Category Archives: loss

The Unused Drabble!

Hi Folks! A rarity for me, but I’m gonna offer you background noise on this post.

For the December 2015 Sirens Call eZine, themed ‘Lost Souls’, Julianne Snow and I did a comparative photo-prompt flash. I wrote two candidates for the eZine, and this one ended up an orphan.

After you check out this little ramble, grab a copy of the eZine to read the two interpretive pieces we included. 




It’s dark at night, dark and lonely. Occasionally, I see others; catch a glimpse of their shimmer in the headlights that round the bend. I remember driving around the bend, reaching down to grab the map that slipped from my hand, the sound of the impact, the glass shattering as I was hurled through the windshield. At first, they were kind to me, helped me to understand, but then they seemed to drift away – lost to their own thoughts, their own inner worlds. I suppose that’s what we’re meant to do, lose ourselves.

I wonder if others see my glimmer…


The image is not mine, I claim no copyright to it, but the words are – small disclaimer free of charge! ;]
© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela.





With each tear that fell from her cheek, another drop of laudanum fell from the pipette. Chewing her lower lip, she wondered if the choice she’d made was a just one. Closing her eyes, she drew forth a fond memory of her once vital son laughing as he played – a sound she’s not heard in some time. Her knees buckled as her resolve strengthened. A few more drops and his pain would be ended. Climbing the stairs, the glass of apple juice trembling in her hand, she choked back her own wail of agony.

© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela.

I Know

I sit here alone, thoroughly abandoned, and deserving so. Awash in paralytic dread, I mourn what I have not yet lost, but know will soon be stolen from me. I yearn to believe hope is not dying, I long to hold it near, to cherish it dearly. I ache to know some degree of stability; struggle to somehow make it last, even for just a moment longer. But assigned the jester’s roll, I am yet again the patch, never the permanent fixture. Brilliant shimmering trinkets surround me, I see their shine, their gleam, yet I shield my eyes from the pain I know awaits if I gaze upon them. To feel what I have felt, to know what I have known, to watch it dissolve from a distance is a torture I cannot express. I batter my fists impudently against this unrelenting barrier, but again, I act the fool. I can only hide for so long. Reality slams against my senses, intrudes upon my torment, dares me call this solace. This damning truth insists that I allow the glimmer to dim, to see with wide eyes what would be shown to me, that which will be stolen from me. Yet still, for all the anguish, the tears, the pain that will not allow me to draw even a single quelling breath, I see beauty. I see only you.

© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela.

Red and Blue – Coffin Hop 2014 | #horror #COFFINHOP @coffinhop @Sotet_Angyal

Red and Blue

I curl up next to the fireplace, rest my head against the surround. A goblet of heavy merlot in my hand; heavy for its body or heavy for my longing, I cannot say. As I stare into the crackling blaze, my mind wanders. So many memories from years gone by, so much love shared here, in this very room. My soul shrieks with grief as I collapse into a ball, sobbing.

The fire now a blur through wet eyes, my head lolls and I glance toward the tree with its twinkling lights, glittering balls and brightly wrapped packages tucked neatly below it. You always were such a perfectionist. My eyes flutter shut as the day you dressed the tree forces itself upon my mind. You were so happy, so blissful to pick the largest one available. I recall joking that one of us would have to move out so the tree could move in. You kissed me with icy cold lips and a bright red nose. Little did I know how soon I would long to feel that frigid touch once more. Your enthusiasm knowing no bounds, you spent the next week arranging everything just so; making sure that the colorful glass baubles were placed with precision, everything to an exacting measure. I recall jokingly moving a strand of tinsel when you were not watching, only to reenter the room moments later to find it placed back in its original position. The gifts. Oh, how you tortured me over the gifts long before the season began. A sad smile steals across my lips as I think of the hours you spent fretting over the perfect surprise for each of our friends. As I sip from my glass, a slight chuckle escapes me only to end in a sob as I recall your distress over wrapping each gift in the proper color foil. God, how you loved this day.

