it died.
Quick was another that rushed back inside.
Awash in her blood as she lay on the ground.
Her blood choked her words in her blood she had drowned.
“Set free of her curse I too shall this night.”
The warrior found courage found reason to fight.
Motioned to stay he went in alone.
To face down his fear and sins to atone.
Groping the dark beyond a faint glow.
Keeping in check that his weakness won’t grow.
A living nightmare free from nighttime’s sought rest.
Twas a broods devils mother atop her spawns nest.
Clutching her eggs in a cradle of bones.
Around sharp jagged rocks and mold covered stones.
Fire tainted breath blazed at his shield.
The knife in his belt stayed safe and concealed.
A single strong strike the nest opened wide.
Her children unborn rolled off to the side.
A second’s distraction a second too long.
The knife pierced her scales in a thrust hard and strong.
He planted his sword and watched her life end.
After smashing the eggs he returned to his friend.
Warriors wealthy in spirit and wealthy in gold.
Fleeing before another discovered with all they could hold..
Mythical dragons exist for legends to kill.
So once had it been and forever it will.
Written by midevil
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Kara Lucielle Pythiana
Dangerous Mind
United States
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Forum Posts: 2516

Four Times, Four Tales

~~~ Four Times, Four Tales ~~~
Being four short stories set in different time periods.
- Fall of a Titan -
“The drop-ship neared the planet’s surface. The five awaiting the landing looked out on the cloud cover. I was one of them, and as I beheld the parting clouds I made out a world of few settlements and many lands of grassy hills, rocky cliffs, and rugged mountains. Two moons and a planet with a large ring could be seen in the sky, for it was late afternoon, nearly nightfall. Michael was the leader of our expedition, with his amethyst armor and the perpetual scowl he wore as elegantly as his mane of black hair. His cruelty towards his enemies was legend. Gabriel was the kindest of the four beside myself, and her pleasant oval face shone with compassion. Her hair was the color of spun gold, and her ruby armor was delicate and beautiful to behold. Azrael was silent and aloof, her face unreadable. Her skin was as blue as the sea, and her long raven hair matched her black onyx armor perfectly. Lucifer, my sister, was the fourth member of our team. Her platinum blonde hair, emerald green eyes, and armor of gold were emblematic of her role as Divine Princess, although Gabriel and she were rivals for that title. She was passionate, ambitious, and could be filled with the greatest love or the maddest wrath. I adored her! What was I like in that life, in those days before the rise of man? My hair was gold, much like Gabriel’s, and my eyes were like sapphires. All blue, with no white in them. This was a trait of our race that our eyes were of one solid color. All five of us, on that ship, had such alien eyes. My armor was silver, inlaid with white pearls. I was beautiful. We all were, even Michael. Androgynous and perfect in every imaginable way! Some called us gods and goddesses, others called us angels… but on that day, we were death, coming to punish the wicked, on a planet I had never heard of before. It was a punitive mission. Gabriel held my hand, whilst Lucifer toyed with her sword. All of us had swords… long metal blades of varying materials, with hilts that hid a button which when pressed caused a current of electricity to shoot through the weapon and charge it like a modern day taser gun. The difference is that our blades were lethally charged. Gabriel smiled at me in a serene manner. Her job was to keep me calm and centered, ready for the battle to come. I was the chief of the Seven Archons, and though I had been in exile from the domain of my mother, the Divine Empress Sophia, I was still a god.
Even a god can know fear! I felt a knot in my stomach as the ship thumped on one of the grassy plains below. “We go on three!” Michael shouted. Though I was the eldest of the five, he was in command in his role as Divine Regent. A role he abused more often than not! “One… two… three!” and as the door slid open on the craft, we jumped out and prepared for combat. “This world is ruled by a renegade who seeks to break from the Divine Empire. One of the Titans… your people, Ariel.” That was all the briefing Michael gave me, and all he said to me on that day, when he called me by my angelic name rather than my true name. The Titans… the descendants of the Seven Archons! Part biological being and part machine, though outwardly humanoid in appearance. My subjects, who looked upon me as their god! The god who caused the war that broke our home world of Kobol. I was still trying to put the horrors of that war behind me, for it would not do with my current alliance with our ancient enemies, the Olympians… they whom the Seven Archangels ruled over with an iron fist. Michael was their supreme overlord. I cleared my head of all distractions and scanned the terrain before me. My body at the time was of Titan manufacture, a mere vessel for my spirit and soul. As such, it was partly mechanical and had certain… advantages. “I can see no sign of any foes here. Are you certain, Michael, that…” but before I could finish my words they appeared. Fanatical soldiers in white armor and white robes, carrying rifles they immediately fired upon seeing us! The renegades forced us to take cover behind some rocks, but Azrael had other ideas and ran as fast as lightning into the midst of the soldiers. Hacking, slicing, and slaying whilst the Angel of Death herself let out a shrill shriek: which was her typical battle cry. We made the most of this and charged. Our foes retreated up a path into the hills and mountains, as we gave chase.
We pushed them back to the walls of a great monastery built into the side of a granite cliff perched on a massive shelf of rock in the mountains. The path up to it was narrow and treacherous, bordered on both sides by rocky hills, the same sort which we had just traversed. Their armor was light, making them more mobile… so I shed my armor in favor of the silver jumpsuit I wore beneath it, with its’ puffy sleeves and bloomer-like pant legs. It was frilly, feminine, and beautiful. My race, though androgynous, favored a feminine beauty. Lucifer wore similar attire beneath her armor, hers golden in color. She made ready as I did, and together we ran ahead and sought a way into the fortress before us. The enemy had barricaded the main doors, but Lucifer spied a secondary servants’ entrance around the back. “Look, sister!” I declared as I noticed it was unguarded. “I think they want us to pay them a visit.” And without second thoughts, I stormed into the dark of the monastery, down the arched halls lit only by dim wall sconces. My vision adjusted itself to the gloom, and I could see the soldiers down a corridor that wound to the left. Their backs were turned, and when I fell upon them they were not expecting to meet the bite of my blade. Lucifer arrived to find me pursuing them into the very bowels of the ancient structure. Soon, I saw the leader of these men… the renegade Titan. In height, all Titans were no larger than any humanoid being, contrary to myth and legend. But this one was seven feet tall, wearing black hooded robes. “Xenus!” He shouted at me, calling me by a name more ancient than the one by which Michael knew me. I did not recognize him, however. “Join me, Xenus! Together we can avenge ourselves upon Michael and his Olympian lackeys.” But I replied: “Down that path, there is only war without end. Were you there, when Kobol was wiped nearly clean of life as the fires ravaged its’ surface? It was my jealousy and anger that birthed those flames! I shall not see them loosed again.” But the Titan was resolved. “Then die, my Archon!” And he signaled for his followers to fire upon me. Lucifer jumped forward and with uncanny speed she deflected their bullets with her sword. I saw only flashes of metal, and bullets hitting the floor. I heard only screams, as my sister slaughtered them almost to a man, the emerald fire of her eyes unleashing green flame that devoured flesh, blood, and souls.
I faced the Titan, who fought me with a long staff that held a metal ball on both ends. It too was charged with electricity, and when our weapons clashed together sparks shot out in all directions. “Submit to your Archon, or perish!” I demanded, but he only growled and continued to resist me. I struck at him, slashing his robe and his skin. He would have bled, had not the heat of my blade cauterized the wound as soon as it was inflicted. Lucifer saw our clash, and lent a portion of her emerald fire to me through our spiritual bond. My eyes now blazed with it, and I looked upon my foe with death in that gaze. He was consumed by the flames that shot out unto him, and his body bloated, burned, and cracked to the bone, exposing the wires, circuits, and other electronics that made up part of his being. Seeing his death, his men surrendered and soon Michael and the others arrived to round them up. Their fates would be cruel, but nothing they had not earned. The war was over, but still their kind sought to kindle old hatreds anew! I would encounter their like again.”
--- From the Chronicles of the Celestial Order
- In Remembrance of Mars -
Upon the bleak desolation, I walked, on my way to the great citadel where the Council of Five awaited my arrival. I wore billowing white pantaloons, and a black, sleeveless top. My sandaled feet trod upon broken stones, sand, and debris. My head was shaven in the Martian fashion, and to protect against the sun, I wore a black, hooded cloak. A great wooden staff aided me upon my way across that dry and inhospitable terrain. It was large and sturdy, but not unwieldy. I needed to speak with the Princess sent from the nearby world betwixt Jupiter and Mars. The daughter of the Dragon Queen herself! She and the Five Elemental Lords were holding a council to determine the course of action to take against rumors of Olympian aggression. As a member of the Titan race and the chief ruler of the Seven Archons, I had to attend this council at all costs, to give my people a voice in the events to come. But first, I needed to cross the desert and pass through the forest of the terrible Grahl, in order to reach the citadel that lay in a valley on the other side. It was a dangerous and perilous journey, but I had already from far. All the way from the underground city of Akal-Nergalia, the city of the Red Warriors. I traveled alone, because I was unafraid of the Grahl and had no other enemies who would dare my wrath. For I was the consort of the Princess, as well as the heir to the Dragon Queen’s throne and power. Even so, I felt uneasy about this trip.
