Bone Girl

When my blood was younger, I imagined I could soar. Like the condors that circled overhead. Sights set high, I’d roam through the marketplace. Fly barefoot down the city’s skeletal paths, unburdened and unbound, wind tangling knots in my hair–knots Mama would carefully unwind once night nosedived. Then, re-wind in the leather thong she kept wrapped ’round one bony wrist. Only, double.

Twice the blessings, baby bird. She explained when I squawked confusion. Nature never weaves mistakes. In hair or flesh. Nature provides only the truth. A gift you’ll learn to embrace when you can.

Mama was a natural at spinning stories. Did it for a living. Ours. She was a fortune-teller. An augur. Soothsayer. Soothslayer, hissed some shadows as we passed. Mama only tightened her hold on my wrist. Clenched her teeth in a sharp smile.

See, some divination dabblers read tea leaves. Or palms.

Mama read bone.

Mostly bird. Sometimes not. Always ground with a pestle and mortar till only bite-size fragments remained.

Once, shadows echoing in my ears, I asked where it came from. The not bird. Unruffled, Mama set her pestle aside and leaned down. Beady eyes to mine. Smile close enough to cut. She cupped my face in her rickety grip, ran her knobby fingers over the knife points of my cheek bones.

Nature provides, baby bird.

She released me and returned to her work. I brushed my fingertips over the edges Mama soothed. Seemed to size-up. Thought about birds. About bird bones and their brittleness. Fragility. Thought, as Mama added pressure to the pestle, about how the only difference between bird bones and not is the sound they make when crushed. Bird bones snap.

Mama crunched and crunched and crunched.

 

It was a courtesy, Mama explained later, to provide for our clients as Nature does. Drain the blood. Soak flesh from bone. Gather the pieces for assembling a new whole. She never quite told me where the courtesy was, though, in tying woven ligaments ’round the bony wrist clients couldn’t see. Where only could see, once I grew more into my own bones. Perhaps outgrew as deeper and deeper aches seem to suggest these days.

Blood older, eyes different, I saw our home full of many unexplained courtesies. Undocumented provisions. Truths that flew high above my head like the condors I used to run through the streets chasing. Foolish. Vultures always lead to the same place.

My place is before a pestle and mortar. Bone in the bowl. Leather wrapped tight ’round one wrist with knotted blessings, ligaments tighter ’round the other with less-knotted truthMama never specified which side of her she was referring to.

At the table behind me, a client waiting. They shouldn’t be kept…waiting. It’s rude. Discourteous.

“Just a moment.” I call over my shoulder, hand gripping the pestle.

“Take your time, child.” A withered voice. Brittle like bird bone and raspy like a requiem. “Hate for your Mama to curse my impatience from beyond.”

“Mama would never curse.” Tighten my grip. Add pressure. Stone meeting bone.”Only bless.” Crunch.

“May she rest in peace.” Pieces. With my free hand, I snatch up a fly-away fragment. Smooth my fingertips along its edges.

Nature provides, baby bird.

How right Mama was. Nature gave her me. And now, I lift the bowl of bone before me, finger the fragment still in my hand, I can give Mama back.

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Mama Provides.

***Like creepy stories, check out this and this. I’ll be publishing short, spooky/disturbing stories inspired by interesting prompts regularly on this blog ^.^***

 

 

 


Tagged: Bot Prompts, creative enterprise, netnarr, personal, story, storytelling

Hello From the Other Side…

(No, not the Adele song. Sorry. Not my style~~~)

Instead, recently, I went on a trip Through the Looking Glass and just had to send a postcard. Despite the times, the Red & White Queendoms have yet to make the switch to the pony express. This may because of the knightly employment all horses in these lands already seem to have….

Anyway, these circumstances left me only the option of snail mail. So, I made do.At the edge of where these two Queendoms meet, is a third territory. Something about Hearts and Wonder, or whatever. I was warned to mind to mind my neck if I decided to venture past the border, be careful not to stick it out too far. Keep my head down and all that. I think it was just a ruse to get me to buy a scarf or a hat from one of the area’s boutiques. The hatter honestly sounded mad.

