Darkened Reflections

I sit here listening to the rain tinkling off the darkened glass of my window. Like so many nights before, I peer into an eternity of nothingness that shows only my blurred face in its shadows. Shadows that dance around in the ambient light as the wind whips and sways the tree limbs, keeping pace with the rain as it shifts from a patter to a pounding, to a more gentle touch on the pane.

I begin to turn away and see just the merest suggestion of movement from the corner of my eye, I turn back… But nothing has changed, nothing is different, no one is there. My blurred view is as it was before. Rivulets of rain running down the glass; impressions of shapes I know so well that exist beyond the safety of my window; my face looking back at me lost in the dreary visage of the existence in which I suffer. A face distorted by the passage of the rain running over the glass… a face twisted in pain.

I wander to the door, drawn by a force both within me and beyond these protective walls. What an exquisitely beautiful night to breath in the smell of the wet grass, the saturated earth, the dampness all around me.  What a sumptuous night to twirl circles in my tattered gown, soaked and clinging to my body like a lover that has been released but wishes not to go. What a glorious night to stroll under the rows of the ever reaching Maple trees, listening as their limbs sing a song of agony as they rub against one another.  I let the rain wash me clean under the hidden moon before wandering farther into the shadows of this night.

The beast, he wakes; I can feel him watching, waiting, growing from the pangs within me. Will he come to me, this creature of anguish? The rain is slowing, a mere drizzle now, barely even falling – floating on the breeze like his warm breath upon my bare neck.  Will he stalk me in the lingering mist?  I live knowing he terrifies me, even as I long for his touch; the touch of a soul as dark and tortured as my own.

The moon tries to protect me with its light, but I hide in the shadows as does he – this monster of beauty and destruction; this primal creature that will destroy me; this half-man half-beast that will ultimately consume me.  How long can I resist his not-so gentle pull into the dark of the  woods that now surround me? Do I even wish to try? Or would I willingly rush to him if only he would beckon?

I stand on the brink of the deeper shadows trembling with fear; fearing the need to take that final step. I feel his want calling out to me – yes, he wants me to enter his world, but he does not guarantee that my journey there will be a sane one. I move out of the shadows and  fall to my knees weeping, begging him to emerge from the dim recesses and enter my world of glowing moonlight. But he fears the light, no – not fear – hate. He hates the light. This light that shines upon my upturned face and tangled hair has been his undoing. He was not always this beast, he was once a creature so different, so full of life, that he has no choice but to loathe the fact that I have not become what he is. His presence near demands that I enter his domain; his mind delves into mine impaling me with his desire. But I know his lust is insatiable, and once he has touched my darkness, I will never return to the light again.

Frightened, I cannot move; he is enraged – so angered that he nearly allows himself to reach out and grab hold of me, dragging me to him. I will not fight, I will let him take what he will, yet I cannot offer my submission even under his heated gaze.  But no, he will not take me, I must come to him; my damaged companion, my kindred tortured soul who seeks nothing more than I – a release from this distant embrace of hellish pain we are destined to exist within.

With a snarl of anger and disgust, he leaves me yet again to weep at the edge of the darkness, screaming silently to be where he’d have me go.

I hear him howl into the night; he screams his rage while crying out his longing for that which may someday leave what  meager light the moon sheds to walk in the dark at his side – owned by him for all eternity.


~ Nina D’Arcangela

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

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35 thoughts on “Darkened Reflections

  1. Wonderful. Your words make me feel everything the narrator feels. And leave me wondering…who is he? What is he? Will she eventually go to him..?


    1. Ahhhh…. see, I could tell you, but that would ruin the mystic and draw of a piece like this…

      Thank you, Karen! This is an extremely personal piece for me. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂


  2. This is so full of darkness and longing – I love it. Nina, you describe the beast’s rejection and fury of light with what feels like an intimate understanding. It’s believable.

    There were a few lines that created such clear visuals and audios that it was impossible for me to not feel like I was there:

    “my tattered gown, soaked and clinging to my body like a lover that has been released but wishes not to go”

    “Maple trees, listening as their limbs sing a song of agony as they rub against one another”

    I enjoyed the warring emotions and desires of these two dark beings.


    1. Thank you, Zack. A glimpse into who the Dark Angel truly is… not just my mind, but my backyard as well (that’s where the singing Maples live – an entire row that are over 100 years old that walk half the property – absolutely gorgeous!). I truly enjoy tapping into an emotion and letting it carry me to a place deep inside; if I can drag the reader with me, then I’m genuinely writing, not just putting words together.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this mental stroll so much, as I said to Karen earlier – it’s a particularly personal piece for me. 🙂


  3. I think this is my favourite piece of yours to date, Nina. It is beautiful writing, the kind of beauty that can only be found skirting the borders between moonlight and shadow.

