Grace & Josh

It had rained all morning and a small stream of water now ran down the slope of the playground outside. Miss Carbine stole a look out of the darkened window from the warm classroom she inhabited, seeing the water hammering down the pane. She sighed to herself knowing they would have to have the lunch break inside today. Her class were currently in pairs, going through the text books that she had put out that morning, hopping the eager minds would devour them greedily.

It wasn’t too big a class, and she found she was able to manage the five and six year olds reasonably well with her wispy ways and mild manners. They hadn’t yet lost the awe of having a teacher, that special entity that was there to bestow wonders upon them. Indeed, many still seemed to want to impress, which she cherished as all too soon this seemed to fade.

Grace had been reading her book with Josh, going through the story of Finders the dog and his adventure in the supermarket. She was a good reader and was able to point out to Josh where she felt he was going wrong. Josh was slow and he didn’t much care for the stupid dog or why it was even in a supermarket. He’d only ever see one dog in a shop before himself, guiding a man around who his mum told him couldn’t see…..

Continue reading….

Gave your ghost

This stillness suffocates.
Gasping for the scent of redemption.
We gave up a life for love.
A family for faith.
We’d trade it all to be back again.
Slowly moving in still frames, able to undo.
You pick your own ghost, holy or hallowed.
Watching over in these times of solitude.
Dead as the graveyard that occupies your mind.
There is no sound, only the wind.
Breathing through you like a howl of opportunity.
But the tombstones mark where your dreams are buried.
Long forgotten and eroding in time.
The view from the tree blurs as you swing.
Rotting strange fruit filters in.
You picture a younger self, a body waiting to be consumed.
Eager for that bark of acceptance to grow.
Yet truth peels.
Now you long to be alone with that former self.
For you never knew anyone who could love thee.

Something to stay awake for

Eiko Tanaka sits on her porch sipping her tea. The wind is low and it gently ruffles the shrubs and the hanging golden ash trees that line the boundaries of her little property. So little it seems, barely much room for anyone. Yet hers is a seemingly amble garden on a street so squashed and encroached by looming tower blocks. She is proud of her garden, knowing it blooms brightly in the grey field of city.

She is waiting patiently, as she does most days. She is waiting for her granddaughter to visit after school is finished. She comes by every day. She comes to help her. Eiko doesn’t need help in the usual sense, she has gotten around perfectly fine for years. She adapted well after the incident, but people worry. They care and worry, as her Nanoko tells her. Her granddaughter, only fourteen; yet knowing the many twisted ways of the world. And she is right, there is care mixed with the worry; she can tell. As her own bones are getting more tired and her body is struggling, simple things are not always so simple. Being blind now is only half the battle. The people who visit her always note on her living by herself, always quick to offer some horrendous situation where she’ll meet her end. All because she can no longer see.

It hadn’t always been that way of course. She had lived for years alone in that little house with no problem. Just her and her dog Aio. Then it happened, and though she wished she could erase the memory of that terrible day, she had gotten through the worst of it. The insomnia came later, wreaking such havoc over her little life, disturbing her soul.

Nanoko had been a blessing. Eiko hadn’t wanted any fuss herself, but her granddaughter had done what she could to help her. Eventually she confided in her that she could no longer sleep, she spared her what she saw in her mind when she tried to calm it and be still. So Nanoko had started a blog for her, telling her story to the world, hoping to get some advice and see if anyone else was going through anything similar. She wanted to help her grandmother, she wanted her to be happy after the trauma.

What happened next surprised both of them. Along with similar stories and messages of support, people had responded to Eiko’s problematic sleeping and began to send in short stories for her; something to entertain her through the vast sea of struggle. The first had come with instructions for Nanoko to read out the story to Eiko, seeing as she had lost her sight and was there to help her. This led to Nanoko recording her stories for her grandmother to play back time and again, as she never bored of listening to tales. More people began to send them in, each one fanciful or romantic, scary or thrilling. They would both have fun as Nanoko would act out the story, and she would also post them on the blog for others to enjoy also. It brought them closer, and brought an extra bit of light into Eiko’s darkened world.


