His Butler, ExposedHis Butler, Exposed in Drama More Like This
Finally, after week and weeks of waiting and months of recovering the Phantomhive household seemed to be back to normal. Well, as normal as normal could be. The maid scurried about knocking over dishes and cleaning up her mess, the cook was busy perfecting his flam thrower techniques, the gardener contently snipping away at the trees and the butler by his master's side as he should be.
Ciel scribbles his name on yet another black line, completing the latest transaction with a supplier in Asia. He plucks his pen down, enjoying the sound as it hits the desk signifying a day of work finished. The young earl reclines back into his chair shutting his eyes for a brief moment of rest, glad to have earned it. How hectic his life has become in the few months he's encountered the Queen's Spider, Alois Trancy and his double crossing butler, Claude Fastus-a fellow demon like his own butler, Sebastian Michaelis.
Lately everything seemed like it was crumbling beneath his feet, the chessboard that ha
His Butler, Sorrow- Part TwoHis Butler, Sorrow- Part Two in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
His cold ice blue eyes burn into the two, the beloved pair of master and servant. An evil smirk possesses his features as he inhales, ready to give the newest order. "Claude, steal Ciel Phantomhive," he begins, his voice like a death sentence as Sebastian's blood runs cold, "Take him from his butler and make his butler suffer." The grip around his young master tightens, "Make Ciel Phantomhive mine, do you understand?"
Sebastian's chest tightens as his eyes survey his surroundings, ready to attempt an escape. Although his master's last orders were to find blackmail on Alois Trancy due to the terms of their contract Ciel's life is above any information on a disposable piece of paper.
Alois Trancy's butler bows, his narrow yellow eyes trained on the opposing demon, the fire Alois had started in creating Ciel's person hell filled with bodies mirroring his parents', glowing behind him casting ugly shadows over his face. He shoots Sebastian a look that reads, 'It's an order, you understand,
His Master, Forsaken IVHis Master, Forsaken IV in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Prolouge: Sequel series to His Butler, it's written to that the reader doesn't have to have read His Butler but, this makes it a bit more fun if you have read. This is a new and continuing series.
POV: Ciel Phantomhive
The tree branches sway in the cold wind, their soft chimes of colliding branches trickles though my ears. My blood runs cold causing me to shiver in the suddenly frigid air. A man strolls by walking his dog not even bothering to look at us, why should he? Clearly by his dress he has plenty money to sit back on, a small dog to adore and a psychopathic blonde with a demon butler not keeping him in a hotel room against his own will. Why should he glance at us? After all we just look like two young boys, one immortal one downright manipulative in the worst ways. I bet he doesn't have to worry about seeing his butler again, the same butler that's a demon and turned his master into one of his kind. I bet he doesn't have an insane craving for Alois Trancy's soul.
Broken PiecesBroken Pieces in Short Stories More Like This
It's been over three months, and it's clear that the time is drawing closer to a possible death. He's broken his limit over and over, time and time again now nothing more than a shell of what he could be in this new life. A reformed demon, refined and transformed by a sheer moment of stupidity and lust of Sebastian Michaels. Ciel Phantomhive, once a powerful earl beyond his years and human age lies barely conscious in the floor. His small frame has sunk into itself proudly displaying his skeletal frame. Those lovely eyes that Sebastian has come to love more deeply have remained shut for days now, sometimes Sebastian almost wishes Ciel would just die and fade into nothing as he should've on the island years ago.
"Young master," Sebastian whispers, in the young demon's ear, gently sweeping back some of his dark grey hair, "Please, do not make me ask again."
Ciel shakes his head, turning his head into the floor shielding his face from the disappointed one of his loyal servant, "No...I do
Promise MePromise Me in Short Stories More Like This
From what seems from an infinite abyss they fall, small glass crystals too thin to be real stones but too beautiful to be imaginary float down from the sky littering the city with their brilliance. In the night their white gleams from the street lights, sparkling and twinkling like somehow the night sky above was able to shed their stars and send them to earth just for those who inhabit it. All around people bustle about hurried with their own lives filled with cause and effect. Mothers hold onto their children's hands, children whine for their desires in toy shops. I've seen it before, done it before. Nothing is new.
Tilting my head upward I close the eye not covered by an eye patch allowing the small purities to flutter onto my face cooling it from built up anxiety. Somehow I managed to escape my mansion, convincing my maid to drive me to the city just to get away from all of the stress, all of the confusion. Lately my butler has been playing my heart like he's taught me how to play
Red Moon Part IIRed Moon Part II in Short Stories More Like This
Three Part One Shot
All my life I've been surrounded by the impossible. My parents were murdered, my home burned and I was taken from any hope of regaining my life back. But in that darkness, being on that cold pedestal of 'glory' as they called it, I cried for a way out. Any way out, any thread to clutch and climb. That thread, was my butler, my demon, Sebastian Michaelis.
I can remember the day perfectly, too well if you ask me. The cold smell of the dank ritual room can filter through my nose at any time, the dried blood permanently scared into the stone table, the screams of the deceased engraved in each left mark from the final knife. The fear that pulsed through my veins was indescribable, to try and fight dozens of hands pushing and shoving you down, forcing you to withstand the unbearable. All the while that same masked face smiling, a dagger suspended in the air twinkling with the same light in his cowardly eyes.
I can feel my heart pounding in my chest, my h
His Master, ForsakenHis Master, Forsaken in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Prolouge: Sequel series to His Butler, it's written to that the reader doesn't have to have read His Butler but, this makes it a bit more fun if you have read. This is a new and continuing series.
POV: Ciel Phantomhive
That's what he said, that last word whispered to my mouth before I felt my entire being leave me. It was as if the air from my lungs was being sucked from me, but instead of that feeling being in my chest it was throughout my whole body. As if somehow that air burned hotter than any fire and more painful than any wound. I was lost in that pain, without a body without a sole mind, without myself.
But somehow I found it, that tiny life line, that little thread just barely there and hardly recognizable. How I did it I'm not so sure, all I am aware of is that I'm alive. That's what I wanted wasn't it? Life? To keep my soul?
No. that's not what I wanted and it's not what I want now.
I need my butler, Sebastian Michaelis.