Setting my misgivings aside, I did snag a scarf or two….perhaps a hat…that hatter was oddly charming…..oh! and this postcard. Hope it finds you well!

 
greetingsfromtheotherside

fromtheothersideotherside

(Alice,

You weren’t kidding when you said this place was all topsy-turvey! It’s taken twice as long to get as far as I want to go. Two steps forward to get one step back and all that jazz. The food leaves little to be desired too… Will write you again if I ever get where I’m going!

With Love,

Kelli)

****

Both sides of this postcard were crafted in Photoshop with my limited, high school knowledge of the program to guide me. Some cropping was done here and there. The perspective warped. Image flipped, like a reflection (*nudge, nudge*). Then, a mask or several playing around with the contrast. Some layers, too. Slap on some text. Distort it or reflect (*nudge*) it. And, voila!

I did have some issues with making a stamp and the other postage. Didn’t have the patience, mainly, to make something more authentic looking. So, I did what I always do, and got creative. Hope that doesn’t take anything away from the work.

Also, know Cheshire doesn’t appear in Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. But, I thought the Cheshire cat grin was a cool, aesthetic decision. Sue me. Cheshire is a fave fictional character. (A bit below Dr. Lecter though. You can check that piece dedicated to that preference here.)

Anyway, as it did Alice, I hope all of this finds you well. And, puts, perhaps, a smile or the trace of one like Cheshire’s on you face ^.^


Tagged: alice in wonderland, lewis carroll, magicpostcards, netnarr, Networked Narratives, photoshop, through the looking glass

Living Dead Girl II

Part I

Nights are always the worst. The loudest. Screams do not the sweetest of lullabies make. With time, though, I’ve found the most incessant sounds can become lulling. A buzzing hum, attracted to a torch burning low. Zzzz…. Zzzz…. The occasional sizzle of an Icarus acolyte.

Nana slept with a citronella candle on her night table, her ever-cracked window an invitation for all kinds of pests. Even in winter, the window remained a sliver shy of its sill. Wind wailed like a whistle through it. Nana whistled along as she lit her candle. As she lowered the match for me to blow out.

They don’t mean to keep us up, Nana said, tucking me in to bed. They’re just lost and scared. You’d cry too. You will. Trust me, ThanaIt’s better if you’ve got a light on when the tears come.

On a little hackneyed table in the back room, a citronella candle rests. Dust chokes the wick.

Silence c r e e p s as the sun rises…. well, at the very least, screaming settles into negligible staccato as the living world awakes.

Two beady, black eyes meet mine first thing. A blink. An inquisitive crook of its head, perhaps curious at meeting a pair of eyes darker than its own, and the bird takes off. Too small to be a crow. Perhaps a rook? Or, a magpie? Corvids have called these cemetery grounds home for almost as long as my ancestors have. Lately, the birds have been leaving gifts. Shiny, polished things. Buttons and charms. Detritus of life.

This morning, I find only an smooth, inky feather.

A big stretch dislodges the quilt I don’t recall tucking around my shoulders last night. It’s the silvery one with the threads like comet trails. Must’ve sparkled in the moonlight. I’m surprised the birds didn’t tear it apart.

I leave my feathery gift on the sill for now. The quilts need folding and the salt on the floor, sweeping. Me, feeding.

Mornings are quiet affairs, interrupted only by chirps here and there, accompanied always by a warm mug of herbal tea. Jasmine, today. The only sizzle that unsettles the air is the one that lets me know my omelette is ready to be flipped. Nana made the best omelettes, from eggs Ol’ Sid brought fresh from the farm twice a week.

Now Sid stares in my window twice a week, hollowed gaze like two, bulbous black eggs.

I eat around the burnt edges of my omelette. Mentally add a carton of eggs to the list. When breakfast is done, I clear the counter. Place my plate in the sink. Leave the pan I made my omelette in on the burner. I’ll have another for dinner. Sid keeps his distance when I do.

My fragrant tea comes with me back into the main room. Past a small white table with two matching chairs and a flower to boot. Past mattresses–junkyard and estate sale finds– for walls. A neat stack of quilts. A less neat stack of tomes. Then, another stack beside a tall bookshelf. An open window. To the mirror by the door. A black shroud hides most of its surface from view. Beneath it, a low shelf, its crevices crowded with more books. Many with Greek titles. Some German, Italian. One in Chinese. All about the dead. Well… all about bringing them back.

