Ragdoll

Once upon a time, I was but a girl.  What did I know of the world?  He came to me, in the guise of a friend, who turned into a lover.  But not the kind I wanted.  I tried to leave, discretely, but he would have none of that.  I resigned myself to my fate; little did I know what he had in store.

I woke up one morning a shadow of my former self.  I had gone from flesh and blood girl to cloth and rag and yarn.  My purple button eyes never missed a thing.  I kept track of everything I saw, everything I heard.  It wasn’t all that difficult as he called me his favorite voodoo doll.

In time, he began to use me in ritual work, imbuing me with powers I never thought to dream of.  He thought that once his work finished, the power went where he told it.  Doll I may be, but my soul still lives on.  Unable to move or talk, I still have power of my own.  I refused to relinquish any drop of any nourishment that came my way.

I let the years pass as I grew stronger, as I practiced my own spellwork.  I watched him…and then I worked to thwart his spells from the inside.  He thought he had arrived at the end of his journey, thought his powers waning.  He sought to make deals with devils and demons, all of whom gave me sly smiles.  They knew I wanted none of them.  Still, they took his deals and twisted them to his own desires.  I kept usurping his power.

The day came I called upon my own powers while he lay abed, his dreams nightmares coursing through his veins.  In silence I birthed myself, slithering out of that tiny cloth body covered in the ichor in which he had smothered me for years.

I stood there before him, naked and shameless, watching him twitch and jerk through his sleep.  The thought of slashing his throat…of cutting out his heart…of … so many wild cruel deaths…galloped through my own heart…but in the end, I knew the cruelest thing I could do would be to leave him to pay his debts to the demons.  Without me there any longer as a cushion, his bargains required payment in full…and his didn’t have much of a soul left after so long in the Black.

I kissed his forehead as he slept.  Not as a sign of forgiveness, but because every day man should have something good to take with him on his journey to hell.

 

 

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These Boots Are Made For Walking

The boots were hard—on the outside.  Hard soles.  Hard heels.  The black leather, however, was soft and buttery and shiny.  A long time ago, someone had taken very good care of these babies before I snagged them up as my own.  On my feet, they wore like a dream.  Supple movements and excellent support where I needed it.  I loved them.

Morning awoke with the twitterings and carrying-ons of myriad cheery little birds.  Larger creatures retreated for the day.  Smaller creatures came out to play in the sun.  I love this time of day.  Dawn, the promise of a new day.  Beautiful.

I started walking, boots thumping as I went along.  I smiled.  Being all alone this way, it made me happy.  Toady’s orders from the Queen—same orders as yesterday—and the same as the day before that, and the day before that.  I was to “make way for the new”.  I knew my job—and I loved it.

The cool air frolicked around me, pushing my curls out of my eyes, back into my eyes.  It pulled at my shirt, then pushed me from behind.  The wind a child trying to entice me to a game.  I could not stop to play, so I sang her a sweet song to calm her and keep her content.

I walked, one step after the other, after the other, enjoying the scenery before me as I went.  Oh yes, there were plenty of signs of the Destruction, but that wasn’t my department; I didn’t bother to focus on it.  Someone would be along at some point and all of that would vanish, renewed and reclaimed.  We all had our jobs to do.

There came my work now.  I stood on the outskirts of what was once a city.  Tall buildings remained, although, looking around, the entire place had seen better days.  Nature had begun her slow encroachment, but I was here to hasten things along.

I began to sing, this time in earnest, weaving Power and Intention like keen-edged weapons against the detritus left behind by humanity.  I called forth the green things in swift abundance.  As waves of kudzu overtook buildings, many explosions pulsed out, fires raging for a moment or two before the vines smothered it all, encompassing the mass within the sedate confines of a nesting pod.  Incredible things would grow forth from those pods.  But again, that wasn’t my department and not part of my job.  I moved on.

I walked through the entire city for three days, singing, chanting, laughing at it all, until not a single trace of the so-called city remained, above nor below ground.  I shot up my flare, the beacon given to me by the Queen to show that an area was clear.  It didn’t take long for the answering strike to come.

It forest green clouds crowded the sky above me.  With grumbles of thunder and blue streaks of lightning, the rains poured down.  It was a soothing balm, a bath before bedtime, for the newly cleansed land and for me.  Within these healing waters lay new seeds for new creations.  As the rains continued, I curled into a ball on the newly grown grass and I fell asleep.

I slept for days.  Once my energies were back to maximum, I popped up, ready for the new day, the next town, the next assignment.  It would not be much longer until we had covered the planet with our greenery.  It couldn’t be soon enough.

