Category Archives: muse

‘Grass’ #AtoZChallenge

I’ll sing to you, my love, a song so sweet it will echo for eternity. I long to be near you, but you’ve been taken away to a place I cannot follow. Our hopes and dreams now only memory. I mourn the loss of each cherished moment, each impassioned embrace. I come to this field, run my fingers through the dewy grass as the sun arrives; bask in the shadows as the day retreats. I reach for you, much as I reach for the times we’ll never share again, yet always my hand strikes this vile marker placed above your grace. Still, I feel your radiant smile as I sing; it broadens with each blush upon my cheek. My heart in your hands, as yours is in mine, always.

© 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. :}

‘Fluid’ #AtoZChallenge

Sitting before a low table on a pile of cushions, she prepares herself in the company of her four-footed companions. The atmosphere is one of calm anticipation. This is a seeing night, a night when she will leave behind her own world and step into another’s. The dim light cast by the mica wall sconces along with the candles flickering throughout the room, bounce an eerie glow off the collection of oddities surrounding her. The thick lustrous smoke curling upward from the burning incense takes on a nearly animate quality in the strange light. Here, in this place, none can touch her, but she can reach outward and touch so many.

Choosing a vial from the many she keeps stored in this protected sanctum, she pours a small measure into the silver chalice before her. Lifting the cup and holding it close to her body, the drops warm and grow in volume, filling the over-sized goblet just enough to reflect her glittering eyes as she peers into its surface. She watches through the viscous liquid as he steps from his truck. Her vision distorted by the tremble of the precious fluid held captive in the vessel, she observes as his would-be attacker crouches in the darker shadows.

Her heart quickens with expectancy of what is to come; she watches through amber tinted vision as the assailant silently approaches…

© 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. :}

‘Debris’ #AtoZChallenge

Pushing his way through the crowd in a near panic, the old man searches each and every face, praying to God that one of them belongs to his grandson. Back at the house, the ruckus of screeching brakes as the train derailed woke them all earlier than expected. He, however, woke moments before it began with a dreadful pit in his stomach. Still searching the faces, he catches sight of a book fluttering on the side of the tracks, a sketchbook. His heart clenches and he nearly drops to the ground from the pain, but he can’t – he has to know. Making his way through the debris, he looks down, and there among the other rubble is a rendering of the most beautiful woman he has ever seen; it’s his own wife the way she looked on their wedding day, the way she looks in the portrait that hangs over the dining room mantle.

With a shaking hand, he begins to reach for it, but falls as his knees give way. Police and onlookers rush to his side; he knows they are speaking to him, but can’t make out their muffled voices as their hands try to lift him to his feet. It’s all a blur of motion and sound, his only focus is the dried blood splattered across the page. The soul-wrenching horror of a celebration that will never take place pushes him beyond his body’s limit. As the burgeoning morning blackens to night once more before his eyes, he has a fleeting thought – his grandson describing the eerie, almost mystical way 250 tons of speeding metal hurtling down the tracks is nearly silent until it’s just upon you…

(part two of two… yesterday, ‘C’, 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. :}

‘Cat Nap’ #AtoZChallenge

The tracks seem so lonely at night, that’s one of the things he likes about coming here – the solitude. Most kids his age would rather hang out with their friends, or go to a party. But not him, he likes the quiet of the night and the silence of the tracks. He’s been coming here as often as he can since he was knee high to a grasshopper, that’s what his gramps says. His grandfather is the only one who knows about his late night forays to the station. It’s their secret, has been for the better part of fourteen years. Yeah, it’s lonely out here at night, but that’s alright with him.

He walks the fifty yards or so down the tracks to the last lamp post past the junction and sits down, sketch book in hand. One day, after he becomes famous, he’s going to come back here and draw that lamp post, and the view back to the station – well, the shack that holds the automatic ticket dispenser and bench that everyone calls a station. But for tonight, his last night before going off to college, he’ll sit and draw like he’s done every other night. Once his pencil starts moving, his hand will know what to do.

