A Sunset


(Credit: hdwplan.com)

It should be red, she thought, and turned towards the sunset.

But the clouds were lilac with a rosy lining. The sky was light blue then yellow, which turned into a deep orange at the horizon. As a plane drew a pink line across the sky, the blinding sun brought her a surging symphony of fond memories.

Her heart swelling, close to bursting, she closed her eyes and saw on the back of her eyelids a burning circle and the face of someone, whom she would have shared all her sunsets with, if only things had been different.

When the sun was halfway below the horizon, it finally turned red, and in its bloody light she shovelled the last spadeful of dirt onto the grave.

79 Starvation


(Credit: js4853 on DeviantArt)

A skull half covered in sand.

Daffodils bound with a blue ribbon.

Both in front of a beach house.

The waves crash, agitated.

He must have known that daffodils are her favourite flower,

But it did not help him.

The wind picks up, uncovering more bones.

She did not throw him even a single scrap.

And he starved.

This sentence was written

(Credit: Matt H. Wade)

(Credit: Matt H. Wade)

On his deathbed the sage said to his student:

Write me an epitaph, when I’m gone. Do not flatter me in it. You can write of my virtues, but only the ones you have seen with your own eyes or felt on your own body. Beauty is truth and truth beauty, so write something true.

Let it be something that people can think on. Something philosophical in nature would be fitting. Make it at least as philosophical as you know me to be. I want people to remember how deep my thoughts were when they read it.

However, do not be too scholarly when you write it, do not make it seem aloof to the common man. That would just make me unpopular among them. People fear or sometimes hate what they do not understand. So write it so that anyone can understand it. And do not use too many long words either. In fact, keep it short all in all. Brevity is the soul of wit, so the shorter the better. As long as it says something.

The sage has now been interred and according to his wishes, his student wrote an epitaph which has been engraved over the entrance of the mausoleum. It says:

This sentence was written.

49 Trees

She burst out from the towering pines and found herself in a clearing with slender crab apple trees with flowers in their hair. The white blossoms scattered a few petals in welcome and spread their sweet aroma to her. Stars glinted through the branches like jewels.

She fell to her knees and sobbed, clutching her wounded stomach and looked back at the uneven spatters of red behind her. Crawling, she reached the nearest maiden and rested against its bark. Through half closed lids, she saw it bending down and stroking her cheek. She released a sigh and the blossoms turned pink.

Black Wings

(Freyja and the Necklace by J. Doyle Penrose)

(Freyja and the Necklace by J. Doyle Penrose)

He hears the wing beats drawing close, but he does not open his eyes at once. He had assumed that he would feel warmer when he died, but the wind that tugs at his beard chills his forehead and his back feels more and more damp. He opens his eyes at a slit and sees black feathers in the corner of his vision.

‘Choose me, Freyja,’ he mouths, ‘I always gave you my best sheep.’

He closes his eyes and feels a pressure on his chest.

‘Yes, I knew…’ as he opens his eyes, a raven peers at him with one black eye, then its beak comes straight at him and he screams.


‘Jealousy doesn’t suit you,’ she says to the one eyed man and strokes the cat at her side. He turns and walks away from her, following his new warriors. When he is gone, she steps closer to the blind Viking and strokes his face. He is sent into a deep sleep filled with visions of cauldrons, runes and herbs, smoke and knowledge.

‘You don’t need your eyes for Seðr,’ she whispers.

Big Sister is Watching

Big Sister's Watching

Big Sister’s Watching (Photo credit: Chris Smith/Out of Chicago)

Big sister is watching me.

All the time.

My parents told me that as if it were a good thing; they think I feel safer with her watching me. I can’t make myself tell them that I really don’t. I’m afraid to do anything she might think is gross, or that she might just not like, because mum and dad talk to her often and I can’t hear her replies. Also, she might have made other friends up there in the sky who are even worse bullies than the ones she had when she was alive.

Arthur and his Driver’s license

Driving Licences

Driving Licences (Photo credit: brizzle born and bred)

Arthur and his driver’s license expired in May.

