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Latest Stories

September 28, 2022
Poetry Paweł Markiewicz

Autumnal Sonnet

The mist heralds a dreamy, tender Apollonian dawn. I philosophize about wings of hawk or king – sparrow. In amazing grove at the Blue Hours – was born here a fawn. You should adore as well as praise charm such a moony morn. The beauty of world is indeed so…
September 28, 2022
Crime Stories Peter Greenhall

Naughty Boy Series, Chapter 3: Friendships

The Skirmish - 1991 This was the place to be in the city of Shortland. Anyone who wanted to be someone was there, as was the someone who was known by everyone too. It was a gorgeous hot summer afternoon, on a Sunday. The pub garden was huge, and scattered…
September 28, 2022
Poetry Paweł Markiewicz

Flower-Like Sonnet

I cherish the dreamy crocus. I love the moony cornflower. I make love to bemused cactus. I affect dreamed daffodil. You are fond of vague elder. You love back a misty dahlia. You dote on languorous heather. You idolize the faint freesia. We prize hazy…
September 28, 2022
Flash Fiction NT Franklin

Smitty Gets Away

Smitty was where he wasn’t supposed to be and saw it all. Diamond Bill and two of his goons roughed up a fella, but it was the boss that shot the fella once in the head and twice in the chest. It was at that time he stopped trying to pry open the back door to…
September 28, 2022
Crime Stories Peter Greenhall

Naughty Boy Series, Chapter 14: The Proposition

February 2004 Jason was very tempted to go to the ladyboy bar, named 'Jenny's'. The music was always very good, a buzzing crowd, and some stunning looking lady boy's were there as well. He looked up and saw a load of girl's, well men, dancing on poles and…
September 28, 2022
Poetry Paweł Markiewicz

The Flower-Like Second Sonnet

I conceive the brilliant lilac. I build admirable holly. I design pleasant marigold. I constitute pleasing lily. You devise outstanding iris. You discover awesome poppy. You establish fine orchid. You forge an amazing pansy. She forms surprising peony. She…
September 25, 2022
Fantasy Stories Peter Greenhall

Energy, Volume II

Summer 1992 "Mummy, when I see Graham Alexander play football, I see fire inside his stomach. It burns really brightly, it's very nice to see". Hilary could see her daughter picture the image in her mind, completely fascinated by what she had witnessed…
September 25, 2022
Crime Stories Peter Greenhall

Naughty Boy Series, Chapter 2: The Brookies

September 2000 JJ entered Angie's bar to meet his potential new supplier, in an area of Brookbourne he'd never been to before, called Rippon. He was confident his connection to this guy was safe so he wasn't nervous about the person being an informer, or…
September 25, 2022
General Stories Lawrence Hartmann

God: A Dating App Adventure

“I won’t be hard to miss,” He had said on the phone. Well, He was right. When I got to our assigned meeting place – a Burger King on the outskirts of town – I could see Him from the parking lot: this incredibly bright, white light, there in the corner of the…
September 20, 2022
Poetry Peter Greenhall

Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. RIP.

As you lay you to rest, in your final state, Westminster, UK, The World, Demonstrate, Your purpose, Your sense of duty, Was clear to see, Let's not forget, your family As time ticks towards the eleventh hour of the day, The funeral, The service, Melancholy. A…
September 20, 2022
Crime Stories Peter Greenhall

Naughty Boy Series: Chapter 8. Stamping Authority

 This was it, it was now or never. He knew this day was coming, he'd have to fight 'Big Ryan', the guy everyone said couldn't be beat. They all walked out of his apartment, all serious faced, not knowing if the fight would spill over and some of 'Big Ryan's'…
September 20, 2022
Flash Fiction Ava

Emotional Unstable

IS THERE ANY PLACE THAT I CAN STUDY IN? “Breakfast time.” White toasts with a slice of cucumber, a slice of tomato, half spoon of orange marmalade and a vegan sausage. A boiled egg. Granola with yoghurt with granola with yoghurt with corn flakes. A glass of…

Outlaws charged from the black wood, buoyed, fearless by means of drink. They ran wild, beating their painted chests, racing each other to the vanguard of the throng. A pack of dogs trotted at their side.  The animals were chained and armored with breast plates; they plodded through the mud, shoveling the soil with their muck caked paws.