His Butler, SorrowHis Butler, Sorrow in Short Stories More Like This
Finally, it is finished. Ciel Phantomhive expels a great sigh of relief as his head falls into his hands. The paper work is done and in many neat piles atop his desk all ready to be mailed back to their original owners. Beside him sits his butler, a loyal demon who happily flicks the very last of the paperwork into its designated spot atop the oak surface. His eyes shift down to the mentally exhausted earl beside him. Smiling he ruffles the young boy's hair, "See? That wasn't so bad."
A tiny glare greets him, "Not so bad? Are you daft? That was three days of paperwork! How in any way was it not so bad?"
Sebastian chuckles, kissing Ciel gently on the cheek, "You were there, that's good enough for me."
Rolling his eyes slightly Ciel sits upright, surveying the masses of paper before him, "Well I suppose we can mail it all out tomorrow, and by we I mean you."
"Of course, my lord." His eyes scan the desk one last time in search of any bits they missed so they may retire for the evenin
Red MoonRed Moon in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Three Part One Shot
Screams ring throughout the air, piercing it like a million little needles each sharper than any knife, any sword that could be crafted by man. It surrounds me, not like a blanket or a warm embrace but how my own blood may. Everywhere. No matter how hard I try, how badly I pray, no matter how loud my voice rises into the abyss it does not go away. It worsens.
"Stop!" I shriek, my hands gripping for something, anything that may ease this pain, or at least brace me, "Stop this now!"
I feel his soft breath at my ear as a hand tucks some of my hair behind my ear, "Please, just bear with it a little longer "
"I can't!" I cry, agony dripping from every word as my nails dig into his back, "Sebastian! Please! Stop this!"
A stifled sob is swallowed into his throat as his arms tighten their embrace, "A little longer, my lord."
The moon hovers high above
His Butler, AlwaysHis Butler, Always in Short Stories More Like This
A soft light filters through the curtains, casting a milky glow about the room making the usually dreary mansion look less. He stretches his arms out with a slight yawn; it's been so long since he's actually slept well. Not that he slept much at all last night, being on his toes watching for enemies to take his love away.
His eyes drift to the small body beside him, his sides rising and falling at a steady rhythm. Smiling fondly to himself Sebastian brushes back some of Ciel's hair from his face, the boy's expression completely peaceful. He makes a face in his sleep, his ski slope nose wrinkling slightly as he murmurs something, rolling on his side facing Sebastian. Exhaling Sebastian sits upright raking his hands through his hair staring at his clothes on the ground. Silently he dresses, fixing any imperfections in the mirror before wrenching open the curtains allowing more sunlight to blare into the room.
Ciel's eyebrows crease as he plunges under the covers emitting a slight moan. "
The Good Critic's GuideThe Good Critic's Guide:The Good Critic's Guide in Reviews & Guides More Like This
I have noticed that many critics on DA tend to leave rather harsh and sometimes subjective critiques on the pages of the artists being critiqued. Their rationale for doing so is based on the concept that 'we shouldn't molly-coddle each other and instead "tell it like it is"'. However this type of critique reflects poorly on one who is critiquing as opposed to the one who is being critiqued and I will explain why throughout the course of this guide. In essence I hope to use this resource as a way of teaching potential critics how to properly focus their abilities and direct their critiques in a manner that will allow them to be rated as a good critic.
Note: Before reading on, take note that this guide is only for literary works as I have no experience judging visual art and therefore cannot create a rating scale for those.
II. The Purpose of a Critique:
The first question that we must ask ourselves is this: "Why does an individu
My Beautiful FilthMy Beautiful Filth:My Beautiful Filth in Free Verse More Like This
We'll start with the rose petals
scattered lavishly across the bed
A symbolic collage of my broken thoughts
like memories crushed and thrown into the winds
they lie where they fall, forever forgotten...
Tacks and nails shall line the floor!
A perfect representation of my painful steps
To walk forward was to suffer
to stand still was to endure
Like the insults thrown at me, like the physical abuse
they drive their way into my skin and remain embedded
Unable to be removed except by force
And now comes the masterpiece, the perfect finishing touch
A wall of words and photographs depicting my sorrows and greivances
The filthy shame of these long years and the pain which I've kept inside
Now I engrave it into this concrete canvas...
Let all the world know of what was done to me
even as I part from it...
For in death I swear they shall have no reprieve!
In life I wanted to be beautiful and in death I shall finally be so
For the weight of
Sudden CrueltySudden Cruelty:Sudden Cruelty in Free Verse More Like This
He is a God, or so he believes
He judges others and puts them into stereotypes
Asian? No life! Hispanic? Brainless!
He thinks he has control over his world
A delusion which he has never been able to break
Me? I'm better than them, I'm smarter...
He sits alone in his room, ignoring the emptiness
He sits in front of his computer and passes judgement
Lol, you're wrong. You're stupid. Everything is stupid!
He laughs and smiles at his own cruelty;
He feels powerful and most certainly superior to all
But in the end, it's just a fantasy isn't it?
He curls up in his bed, thinking about tomorrow
Here, he's a king, but out there, what is he?
The guy, whose girlfriend dumped him
The guy, whose boss is younger and smarter
The kid, who has nothing to live for
The man, who has lost it all...
Arrogant and apathetic, cold from a lack of warmth
That is his very nature, that is who he really is
He has nothing to live f
These Hands Are So Red...These Hands Are So Red...These Hands Are So Red... in Free Verse More Like This
These hands are now red and so slicked with this blood,
I can't even wash it in a basin of mud...
As I scrape at the skin of those demons I chase,
I am left with a smile mixed with pain on my face.
Since I swore I would savour this blatant disgrace,
Let perversion be writ in these scars I will trace.
From the tip of my shoulders to the base of my tongue,
Are the names of those sleepers so cold and so young...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 15th March 2013
Whispers of the MadWhispers of the Mad:Whispers of the Mad in Free Verse More Like This
Your lips remain painted with the scars of torment
Carved so as to split with every word of speech
The glass that slices through your softened flesh
Bears the marking we know as 'Vinashuka'
And now he lies beneath the falling sand
Drowning in a world that is sinking away
Though his feet will seek the stability of ground
He finds himself caught by 'Vinashuka'
A disturbing word that rings hollow at best
For it carries the tone of a tainted solitude
A heart that has been corrupted by physical pain
Can only scream 'Vinashuka!'
How does a man know when he has gone insane?
