My Damned Pen

The black penumbra grows

rising, rising, rising

greying forms its shadow

pages turn unclear

misled me from the light

penetrating screams are near

begs a blood curdling plea

from where I do not know

“before I’m bound, free me”

***

Pensive were my thoughts

trudging, trudging, trudging

to the mire my shoes brought

it’s written “I was here”

the scribe of evil’s night

rending through night’s fear

I am searching for  her life

was she calling out my doom?

innocent, I am now in doubt

blood merged before this moon

***

Pensive are the times

extra, extra, extra

read me between the lines

misled by moon’s eclipse

body slumps, I cannot stand

listless I wait for someone

her pendant in vacant hand

I’m judged and by dawn hung

seemingly torn and  cursed

the last chimes have been rung

***

Pendulum cold doth sway

left ,right ,right, left

endless sound so fey

will it never stop

no end to futile strife

tickings  mark life’s blot

pending seconds of my life

swing to rope’s end

a hanging part of speech

death’s  letter’s do portend

***

Penitent begs to live

“father, father, father

my transgressions please forgive”

echoes in my pent up mind

reams cast a shudder

save this memory and bind

“unjust” will this history suffer

last thing that I heard

a gasp , then

steel sharp against the word

***

Pen away my life

scribble, scribble, scribble

black against parched white

penult is lead etched

no sensible jot or tiddle

telling of  penury’s wretch

timeless life once seemed

inking just a fool’s dream

hark, someone else’s screams

~ Leslie Moon

© Copyright 2013 Leslie Moon. All Rights Reserved.

Lady Crocodile

‘Your Winnie,’ she mutters, pressing harder with the face wipe. ‘Your dragon, your beautiful dragon girl…’

Sitting before the mirror at her dressing table, she doesn’t recognise the woman staring back at her. There is familiarity in the face, as there is familiarity to be found in anything if a person is subjected to it often enough, but that is all. Still, she keeps looking. She must look, every night, before Seth turns in for bed, desperately studying the features that emerge from beneath her makeup. The ritual of recognition is on-going.

The bedroom is dark, save for the light from the first-floor landing, which spills through the open doorway. It is easier when the bedroom is dark, as though that makes it all right; as though it is acceptable that she cannot properly see herself when she can barely see anything else. Canned laughter carries through the house, and the sound of audience applause, as Seth’s own evening ritual comes to its close. Soon he will ascend through the house, as if chasing the vestigial laughs, the sound of company, until they lead him into the bedroom and are silent.

The evening had begun like any other. Dinner was ready for when Seth returned home from work. She had cooked lamb, rubbed with rosemary and a selection of other herbs. She ate silently while he told her about his day. She nodded when encouraged, smiled when he smiled, laughed at his jokes.

He told her the lamb was nice, that his ‘dragon’s done herself proud with this one.’ They drank wine; his white, hers red. He said the white went with the vegetables. Her palate favoured the red; rich, velveteen flavours in her mouth, against her tongue. She agreed with him regardless.

Seth loves it when she agrees with him. He says it shows their unity, that they are two made into one. ‘In sickness and in health. Till death do we part. My Winnie, my fierce, beautiful dragon girl.’

She turns her attention to her lips next. Pulling a clean tissue free from the box to her right, she dabs it to her mouth, as though kissing it gently good night. Her lips have not kissed anything gently for a long time now. Seth does not like his love gentle, and on the occasions he does press his mouth against hers, it cannot be called a kiss. Once, before all this, he might have kissed her in the proper sense. There had been tenderness then; enough to tempt her from her family home into his arms.

She presses harder, then begins rubbing, until all of the lipstick is gone. Underneath, her lips are thin, and slightly raw. The tissue comes away red and streaky in her hand.

When they had both finished eating dinner, the dragon washed up while her white knight took the wine into the front room. Heat seared her hands as they dipped in and out of the sink. Drowsy with wine and the silky, sudsy water on her skin, she thought things that she had not dared to think before. ‘What ifs’ uncoiled themselves in her mind; fiery thoughts roused and riled.

Staring into her bright, shining eyes in the dressing table mirror, she remembers every slight, every wound, every wicked word intended to belittle her. This is not love, she thinks. She dares to think it again, giving voice to the doubts that have for a long time now been hatching in her head. This is not love. It was never love. She is no better off than when she left home; lost and lonely and unloved by a world that does not know the meaning of the word.

She remembers the feel of his hand against her face, the sound it makes; a ringing slap that sinks beneath the skin and seems to burn. His dragon, scorched!

