Year II - Issue XIX
Today's first three Literature pieces are the winners of
Memnalar's All Hallow's Tales contest.
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Harvest Time "Oh, come on. There's got to be service around here somewhere." Maria stretched her arm high over her head, hoping that the extra height would help her cell phone find enough bars to call for a tow truck. When that did no good, she climbed up on the roof of her station wagon.
"Don't you ever try something like this, Lucy. It's dangerous. Mommy's only doing it because it's an emergency."
"Okay, Mommy." Lucy was playing in the grass by the car, and even though nobody was around, Maria couldn't help but worry.
"Stay close to the car, okay? You don't want to get lost out here." Maria didn't want to even be here. If the GPS hadn't failed, she probably wouldn't have ended up on this godforsaken road in the middle of the night, watching the trees for psychos and looking for headlights in case someone else was crazy enough to come this way.
OzymandiasJuly 3, 1928
The excavation commenced this morning. Max claims we'll have this temple untucked before next October, but I know he's being excessively optimistic for Arthur's sake. Still, who'd suppose we could even manage this far without bumbling ourselves into a cataract? I rode on a camel for the first time only a month ago, and the beast didn't even bite me. I'd say that's success already.
Bloody hot. Why'd we go in summer again?
We've got some sort of corner showing through. Can't determine yet whether it's from the point of a pyramid-like object, or the corner of a more rectangular sort. Odd angle. I suppose centuries of sand will do that to you.
It'll be an awful lot more interesting when we get to the proper haul, though I imagine most of that's inside. Until then it's picks and more picks and sweating little snail trails on the sand. Makes it very clear how much of man is liquid.
Arthur's had that twitchy look about him all day
Ghost of a ChanceI flicked through radio stations, trying to find one that had decent reception out here. The classic country station had petered out about fifteen miles down the two-lane county road, and the beat-up Chevy that held all our gear didn't have a CD player. Static, static, and more static, then a burst of faint Hispanic-sounding music, but even the ranchera station was more white noise than melody.
"Forget it, Jules," Elliot sighed from the back seat. "It's only twenty more minutes."
"Yeah, assuming we don't run into a dirt road with a tree across it." Ally, our pugnacious resident skeptic, glared at the asphalt ahead of us.
"Don't jinx us, Ally." I ran a nervous finger over my rosary. "We lost cell phone signal when we turned off the main road."
"Don't sweat it. We'll be fine." Elliot's voice of reason made me feel better, even if it didn't entirely quell my lurking fears. "Go left at this n
falling shortonce she tried to reach
for the cloud-soaked sky;
and then they hacked her arms off.
girl of impossible dreams,
let me tell you
if you expect the worst,
you're probably going to be
(and if you expect the best,
i hope you can handle the blunt knives
and missing flesh,
fadedWinter's baby breath
fogging up the subway glass
a cloud on your heart.
SilkwormA slave, a product, bred
only to produce
My metamorphosis is
egg, larvae, pupa, dead
No wings, no skin to ever shed
I am incomplete
Day and night
I keep spinning my thread
In my dreams, my wings are spread
I rest peacefully
on a flower bed
And behind me is a cocoon shread
firm gripYour fingers strum
the chords of my brain
a hand cupped chin
to raise me from beneath
I’d know this insulation anywhere
it feels like putting on a comfortable shirt
arms fill the sleeves
as fabric moves over skin exquisitely
for the perfect fit
I lie every time I nod my head in silence
It was anchors I needed
and fish hooks
I know the art of drowning
suspension and bleeding
The captain goes down with his ship,
but not before he sails
Now is not the time
for bravery and fear
we passed those
Twisting in my skin,
pulling tight on the ropes
into the squall
moves through and between
nothing to grasp
and press on
into the next
We’re raising the sails
and dropping them down
with corset flattery
over roller coaster wind
and a hand cupped chin
depreciateher spine was the most unappreciated part of her. he had never seen it in its bare nakedness, silken skin stretched tight over a sensuous serpent of bone, but now, while the moon writhed in the sky like a bug struggling feebly in a puddle of ink, he could reach across the cushioned expanse of the mattress and touch it.