To descend into a world where logic is naught
A moon that carries the colour of blood
Shall paint my skin with 'Vinashuka'
I have lost all sense of meaning in this place
There is no where else for my soul to flee
Caught within the whispers of delusory madness
I can only repeat Vinashuka...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 13th July 2012
FEARFEAR:FEAR in Free Verse More Like This
Frantically he scrambles away from the dark
Eager to be free of his waking nightmare
Acting only upon the instinct within him;
Reminded constantly that he is prey
For some time he hides in the pervasive shadows
Earnestly praying that he will not be discovered
A single sound is all it takes to jar him;
Running from a creature that he can barely see
From head to toe it is certainly monstrous
Enshrouded in an aura of absolute repugnance
As the acid drips from its cruel jaws,
Rapidly dissolving the ground below
Fearful, he cowers, beneath boxes and cardboard,
Escaping away into a tiny corner of his mind
Alone with only his anxiety for company
Resting for what might be his very last
From birth, Ever-present, Always Remembered
such is the nature of FEAR
Writing poetry again Doctor Cecil? That's good!
You'll need a hobby to be working in an environment like this
-Chen Yuan Wen, 9th October 2012
Sensual TortureSensual Torture:Sensual Torture in Free Verse More Like This
You are but a simple pawn;
Caught in a maelstrom of ill feelings and turmoil.
You were not meant to be here -
But unfortunately, here you are my friend...
Now then, I do not wish to drag this out;
There is no purpose in badgering someone who knows so little.
However - without your confession - I'm afraid that
I would not know whom I should share my - pleasures with...
Though I'm certain that you will be sharing plenty...
Of course, it will probably be a poor idea to make you scream,
At least not while I'm still enjoying your fear.
Instead we'll begin with a simple agony;
A quick taste of your pain to whet my appetite...
We'll begin with just a thin incision,
One that is made in the center of both your eyelids.
And then, then we'll make another cut - this one just above the eyes...
Ah, I will adore the feeling of watching your skin peel apart
As the scalpel bites in and draws it aside; much like the curtain
Set upon a theatre stage. It is the
Letting Go of YouLetting Go of You:Letting Go of You in Free Verse More Like This
You abandoned me in the past
without so much as a proper goodbye
One day you simply chose to walk out the door
and you never did come back...
I was angry then, hurting badly
I wondered if I was in some way inadequate
I wondered if you left because I am so easy to despise
and eventually my sorrow turned to anger
I wanted to become great
to show you that you made the wrong choice
to take my strength and throw it in your face
just so you would regret it
But then I saw how happy you were...
In the time we've been apart
You've made a new life for yourself
You've found someone who loves and treasures you
and upon seeing that, my anger faded...
Your smile, that which I fell in love with
is more radiant now than the morning sun
a gentle blush upon your fair cheeks
takes my breath away, just as it did so long ago
Of course, I don't hold any hope for us to be friends
I don't think that it would be appropriate for me to come back
but perhaps one day, if
This is a SongThis is a song for the lost, the broken and the damned,This is a Song in Free Verse More Like This
This is a song for the hopeless, the outgunned and the outmanned.
This is one for the sinners, and the non-believers too,
This is a song for all those people, people just like YOU!
This is the anthem of the normal, the oppressed and the abused,
This is a song for those people hidden from everybody's views.
This is the prayer of the unwanted, the unneeded and the small,
This is one for the unheeded, so let's give it our all!
This is a song for the people, who always just want to cry,
This is the anthem for those who have once wanted to die!
This is a song for all the people, that are dead inside,
This is a song for everyone, who has ever cried.
-by Forgotten-Reaper, 24th July 2012
DieDie:Die in Free Verse More Like This
Such a simple word, spewed without thought.
"I wish you'd die, I wish you'd be killed."
But what if we actually gave meaning to those words?
Can you understand the emotion, the magnitude, the weight,
Of actually seeing the life of an individual depart?
Can you look them in the eyes, as they bleed into your hands;
Observing their final moments, as the light fades from their eyes?
Or are you simply a soft-hearted coward,
Sitting fat behind a computer, wishing death upon others?
To say that one is deserving of death,
Suggests that you are ready to kill.
And if indeed you are ready to kill,
Then you too must be prepared to die.
"Now please, stop those tears my good man, we've only removed three of your toes so far (^_^)"
-Chen Yuan Wen, 9th July 2013
I've Really Lost My MindThe young man smiled, with just a touch of embarrassment. “I seem to have lost my mind.”I've Really Lost My Mind in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The female attendant looked at him. “This is a railway ticket office.”
“You want the lost property section over there.” She pointed at a counter where a severe-looking man was rearranging misplaced umbrellas.
“Thank you!” The young man nodded politely and headed across to the other section.
The lost property attendant looked up as the young man approached. “Is it an umbrella you want?” He indicated the display.
The young man appeared to be tempted for a moment by a purple one decorated with cats and dogs, but then apparently remembered why he was there.
“No,” he said. “I’ve lost my mind. I’m pretty sure here was the last time I used it—I was trying to work out what would be the cheapest ticket to Inverness on a weekday in June, outside peak hours, travelling with my back to the engin
ItchyFirst anniversary: Paper.Itchy in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Our love unfolded.
Seventh anniversary: Wool.
It all unravelled.
It's Always Blackest Before the ThroneCurriculum VitaeIt's Always Blackest Before the Throne in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Snake Cult Leader
General in the Legions of Shagamemnon
Reason Left Last Job:
Green, three-boobed alien women wanting to be taught the Earth-concept of love.
Has own armour (black leather with spikes).
Interviewer’s notes: This guy seems perfect!
I realise there is no way for me to get this letter to you but I feel in need of a sympathetic ear at the moment.
Things haven’t been going too well. I thought the dungeon was the way to go in order to gain power and riches but people somehow completely misinterpreted the whips and chains. Thought it was a place offering… erotic satisfaction. It all made me terribly uncomfortable.
So I gave up and swapped genres from Fantasy to Sci-Fi. But things didn’t improve and now I appear to have ended up in Gritty Realism. I’ve managed to get a minimum w
Plain-and-MousyThe King and Queen had produced no children of their own, and so a proclamation was made throughout the kingdom and all the surrounding kingdoms. Anyone who wished to try and prove themselves worthy could come and apply to be the heir.Plain-and-Mousy in Short Stories More Like This
Naturally there were many, many applications—the potential princes and princesses travelling from far and wide. Each applicant came before their Royal Majesties and stated their case, extolling their own virtues and qualifications for the role. Some were dismissed almost immediately; others were allowed to reach the end of their speech before being rejected. But eventually all the applicants were whittled down to just two possibles: Plain-and-Mousy and Tall-and-Lovely.