She thinks of all these things, as she had thought of them at the kitchen sink, her eyes fixed firmly on the wedding ring by the taps. Her hands had moved automatically through the water, her mind caught up in a twister of realisation. So much pain, she thought, so much upset for so little; a small piece of jewellery and their names on a certificate. God, she was sure, played no part in this; an ancient force dead to the modern world. But there were yet more ancient forces, not dead but sleeping, and they stirred now, suffused with heat and hunger –

Tears cling to her long, black lashes, before breaking free and running down her face. Most of her make-up is removed now but she does not stop wiping. She covers all her face from her forehead to her neck, and with every wipe she feels more familiar, less false to her own eyes. And what eyes, she thinks, reaching to rip off her fake lashes. The lids come too, peeled clean above her sockets, revealing mad, majestic orbs underneath.

Silence falls suddenly over the house. As her opened eyes regard themselves in the mirror, she hears Seth at the bottom of the stairs. He comes perhaps to slay her with his lance, to penetrate the folds of her flesh, to pierce her in her most vulnerable place until she is stilled beneath him, and he spent.

She wipes harder, with less care, and it seems to her that every movement sloughs skin from her face. Her flesh smears like concealer, revealing new skin underneath. The tissues tire quickly, turning red and rancid in her hand. Their remains litter the dressing table, and in the mirror, her new face; sharp and scaled. His dragon girl, a woman!

He reaches the top of the stairs, and she senses him on the landing. Then she sees him in the mirror, a silhouette in the doorway. His body blocks the light.

‘You’re cold again.’

‘I’m fine,’ she says, still staring in the mirror.

‘Come off it, I can see you shivering from here.’ Seth moves into the bedroom, his silhouette reappearing by the window. The cross-framed sheet of glass stands open; the bedroom exposed to the black sky, the silver stars swallowed by that blackness so that they barely seem to shine at all. ‘What have I said about leaving this open at night?’

He is still talking but she does not hear. Time seems to stop as she considers him; not Seth but a silhouette, featureless and without meaning. He is nothing. It is nothing. She feels herself shaking as she considers what she has given to him. Every smack scalds her skin, embarrassment sears her cheeks, abuse burning between her thighs until she can barely contain the heat inside her. Her mouth stretches into a silent scream, jaws wide, like the dragons of old. Lipstick and lashes, for lamb!

‘– to make an effort. You know I love you, Winnie? Your knight in shining –’

She rushes at him through the darkness. They stumble into the en-suite, half in and out of the bedroom. His head hits the smooth white of the wash basin and he lies still beneath her. Heat spills from her mouth in hurried words.

‘Lamb,’ she breathes hotly, ‘lipstick and lashes, for lamb!’

His eyes flutter, head lolling on the linoleum, and she wonders if he can see her, if he recognises that she has changed now. Her breath rattles in her throat; a beautiful, crocodilian croak, which seems to say I am a woman and you have wronged me. Then her mouth closes around his face, jaw loose, like that of a great snake. Her teeth sink into his skin and he burns beneath her, this modern knight, this meat, this man.

~ Thomas Brown

© Copyright 2013 Thomas Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Dissections 2

wolf_rule_full_sat

THIS ISN’T FOR YOU

This isn’t for you
This poem
This song
Everything and anything that’s ever come before.

Cause you haven’t been worth my breath
You haven’t been worth my time
You haven’t been worth the wait
For this pen’s ink to dry.

So to you
And to you alone
This isn’t for you
This beer
This shot
Everything and anything I’ve ever drank before.

Cause you haven’t been worth my buzz
You haven’t been worth the sickness
Or this need to die.

So to you
And to you alone
This is nothing.

wolf_rule_full_sat

CAMP OF REALIZATION

Imploring eyes
Though I can’t see you
Even as you bleed
Leaving a dripping trail
Of gristle
Over the blankets of comfort I draw for you
As my words remain the coldest reminder of all
That liars reach conclusions
And truth tellers grasp at straws
Soon this sun will set
The wind will howl
Cross the land mother moon
Exposes for all.

wolf_rule_full_sat

HOUSE OF CARDS

Man
Sitting beside me
Straining with weary eyes
To see the devil’s script in his palm.

Woman
Sitting next to me
Loving with open eyes
The man shut from her heart.

Couple
Sitting across from me
Reveling in dreamy talk
Strengthening a foundation of denial.

