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Ghosts of Hurricane Season

This is a mood piece. I hope it creeps you out. 

This is a true story. 

 

I.  Wednesday

In the pink house on the beach

in the front room lit up with moon

Rachel is sleeping.

When a car goes past on the nearby road

the sounds breaks through the room

like a ghostwind snuffing out a candle,

the headlights sweep shadows across the wall.

 

Tomorrow the man next door will board up

the windows with plywood, precautions

against the moon and the imminent storm.

“You gals gonna ride this one out?”

My mother will make small talk and lemonade

in the final wet burst of summer heat.

Rachel’s mother will read self-help books in the shade

and check the weather channel on the hour, every hour.

It is hurricane season.

 

Somewhere in the Atlantic warm air is rising,

warm and moist, swirling, drawn in the touch

of the other half of itself.

 

In the pink house half an ocean away

Rachel frowns in her sleep.

She rises from the trundle bed and shuffles

down the hall, opening and closing doors.

The front door, unbolted, lures her out

moth to flame.

Rachel, nightgowned specter, hair stuck

to her neck with sleep-sweat, blue eyes blank,

wide, lost in dreams.

 

The crossroads beyond the driveway: the dream

destination. Rachel stands in the middle

awash in the gust of hurricane season, the salt

crusted moon.

 

Two hundred miles out a system of wind spins

and grows — an eye forms at the center.

I am a pair of eyes at the window

when Rachel’s mother leads her back into the pink house

and this time bolts the door.

I am feigning sleep while Rachel is lost in it,

shaking at the bolted door, trying to get out,

to stand in the wind.

 

II.  Thursday

 

Rachel favors the kind of ghost stories

peculiar to coast towns: drowned

sailors moaning in the fog, lighthouse keepers’

beautiful daughters plunging the rocks,

echoed sobs from an empty widow’s walk

under the full moon.

“Do you want to hear a true ghost story?”

Rachel’s eyes are blue and smirking. I don’t.

I cannot say no.

 

There was a lady who lived alone in a stone

house by the sea. She never slept. Her eyes

never closed to blink. When night spreads

across the horizon she wanders the beaches

without remembering why. When morning

comes there is blood on her pillow

and under her fingernails. This happens every night.

 

I want to ask. Is that all of the story?

I want to ask, I need to know the painful and terrifying

end brimming in Rachel’s blue eyes.

I want to ask but my tongue is crusted with salt

and I am so thirsty.

 

The air is electric, alive. The waves crest

and swell with the riptide. The storm

will meet land before morning.

 

A story for a storm;

Rachel gives me secrets and nightmares,

tells me terrors and ghost stories,

all of the them true, until every creak

of the house is the footstep of a knife-wielder,

every whimper of wind the cry

of some disembodied soul.

 

And when the pale figure rises soundless

from the trundle bed, moon-drenched,

my eyes clench like oysters —

there the shuffle of haunted footsteps, here the slow

creak of an opened door — and then, when I dare

the sight through the window

of a ghost in the crossroads, soaked in moonlight,

in the calm that comes before.

 

Ride this one out. I touch a finger to my lips

and they are salty and sore. I touch a finger

to Rachel’s shoulder in the gray of the storm-ridden

morning and when she turns toward me

blood is crusted around her mouth and stained

in gory trails down her throat.

 

The wind shrieks outside. Waves surge at the shoreline.

 

Blood streaked iron across the pillow.

Rachel kneels at the boarded-up window,

her lips mouthing words, a mantra, a plea.

The wind picks up; the rain beats down.

Pretend. Pretend this doesn’t happen every night.

 

Comments and constructive criticism always welcome. 

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A Fiction

This is a piece I wrote as an undergrad, and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s modeled after Louise Glück. 

 

I.

I followed you, fevered and stumbling.

My hands clutched and clutched

after you, catching air.

Intolerable to think that now

 

you will elude me forever, for all

the miles I may cross. 

There is a rhyme I recall about the miles

to Babylon, about getting there

by candlelight, yes — and back again.

 

II.

In my fantasy you are moving

as mist through a field,

brass buttons on your coat, a dark

body against the light. The intolerable

 

light! Maybe it is not the light —

it is the candle drip of hot

wax on my wrist,  it is the pity

of a single candle on a dark road.