My name is Eiko Tanaka and I am 74 years old. I live with my dog Aio, who is always getting into such mischief, despite his age. We are both ageing cheekily and gracefully. I am blind, but not as a result of the shifting clock of time which is unrelenting. I was blinded in an incident which changed my life forever. My granddaughter Nanoko is the light in my darkness. She is there to steady my soul when it wobbles and falls. I love to hear stories and fables, and as such; I thought I best if you read mine, courtesy of my granddaughter.

My story is much like anyone’s….

Click to continue…..


 

Author in review ‘Xavier Pérez-Pons’

 

If you have free time and are looking for something different, check out the mind extractions of Xavier Pérez-Pons. Some very interesting works and some short humorous pieces on his blog.

My two recommendations would be:

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You can find his books on Amazon.
His presence on Goodreads.
And is soul is his own.

 

Saint

You carried this heart, when it was aching and poor.
Dead to a world, that didn’t fit anymore.
Through rivers and dark, through pain and the trees.
You coated with love, and sucked out the diseases.
Now the day becomes night, and cold creeps on in.
Yet you keep me so warm, and you block out the sin.
And though tired yourself, you keep the fire burning.
As my eyes start to close, and the world keeps on turning.
Where there is horror, there is also a twinkling light.
In the image of you, that feels holy and right.
So we turn to you when, the need is the most.
When all that we feel, is the touch of a ghost.
Though sacred you are, I can reach through the soul.
And cover my eyes, in the divine to become whole.
Where once there was an empty space in this life.
You’re now nailed to my love, that cuts deep like a knife.
For you do not covert and keep for your own.
This love and redemption that lies in the unknown.
As I’ve seen you wash away all my fears.
In your kisses and whispers, and your golden light tears.

Resplendent consumption

Though the dark spreads doubt and fear.
It is in the light where she creeps near.
For shadows and gloom she leaves in her wake.
With mournful tunes and deathly ache.
The light is what she needs to feed.
A pulsing urge, like a sprouting weed.
She sucks the light like marrow from bone.
And crawls inside that place called home.
She splits the joy and hope in two.
Suckles each like morning due.
Savouring each fantastic pleasure.
That shrivels for you, but to her is treasure.
This dark and heavy visiting member.
Will drain the light to a dying ember.
And leave you feeling almost dead.
While she licks these words inside your head.
That if darkness fades and you feel lighter.
If hope does spread and things feel brighter.
She will return like a rolling cloud.
To kill the light with her consuming shroud.

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.

Leviathan

You might never know it’s there.
It’s been quiet for so long.
Dormant, but strong like indecision.
The Leviathan of the soul.
Lying in its own blackness, biding its time.
It’s older than you, it came before us all.
Moving and shaping like the clouds across the sky.
It does not seek the calm waters, or the tangerine days of summer.
It comes with the storms, the hurricanes of the heart.
When your bow is breaking, and you’re taking on water.
When you are barely holding things together.
Caught on rocks and the shallows of shame.
It seizes those moments.
Gripping you in its darkened grips of despair.
Blocking out the sun with its inky nightmare.
Pulling you down fathoms gasping for air.
To float forever in the torrid turpentine seas below.

Taken from Leviathan of the soul

Book – Little Black Horn

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“He’s a wounded animal. A dying breed who I keep here with me. I never intended him to stay after the first night.”

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.

​-

‘Little Black Horn’ is a collection of twisted short tales from a talented writer and wonderful human being who I’m happy to call a very good friend. Bias aside, this book is really good and is sure to offer something for everyone. This is the second edition with a new design and format. Check it out, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

·        Buy it here

·        Review it here

Graffitied heart

“If Graffiti changed anything it would be illegal”

A Little side project; a small little book of Rhymes and poems. Graffitied heart is out now in ebook and Paperback. Though it may seem pricey, the Paperback is fully illustrated and is in glorious colour. I hope you enjoy it.