Bartender
Fueling the fire
Let it burn.

wolf_rule_full_sat

THURSDAY NIGHT AT THE PUB

From here
I see everything
Nuance, twitch, inflection
Nothing goes unnoticed
Yet nothing judged
Why should I?
I sit merely to observe
Watch, study, comprehend
From here
I know everything
Life, loss, lover
Your entire world now mine
Yet I’m unknown
Why am I?
I’m merely here Thursday nights.
From there
You see nothing
Pain, want, need
So much goes unnoticed
And you don’t hear
How can you?
Above the jukebox and pleas for double scotch.

wolf_rule_full_sat

HERO JUST BECAUSE

You’re not the hero of the day
You don’t even own a cape
Keep running into empty buildings
Keep saving dreams once they’ve broken
It’s easier that way for you
To collect that cash reward
And adulation
From those even more oblivious
You’re only faster than a speeding bullet
Cause you take the coward’s way of things
You’re a fraud, a fraud
The hollow need something to believe in
The scared need reasons to run away
The children need a role model
Fashioned from something other than a rental suit.

wolf_rule_full_sat

YOU DON’T GET TO DO THIS

No!
You don’t get to do this
You don’t get to steal my pain
And use it like a kerchief round your neck.

Only I know how dear it is
Only I know of its warm invite
Before its cold deep bite into my flesh.
But you see it and wish to take it,
Tame it
Drag it back into its cage.

No!

It won’t happen
I won’t allow it
You don’t get to do this
Not anymore.

For if my pain you steal from me
Is something you truly want
Then know how dear my smile will be
With my fingers entwined round your neck.

wolf_rule_full_sat

FIDO

I see you often
walking your puppy
Watching
as you jerk its choker
until its tongue protrudes in a pink slather
until its eyes roll in its head.

I see you often
leading your puppy
Watching
as you drag it through mud
through thorny brush
kicking it from behind.

I see you often
petting your puppy
Watching
as you slap its face
dig fingers into its ribs.

Funny how time flies.

I see your dog often
running on its own now
Watching
its leash untethered
burying its bone deep into your neighbor’s hole
pissing and shitting on your car
Good boy.

wolf_rule_full_sat

THREE SIMPLE WORDS

Three simple words
languishing
in night
lingering
upon lips
festering
in shadows.
Three simple words
shared without provocation
born in deeper shallows of grey
My gift yours
this bitter pill
forced to consume
shared without invocation
born in deeper pools of black
languishing
lingering
festering
Swallow, choke, die.

wolf_rule_full_sat

UNDER THE GUN

Such a crafted hand
eviscerates
splays skin until bloody ribbons
speak my story so precisely
and just as I wish to scream no more
my tale starts anew
another chapter split open
truth seared
raw.

wolf_rule_full_sat

THIEVERY

He lived to see another day
That poor prick’s heart still beating within his chest
He’d stolen it
With dull blade
And a shaking disloyal hand
Devoured it; consumed joyously all his own.
The last remnants
Not the crimson dripping from chin
As some would have you believe
But the jackhammer thud of taken essence
Screaming bloody murder between his lungs.

wolf_rule_full_sat

BLISS

Promise me
The drink you pour will be my last
For I’m beyond saving
Yet still a good tip in your pocket
If you keep me alive.
That brew will send me to the gutter
That brandy will keep me in the streets
This booze will deliver me to the gates
I thought I could never find.
You seem to be my Maker
At least on this night
Because you’ll right all my wrongs
And make my wrongs worse than what they were
Thank you
May I have another?

wolf_rule_full_sat

RITE

He’s barely cooled
And you’ve got him packed
His entire existence fit neatly
Into department store bags
The likes of which
He’d never been welcome inside before
His gentle presence shoved
With careful consideration, mind you
Of how one end might interlock with the other.

Heartless cruel bitch
You wiped him clean
From your blackened slate of memory
Already smudged
Of chalky goodbyes
No thought given
To any thread of lingering
For you’ve cut the strand and made it to burn.

The final indignation
Does not resonate with the fact
That you’ve left him no chance to cool
But the absurd notion
That I’ll grant him
This
His final ride
In a procession of stale boxes.

Oh no
He lives on otherwise in my grassy field meadows
Not your yellowed department store bags.

wolf_rule_full_sat

I AM

I am rattlesnake
I am earthquake
I am lightning rod
I am heart attack
I am cool hand
I am cold heart
I am motherfucker
I am father love
I am old dog
I am sly fox
I am lone wolf
I am broken man
I am deep sea
I am shallow thought
I am long kiss
I am almighty fuck
I am bright sun
I am evil dark
I am black sheep
I am wise one
I am.

~ Joseph A. Pinto

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Damned Words 2

bolts2

Betrayal
Dan Dillard

It began with one.
But bolt by bolt and rail by rail,
Walls he could not scale.
Leaving was to no avail.
The bastard.

I didn’t mean it as a snare,
At first, it was not a jail.
He had his way, but didn’t care
And now I laugh, I sit and stare.
I watch as he wails and calls
Begging me, “Tear down the walls!”
I  will not.