The two young women stood before the King and Queen on their thrones. Plain-and-Mousy was quivering with excitement and enthusiasm. Tall-and-Lovely was calm and self-assured.
The Queen addressed them.
“We will assign you both three tasks. After they are completed we will
Two for TeaJohn loved tea. Just the thought of it made him feel warm inside. Sometimes it even felt as though tea were a part of him. But then, he was a teapot.Two for Tea in Humor More Like This
No. He had to face it. He was an ex-teapot. It was six months since the last time he'd been used to make tea. Six months since he'd ended up in this charity shop. He'd started off in the window, then been moved back to the table, then onto a low shelf, then a top shelf and now he was residing on what could only be called the 'junk shelf': sharing space with a haggard baby doll, some statement jewellery and a couple of battered paperbacks. He couldn't help but feel bitter. Yes, he had been through the wars but he knew he was still capable of providing good service. Of fulfilling the role for which he had been created.
It was nearly closing time. The shop had been empty but one last customer had slipped in. She had a few shopping bags with her: her last call before home, John guessed. He hadn't seen her before but the male volunteer
The KettleThe inside of Sharon’s house had changed since Janie had last seen it. Now there were Persian carpets, and rich tapestries on the wall; in the kitchen the counter was made of silver, the table of gold.The Kettle in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Er,” said Janie. “You’ve redecorated, haven’t you?”
Sharon sighed. “It’s been a long couple of days. Let me tell you all about it over a cup of tea.”
“I’ll make it!” said Janie and she went to the kettle. This was also new but perfectly ordinary looking. Except—
“You know, I can’t find the on switch. Or its lead for that matter.”
“You need to rub it,” said Sharon.
Janie stood aside and watched as Sharon started polishing the kettle with a duster. Suddenly smoke began pouring out of the spout and as Janie stared, it coalesced into a seven foot man: bald, bare-chested, and wearing rather billowy trousers.
“Gracious,” said Janie.
Hairball“The cat did it.”Hairball in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
A bizarre case—woman suffocated in her sleep by her cat dozing on her face.
“Can’t arrest him,” said DI McGonagle. “Better phone the RSPCA, Sergeant.”
Pompom smugly washed his paws.
Handy that a cat isn’t legally responsible for his actions, but can be named sole beneficiary in his owner’s will.
Here, There and Everywhere“I've had it.” Paul grabbed his guitar and strode out the door.Here, There and Everywhere in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“You can't—” Ringo ran after him. “Hey, you can't leave!”
Paul spun to face him. “You know what? We aren't—weren't—even that good. Losing a member can't make it worse.”
The audience glared.
Ringo glared back. A handful of people from a handful of villages—there were fewer people in the tent than there were cigarette stubs. As they continued to play, he saw several groups come in, look at the three-Beatle stage, listen to a few bars of a three-Beatle song, and leave. He suspected that their potential fans living in Kottspiel—who could hear the music from outside the tent—weren't bothering to come in at all. It was obvious what was wrong.
“There are meant to be four Beatles,” said John. “We'll need another Paul.”
“Paul. Ha!” Ringo jutted his chin at the audience. “They're the proble
They Say It's HauntedHe's close behind me. "John?"They Say It's Haunted in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Elf vs. Orc 5Sings-to-Trees's primary thought through the whole violent encounter was Not the throat again!Elf vs. Orc 5 in Fantasy More Like This
His neck hurt. He felt like a troll had used his esophagus as a dance floor. This could not be healthy. If he lived through this, he swore he would be nice to his throat for the rest of the year. Hot teas. Scarfs during winter. Anything.
For awhile, he didn't think he was going to live to see sunrise, let alone winter.
Then she'd apologized. The orc had stood there, with a distinctly sheepish expression on her face, and she'd apologized.
None of his patients ever apologized. Most of them couldn't talk, and it didn't seem to occur to the ones who could.
Half of him wanted to reply automatically—No, it's okay, these things happen, don't worry about it—and the other half was jumping up and down screaming You just tried to kill me, you green-faced lunatic! You can't just apologize for trying to kill people!
Perhaps fortunately, his throat was aching too badly
Elf vs. Orc 9Sings-to-Trees' head shot up. He knew Fleabane's barks like the back of his hand. Short, rapid barks, not grating, hysterical ones--somewhere between a greeting and a warning. Fleabane knew the person approaching, but he didn't really like them.Elf vs. Orc 9 in Fantasy More Like This
That meant it was either one of the humans from down the road (excepting Matilda, who brought cheeses and always had a tidbit for a hungry coyote) or the rangers.
"Shit!" Sings-to-Trees leapt to his feet and began kicking Celadon's armor under the bed, followed by the extra blankets.
Celadon got unsteadily to her feet. "What is it?"
"Company. Might be rangers."
She could have asked questions, like "Are you going to turn me in?" or "Why are you panicking, if they're your people?" but Celadon was not inclined to waste time on stupid questions. She looked around hurriedly for a hiding place.
Sings-to-Trees caught her elbow. "Do you trust me?"
"Does it matter?"
"I suppose not."
Getting her into the hiding place was awkward, but Celadon took it in s
Elf vs. Orc 4She let him go. She couldn't do much else. He was an elf, sure, but there were rules, and you didn't kill healers and you didn't kill priests.Elf vs. Orc 4 in Fantasy More Like This
The rage had to go somewhere. You couldn't go from halfway to gnawing your shield back to normal just like that. Celadon swallowed it, bitterly, the stone shattering, the red sea pouring through the wreckage. She threw her head back and snarled with the pain.
The elf lay sprawled on the ground beside the bed, holding his throat, his eyes closed. He was breathing in tight little gasps. She could have stomped on his head, but of course she wouldn't.
She was furious. Mostly at herself, truth be told. It had been so obvious. He'd checked her bandages, he hadn't been wearing armor, and this was as far from a cell as you could get. What more did she need, a sign saying "Non-combatant, please do not throttle," in several languages? But she'd been so mad—and scared, yes, let's be honest with ourselves—that she hadn't seen past the Enemy.
