Wordy Wednesday

I came across the word ‘sough’ (pronounced suhf) recently. I wrote it down and looked it up immediately.

From a definition page:

verb: sough; 3rd person present: soughs; past tense: soughed; past participle: soughed; gerund or present participle: soughing

  1. (of the wind in trees, the sea, etc.) make a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound.”the soughing of the wind in the canopy of branches”

noun: sough; plural noun: soughs

2. a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound as made by the wind in the trees or the sea.

From Middle English swoughen, from Old English swōgan; akin to Goth gaswogjan to groan, Lithuanian svagėti to sound.

Example from literature:

“The sough of the wind and the fleeing cloud of night was all they saw or heard.”

The Dew of Their Youth by S. R. Crockett

Scratch

As writers, we know the hardest thing to do is to write.

I hold myself back. I acknowledge this. I am a procrastinator, through and through. “I’ll do it tomorrow” is a staple in my vocabulary. “I’ll write in my journal tomorrow.” “I’ll write a paragraph for a story idea tomorrow.”

Joke’s on me, right? Tomorrow never comes.

In these uncertain times, my usual anxiety is heightened; I feel scared, irritable, sad, angry, and numb, in the space of minutes. My emotions swirl around in a wheel, the colours all mixing and bleeding into each other.

I overeat all day, or I don’t eat all day.

Control is vital to me. It is a main source of my anxiety, it’s why I’m scared of flying on airplanes, it’s why I’m an annoying passenger in vehicles – I’m not in control so I can’t relax. But I can control food. I can’t control if my family members will get sick during this pandemic, but I can restrict my own eating. I can binge and shovel food into the gaping hole made of anxiety and stress and fear until it’s (very temporarily) filled and buried.

The current state of the world is wreaking havoc on my brain, body, and soul. No doubt about it.

I have a follow up appointment with my psychiatrist next week, thankfully. I was doing pretty well three months ago, when he last saw me. I’m looking forward to telling him what’s going on inside me. It will be a tiny bit of relief.

I have no support system; I have no one to lean on, no one to go to for advice or comfort.

I carry burdens by myself. It’s so heavy all the time. Crippling.

And yet… I continue to stand and move forward. Sometimes I stagger; sometimes I take a few steps back. I fall and scrape my knees and palms and cry.

But I get up. I always get up.

Hope is there; hope is all around us, you know.

Fragment VI

There are fates much worse than death.

She knows this now, more than ever. Lying curled up on the warm wet floor, blood and water swirling together like a macabre painting left outside in the rain.

Spending eternity wandering the darkness alone… Being chained to a boulder, eviscerated over and over by razor sharp beaks, with no hope of salvation… Or forced to torture others, skinning them alive, unable to stop your blade from slicing and slicing…

Yes, there are many fates worse than the cold starless void of death.

There would be no light at the end of the tunnel. No dead relatives waiting with kind smiles and outstretched hands.

Not for her. Not after what she’s done.

A sharp, shrill noise, like keening, makes her raise her aching head. At first she thinks it is someone – or something – attempting to break through the beautiful gilt framed windows above the overflowing bathtub.

Her eyes slide away from the windows to the locked door. Blinking, her heartbeat slows, pumping the last of her blood from her body…

The door bursts inward, hinges splintering, and suddenly someone is shouting her name.

“Leave me alone,” she whispers. “Let me go.”

The Things We Do…

 

neighborhood

Prompt: Description of the devil recruiting a new servant.


The devil is drawn to tragedy.

She inhales the despair and savours it on her tongue.

Lucky for her, this world is rife with tragedy.

The flavour of the day is vengeance.

Beneath the bows of a weeping willow tree, she watches the police cars drive slowly away from the scene at the tidy cottage across the lane.

A woman sits on the front step, head bowed. Her long blonde hair falls over her face and her shoulders shudder with sobs.

The paramedics have come and gone. The neighbours, drawn outside of their homes by the earlier commotion, have melted away.

Thick clouds darken the sky. The devil makes use of the shadows and is mere steps away from the blonde woman before she is noticed.