He will pay with dread and deal with pain.
The love I gave him not in vain.
The cage I built, his blood to stain.
He won’t make this mistake again.

rule

Shiny, Pretty Things
Nina D’Arcangela

Obediently loyal, begging of my affection. Shining vibrantly, fools each one. Seeking my notice among the many. They cling to the side, perfection in every space; none dare lag behind. Repugnant they are.

One does catch my eye, not the brightest, not the flawless; but the least refined. Standing in front, lacking shimmer; displaying the audacity to perch to the left, head skewed slightly off kilter. Perhaps one of these fools is deserving. What use have I of minions made perfect? Give me the challenge; I will break him to my ideal. Yes, this one may be indeed be worthy.

rule

Sworn
Joseph A. Pinto

 I thought you would follow, but the willow reed swallowed me whole
At least that’s the excuse you sold…
I’d been too busy tightening bolts
Preparing for traffic that would never come.
On the opposite end of nothing now
I’ve teetered upon this sharp edge far too long
Waiting for that willow reed to part
A path once cut through it; I suppose now it’s gone
Should my bridge someday be crossed
Unlike that lost, forgotten route
I’ll keep to tightening bolts, even if my hands get torn
The willow reed once led the way, at least
So you’d sworn.

rule

Cheap Champagne
Tyr Kieran

My vision blurs as if mocking the slur that hindered my tongue for the last hour. On the balcony, the cold aluminum railing burns my cheek, but serves to support me while I regain balance.

I’ve drowned out our honeymoon night, but she kept feeding me full glasses.

Agony hits and I collapse.

My new bride ignores me as she packs a suitcase on the bed.

“Help.” I moan. “It hurts!”

She steps out onto the terrace through the open sliding door and squeezes my face in her hands.

“Yeah, poison will do that, Dear. Thanks for the life insurance.”

rule

Harvest House
Thomas Brown

Each day, when morning breaks, the gates unlock. Blue-eyed boys and blond-haired girls hop, skip and jump, crack silly jokes, kick chequered balls into an empty sky. A bell rings and they rush inside; Tom, Dan, Joe, Little Hunter drink juice, help themselves to biscuits, laughing, throwing punches, wiping crumbs from round their messy mouths.

After lunch the children play inside, read stories (Nina sings), fall fast asleep, and then, in that calm, soporific state begin to change. Skin shivers, splits revealing shells, long insect legs, click-clacking tongues; by night a horrid, hungry hive trapped inside this, their steel penal-nest.

rule

Once Upon A Troll
Blaze McRob

This was once a peaceful place, the bridge above my home wooden and old. No one used it. Ah, except for the occasional foolish school child taking a short cut home. Tasty little creatures for a troll such as me.

Then they put in the steel girder bridge so the train could run over my home. No Damned peace now!

Tonight is a special run. The train will be filled with people.

The rivets are so easy for my strong fingers to turn and remove. Just perfect.

Falling into the middle of the river, the train will run no more.

rule

Sealed Promises
Leslie Moon

All my living fears buried, banished, bolted
contained beneath earth’s seas.
Bound are the monsters was their promise to me.
***
My logic sneers, “Is the box today’s illusion?”
Placate and pacify where set in stone is a new dependence
and false security they can’t deny.
***
Their promises  fit neatly in those little pill squares.
Now that the voices have gotten louder where do I run?
Their hot breath growing fouler.
*
Red eyes at morning taunt my blinds.
Does no one heed the warning?
Make room in the canvas sack, seal out the sounds.
Give my reason back!

rule

The Greatest Fraud
Daemonwulf

I see a world that no longer is, one in which I cannot live. Just as today, and each before, my mind closes another door. But like a movie without an end, the fire takes me back again. Life and death whiz past my head, I hear a thousand screams of dread.  I taste the blood upon my tongue, and smell the burning of the young.  While blades of green replace hot sands, I watch my life pour through red hands. I now know it was a war of swine that caused me to cross this bridge in pine.


Each piece of fiction is the copyright of its respective author
and may not be reproduced without prior consent.
Image © Copyright Dark Angel Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Beast Below

The beast he calls to me. Gnawing about far below.

It spells voracious hunger. Of defense I little know.

Scraping out of need; I struggle to resist.

“I am too young you fiend,”

          “…but this you shouldn’t miss.”

Vile whisper through the crack manipulates my head,

“I’d like to taste the young…. sweet, succulently fed.

Your peaches and cream skin. A place lips and teeth can run”

A growl from his throat slips.

I scowl, “This for you so characteristically fun.”

“What give you to me in exchange?”

I reply a restraining of my voice.

A strength I do not know.

I’ve changed with little choice.

“I can the rest set free. Upon my word, I’ll leave.

When I am happy, well, and sated. I promise I will flee.”

My family at liberty from this nightly terror. What I could not think.

What happens had I made an error?