The knight rode at the heart of the mob, a wave of ripples swept through the fabric of his Arabian mare’s caparison. He was black-bearded and braided like a barbarian. His nose was pierced in eastern styles and his eyes were outlined with black soot. The knight’s armor was hammered and dented, refurbished out of a collection of mismatched metallic plating. He wielded a pole-axe and slashed the air in angry circumrotations. A mat of flensed shag, the pelt of a skinned bear was fixed on top of his bald head.

He was a wanderer, picking up strays and brigands on the road, building his numbers, raiding the country-side. His bandits killed for coin and fed off loot, booze and arson. He served no master, living like a vandal, hiding out in the woods, skulking throughout the outskirts for prey and plunder.

The outlaws dashed toward the walls; their torches glowing behind a thick mist. A tower stood behind the tall crenellated fortification. It was covered by grime, burn marks and a web of spiked vines. A grotesquerie of gargoyles sat atop of the gate and spat out an overflow of gutter-water.

Filthy and sobering, the men lumbered through the mud carrying a makeshift battering-ram. The tree trunk was carved with misspelled graffiti and crude drawings of oversized genitals. They reached the gates and pounded on the wooden portcullis. The latticed grill cracked and split an opening. The throng howled and poured through the gatehouse with their war-dogs unchained.

They split into smaller groups to search the tower. Their torches sizzled and smoked as they explored the dark halls. Windows were draped over with cobwebs and small critters crept in the corners of every room. The men climbed up the spiraling steps and made their way to the fortress’s summit, unlatching a hatch that opened up into the night sky.

The tower was empty.

The men whispered amongst themselves, some cloaked their faces from sight. A young toothless boy bit his lip with his gums and backed-away casually, one step behind another. The dogs scurried and went on the chase of a nest of rats that skidded throughout the unlit corridors.

Outside the tower, the knight’s voice was hoarse and desperate, “Where is it?”

One-eyed Marcel spat out a wad of phlegm, “This place is empty and the boys aren’t happy. They came here for a looting, not to hold their cock’s in their hands. Their blood’s running hot.”

The knight dug his heels into his mare’s sides, “Share a wineskin and burn the tower. All a man needs is spectacle and drink.” The animal bucked and ran circles around the bandit, “I need time, Marcel. It’s here. I know it.”

“I have but one eye,” Marcel wiped his nose with the back of his hand, “Maybe you see something I don’t.”

Smoke rose and then dissolved into the horizon. The tower burned. His caped mare flared her nostrils and sneezed. The knight dismounted before a small chapel. Its doors had been barred by interlocked planks and rusted nails. The barricade splintered and dislodged with one smash of his pole-axe.

He walked cautiously through the chapel’s nave. The knight was flanked by rows of columns, their surfaces chipped and cracked. Outgrown weeds carpeted the ground, wiry tendrils climbed up the walls and shrubbery grew in plush green patches.

He crossed the transept and reached the main altar. It was made of one solid slab of black rock. The relief of a dead tree stretching out its crooked branches was imprinted on its side.

Perched at the altar’s top was the skull of a horned stag. The bone was polished to a gleam. Its antlers spread in the shape of ivory veins.

The knight ran his fingers over a padlocked door at the back of the chapel. With a kick he broke apart the lock and bolt from the old wood. The scent of fresh grass and ripe fruit wafted from the cloister behind the shattered door.

A spread of overgrown grass parted to give way to a pair of twisting trees. Low hanging pomegranates dangled from branches that swayed with the breeze. At its center flowed a large spring tinted with a hue of mint by a bed of soil and jade.

The lady of the spring floated supine, sliding cross the liquid borders of the fount, her mane unfolded in golden curls that coated the waters like a spill of honey.

The knight prowled behind the thick cluster of vegetation, weapon in hand, the bear pelt on his bald head slipping down his forehead.

