Monday, 24 August 2015

Danse Macabre

I haven't been sleeping well.
Not lately, at least.
I have this reoccurring dream.
No. Nightmare.
I’m lying in my bed. I open my eyes. Drenched by cold moonlight in the darkness of my room is a figure atop my sheets. It stands at the foot of my bed, tattered white gown hanging on its rotting body. And there are others at its feet.
They’re small; feral, but unlike any animal. They’re graced with a touch of human familiarity, however bleak. They chitter with excitement, eyes red and lips curling. In their claws are chains, which they begin to flick like reins.
And then their slave moves.
At the figure’s wrists and neck are shackles with long trailing chains they pull like marionette strings. The figure sways with gruesome grace, limbs being pulled impossible angles. The dance grows feverish, crazed. It pulls against its shackles, flicking its hair back, and clawing for me.
Its face is a caricature of a woman’s, over-exaggerated and hideous, equally as rotten as its frame. Its eyes are a pitch void reflecting my fear. Her captors slacken the restraints, giggling as she gets closer and closer to me, only to yank her back last minute.
No matter how much I try to move, I can’t. So I watch, eyes wide and heart pounding. Night after night.
But last night the dream was different. Her captors dropped the chains. She fell upon me. Her eyes flicker with something other than the abyss—hope. She tears into me, literally crawling under my skin.
I can move again. I scream and flail.
And finally awaken.
I’m exhausted. But, you know, I’m feeling pretty damn good today. Like I can get up and dance this very second.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Friday Phrases: Collection No. 2: Fall 2014

Another dose of my Friday Phrases!

If you don’t know what Friday Phrases happens to be …
Every Friday, writers (or anyone so inclined) come up with a 140-character or less micro fiction, slap on a FP hashtag, and share it with the Twitterverse. There are weekly themes, however those are optional. The imagination involved is truly limitless. Well, except when it comes to pornography/erotica or promoting your own work. You'll need some other Twitter outlet for that. (But don't worry, there’s a lot!)
Check it out, make some friends, and be thoroughly entertained!
Now see below my Fall 2014 Collection!

September 12th, 2014
Shoes crunched over fallen leaves. She pulled her jacket tighter, trying to ignore the fact the shadow following her wasn't her own. #FP

October 3rd, 2014
"Hey, kid!" The rotund figure crooked a finger from behind a bush. "Yeah, you!" Humpty Dumpty threw open his trench coat, giggled, & fled. #FP
Firm, thick, & ebony. They manhandle the sticky, luscious, & ivory body between them until sweet release. #SexyOreos #FP
Plea-e don't thr-w this note away! It s--nds crazy, but Sam isn't Sam. BELI-VE ME! I saw it kill him, slip on his sk--- #FP
Shy eyes descend to hopeful lips. A cautious lean pulls into an embrace. Breath meets & skin touches for the 1st time, hearts racing. #FP

October 10th, 2014
Strong hands sink into her aching back. She sighs, pleased. The hands then creep to her neck, removing tension forever with a sharp snap. #FP

October 17th, 2014
"Wake up." He lifted her stiff hands to his lips, his breath on her grey skin. She stirred, milky eyes opening to gaze upon her master. #FP
The floor was a trail of torn clothes to the bedroom. Discarded shirts, pants, & socks lead to a mattress weighed down by a teething puppy. #FP
"Done yet?" He leers. She licks salt off the rim of her glass, taps the table. He's dragged under it screaming. "Bottoms up." She toasts. #FP

October 31st, 2014
You can hear it riding the wind when it rattles the glass in the pane. Make no mistake, that's not the wind trying to howl your name. #FP
"Please! Let me in!" She pounds on my door. I look through the peephole. She's bleeding. I rush her in. What foolish trust she has. #FP
Hand around my waist, his mouth to mine. I sink into him, not noticing the paint peel, the floor rotting, or the rising infernal flames. #FP
The black cat weaved through the forest, her mistress' shadow gliding at her paws. The handle was reserved for the shrieking meal tonight. #FP
She swirled the crimson in a fine glass. "Lovely bouquet!" After a sip, she left the body to swing, further letting into its pail. #FP

November 7th, 2014
Marble, cold & inanimate, mimicking humanity when graced by a chisel. Enviable, these statues, life-like without the burden of a soul. #FP
Flushed. Panting. Following waking dreamscapes. Deep-rooted desire making it all that much more real, but still intangible. #FP
Release. There isn't any. I build up, taut; a master pulls my strings tighter. A sweet melody growing increasingly strained until I snap. #FP
She danced at the ball, radiant, full of life. He needed to finally claim that life. Too many missed opportunities, but not tonight. #FP
Runoff sinks me into the earth. Palms & ferns obscure my curvaceous idol form. I was worshipped, now discarded, a goddess left in ruin. #FP
November 14th, 2014
His lips press against her ear. "If you-" She smirks, runs a hand down his thigh. The mugger flinches as a blade slices his femoral artery. #FP
November 21st, 2014
The darkness roiled with a fever-pitch as the sky separated. What descended from the heavens looked like a god. It was anything but. #FP
Salt in the air, wrapping around my tongue as I choke on a scream. I flail, trying to stay above water. Sea wraiths were persistent! #FP
Magnetic, that pull. Consider it a call to fate, a rise to destiny. Follow it. Before it finds you on its own terms. #FP
Ascension, Fingers tracing up my skin. Breath held captive by his touch, Released by his kiss, until made prisoner again. #FP