For who would trust a beast who feasts on others’ fears?

But bravely I trod on, thinking not of memories dear.

        “You will wait then beast. While I do prepare. For my final hour, I’ll dress in finest  fare. 

The  gown in which I’m dressed. Of beauty I’ll be proud. When you take my life, wrap me in crimson’s shroud.”

Joan of Arc awakened as a dream. She a flaming star.

To death’s halls marching as one it seemed. Taking from life’s chalice, one courage filled draught.

So easily it slips. A golden fragrant  drop which hangs upon my lips.

He snarled. I grabbed his snout,

“This will be civilized.”

Pleasure struck a laugh that I could only but despise.

“for me this sense it is quite new.” He said between his teeth.

The  smile that it drew he’d wish that he could keep.

I licked gold from her lips. She bit into my neck.

I tore her fragrant arm. Never renting crimson, lest I forget.

She ripped open my belly, spat out balls of flesh and fur.

I realized before her gold and velvet, I was a miserable cur.

“I will this not to end,” of course he’d want his way.

“Were we to  continue a price you’d have to pay.”

He snarled of foulish pleasure.

“and your promise beast will it ensue?”

“I’ve never kept a promise. I assure you that is true.”

“Then I will finish what you started. Your promise will be won.

Here’s a revelation I’m no longer a mere woman.”

Fire leaped into her eyes, swords unveiled and forged of steel.

I’d failed to see her disguise. She brandished some foul light.

I should have known somehow, as she carved me with delight.

The floorboards gave a howl. They folded pulled me down.

Into my lake as ghoul, I’d forever, never drown.

What happened on that night. I never will forget.

A turning tide when crimson replaced the soul I’d let.

~ Leslie Moon

© Copyright 2013 Leslie Moon. All Rights Reserved.


Heed the Tale Weaver: The one-year anniversary of the Damned draws to a close…but the celebration of the Damned shall never end. The winner of our comment contest shall be named May 21; your package of ghoulish goodies awaits. In the meantime, revel weekly in our angst and taint. We thank you, Damned Nation, for together we shall redefine horror. Now, go Damn yourself…


The Library

cross_blue_darker

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.
Just get people to stop reading them.”

– Ray Bradbury

The sexton of Barnestone Cemetery hears the hum of nearby street lamps before he sees them, lighting up the road like an airport runway. Their activation might be a nod to the whole city, which seems to shine brighter, bearing down on him and the shadows in which he stands. The darkness scatters from around him. Alone, he drowns in light.

Windows illuminate even the tallest buildings against the backdrop of night, interposed with glowing billboards, bearing pixelated faces with wide, white grins and hair the colour of gold. Skyscrapers scratch the clouds. The roads beneath are no better; red rivers of brake-lights stopping-starting by the bright glow of the street lamps, which shine harsher than any lamp should, flashing, always flashing, burning spots into his eyes, his soul, like a strip of old film reel, grown hot and ashen–

He turns sharply from the city, his hand shaking where it grips the metal gate. Flakes of black paint rub from the railings, floating slowly to the ground, as anger wells inside him. He can only imagine the sight he must make; a solitary figure, small, barely a speck on a patch of grass against the enormity of the city around him. And yet it is the little things that he misses; the stars in the sky, bedtime stories, the owls, which he had once used to watch for through the window with his father and a pair of black binoculars. Stars and stories mean different things now; glossy magazine spreads, lurid as the lights around him. The owls mean nothing at all. There are pictures online, if anyone knows to search for them, and footage from old documentaries. He even found bird bones once, inside an old oak tree. He buried them where Rowling rests, in a grave by the north gate. That which he once thought fitting now brings a lump to his tight throat.

He focuses on the flakes of paint and their delicate descent, his anger slowly settling with them. His grip on the railings relaxes. So much is dead. So much is gone. The world, the word, everything that mattered now mad, or meaningless. The old ways are almost forgotten. But he remembers. He remembers the rituals, the rites, in this place where they might still be found, if one only knows where to look.

Returning to his work, he secures the cast-iron gates with lock and key. Chains snake through the bars, which he shakes, to make sure they are secure. Moving along the railings, he repeats this at the north and south entrances. He has worked in the cemetery his whole life, as his father did before him, and is intimately familiar with the grounds. When he reaches the east gate, he does not lock it but stands and stares a little longer through the bars. The city blurs, light running down his cheeks, and it is several minutes before he comes to himself again.

With the gate ajar, he turns from the railings and walks slowly back through the headstones. Sirens scream in his ears, traffic roars, and above that the digitized voices of a hundred adverts, proclaiming their products to passers-by. He laps the graveyard twice, depositing flowers at certain graves – roses for Hawthorne, lilies for Stoker, a basket of poppies for Faulks – before turning back toward the mausoleums.