I think back upon the last evening I saw you. I was standing at the island between this room and the kitchen preparing dinner; you remembered one final detail that you couldn’t do without. I kissed you as you bounded past me, told you not to be long and that I loved you. You grabbed your coat from the hook and turned to me, purse in hand, golden locks bouncing and smiled before replying as you always did – not nearly the way I love you. I smiled back; you left. Two hours later, a knock sounded on the door. I wasn’t worried, you often became infatuated with something or other and lost track of the time. As I moved to open the front door, I noticed the bare flicker of red and blue light drifting in through the balcony doors. Seeing the officers standing upon the threshold, I walked to the glass, placed my palms and forehead to it, and knew in that moment… you were gone. When I came to after passing out, the officers helped me to the couch and explained that there was an accident at the corner – our corner, and a young woman had been hit by a car that ran the red light. You were that young woman.

My eyes crack open seeking a red light on the tree, your tree – our tree. But instead, my sight finds the red fairy lights you used to decorate the balcony. Barely able to stand, I stumble to the sliding doors. As I fumble to open them through my tears, the merlot in my glass pours onto the white carpet. My addled mind tells me how angry you’ll be if I don’t clean the deep burgundy spill right away. Finally managing the lock, I step through onto the bitterly cold veranda. Standing at the rail, I exist in a halo of red light, my long chestnut mane whipping in the wind. Another balcony, one belonging to our neighbor, is adorned in blue twinkling lights. I wonder why I’d not noticed it before now. The blue and red lights blur together as my inebriated mind struggles to adjust. Five stories below, more lights twinkle, cars rush past; the ground wears a fresh blanket of snow. I’m so tired, and the blanket seems so inviting. Please, don’t go without me – words I should have spoken that night. Letting myself lean forward, a blur of red and blue swirls all around me. I grasp the railing, sink to my knees and crawl back inside. Too much a coward to follow you; too devoted to allow your memory to die.

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2014 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}

Don’t forget to visit my other two blogs that are participating:
Spreading the Writer’s Word
The Road to Nowhere…

and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song

Plus all the other amazing hoppers!
Coffin Hop

‘Sting’ #AtoZChallenge

A brief but brutal spasm of pain shoots through her head followed by the gut wrenching memory of the last seeing. It draws her to her knees. The peace and serenity of the past now forever tainted. A flash through time, her mind reels; his eyes peer back into hers, the chalice is thrown, the fluid within betrays her trust. A warning forgotten, perhaps dismissed, arrogance assures her safety in this hallowed realm. Never has she been so wrong.

As she watches, the assailant approaches his target in the dark abandoned lot. A struggle ensues, but ends in a mere blink; the violence feeds her hunger, holds her in its thrall. She misjudges; allows the corridor to widen, permits him to see her watching. For a brief moment, the portal opens on both sides. She sits stunned as he jabs the narrow pig sticker through the wavering fluid and into her left eye.

Now, when it is a seeing night, she seeks only the most remorseful; souls in need of comfort and caring, not the heart-pounding excitement of an outcome unknown. Now, when it is a seeing night, she sees with only one eye – the other forever clouded and dead to the world. Knowing better, she no longer reaches for the vials containing drops of venom. Having learned her lesson well, the wasps’ sting will forever be with her – but always more so on a seeing night.

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to my April AtoZ Blog Challenge post! I hope you enjoyed my ramble, and come back for more! Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers participating by clicking on the badge to the right, or simply using this link. :}

‘Revealed’ #AtoZChallenge

Tears run in rivulets between the ashen layers – they carve their own landscape in the hardening cushion of falling powder. Fathers, mothers, small children, they reach for one another; some huddle close with barely a moment to spare, others remain a hands-width apart – all held fast in anguish as death sets upon them. This thriving valley swiftly transforms into a diorama of human terror and suffering.