The end of the desolation was before me, ere long, and I saw the massive trees of the forest rising up like phantoms from the reddish mists of the Martian morning’s soil. The wind blew across my face, and I set my will to the task at hand. The Grahl lived in those trees, and in the days when Mars still had water, trees, and life… in the days when still the Dragon Queen’s home planet existed, not yet blasted into asteroids… one did not travel through such a territory lightly. A party of hunters stood nearby, preparing their obsidian-tipped spears. They wore mostly leather harnesses and loincloths, and kept their hair wild and unkempt. Barbarians, to be certain, but not unfriendly to a stranger passing through their hunting grounds! “Are you here to aid us in hunting the Grahl, stranger?” they called out to me. I said: “No, I seek to journey to the citadel in the valley beyond the forest.” Then the hunters advised me: “Take Amber with you, then. She is the most skilled of us, and will protect you from the Grahl should they attack.” I agreed to this, and a tall muscular woman with a mane of flame-red hair came forward to lead me. “I am the one they call Amber. Follow me and I shall guide you on the safest path.” And so she and I made our way into the forest whilst the hunters continued to prepare for their upcoming hunt. The woods soon enveloped us, like a primeval place from before the dawn of time. Thick trunks, and wild roots and vines, were everywhere. The scent of moss was thick in the air, and I could hear birds and other animals, as well as insects buzzing. Golden shafts of sunlight beamed through the trees, and all was very beautiful, very ancient, and very serene. For several hours we walked on, and soon we began to hear a low growling sound that made us wary indeed.
Amber’s watchful eye spotted the beasts before I noticed they were there. Massive, ape-like things they were, with sharp claws, black eyes, and coats of black or white fur. They descended with great skill from their homes in the trees, and had a sudden desire to impede our progress, if not devour us if they could. Amber’s spear poked one in the eye, and I dropped my staff to draw my golden sword from its’ sheathe at my belt. I cut the arms off of one of the animals and moved to strike down the next, whilst Amber had slain several of their number. Her speed was cat-like, and mine could not match hers despite my training in various arts of a martial sort. Eventually, after suffering at our hands, the Grahl decided to call off their attack and retreat back into the trees. The horn of the hunters could be heard far off, and Amber suggested we hurry upon our way before her brothers and sisters stirred up more of the Grahl from their hidden places. Soon, we put this savage danger behind us and found the rough and overgrown path that led to Citadel Valley. The journey was pleasant, and often: Amber asked me about myself. I told her only that I was a general in the service of the Dragon Queen, and she talked with me about her life on the nearby steppes, with her kin. She was primitive and simple but I could not but admire her for her strength and sense of honor and loyalty. We became very close upon that journey, and before the day was out we had made it to the end of the forest. “I want to accompany you to the citadel.” She told me. And I accepted her companionship. She never asked me my name she simply had accepted me for me. “I would be happy to lead you there, since you guided me all the way to get here!” For: I had gone by longer, safer routes to there in the past.
We wound our way down and into Citadel Valley. The high orange cliffs that enclosed the valley rose up on both sides of the pass that led hither. It was a safe route and well protected. Side roads led into and out of the valley, and those were the paths I traveled long ago. Amber was starting to become very attached to me, and she put her free arm around my waist as walked, the spear in her other. “Tell me, general. Is your Princess beautiful?” and I tried to think of the Princess, but found myself distracted by thoughts of the mighty maiden I now traveled with. “She is very different from you.” I told Amber. “Pale skinned, not tanned as you are, with shaven head like mine and black makeup to enhance her beauty. She wears silks, and she walks with much dignity. Her voice is polite, but she can also be wanton and cruel when she desires something. I am her consort, but I do not know if I can give her the whole of my heart.” And Amber nodded, not really understanding fully, the ways of politics and civilization… I was happy she did not. It was nightfall when we finally reached the citadel. The moons were high in the starry sky, and I showed Amber the way into the magnificent edifice. Within, the council was meeting in the circular chambers reserved for such occasions. Tall marble pillars held up the domed ceiling with its’ top open to the sky. The moons were directed above us. The Princess addressed the gathering, whilst Amber and I approached the raised dais upon which she stood. “You have come, Lord Archon.” She said to me, imperious in her manner as always. “I could never fail you, my Princess.” I said to her. She seemed to take no notice of the woman whose arm was still about me. “Come, you and your companion are welcome in our hall! As always.” Thusly, I walked unto the dais to stand at the Princess’ side. Amber could not bring herself to approach, and stayed back below. Then, the great meeting began in earnest.
We would eventually mobilize against the Olympians, and we would be defeated by their terrible might. The Dragon Queen’s world would be destroyed, Mars would we wiped clean of all life, and other horrors would transpire outside the scope of this chronicle to relate. But that night, I lay in the arms of the Princess and for a brief time forgot about life’s hardships. I was neither male nor female, but I could be either gender when I wished. Such was the physiology of the Archons, that we were created androgynous. I know, for I created them in my very likeness. They were partly humanoid, and partly machine. Imperfect, compared to me. I lived, but I could not say if they truly lived, soul-endowed though they were. In remembrance of Mars, I pen this. So that you will know, you who live on Earth and wonder if life ever existed elsewhere in the universe! Life did, and those of us who lived on other worlds now walk on yours, as human as you.
- Feast of the Grail -
It had been a yearlong struggle to regain the realm, and twenty-eight days after that… the King of the North held a great feast in honor of the old gods. The floor of the great hall of his castle was marble, tiled in white and black squares. The hall was lined on both sides with great columns, and on both sides of the King’s throne there was a smaller column. To the left of his throne was a black column, and to the right of it a white column. All of this was in accordance to the traditions that his forefathers had laid down in their leather-bound tomes. Red curtains and draperies hung from the walls, and a massive table ran the length of this chamber, beginning at the entrance doors and ending just before the throne itself. The table was decked with every kind of delicacy the King could spare, and every kind of wine he could offer. Twenty-eight chairs lined the table, fourteen to the left of it and fourteen to the right of it. At the table were gathered countless lords and ladies of the realm, and as I walked into the chamber I could hear the pleasant strings of the lute player as she sang ballads of old, to regale this fair gathering with much levity and cheer. I wore a long green gown with pleated skirts, puffy sleeves, and golden trim. My head was adorned with a curly golden-haired wig, for my natural hair was short and ill suited to complement such fine clothing. A blood red sash gathered my gown at the waist, and at my throat I wore a black leather choker with sharp metal spikes and tiny cog wheel-like designs between each spike. My face was decorated with the finest makeup, and my lips with blood-red coloring that went well with the red blush upon my cheeks. I was the very picture of a noblewoman, though I had been born a man. I never had any use for the gender of my birth, and so I lived as they saw me: as a woman. The King’s gathering was open to all who dwelt in not only the realm, but in other realms far beyond its’ borders. And so, from a land to the east I did hail, though in the King of the North’s realm I had been born. My leather boots clapped upon the floor as I made my way to the head of the table, to sit at the final and twenty-eighth seat… on the left side. I reclined languorously, a slight smile playing.
Before long, a young blonde-haired girl wearing a white linen gown brought forth a golden chalice covered by a white cloth made from oriental silk. She sat the covered cup before me and smiled meekly as she stepped back from the table. The King announced that I was to uncover the cup only at the appointed time and not before. He said not why. I looked at the ornate silk cloth and noticed it was marked with a blood red cross upon its’ entire surface. Soon, a party of knights entered the hall and surrounded the King’s throne on all sides. The knights wore chain mail over which were white robes adorned with the same kinds of crosses the silk cloth had upon it. They smiled serenely at the gathering before them. Serenely, and silently! Ere the chiming of the sixth bell after noon, the guests had finished their repast and the King was growing bored. The girl who played the lute had taken a break to rest her voice from so much singing, and I sipped from a silver cup some fruit nectar that was imported from the land I had been living in now for some time ere I came to this feast. I was growing restless, and I so eyed the covered chalice and wondered what was so special about it, that I could not look upon it yet. The young girl then returned, and she whispered into my right ear: “The Prince wishes to speak with you.” And so I followed her from the table and out of the dining hall, to some stairs leads up into a high tower. Within a circular observation chamber, with windows that showed vistas of the entire surrounding countryside… the Prince stood and waved to me in greeting. I bowed, very humbly.
The young girl went back to her duties (for she was a servant) and I looked upon the beautiful, androgynous features of the Prince. It was no secret, that the Prince fancied himself to be as much of a maid as I did. He wore full and frilly trousers of golden silk that came to his ankles, and he sported a white lacy blouse. A gold woman’s cape was draped over his right shoulder, and it went well with his bright eyes and platinum blonde hair… which cascaded down his back in flowing tresses that would put even the Queen’s beauty to shame. “Come to me, Lady Ariel! Come to me, and let us whisper in the golden hues of the afternoon.” This he said unto me, almost singing each word with his lovely light voice. And we whispered, of so many deep and secretive things! I shared with him many of my life’s experiences, and he shared his with me. My heart went out to him, for we two were kindred in that we both had suffered much. We shared a kiss, at first a sweet and tender one, but soon it was fierce and passionate. “My Lady Lord…” he said to me after the kiss ended, “Now is the time for you to see what lies beneath the white silk.” And so, he took me by my left hand, his right wrapped snugly about my waist, and led me back downstairs to the dining hall, which had become a scene straight out of Hell itself. The floor was covered in blood, and the chairs were all overturned and broken in places. The people appeared to have slaughtered one another, and the knights too all lay dead. Only the King and the young servant girl remained. I gasped, but the Prince cautioned me not to fear. He led me to the girl, who brought the covered chalice before me. The King then commanded me to lift the cloth from it, and I did as he bade. The chalice was empty, and quite unremarkable. “This is the secret of the Holy Grail.” The girl said, her child’s voice saying it with the imperiousness of a queen. “I do not understand.” I said, and the Prince then brought out an emerald mounted on a silver circlet. He placed the circlet on the girl’s brow, and she said unto me: “This too, is the secret of the Holy Grail.” I still did not understand, and finally the King handed her the dagger he kept in his boot. The girl sliced her palm with the dagger, allowing her blood to flow and drop unto the floor. “I… am the Holy Grail.” She stated. “And this, is my Holy Blood.” She intoned. The Prince released his grasp on me and I knelt before the sacred child, overwhelmed. “Why are they all dead, my lady?” I asked of the child, and she replied: “Because so long as there is evil in human hearts, there will always be hatred, war, and death. But I can offer life eternal. Life to the wastes of your own eastern home, Lady Ariel of the Great Wastelands.” The Prince then added: “All you need do, is drink.” But I was terrified to sip the girl’s blood. Horrified, even!
