A Funeral of thoughts

An earthy taste in your mouth.
The soil that slips from your lunar lips.
Is a burying of the old.
Broken thoughts grown frail and forgotten.
They’d rambled in your mind like an aged pensioner.
One that no-one bothered to check on.
Whose milk bottles of intent built up on their doorstep.
These thoughts tried to slip away in the night.
Silently and painless in the light of a new day.
In the light you bring.
Those thoughts that are the shadows of self.
From the dark side of the moon of the mind.
Fearful of the sun, that shines from your eyes.
Dirt, on my pillow when I wake.
Burying the thoughts in dreams masked as nightmares.
Finally, dead and buried.

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Out now – Leviathan of the soul

Out now in Paperback and eBook. ‘Leviathan of the soul’ – horror short story and poetry book.

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For more info, click here

Leviathan: Of the soul – Out Aug 25th

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Out Aug 25th

Lurking deep within all of us, even those familiar to the stormy seas, dwells the leviathan. The monster in the soul which takes hold when the sun is so easily burnt out. It is the bringer of the darkness, the chaos and the nightmares. Threatening your little raft of life, cast out into the world.
Journey here out onto the sea of poetry and short stories that explore the waves of emotions, horror and sadness. But keep an eye on the horizon, for that little splinter of hope that breaks from the sky.

‘Leviathan: Of the soul’ is a poetry and short story collection covering topics of death, mental illness, suicide and redemption. Hold on against its onslaught.

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Baptised by the spider – extract from The Projectionist

(Harley Holland – 2018)

A mist encroached the hardening woods. Covering the dead autumnal leaves and foliage in a crisp shaving of ice. Gary Tumnal had found peace in those early mornings where the birds barely sang. He would leave the warmth of his bed and wife for the chance to hike out into the vast forest. She never understood it but there was a wonder out there only Gary knew. It swallowed all the thoughts and pressures of his daily life – giving him a sense of peace. He had scoffed at his wife when she referred to his practice as meditative. It was enough to curl the bottom of his lip up like a snarling mutt. “How could she call me a fucking hippie” he thought. He was a man who knew what he liked. He drank ales and enjoyed lifting weights on a hot summers morning. There was nothing peculiar about him…..

…read the rest here 

For more of Harley Holland’s work, follow the spiders here

Short – Folkroot

The crows always gathered in the eastern part of the grounds, the ones that held the giant weeping willow trees that hung mournfully over the grey yawning ponds. The crows would roost and jabber in the trees, squawking up a storm as they watched the silent world of the estate coil around them.
Jeremiah watched them now as he sipped his tea from a chipped mug bearing the hotel’s motif on it, twin trees that sprawled out into veins along the bottom supporting a huge F and R nestled in-between. The pattern was faded on the mug, the royal purple dulled now to a weak lilac like a bloodied gum.

His tea steamed in the cold morning air, the vapour disappearing out of the cup like souls travelling up to heaven. He stood alone by the small utility shed, which itself, was hidden by a large horse chestnut tree. Though he was the groundskeeper for the hotel, Jeremiah had allowed it to grow wild, almost concealing his shed from view entirely. This was his little kingdom, his own place of refuge which he liked to keep hidden from prying eyes.

Not that many of the guests came to this area of the grounds. They were usually drawn to the large manicured lawns where they whiled away their leisurely days playing croquet, or down by the small maze that offered beauty and puzzlement. Still, he did his best to go unnoticed, a notion welcomed by the management who liked to keep the staff out of sight of the guests, yet always close by.

The crows took flight suddenly, a large sound off into the woods nearby traveling with magnitude over to where they were roosted in the bowels of the weeping willows. He watched them take flight, disappearing off into the grey sky above. Setting his now empty mug down, Jeremiah picked up the shearers that stood idly propped against the side of the door, and set off in direction of the ponds. He checked his watch, noticing it was nearly lunch time, and guessed it would take him around an hour to finish trimming the thicket by the fish pond that had exploded in growth in the last few weeks.

He was glad the crows had departed, he hated their cries and clucks that seemed to echo through the air like cries from another world. They were not the only creatures that dwelled in the grounds at FolkRoot, but they were the most annoying to him at least. He could deal with the rats and mice that found their way into the fruit cellars and the drains. They were easy to deal with. They had two cats on the property, one black one called Sabre and a ginger one called Sphinx which would roam around keeping many of the unwelcomed rodents away and the giving the more tenacious ones a new home.