The squat, grey buildings mark the hallowed heart of the cemetery. Approaching the closest, he climbs cracked steps to the entrance. The weather has done terrible things to the architecture, which has suffered – bled marble blood – beneath electric storms and acid rain. It is still more beautiful than anything in the surrounding city. He supposes he has always seen beauty in dead, ruined things. Now he appreciates them because he must. Because there is nobody else. Because otherwise they mean nothing, and the sad, sorry world has won.

Unlocking the rusted gate, he slips inside. Strangely, it is not the cold that he first notices, or the dark, but the silence. Only his boots continue to make sound, where they scrape against smooth stone. For a minute he descends through total darkness, feeling his way along the walls. He moves slowly, so as not to slip. Fingers find grooves they have found many times before, then he sees faint light ahead; the fire from the brazier he keeps lit here. Reaching the bottom of the stairs, he steps into a small chamber. Words drift through his mind: sanctum, sepulcher, tomb. The fire paints shadow shapes across the walls.

He approaches the sarcophagus, which dominates the center of the shallow room. The cold, or perhaps the silence, prickles his skin, but he is not uncomfortable. Quite the opposite, he stares down at the lid and the human shape engraved there. It is a knightly figure; proud, learned, like no man or woman he would encounter now. People no longer talk to each other but at each other. They curse and croon; incoherent sounds for an incoherent age. Fuck flows like poetry from furious lips, except they do not know the meaning of poetry, have never heard it, never read it, can barely speak let alone read. Language is lost, buried beneath a weight of blasphemies, generations buried with it, bones broken beneath text speech, abbreviated brutality, bound conscious to the internet, the Ethernet, the Ethernot, no sense, no individuality, no life at all beyond the small black mirrors in their palms, the bright, gaudy billboards outside their apartment windows–

Movement at the bottom of the stairs makes him turn. A man is standing by the brazier. He is followed by an old woman, and moments later two more. Gradually the room begins to fill, until a dozen people stand around him. There is no need yet for conversation. He thinks they look sad, and excited, and tired, although he could just be seeing himself in their faces.

When the chamber is full and everyone still, he removes the lid from the sarcophagus. The lid is made from marble, and it takes six of them to slide it from its place. Once, he thinks, as he applies himself to the task, it was a sin to disrupt the dead. Now it is required; a necessary necromancy, such that the written word might live again, that they might read, as writing was intended to be read. Together they lower the lid through the silence, resting it carefully against the ground. Reaching through the grave dust, he places his hand in the sarcophagus. When he lifts it up, he is holding a book.

There is no speech, no revolutionary jargon or ancient incantation. It is enough that those assembled can see the book, with its worn spine, faded font and tired, tattered pages. It has been a month since they last met; a month trapped in their wayward, prostituted world, and the sight of the volume is a visible weight from their shoulders.

As he opens the book to the first pages, some people sink cross-legged to the floor. Others perch on short statues, or lean against the walls. Firelight captures attentive faces, and in that moment, seeing their eyes shining back at him, he feels one thing, so powerful it is almost overwhelming; the rare, quiet rush of relief. They are a group; his group, the last literary coven. If it is necromancy to commune with the dead, to raise written spirits from their tomes, then they are necromancers; not death-dealers or charlatans but people, just people, who would read together and remember in this graveyard, this forgotten place, this library for the dead.

“We read,” he says quietly, remembering an old quote from a book buried now beneath a grave marked Lewis, “to know we are not alone.” Then he opens his mouth, draws breath, begins reading from the pages in his hands, and twelve people listen patiently, and for a chapter or two in a cold, dark tomb know peace.

~ Thomas Brown

© Copyright 2013 Thomas Brown. All Rights Reserved.


Heed the Tale Weaver: Celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Damned. Through May 7, 2013, upon each new post, a comment you will leave. A package of ghoulish goodies tainted with an offering from every member of the Damned awaits one fated winner – glorious books, personalized stories and eternal suffering at your feet. Now Damn yourself, make your mark below! But remember insolent ones, you must leave a comment, a “like” will not earn you a chance at our collection of depravity. Do not make the Damned hunt you down.


Empty Hearts, Empty Stockings

Empty Hearts

On a brisk December morning

Children dreamt of  Holiday delights

A vile storm was brewing

To extinguish 27 lights

Little sisters with their new clothes

Little boys in wintry white

A storm thick was waiting

To extinguish 27 lights

The end of a new day

Who could see the darkest spite

A storm now was ready

To extinguish 27 lights

As the stars are just dawning

Look up high in the night

They are singing others playing

Missed, Precious 27  lights

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Empty Stockings

27 stockings hung

My empty heart

Joins you on the pyre

Feelings  are  completely rung

no hope of life’s gift

of  your  love I am bereft

perhaps…

If I flung

myself  before  finality  did  start

into memory’s  fire

flames would purify and lift

casting this pain adrift

…alas

No presents slung

On Santa’s jolly  cart

can satisfy under ache so dire

no happy hugs to sift

this cold pale Christmas

~ Leslie Moon

© Copyright 2012 Leslie Moon. All Rights Reserved.