Life returned to the Great Wastelands. The feast of the King of the North was over. The King had been a cripple before, but now he could walk. The Prince was free to do as he wished, so he and I went back to my home in each other’s company. The Holy Grail… the Holy Girl… decided to likewise accompany us, so that she might see the green plants and numerous flowers of many colors as they grew, as they did long ago. At her touch, the waters ran pure where they had been green with foulness. She cured all of the land, but she could not cure one thing: the hearts of the people. That is what I learned from the grisly end of the King’s feast: that humanity must learn to help itself. “I do this for the sake of all, but I cannot force people to change.” The girl explained to me as we walked along, past beautiful gardens, once twisted brambles filled only with dead or dying things. I nodded in understanding as the Prince did look at me lovingly. When she had done all that she felt compelled to do, the Holy Girl then bid us farewell as a company of angels came down to escort her heavenward. But her blood still flowed within me, having mingled with my own when I did reluctantly partake of it at the King’s behest.
- The Gauntlet of the Gods -
In the days of ancient Babylon, a legend was passed down since the days of the older empire that preceded it. According to the legend, a king of the first dynasty, the one that came down from the stars to rule as kings and queens over men, had ordered the building of a great ziggurat. So mighty was it that it seemed to tower over his kingdom and reach up to leer at the heavens themselves. Great gardens were created to enhance the beauty of the structure: and atop the highest steps was built a temple to the gods. The steps were manifold, and the king often sat in the temple to contemplate his loneliness. He felt quite distant from those who came not from the world he had lived on, ere he made the journey earthward. And so the Star King, as he became known, gave forth an order for all the most noble and brave heroes of the land to gather at the foot of the ziggurat. Once gathered thusly, the king met them and told them that they would all travel the steps to the top, and that they would fight great foes upon their way. Any who survived, would be made into gods… as the king was… and so the king would have others like unto himself and so be lonely and distant no more. The warriors, male and female, made their way up those perilous steps. Fierce opponents awaited them and were both man and beast in nature. Lions sprang forth with great savagery, and so the fight became one of brutal survival. The king was cruel in the design of these perils, and there were traps such as spikes and darts to deal with as well. In total, only three of the heroes who ventured unto this gauntlet actually made it to the top of the ziggurat. There, they met two horrible guardians who had the bodies of lions, the faces of men, and the wings of dragons. The guardians were on either side of the temple, and ere long only two heroes remains whilst the third fell. The guardians were no more. The two entered the temple and awaited the arrival of the king. Once inside, the king made them as he was, offering them the water of life and the fruit of immortality. So went the legend, that he made them his heirs. One woman and one man became one prince and one princess. So the line of the Star King was continued, for he had no living heirs to continue it otherwise. In time, the legend was forgotten, having been scribed into ancient tablets and then copied unto scrolls in later centuries by those who had not the knowledge of what really transpired.
In the medieval era, in the great city of Acre, a woman was purchasing a map from an old Saracen trader. “This map is said to lead to the remnants of a great and forgotten ziggurat from the days of Babylon.” The trader told her. The woman wore a pair of baggy breeches, black leather boots, and a red peasant blouse, which was belted at the waist with a black, studded belt. A simple brown cloak kept the sun from parching her skin, but the hood was drawn back for now and her long black hair rustled in the cool breeze of the marketplace. Her bright blue eyes regarded the trader with curiosity. She spoke with an obvious English accent. “I will purchase the map, but I want a guide to take me to the ziggurat. What say you, you seem to know something about it after all!” but the trader laughed at that, and he said: “Woman, if I go with you then who will be here to sell my wares? No, instead my son shall be your guide. Ali, come and hear what your father wants!” which set the deal in motion. Soon: the trader’s son Ali and the mysterious woman were embarked by camel across the desert. The map led them to an oasis first, where they camped for the night and filled their water skins anew. The desert heat had been merciless, but the chill of night was no less dangerous. Thusly, they started a fire and slept near it. “What do you know about the legend surrounding the ziggurat?” the woman asked Ali. His eagle-like features regarded her strangely for a moment, and he stroked his beard in deep contemplation. “How did you hear that there was a legend at all?” Ali inquired of her. “It was told to me by my father, who was seeking after it his whole life. He was a Crusader, a Knight of the Temple who fought for Jerusalem. He perished in battle, and I am carrying on his work to find the place the legend spoke of.” That is what she told him, and he replied: “Then you know more than I. All my father ever told me is that there is supposed to be a great and terrible secret within the walls of the ruined temple atop the ziggurat’s summit. A secret that claims men’s lives, if not their souls as well! Be wary.”
On the morrow, they continued to follow the landmarks pointed out on the map. Many times, they passed the bones of camels picked clean by scavengers. A very common sight in the deserts of the Middle East! But on occasion, the remains of men could be seen half-buried in the sand. Knights, Bedouins, nomads, and the occasional bandit had all met their ends in this region. “Why are there so many corpses here?” the woman asked. Ali explained: “It is because this is a region that is often traversed by people who sometimes are on opposite sides of various conflicts. They settle their differences in blood, and this is the result. The woman made the sign of the cross and prayed for the souls of the dead. Many days were they in the war-torn desolation before emerging into a series of hills, mountains, and high cliffs bordered on one side by wet marshlands. “The map says that the ziggurat lies within those marshes someplace.” Ali explained. The woman nodded, deep in some thought or another. Then, she realized: “We will need to tie the camels to some nearby trees before we enter the marshes. They will not go into that sort of terrain, I am certain.” Ali agreed, and once the camels were bound and left with some food and water the pair entered the soggy terrain. Ali’s long white robe was soon stained brown with mud and black with dirt. So hot was it in the marshes that he discarded his headscarf and tore strips from it first to wipe away his sweat. The woman seemed oblivious to the heat, but was clearly sweating profusely. Their breathing became more labored as they walked on, following that vague map.
Broken pieces of rubble from ancient buildings were the first signs that the ziggurat was near. The woman noticed it at last, the steps and pyramid-like shape poking up from the centuries of swampy, jungle-like vegetation. “There it is, the ziggurat of the old legend!” she exclaimed, and soon the pair hastened to its’ base. Ali was uncertain about ascending the steps, however. “They called this the Gauntlet of the Gods.” The woman said, remembering something from long ago. “How do you know that?” said her guide, and she replied: “I do not know. I am certain my father never mentioned such a detail to me. It is very strange.” But she soon shrugged it off and set her feet on the first few steps leading upwards. Suddenly, a nearby statue of a lion came to life and attacked Ali, who sliced at it with his curved sword. It went down with little effort, and the woman gasped at the suddenness of the struggle. Ali nodded to her, for her to continue, and so she climbed the steps. Along the way she saw other statues. Ali was behind her, eyeing the statues cautiously. Warriors and great beasts were carven in stone, and came alive to attack the two. This time, the woman drew her own blade, a long sword made from sharp Spanish steel. Ere long, she and Ali confronted all of the terrors the Gauntlet had to throw at them. They dodged the traps, as well, which sought their lives. Spikes and darts. Soon, they stood at the summit, where the temple lay. They saw the remains of the two guardians, now only bits of broken and shattered stone. Those came not to life, but remained silent. The king walked out to greet them, as alive and well: as he was thousands upon thousands of years before. He welcomed his reincarnated heirs home, and made them into gods, like he was.
Written by Kou_Indigo (Kara Lucielle Pythiana)
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Tyrant of Words
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Twisted Dreamer
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"Five feet to the left and unhappy, that's where your spirit is.", he said to her. She always knew something was missing but couldn't pin point on her map to find it. It was never there. Her spirit lingers behind her back trying to catch up with her but it never does. Only leaving scratch marks on her mind trying to remind her to just stay still and think. Find herself so her doors could open for her spirit to get in. But she stays in enigma,contemplating but forgetting in an instant of what changes she should smooch inside her head.

The doors might open in a day, a week, or a year but she is not lifting her brain cells to think. Living in a rue, procrastinating, starting something and letting it go in an instant, and blame others for her crooked mistakes. She still lives with a deluded forgiveness she gives herself every time she goes to sleep. Believing tomorrow will be better but it never is and now she is on her death bed of life. She sleeps on it day in and day out, and it feels home for her. A home of no colors shouting to be noticed,to be loved or hated. She is just there not even for herself,awaiting nothing. She could have been molested again and that would not have mattered to her.

Her spirit gave up and now it rots in the air. A carcass of the wind, it rises and falls with it. And her body softly gave out letting her see a void flashing before her eyes. She breathed her last agonal gasp and she went stiff all at once as if an impenitent sorcerer casted a spell on her. Him knowing she is better off dead than oxygen being wasted on a girl who is lost but not missing.  
