And Your Flesh Shall Be A Wild Night and A New Road

Microfiction inspired by two well-known sayings and a recent band festival with someone important ✨

The wild scream of the guitar ripped down his spine, surging like power in his veins. Dominion, utter and absolute electricity, was what their music held over the night.

.  . . 1984.

That was the last time he saw her, and all he could recall were a few, sparse details of how she looked, before she’d faded from his life. Shiny curls and almond skin, and a frame so thin it bordered on frailty. Those details he could recall, and the very last question he asked.

“Heyyy,” her voice broke on a beach of uncertainty as she edged up beside him, eyes a strange elixir of warm and aloof. He regretted saying no to hugs and photos when she had asked over the phone a week ago. But only because he wanted to touch her now, to make sure she was real.

And only because he wanted new memories of anything but that fucking question.

“Hey.” He allowed the sudden burst of heat in his chest to reach his eyes at the sight of her.

Your time is almost up.

They had met over two decades ago, both living a charmed life of naïve optimism. Just two strange kids, sheltered and unsophisticated, who shared a love for folk music, and stargazing, and each other.

“You look great,” he added, almost a beat too late. “. . . Life has been kind.”

The wry regard she gave him slipped into something that lingered, her eyes and mouth filled with stories he wanted badly to taste. Then she broke the moment with a nervous smile as she turned her attention towards the stage.

“You look good too.”

He only just heard those words, swimming soft and slow under the thunderous gathering that threatened to crush them from all sides.

Burn into obscurity.

The energy in the air shifted then, as the chords of the next song opened out over the crowd. Atmospheric and full of emotion. It cast a spell and a shadow over his senses, and when she collided with him, jostled by bodies moving in and out of the throng, it didn’t help the feeling.

He watched her reach for his arm to steady herself, and all he could think of was the realness of her flesh, and what he had once asked her to do.

You’re so much more.

So much more.


Microfiction inspired by stormy weather and lost sisterhood

Clouds thicker than Peruvian fog, vaporous specters rising across the shifting mirror of the sky. The day’s restlessness calms my peregrine heart, part of the patterning and paradox of life I’ve come to cherish. Chilling drops of rain splatter like surprises on my upturned face, not unpleasant, like a birthday party you didn’t expect but appreciated, despite not caring much for the attention it brought. And it reminds me of home, all the homes that I’ve lost, in people, places and ideas, almost forgotten.


I turn at the sound of my name on the lips of Singita, my sister; at the grey sky mirrored in her kind eyes, as much in natural colour as in mood, even under the umbrella she holds overhead. I start as she moves to wrap a thick, knitted shawl around my shoulders, its bold, symmetrical patterning as twin to the one already draped around her, as she was to me. Her eyes glance towards the door she left open; mine follow.

“Mama said to come in before you make yourself sick standing out here. She wants you to check the upstairs shutters before Sari–before the storm hits.”

I nod as I move towards the door of our home – Burro Casita – and the warm, spiced scents of mama’s dinner wafting through an inner archway, pulling me further inside. If comfort had a scent, it would be this. Tugging the shawl tighter around me, I make my way up the endless flight of stairs great grand-uncle Bruno was said to have built almost two hundred years ago. The future is in the bones of all who walk this way, reads the plaque at the top of the landing on the ninth floor. Two more floors after that and I would have made it to the top of our house – eleven stories and five generations tall – despite its modest appearance from the outside.

Entering each room, I inspect the storm shutters for breaks, lubricating their tracks in preparation for Sarita.


The name of the oncoming storm . . . and my vanished, younger sister.

The sister whose lips I cursed to never kiss again, the day I caught them on Milo, our neighbour and childhood friend. She was always taking – and breaking – my stuff. He was no exception.

“I hate you!! How could you kiss him?!”

. . . I love you. How could you leave?


Halloween-inspired Microfiction


Tall pines creak in the eeriness of night, blown by a sudden, fierce gale. It tears through the forest like a spectral fox hounded by wild and ghostly dogs, and the darkness feels alive with power and invocation. Two, small boys stop running to catch their breath beneath the wet candles of one immortal tree, its thick trunk spanning almost two feet wide. The smaller boy bends over, his face streaming fear. Then the older one takes him by the hand, features set with determination as they press on into the night, the ground beneath their feet littered with last year’s pinecones.