Her body drifted in languorous circles. She was naked and seemed half asleep. Her fingers were playful with the waters, tracing shapes on its wet surface. On her belly, a pair of false eyes had been tattooed in golden ink; they stared out aggressive and lidless. She turned her head in his direction, submerging half of her face into the pool.

Her lips opened and a stream of green water flowed into her mouth, “You’ve come.” The woman’s eyes were colorless and milky, blind and reflecting everything, “There is no resisting temptation. Come and get what you came for.”

The knight impaled his pole-axe on the ground and bolted towards the spring, metal clanked and his armor shifted, plates grazing against each other. He splashed into the pool, paddling wildly. Taking a suntanned thigh in each hand he spread her open by force, pressing her against the wet iron.

She struggled and whipped her yellow curls, a burst of water sprayed from her lips.

He struck her face hard with his gauntlet and managed to pull himself out from underneath his body-armor, “The last of nymph of the old world. They said you were but a story, a pleasant fiction for lonely men on the road.”

“I am flesh.” She said.

“So am I.” The Knight slipped insider her, slamming her against the cold plating, “I have taken your tower and claim you by right of conquest. I know the legends well. When I spill into your womb, horrible things will grow in your belly. Savage abominations, hoofed men with curling horns, winged beasts with a bulls head. You will bear me an army of sons, monsters that will savage the countryside and raid cities like the giants of antiquity.”

She spat out gushes of fluid, algae and half digested fish. “Do you like monsters?”

Her milky eyes reflected everything. The missing bear pelt on his head, the streams of black soot running down his cheeks and the wave of ripples cutting through the water behind him. The Knight dropped her into the spring and turned.

It approached submerged, the creature’s shape warped by the optical distortion of the water. The silhouette veered and coiled closer beneath the pool’s surface. An underwater cloud of sediment inked the transparency of the spring.

The knight ran his fingers over his mouth and went for his weapon, but it was lying on the shore, planted on the soil. He had attacked the woman unarmed; she had been weak and exposed, easy pickings.

When the creature surfaced the knight froze, it had blocked his path. A tubular trunk had risen and curled in a loop, encircling him. The creature was muscled and lean, undulating and contorting on the water. It was armored with a covering of tubercular spikes and golden scales, a series of black rings were stamped across the length of its ridged back.

He felt something graze his leg and he kicked blindly under the water. The knight could feel it closing in and licking at his boots. He dug his heels into the sediment. The creature wrapped itself around his ankle and sunk him into the pool. The knight swallowed mouthfuls of water and was dragged through the weeds and soil; he could no longer feel his leg. A cold pang shot up his spine as he was plunged into a deep tunnel that lead to a cavern at the bottom of the spring.

The Knight tried to swim to the surface, but he was anchored and going nowhere. At his feet, the lady of the spring was weighing him down; her hands clamped on tight to his leg. He flailed and kicked at her in an absurd and unmanly display. His leg was dislocated, popped loose from its sockets. The knight’s his eyes bulged with the pressure, close to popping.

The lady swam circles around him, swallowing water and regurgitating flawless spheres of encased air. An elongated tail decked in golden scales was attached to her backside. It glistened slickly underwater, curving and coiling in sinewy alternating grooves. Her slithering outgrowth curled around the knight’s body in loops.

She squeezed with her tail, crunching him in her grip. The pressure deformed the knight’s iron exoskeleton, crumpling it. His torso was being crushed; jagged pieces of his scrunched plating were slicing through his skin. Her muscles flexed and constricted, wringing the metal until his armor was triturated and shattered into pieces. The knight’s ribcage cracked and his mouth split open for breath. She released him from her hold and his rumpled corpse sunk down to the base of the pool, dropping on a pile of armor and bones.

She floated lazily on the spring’s surface, milky eyes half-closed, the nib of her golden tail drawing circles on the water.

Bio:

I'm writer from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I've done work as DJ and had an unfortunate stint as a telemarketer. My work has appeared online in Zerozine and Cherry Bleeds.

 

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