Monday, 26 March 2018



The late-October earth was covered in a layer of frost, except for at the base of the three stakes driven into the village square. 

“You’ll burn! The lot of ya!” A crone in the crowd cried, pointing at the alleged bound witches. The rest of the villagers joined in, jeering and throwing up the evil eye.

Wren’s lip curled as she strained against the ropes. These sods couldn’t count or read, but they weren’t entirely stupid. They had found her out. But given the weeping of the two children beside her, they had captured innocents, as well.

“Witches, concubines of Satan!” The priest blared, Bible in one hand and a flaming torch in the other. “You will burn in hellfire! Spilling the blood of cattle to sour our harvest! Have you anything to say for yourselves?”

The girls professed their innocence through tears to an unmoved audience while the priest stared Wren down, not breaking eye contact. 

“And you?” He asked her. 

Wren sighed. “Let’s get on with it, levereter.”

His eyes became hard. She knew he was a pilfering git. More reason to set her aflame. He dropped the torch. But the flames didn’t spread upwards. Fire raced outward, to the villagers and their homes, setting them alight.

Wren grinned at their screams. She loved a good witch-hunt.

Artist's impression of witches sentenced to burning. From, released under CC by 2.0.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

A Fresh Start

Hot water fogged up the shower’s glass, obscuring the feminine figure behind it. She sighed, craning her neck as rivulets ran down her chest. She grabbed the soap and vigorously lathered. 

Suds met blood too tenacious for water alone. She scrubbed her skin, knowing she’d have to bleach the tub. The floors. The walls. Maybe tear up the carpet. Replace it.

Not that it mattered.

The house was hers now.

But it might prove suspicious to do the “renovations” anytime too soon. She’d just have to be thorough until the coast was clear.

Her muscles eased under the spray of water. She had been so tense. Feral. She launched at him in a craze, her hand rising and falling with the knife. It felt like a fever dream. 

But it had happened. 

He was shocked she did something this time. This would be her last black eye. Still, she’d rather not be charged. She wasn’t getting manslaughter because she fought back for once! No. This was her fresh start. He simply “left” her. Vanished. Men did it all the time. 

Even though his body was currently slumped over downstairs.




She started, then wiped the fogged glass. Heart racing, she reminded herself dead men couldn’t walk.
But what she saw proved otherwise. 

Hey, everyone! This story is also posted at Musae Mosaic Online Literary Magazine! Feel free to check it out there and read some work from other talented authors.

Disclaimer: I don’t own that image. I think maybe Duravit does. Don’t sue me! This blog has no ads! Unless you count the ads from the app that lets me share my IG on here. Go after those people. I have no money.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

A Wheel of Fortune

Author J.D. Estrada’s poetry book, Roulette of Rhymes, is a delight. His fiction (Only Human, Shadow of a Human) weaves dreamlike prose with grindhouse grit. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that his poetry has more of the same, but is accentuated by the freedom of verse.

There are gentle musings within, such as with “The Elephant,” bringing to life an idiom that instead of awkwardly enduring a room, decides to forge its own path heavenward. “Brewed to perfection” is an ode to coffee just about every one of us can not only enjoy, but relate to as we partake in the daily grind. Meanwhile the simplicity of a “Fortune cookie” is met with a striking poignancy when it comes to what’s within.

But perhaps the standouts for me are “The Fool’s Journey” and “The Madness of Jonathan J. George.” The former is the Fool’s shuffle through the tarot deck as he passes each card in the Major Arcana. It’s fantastically fun, and as someone who reads tarot, I enjoyed the nod to the artistry of the cards. The latter is an 800-line epic. It’s a real, raw, and honest look at life itself. Or rather, of living our lives. The poem may be about Jonathan J. George, but it’s truly a tale anyone of us can slip inside and be the hero of.

Turning the pages of Roulette of Rhymes is like taking a spin at the table, never knowing if you’ll land on whimsy or the darkness of reality.

Perhaps even both at once if you’re lucky.

Purchase Roulette of Rhymes on Amazon.
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