Lullabies for the Damned

Star light star bright
will I take my life tonight?
will I end this game I play
and stop this pain I feel today?

Twinkle twinkle little knife
through my wrist and take my life
bleed the blood and drain the heart
that broke the day that we did part

Mary had a little blade
who’s steel was sharp and fine
and every time that Mary sliced
the blood would pour like wine

Hickory dickory dock
the pistol I did cock
one bullet through the eye
to silence my cry
and my heart would finally stop

Humpty dumpty jumped off a cliff
smashed his face and died in a whiff
all the king’s women and all the king’s men
laughed at humpty once again

Hey diddle diddle
I slashed up my middle
and jump off the top floor
I fell to my death
and expelled my last breath
as I wept to breathe once more

~ Jack Wallen

© Copyright 2012 Jack Wallen. All Rights Reserved.



Sit before the Tale Weaver.

Be still; your incessant fidgeting only diminishes your concentration.  Do you not hear it?  There.  There.  Aah, stark terror glazes your eyes…but it should not be so.  Relish instead, such a strange and horrid note, that awful baying from beyond the window sash.  Silence yourself!  I share with you now what knowledge I possess of the beast.

Yes, beast I say, but beast quite not.  An unspeakably magnificent specimen of what should not be yet most certainly is.  Born to walk this earth of two legs, but through the nether, hunts upon four.  A most fascinating creature of wretched beauty, resigned in its existence of perpetual condemnation between its own genesis of dawn and gloam.  Humanity its filthy cage.  Bestiality its cherished home.  Torn and ravaged by the tumult within its sorrowful soul.

You gaze upon me in naked incredulity, yet persistent your hands do wring; aye, even you cannot deny the awful splendor laced within the hoarseness of its throaty howls.  Be attentive!  Open not only ears but your narrow mind…listen beyond the ferocity of the echoes in the valley.  Tis true, this abhorrence of nature will rend of you flesh and bone as a child strips wrappings from a gift if its disposition should see fit.  The hunt it relishes, for only then does it truly live, the timbre of its environment razor-sharp, ally to its preternatural senses.  You cannot outrun this thing, for how do you outrun that which already resides within you?

Swift, powerful, majestic…a wholly somber and evil thing.  But I inquire of you – what is the gist of evil?  The unnatural to your eyes; the obscene to your senses?  Or is evil some broken yet unbowed pet, unwilling to yield to the shackles that seek it bound?  If you should learn one thing from me this moonlit night, then heed this—true evil is the fiend that hides behind man’s mask, not the beast that allows its mask known.

Listen closely to that mourning song, that pitiful melody lamenting of deprived freedom from behind unseen bars, for tis the true conflict deep within its dark, fated core, and so it starves.  Longing for the wild.  Longing for the matte of fresh dew beneath its pads and the sparkle-slivered caress of Mother Moon across its rippled back.  Longing…forever longing…this beast so much more than man.

Leave now then, but be mindful to keep a hastened pace along the timber’s fringe.  Pull tight the collar to your neck, and do not afford yourself a moment to pause.  For if the long howl of a doleful ballad plucks at your heartstrings, and the hapless allure of eye shine keeps measure with your gait, pray to your god that on this night the beast remains satiated.

And the man within it holds fast to its rein.

Until next I summon you, be gone.

So the Tale Weaver speaks.

~ Joseph A. Pinto as the Tale Weaver

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Skeleton Key

Hank was finding it difficult to keep his balance as he thrust his hips between Silvana’s long, parted legs. She moaned in delight as each drop of sweat splashed onto her taut belly. Normally, such erotic groans, coupled with the warm tug of her deliciously wet sex and the steady bounce of her perfect, soft breasts would have been enough to send him over the edge, but he was so busy trying to keep himself from falling onto his side that he ended up grinding away like a porn star, which, in this case, was not a bad thing.

Maybe there was an advantage to losing a leg.

It had been six months since his motorcycle had tipped over on that tight curve as he exited the highway to his house. Unlike the Gretchen Wilson song that they had played several times at the pig roast that night, he was not one Bud Wiser when he hopped on his Harley. By the time he and the bike had stopped their skid (with a bone rending crash against a tree that stopped him from going over a cliff), his left leg was nothing more than a few strips of flesh and a stump of exposed, splintered bone.