Words

It’s just words, he told me as he walked away.  Just words.  He’d never meant them.  It was something he’d said to keep me complacent.  Something to keep me at his side, content, for years.  While he did…whatever it was he did when he wasn’t with me.

Words.  Words have power.  So we were always taught.  So, I dug into my grandmother’s grandmother’s books.  So, I found the right words.  So, I dug his grave myself—far out in the dark woods.  All by myself, with my own silver shovel.  Eight feet deep, it was…and long enough for a man taller than he would ever be.

Then, I called him.  I offered him contrition.  I begged for just one more night in his arms.  I cooked him dinner.  He anticipated dessert in bed.  He never made it to my bed, nor anyone else’s for that matter.  Not ever again.

As he ate, I told him the words, over and over, filling each word with the utmost clarity and power, filling his mind with clouds and his own lies.  After a while, he gave me the strangest look, along with a queer little smile.  There was a loud POP! And he was gone.

I waited for some time, to see if anything else would happen.  It didn’t.

I cleaned up the kitchen.  I picked up whatever of his I could find…his coat, his keys, his glasses.  These I took with me.

I drove his car, that sporty yellow thing he loved more than any woman, and I drove it far out to that honky-tonk a couple of counties over.  The one he used to take me to now and then.  I left the keys in the ignition, with the door wide open. I walked the rest of the way, through the trees and the night.

I dropped his goods into the hole I’d dug for him.  I covered it all over with the dirt, burying what I had left of him, just to be sure I was forever shut of him.

I have no idea where he went, but I do know he’ll never lie to another soul.  Of that, I am certain.

Green Candy

I deeply resent being here.  I mean, deeply.  I have been here on this spot every single night for five hundred years or more.  Give or take.  It’s just a job.  I know this—and I am good at my job.  After five hundred years, I’d better be.  Yes, the prey has changed—evolved—devolved—evolved along some other way.  It never mattered.  Humans have always been easy prey.  The more “advanced” they think themselves, the easier they are to pick off.

I’m bored tonight—like so many other nights.  However, I still have a quota to fulfill. I have never gotten attached to these creatures as some have, so picking out the ones to process has never caused any issues for me.  But, since I get bored, a lot, I tend to create little games.  I especially like ones where the humans themselves choose who I cull.

Tonight I’m using a favorite of mine—the candy bowl.  What type of candy the human picks determines how your night with me goes.  Tonight, if someone picks the green candy, they belong to me.  And tonight, because I am in such a particularly foul mood, the bowl is full of nothing but green candy.

Every time a man sits down and ordered a drink, he grabs some of my candy.  If he chooses the right color, and tonight every choice is the right one for me, I zap a bit of my ink into their drink.  Boom.  It doesn’t take long until he is out cold.  An hour later, I have his soul out and in my bag.  As for the rest of what’s left, the clean-up crew here is a bunch of real ghouls.  By morning, there isn’t a trace to be found anywhere.

There was a time when I would get into trouble with Management over these mass culls.  It does seem as if they have grown more tolerant of my ways over the years.  So long as I don’t abuse my station.  And I don’t.  I usually am not this angry.  Mass culls don’t happen all that often … lately.  It’s a good thing they give me some leeway.  As long as I am never short, I don’t have to go explain myself to them.

Tonight, three hundred pieces of green candy went out.  The bowl is running low now.  I think I may need to refill it, a few times.  I feel like I might need some overtime tonight.

Come Undone

 

 

Come away with me.

We’ll go for a little swim.

Climb up onto my back.

I’ll trot through the field,

Let you smell the flowers

One final time.

We can race to the edge of the world…

Stare over the edge of these cliffs…

Out into the boiling green

And white surf.

I’ll back up

A good bit

Before running us

Headlong

Up-up-up into the briny sky

Until gravity grabs us tight

And we plummet

Into the icy currents

Pounded by those icy depths.

I will take us down

Down

Down

Beneath the world you know

Beyond the ocean

Out of your Time

And into mine.

I’ll have you

Come undone

Swimming in my Soul

My lovely angel now.

Believe me when I say,

I’ve saved you.

 

Apothecary

 

I am just no one special.  I gather things.  I gather herbs and grasses, mosses and stones, bits of this and bits of that.

I gather by the light of the Moon and by the Dark.

I am not shy.

I gather for those much higher up the food chain than myself.  I have their permission.  I have their protection.

I would never claim that I am the only one who does what I do, for I know this is untrue.  I am merely a woman grateful for the peace and the security to do what it is I love.