Many years go by, a window into the past is unearthed; horrors the likes of which mankind has never seen before are revealed. A visage of haunting forms preserved in their final moments of agony – life pocketed in a cocoon of time; tragedy locked in the layers of its vice-like grip. Coincidence that this stroke of Mother Nature’s brush was encapsulated with such precision, or warning that another is coming?

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to my April AtoZ Blog Challenge post! I hope you enjoyed my ramble, and come back for more! Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers participating by clicking on the badge to the right, or simply using this link. :}

‘Petals’ #AtoZChallenge


Petals drift softly upon the breeze; they twirl, they dance,
they float, they soar

The day you were born to me was the day I knew
you were lost to me

Glorious in pale pink, flushed deeper on your edges,
how you outshone the others

You began to drift away, I reached for you,
but there were so many

You sang as you lifted high upon the current,
free from my arms at last

Then the air stilled, you spiraled downward and I,
stiff with age, could do nothing

You settled in a soft plume of vibrant green,
a lush cushion to rest upon

I watched, I smiled, then a moistened drop of dew fell,
followed by another

The torrent began, you were trampled by the onslaught
and I wept for your pain

The sun shines once more, I see tattered pieces
of beauty all around me

I know you are among them, with that
I will rest easy


© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to my April AtoZ Blog Challenge post! I hope you enjoyed my ramble, and come back for more! Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers participating by clicking on the badge to the right, or simply using this link. :}

‘Once’ #AtoZChallenge

Do I know you? Certainly I’ve seen you somewhere before? Your face is so familiar, but I can’t quite place it. It seems I should, know you that is. I remember now – your eyes. I’ve seen your eyes before, bright and glistening; dancing shades of blue and green with a hint of ocher when the sunlight strikes them so. Beautiful, your eyes; but something else as well – something deeper, something hidden. You mask it well, the pain, the sorrow, the dejection; the overwhelming regret. You’ve a knack for such things, don’t you? Constructing an elaborate veil to keep the world at bay? But eyes, they reveal what lives within if one is honest enough to look. I always remember a set of eyes; particularly ones guarding wounds so old yet still so raw. Yes, I’ve seen your eyes before, though it seems I choose to forget this particular set until the mirror forces me to see their grief once more.

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to my April AtoZ Blog Challenge post! I hope you enjoyed my ramble, and come back for more! Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers participating by clicking on the badge to the right, or simply using this link. :}

‘Last’ #AtoZChallenge

The day has come, I’m not quite sure I’m ready. I hear him moving on the wooden floor-boards above. He’s changing his clothes; dressing to play the part. A day, an hour, a moment longer, that’s all I need to say my goodbye; but then, is there ever enough time to lose the one you love? The back buzzer sounds, the last bit of my solitude drifts away. I open my eyes. Sunlight streams through the curtains, it  illuminates the subtle cream tones of the room with sheer radiance. I hear him descend the steps, pass the guest area and head for the service entrance. My heart breaks one final time before the day intrudes.

As I hear them rustling in the hall, I close my eyes once more and draw deeply of the air. Roses. More roses are arriving, and orchids – they smell of coconut, and warm vanilla. As the florist brings them in, I can’t help but gush, it’s all so beautiful! A riot of colors and odors that mingle as he artfully spreads them throughout the room. Alstroemerias arrive next, they are beyond stunning – the huge cascades crafted in what she knows are my favorite shades. A surprise, a parting gift.

The final piece is carried in. It is exactly as we discussed, but more beautiful than I dared to hope. A magnificent spray of the darkest midnight-purple Calla Lillies masterfully arranged with nine strands of crystals representing her tears; one for each year we spent together. Each miniature flower a work of art, the entire arrangement a blanket of love to warm my coffin.

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to my April AtoZ Blog Challenge post! I hope you enjoyed my ramble, and come back for more! Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers participating by clicking on the badge to the right, or simply using this link. :}

‘Information Desk’ #AtoZChallenge

For the second time that day, his cell phone rang with an unknown number. Annoyed, he answered. It was the hospital calling to say his son had been in a minor accident and had broken his arm.