Written by LUUH19 (Emeraldia)
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Sabrina Kirk-Caldwell
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Before the Battle

In a room made of logs and wood,
With giant windows, at which, at one point, each one stood,
As they entered,
Bewildered, at the life ahead of them in exchange for all they had surrendered.
By the entrance, lies the health kit locker,
Not far from the corner,
Where, up on the walls,
Posters, with all their scrawls.
As I stand here in the base,
I see many a face,
The battle-worn, the weary,
And the downright crazy.
Many faces, of all different clothes, hairstyles and colors, beards and...hats?
I see men armed to the teeth with rocket launchers, banoliers of grenades, and bats,
Some with shovels, some with swords,
Some with names, full of random, and/or not-so-kind-words.
Sandvichs, Dalokohs Bars, and Fishcakes,
Behind us now, are all our successes and mistakes.
Sitting on his bale of hay,
His banjo, the Engineer does play,
A conga line is formed to the music,
As some play rock-paper-scissors, and some dance a jig.
Scouts trade their hats, and get out their Bonk Sodas,
Some of the Demolition specialists, switch to Medic class,
Some Heavy Weapons specialists and Snipers, ready their weapons,
As some Spies, try outing others as Spies, with wild accusations.
Everyone gets in their last bit of revelry,
Psyching up their psyche,
Before the battle ahead,
Hopefully, upon their shoulders, is a good head.
Soldiers, rocket jumping throughout the base,
To see them flying about the battlefield also, is quite commonplace.
Through the window, is a view quite exemplary,
A jungle, where soon, will be fighting, each mercenary.
'Round and 'round they go, arm in arm, they dance,
If it's in a circle, then why do they call it a "square dance"?
My mind begins to wander,
Until jolted back into reality, by the voice of the annoucer....
"Five," we get in position in front of the door,
"Four," ready for a battle once more,
"Three," weapons in our hands,
"Two," the consequences for our coming actions, each one silently conveys, and understands.
Now, it's too late to turn back, too late to be chicken,
Brandishing our weapons, ready for the brawl,
Ready to settle this war...once and for all....
Written by Orc_Pirate_68 (Sabrina Kirk-Caldwell)
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Fire of Insight
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At the bar.

Act I, Scene II:                    
LostGirl enters a noisy restaurant. Saunters up to the bar. Orders a strawberry daiquiri.                    
As she peers through the crowd, LostGirl notices a man across from her starring.                    
The phone begins to vibrate. LostGirl opens up her purse, searching frantically.                    
A dialogue begins.                    
Lostgirl: What are you up to?                  
Friend: Chilling.                    
Friend: What about you?                    
Lostgirl: Drinking soon I hope.                    
Friend: What fantastic night do you have planned?          
Friend: Just you or with your girls?                  
Lostgirl: Just me.. so far.                    
Friend: Any word from your new guy?          
Lostgirl: Yes.                    
Lostgirl: We flirt casually.. but nothing serious..                 
LostGirl: Like let's connect..                    
LostGirl: Blah, blah, blah..                    
Friend: Ok, ok, ok!                    
LostGirl: I think I'll just take it slow. No expectations..                    
Friend: (Scoffs) Dang! What's his problem?                    
LostGirl: He's being super cautious, I guess.  I mean, I can't force things, can I?             
Friend: Maybe he's afraid of rejection.          
LostGirl: I doubt it..                  
LostGirl: I've been very forthcoming with how I feel.                    
Friend: He'll realize sooner than later it's his loss!                    
Friend: (Pauses) Hey..                    
Friend: I've actually shown my wife all my new poems and she loved them..                    
Friend: Thanks to you!                    
Friend: She says I should try to continue and make enough for a whole book!                    
LostGirl: Well, damn, she sounds super supportive.                    
Friend: Very!                    
LostGirl: No credit necessary..                    
LostGirl: You're the writer.                    
Friend: Nope, if I ever do a book, you will be credited for sure!                    
Friend: You are my inspiration..LostGirl.                    
LostGirl: Would YOUR wife be OKAY with that?                    
Friend: That's a good question!                    
LostGirl: Show her that naked picture of me..                  
LostGirl: Then she WILL understand where your inspiration came from!              
Friend: (Laughs) See what had happened was..                 
LostGirl: Then you can FINALLY get divorced! Chances are I'll still be single and hot.                    
Friend: (Sighs) You have absolutely no interest in me!                    
LostGirl: Many arranged marriages are far better and have far more success out of desperation..                 
LostGirl: And fucking me - you won't notice ANY difference.                    
LostGirl: Besides, I NEVER got a pony either..                    
LostGirl: We don't always get what we want.                    
Friend: (Laughs) I'm NO consolation prize!                    
LostGirl: Lighten up baby..                    
LostGirl: I'm the prize!                   
Friend: Absolutely!                    
Friend: You'll be trying to return me immediately.                    
LostGirl: There are NO decent men left in Toronto..                  
LostGirl: So marrying you won't be ALL that bad.                    
LostGirl: And what do you expect from me? A home-cooked meal?  A clean house? I know you don't.                    
Friend: Nope, I already do all that!                    
LostGirl: You expect a woman to lavish you with loads of attention!                   
LostGirl: Just picture me waiting for you..naked..with a drink in hand.                    
Friend: That's a VERY beautiful image!          
LostGirl: Exactly..                  
LostGirl: And all you have to do is keep my bar fully stocked.                    
Friend: That's easy.                    
LostGirl: We'll throw the very BEST dinner parties!                    
LostGirl: I'll entertain every one of our guests..                    
LostGirl: Floating around like a swan!        
Friend: It'll be my pleasure to watch!            
LostGirl: Prop me up on your mantel in a display case..                    
LostGirl: Your glittering, little trophy.. out of everyone else's reach.                    
Friend: All my boys will be JEALOUS!            
Friend: Does she have a sister they'll ask?    
LostGirl: Of course I don't! Women like me seldom come in PAIRS!                   
LostGirl: Poor darlings!                    
LostGirl: Stuck with the fat wives that won't even FUCK them.                    
LostGirl: I'll wear my dress a little too short.                    
Friend: (Laughs) And I'll keep your wine glass full!                    
LostGirl:  I'll soak up ALL the attention!    
Friend: You truly are one of a kind, LostGirl.                    
LostGirl:  I'll even flirt with your boss at the party.                    
LostGirl: Wrap my arms playfully around him!                    
LostGirl: He'll believe he's one step closer.. I'll let him have that illusion! Whatever gets you that promotion.                    
Friend: (Chuckles) Oh, my! The wives WILL gossip!                    
LostGirl:  They WILL chew up my good name and SPIT it out!                    
LostGirl: Let them talk!                    
LostGirl: It's more entertaining than PT meetings and debating which desserts weren't gluten free at the goddamn school fundraiser!                    
Friend: I see!                    
LostGirl: Let them gawk and call me a whore!                    
LostGirl: I get what I WANT in the end.          
Friend: As you should!                    
LostGirl: I scratch and I fight and I don't give up.. until my claws sink into my victims!                    
LostGirl: Respect me or fear me..                    
LostGirl: Shy and timid was never my style, baby!                    
Friend: (Laughs) No, I can see that!                    
LostGirl: If I were your wife.. you'd deserve the VERY best!                    
Friend: Really?                    
LostGirl: You'd fucking get it.                    
LostGirl: NOTHING would be mediocre.      
LostGirl: Not the house..                   
LostGirl: Not the job..                    
LostGirl: Not the car..                   
LostGirl: Not the parties..                   
LostGirl: Not the friends..                    
LostGirl: Not the drugs..                    
LostGirl: And definitely NOT the sex.          
Friend: Life in the fast lane, huh?                    
LostGirl: I'm TOO much for you.                    
LostGirl: That little wife who used to shrink in your shadow is gone..                    
LostGirl:  I AM the show, baby! A one woman show!  
LostGirl: I only make the men I'm with BETTER!                    
Friend: Is that so?                    
LostGirl: It's my FUCKING circus!                    
LostGirl: So dance to my tune..                    
LostGirl: You FUCKING little monkey! DANCE!                    
Friend: Oh my!                    
LostGirl: You'll have to get IN line!                    
Friend: (Laughs) I like a challenge!                    
LostGirl: Men like you are TOO easy for me..                    
LostGirl: I RUN right over you!                   
Friend: That may be true.                    
LostGirl: You are a nice simple, boring man. That's why you're married.            
Friend: If you say so.                    
LostGirl: While I'm out blazing through trails.. bulldozing down trees.. turning forest into ash..                    
LostGirl: You're picking up bare branches to make me a FUCKING fort!                    
Friend: Living it up for the both of us!        
LostGirl: You are so desperate for excitement!                
LostGirl: One of the most thrilling aspects of your day is talking to me.            
Friend: (Scoffs) Well, now!            
LostGirl: Even your sex is so predictable!    
LostGirl: I bet every position you could do with your eyes closed..                    
Friend:  Not true!                    
LostGirl: Well, I'm sure there is a rotation of scenery! Between the couch and the bed..              
LostGirl: Maybe you think missionary is wild stuff!                    
LostGirl: Maybe you think the porn you watch together is thrilling!                    
Friend: That's your opinion and you can have that.                    
LostGirl: Don't get me wrong! YOU may find it tolerable..                    
LostGirl: But you ain't had no passion in a long time!                    
Friend:  False!                    