To see my Summer 2014 Collection, click here.
Thanks for reading and take care!
Get ready for my winter collection!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Friday Phrases: Collection No. 1: Summer 2014

I started participating in Friday Phrases ages ago after stumbling across it in my feed. When I saw the creativity and the #FP attached to each phrase, I had to check it out!
So, here's what it is:
Every Friday, writers (or anyone so inclined) come up with a 140 character or less micro fiction, slap on a FP hashtag, and share it with the Twitterverse. There are weekly themes, however those are optional. The imagination involved is truly limitless. Well, except when it comes to pornography/erotica or promoting your own work. You'll need some other Twitter outlet for that. (But don't worry, there’s a lot!)
From Friday Phrases, I've come across many writers and have formed many awesome friendships. These fun literary tidbits are a joy, so I've amassed many! In tribute, I'm going to start a collection of my FPs. I've done oodles, so this is the first of many to come.

June 27, 2014

It was hotter than hell, but he was ready to burn. This was the big hit. He readjusted, looked through the scope, and fired. Money shot. #FP
The damp grey of the fog clung to her skin. She scanned the empty street, wondering what was looking back. Hesitantly forward, she moved. #FP
There was a fire that went through his veins, freezing him in place when she smiled, gaze hot. She was elemental. And he wanted to burn. #FP

July 4th, 2014
Salt water filled his lungs and rum, his belly. He sank with his ship, watching it burn with his crew. Icy waters never felt so cold. #FP

July 11th, 2014
He spread his arms open, smirking. "You want it? Come get it." He dove. They leapt after him, no safety nets, just adrenaline. #FP
The silhouette pulled itself from the wall, waving beckoningly at the boy. That was the last time Danny made shadow puppets. #FP
Smoke filled the valley, stinging eyes and lungs.The Fire-Bringer had come. A water nymph rose from the river, pupils slit. So had she. #FP

July 18th, 2014
She bolted upright, heart racing. "That dream again," she groaned, glancing out the window, city still in ruins. "Can't it come true?" #FP
"I had that dream again." He grinned suggestively. "You were there." She slammed the knife into him. "You sure it wasn't a nightmare?" #FP
Sweat licked his goosebumps. He grabbed the sheets. Ghostly hands caressed his every inch. He had to be having that dream again. Right? #FP

July 25th, 2014
Her lips ran along the mirror, breath fogging the reflection. Opening her eyes, she saw him on the other side, eternally unfulfilled. #FP
"See that perfect ten over there?" Zeus smirked. "Turned into a swan and she was all over me." "Cool story, bro." Hades rolled his eyes. #FP
He saw his reflection through the rain-spattered window, wondering what could be as hungry he was. Snarling, he loped into the deluge. #FP
The castle yawned, lowering its bridge. Its moat was full of dead raiders, their steel reflecting light from the sun. A rich kingdom indeed. #FP

August 1st, 2014
Shooting stars flew across the night sky, long celestial tails dragging like kites. Chicken Little was a silly goose for being afraid. #FP
She snapped her fingers. The heavens parted, but it wasn't the sky that fell. They were winged creatures, descending angels. Redeemers. #FP

August 8th, 2014
Long golden hair framed her sun-kissed curves. She sang atop the rocks, beckoning the ship so it could join her collection under the sea. #FP
It watched us for hours. Crawling on the floor, slinking around corners. I kept quiet. Daddy didn't. He crawls on the floor now, too. #FP
A taste of copper on the tongue, sealed with a kiss. Hands intertwined in her hair with a sigh. She jolted awake, alone, tasting blood. #FP
There's a primal charge in every storm. It calls to us and we listen. Some cower, but those who show no fear ride with the Valkyries. #FP

August 15th, 2014
"Team Gryphon, what's your 20?"
"Topside, Hydra, at 12 o'clock!"
A winged serpent bore down on the squad, spraying pyre. "Always." #FP
Bonfire smoke intermingled with dry leaves & the chill of autumn. A broken carousel spun in the distance. The dark carnival had returned. #FP
She exhaled into the clay doll. It twitched with life and stretched its lungs with its first breath, looked up, and asked for an iPad. #FP
A knee slid between her legs, pinning her against the wall. Fingers interlaced. He leaned in for a kiss & she unhinged her hungry jaw. #FP

August 22nd, 2014
"Why was an apple forbidden?" He bit into the taut flesh. She grinned. "God said so." He began to choke & she let him meet his maker. #FP
I want it slow. Simple. My flesh against yours. Wet. Screaming. Until I split you from the inside out & find another suit to wear. #FP
"Bloody Mary!" The girls chanted 3 times in darkness, breaths bated. Words aglow etched themselves across the mirror: "Out of office." #FP
She put her little hands over her ears, wide eyes wet. There was shouting. Hitting. Shadows jerked in the hall until one fell, sobbing. #FP
"Back, sow!" The warrior readied his blade.
"I'd never put you in harm's way!" The witch winked, golems rising around him. "It's their job!" #FP

Thanks and take care, all!