“Go away,” the woman pleads weakly. “I have no time for you.”

The devil grins. “Yes you do, Rachel. You now have all the time in the world.”

Rachel slowly gets to her feet. She roughly wipes her tears away with trembling hands. She does her best to appear strong and unafraid. Her bloodshot eyes meet the devil’s piercing gaze.

“The deal is complete. What a fine job, too. Truly well done, Rachel. So much blood!”

The devil proffers a delicate, beckoning hand. “Come,” she coaxes. “There is much to do.”

Stream of Consciousness

Happy April, everyone!  I hope this month brings much joy and renewal; I hope you take time to breathe and just be.

The creative writing workshop I participated in ended recently. I want to share a few of my favourite submissions. The following ‘story’ is a freeform, stream of consciousness exercise that I really enjoyed doing. Let me know what you think!


red-plumeria-flowers

(Warning: blood/gore/mention of assault)*

  1. Confessing to something terrible – Stream of Consciousness

I can’t stand the smell of plumeria anymore, they remind me too much of our last moments together, the rows of trees thick with blossoms, long grass cool against my bare legs, the night air warm and sticky…I just wanted to keep you with me forever, we could be on a sailboat in the Mediterranean Sea or lazing in the hot springs in Reykjavik but instead here I am in this dismal basement and you’re six feet underground by now unless those wild dogs I noticed got hungry, picked you clean, and scattered your bones…It was supposed to be a romantic evening, we were trying again at this relationship thing but I slid the steak knife from dinner into the deep pocket of my dress before we left just in case, you hurt me once and I refused to let you do it again…When we found a secluded spot I thought to myself I can’t get any happier and then you kissed me and I was floating, until you pinned me against a tree the bark bit into my back and you gave me no space to move so I pleaded, not like this not again…You promised never to hurt me again don’t you remember? I could barely breathe but I felt the knife still in my pocket and you were so surprised when you saw the glinting blade then you laughed and tried to take it but I slashed your cheek, not too badly it was like a scratch I just wanted you to STOP…We were both angry, forgive me, I lost myself in it, the power the blood the control it was transcendent, please forgive me I can’t live like this!

Anniversary

One year ago, I began this blog.

One year ago, I faced my fear and brought my writing out of the dark, into the light.

magnolia-trees-556718_960_720

Spring is a time of renewal. The snow and the cold are retreating, making way for blooms and blossoms and warmth. Persephone has returned.

As such, my life is changing, too. Lately I feel a lot more unburdened, lighter; like I can take a deep breath and exhale.

My daughter is getting older and more independent (she’ll be eight years old this year). Watching her discover and delve into her interests; navigate friendships, experiencing loyalty, jealousy, laughter, and tears; makes me so proud to be her mother. I want her to know she can fail and make mistakes and still be a strong, amazing person. We’ve been through a lot, and I know life isn’t finished throwing hardship and obstacles her way, so I tell her as often as I can that I love her and I will be here for her, always.

Over these past few months I have discovered a lot about myself: what I want, and what I’m capable of. My heart is full of hope and I’m excited about what’s next.

2019

A brand new year means fresh starts and new beginnings. I don’t make resolutions (because I rarely, if ever, keep them) but I do take the time to sit back and evaluate where I am, what I’m doing, and what I can change.

First and foremost is my mental health and well-being. My current medications are working in a way that makes me feel more ‘even.’ There are still emotional highs and lows but the lows are a lot more manageable, which is a relief. I feel better equipped to be a more positive daughter, mother, and friend.

This year I want to do more things for myself. I have always wanted to take a creative writing class or course, but over the years I have dismissed the idea as a waste of time. All of the courses I took in university and college were specifically geared toward attaining the credits needed to complete the programs or degree; I was too hesitant and too afraid to do something solely for nurturing my passion: writing.

Two weeks ago, I bit the bullet and signed up for an online creative writing workshop. I’ll be able to see the first assignment today and I’m really excited. I’m looking forward to honing my craft, discussing ideas, offering and receiving constructive criticism, all in the hopes of becoming a better writer.