Having arrived at St. John’s Medical Center, he stormed the information desk demanding to know where his son could be found. He gave his last name and after a frustratingly long wait, was handed a visitor’s pass and directions to the Critical Care Unit. Utterly confused by the ward assignment, but terrified, he ran through the corridors until he finally shoved his way through the CCU doors. Other than the sound of beeping monitors and a few muffled sobs coming from behind closed curtains, all was very hushed and quiet within. His son was sitting in a chair off to the side – cast on his right arm, eye blackened, head swathed in bandages. He rushed to the boy and hugged him until he heard a small gasp of pain. “Thank God you’re alright. What happened, bud? Why are you in CCU? Where’s your mother?”

“Mr. Seftling?” As he turned, he saw a large nurse standing behind him.

He rose to his feet and answered, “Yes, I’m Robert Seftling.”

“Please, sir, come with me. We need to speak in private,” her eyes shifted to the waiting child.

Glancing back at his son, he was confused. “I don’t understand.”

She looked at him with great sympathy in her eyes. “Sir, Robbie suffered a nasty fall, but he’ll mend in no time. Now please, step over here for a moment.” Without waiting for his approval, she firmly grasped his upper arm and guided him farther down the hall, out of the boy’s range of hearing.

“It’s regarding your wife. The hospital contacted her at 2:37 p.m. to report Robbie’s accident. I’m afraid that in her rush to get here, Mrs. Seftling suffered an accident of her own.” As a tear formed in the hardened nurse’s eye, he knew; she was gone. He looked back at his son, dropped his eyes to the floor and barely nodded. Clearing her throat, the nurse continued, “She was apparently traveling on Route 391 when her car careened off the road. It took the rescue crew over an hour to reach…”

Interrupting her, he simply said, “Please… stop.”

Pausing for a moment, she allowed the news to take root before placing a gentler hand upon his shoulder. For the first time in twenty-three years as a CCU nurse, she allowed the tears to come. She barely spoke above a whisper. “Someone has been waiting to speak with you.” She gestured with her head to a young man still partially dressed in a fireman’s uniform. The man got up and walked over while the nurse returned to her station.

Fumbling with the straps on his overalls, the young man began, “I… I was the last one to speak with your wife, sir. She asked me… she wanted me to… she was weak, but made me promise to give you a message.”

Robert wanted to reach out and choke the younger man, grab him, hug him, scream and yell his fury; his devastated rage. This man was his final link to his wife. Again, Robert nodded his head as his world collapsed in on him.

“She told me her name was June, said it was important that I repeat her name for you to understand. Even in the condition she was… well, even after what’d happened, she was calm, almost sweet, reminded me of my own… Anyway, she asked me to tell you she was sorry.” Looking uncomfortable, the young fireman shuffled from foot to foot. When it became obvious the other man wasn’t going to respond, there was nothing more to do but leave. He ruffled Robbie’s hair as he passed him and walked out the doors.

A brief smile flickered across Robert’s face; her name wasn’t June. It had been a running joke between them for years. Her name was Nan – just Nan, not Nancy or Anita or anything else Nan might have stood for, and she hated it. So he’d always called her June as a reminder of the month they’d met; his June-bug was saying goodbye.

Turning back, he walked to Robbie and gently grasped his left hand. “Come on, kiddo.”

The nurse began to approach him again, “Sir, there are some forms the hospital needs you to sign. We can’t release…”

He waved her off and managed to croak out, “We have no one else. I’ll come back tomorrow, if that’s alright?” He glanced down at his son.

With pinched lips and a smudge of mascara on her cheek, she placed the clipboard back on the counter top and mouthed, I’m so very sorry…

He knew there would be tear-filled goodbyes, paperwork to be handled, arrangement to be made; but not right now. Now he needed to take Robbie home and somehow make him understand his mommy wasn’t coming back.

(part two of two… yesterday, ‘H’, was part one)

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to my April AtoZ Blog Challenge post! I hope you enjoyed my ramble, and come back for more! Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers participating by clicking on the badge to the right, or simply using this link. :}

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