    Your protagonist staring at the reflection in the glass is affecting and poignant. Who hasn’t caught sight of themselves in one reflective surface or another and wondered about the face staring back at them?


    1. The scary part is that I almost went back through and corrected it for tense and proper structure; but I read it over and thought to myself it was exactly what I wanted/needed to express. It was genuinely what I was feeling, and to ‘fix’ it, would have been to corrupt it.

      I often see what I don’t anticipate in reflective surfaces, particularly distorted ones. Much of what I write starts there, and flows outward. Thank you so much for the kind praise, I am pleased beyond belief by it! And I am happy that you enjoyed it so much!! 🙂


    1. Hunter, there is nothing Monster about you… but I won’t tell!

      What you see is what you get with me, and here it is on a silver platter. Thank you 100 fold! This piece is very special to me, and you’ve summed up everything it is and everything I meant for it to be. 🙂


  4. Nina I like the conflict that starts at the very beginning and sighs at the last. Tow conflicted contrasting characters that share the same pain. Each on a different side of the glass.
    Very thoughtfully written with a very pointed pen


    1. The most personal pieces always are. Duality, monstrosity, beauty, fear, pain, peace – each lives in all of us, it’s just a matter of how far inward we are willing to reach to explore them. My conflicted beast, he rages in my soul always – screaming each echo of my pain; reveling in each joy I feel; but always wanting more. A need yet satisfied, we all have those. My beast is my protector as well – he speaks to me in whispers (yeah, go ahead and try to figure that one out! – sarcastic me stepping in for a moment…)

      Thank you, M’Lady, as always for your kind, very apt, and thoughtful words! 🙂


  5. With such distinct visuals saturating your work, as the rain so saturated the narrator, I am often surprised that you don’t write poetry- or do you…?

    Either way, a very haunting piece with a faint memory of The Raven permeating the scene. Madness and obsession are such fun muses! The duality throughout left me feeling torn on the matter of the narrator’s submission to her beast too. A mark of the story’s excellence, I s’pose!


    1. Hi Alex! I write in poetic prose, but as a general rule, avoid poetry simply because I abhor rules and structure. Tell me I can’t, and you can pretty much rest assured I will! Desperation, longing, pain of separation, and the desire to feel peace; yet fear of it at the same time is what this piece says to me when I read it back over. Left alone with a keyboard or pen, this is the inner me coming out to tell the world all I need to say. Should she find the courage to go to him, or should he find the strength of will to claim her… time will tell, if the story ever decides to tell itself, that is. 😉


  6. What raw emotion! What anguish! Beautifully done, Nina! Their pain and torturous longing was explicit and tangible.This piece was magnificent on its own, but would also be wondrous as a larger story, feel free to flesh this one out!!!


    1. Thank you, Tyr! I’m glad you enjoyed it. This isn’t a simple construct for me, it’s how I’m wired on the inside – it’s the personal me leaking out through words. I genuinely love rain storms; enjoy playing in the rain; hear something calling to me through the night, and want very much to give myself over to it, but need assurance that I’m not chasing phantoms… (whimsical, I know, but accurate) Will it ever be a longer piece, that depends… the song belongs to it, not me, and as I said to Alex, time will tell if it wants to be told or not. I can’t force my inner demons to the surface (well, all but one – and she’s a bitch, we’ve met her), they come when they come. 🙂


  7. Nina, there are few that write with the depth of darkness as you do…fewer still who manage to tame it just long enough to express in words. ‘Darkened Reflections’ encapsulates everything one should know of the Dark Angel. Still even then it does not scratch the surface.

    Can you guess I’m an admirer of your dark, emotive prose? lol This piece is simply outstanding…so dark & beautiful…singing & screaming at the same time.

    “I feel his want calling out to me – yes, he wants me to enter his world, but he does not guarantee that my journey there will be a sane one. I move out of the shadows and fall to my knees weeping, begging him to emerge from the dim recesses and enter my world of glowing moonlight”

    I love that passage: it is as torturous as it is comforting. How do you manage to do this to your readers time & time again?

    Outstanding prose, Nina! 🙂


    1. Hi, Joe! Thank you!! All I can really say to that is, this is me, bare to the bone – or soul as it were. I feel things very deeply, and emote them with the same strength and resonance. There are times I feel that if I pour anymore of me onto the page, there may be nothing left inside… but there is always a small reserve.