Precious Death

Tell me something secret

Whisper into my ear

Make love to my damaged sorrow

With your self-defeating fear.

What little light you brought to life

Is forfeit now and ever

We’ll dance a twisted spider walk

To begin a new endeavor.

My rusted blade it dives and twists

Between your filthy breath

I’ll carve for you a new beginning

Some delightful precious death.

Weep now, my dearest lovely bones

Your tears I will consume

And before your light is extinguished

I’ll waltz you to your tomb.

~ Jack Wallen

© Copyright 2012 Jack Wallen. All Rights Reserved.

Dissections 1

Hand Poised On Knob

You’ve had your bags packed
For a very long time
No chance to think it over
Just grabbed your essentials
Essentially you’re gone.

But still you remain
For what or why
You’re not sure yourself
And that’s the problem, isn’t it?

And that’s a problem
Isn’t it?

Remaining behind the door
Hand on knob
Certain of the monster behind you
Not sure of the monsters beyond
Duffle bag on your back
Mouth dry as cotton
Frozen
So you remain another day.

But your bags are packed
And in your head you’re gone
Living your life this way
One day at a time
One monster clawing at your back
God knows what waiting beyond.

Living Dead Girl

The dead ain’t for living
Still you’re living dead, girl
This six foot hole home way too long
Only so many ways to dig dirt
Before it piles up
Crumbles back down
And ruins all your hard work.

So many ways for living
Still you’re living dead, girl
You’re so better off going about it alone
But even then it’s a mockery
Having dirt thrown upon you
After you worked so hard
Cleaning up your hole.

But the dead ain’t for living
Still you’re living dead, girl
And that six foot hole is a long way down
It’s okay to close your eyes
Just drop in; you’re not alone
See I’m down here, too
Digging all the while.

Fakes Need Not Apply

The thing about this mask
Is that I choose not to wear it
I’m comfortable
Exposed.

Without this mask
You see me for all I am
So shame on you
For not seeing me coming.

But you
And your kind
You wear the masks I choose not to
You wear the masks I see through.

A brilliant disguise?
Please
Spare me.

I walk raw, naked and senses alive
Even while the rest of me dies
Just do me this favor
Only this one
When I’m gone
Display this mask alongside my casket
To serve as constant reminder
For the fakes who attend.

Husk

The call came
that you were gone
and all that remained
was the simple act of driving
to see you one last time.

But you left the party
long before last call
too soon
after the final hello.

Your own terms
abided
always
something I will admire.

You left me
a husk
something you never were
something hard to erase from memory
something unforgivable.

And during that simple act of driving
when all that remained
were your terms
I remembered the final time I lay with you
A husk
the party long over
the curtain long drawn.

Of A Darker Art

Got hell in mouth
Devil on tongue
Voodoo mama on brain
Demon in heart.

Dig bones from dirt
Bury spleens in hearth
Keep gris-gris round neck
Darkness never part.

Never sell this spell
But steal your charm
Tongue flick tail rattle, baby
Yeah, snake round arm.

But hell in mouth
Need devil on tongue
Voodoo mama on brain
You the demon in my heart.

~ Joseph A. Pinto

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

Devil Dolls

Shadows on the wall so eerie, made the little girl grow teary,

Watching shapes of hideous evils casting their disturbing gloom.

As she shuddered , nearly crying, all at once she heard a prying,

Much like someone trying, trying to get in the room.

“T’was some evil thing,” she figured, prying to get in her room.

“More than this, it’s bringing doom.”

.

Oh, so clearly she remembered, all was safe when first she slumbered,

Yet ‘twas every scary trembler brought it’s fear into the room.

Thus it went she longed for freedom, away from all the bad to come,

In her spread, patchwork of welcome, welcome for the coming doom.

But the scared and ominous youngster felt the wrath from evil’s womb.

Much noise now within the room.

.

Thus the sunken fears around her, tearing at the edge of horror

Scared her, brought her awful angst that ‘round her head did loom.

So she took to calm the pounding in her chest; she tried retreating

From the gruesome evil sounds, gaining entry to the room.

Yes, the gruesome evil sounds, gaining entry to the room.

This it was, and so much doom.

.

Who is there, or what, she wondered, wanting now to enter room.