Every aspect of his life from that moment on had been pure hell, with one exception.


She’d been his nurse right from the moment he’d been brought unconscious into the ER. When he needed pain meds, she was there. When he woke up crying or freaking out, she was at his side, holding his hand.

Now here he was, two days out of the hospital with the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, his comforter and healer, Silvana. Amazing how he had managed to step up in his class of women exactly when taking any physical step up was a journey that usually led back to square one.

“Oh God, I’m gonna come,” Silvana squealed. She grabbed his ass and pulled him deeper inside, shaking with the wildest orgasm Hank had ever seen, heard or felt. It was like riding Space Mountain and Splash Mountain at the same time! And Jesus, did he love her mountains.

Before he could take a breath, she had managed to switch positions. Her breasts swayed across his face, her dark nipples brushing across his lips. “Now it’s your turn,” she whispered.

Between her full, tan breasts dangled a long white key held around her neck by a thin gold chain. If she moved down any closer the key was bound to smack into his nose or worse yet, poke one of his eyes.

Silvana shifted her weight and he winced.

“I’m sorry baby, did I hurt you?”

“It’s okay,” he stammered. Pain and pleasure were now conjoined twins and he didn’t know whether to come or scream. It only took seconds for the former while he did his best to hold back the latter. She remained straddled across his hips while he grew limp inside her.

“Wow,” she huffed, out of breath.

“That’s putting it mildly.”

Hank’s eyes roved up and down her flawless body, covered in a delicious sheen of sweat. “Pinch me, I must be dreaming,” he said.

To his surprise, she reached down and tweaked the flesh of the stump that was once his leg. He recoiled in pain.

“Hey, that fucking hurt!”

“Can you forgive me?” she cooed. She massaged her breasts together, smothering the strange white key between her cleavage. As much as he hated to admit it, because the woman had just intentionally hurt him, he was helplessly hypnotized.

When the key reemerged, he said, “That’s an interesting necklace. Where’d you get it?”

Tracing her finger across its ivory edges, she said, “Someplace very special. It’s a real working key, you know.”

It was about two times the size of a normal house key with a considerably sharp point.

“Must open a pretty big door.”

“The biggest,” she replied with a husky giggle.

It suddenly dawned on Hank that even though they had spent a ton of time together during his recovery in the hospital, he really didn’t know much about her. In the hospital, she was a competent, caring nurse. In her apartment, she was a barely contained erotic hurricane. And now she was giggling over this strange key like a little child who knew a secret that no adult could ever understand.

“You know, you’re not my first,” she said, inching up to rest on his stomach. At least she was further away from his wounded leg.

“I kind of got that feeling.”

Again with the giggling. “Not that. My first, you know…” She tilted her head to look down at the spot where his leg should be.

“You mean amputee?” he said, a cold prickle of doubt inching up his spine.

“I guess you could say it’s like a fetish of mine. You’d think they’d be grateful, but they never are. I mean, look at me!

She removed the necklace and held the key in her hand.

A bilious swarm of dread made Hank’s flesh grow cold. He tried to move out from under Silvana but was as weak and defenseless as a baby.

“When they brought you in that night, no one told you that your leg came in thirty minutes later, or what was left of it.”

“What are you saying? They could have reattached my leg?”

She shook her head. “But I saved it. The thing about a leg is there’s so much bone to work with.”

She brought the alabaster key to her cherry lips and kissed it.

“It helped me make the key to your heart, baby.”

“No, no, no!” Hank struggled to move out from under her.

“And now that I have the key, I’m going to lock you up nice and tight.”

Silvana raised the key above her head and plunged it into his chest, expertly finding the gap between his ribs and puncturing his heart. It beat wildly for a moment and the world spun.

“Silvana,” he whispered.

His heart slowed, and the pain that had been his constant companion ebbed into the ether.

Her face slipped out of focus. The sound of her labored breathing grew distant, fading as he hurtled into the unknown.