Sabre was a bit of curiosity with the guests, finding his way into their rooms to surprise them in the middle of the night. They would usually find things missing the following day, small trinkets and shiny things that the magpies usually got the blame for. No-one would ever suspect a cat of spiriting things away to keep nestled under cat eyes and fur. But Jeremiah knew, and he knew where they were to be found; Sabre’s favourite hiding place. Both cats would patrol the hotel, getting into all kinds of nooks and crannies. But they would never come here, never down to the ponds. Which was probably why, he thought to himself, the crows had such domain over the trees that grew here. Weeping mournfully into the pools below, crying leafy tears perhaps to those who failed to float, and now resided at the bottom.

Jeremiah knew of these souls, the ones the crows guarded and longed to peck at. He had seen many go in over the years at the hotel, and he knew many more would join them. As he got closer to the edge of the pond, looking down into the watery waste beneath him, he twisted the wedding ring on his finger idly.

“Morning Sybil. How you doing today my love?”

More short stories here

Fright night

(from the vault)

All year round he kept to himself.
Quiet and content, like a book on a shelf.
It was Halloween when the tables turned.
And in his head, those thoughts had churned.
To live it up, go mad and wild.
To put on costumes, like any other child.
He loved that night when he fitted in.
And wasn’t shamed or drenched in sin.
He could go out, and talk to others.
His friends, his mum and all his brothers;
accepted him and played for ages.
Some souls to flick through his dusty pages.
It was Halloween he loved and longed for.
The candy, the skulls; the dismembered gore.
That was the time he loved the most.
For poor Charlie was such a lonely ghost.

Little Black horn

 

Horn

LITTLE BLACK HORN

He’s a wounded animal. A dying breed who I keep here with me. I never intended him to stay after the first night. There is no selfishness with Little Black Horn. This is what I’ve named him. He’s a dying breed. I was draped over him, trailing my fingers down the prominent blue veins on his arms.

‘What are you thinking about?’ He asks me. I’m not thinking about the accident. That is what he is implying. I’m not thinking about how frail you have become.

‘That we really should be eating something. You know I want to, but we can’t be laying on top of the bed all day.’

‘Then how about we lay in it?’ He begins kicking the duvet down around our ankles.

‘I really need to eat. Let me cook us something special.’….


(Highly recommended and free this weekend. Click the images for link. For more information on Harley Holland, visit his blog here.)

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Little Black Horn

 

Little black horn, weathered and worn; wondering about what to do.
He split the world and climbed inside, and out of hell he peaked on through.  

Little Black Horn: A Collection of Short Horror Stories:-

‘A woman struggles to hide the truth from a creature she believes to be her lover; a man journeys to Southern Italy in search of a witch; a child makes a pact with a voice he hears at the bottom of his garden.

From adult fairy-tales to suburban horror; dark intentions seep through this collection of tales from the imagination of Harley Holland.’

Buy the work in paperback or on kindle here: Little Black Horn

Check out Harley Holland also

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I kill the darkness

Are you still thinking, brain turning, losing love? Of course you are.
Has the line you drew been crossed by my clumsy shoe; of course it has.
Leaving, emptying the room in thirty seconds flat, a record.
I’m peeling the hatred away that is covered in your discontent.
No sunny skies, no sunny ray of light. All is dark as the void suffocates.
I’ve grown tired of the claustrophobia; I’ve always had one hand on the door.
I’ve always had good intentions, and ears closed to opposites to ignore.
I’m on my knees that you left here, I’m crying deep into my hands.
The tears do nothing but burn me, and make it even so hard to stand.
Behind me the devils are mounting, the spectre of death is my friend.
The god I thought has abandoned me, left a note that read ‘your own end’.
So I turn from this place where you left me, and I acknowledge the reasons you fly.
Then you come back despite it all, despite the horror I’ve caused.
And you give me the strength to both stand up, and accept everything is really my fault.
The crack of light is suddenly blinding, the darkness is melting away.
And I tell you it will be different, if you have faith in me and stay.
So I kill the black and darkness, I kill all the fear and all the dread.
And I put to sleep all the bullshit, and smash my love inside your head.
10 months of investment, and 7 days of unrest.
I want to take back all the anger, and all the things I detest.
And do you still think of ending it all? Of course you will.
And you’ll still think of things as all wrong? Of course you will.
And I know your heart is aching, bleeding. Of course I do.
But let me be the bandage that heals, let me bleed for you.