      The passage you quoted is one that strikes a very distinct cord in me. Its somewhat the crux of how I perceive my own inner self. Tortured, yes; comforted – infrequently. But knowing that others ‘feel’ what I am writing helps ease some of my anguish. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not a Debbie Downer, but I have my own inner struggle to deal with, as does everyone else. This is just a snippet of my want waring with the knowledge of what my obligations and choices are in life.

      Thank you again for the lavish compliments. Everyone has been so kind and effusive on this post that I find myself revealing more than I should, but less than I want to… Apparently I’m more complicated than I thought. As Daemonwulf would say *oh-crap stare*

      Praise from the Tale Weaver is indeed praise to grovel for! Just don’t expect any – the groveling that is – LOL :}


  8. ‘What a glorious night to stroll under the rows of the ever reaching Maple trees, listening as their limbs sing a song of agony as they rub against one another.”

    Yes, my Dark friend, this is the sentence that speaks to me the most, with its outpouring of the duality of nature and human-like affectation which we know can not exist, but if it does, then maybe . . . just maybe there is more to worry about than the submitting of ones self to the dark or remaining within the safety of the light of the moon. Majestic piece, my friend!



    1. Do you recall the episode of Outer Limits (I’m almost certain it was Outer Limits), where whenever the elderly lady would trim her hedges the plants would scream out in agony, but only she could hear it? I saw that when I was very young, and it’s always stayed with me – the concept that just because we as humans can’t hear it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I’m a believer that everything in nature has a voice. When I hear the Maples in my yard rubbing bows, I don’t hear a tree creaking in the wind. I hear two lovers embracing, their only means of contact the Earth’s gusting breath. It’s fanciful, I know – but why not? Who is to say they aren’t two very near but separate parts of one whole who wish to be together?

      I’m not nuts, just very open minded. And I love the sound of nature singing out. I think if we all respected it more, this would be a better dot in space to live on.

      Thank you kindly for the compliment, Blaze! It is greatly appreciated and greedily consumed! 🙂


  9. What a D’liciously D’arc piece. One again… Your paragraphs simply drip with dread, the words providing just the right horrendous visuals, while the spaces in between leave me aching with beautiful sadness. And, in case you were unaware, all those things are very good things (especially since some might considered them ‘bad’.) *dark-(bad-as-in-good) smile*

    You never fail to yank the themes for your pieces from such seething darkness…. It is always such a joy to experience your work. And, I believe that one Mr. Joseph A. Pinto said it best — this piece both sings and screams, at the very same time…


    1. Thank you, Daemonwulf!! I happen to love this piece. I wrote it for no reason, just sat down and began typing what I was feeling on a stormy night. Turns out it is very personal to me, and I wasn’t quite aware of how much I was pouring into it until I sat back and read it over.

      I know I’ve said it before in these comments, but left alone with a means of writing and a spark – a rainstorm in this case – this is me being me, plain and simple. I genuinely enjoy plucking pain from beauty, and beauty from pain. I think they exist simultaneously in all aspects of life, and I’m extremely grateful to be able to express it so effectively. Thank you again for the exquisite compliments! And I would agree; this piece screams, sings, and if you listen closely enough, it whispers its heartbreak and joy. 😉


      1. You are soooooo kind, D’arc One of D’evilish D’read… *sweet smile* But, believe me, that secret is safe with me… Oops! Did I say all that out loud? *toothy grin*


    1. Hello Renee! Thank you most kindly!! What you’ve said about Darkened Reflections is so beautiful, I almost don’t know how to respond… other than to thank you profusely. I’m humbled and greatly appreciative. Thank you! ;}


  10. Your words are good love… each a vivid brushstroke on a stark canvas. I must admit…this blog…the stories here are not ones that caress my soul…the tales offered twisted and fraught with images too raw for my comfort…afraid I’m a tender hearted one…yet the way you weave these words…you love are truly talented and your words gifted… sublimely rendered to the reader. Bellissima …in its own dark way. Grazie for sharing love! Bells xxx


    1. Ah, bella Signoria! Thank you very much for your kind and appreciative words. What we publish on Pen of the Damned is angst, pain, horror and suffering. Nothing as delicate as your beautiful poems; loving, erotic, and submissive. Perhaps one day I will coax a tale of submission in my own words for you on my personal blog. Thank you very much for reading my post and complimenting my writing. It is much appreciated, Mirabella 🙂


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