Looking down at what he’s sketched, he thinks to himself, not too bad. He’s happy, but stiff and sore. He needs to get home and catch a cat nap before helping his mom set up for the going away party she’s planning for him. Stretching to his feet, he relishes the smell of the predawn musk that hangs in the air – there’s nothing like it, and he knows he’ll miss it when he’s away. Collecting his knapsack, still looking down at the drawing, he starts heading back to the junction.

(part one of two… tomorrow, ‘D’, will be part two)

© 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. :}

‘Bloom’ #AtoZChallenge

The tantalizing scent from years gone by draws her to the past. Ruminating once more, she sits before the window and looks out over the garden. The laughter and joy of children running amongst the flowers and tall grasses brings a sad smile to her face. She leans her head upon the pane, her delicate hand reaching up to join with the leaded glass as well. Shifting to stare upward toward the warm glow of the sun, she squints. With a sigh, her eyes drop to her lap, her hand follows. She longs to run in the tall grasses, to play amongst the riot of fragrant flowers now in bloom, but alas, the braces upon her legs no longer allow such things. No matter the grandeur surrounding her, it does nothing to alleviate the pang of loss she feels. She rolls back to the desk and rings for the nurse, her sole companion during the hours her uncle is at work. The brace upon her left leg is beginning to chafe once more; it irritates what little skin she is able to feel. She longs for her mother, her father, but most of all – her younger brother. The year is 1957; the news she reads is encouraging but for her, it comes too late.

© 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. :}

‘Abrade’ #AtoZChallenge

A girl stands alone upon a cliff; the winds abrade the stone face of the rock much as they abrade her worn and tattered memories. Memories once held dear and cherished, memories never meant to betray or show the truth behind the lie… memories that should have carried her through a lifetime of sorrows both overwhelming and small. Buffeted by the wind, tossed about by the images playing in her mind, she opens her arms as she opens her eyes. Her tears glisten on the edge of the precipice. Spilling forth, they are carried on the breeze to yet another sorrowful moment in her existence.

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

Welcome to my A to Z 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.  :}

Coffin Hop 2013 ~ Blink

Blink

I cower in the corner trying not to hear the scuttling sounds from the attic. The scratching of tiny claws, the beating of miniscule feet, the giggling of inhuman laughter – it’s maddening! I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Frozen in terror, I’m not sure I have the will to force my body to move. I shift slightly as my left calf begins to cramp. Silence – the noises from above have stopped. Did they hear me? I should run; this may be my only chance!

Gathering my wit’s about me, I lean forward placing one hand on the floor in front of me. Still nothing from above. Bolder now, I place the other hand on the floor and shift my weight. The damn wood betrays me as the old boards squeal. I freeze in mid crouch listening for signs of movement from above.  All remains quiet.

My crawl from the corner is agonizingly slow. What in reality takes only a few seconds, feels like an eternity to my pounding heart. I’ve made it to the center of the room. Pausing for a moment, I glance up toward the hatch that separates the attic from the bedroom.

My lungs sucking for breath, my body shaking uncontrollably – I’m ashamed to admit I wet myself. The corner of the hatch is ajar; two sets of blinking eyes stare down at me in silence. Then a fifth eye blinks open, quickly followed by its accompanying sixth. As I watch, a multitude of tiny gleaming orbs struggle to see through the slight gap. I stare in horror as the hatch lifts further to allow more of the beings a view of what’s below.

The hatch now completely open, the small creatures stare at me from every available space. I begin to wonder if they are harmful or not. One of them speaks, I cannot discern if it is meant for me, so I continue to look upward mutely.  A muffled reply sounds from farther back in the open space above. The first, turning its head, speaks again. This seems to excite those gathered around the hatch. They began to fidget; bouncing and bumping into one another. The one that was speaking turns and looks down at me. This time it makes no pretense of hiding its wickedly-long, slender teeth – teeth clearly intended to rip meat from bone.

© Copyright 2013 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2013 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 the blog for the writing group I belong to:
Pen of the Damned

and all the other amazing hoppers on the Coffin Hop list!