Everything has gone so wrong. The bottle of wytch’s tears stolen to quench their mother’s thirst, made her sad forever. Now there is a wytch after them, and they can’t go home, abandoned to the World Wood by their own well-intended but horrible choice. Little choice left then but to run until help for their woes finds them. The trees break to reveal cultivated farmlands and houses, their strong lines lit like folk art in midnight blue and the pale yellow of a rising moon. Light can still be seen from a few windows. Behind them a cackle can be heard like a secret, old and mad.

The boys hurry down the unpaved lane that leads to the small town beyond the tree line. Just before they reach the first farmhouse, a large black cat strolls into the middle of their path. His eyes are mercurial in more ways than one, his midnight coat fluffy against the chilled night air. But what freezes the boys in their pell-mell sprint towards the houses is the glow. A bright, luminous light fills his body, making visible every bone, overlain by his thick, dark fur. The cat holds his tail high to show affability, though the faint but sour shimmer of disdain in his eyes says plainly he has no desire to be touched.

He turns and lopes away. The boys follow. They follow for nights and years, until wizened and grey, they stand trembling at his back, their mother’s sadness long forgotten. The cat turns to face them at last, eyes flaring red in the endless gloaming, his face particularly smug.

“I believe we’ve finally lost her.”

Milky eyes look back at him, empty of all but despair. For the wytch is not the only thing that has been lost.

All Woods

Microfiction inspired by the first line of Robert Frost’s poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. One led to autumn, calm and chilly, its last bronzed leaf picked by a wind still echoing with residual birdsong. The other to darkness, cloaked in mist, where naked trees loomed overhead like a canopy of murderers, intentions ill. The signpost before us was worn with age, the letters slipped away in time and wood rot. Moira could not read them and didn’t seem to know which way to go. Autumn’s beauty called to my senses, but it was the darkness that beckoned, leading me by my very nature down the wintry lane.

I wanted to be safe. I wanted to be safe. But the call to adventure sang in my bestial blood and I knew I would never find it down well-worn paths. All woods are lovely, dark and deep, but only one is your home. Moira seemed to trust that I knew where we were going, but I was only trusting my heart and knew nothing at all. When the thieving trees thinned at last to reveal the mediaeval castle, it was all I could do to not recoil at the sight. But it was I who led us here, and there is always a reason, even if only in remembrance.

Still, I pawed at the frozen earth and shied away from the high gates before us, skittish and very much unnerved by their gothic, alien ironwork. Even before I heard her sharp intake of breath, I felt Moira’s heartbeat quickening at what now stood before us, and the gate that slowly opened though no one opened it, and the howl of nearby wolves at our back. She slipped off, reins in hand, and reached to touch my muzzle, the gesture intended to steady. From where she tethered me there in the cobbled courtyard, I could observe the end as it unfolded.

Moira’s nervous knock on the thick, wooden door. The shadow within shadows. The pause before her muffled scream, and the sudden tearing away of her beautiful face. The wet noises of him feasting on her flesh, hungrily tearing the clothes from her body, crunching her bones. The eternal silence thereafter, as he slipped into the moonlight and fur fell away from a blood-soaked face more beautiful than even hers. He walked towards me then, reaching out with a gentle hand and an even gentler voice.

“What a fine horse.”


A bit of microfiction about my rather difficult pregnancy, and how the only peace and pleasure I found (from the daily waves of nausea and hostile alien terraforming of my body) was in the texture of gritty things.


The crunch of ice between my teeth – cold edges, agitated nerves, sabulous sensitivity. All coalescing into sharp points of pleasure in my body, my brain. Soothing. Assuasive. Momentary. Cup after cup of chipped ice; euphoria only until they are empty. Nausea quickly returning.

The grit of sand and salt and soap beneath my fingers, the fine powdery textures a more lasting calm. Good wards for bad memories, and worst choices, and keeping unwanted thoughts at bay. But I can only wash and cook and visit the beach for so long before I must again return to myself.

The roughness of baking soda toothpaste scraping my tongue as I brush for the fifth time in one day. Five brushings for five pukes. The corroded enamel of my teeth, stones battered by time and waves of vomit. By the time she is born, I would have stopped smiling in photos and with my eyes.