he brushed her exposed spine with his fingertips, exploring each curve, each crevice, as lovingly as an art fanatic handling a rare vase. he could feel all the beauty in the world, a lone daisy growing in a festering swamp, a premature baby's first intake of breath, a freak oasis in a desert full of wandering souls, epitomised in a single stretch of interlinked vertebrae and cartilage and milky white bone.
beyond the window, the night trembled, like an alive thing. his breath caught in his throat.
he wondered how it was possible for her to exist. she was as vulnerable as a naked flame in this world, this world full of gunpowder and venom and melting ice caps,
leftthere comes an evening
when spring is broken:
winter sweeps back in,
swallowing the coast.
the hours are drawn,
long, and quiet -- save
for storming wind --
where pride recedes
to leave the heart
for this eve only,
to remember what it has lost.
hands, thick with cold,
shallow-lung'd and lonely,
waiting for chamomile to steep,
sleep to steal:
as the night ticks through
each moment is meticulous,
sliced clean from next
by key-stroke --
shaped on tongue to fit:
each syllable is moulded
pressed to curves by thumb
until, at last,
something of beauty is wrought
a fragile thing, cowering and
bruised, it is honest:
here -- take me as i am,
the whole and the half of me,
more sculpture than statement;
here i am, take me or leave me
leave me as you left me,
not battle worn,
aching and exposed,
offering clean slate --
yea, i will wash away the dust
'til every memory can glow:
this is forgiveness,
The Growing Seasoni.
we slipped between each other's flesh,
intoxicated on the nectar
never careful enough
to avoid the bitter seeds
of a previous commitment.
each night the pregnant ache coaxes
wicked acts to replay
along my nerve endings and synapses;
each night, the gardener's
were I to untether myself,
to prune the growing stillborn
from my chest,
you'd have no secrets
conceived of sin;
no reason to carry my face,
my voice, my touch,
in a painful miscarriage
of our unprotected actions
less than a weed.
each morning my stomach rejects
the early hour
into my utilitarian bathroom's sterility,
spitting out the insomnia
of the night before
like pomegranate seeds
in the least.
Your fault, not mine.You knew
how to love
on your own;
why didn't you
It is your fault that I left;
tell me where you are.
I went miles without you,
loved and ached and cried.
It is you
that I want.
I shall be born with you
if you won't have us rot.
how to: be unbreakableif there were such thing as you and i
we would be just like those stupid kids
we would hear about on tv, complete with the abhor
of moving bodies to breaths and the sweet
smoke of voices to the back of our necks
saying breathe, breathe,
and tonight you would have been that girl
who took that place between my neck, my shoulders and spine
and spoke with words fitting to the best shakespeare, plato
and socrates, your nails scratching down the bones in my back,
your lips tight, raw, and kissed almost skinless whispering:
breathe, breathe, breathe,
and i would have died under your grip young,
not a figment of what i once was,
and under the gasp stolen from my own grip
you will tell me about those kinds of days when
we were fifteen, under the type of moonshine
you would only get when you were fifteen,
where we would sit by the lake for hours,
our skin a wrinkled mess under the water,
the moon drowning in the ripples of the dock-
kissing the bride of your shoulders, the crown
of your neck und
Nighttime Ramblings and InsufficiencyYou drop your jaw,
and you pull words out from
hiding, deep in your throat.
You wretch up a mass of
unfiltered, unedited, reality
because you believe that's what it is
to be understood.
You leave a trail of mutterings
wherever you go
no one will ever want me
it's not enough
and i'm sorry, i'm
so so sorry
Do you remember the difference between
a shadow and a ghost? (the world ends
the day the sun won't shine)
Instead of sleeping (maybe
tomorrow won't come if you
don't say goodnight) you wait;
you will not be remembered, and
that is the scariest part-
you were never loud enough.
i'm so sorry
The night presses too hard,
pulling you down, even though
you plead for one more day to prove
you aren't just passing through.
In the margins, you breathe:
ashtraytell me how it felt:thumb333710399:
to have the devil wear your hands
and white and
did he turn blue like you,
did he thaw you
as i could not
tell me how it felt
to be an angel once
and then to burn like a cigarette
to rise from the ashes
and white and
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