 

Maybe it has all turned macabre –

the trees in the king’s gardens

dangle blue-faced men and half-rotted

 

rope. Maybe it is all a fiction, the world

didn’t end. It is early spring,

a Sunday, and you are alone

 

in some empty veldt, and there:

shapes wavering and forlorn against

the trees at the edge of the clearing,

 

flickers of light against the dark.

You cross to them silent,

determined.  Maybe I did not follow,

 

but turn my face from this place —

avoiding sharp stones,

the bones and brass buttons in the field.

 

Comments and constructive criticism always welcome. 

One Morning You

 

I’m feeling quiet and I’m feeling damned.

When you woke the light was on you and the shadows

were still.

Now I’m the one that’s asleep and I’m stuttering

through dreams. What are words?

 

In tea my dreams all fell, violent me

the sugar-stirring nitwit.

From birth by silver spoon a life spent tumbling

all jumbled together and the first

sear of heat

these molecular crystalline deaths, I digress.

 

You woke in the light you cursed

the muttering darkness and the stuttering

in my sleep.

 

“Morning you.”

Understatement. Picture me

balking or blanching, whatever it is we do

these days.

 

Picture me in Ophelia’s dress

and steep rue in my tea. Lord knows

I like it bitter.

 

Comments and constructive criticism always welcome. 

Court of the Moirae

In the future this will be a short story rather than a poem. 

 

The only witness to the crime

was a woman with one eye

and that eye did not close to blink.

Vestigial from childhood, the unblinking eye

held in the sting of its salt – it reached in

and around and devoured the other,

its heavy-lidded twin.

It was an act of mercy.

 

“It was an act of self-preservation,”

the woman testified. “I saw it all.

I must always see it all.”

 

Weave, weave. One frayed and dangling end

through the chasm of another.

 

On the podium, the woman’s hands slid together like sharpened shears.

 

Comments and constructive criticism always welcome. 

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Daily Prompt: Key Takeaway

Daily Prompt: Key Takeaway

I’m a new blogger, at least on a personal level. There’s so much I want to say and write about. For you experienced bloggers out there, how do you pick and choose topics for your content? How do you filter yourself?

A Brief Book Review: Wuthering Nights

Wuthering Nights: An Erotic Retelling of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and I.J. Miller.

I received a copy of this book after winning it on Goodreads.

Confession: it took me 3 years to read Wuthering Heights. I just couldn’t get into it, and when I finally finished, I still couldn’t get into it. The first thing I’ll say about Wuthering Nights is that it piqued my curiosity in re-reading the original. I was more intrigued by the nature of the relationships that define each character and the ways in which the past continually informs the present.

Wuthering Nights doesn’t stray too far from the original in terms of the story; you’ll still find plenty of moping about the moors, not to worry. What I liked best about this retelling was how well the relationship dynamics translated into erotic, D/s terms. It’s not immediate either; you witness the chain of events that logically lead to each character realizing themselves sexually. Heathcliff’s dominant nature is brought out when he realizes how sex and power are intertwined, and how he can use that to exact his revenge on Catherine and the Linton/Earnshaw clans.

One major complaint I had about the book is that the language gets mixed-up sometimes. The majority of the book shys away from the complex and often hard-to-read language of Emily Bronte, but sometimes it seems like the author tries to incorporate that language, and it really brought me out of the story. It just felt out of place.

Overall, Wuthering Nights is some of the better D/s-centered erotica I’ve read. Examining the hidden D/s dynamics of classic literary characters might become a new hobby of mine…

Has anyone else given this book a go? What did you think?

 

In which I write my first blog post

Hello, world. Since I committed myself to finally starting a blog a few months ago, I’ve found myself in the the middle of an internal struggle. What to name it? What to write about? How do I avoid triteness and pretension? (Eh, probably by not using “triteness” and “pretension” in the same sentence). Will anyone care? Do I dare disturb the universe?
But as my BFF J. Alfred constantly reminds me, There will be time, there will be time. 

This is the time in which I write my first blog post and in which I tell you about me. I am a twenty-something living in the disparate and enticing remains of the American South. I have an entry-level marketing job and I don’t hate it. I want to be A Writer and my deepest ambition is to write The Great American Novel even though I write mostly poetry and very concise copy. I am in fairy princess utopia, having found True Love long before I expected to and discover myself in the throes of feminist conundrum almost daily. And now my first-ever writing teacher is rolling in his ergonomic leather chair over my persistent use of “I” in this blog post. Sorry, Mr. M!

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