Look forward to my Fall 2014 edition shortly!

Friday, 7 August 2015

Of Ink & Dreams

To a writer, ink is blood.
Within each of us is a microcosm waiting to find its way to text. We spill ourselves over a page and give not only words life, but the universes and characters inside of them, as well. But as important words are, so are images and the beauty of symbolism.
Symbols are representations of who we are. What we are. What we strive to be. They enrich us and our worlds, be them fictitious or otherwise. Above all else, they’re immortal, surviving us when we turn to ash because they’re more than skin deep.
… Unless, well, they literally are skin deep.
With my adoration of symbolism on the written page, I naturally came to love the idea of having it on my body. I wanted to get a tattoo, to be adorned by ink. However, the weight of such a decision made me take years to get one. Being a writer, I value the depth the right imagery produces. Being introspective, I had to make sure it was something that truly defined me. Combined with the fact I chose the best artist for the job who had a months-long wait before he was open for consultations, it was a process that took as much time as it needed to.
So when I decided to get a tattoo of a murder cabin in demon-infested woods, I knew it was going to be perfect!
One of my favorite movie franchises is The Evil Dead. The series features the main hero, Ash (portrayed by the legendary Bruce Campbell), battling demonic forces unleashed by readings from the book of the dead, the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. Through hacking and slashing possessed pals to time travelling to the middle ages, the series has taken on many different tones. Horror and camp combined to make a movie experience unlike any other. And it all started with an eclectic group of friends.
Sam Raimi (Hollywood director) and Bruce Campbell (the B movie King) grew up together in Michigan where they started out making and starring in homemade Super 8 flicks. But as they grew older, the itch to create an actual movie became greater and greater. But how?
The two young men, along with friend Robert Tapert (Hollywood producer), decided first they needed to work on getting a budget. They filmed a prototype to show investors, a short horror film called Within the Woods, where Campbell’s character gets possessed after unearthing an ancient Indian dagger and proceeds to homicidally torment his girlfriend. Next, they had to pitch it to investors!
As teenagers, they went around their community, knowing nothing about business and legalities. It was a long and arduous task asking anyone from their parents to the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker to support their project, but eventually they raised $150,000.
After finding actors from placing an in-hindsight seedy-looking ad, scrounging together a crew, and cleaning out a manure-filled cabin in Tennessee for a set, they began filming. The months that followed in the low-budget hell of production were far from glamorous. Shooting was plagued by a series of unfortunate events from a tree limb bludgeoning Raimi to Campbell’s brother falling over a cliff (but surviving.) With an inexperienced crew and cast, the six-week shoot stretched into twelve, making that winter an especially harsh and unforgiving season. But the trials tested their perseverance and no-budget-like-low-budget innovation when it came to filming.
Eventually, shooting at the cabin wrapped up. What followed after was a series of loans, even more shooting at other locations, and post-production magic. Then the editing process, aided coincidentally by Joel Cohen (Hollywood writer and director) who was an assistant editor at the time.
Once the movie was finished, it successfully premiered at a local theatre and from there, they tried to sell it. Eventually they did, to sales agent Ivan Shapiro. This lead to The Evil Dead playing in the Cannes Film Market in France where Stephen King proclaimed it to be “the most ferociously original horror film of the year.” From that, the film got great exposure, selling around the world.
I’d like to say it was smooth sailing for our trio from there, but it wasn’t. There was no instant success to be found after such an already-long process. It was many years of slugging it out and trying to build a career. But mistakes, failure, and rejection are all a part of success. Today, the three are successful men, coming a long way from the boys they used to be, but in many ways, still are.
With that, my tattoo represents more than just over-the-top gore and camp. It’s a cabin bathed in darkness, symbolizing the primal fear found in the woods that has inspired storytellers for generations.  It’s my love for a genre that sparks my creativity. Most importantly, it’s the reminder that with hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm dreams can come true. It won’t be easy, but that’s part of earning your stripes. And, of course, that with great friends, anything is possible.
Finally, here it is!
Once I return to dust, this beautiful ink will vanish, but what that cabin means to me and millions of fans will last forever. Now give me some sugar, baby.
Take care!
Psst … My artist was Marshall Khalil from Crimson Empire Tattoo in Edmonton, Alberta. Check him out on Instagram and the Fan Service Art Collective.