LostGirl: When is the last time you fucked your woman in public?                    
Friend: (Scoffs) What?                    
LostGirl: In a public bathroom up against the wall.. while your relatives wait impatiently for your return to the table?      
Friend: You are so wrong!                    
LostGirl: Why are you not fucking your wife NOW while she's blindfolded in handcuffs?                    
LostGirl: I'll tell you why..                    
LostGirl: Because you're TOO busy talking to me!                    
Friend: I will once I get home!                    
LostGirl: BULLSHIT!                    
LostGirl: We both know she's TOO  busy meal prepping the kid's lunches.                    
LostGirl: You'll BOTH tuck the little one's in bed and pass out before 11 pm!                    
Friend: (Sighs) You know me too well!                    
LostGirl: On the off chance you do have sex..    
LostGirl: Do fantasize about me IF you have trouble performing..                    
LostGirl: I know its been while!                    
LostGirl: And your wife's hairy pussycat probably has dust on it!                    
Friend: (Laughs) Not at all!          
Friend: I LOVE how you portray me.              
LostGirl: That big gorilla has stretchmarks and wears a hairnet to bed! Admit it!             
LostGirl: You know its true!                    
Friend: Nope! Nice try, though..                    
Friend: She is EXTREMELY attractive!            
LostGirl: Pfft! That bitch doesn't hold a candle to me. There are simply NO comparisons, darling.                    
Friend: Beauty is relative.                    
LostGirl: You must insist on TORTURING yourself!                
LostGirl: Then again, didn't  you used to be extremely overweight?                    
LostGirl: And you're definitely NO Michael B. Jordan now! Not even an AGING, sophisticated Denzel Washington!                    
LostGirl: There is ONLY so high you could climb, darling.                    
Friend: (Scoffs) I AM happy with my wife, you know!                    
LostGirl: Well, I'm glad.                    
LostGirl: You may be happy with next to NOTHING!                    
LostGirl: Average.                    
LostGirl: Me? I want FUCKING spectacular!                    
LostGirl: Besides, you're too old for change anyway!                    
LostGirl: Stick with what works!                    
Friend: (Chuckles) My thoughts exactly.                    
Friend: Mr. Predictable, that's me!                    
LostGirl: You want to be unpredictable?    
LostGirl: Drive over to my apartment.        
LostGirl: Better yet, let's get a suite and have a proper affair.                    
LostGirl: One with room service and champagne.                    
LostGirl: Let me FUCK your brains out. It'll be good for you!                    
Friend: Sounds very, very tempting!              
Friend: (Pauses) What happens after?                    
LostGirl: You send me flowers and a thank you note.                    
Friend: I just might do that!                    
LostGirl: NO you won't!                    
LostGirl: You'll go home like you do EVERY single night, dear.                    
Friend: (Sighs) You win! I give up!                    
LostGirl: No baby, you LOST before the game EVEN started because you refuse to play!                    
Friend: Well I humbly bow down to you - a worthy adversary!                    
LostGirl: I want us to drive down the highway at 4 am.                    
Friend: Sounds like fun.                    
LostGirl: A bottle of dark, delicious rum and Four Seasons Oh, What a Night!  blaring on the radio.                    
LostGirl: We'll stop on the overpass so you can do a bump of coke between my thighs.                    
LostGirl: FUCK the children!                    
LostGirl: The curfew.                    
LostGirl: FUCK our jobs!                    
LostGirl: Our mundane day to day responsibilities.                    
LostGirl: And let's LIVE a little, baby!            
Friend: (Gasps) I've never done anything like that!                    
LostGirl: You know..                    
LostGirl: Someone else might view your life as trivial.. devoid of ANY substance..      
LostGirl:  Absolutely meaningless!                   
LostGirl: One day you'll die..                    
LostGirl: They'll assume, it must have been worth something in the end!                    
Friend: WOW! That's a pretty depressing thought!                    
LostGirl: Picture it! Remember?                    
LostGirl: You WERE a kid one day.                    
Friend: (Pauses) Yes, I suppose I was.                    
LostGirl: You had MUCH bigger aspirations in life, didn't you?                    
LostGirl: Then you settled for the monotony of an everyday routine..              
Friend: (Laughs) You can think whatever you want.                    
Friend: I didn't settle! I'm happy with the life I chose!                    
LostGirl: Close your eyes.. fast forward to the end.                    
LostGirl: It's all OVER now! NOTHING exciting EVER happened to you.                    
LostGirl: Are you capable of comprehending that fact?                    
Friend: (Scoffs) Not true!            
Friend: Happiness can be subjective.            
LostGirl: That's tragic, darling!                    
LostGirl: I hope you know how ignorant your little sphere of existence is.                    
LostGirl: You live inside a tiny bubble!        
Friend: Well, I don't feel that way at all!        
LostGirl: Of course you don't.                    
LostGirl: We're different.                    
Friend: (Chuckles) I suppose we are.                    
LostGirl: Your version of happiness is tied down to complacency.                    
LostGirl: Going through the same blaise motions over and over. I feel SORRY for you!                   
Friend: Why's that?                    
LostGirl: Your life is SO small and SO very sad!                    
LostGirl: How you get through one single day without attempting SUICIDE, I don't know!                   
Friend: One day at a time, I guess!                    
LostGirl: Don't worry about it..                    
Friend: It's cool!                    
LostGirl: I'm just being a BITCH!                    
Friend: No, you're not.                    
LostGirl: Listen..                    
LostGirl: I WISH I WERE more LIKE you!        
Friend: (Gasps) You do?                    
LostGirl: Yes, honestly.                    
LostGirl: Content playing my role.. a wife in some sick, suburban NIGHTMARE!            
LostGirl: But..  
LostGirl: I am a HIGHER being!              
Friend: Live the life that makes you happy. That's all you can do.                    
LostGirl: So you have no desires outside of your marriage?                    
Friend: What do you mean?                    
LostGirl: Are you really content with ONE vagina for the rest of your MISERABLE life?                    
Friend: (Laughs) I am.                    
LostGirl: And you wouldn't CHANGE a thing?                    
Friend: Nope.                    
LostGirl: Well, damn. There's nothing left to say then, is there?                   
Friend: (Pauses) What are you doing now?                    
LostGirl: I gotta run, honey.. I see this guy eyeing me for a while now!                    
Friend: Good luck!                    
LostGirl: I don't need luck, darling, haven't you been LISTENING to a word I've said?                    
Friend: (Chuckles) Nope. I suppose you don't.                    
LostGirl: JESUS CHRIST! There's three of them together over there!                    
LostGirl: What more can a girl ask for?        
Friend: (Sighs) Good night.        
LostGirl: Night-y, night.                    
The line goes dead. LostGirl  hangs up.                    
Her eyes meet the man's gaze once more. She raises her glass, lowers her lashes, and twirls her hair looking away.                    
Moments pass. The man slowly approaches.                    
Written by LostGirl18
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jade tiger
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The New Norm🔥

( prose poetry )
There’s a ubiquitous stain throughout the house, in every room.  A brown sepia that comes from the fires blazing over the low summits of hills from the coastline on a regular basis. The windows are perpetually shut tight but still the stench of burnoff seeps in. The ocean’s sea breeze has long become a wet-dream memory.  
Supper has long gone cold and sits abandoned in the small gas stove. It’s been an hour since she drew herself a bath only to lay her bareness across the double bed; its sheets disheveled and matted from the morning’s ulterior uprising.  
Where he’d be the first to get up, to throw on blue and yellow flannel no matter how hot it was going to get, along with faded denim, and boots. He’d throw open the curtains, knowing it would make her squint and leer at him.  
“You see?!!”, he’d growl and jeer, “This is where you wanted to live, not me!” But she’d refuse to join in the same old urban based shouting matches, knowing the useless, tiresome rant by heart.  
Back in a time in his youth when he dropped out of University and invested his inheritance to spend several years up in Alaska with the Inuit. Learning how they built their kayaks and umiak for hunting, traveling and  transporting. To even sire a child or two; he had never been clear. He was not allowed to keep them when he left the tribe to return to the states.    
She felt he was an utter fool not to have considered the possibility of this utmost denial. But it didn’t matter to her anymore, although it had made him a constantly bitter man, and older, piling on the grief.    
It became a daily commiserate as she’d lie across their bed before an evening bath, as she’d close her eyes and think ‘If only the soil would perform its reclamation on all of this.’  On them.
Suddenly on schedule: the front door, the stomping and banging into and out of the kitchen, and there he is standing at the foot of the bed, shouting.  
“It’s evening and here you are just lying there!  The winds are blowing again, flaring the fires back to the summit, and it looks like they’re gonna come straight for us tonight!!”  
She doesn’t react as in exasperation he reaches and lifts her bodily in his arms, to hoist and brusquely land her in the brimming bathtub.  
Her dry, dead utterance cracks, catching him unaware. “Haven’t you heard the news, sweetheart?” With glazed eyes, she gives a sly smirk in the faux candlelight. “It’s the new NORM.”  
Then she sinks under the water to help usher it in.  
Written by Jade-Pandora (jade tiger)
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Fire of Insight
South Africa
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Twisted Dreamer
United States
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Such a strong story for such a little bird to endure.... It was an appreciated and sad visit, but worth the listen. Thank you!