I set my mug beside a cluster of half-melted candles and reach for the shroud. Tip-toes are taken to. The stool is by the bookshelf, tucked in between the two haphazard stacks on the floor. Late night reading. It’s why I lost track of the clock. Can’t see it, here, beneath the mirror, from behind a crooked tower of crooked magic.

The silky shroud slips through my fingers. A hollowed gaze, oozing a deep red, meets mine. In the mirrored glass, I watch shadows, grey in this early hour, quickly solidify into form. Torso. Legs. Arms. Neck. Head. Smile. A dainty hand–holding a decidedly less dainty cleaver–raises in a wave.

“Good morning, Mary.” I say, as the rest of Mary’s ensemble appears–a hazy shift splattered in shades of crimson and stocking to match.

“Is it?” Mary inquires, drifting nearer. A cloying, coppery scent overpowers the heady smell of jasmine. Tea, is also added to the list for later. Preferably something strong. Killer, even.

“As good as any.”

Now, Mary smiles a big smile, a slash of white across her grey face. Without eyes to meet, both corners of her grin seem to end in knife points. Incisions where dimples should sit.

I fiddle with my hair. Finally meet my own dark eyes in mirrored glass. Take stock of the darker blood vessels weighing them down.

“Sleep well, Thana?” Mary appears at my side, twirling her cleaver the way I twirl my hair. Both gleam silver.

“You should know.” I shake my head. Ignore my gaze. Pull my hair back, slipping the black band ’round my wrist around it. A ponytail will do.

Mary laughs from her ruddy belly and I step back from the mirror. A hand without a cleaver but with red caked under its chewed-down fingernails reaches for me before I get far. I whirl on it. They shouldn’t touch. Nana’s voice in my ears. Mary knows my rules. The rules, Nana corrects in my head.

Mary–”

“Your feather.” She cuts me off. Hesitantly, not taking my eyes from the ones Mary lacks, I run my fingers through my tail of hair. Towards the end, brush something thin and silky. My gift.

Not turning my back on Mary again, I walk to the window, still wide open. Sill empty. A faint breeze unsettles the curtains. Fog creeps across the lawn outside, nearly the same shade as the stones embedded halfway in green. Nearly the same grey as Mary. A deeper hue flutters across. Then another. Crows for sure. A raven, maybe.

Deep in the fog, on the cusp of where green almost vanishes entirely, devoured, a dark form. Unmoving. A living shadow. Not a bird. Reaper. The long staff of a scythe juts from the form, its bladed head only a vague impression from this distance. But I know it’s there. Have heard the swish of it, echoing across night. Off stone.

Necromancers and Reapers came to an understanding–a compromise–long ago. Keeps us peaceful. The Underworld in check. Oft, we live close. Territories not shared but brushing each other. It’s good to have a Reaper on hand. In our line of work. ‘Case something won’t go south, as Nana would say.

This particular Reaper’s been a little too close for comfort, though. Almost pacing the boundary where our haunts meet these past few nights. Now lingering as day awakes.

I finger the feather in my hair again. So soft. Corvids have coarse coats. Like armor.

“Thana?” I look at Mary, dragging my hand from my hair. “The time.” She motions with her cleaver to the clock. I release a curse.

Quickly, I shut the window–deal with that later–and toe on my boots. Shrug on my jacket. Pat my pockets for my keys. Glance one last time at the mirror.

“I look good?”

“As good as always.” Mary chimes. Then, so does the clock. Again, I curse.

“Stay out of trouble.” I call over my shoulder as I open the door.

“If you do the same.” A breathy, almost-whisper.

Before I can pull the door shut, a gust from within does it for me. Then, brass tumblers click into place. I lower my key.

I will. I’ll try.

No time to linger, I hurry away from what looks like your typical, neglibile, cemetery grounds shed. Hurry away from the fog. Away from living shadows that have some reason to be pacing borders they usually overlook. Some reason to be leaving peace offerings for living dead girls.