I feel good. I haven’t felt like this in a long time, so I’m holding it close and enjoying the warmth.

Fragment V

Another taste of the story I’m writing…


The call came in the middle of the night.

She woke with a start, her mind still in that foggy place between sleep and wakefulness. She could not tell if she had been dreaming. This was good; lately her dreamlife was made of memories of rot, of bodies beaten and broken and screaming for help, accusatory eyes staring holes into her soul…

She sat up and dug around the couch cushions for her cell phone. When she found it and saw the display, she cursed loudly.

2:30 a.m.

Her mother was calling. She let the phone ring and ring, wishing like hell the bottle on the coffee table was full and not pathetically empty. In the darkness, she moved from the tiny living room to the tinier kitchen. She set the phone on the counter just as it stopped ringing.

She counted, one, two, three, four, and yanked open the freezer. The pretty bottle of vodka nestled between the ice tray and bags of frozen veggies was supposed to be for special occasions. Or so she told herself.

She didn’t bother with a glass. She unscrewed the cap and on the third burning gulp when her cell phone rang again, she almost felt prepared to answer.

Only when half the bottle was gone did she finally pick up.

“Hi, mom.”

“My God! Finally! I’ve been calling you for almost -”

“- an hour. I know.”

“You’ve been ignoring me.”

“Been trying to.”

“Are you drunk? What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m fine.”

“Don’t lie to me. You’re an awful goddamned liar and I can’t deal with your shit right now.”

“Right, mom. Sorry. It’s all about you; I forgot. Spit out whatever you have to say so I can hang up and we can go back to our merry little lives.”

Silence.

She thought her mother had ended the call but then, quietly: “Your gran died. The funeral is in two days. Show up, or don’t. At least you can’t say you didn’t know.”

She pulled the phone away from her ear and clicked the small red ‘end call’ button. She brought the bottle of vodka back to the couch with her and stuck her cell phone back into the cushions.

Her mother’s words were crushing. So she took a deep, shaky breath and then took another drink. And another.

Soon she was floating; there was a blissful nothingness here, a numbness where her brain did not fret about the future or agonize over the past.

Sleep took her with a quickness typically reserved for the dead.

Fragment IV

A cool breeze flutters the curtain. The midafternoon sky has turned dark; thunder rumbles in the distance. This is his brother’s time. But the brother is dead.

Lightning crashes and Summanus appears at the front door.

I wait on the other side. My hand hesitates. Around all others, I am easily able to disguise my feelings and thoughts. I cannot hide anything from Summanus; he sees into my mind. He watches the machinations tick and whirl.

Or, at least, he used to.

I open the door. Summanus has his fist lifted to knock again; his dark eyes meet mine and he unfurls his fist. He cups my cheek gently, stroking his thumb along my cheekbone.

The tenderness is entirely unexpected. The god of night lightning has never been known for being affectionate.

“You’ve sent your minions away, Euryale. You did not wish for them to hear you come undone beneath me, hmm?”

I recoil instantly. “Shay and Thira had business to attend to on my behalf. Exactly what business is none of yours, so please do not ask.”

Summanus raises a dark brown eyebrow and lets his hand fall. “Invite me in, my love. Lest I stand in this wretched rain forever and catch a chill. You wouldn’t want that, now, would you?”

I roll my eyes. The rain has not touched his human vessel. I stand aside and let him enter. He kicks off his boots an I close and lock the door. The magickal wards will be ineffective while he is here.

A chance I take only when a god visits, I assure you.

Fragment III

“He left me to rot; to die alone in misery; heartbroken. He crushed me under his boot, cracking me open like the carapace of a brittle spider. I tried to curse him. I did. But the more magic I used, the weaker I became. It would have been easier – still it would be easy – just to die. But purpose has kept me here in this wretched world. She came to me. Enveloped me. I was reborn in the darkness. I am alive in the night. Blood keeps me and sustains me. In my loneliness I succumbed. I created others. They left me, as well. I cling so hard, squeeze so hard; I suffocate, truly.

Yet I endure. For Thira. For you.”