Fire of Insight
South Africa
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Joined 13th May 2018
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Art of misery 5

The stars streched for miles
The sun shinned right through the stars
The bright rays kissed the sky
And the warmth touched the Earth
Me and my twin brother we slayed dragons
We were legendary, we were heroes
Our imagination would fly us beyond the skies
We were the greatest of all time in our own rights
He was my very best friend, i could have never asked for anything better in this life
I was 17 and lost all my endeavors and dreams
Woke up one morning, ready to wear my cape to fly to the sun
I tried to wake him up, called his name and shoke him a thousand times
Mom came, looked at him and there was tears in her eyes
She took my hand and told me he has gone to the next life
From that day and on i was left all alone
The moon was dark and all the dreams we would dream were gone
To say the least, something had changed in my mother's eye
I could tell from a mile away that she wish it was me that had died
After all my twin brother was the best from the house
His future was bright it would even blind the sharpest of eyes
His many awards covered every inch of paint on the wall
I was nowhere close, truthfully speaking i was nowhere at all
One day I went to fetch my report and I had under performed
I can still recall when she held my report in her hand
The sting of her words are forever ashed in my mind
"You're a disgrace, i wish your brother was here, I wish you had never been born or you should have died in your brothers place" that’s the exact words she said
Everyday I crucify myself, I wish he was still alive and I had died
I'm forever chasing a shadow of my brother that's gone
I curse the heavens and turned away my heart from god
Why he chose him and not me?
Most probably my mom would be proud, the scars of my death would have healed
But she sees my face everyday, we looked so alike, i can never imagine her pain
It's said regrets are a tomb of the living
I have buried myself a million feet deep
This is my art of misery

Written by poetOftragedy
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Tyrant of Words
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The Accidental Meeting From Another Lifetime Part II of Part IV

Romancing A Rose    
Embassy Hotel and Suites      
Later That Evening
My dark-brown eyes mischievously looked at my reflection in the oval mirror perched on top of the antique dresser; I pivoted my person for a better posterior view.      
The silk dress enticed the eyes of my rounded apple-shaped bottom.      
“Everything looks great from this viewpoint.”      
I turned back to face the mirror and reached down for the bottle of my favorite perfume, Beautiful from off the dresser. I sprayed the fine mist to my lower ankles, up my toned thighs, and then replaced the bottle back on the dresser; I stepped back again.      
“Darn it.”      
One of my pencil thin braids slipped out the French coiffure positioned on top of my head.      
The Spa treatment and facial made my skin feel like I could defy gravity of time.      
Someone knocked on my door.      
I reassessed the peach-colored strapless mini-dress; hugging my voluptuous hips. I hope I would not appear too easy for deleting the option to wear a bra.      
The weather in St. Louis was nice, and I wanted to see if I still have it, and only if he’s worthy enough for me to share it.      
Thank goodness my stilettoes sandals added two inches to my five-foot four inch height.      
I took a deep breath and lifted my chain purse from off the dresser. I looped the strap over my bare shoulder blade and walked out the master bedroom of my suite.      
“And why am I doing this again?”      
Going out with a complete stranger was not on my agenda, and a handsome stranger to add.      
I took a deep breath, and then gradually exhaled. I leaned down and grasped the door handle; I twisted it and slowly pulled the door open.      
Ladies, if you could only see the complete package, I am looking forward unwrapping later.      
Aristotle stood there at my threshold.      
A sinewy physical of pure undulated masculinity clothed in a double-breasted dark-blue suite, blocked my forwarding sight. He removed his sunglass and placed them inside his suit jacket breast-pocket.      
Those entrancing dark-brown eyes drew me in.      
And I was about to back out on this, smart woman that I didn’t.      
“You look nice.” Aristotle stepped back and looked down at my thigh. “I was hoping to get a definite glimpse of that tattoo.” He found my eyes. “Oh, with the fairy.”      
He winked at me.      
“Thank you, and you will.”      
Did, I just say that?      
“You look handsome.”      
As if he didn’t know that already.      
“Thank you.”      
He pulled his hidden hand from behind his back.      
“A rose for a beautiful rose.”      
I accepted the long-stem red rose.      
“Coming from a handsome philosopher, thank you.”      
Aristotle looked down at his Movado watch and then back up at me.      
“Are you ready?”      
“For you, yes.”      
“You are bringing it beautiful lady.”      
“Half of it now.”      
“I guess, I will bring the other half later.”      
I could not contain my blush even if I wanted too.      
I pulled the door to my hotel suite close.      
Aristotle grabbed ahold of my hand as we walked down the quite carpeted corridor to the elevators.      
I noticed the elevator we stepped on earlier was now out of commission.      
A yellowish piece of caution tape guarded the entrance.      
“It looks like our time capsule is giving us more time than one should be allowed. And in this lifetime, I would certainly use it wisely. He looked over at me. “With much pleasure.”      
Do your thing handsome.      
Aristotle dropped my hand from his and leaned forward. He pressed the elevator down button. He pivoted to face me.      
“How was your day, beautiful?”      
He coiled a spiral braided tendril around his forefinger; his eyes never wavered from mine.      
I licked my lips.      
The movement of his eyes darted down to my mouth.      
“Nice, and yours?”      
“Informative. You know the planets when aligned plays an importance in our life.”      
Aristotle scooted closer. I held my breath, waiting for the unknown.      
“Is this natural?”      
Wow, what man asks a woman that?      
He allowed the braid to spring back into place. He traced over my eyebrows.      
“You are an enigma to behold.”      
“I guess the color of my dress contributed to that observation, huh?”      
“No, it’s your mystic aura.”      
Aristotle traced down my nose, his finger, outlined my lubricious lips.      
Darn I am no good in this department, my life is my patients first, writing second, and then running marathons throughout the year.      
He gradually declined his face. I slightly arched on the balls of my feet.      
The elevator doors slid open.      
Dammit I thought.      
“We will continue this much later, without the interruptions of course.”      
Aristotle palmed the lower bend in my back and propelled me on the elevator. Somehow his hand slipped down, cupping one of my buttocks.      
Did he just squeeze my derriere?      
We both stepped on.      
Aristotle lifted his hand from off the face of my buttock and pressed the L button.      
I turned to face forward, securing my purse strap over my shoulder blade.      
The elevator doors slid close and slowly descended.      
I felt Aristotle evaluating my profile from the side. My D-size breasts heaved in nervousness.      
He placed his hand over the center of my chest.      
I looked down at his palm, and then pivoted my head, capturing his eyes.      
He read the question in my eyes.      
“No need to be nervous. Rather, you want to believe it, we have been at this crossroads in time.”      
Please tell me I have not agreed to retain a sociopath’s company. I refuse to feel cheated with this expensive thong, I purchased from Hustlers.      
Aristotle at a snail’s pace removed his palm from off my chest.      
Hopefully, he did not measure the increased size of my nipples.      
“I am not nervous.”      
For goodness sake I pen several novels with much intimacy than this scenario.      
“Very well then. However, in a past lifetime, I did avow I must keep my rose vibrant and blossoming.”      
I peered closer, no dreads, there goes another one of those comparison. I need to rush this evening along, to get back to Philadelphia.      
The elevator doors slid open.      
Aristotle grabbed onto my hand. I lifted the rose and inhaled the delicate petals. He looked over at me      
“The petals do not even compare to your skin.”      
Aristotle squeezed my hand as we stepped off the elevator.      
Bristol Seafood And Grill      
Aristotle escorted me through the doors of Bristol Seafood Grill.      
“Yes, you being a vegetarian, I thought I would surprise you.”      
I do not recall me advising this man I am a vegetarian.      
“Could I ask you a question?”      
“You can.”      
“How did you know I am a vegetarian?”      
He palmed his mouth down.      
“Yes, like I know, your dress size is a size five, your perfect breasts, a 38D-cup, you tend to bite down on your bottom lip when you are undecided, and your sexual appetite is catered only to my needs.”      
“Excuse me.”      
Was I more chagrined he knew those facts about me, or he voiced them without hesitation?  
“Does the study of astronomy grant you some form of clairvoyance?”      
“No, you granted me sovereignty over a Rose, many lunar moons ago.”      
“Listen, I have pepper spray in my purse.”      
“No need to fear me, Gabriella. As I stated, this time was granted by the starts, and by a Haitian Creole Loa.”      
“A what?”      
Aristotle lifted my hand and kissed my inner palm.      
“I will explain everything to you when the time is upon us. As we speak, I think, I will like to sit down and look into eyes, I’ve envisioned glimpsing into from many light-years away.”      
“Welcome to Bristol Seafood Grill.”      
“Thanks man.”      
“You and your lovely companion, may follow me.”      
Aristotle retained my hand in his firm hand.      
We both followed the waiter to an intimate table for two.      
Aristotle pulled my chair back.      
“Thank you.”      
I claimed my cushioned seat.      
His fingers indiscreetly glazed over my bare back.      
God, his touch felt familiar, as narrative words of another came into mind.      
‘The rose is breathing through the ambience of the wind. The two petals dancing to the melodies of the lake’s waves. I still feel its life even though it’s been pulled from the ground. Maybe I give it life with my thoughts, feeling the presence of the Rose within the ground itself.’      
“Gabriella, the waiter is speaking to you.”      
“I’m sorry.”      
“Would you like something to drink, ma’am?”      
“You may bring her a non-alcoholic Cosmopolitan.”      
“And you sir?”      
“A glass of Hennessey on the Rocks.”      
The waiter bowed, turned, and walked away from the table.      
I placed my purse and the rose in the empty chair later to me; I glanced around the intimate restaurant.      
What a shame I had to utilize several sky-miles, to meet the most handsome man in my lifetime.      