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Decided to keep writing this. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tagged: Bot Prompts, netnarr, side project

A Feel Good Story…?

Who doesn’t squeal at the sight of cute, baby animals? Wait… The lambs are screaming? The baby sheep? Why? What could possibly…. Oh. Oh. 

silence-of-the-lambs-new-cover

Am I safe to assume that we’ve all read and/or seen this classic? With Anthony Hopkins? ClariceQuid pro quoIt puts the lotion on the skin. We all on the same page? Understand why this book cover is a little deceiving? Misleading? Toeing the not-so-thin line of outright lying?

Anyway…

I made this less-than-honest cover in Photoshop, using what little knowledge remains from some high school computer art and graphic design courses. Nothing really fancy was done. Just some cropping and resizing. Cutting and pasting. A mask here. A filter or several there. Mainly, I adjusted the contrast–to give it a kind of soft focus. Light and airy. Left a slight streak of red in the upper right-hand corner, though. A hint. There’s a very gentle touch of red on the lambs, as well. It’s kind of alchemy–the magic of subtlety. Things that can be gleaned by keen eyes. The story piecer-togethers.

Hope this gave you a chuckle. A snort. Maybe, an amused smile? I try. Don’t have to try too hard with the fun exercises though. Those tend to draw their own laughs ^.^


Tagged: altbookcover, books, netnarr, Networked Narratives, silence of the lambs

A Feel Good Story…?

Who doesn’t squeal at the sight of cute, baby animals? Wait… The lambs are screaming? The baby sheep? Why? What could possibly…. Oh. Oh. 

silence-of-the-lambs-new-cover

Am I safe to assume that we’ve all read and/or seen this classic? With Anthony Hopkins? ClariceQuid pro quoIt puts the lotion on the skin. We all on the same page? Understand why this book cover is a little deceiving? Misleading? Toeing the not-so-thin line of outright lying?

Anyway…

I made this less-than-honest cover in Photoshop, using what little knowledge remains from some high school computer art and graphic design courses. Nothing really fancy was done. Just some cropping and resizing. Cutting and pasting. A mask here. A filter or several there. Mainly, I adjusted the contrast–to give it a kind of soft focus. Light and airy. Left a slight streak of red in the upper right-hand corner, though. A hint. There’s a very gentle touch of red on the lambs, as well. It’s kind of alchemy–the magic of subtlety. Things that can be gleaned by keen eyes. The story piecer-togethers.

Hope this gave you a chuckle. A snort. Maybe, an amused smile? I try. Don’t have to try too hard with the fun exercises though. Those tend to draw their own laughs ^.^


Tagged: altbookcover, books, netnarr, Networked Narratives, silence of the lambs

Shadow Girl Reflects I

This week was an inspired one. I feel like I found my groove. What jives with me. I need a little time to acclimate myself to new environments but, once I get comfortable, I gain momentum fast. (At least, I think so.)

I think this shift occurred because, during this week, we were asked to really “up” the personal participation in online spaces. To insert ourselves, our tastes, and our stories into the alchematrix, as it were. (How many participated in #dda37 btw? Anyone recognize that pretty glitch?)

For me, the 5 card Flickr stories were particularly engaging. I think the whole concept of them is creative and magickal and really captures the essence of the “unexpected” — a quality I am finding myself increasing attracted to. Until it is mentioned as lacking, you don’t notice how little it actually does appear in a lot of traditional storytelling platforms. So, I’ve been reveling in the unexpectedness digital mediums can inject into narratives.

The First story I imagined was Lucid Dreaming. It inspired a continuation of sorts. (Which you can read here.) For me, this story became a mini-exercise in free-association. Dada and Surrealist artists were really into this method of art creation and it is something that infinitely fascinates me as well. In part, I think this is because the essence of free-associating is taking the unexpected or the seemingly random and re-configuring or reimagining it with new purpose. That’s my favourite kind of magic. It’s difficult to perform but, the results speak for themselves.

**I feel compelled to reveal that a character from a story I’ve been working on also inspired the slant of this story. Ariadne Ashbone. Life–and by life I mean me–has not been kind to her. But, still, beauty remains in her vision. One day, I hope to share her full story with a lot more people.