‘A well-travelled heart sees it all, from street to street and wall to wall. 
Soaking in life’s wonderment, from euphoric highs to the deep laments.
This heart is stained, bruised and scarred. Still beating, just graffitied; and bursting to show you what it’s seen.
Graffitied Heart is a little book of rhymes and poems, going through the alphabet of existence. And as with all lives, they can be humorous, horrifying and heartening. A compendium of complexities for your enjoyment.’ 

For more info on other titles, click here.

OUT NOWGH

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.

Oxford’s Eeriest Ghosts

“For heartbroken Sarah, it was clearly too much, and she hung herself from the couple’s four-poster bed. Today it’s claimed that if you see her – and you surely will – but ignore her too, she will either scream and shriek like a Banshee or hang limp and lifeless from the bed.”

A Magazine piece available online Co-produced my with friend and amazing human being Shaunna Latchman.

Click below for the article’s main page:http://oxhc.co.uk/Oxfords-Eeriest-Ghosts.asp

‘The Last Man’ – Book

Fantasy Novel suggestion:

Farris Mathalion did not believe in the old stories, not until her own brother was kidnapped by monsters to send her on a fantastical journey. She travels both within the mind and without, taking a path of harrowing adventure and personal enlightenment as she strives to rescue him.

THE FIRST MAN is the first volume in a two-part young adult/fantasy series that can be read on many different levels; whether the reader appreciates the excitement of the many fast-paced action scenes, the surreal beauty and mystery of new worlds, the philosophical musings of the guides along the way, or the spiritual path of overcoming reality that Farris finds before her.

She will travel through the seven kingdoms of the earth, each woven into the deep mythology of the land she passes, and each representative of one aspect of spiritual enlightenment.

In the first volume she passes through the surface world as well as the lands of fear, pleasure and illusion below the earth. She is accompanied in her journeys by a variety of strange creatures, including her faithful pet goat Bumble, Gloria the magical fish, and a romantic interest that makes uncertain love and looming betrayal pervasive themes throughout

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Tobias Wade writes fantasy and horror stories (both of which styles are excellent). For more information, visit him on Goodreads or his own website.

Ghosts

A Collaborative poem with ‘Enshrined Poetry’ (not the first time, more here).


It splits my soul.
Dragged back towards these melancholy shores.
Running through the downpour of emotions and memories.
Slick and sticky.
Covering me completely.
The ghosts gather, licking their ectoplasmic lips.
Feasting on the flesh of a thousand mistakes.
The subtle beasts, stealing my lazy reveries.
They haunt me still.
Rumbling up and down these bones, while I shiver towards catatonic sunder.
The god shape hole is backfilled with the deeds of the devil.
A By-product of love maneuvers and binding selfishness.
Like evolution.
The toxic waste of time.
………………..
Oh El I, El I….
………………..
Sweet and short reprieve.
What libertine hope is haloed into these thought chests?
Where ghosts hold the keys and cover the locks.
They never had the power of speech, yet their words haunt and taunt me.
They know the reasons for these tears.
Smiling at the circumstance.
With a spectral hand they reach in and catch me off guard.
Talismans dropped and facing away from mecca.
They whistle my lingo, until I’m driven into solid black and white.
Kiss me over and over again, staining my broken lips with shame.
As I absorb the white noise.
The crackle and hisses coil.
A mountain of monsters merge into one.
All names fade away, into the pinhole of the shadowless.

 

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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Wicker man

What remains?
Human or emotional?
Like ghosts, they’re all surrounding me; sitting on my shoulder.
Pouring water and words into my head.
Sitting back and watching the sky bleed.
It’s a shame you grow up. A pity you learn to forget me.
This voice, so quiet and inaccurate, picking at my bones.
Causing havoc and happiness.
All happenstance?
Resurrecting the druids within me. Sweet pagan thoughts.
You swing on the gate to my heart, walking muddy shoes across my soul.
Planting monkey trees and memories in my mind.
Puzzling in this post-imaginative plantation.
Travelling with you, hand in hand to the cliff edge.
The red sky opens up as you whisper you miss me.
Ghost in my hand, spirits in my soul again.
Swallowing the sun forever.
Holding the torch up for you again, threatening to burn eternally.
My incomplete heart.
My Incandescent wicker man.

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.