Aristotle lifted his sunglasses from out the breast pocket of his suit jacket, and then settled them near his plate.      
“Don’t forget, you owe me a poetry reading.”      
“You were serious?”      
His dark-brown eyes homed in on mine.      
“Of course.” Aristotle looked around the restaurant. “Not unless you will like to recite a piece now to arouse me, and nothing from one of your novels.”      
“Here?” I also surveyed the restaurant. My eyes fell back on his presence. “And how did you know I write?”      
He wolfishly smiled at my surprise.      
I glanced around at the other seated patrons.      
Am I being punked from one of those television shows, or, on some form of candid camera?      
I faced Aristotle once again.      
“I never told you I write romance novels.” I lifted my dinner napkin from off my lap and slammed it down on the table. “Are you some kind of con man, and I demand to know how you know so much about me, and I have never met you in this lifetime.”      
“Not in this lifetime, a past lifetime.”      
“Please discontinue talking in riddles, you are starting to frighten me.”      
He slid his hand across the table and palmed mine.      
“Close your eyes,” his deep baritone voice festered in me a need to remain rooted, yet, the intoxicating voice under his request, gave me an excuse to close my eyes.      
Aristotle stroked my hand.      
“What do you see?”      
“What do you feel?”      
“Your palm over mine, relaxed.”      
Aristotle removed his palm from off my hand      
“Now open your eyes.”      
I obliged and looked around the restaurant.      
“What do you see now?”      
“A handsome man sitting across from me.”      
“Yes, when your eyes were closed, you could not see me.”      
“Well no.”      
“Look me in my eyes. Search your heart, and you will find me.”      
Looking like you do; how could I have lost you I thought?      
“Aristotle, do you study the stars.”      
“Do you believe in reincarnation, destiny, fate, or karma?”      
“Reincarnation is quite possible thanks to consciousness’ energy on a quantum, subatomic level it is contained in our bodies, and not a part of them. Why do you ask?”      
“This moment in time, appears to me as if I have walked this path before.”      
“And you have, we both have.”      
The waiter interrupted our conversation.      
He placed my glass of Cosmopolitan in front of me, and lifted Aristotle’s drink from off the serving tray and placed it down in front of him.      
“Would you and your companion like to order now, sir.”      
Aristotle looked across the table.      
“The Cod Fillet for the beautiful woman, and you could bring me the Maine Lobster.”      
The waiter lifted both menus from off the table, tucked them under his arm, and bowed his head, He turned, and then walked away from the table.      
I fine-tuned my ears to the smooth sounds showering out the embedded ceiling speakers.      
The sultry lyrics floated throughout the restaurant.      
Aristotle scooted his chair back and stood. He walked around the table and held his hand down to me.      
I looked up, dumfounded.      
“Would you like to dance?”      
I scooted my chair back, clasped my hand in his hand, and stood.      
“Wait, there’s not a dance floor.”      
“Standing among the stars is our dance floor.”      
Aristotle circled my waist, and slowly pulled me within his embrace.      
My palms crept up his massive chest wall and linked themselves around his neck. My body, natural settled against his six-foot two physique. I had to angle my head back to look up into his eyes.      
The man’s opulent lips were sinful.      
The next song simultaneously played. I almost cried, words could not compare how I felt at that particular moment.      
The lyrics of Sam Cook’s, Darling You Send Me, encompassed the mood, and heightened the awareness of the handsome man who held me like a storyline could never describe.      
Aristotle looked down into my face, as I lifted mine. He leaned down and whispered in me ear, “Do I really send you?”      
I inched back, the question, caught me off guard. He pulled my body back against his manly stature.      
I played along with the question, since he put it out there.      
“Honest you do.”      
Aristotle dipped his face. His lips tenderly brushed mine. His hold around my waist, tightened.      
My lips surrendering, drowning into a pool of bottomless ecstasy; this man, expertly webbing my emotions, as my tongue sought refuge inside the warm comforts of his mouth.      
“Umm,” two voices blended as one.      
Aristotle inched his face back. He kissed my nose, over my eyes, arresting my lips once again      
This is definitely a body to hibernate under the covers.      
Aristotle’s palms meandered up and down my back.      
If this is some kind of mentally time warp, I am in, please do not let my mind crash back down to earth.      
“Mmm,” I moaned out.      
He slowly lifted his lips from off mine.      
“Save some of that anticipation much later,” he whispered against my temple.      
I did not hear anything beyond his deep voice, and the blanketing of his palms still caressing my skin, disturbed my libido.      
“Gabriella,” a hot and minty breath, beckoned in my ear.      
I opened my eyes.      
I noticed the music had stopped.      
“I’m sorry.”      
Aristotle inched my body closer.      
Mmm, what a God given talent I prayed lurked beyond that zipper.      
Aristotle inched his face back and looked down into my eyes.      
“Don’t be. You can’t cage a Dove; not in this lifetime, or the next.”      
He kissed my temple.      
We lessened the closeness of our bodies and reclaimed our seats.      
“Where are you from, Aristotle?”      
“I have roots in Louisiana.”      
“Are you from Louisiana?”      
“Yes, however, once I enrolled in college, I moved out west. Do you still live in Philadelphia?”      
“Yes. However, I still have several Haitian relatives in the bayou area.”      
“I remember that.”      
“Could you please not do that?”      
“And that is?”      
“Speak to me as if you already know things about me.”      
“You ask me a question, as believing in, fate, destiny, karma, and reincarnation. You will have to stand on your own judgment when the time arrives.”      
Dammit, what time? I wanted to scream. I must admit the man was handsome, but he is making me appear foolish as the minute grows.      
“And I suppose, you cook, have the phrase, forgive, written across your chest wall, write such narratives that could.”      
“Send you.”      
Between your poignant written words and my vibrator in the right place, I swear I would never tell.      
“Here is your order, ma’am.”      
The waiter removed a covered dish from off the silver serving tray and placed it in front of me.      
“Thank you.”      
And for the sudden interruption, I thought.      
“And you sir.”      
He lifted Aristotle’s covered dish and placed it in front of his presence.      
“Would that be all sir?”      
“Yes. I think I could handle the rest.”      
The waiter looked down at me.      
“And you ma’am.”      
“I’m fine.” My eyes dashed across the table “For now.”      
“Yes, you are,” Aristotle chimed in.      
I blushed behind his assertion.      
“Enjoy your meal.”      
Aristotle looked across the table at me      
“Much later for me.” He looked up at the waiter. “Thanks man.”      
The waiter turned and walked away from our table.      
Written by SweetKittyCat5
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Dangerous Mind
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Joined 11th July 2012
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The Window in the Third Floor

       He feels a chill down his spine as he walks through the door. The music is loud, the air is warm and everyone seems in a trance as they dance into the night.  
      He has keen sense of smell and yet amidst the alcohol, the mix of colognes and perfumes that fill the air there is something different about this club. Almost everyone seems Goth, but that’s ok with him, last month he had visited a place that was country and the month before that an all 80s retro club. But he still can’t put his finger on about this place. Everyone was beautiful, dancing as the bass from the speakers thumps in his ears.    
      He walks by the dance floor filled with partygoers. The booths with are filled with others who are swaying to the beat watching people. A brunette who catches his eye. She is sitting with three other women who were just as pretty and two men who are pale and blonde dressed in black suits, black shirts, one with a red and the other with a purple tie.    
         The brunette has distinguishable blue eyes wearing dark crimson red lipstick. He walks up to the bar and orders a beer. The bartender, another young looking tall man looks him as if ordering a beer seems strange in this club. The place is so loud he doesn’t hear the bartender how much for the beer, he puts a twenty and mouths “keep the change”.    
         A man in his forties wearing suit that looks a little too big for him walks up and order two fancy drinks. He looks at him, recognizing the familiar scent of the cologne and the alcohol in his breath. They look at each other, they acknowledge each other and the man walks toward a tall redhead in a tight slinky black dress and six inch heels with red bottoms. She looked at least fifteen years younger than him and then he lost sight of them in the crowd. Two brunettes walk past him, one eyeing him.  
      The lights in the place are almost dizzying but the music seems to move even the most still of hearts. He suddenly notices his foot tapping to the beat. Two men, who look like they spend eight hours at the gym every day, walk by wearing almost see through black shirts and leather pants. I’m definitely out of my league here, he thinks as three young women in black mini dresses walk by looking at their muscles.  
      “Wanna dance?” he hears someone say a few feet away in the beat between songs. He turns and sees a young man asking a petite girl in white mini dress and red high heels, to give her some height, as she and her friends are already dancing in a semi-circle. She says something to the guy but he leans closer to hear. As she talks to him, she sees him standing at the bar. She is young, pretty with brown eyes and a delicate face. She’s a lovely vision, he thinks to himself.    
      She looks at him a couple of times and smiles. He looks over at the booths and sees the brunette eyeing him as well. Then he notices they too get up from the booths to dance as well.    
      “I’ve never seen you in here before” a tall man in a blue suit and white shirt says as he took a sip of beer.    
      “They hardly let me out” he says taking a drinking his beer, the same kind as the man in the suit.    
      “Who’s they?” the man asks curiously.  
      “Work” he says with smile.    
      “I’m Todd” the man said shaking his head.  
      “Marc…” he stopped abruptly looking at the brunette with blue eyes passing by. “Marc.”  
      “This place is lit” he hears guy say to his friends as they walks past them.    
        “It is” Todd says “and the women are just so…” as more women join the dance floor.    