Coffin Hop 2013 ~ Devotion

Devotion

Wrapping my arms about you, your long locks caressing my face in the gentle gust. I reach up and stroke your hair back into place. I smile down at you, your clear blue eyes taking on an aquamarine glimmer in the brilliant rays of the sun. Leaning forward, I place a gentle kiss upon your full lips. They’re frigid beyond belief, not with lack of desire, but from the coolness of the autumn season. Wrapping the blankets tighter around you, I cuddle in closer, hoping to share my own warmth with you. You are all that matters to me. Was that the twitch of a smile I see? I laugh with joy as I hold you closer, trying to warm your cold body. I talk of plans we have for our future together, delight in allowing my mind to wander to the exotic destinations we’ll travel to as I describe them, knowing an eternity awaits us. My head upon your breast, I speak of such things for hours.

Looking up into your eyes once more, I see peace and tranquility there. I see my future reflected in those beautiful glistening orbs. Again, I arrange your wind-mussed-hair, make perfect your countenance, for you are perfect, and I’ll see you no other way. As I run my fingers through your luxurious blonde mane, my thumb brushes your cheek rougher than I would like. The smudge of your makeup reveals a bruise upon your creamy flesh. I kiss your cheek, I apologize profusely for hurting you. More makeup smears as my lips move over your skin. My brow creases as I look upon you again. Something is not quite right. Lifting myself to one elbow, I stare into your face… I begin to scream.

***

“Damn, man! Why do they keep letting her do this to herself? It seems cruel, if you ask me.”

“The Doc says it’s a form of therapy. She can’t come to grips with what she’s done. He thinks bringing her here and letting her lay on the grave might save her. More likely to break her for good, if you ask me.”

“I don’t know, man, it seems twisted. I know she was convicted on an insanity plea, but is this any less fucking sick than keeping your dead girlfriend propped up like some frigging Jenny doll in your bedroom?” He snuffed out his cigarette, “I mean, damn. Look at her. It’s like she’s really holding the dead chick the way she cups her arms… and the talkin’, it’s like she’s really talkin’ to somebody. Then the screams, man – I hear those fucking screams in my sleep every night. Why make her relive it over and over again. I think the Doc gets off on letting her dress up and do this. Why doesn’t he just give her some of those anti-psychotic pills everyone else gets? It’s been like five months now, right bro?”

“Shit, man. Don’t ask me – I just work here. There she goes, running toward the street again. I’ll get her this time, you just have the restraints ready.”

© Copyright 2013 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2013 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 the blog for the writing group I belong to:
Pen of the Damned

and all the other amazing hoppers on the Coffin Hop list!



Coffin Hop 2013 ~ Scratching

Scratching

I first heard the sound of scrabbling footfalls upon the roof, then scratching at the windowpane. An odd whining seemed to accompany both. Lifting the curtains aside, I peered out to see a dog-like creature with its nails embedded in the exterior wood moldings. It saw me as well, and let out a terrifying howl. Peddling backward, unable to keep my feet, I watched as it freed one forepaw and used it to rip the window casing from the wall. As the glass shattered, and it flung the wooden remains behind it, it leapt through the opening. I could see that it was wounded, shot in the gut and bleeding, as it panted before me.

I tried to shove backward with the heel of my sneakers, but it would have none of that. With lowered head and bared teeth, it placed one enormous paw on my leg to halt my movement. I became paralyzed with fear; it must have sensed as much and began advancing. With its feted breath sharing my own, it growled louder, its curling lip revealing more of its fanged jaw. Then it faltered, weakened by the buckshot in its gut. I reached sideways into the corner and grabbed for the police issue MAG-lite my father had given me. I began slowly edging toward the wall again; it watched with a wary gaze, then its anger, perhaps hunger – I couldn’t say – grew. It hurled itself at me with all its formidable strength. The two of us slammed into the corner battling for our lives. It tore at me with teeth and claws that felt like grappling hooks. My jeans shredded, the flesh torn off the bone of my thigh, it ripped a piece free and gulped it down. Beyond shock, beyond pain, feeling nothing but revulsion, I leaned over and threw up the entire contents of my stomach as it continued to tear at me. Not willing to die without a fight, I lifted the flashlight and brought it down upon its head. A moment of shock stilled both of us; I was terrified I’d simply enraged it more; it was apparently stunned by the blow. Encouraged, I swung again — this time it did enrage the beast; its jaws snapped at my face, my arm, anything it could close its fangs upon. Its raking claws slashed at me. I did all I could to fend off the flesh rending blows. Then, it made a mistake.