Elf vs. Orc 8Celadon woke up in the elf's arms.Elf vs. Orc 8 in Fantasy More Like This
This sounded a lot more romantic than it actually was.
For one thing, learning to sleep in proximity to another person is an acquired skill. You learn what to do with the arm that always seems to get stuck between you and where to put your feet and whether they mind having a leg draped over theirs and who can use whose arm as a pillow without nerve damage or a sore neck. Then there's the whole complex negotiation of blanket treaties and sheets and who gets what and who needs layers and who has to stick their feet out.
Without acquiring these vital habits, you wake up pretty much like Celadon—stiff, sore, with a knee wedged into your ribs and blankets tangled around both of them like sleeping anacondas.
While it's traditional when parties of the opposite sex find themselves entangled for someone's hands to be in an embarrassing position, that actually wasn't the case. She was pretty much in the elf's lap, where one of his knees was up and digging into
Elf vs. Orc 3Sings-to-Trees was being strangled.Elf vs. Orc 3 in Fantasy More Like This
He'd always expected a patient to kill him some day, but he'd thought he would be a lot older, and it would be an angry bull or a careless moment with a manticore or something along those lines, with an outside chance of being crushed under a nearsighted troll. He really hadn't anticipated anything like this.
The orc had been giggling to herself for a few minutes, and when he tried to talk to her, she only giggled harder. He didn't know if she could speak any of the languages, or if she was so delirious that she wasn't even hearing him. He had no real idea what the normal temperature for an orc was, but her skin burned against his fingers, and if he had to guess, he'd say she was running quite a high fever.
There was something very surreal about a giggling orc. It wasn't malicious, like when pixies left flaming piles of pixie-crap on your doorstep and hid to watch you step in it. This was a throaty, genuinely amused chuckle—reduced to a s
Saints of San AxolotlEcho birds are as common as muck, and about the same color. Theyre found only in San Axolotl, where they scurry along the paving stones and under the tables of the street cafes, through trash-clogged back alleys and down the walks of rooftop gardens, looking for scraps and seeds. Once you leave the city, though, the echo bird population tapers off within five miles, and the only specimens anywhere else in the world have glass eyes and are wired to their perches.Saints of San Axolotl in Fantasy More Like This
Echo birds are not mimics. There are all kinds of mimics in the bird kingdom, from the pygmy mynah to the rare and savage Cassowary Macaw, whose repertoire generally consists of the screams and curses of its last unfortunate victim. Mimicry is no longer a particularly impressive trick. Any old parrot, with time and patience, can learn to whistle the national anthem and make obscene comments, or both at the same time.
The echo bird, however, does something quite beyond mimicry. If you encounter an echo bird, all you will s
Elf vs. Orc 7This was easier said than done.Elf vs. Orc 7 in Fantasy More Like This
She gave him some very practical suggestions about how to tie the ropes. A bit of slack between the feet, enough to shuffle, not enough to run. A rope around the neck as a kind of leash in case she attacked him. He could tell she'd done this sort of thing before.
Sings-to-Trees, at that point, would have been happy just untying her completely and pointing her in the direction of the outhouse, but he had a horrible feeling he'd disappoint her if he didn't at least try to hold up his end. So he steeled himself to stay awake a bit longer and got the ropes set up, and hauled her out of the bed.
Then she wound up needing to use him as a crutch anyway, since her knees kept buckling, so it was a bit of a moot point.
"Can you hold this?" he asked, handing her the leash rope after a few brutal hops toward the door.
"What if I try to escape?"
He sighed. "Just yank it if you feel yourself getting any ideas."
She started laughing, then they took another step and the
Elf vs. Orc 6He got a nasty start a few hours later, when he came in to check on her.Elf vs. Orc 6 in Fantasy More Like This
He'd tied her hands, her feet, thrown a loop or two around her waist, and roped everything to the bed, the chair, and the fire iron, just for good measure, He'd done everything short of hog-tying. She wasn't going to get loose in a hurry.
He wasn't sure why he was bothering, really, since he had a horrible feeling that if she said "Will you untie me?" he might do it, and if she said "please," he'd definitely do it.
Still, she didn't seem to be a threat conscious, so maybe that was okay.
Then, because his feelings were still churning and there was nothing for emotional turmoil like hard work, he'd gone off, fed the chickens and the gargoyle, picked peas, turned the compost heap, washed his hands and made soup. By the end, he was really quite exhausted, and ready for at least a nap in his chair.
Then he came back in to discover that her fever had vanished and she was shivering violently with cold.
Elf vs. Orc 2Celadon Toadstool was delirious.Elf vs. Orc 2 in Fantasy More Like This
The funny bit—uproariously funny, it seemed to her—was that she knew she was delirious. The world was billowing around her. It looked as if someone had meticulously painted the inside of a cottage on silk, and then hung it in a gentle breeze. The corners floated inward and collapsed back out again with a sigh.
That someone would go to all that trouble, painting a cottage on silk, was hilarious.
She knew she was wounded. She couldn't quite remember how she'd been wounded. Imagine not remembering a thing like that!
This also struck her as hilarious.
Her name, in Orcish, was Urrsharruk-gah, and she had skin the delicate gray-green of the gills of cave mushrooms, and eyes the color of stolen gold. Her hair was thick and dark and she wore it tucked under her helmet to keep enemies from being able to grab it, which was problematic, because she'd lost her helmet somewhere along the way, and she wasn't in the best of shape anyway.
Even in her immense good humor
It Was A DayIt was a day a little bit like todayIt Was A Day in Free Verse More Like This
the way the clouds threw shadows over the hill
the day you realized that you weren’t going to find your future.
You were never going to go to Mars
You were never going to open the door that led, inexorably, to Narnia
(or even Telmar, you weren’t picky, and you were confident of your ability
to lead the revolution.)
Inigo Montoya was not going to slap you on the back
and invite you to take up the mantle of the Dread Pirate Roberts.
There would be no sardonic Vulcans or Andorians;
you would never be handed an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.
That was a strange day.
It ranked up there with the day that you realized that everybody else saw the you in the mirror, not the you inside your head. Not the you that was lean and tough and clever, not the you with perfect hair and a resonant voice that never said “Um….?”
Not that you.