Some might try to look on the bright side and say that at least Arthur would not have to worry about renewing his license. However, his license just happened to expire on May the third while he did not shuffle off this mortal coil until the tenth. If Arthur had been told this in advance he would have called it typical.

He died while in a car driven by his brother on the motorway. His brother was at least twenty kilometers per hour below the speed limit. Which Arthur would also have called typical.

They were hit by an elderly lady driving at least twenty kilometers above the speed limit when she attempted to slip past them while they were changing lanes. The woman herself survived with a broken hip. Arthur died in the hospital about an hour after the crash. His last word was: ‘typical.’

Remember Me

English: Vincent van Gogh on his deathbed Fran...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Claire?’ he said, his breathing shallow.

‘I’m here,’ said Claire and squeezed his hand. It was very cold.

‘Remember me,’ with a sharp intake of breath, he clutched at the blue blanket and the creases echoed the creases in his forehead, ‘remember me when I’m gone.’

‘I will,’ tears dripped from her nose and she sniffed.


‘Of course,’ she sniffed again, ‘I could never forget you.’

‘Claire, I,’ he gasped as if coming up for air. ‘I love you, remember that.’

‘I love you too.’

‘I love you, and I’ll always love you,’ he said, ‘always. Remember that. Remember me when I’m gone.’

‘I will.’

‘No, I mean it, remember it always. Let no one make you forget. I am yours, and you are mine, forever,’ he turned his watery eyes towards her, ‘promise.’

‘I promise that I’ll remember, father.’

Silk Veils



Bellydance Veil Swirl 2

Bellydance Veil Swirl (Photo credit: VelvetJAM)

Silk veils float through the air around her as she dances. My nephew said her veils were like snakes, moving on their own, but snakes have no place in the ethereal vision I see before me.


She is lithe like a cat, but I feel the cheetah in her too. There is strength in those elegant legs that I suspect would be able to run down any antelope, and as I watch her I feel some of that strength return to my shrivelled body. I feel again the wind in my hair as I rode to battle in my war chariot, the arrow between my fingers as I drew back the bowstring.


Her dark eyes flash at me when she whirls past, and I remember the smell of blood and the sound of fracturing bones as I rolled over fallen bodies with my chariot.


She wraps a red veil around her hands and I see that my own hands are smeared with blood. Which is strange, because I always killed with my bow or my chariot and never touched a dead body, so how did so much blood end up on my hands?


Her movements slow, and her body writhes as if in agony. A pressure in my chest makes me gasp. It grows and I feel an urgency to hang on although I am not sure what I am hanging on to. So I fasten my eyes on the dancer and admire her full lips and long fingers, finding it still harder to breathe as her dance becomes faster. When darkness creeps in at the corners of my eyes, I think: ‘No. Not yet. She has not finished her dance.’ As if I expected that the darkness would not only be able to hear my thoughts, but also care about my wishes.


She leaps.


And I see no more of her dance.



Crumpled sheets

The sheets are crumpled from her fumbling. She has pushed the eiderdown onto the floor. Her breathing is irregular. It will not be long now.

She calls out. In her head it was well formulated sentence, but what comes out is somewhere between a gurgle and a yell. As a coughing fit ravages her chest, one of her grandchildren comes into the room, tears streaming from his red eyes. He tries to give her a glass of water, but her fingers have forgotten how to grip it, and it breaks when it meets the stone floor. She sits up. She wants to clean up the mess. Not just the broken glass the whole room. And herself too for that matter. She has been in bed for days. She mumbles her intention to her grandchild who pushes her gently down onto the pillow, and she forgets what she was about to do. Her grandchild leaves the room in search of a floor mop and a broom.

Something tightens its claws around her heart as if to rip it out and she thrashes in the bed for a second. Then she is still. Completely still.

I step up to the bed and help her up. She is puzzled that the pain left her so suddenly. Before her grandchild can return and confuse her further, I lead her outside into the sunlight.

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