My remix, Temptation, was a reimagining of a lovely story Marissa wrote. I hope it was enjoyed ^.^

Kudos, Alan, for such a cool idea with these stories. I think they are an excellent and effective tool for inspiring creativity.

Something else that saw to the realization of creativity was, surprisingly, interaction with online bots–computer-generated, disembodied users on Twitter whose “thoughts” are these algorithms that remix certain input data into a new configuration for our consumption. In practice, they are quite fun. Don’t mistake me, some generate utter nonsense that seems to defy any kind of meaningful interpretation but, others, can extend invitations into unexpected, dream worlds. I talk at length about that here.

From reading some of my peers’ thoughts, I know not everyone shares my fascination with the bots. Some think they’re stupid. Some don’t “get them.” But, I love creating stories and reading stories and, so, I love seeing the evolution of those 2 things I love–storytelling and reading stories–in action. It’s easy to hate or disregard or delegitimize something. It’s harder to attempt understanding and find appreciation.

southgodofdreaming

I just really find this kind of “dreamy” writing to be really inspiring and to be meaningful if given the time to be. @all_the_gods (one of my fave bots)

#dda36 provided an excellent exercise for those who had reservations about bots, I think, to see another, more inspiring side of them. I know I was very inspired by that prompt. Perhaps too inspired. See for yourself. Honestly, the last thing I need is another story to add to my pile of half-finished drafts/works-in-progress.

(I found 2 more bots with great writing prompts since I last posted about them: @TheCityofNames & @thedoorTHEDOOR. This could get quickly out of hand. Be on the lookout for a new tag soon–for stories inspired by bot prompts. I think I’m going to need one. Let me know if anyone might be interested in a tag like that–or, in joining me in creating a tag like that.)

Anyway, what else is there….?

Oh. I appreciate everyone’s commentary on my posts. I really do. I try to get back to everyone in a timely manner, especially if you ask an interesting question or provide some stellar insight. @cogdog shared this cool article with me on an earlier post if anyone else is interested in checking it out. It’s about True Mirrors and the distance that separates reality from our perception of it. From reading it, I kind of came to this conclusion that writing is a kind of True Mirror in and of itself.

**Note to shadow self: Need to work on leaving more comments of my own. I’m a little shy~

Well, I think that’s it for me. Will let you see how Shadow Girl fares in next week’s reflection.

(Maybe I’ll figure out what’s going on with xah xah by then. Probably not.)

**Links to my Daily Digital Alchemies and my Hypothes.is contributions can be found in the navigation bar at the top of my site along with links to my twitter–click little birdie in the upper left-hand corner.

At the bottom of my site, there is another navigation/info bar. You can search Shadow Girl’s realm for something. Check the tags. See what blogs I’m following (leave a link to your blog in the comments if I’m not following you yet & you want me too). See what I’m reading–if you care ^.^ There’s lots to explore if you feel like it and you’re curious~**

 

 


Tagged: netnarr, Networked Narratives, Shadow Girl Reflections, weeklies

The Dead are Not Silent

Past Andromeda, the Milky Way. One arm of a downward spiral–there. Over an asteroid belt. A disparaged planet. A sea god without a sea. Another planet kicked on its rotund keester. Two hot heads and their harems. Another asteroid belt. Then, horror. Terror. A god of war. There. Past one lone sentry. Through a corroding atmosphere to blue. To green. There.

Just past the green. Beyond uniform rows of grey, stone and marble etched in never-words –never who they were, never all they were. Never enough. A lone home, tall and still. Don’t want to disturb the neighbors. Sneak a peek through a crack in the curtains, see only dark.

Inside, mattresses are pressed to walls. Black curtains to glass–window and mirror. Smoke still stains the air from hastily snuffed candle-sticks. Day collapsed into night faster than expected. Damn day-light savings saving who exactly? 

Within a ring of salt, a bundle of blankets–quilts, actually. Hand-made. Patchwork. Rough around the edges but holding true. The lump stirs. A pale foot, toenails lacquered an icy blue, emerges out from under a raggedy edge. Silver threads like comet trails weave themselves in between toes. Tangled, the foot cannot retreat back beneath the safety of its quilted fortress.