No, they got the one that was fat and wobbly and stiff inside with
made up of puzzle pieces.made up of puzzle pieces. in Free Verse More Like This
listen: people are like puzzles.
yes, I know how you loathe
clichéd, convoluted metaphors, but listen:
the corner pieces are the passage of life:
you're born, you're a kid, you're an adult. then you die.
and then you're back to where you started.
but since you don't believe in reincarnation, how about this:
elementary, junior high, high school, college.
and then you still die.
I know, reincarnation sounds less depressing.
the side pieces are family.
they are your borders, the controlling factors,
the walls that are supposed to hold everything together
while trying to close off everything else.
make it conform to a box, to a straight edge.
like my mother who hates you for your long hair,
my father who thinks you just want to get into my pants,
my sister who would rather you get into her pants,
and my brother who wants to beat you up because he thinks you're gay.
what the side pieces forget is that other pieces can be different,
and nothing can make them change their shape.
ordinary girl.ordinary girl. in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I call you an angel and you just roll your eyes.
Angels, you say, don't roll their eyes. They don't have freckles on their nose or bushy eyebrows. Angels might have dimples when they smile but they didn't have to have braces for two years to make their smile perfect. Angels don't get a bright red sunburn when they stay out in the sun too long. They don't have calluses on their hands from working in the field or playing guitar. They don't have calluses on their feet, either, from walking the forest paths barefoot. And they don't have random scratches and bruises all over their bodies from falling out of trees.
Because they have wings, you know.
Angels don't pierce their ears or get tattoos. They don't have to put on makeup or tight clothes to feel beautiful. They don't stand in front of the mirror and worry about being too fat or too thin. Angels don't have to punch out jerks who cop a feel on the way past. They don't gossip, lie, or tell dirty jokes. Angels don't drink, swear or smoke,
that girl.that girl. in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
she walks down the sidewalk staring up at the sky
and if she trips and falls you know she won't stop smiling
she's high on life and has a song stuck in her head
her dress is white, her lips are cherry red
she'll walk right by you and your whole world is going to change
you'll fall in love with her and you don't even know her name
she falls asleep to the sound of her heartbeat
staying up past midnight pouring out her soul to her diary
drawing hearts on her wrists to remember that love exists
when you see that girl won't you smile at her for me?
she walks down the sidewalk staring up at the sky
then she breaks into a dance, turning heads all the while
and that's just the way she is and she won't apologize
she's caught up in her dreams, with that look in her eyes
you can follow her through the street
cornerstone.cornerstone. in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
they said everything would change after high school,
but we weren't listening at all.
we were too busy talking about life and everything
underneath the stars.
they said everything would change after high school,
that we would grow apart.
but we were too busy driving down the street in your car,
singing that song we both know:
oh-oh, oh-oh, those nights belonged to us.
oh-oh, oh-oh, there's nothing wrong with us. (yeah.)
they said everything would change after high school,
but what do adults know?
let's take hold of the world and each other
and go down that road--
and even if the road splits in two,
i will still meet up with you.
i'm on the other side of a mountain range,
but i'm only an hour's flight away.
they said everything would change after high school,
but we just go to show they were wrong
and i know you will be my cornerstone.
and you know i will be your cornerstone.
snapshot.a photo,snapshot. in Free Verse More Like This
found in your closet:
tilted perspective of a party scene
dated two years, or a lifetime, ago.
blurred beer bottles, bodies
and laughter frozen by the flash, and
that girl in the background.
it's not so much that she was wearing a mask,
she just turned her face away from the camera
at the last second.
and it's not so much that you miss her,
it's just that you've forgotten
what her name was.
what her expression was.
what song was playing in the background.
and you're driving yourself crazy trying to remember.
Kyrie, Eleison.Kyrie, Eleison. in Free Verse More Like This
the children come before Paradise's gates.
"forgive them, father. they have sinned."
she: "we are the witches they burned because we were different."
he: "we are the demons they feared because we stepped outside their circles."
they: "we are the innocents they sacrificed."
"forgive them, mother. they have sinned."
she: "we were bloodied, bruised, beaten. we wished, we begged, we prayed."
he: "mercy denied. we are burned, buried, forgotten. ashes scattered."
"forgive them, beloved ones left behind. they have sinned."
she: "their ignorance becoming their fear. their fear becoming their hate."
he: "their hate becoming fire. fire becoming ashes. ashes becoming earth."
they: "life becoming death. the beginning becoming the end."
thrice they appeal their murderers' forgiveness.
thrice they forgive their murderers.
the gates open, welcoming the children home.
work in progress.woke up this morning dreams fading to the daylightwork in progress. in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
and i missed a call from my mother last night
called her back this morning to tell her that i'm all right
the city hasn't gotten me yet.
but i can go out and make a friend from a stranger
and really what's life without a little danger
and uncertainty and certainly i'm feeling my way
through this life, this life.
i was the quiet girl growing up in a small town
nose stuck in a book and my head up in the clouds
now reality's come calling and i need to come down
and i don't know where i'm going yet.
i'm just trying to go forward without consequence or regret
but i know that life is so much more complicated than that
try as i might, i'm all just crawling my way
no forwarding address.no forwarding address. in Free Verse More Like This
I like to think that one day I'm going to leave Canada.
Returning will be completely optional.
I'll sneak out my window in the middle of the night,
with nothing but my guitar.
I'll drive across the US in a school bus with some hippies.
I'll sail around the Caribbean in a stolen boat with pirates.
Then I'll hitchhike my way to an airport and be gone.
I'll own an art gallery in Greece,
work as a bartender in Ireland,
and run a second-hand bookstore in India.
I'll get arrested for tagging "I love you" on the Statue of Liberty,
the Eiffel Tower, and the Great Wall of China.
And I know I can't sum up my life on a postcard
but I'll leave my journals in motel rooms.
Your address will be written in the back of all of them.
None of the stories in the journals will be true
but I think they'll make you smile anyways.
Like one time, I had dinner with Elvis in Las Vegas.
And one time, I danced with Spanish royalty in Mexico.
I also swam with the Loch Ness monster,
shook hands with Sasquatch,
from the sidelines.from the sidelines. in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She's the girl who's sitting in the corner booth at the diner. She's watching the waitress who is seven months pregnant and making up stories about the life of the child. If it's a girl she'll be a dancer, or if it's a boy he'll be an hockey player, or if it's twins they will be anything they want to be and they will always smile and dream and believe that anything is possible.