But the fact was, she was frightened, feelings of her fears so heightened,

That her heart was oh so tightened, tightened deep within her room.

So deep inside her frightened mind, she tried to run from the doom.

Deep angst there, inside the room.

.

List’ning to the scary prying, as she shuddered, thinking, crying,

Fretting, fearing fears no children ever had to face in room.

But the horrors were so eerie, and the darkness made her teary,

And the only thing she wanted was a happy place, ‘nought doom.

This she wanted, and her mind repeated of a place, ‘nought doom.

Merely this, inside her room.

.

She returned to blankets hiding, all the fears inside her chiding,

But this time the sound was grating, closer , closer to her room.

“I’m scared,” said she, “I’m scared about the things that lurk inside this place,

What could there be the fear to chase, and so much more ‘tis gloom?”

Why could her soul be yet so torn, and drawn to fears of doom?

‘Tis the angst, inside the room.

.

And no more fear could she handle, her heart aflame just like a candle.

Inside the room a scream so loud, brought her mother to the room,

And when the lights were turned on full, Demonic Dolls did on her pull.

With the force of dolls so awful, so many now inside the room,

Sat upon a floor so shiny, in the middle of the room.

Sat and sat, in room of doom.

.

Twins on toybox top were sitting, evil faces, twisted smiling,

Blond haired boy with knife so handy welcomed Mom into the room.

His bright white eyes were rimmed in black, and stared at her, all set to hack.

Her body not would he let back, for now this room would be her tomb.

And so the boy advanced to her, and blood tipped knife t’was spelling doom.

Said the child, “This is your tomb.”

.

She tried to run but was stopped short, for other dolls came to abort

Her effort now turned to failing, dolls swept o’er her like a broom.

Dolls with her were not agreeing with her plan of capture fleeing

And now from her was much weeping as she faced her final doom.

Many dolls did come to anchor her to floor of daughter’s room.

Anchor her in her new tomb.

.

And so the boy did end her life, no more for her to feel its strife.

With one move, he finished her, and no more would she feel the boom

Of all hardships she had suffered, and no more pain need be buffered,

For all the dolls ‘round her muttered, “No more will you feel the gloom,

Your life upon the floor will stay, incumbent not on the gloom.

Welcome now in to your tomb.”

.

And so more dolls from toybox came, involved for now in their new game.

Former playmate now did hover close to entry of her room.

Trapped by those now giddy dollies, intent upon newfound follies,

Licking lips ahead of jollies, thinking of the young girl’s doom.

Time it was, for her gloom.

.

Thus the dollies’ lips were smiling, inside their minds so beguiling,

Set upon the girl so fragile, blocking her from leaving room.

And before her eyes were blinking, the dolls had all started thinking,

Others on the floor were drinking, her mother’s blood inside the room.

All this now, unholy, ghastly, scant and horrible place of doom.

‘Twas the horror in the room.

.

As they came intent on stopping all the effort from her leaving,

Knowing now their thoughts had changed concerning changes in the room.

So now they planned on her having, a life in here everlasting,

As their playmate, keen on staying, lightened mood inside the room,

Yes their playmate, keen on staying, lightened mood inside the room.

Change from doom, though still a tomb.

.

They dragged her next to teddy bears, upon the floor they had no cares,

Though their innards had been torn by knife of evil boy in room.

Twin girl did jump from off her perch, on top of toybox did

She lurch. Horror—horror and regret from the girl t’was trapped in gloom.

Damn, oh damn this harsh regret, still within this horrid room.

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.

.

Twin girl in white upon the child, did force her face down mean and wild,

Into the blood of her dead mom, the evil girl with blood did groom.

And twin’s white dress, once so flaunted, dripped with blood, now undaunted.

In this place of horror haunted, much was kept within this room.

Nothing—nothing more of horror —kept here —kept here in this room.

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.

.

“A part of us you now will be, and never more will you be free.

Demonic Dolls surround you now, and all of us will share this room.

Become a part of what we are, and never will we wander far.

And so embrace what now you are, forget about impending doom.

For you will never go too far, forget about impending doom,”

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.

.

“Heed you now our words of greeting, friend or foe can be so fleeting.

So stay with us and be our friend, and we will have fun in this room.

And those against us who will come, will feel our wrath much more than some.

And all who rail that we are one, shall feel the strength within the room.

Together we shall conquer all, and ’round the rest our hate will bloom.”

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.

.

And so the girl, now is sitting, still is sitting, still is sitting,

On the shiny floor of horror, deep inside the room of gloom.

And her eyes have all the knowing of the dolls around her showing,

And the knowledge still is growing deep within this eerie room.

And her mind becomes as eerie as the others in the room.

No place of gloom, or a tomb.

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2012 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.