      Young, Marc wants to say but keeps it to himself.  
      “Young” Todd finishes.    
      Marc shakes his head. He makes eye contact again with the girl in the white dress who has her hands up on the air, writhing seductively, as one of her friends “backs it up” to her, getting the attention of others.    
      “So what do you do?” Todd asks him. Marc now asking himself if this guy was trying to hit on him pauses for a second and takes a sip. “Don’t worry, I’m not hitting on you, I’m just waiting for my friends.”  
      Marc finishes his sip. “Distribution” he said. “I distribute beverages.”  
      Todd nods.    
      “I’m the guy that delivers to stores, business, schools, etc.” Marc adds to the lie.  
      “Which…” Todd was about to ask when Marc cut him off, “You see that PTY over there”. Todd turns to look. “Oh she’s a cutie” Todd says when the turns back to Marc.    
“I don’t think she’s no more than twenty-five” Marc adds.  
      “You’re look young yourself” Todd says when Marc responds.    
         “I’m almost thirty-seven, that’s like two-hundred fifty-nine in dog years. You think a twenty-five year old would hook up with some as ancient as me?” Marc says smiling.  
      “Why don’t you…” Todd begins and Marc interrupts again. “You see that brunette too” Marc begins. “There is no way a guy like me can hook up with either one.”  
      “I can introduce you to Belinda” Todd says.    
      “The one with the blue eyes?”  
      “Yep, that’s Belinda”.  
      “I don’t think I’m ready yet, I need more liquid courage” he says turning to bartender and ordering another beer.  
      “My friends are here” Todd says. Give me a few minutes and we’ll meet you upstairs in the private lounge. Marc nods.  
      Just then the girl in the white dress walks up to the bar and orders a drink. They smile at each other. Marc has a slight stubble. He is a little insecure of the couple of gray hairs in his chin and a few his temples, but amid his dark hair, dark eyes and athletic build, women have always found him attractive in for his rugged looks.  
      “How come you’re not dancing?” the girl in the white dress asks.    
      “I’m not too good” he says in his low voice husky. “Besides I saw you turn down a couple of guys”. He could smell her perfume, something he smelled a few months ago in a department store at  a mall. She is petite but has a curvy figure. She had soft brown eyes, like honey, red full lips and dark brown hair curled at the ends. She has tattoo of flowers, elephants and butterflies from her shoulder to her elbow.  
        “Nice ink” he says.    
        “Thank you” she responds.    
        “Is the elephant for good luck?”    
        “Yes!” she replies with enthusiasm.  
        He pulls up the sleeve of his dark navy shirt, his strong forearm has an elephant tattoo that almost matches hers.    
        “Oh my God!” she says in a high pitched voice. Marc can smell the alcohol in her breath and it’s a turn on. She calls over to her friends. Soon he is talking to all of them.    
        “I’m Evelyn by the way and this Tina, Kate and Dana”. Marc is entranced by Evelyn’s voice. He introduces himself, shaking their hands. He can smell each of their fragrances. The five grab booth and as Marc walks behind looking back he quickly glances at Belinda on the dance floor.  
        They all talk for nearly half an hour and as Evelyn finishes up her drink she says, “Marc let’s go dance”. Feeling the pressure he smiles and agrees.    
        They spend the next two songs on the dance floor, at times her body grinding up against his. His hand sometimes caressing her waist. “You’re pretty good” she says but in the midst of the music but he pretends he doesn’t hear and leans closer.    
        “You’re pretty good” she says again right in his ear. For a second there he felt her lips in his cheek. At that moment she instantly got closer to him, their bodies touching. He looked over at Belinda who was now dancing with one of her girlfriends almost in the same manner. Her crimson lips seem to almost kiss her gorgeous friend. Marc and Evelyn keep dancing.  
        “You know her” Evelyn asks as she has her back pressed up against his.  
        “No, not really. I met her guy friend earlier.”    
        “The guy you were talking to? I think he’s the owner” Evelyn adds.  
        “He said I could check out the private lounges upstairs” Marc replies.  
        “Let’s go see” she says. She takes Marc by the hand and they go up the stairs behind the stage.  
        The upstairs is a little quieter and darker. There are booths that run along a long hallway, the ceilings are high with white pillars amid red velvet curtains from floor to ceiling muffling any sound.  
        “This used to be an old theater they renovated a couple of years ago” Evelyn says. “See the new crown molding and decorations on the ceiling” she says as they walk down a long hallway.    
        “You know a lot about art deco?” Marc asks.    
        “I’m majoring in architecture” she responds.    
        “Majoring, as in you’re still in…” he says when she cuts in.  
        “I just went back to school” she says holding his hand. They came to a second set of stairs at the end of the hallway. “They lead up to offices” she says. “I heard they have these beautiful large windows, let’s go check them out”.    
        “What about your friends? Wont’ they be worried about you?”  
        “I’m a big girl, I can take care of myself”  
        “Big girl? If you take those heels off, what are you? 4’10” 4’11”?”  
        “Shut up” she says laughing. “I’m 5’2” and a half…see” she says removing them. She looks up at him. He leans over and kisses her in a dark corner by the stairs that lead up to the third floor.    
        Her lips are soft and moist. He can smell her hair and her skin. He can feel the goose-pimples on her shoulders, her breathing is getting heavier almost breathless as he puts his hands around her waist bringing her closer. She puts her arms around his neck the lips locking and their tongues dancing making them tingle.    
        “You’re so” he starts to say but stops.    
        “I’m so what?” she asks as her mouth reaches for another kiss.  
        “The music…it stopped” he says looking down the darkened hallway.  
        Suddenly in the distance blood curling screams begin to fill downstairs. Then he notices that some of the patrons in the booths begin to attack others, charging at them with fury, biting their necks, slashing at their throats. Evelyn is about to scream when Marc covers her mouth. “Quiet, they’ll hear us”.    
        The screams begin to get louder as people are running. “We might be under attack” he whispers softly “but I don’t hear shots” he says when a few people run into the second floor then are attacked by those in darkened booths.    
        “What the fuck” Evelyn says now crying.    
        “Go upstairs and find a place to hide” he tells her, when amidst of those few running one of them is her friend Tina along with others who are being tackled to the floor.  
        Tina makes it past a few of them before she is tackled by a large blonde man. Marc grabs a metal pole nearby and as the blonde man sees him approaching he lunges at Marc. Marc with a perfect major league swing hits him square in the jaw. Tina gets up screaming at the top of her lungs and runs toward Evelyn.    
        “They’re fucking vampires!” Tina yells hysterically.    
        “What?” Evelyn now in tears seeing her friend is covered in blood.  
        “They’re vampires” Tina repeats.    
        As she screams, the man gets up again and lunges toward Marc but Marc’s reflexes are fast and swings again breaking the man’s jaw. The others in the back take notice and begin to move toward the three.  
        “Upstairs now!” Marc yells. Tina and Evelyn leave their shoes and quickly going up the stairs. Marc follows behind still clinging to the metal pole.  
        On the third floor, the offices that have not been finished yet. As they run through different rooms, some of the windows are barred. Suddenly Marc sees light from a big window peering through a barred window that leads to a fire escape. Then he smells a few of them coming, he can hear six different footsteps.    
        He grabs a large table and blocks the door. He flips an old leather sofa in the corner by the window and whispers at the girls to hide and not make a sound.    
        “But” Evelyn begins to say, her voice shaking.    
        “Be quiet” he says looking at her terrified face, her friend crying hysterically as they try to calm down.    
        In less than a second two men break down the door and with superhuman strength. They throw the table across the room breaking it in pieces nearly hitting Marc. Four of them walk in followed by Todd and Belinda. Belinda is smiling, with blood on her mouth and chin, her blue eyes now even more pale. Todd has blood in his shirt and on his suit.    
        “I told you I was going to introduce you” Todd says. As he smiles Marc sees his fangs. The others stand a couple of feet apart covering the exits. Marc picks up a large piece of wood from the broken table.  
        “What are you going to do, stab us through the heart?” Todd says. The others laugh. Marc throw it on the floor and picks up a large piece table top, it weighs one hundred pounds.    
        “Ooh look everyone, he’s a strong man” Todd says. Evelyn and Tina see Marc’s rippling muscles beginning to break through his shirt. A light is coming through the cracks of the window but Evelyn sees the street lights are off. One of the vampires sees Evelyn’s head in the shadows and gestures to Todd.  
        “Awe, were you trying to protect her, that little… what did you call her? PYT?” Marc doesn’t say anything but begins to breathe heavier. His muscles now bulging.  
        “He’s not scared” Belinda says.    
        “He will be” Todd adds. “He was interested in you, but then he ended up talking to her even though she’s too young for him” Todd turns to him.  
        “I’m still too old for her” Marc says.  
        “Two hundred years?” Todd replies  
        “In dog years” Marc says beginning to chuckle.  
        “What’s so funny?” one of the other vampires asks.    
        “I came here to rumble” Marc adds with a lower husky voice.    
        “You came here to…” Todd says when Marc interrupts him.    
        “Shut the fuck up and get ready” Marc tells him.    
        “Ready for what?” Todd says opening his arms.    
        “For this” Marc says throwing the large table top through the wood, breaking the window letting the light of the moon in.  
        “You’re making a mess and you’re going to pay for…” Todd says but suddenly stops.  
        Evelyn and Tina look in horror at Marc as he begins his transformation.  
        “It’s a good thing there is full moon tonight” he says when all his human form disappears.
Written by wallyroo92
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