He's the boy in the back pew of the church, not knowing whether to pray to God, an angel or a saint, and wondering what the difference is, anyways. He watches a mother pray for her son who does drugs and for her daughter who is pregnant. He watches the drunk in the front pew who is trying so hard to stop drinking but still spills his paycheck every weekend. He watches the Christ on the cross and wonders why it looks like he is smiling.
She's the woman sitting in the park, watching the children play on the swings and slides and thinking about her daughter, who is moving away to college next month. She watches a y
3 libras.I have been forgetting dreams again.3 libras. in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Somewhere in this labyrinth is a hall of doors that have never been opened. And if the doors are opened they will show all the things I have forgotten, accidentally, on purpose, or some twisted mixture of the two.
There will be books. The books would once have been filled with words, both mundane and wonderful. The words would be a mixture of things forgotten immediately, entire conversations or parts of school lessons considered unimportant. Other words are things I held onto, and may be searching for without knowing favorite song lyrics, a story inspired by a dream of waking. Now the covers are ripped, the pages are torn, the books are half-burned or half-drenched on their shelves.
There will be pictures and paintings. The images might portray a place, or a person from a long time ago. The images could be the faces of a crowd, or a friend that became unimportant. The glass will be shattered, and the frames broken. The faces on the images wi
Antikythera mechanismElise sunk down with the rest of the ship, dragged down by her brass innards. Wordlessly, she begged her creator to let go, but she knew he wouldn't. He'd brought her to life out of love, and he would do anything to save her. Elise watched him struggle and drown, her perfect sculpted face impassive while her mind whirred and clicked behind it in turmoil.Antikythera mechanism in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She hit the seabed and was swallowed in a cloud of mud as the carcass of the ship broke apart around her. Over the ages her gears seized up and her alabaster curves effervesced and decayed, macerated by the sea. Still her soul lingered on. Aphrodite had infused life into her copper heart, and it would never stop now. Never.
She lay in the Lethe for the longest time, while the lives of men went on oblivious above. When she was dredged up, she was no longer recognisable as an entity, let alone the paragon of femininity she had once been. She was limbless and worn, a sentient pebble. They held her in their hands and probed her jammed up m
Tactical Espionage ActionKurt Plissken reloaded his gun. Then he reloaded it again. Sneaking behind an enemy guard he raised his combat knife and prepared to perform a stealth kill. Then he did a forward roll directly into the back of the guard's knees and set off an alarm. Spotlights and red laser sights swept to his position, and a dozen gunshots later he was dead. This wasn't how things were supposed to go.Tactical Espionage Action in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Back in the 90s Kurt had been the best of the best, the foremost name in tactical espionage action. He and his player had been an unstoppable team, training relentlessly together until every mission had been mastered and every secret unlocked. In the fifteen years that followed, he'd been content to gather dust in the loft, secure in the knowledge that he'd done everything there was to do and seen everything there was to see. His legacy would live on in his player's pro skills, and his save file stood as a monument to his illustrious career.
He'd been happy up there, but it had come as a pleasant surpris
The Undeath and Death of Yves CarabinYves Carabin was kind of undead. It was a complicated situation. He was also a private detective. That was complicated too.The Undeath and Death of Yves Carabin in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He left the bar a little wiser than he'd been when he walked in half an hour ago. He was also a little drunker and his knuckles were a lot sorer. His trenchcoat whipped in the wind. A few drops of rain came down sideways to herald the gathering stormclouds. Yves turned up his collar and lit a cigarette with his eye socket.
There was a girl he used to know. A djinn. One time he got himself shot in the eye. She mended him with smokeless flame. Resurrected him. That was the first time. A couple of glowing scars on his back attested to the others. He wasn't sure if he counted as a wight or a revenant or just a plain old zombie. All he knew was that he had a heartbeat again and he owed her for it.
He puffed on his gauloise and regarded the embers as he exhaled. Fire reminded him of her. When it had been her turn to die he'd spent day after day and night after night try
The Fifth Horseman“I'm not saying they're not killing each other,” I explain. “I can see from the figures in front of me that they're killing each other. What I'm saying is that unless you can broaden your demographic, we're never going to meet our targets for this quarter. This is supposed to be a world war, Belgium and the Netherlands isn't going to cut it.”The Fifth Horseman in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
War squawks at me down the phone. It's hard to hear him over all the screaming in the background, but frankly I'm not interested in his excuses, I need to see results.
“What do I expect you to do? Do your job! Think outside the box! Look, Famine is in Europe right now, why don't you ask him for some help? I see the potential for synergy there. No, I'm aware you don't do 'asking for help'. I'm also aware of your performance over the past century, and I'm noticing some startling correlation between- hello? Hello?”
I slam the handset back into its cradle, which is a lot harder than it sounds when done from the back
Toil and Trouble“Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth,” wailed the apparition, dripping gore as it floated around the room.Toil and Trouble in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“That sounds suspiciously like the set-up for some manner of shocking twist,” said Macbeth, raising an eyebrow. “Oh God, is it Flash Fiction Month again already?”
Genghis and the HendersonsLying back on your sofa, you reach for the television remote and hit the big red button. By the time it tunes to a channel you're already half asleep, but when the audio and video kick in you snort yourself awake. On the screen a blurry figure wanders through the woods, a cartoon rifle sight hovering around him, and a song plays, plodding and predictable, the kind of song that could only belong to the intro of a late 80s sitcom. You focus on the lyrics:Genghis and the Hendersons in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Way up North,
On the asian plains
Lived a Mongol lord
Who went by the name
Of Genghis Khan,
Don't want you 'cause you're Genghis Khan,
Can't use you 'cause you're Genghis Khan,
I love you 'cause you're Genghis Khan.
Oh Genghis Khan,
Don't want you 'cause you're Genghis Khan,
Mad at you 'cause you're Genghis Khan,
Love you even though you're Genghis Khan.
You raise an eyebrow. This seems like an incredibly awful idea for a sitcom. From what you've been able to gather, a suburban family ran over Genghis Khan in the woods and now th
Starlight Battle TeenHoshiko walked into the secret lair of Lord Bloodbramble, leaving an army of defeated henchmen in her wake. She raised the sparkle spear and fixed him with a glare.Starlight Battle Teen in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Your reign of terror ends here!"