Dirt behind my eyelids, no matter how carefully I clean them. Clean eyes, soiled vision. And soil isn’t just good for growing life. It’s good for growing death too. I could scrub for years and years and never be clean, here on these desert shores, where death and life both flourish within me.

A dusting of ash is all that remains of that time now. After the eruption of esophageal trauma and peptic ulcers; after losing my tooth; and a lot of myself; and a bit of my mind; after the stretched skin and mummy’s carpel tunnel, I can feel my smile returning at last. To eyes still angry with grit.

But touched by clearer vision.

And a soul with grit of its own, far stronger than I ever possessed.

Beyond Her Ramparts

She throws the walls up around herself higher than her eyes can see. They erase the open sky, and she disappears into forever. She is infinite, a story, walls without end. Walls deep and dense like forests, stony and unyielding like caves. They hold her transfixed, keep her safe from outside worlds, far below and deep within. These walls do not crack, do not allow for anyone’s entry, or escape. Impregnable. Incurious. Unfeeling. Nothing can reach her in this tower, where no windows or doors exist. How free she is, entrapped here, hidden away from everything that would do her harm.

She waits. Not for the beast raging beyond her ramparts seeking its way back in, but for the boy, the beautiful boy still yet to come. He will be gifted by the faeries, as she was when she was a child. The gift of charm. The gift of brilliance. The gift of love. These gifts will he have and other gifts besides but on those she is too broken to dwell. Her face contorts from once-blushing maiden to a mad woman in the throes of anguish as she remembers why. As her eyes fall towards her engorged belly, swollen with the child of the beast.

She had thought her walls impregnable but a hard kick from the child inside her proves that she was wrong. She is strong, but so is this child, and so is his will. From the first time he came to her – a false face with false sentiments and sweeping gestures that promised happily ever after – she had wanted this. Until she recognized his hatred for her, realized that he saw her as nothing more than a thing with which to please himself, tearing at her again and again and again, until neither of them knew the person who was left.

Her heart beats hard and slow as her eyes travel up the wall before her. It is a poisoned apple her heart, each beat nourishing and embittered. All she had ever wanted was to be devoured by someone who could love her, not break through her barriers and leave her disfigured with his flesh and blood inside her body. But the child brings change, and the boy won’t need to cut a path through thorns to awaken her. Because he is the way, because he is the door, when she walks out through him, she’ll come home.

A Song in Red and Grey


‘Oh, the red leaf looks to the hard gray stone

to each other, they know what they mean

somewhere, their future is still yet to come

in ways that are yet as of now unforeseen’

– Suzanne Vega, Song in Red and Gray


“I’m cold,” she says, looking into his eyes. Her expression is careless, the walls she had kept it behind long crumbled. The remains of his faded shirt are tucked around her more delicate areas. Her legs and back are bare to the frost that coats the walls overnight. Every night for the last ninety-eight days, they’d been held captive in the grey stone room. Every night for the last ninety-eight days, since they had been seized.

The only warmth she has felt during that time is the warmth she feels now. His fingers splay across her upper back, the cupping of her slender form in his arms, firm and protective. The promise to keep her safe flares unbidden in the gaze he returns as he pulls her closer. His head lowers towards hers own. Taupe-coloured hair falls around a youthful face, the strands mingling with her auburn mane, tangled from months of neglect.

His odour envelops her as she burrows in close. It has been days since they were last allowed to wash. That was when she had lost her own clothes, the guards who kept watch over them finding their absence … amusing. Until he had macerated the flesh of one guard’s nose with a blow, for touching what their absence revealed. They have been given no more clothing to replace the ones stolen and torn, recompense for the injured guard.

And no more baths either. His scent is pungent, and pleasant to her. She has come to associate that smell with his warmth, both now a source of great comfort.

“I’m sorry …” he says, his lips cracked from hunger. She nods thinking he means the cold. “… I didn’t think that when we left, we would’ve ended here.”

She plays with the thumb resting on her shoulder, her arm wrapped around her breasts concealing them from view. The gesture is unthinking.

“What we did was wrong,” she says, her words simple. They contradict the emotion raging in her heart. She shivers. The chill of the air intensifies with each moment as does the chill of their circumstance.

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