A groan. Resigned. Defeated. It echoes as loudly as it can in a room with padded walls. Silvery-blonde hair separates itself from silvery textile. Eyes deep as the dark space between stars appear next, eyebrows above them furrowed. In frustration. But, also, the distinct slant of fear. Speckled across the rest of the face is cosmic dust, freckles that fade outward from a nose crooked slightly to the left.

With haste, a ghostly pale hands reaches for the unruly threads holding the foot hostage. Tears at empty air–another groan, sharper, wearier–before locating its target. This would be easier with a light. But the candles had to go. Light attracts them. Mosquitoes too.

Frantic fingers find frayed, ruthless wardens just when it no longer matters. Clueless moonlight filters into the otherwise darkened space through that overlooked crack in the curtains. With it, a breach in the salt circle is revealed. Obviously made by a struggling limb or two.

Blood younger, the quilted bundle may have jumped to re-seal the breach. Place every pesky grain back into place. Now, though, it knows better. Knows some boundaries, like those at the end of a beloved quilt, once breached, cannot be repaired. No matter how many stars are wished upon.

Should’ve learned to sew. Like Gram told me to. Warned me it’d come in handy.

Warned me.

Now, at the window, a hollowed eye-socket peers in. An eye like the space between stars once called the empty place home. Like these padded walls. Breeze–that should not have penetrated solid glass– ruffles the curtains. Blows them aside. The bundle shivers. Frost pricks at the corners of eyes now the darkest things in the room.

Outside, hollow gazes. They outnumber the stones. Swallow them whole.

Swallow me.

It’s an honour, I was told. Banshee wails, still faint hums, begin to rattle glass. Rattle bone. To see, is an honour. To be, what I am is a gift. From the universe.

The bundle is shed. Salt kicked aside. A candle stick rolls into shadow, disappears from existence until a dull thud bounces off eardrums.

Towards the window, wails become unified. One entity. An ever-present scream. Muted in the waking hours. Blood-curdling now. A crack spiderwebs across glass. It will shatter. Soon. If I allow it.

What I was never told, my hands find the battered window’s frame, was that there is more than one universe. A necromancer is weeping inside a universe. But, a universe also weeps inside a necromancer. Never stops. You can try to shut it out.

Or, I shove the window open so hard splinters fly in my tear-streaked face, you can let it in~

fullsizerender-1

Stars are not surrounded by darkness. They’re surrounded by emptiness.

 

 


The Dead are Not Silent

Past Andromeda, the Milky Way. One arm of a downward spiral–there. Over an asteroid belt. A disparaged planet. A sea god without a sea. Another planet kicked on its rotund keester. Two hot heads and their harems. Another asteroid belt. Then, horror. Terror. A god of war. There. Past one lone sentry. Through a corroding atmosphere to blue. To green. There.

Just past the green. Beyond uniform rows of grey, stone and marble etched in never-words –never who they were, never all they were. Never enough. A lone home, tall and still. Don’t want to disturb the neighbors. Sneak a peek through a crack in the curtains, see only dark.

Inside, mattresses are pressed to walls. Black curtains to glass–window and mirror. Smoke still stains the air from hastily snuffed candle-sticks. Day collapsed into night faster than expected. Damn day-light savings saving who exactly? 

Within a ring of salt, a bundle of blankets–quilts, actually. Hand-made. Patchwork. Rough around the edges but holding true. The lump stirs. A pale foot, toenails lacquered an icy blue, emerges out from under a raggedy edge. Silver threads like comet trails weave themselves in between toes. Tangled, the foot cannot retreat back beneath the safety of its quilted fortress.

A groan. Resigned. Defeated. It echoes as loudly as it can in a room with padded walls. Silvery-blonde hair separates itself from silvery textile. Eyes deep as the dark space between stars appear next, eyebrows above them furrowed. In frustration. But, also, the distinct slant of fear. Speckled across the rest of the face is cosmic dust, freckles that fade outward from a nose crooked slightly to the left.

With haste, a ghostly pale hands reaches for the unruly threads holding the foot hostage. Tears at empty air–another groan, sharper, wearier–before locating its target. This would be easier with a light. But the candles had to go. Light attracts them. Mosquitoes too.