Her adversary laughed maliciously. Not a booming, ostentatious laugh, but the laugh of someone genuinely amused at the thought of another person in pain. The laugh of an absolute bastard.
"Au contraire," he said, as kirbyesque ray guns emerged from panels in the walls. "This is where it begins. As we speak, you're being bathed in torpor waves. You're just a normal girl now."
Hoshiko didn't move. The dark lord smiled and continued.
"Say goodbye to your magic. Then say goodbye to your life. Prepare to die!"
"Prepared isn't in my vocabulary!" said Hoshiko, defiantly.
"Evidently." He drew a knife and strode towards her. "You know," he said conversationally as he approached, "I almost expected more of a challenge from a magical girl."
Hoshiko smiled. Blood dripped from the business end of the sp
Department of Fantasy NamesThe department of fantasy names was busy today.Department of Fantasy Names in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Name," said the clerk.
"Ragnar," replied the vikingesque man at the front of the queue.
The man stroked his beard. "I did strangle a dragon one time."
"How does Ragnar Wyrmsbane strike you?"
"Well I didn't actually kill it, I just put it to sleep long enough to steal its treasure."
"What was the treasure?"
"This and that. Mostly gems. Sapphires, opals, kind of thing."
The man grinned toothlessly. "Aye, that'll do, thanks."
The queue had started long this morning and had only grown longer. The Clerk sighed.
"Lynnhilde," said an athletic young woman.
"I can skewer a fawn at fifty paces."
"Lynnhilde Spear...deer? Wait. That doesn't work... how about Lancehart? It's kind of a pun, you see..."
"Brilliant, thank you!"
The clerk smiled. His job was rewarding sometimes.
"I go by many names," said a gruff barbarian lady.
There was a pause. "Which are..
An Immortal MasterpieceEnter MORKBETHAn Immortal Masterpiece in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags!
GREYMALKIN, a cat familiar, is restrained by FIRST WITCH
Let me at 'im! Let me at 'im!
Answer me to what I ask you.
Say, if thou'dst rather hear it from our mouths,
Or from our masters?
Call 'em; let me see 'em.
Thunder. Enter APPARITION: A bloody human child
Morkbeth! Morkbeth! Morkbeth!
Had I three ears, I'd hear thee, with my final, front ear.
Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Morkbeth.
What are you trying to tell me?
That I can dodge bullets?
Thunder. Enter APPARITION: a human child crowned, with a tree in his hand
Morkbeth shall never vanquish'd be until
Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him.
That will never be
Who can impress the forest, bid the tree
KonjukuYou think you are a pebble.Konjuku in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
That's not the most romantic thing to say to someone, so you'll have to forgive my clumsiness. You think you are a pebble. That you have been worn down and eroded to the point where all corners have been smoothed out. That you have allowed the awkward elbows and ankle bones, the stutter and the scars, to be rubbed out. That you've let them wear you down until you are no longer abrasive when you come into direct contact with what they expect you to be.
You are not a pebble.
You are not small or part of a greater pattern. You are not disposable, at the mercy of Poisedon's temperate shifts. You are not the sum of the parts around you. You are not a pebble.
You are soil; and some may say that that's not the most kind thing to say to someone. People will walk all over you. By that, I mean that you will rise to new heights and be the beginning of something beyond what we have now. Like a sharp cliff you will become the platform that others have to build from
United, We WriteHear me read itUnited, We Write in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
0hgravity, if by some divine fortune you should decide that today is the day you will fail me, then let me soar through the ChemicalSkyline. Grant me a-lovely-anxiety that raises a storm InTheStarryNightSky for me to riseandbe above all else. Let me soar.
How I long to be the frail rider-on-the-storm and not a victim of the RoamingShadow, Rogue-Of-The-Night, that BlackVelvetNightmare of my nights and days. I long
Sometimes, it's the little things.He always told me I was deep.Sometimes, it's the little things. in Concrete Poetry More Like This
An unfiltered distillation of a humanitarian ocean.
He accepted me, gills and all -
He knew that I needed my eccentricities to breathe
under the seascrapers of pollution
that hung over my head.
Or he said he did.
At the end of it all,
he tugged the gills open to expose me;
my innards trailed across the coral reef
as I swam trustingly forward, hoping for the best.
I tried to believe.
I believed him, gills and all -
But eventually, he left me, with holes in my sides
Where he had spooned out my intestines
To tether them to a boulder.
I tried to breathe.
He always told me I was deep.
It must have been a surprise to read:
Death by puddle.
You'll Never DieHear me read it!You'll Never Die in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
They say that if a writer falls in love with you then you never really die.
Instead your body is laid out in its funerial shrouds and moulds are made. Soft impressions of you to be pressed onto the blank faces of future loves.
Every time I write of taking comfort in a safe place in a storm, it will be your forearm. Every half-made smile will be on your lips, and every touch will be constructed from the residue beneath your fingernails.
When I metaphise of trees' blood, the leaves that give the energy so that a willow can provide shade for those in need, it will be your blood, it will be your light drenched kisses.
Every tear on every face will taste of the sweat that you put into keeping me happy. Every soaring song of love will be played through your windpipe, your trachea my instrument of choice.
For every time that a hero has the strength to walk on, I will use your feet. I will weld them to my own and walk a mile. Wal
I Didn't Mean, I Didn't MeanI didn't mean to make you cringeI Didn't Mean, I Didn't Mean in Free Verse More Like This
when I mentioned the strength of your shoulders
- didn't want to see them fold in
to protect vulnerable organs
from words protruding rudely
out of disguised compliments.
I didn't mean, I didn't mean -
I didn't mean for you to shut your eyes
when I admired the specific shade of chamoisee
- didn't want to see you wince
as you prepared for an unfelt slap
and the long-lasting sting
of a bare, misshapen insult.
I didn't mean, I didn't mean -
I didn't mean for you to laugh
when I said that I find you beautiful
- didn't want to see you shake
and hear your voice choke
on the ridiculousness
of a misspent commendation.
I didn't mean, I didn't mean -
I didn't mean for you to hiss a sharp inhale
when I smiled at the sound of your voice
I didn't mean, I didn't mean -
I didn't mean for you to frown
when I stared at you too long
I didn't mean, I didn'