In its frenzied attack, it turned its head sideways and lodged its fangs into the wood of the dresser. It jerked and pulled, struggled to free itself, but it had sunken its teeth in so far, it couldn’t dislodge them. I began to bludgeon it repeatedly with the torch. Beating upon it, I collapsed its ribs, broke its hindquarters, and managed to shatter its paw just below the dewclaw. I beat its head to a bloody pulp; one eye collapsed as the upper mandible of its snout shattered. Freed of the grip those teeth held, it yanked again and pulled free of the wood. Both of us bloodied, we lay collapsed and desperate in that corner. It stared at me with its one amber eye — I looked down at its wrecked body, its destroyed head, and I realized the fight was over, I had lost. I dropped the light, used my free hand to pet it once, then twice upon the scruff. It stared back at me mournfully, realizing it was dying. Then in a final surge — perhaps it was mercy — it struck forward and ripped my throat out with one last snap of its destroyed muzzle.

© Copyright 2013 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2013 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 the blog for the writing group I belong to:
Pen of the Damned

and all the other amazing hoppers on the Coffin Hop list!



Coffin Hop 2013 ~ Burning

Burning

My hands cupped these devastated ears. I wished not to know, not to hear, not to be. The screams… No! I will not hear them. I hear only the patter of their small feet as they dashed through the hall, the oaken floors sounding their playful joy as they rushed to be the first to the finish. Time and again, I had asked them to mind their jostling. The gaslight at the top of the stairwell far too close to the draperies, yet they would not heed my warning; what small boy would – let alone two. Beautiful, cherubic faces framed in locks of golden curls. These were my children, my angels. All who saw them commented upon their beauty, their grace and their charm. Well mannered to a fault in public, how could I deny my darlings the simple love to race the second floor corridor of our home. The narrow confines, the striped paper upon the walls, the red velvet terminus all but beckoned them: ‘Come, play, be children of joy, race my length to see who would win first place.’

I believe this house to be evil; I believe it wished to steal the souls of my beautiful children. I believe it encouraged them to the joy they found only to trap them within the hell in which they perished.

Yes, perished; my dear, sweet ones. Taken in a fit of outlandish foolery, foolery that rang through the house in peels of gleeful laughter. Foolery that this house sought to use to turn the devil’s eye upon itself.

Seeing to the summer linens, I was storing them in the hope chest at the foot of my husband’s bed while I listened to their giggles drift from the hall. By the time the sound of their screams reached my ears, the velvet was fully engulfed in licking flames. My fear realized at last, the drapery had been set alight. I called to them, but Samuel, the older by just shy of half the hour, used his jacket in an attempt to extinguish the blaze. His younger sibling, Matthew, tugged upon the coverings in an attempt to dislodge them from their hangings. Before my foot could leave the floor, I watched as the heaviness of the fabric tore free and descended upon him.

My knees near buckled. Samuel — I could at least save Samuel from this fate. Then yet again, my eyes betrayed me as his arm tangled within the drape. In his panic to dislodge it, the poor child only spun the roaring fabric tighter about himself. One final look he offered me. A look of fear beyond my imagining as he toppled forward; the two tumbled down the wooden stairs tangled together in the burning shroud.

My heart stolen from my chest, the breath I was holding released in a fevered shriek as my impotent arm shot forward. I stood there, watching, waiting, hoping beyond all sanity that what I had just bore witness to had not transpired; though my destroyed mind assured me it had. I retreated backwards into the bedroom. I sought not refuge from the inferno raging at the end of the hall, but refuge from what my mind’s eye would show me over and over again. Finally, finding my back to the corner, I sunk to my skirts, as I prayed to God Almighty to return my darling sons to me.

As the coolness of the wall upon my back began to warm, and the plaster ran with cracks, my tears finally found their way to the flickering light. Again, I did not mourn for myself, I asked only to be granted the peace to no longer hear the screaming of angels.

 

© Copyright 2013 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2013 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 the blog for the writing group I belong to:
Pen of the Damned

and all the other amazing hoppers on the Coffin Hop list!



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