Frantic fingers find frayed, ruthless wardens just when it no longer matters. Clueless moonlight filters into the otherwise darkened space through that overlooked crack in the curtains. With it, a breach in the salt circle is revealed. Obviously made by a struggling limb or two.

Blood younger, the quilted bundle may have jumped to re-seal the breach. Place every pesky grain back into place. Now, though, it knows better. Knows some boundaries, like those at the end of a beloved quilt, once breached, cannot be repaired. No matter how many stars are wished upon.

Should’ve learned to sew. Like Gram told me to. Warned me it’d come in handy.

Warned me.

Now, at the window, a hollowed eye-socket peers in. An eye like the space between stars once called the empty place home. Like these padded walls. Breeze–that should not have penetrated solid glass– ruffles the curtains. Blows them aside. The bundle shivers. Frost pricks at the corners of eyes now the darkest things in the room.

Outside, hollow gazes. They outnumber the stones. Swallow them whole.

Swallow me.

It’s an honour, I was told. Banshee wails, still faint hums, begin to rattle glass. Rattle bone. To see, is an honour. To be, what I am is a gift. From the universe.

The bundle is shed. Salt kicked aside. A candle stick rolls into shadow, disappears from existence until a dull thud bounces off eardrums.

Towards the window, wails become unified. One entity. An ever-present scream. Muted in the waking hours. Blood-curdling now. A crack spiderwebs across glass. It will shatter. Soon. If I allow it.

What I was never told, my hands find the battered window’s frame, was that there is more than one universe. A necromancer is weeping inside a universe. But, a universe also weeps inside a necromancer. Never stops. You can try to shut it out.

Or, I shove the window open so hard splinters fly in my tear-streaked face, you can let it in~

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Stars are not surrounded by darkness. They’re surrounded by emptiness.

 

 


Hanging Art

Happenstance is an odd quality of life. Perhaps, its spice. Who finds who, and where. When. What you find and in what circumstances. Which strings of text align before your eyes. In books. In letters. On posters. On screens, now. Sometimes, the coherence is lacking. Other times, it’s surprisingly clear. Succinct. Poignant. Story.

Interacting with bots online has proven quite imaginative. Nonsensical, at times, too. But, ultimately it’s been revealing to see how literary, creative, and, even, inspiring these random text generators can be. More, it’s been fascinating to see happenstance in action. See which posts align with each other on my own, personal feed. I believe a kind of observable or discernible taste develops. You can scroll through someone’s feed and, through the bots one follows, piece together an idea of what they like–what amuses them, intrigues them, inspires them. It’s like walking through the art gallery in another’s mind.

Would you care to take a stroll through mine?

Uncertain journeys call for gods. Their guidance. Their protection. Their witness. Belief in them, of course, optional. Unnecessary in most cases. “Not believing in the devil will not save you from him,” and all that. Still, a god I found for this journey. Better safe than sorry.

mygod

With a simple greeting, a god was procured. @all_the_gods wastes little time. Knows the value of timely work. Perhaps you should procure a god of your own? If you’re going to continue following me along my travels down the rabbot hole. Shy? There are plenty of preconceived gods for the masses to choose from. I selected a patron saint of my own to accompany me as well:

patronsaintgod

My choices were sound, qualms over the rejection of screaming notwithstanding. A spell for humming without purpose seemed to leave more purpose for text. For algorithms to seek. To make up the difference.

I found poetry. Found stories. Received invitations into dreamy, other-side (of the Looking Glass) worlds. ~***Found stars, too. New constellations. For navigation.***~

Dada nonsense (free-associative) poetry is its own delight but I like glimpses through another pair of eyes a little more. Poet-bots abound. Offering a little of both, for all tastes. @poem_exe writes beautifully. (And regularly.) Short sentiments to chew on. Savor.

More thoughtful words to contemplate.

skeletonofalonelyheart

In slivers, I find myself. Between beats, a pulse. Partial res o nan ce.

Whole d  i  s  s  o   n    a   n     c       e.

There seems little science to what engages an individual. Broad ideas exist, I’m sure. But, we are in the details. (With the devil–that’s why we need our gods.)