Hank felt the blood grow still in his body and his life seep into the musky sheets.

“Now you’re mine forever,” she whispered, and twisted the key.

~ Hunter Shea

© Copyright 2012 Hunter Shea. All Rights Reserved.


As I look down at her cuffed and shackled form lying in its own filth and squalor on the stone floor, I feel no pity, no remorse, no compassion for what has been done to this pathetic creature before me. I feel revulsion and shame – shame that she would allow herself to come to this.

She begs me to free her, to release her from this pain and torment. Though she may be ignorant of the consequences, these things she asks of me are within my capacity to grant. Reaching down, I grasp her collared throat and pull the wretch towards me, snapping free wrist restraints and the chain that attaches her collar to stone. Blood trickles freely where her bonds are torn. She pleads with me not to hurt her. Hurt her? I would never harm that which begs for its own mercy, I would not debase myself in such a way. I wish only to have her pathetic carcass removed from my view and rid myself of its vile stench. She may not be of a mind to understand this, but we all serve a master – and mine requires I perform this act of compassion towards this putrid thing, my choice unconsidered.

Into a sunlight she’s not seen in years, I drag her writhing body. She yelps at being treated so, hauled across the soil in my vise-like grip. But having been kept chained in darkness for so long, there is no fight left in her.

Reaching a calm pool of water trapped in the curve of a small sun filled recess alongside a river, I toss her ripe and blood caked body to the ground. With a gentleness she does not expect nor deserve, I kneel beside her as I remove the symbols of the sins committed against her; the first of which is the collar I too have used to tame her.

Unsure what to make of such an act, she looks on me with both fear and desperation. An overwhelming desire to believe I am her savior crawls through her amber stare. This wretched girl, this torn and shame ridden child of man, covered in her own vile excrement and foul drippings – she wears her guilt as though it were a queen’s cloak, yet soaked in the foulest of deeds. Salvation she wishes for, in her eyes she is not to blame for all that has transpired. Is there yet kindness enough left within me to offer her such a thing, she silently begs. Yes, I believe there is.

Removing my own shirt, I dip it into the clear water at the river’s edge. Tentative of my ministrations at first, she cowers as I use the garment to cleanse not only her damaged body, but also her ruined soul. I allow the cool water to rinse over her hair, down her face, her exposed back, baptizing her body once again in a purity she cannot even remember she once possessed.  Washed clean she is a thing of beauty even to my time ravaged eye; it’s no wonder I found her trapped in such a pit. Beauty is the trickster’s tool – it is a thing to be cherished, a thing of great value, a thing most would hold in high regard. But beauty is also a curse that cannot be outrun when the shadow of evil takes notice and comes to call, exacting payment for just such an indulgence.

Gazing at the creature before me, I admit her beauty seems near a virtue, or I should say may have at one time. Having been used and wrung dry, this beauty is scarred so deeply on the inside that I almost feel pity for her – almost.

I watch her for quite some time; captivated by the mere sight of her and the quiet joy she seems to extract from her new-found freedom. My gaze cannot help but wander her exquisite form. She opens her eyes. No longer filled with fear, I see admiration and gratitude for this benevolence I have shown her.

As her hair blows in the soft breeze, I lean over her, our raven locks intertwine as if to embrace for a lover’s dance. She gently shuts her eyes as my hand strokes through her hair, down her cheek, coming to rest on her alabaster throat that is turned up and exposed to me in a gesture of supplication. I pause long enough for her to open her eyes once again, long enough to breathe in her breath, long enough for her to fully convey an acceptance of my wants as a sign of gratitude for all that I have done for her.

My eyes peering into hers, our lips barely touching, my fingers still caressing her soft flesh, I snap her neck as though it were a bothersome twig in my path, and her limp form falls to the side.

I stand for a moment looking back on her. She retains a beauty and grace even in death, more so perhaps because of it. Her sins absolved? I hardly think so. She begged mercy from her god, a mercy that would set her free. Little did she know he would send a darkling in guise of beauty itself to free her of all her sins, even those she had not yet committed.

~ Nina D’Arcangela

© Copyright 2012 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.