On my doorstep this morning, along with the offering of a bevy of doves, all ready to be roasted, sat a note full of the list of items I am to have ready by the next cycling of the Moon.

I had plenty of time to gather my bits and my bobs, but I like to have plenty of time on the off chance that something goes awry.

This night, I decided a college would do for my collecting.

Room by room I went, a tooth snatched here, some hair cut there, a finger will not be missed this night.  I shall be long gone by the morrow.

These are simple things this night.

Tomorrow, I must take my knife.  Deeper things will need to be cut.

I know a place to go, the nursing home across town, to gather these meats and delicacies.  I do my best to do it right, so none shall die in agony.

I need tissues from brains, long lengths of muscles, several different organs as well.  Here too I find some unusual things clinging to the walls, various greenery and molds.  I bring these back with me as well, careful to mitigate the items contact with others within my wicker basket.

I let the furor over that harvest blow over whilst I work on other things.  The toenails of wolves.  Eyes from spiders.  I do my job well.  None feel pain.  Nearly all survive.  Those who fail to thrive were those who made the choice to cross over, which is no doing of mine.

Herbs I seek this eve.  Mushrooms and spores.  Thorns and tears.  I do what I can at my age.

I need to go out again, more organs are needed.  More blood.  More bile.  An asylum in the next town is a handy place for me to slide through to take up my wares unannounced.

Here, there is no need for my cloak of Shadows.  There is no need for subterfuge.  Here I can speak plainly, ask for what I need, garner permission.

I feel calmer here, less the thief and more the healer.  Oftentimes I am able to offer comfort to those trapped here.  Many a man, a woman, a child have I freed from these torturous confines.   Whether that be showing someone the way out under fence as I go, or offering to show them the Road onward is entirely up to them.

I have all my ingredients.  I set up my shop.

I cut.  I chop.  I snip.  I hang things to dry.  Other bits get smoked, beautiful ash smoke, spilling into my valley with the wind.  Some things are ground and turned to dust, collected into tiny bottles.  Other things are boiled, boiled down, made into wine-like sups.  There are tinctures and tisanes.  There are poultices and dry rubs.  Medicinal, ay, but more so as well.

I package every little bit, wrapping each offering in pretty paper, some in cloth, tied securely with ribbon and twine.  Each package came with explicit and clear instructions of use.

The one last piece, the heart of the mage, had been too easy to obtain.  Permission had been greatly given for me to take it.  Peaceful now did the Lady rest.  The heart needed time to heal.  I set it in the box of salt and closed the lid.  I knew my job there was done.  A year from now, They would return the heart to me for further work.  Until then, it was out of my hands.

I packed these up in a fresh new basket, adding loaves of freshly made bread and great lumps of goat’s milk butter, along with a few bottles of dandelion wine.  Who would I be if I did not give tribute to those I love best, who care so for me?

Now, it is time for me to sleep.  Until they come for me the next time.

Spell

I miss the old days.  Do you remember?  The days before I put this heinous spell on you.

Love me forever, I cried.

Now you do.

Here I am, stuck with your moldering corpse as I go throughout my every day.

You are the dead Siamese twin wrapped around my torso, connected by a liver, or a heart, or a kidney.  The corpse that just won’t go away.

Look at you, with the worms crawling through your eyes.  There’s not enough brain left in your head for them to eat these days.

Love me forever.  Sheesh.  What was I thinking?

What am I to do?

I have gone to every healer.  I have seen every medicine man and medicine woman.  I have drunk potions and concoctions.  I have eaten pieces of animals that should never been touched, much less swallowed.  I have danced the old dances.  I have bathed in the sacred streams and the holy rivers.  I have beseeched god after god, goddess and goddess.  I have tempted many a crossroads demon.

Nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing but you and your grave-stink and your rotting lips smiling at me, begging for a kiss.

Ye gods, what am I to do?

I have long pondered what might happened if I took the knife to my own self.  Slit my throat.  Or perhaps sliced open both arms from elbow to wrist.  Every time I mention it, whatever holy person in front of me says my fate will be even worse if I do so.

Even worse than this, you walking death amongst my world.  I miss the flowers in my garden.  I miss laying naked in the moonlight.  I miss … everything… before I threw my life away for loving you, for having you love me.

What am I to do?

YOu kiss my feet with that rotted mouth.  I want to vomit.  You bring me dead things, squashed on the road, and garble on about loving me.

I have tried so many times to release you, but forever is forever and you yourself agreed.  You took this on yourself so much as I offered it out to you.  It is not all me.  It is not all you.

Don’t you want to be free?  Let go, Bonny Jim.  Let go.