Though this bot required less interaction than the former, I still found it interesting. Entertaining. Whatever its algorithm, it’s effective. At least 9400 other people agree. Throughout the past few days, I retweeted many poems. Wrote some. Wandered with them in my thoughts.

ghostspunishivefoundmyself

More captivating than pure poetry were the inadvertent/impromptu stories that began to decorate my feed. Every story had a surprise ending. In this one (above), the desires of ancestors were renounced in the name of self-realization, moon bearing witness to the vow. At least, that’s my story. What’s yours?

Maybe it’s just me, creating purpose where there is none. A story needs a reader to exist. Interpret. But, I like being a reader. Like the simple joy of these unexpected narratives. In school, everything is linear.Weighted ’round the neck by the collar of tradition. Word choice is highly selective. Content codified and shelved, on neat little shelves in neat little rows. I’m not knocking books–I love them as much as the next English major–but, sometimes, they can be lacking in excitement. Not necessarily the individual narratives (there are some stand-out sucky ones though, I’m sure you’ve got a list) but the system in which they exist. It tires itself out.

cannibalpeople

This is interesting story. Unexpected. Rich with possibility. Rich with the inexplicable. I ponder. Stroll through one corridor of my frontal cortex and come back ’round, to mull some more. There is so much room to walk around these words, observe them from every angle and then some imanginative ones. Make an exercise out of make-believe.

What is literary is relative, these days. Much less quantifiable. It’s exciting. Exhilerating.  Kind of scary. Kind of freeing.

Fully magickal.

suffocating

Really breathtaking.

It’s something special to watch storytelling become as expansive as it always had the possibility to be. To watch new technology help the art realize the dimensions of its potential.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to the gallery of my mind palace. The pieces exhibited are constantly being reorganized, changed, so, do be sure to drop in again. Feel free to drop an invitation to visit your own gallery, too. I’m always looking to add to my collection.

***My Recommendations***

@MythologyBot

@spacetravelbot

@str_voyage

@dreamhaver

@ninja_things

@everypunk

punktweet

(tweets gems like this)

@dungeon_bot

Tweet me your recs.

Safe travels.


Make-Believe

Lucid Dreaming

Fragmentary. I exist in bits and pieces stitched together–that stitched together. In glimpses here and flashes there, your peripheral is my home. I’m more comfortable when you can’t see me. When I am a phantom, shadow-person you convince yourself insomnia summoned.

A nightmare. I’d rather be an apparition, figment of your frontal lobe. (Figment of my own.) Make-believe people don’t need to be. Flesh. Bone. Whole. They can be porcelain and plastic wrap. Fragile. Easily torn. Tossed. Replaced.

Made-up people can be dusk, not night but not light either. They can be almost but not quite. They can be reflections.

Can live inside mirrors.

Inside you.

Inside

me.

shadow-girl-2

This is me. How I sound to myself. How I sound when I tell stories. Weave word into vision. This is my preferred voice (and the one I think I will use from now on for as many future exercises as I can ^.^). This exercise inspired me to use it.

Images–bits, pieces, glimpses, flashes–can evoke profound responses. Can trigger memories. Summon the muses. Inspire. They can tell stories with or without words. Light, line, value, contrast, form or lack thereof are all elements that can combine to create in the same way words can be woven into a vision, into an invitation to enter that vision. In many ways, I think images are a reversal of the traditional storytelling process–the scene, setting, scenario, etc. is given upfront, the story filling in the absences of meaning here. In traditional stories, a premise usually precedes a scene in that the writer has decided the purpose for that scene rather than the scene deciding the purpose. If that all makes sense. I don’t believe either method/process to be superior to the other. Just different. Unique unto itself. Some stories will find better homes in one than the other. Experimentation is necessary to make a decision–or not. If Elit is interested in anything, I think it is blending, stitching, and remixing. It seeks compromise instead of separation.It seeks to extend past traditional barriers. To, rather, build bridges.

Needless to say, I greatly enjoyed this kind of exercise. It truly felt alchemic. Like I was brewing a potion. Reciting a spell. Doing something conventional enough but, also, something surprising,  with an end result I couldn’t quite predict until I got to the end. That’s kind of magickal, isn’t it?