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News: My thoughts are clouds I cannot fathom into pastries.

--1 June 2018--

Quote: Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest of hearts. --Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The Fellowship

June 19, 2018

18.06.19 - On the Brink of Life {A Poem}

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My mind is a golden pool and I stand before it thinking softly to myself. 
It is flecked with memories and shattered concepts 
Things that were true but now I know are false. 
Thinking is heavy and it weighs my soul down. 

I am laced in wisps of light and lemon leaves and the fragrance of mystery. 
I am dark blue and sapphire and melted silver 
My eyes are molten rocks that hold the oceans in place
And the tide laps against my lids and I look at the world with fire. 
My bared feet are naked against the chipped earth,
They are calloused and muddied and frosted from past trails of the deep night. 

I am a wanderer, wandering aimlessly with no where in mind. 
I am a lost child, seeking my father, breathing in liquid sunshine. 
I am a calloused heart, wrought through and through with golden pain, 
And I am a wild thing, winging my way to places where I might feel again. 

I have wearily traveled light-years to make it here
Where I am bound now by the push and pull of this scenic sphere
I feel too little and then I feel too much and I feel I must be broken inside
Because in my feeling I'm lost to the sweeping toss of a deadly tide. 

I was once accompanied by threads that tied me to my home
And those threads were laced into my sinew and bones
And those threads were memories of where I have been
But they abandoned me when I broke within. 

Now I am free-floating through a hazy, smoky atmosphere
Breathing in the misted dust of a wandering traveler's fear. 
I am purchased by the blood of a Man I never met
And I am free-floating wishing for someone who could sever my debt. 

I am blood and bone and sinew beaten thin
I am ocean grace and sky and clouds of red and marbled sin
I am silk and swift and flitting; a form of mist
And I am hazed and hallowed in my final kiss. 
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I am breathing in the ocean spray and forest fog
And my backbone rakes the passes like a jagged cog
And I am on my knees, I"m pleading for reprieve 
Because I cannot see and I can't seem to breathe. 

I am pine and spruce and fir and scattered roads
And I am searching for a soul to help me heave these loads
I am waiting by the river, can you hear? 
Can you hear me calling, can you see me clear? 
Can you help a wander'r find the haven place
When rest is for the weary and they know your face.

I am step-step-stepping in these broken shoes
Through the mud and rain, passing meager clues 
Hoping for a sign that stands to lead me true
Hoping for someone to shade my hopeless hues. 

I'm an artist standing in the rain, standing in the mud
I am lifting brush and paint and cleansing silted blood. 
I am filled with hope that soon this storm will lift
But till then, I'll paint and pray the eyes of hell will shift. 
They've been upon me for so long, I swear they see
But I know I am covered, they cannot find me. 
Yet I am pinned down by the fear that they will sight
A simple move of cloth or clothes or scent of might. 
And so I've waited, eons, eons, here in vain
Waiting waiting waiting for a shift of blame
Yet they stare and wait and circle from beyond
And I am pinned and helpless in this murky pond. 

Can you see my golden light, it's shining through? 
Shining through the haze and reaching out to you? 
Can you feel the love of lasting peace and joy? 
Can you reach and touch and see this is no ploy? 
Look and see, look and feel and feel and feel
Feel the pain and love and know that this is real. 
Take a moment to embrace the sting and solemn song
They are born together, yet some would call it wrong.
I would call it life, it's fullness is a well
And we are searching, searching to escape this hell
But what if hell were hidden truly from our eyes
And what if what we feel is but a masked disguise
And what if we are waiting on the brink of life
And what if we just reach we'd find our way through strife? 

I am clasped in golden arms with purpled veins
And I am here before the throne of Life again
And I am weeping; bitter at the path I tread
And I am sorrowed by the paint - silver and red. 
I am held up by the arms of Majesty
And all my tears stain robes of He who set me free. 

I would have faced the chasm if it weren't for Him
I would have fallen down and down to death and sin
I would have been replaced by but a picture frame
With dead eyes looking out at those who love my name. 
I would have been a memory - a broken sigh
A sweeping pass of dust upon a fractured sky
And all the pain I would have birthed by falling then
I would have triplicated my own very hell in men. 

So I am standing, somber, broken, sorrow-filled
In the arms of He who knew my path with pain was tilled. 
And though I feel and feel and feel and feel so much
He holds me softly to His chest, and that's enough. 

The arms of He who loves me are so beautiful 
They bear the scars of love, for me, which was His will. 
He burdened down His back with heavy, hopeless pain
And bore it strong and stronger still as Life sustained.
As Life sustained His brokenness and beaten bones
And Life filled up His heart with hope from heaven's throne
And Life gave keys to break the darkness down
And Life united us under His holy crown. 

And in His arms, I finally see beyond the bend
Around the corner of this world, into the end
And there I know I'll be restored, renewed, reborn
Again in love, again in hope, again in form. 
My aching feeling heart that once was dead is free
And I am feeling all the things I used to be
And I am feeling all the things I have become
As Life invades my heart and makes Himself at home.

I wouldn't have it any other way at all
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Because, in living low, I now am living tall
In stature and in heart and in peace of mind
In joy and hope and patience I'm no longer blind. 
I see the stars, I see the moon and galaxies
I see so much, so far, now that I'm truly free.
I see the path I've taken through the winding dark
And I am moved by love, compassionate at heart. 
I do not walk alone, I do not dare again, 
For now I walk together with my Truest Friend. 
He grasped my broken body from the maw of hell
And pulled me out and pulled me close, before I fell. 
And He now walks beside me through the mist and fear
And He now leads the way that is completely pure and clear. 

I couldn't see it then, I know my eyes were blind
But now that I can see I wish more hearts would find
Would find this perfect hope and know they need not search
Through broken teeth of Hades nor through mud and dirt,
They do not need to tremble as the stars are shooting by
On trembling feet to stand as galaxies arrive
Because in holding hands with He who made their light
I am not fearful, rather I stand strong in might. 

I am not fearful, I am not hopeless, I am not weak
I am strong enough to walk and reach that distant peak
That mountain where my final destination lies
Where I will find the fullest life I see within His eyes. 
I am a golden princess, warring through these skies
And I am bold and brazen, I destroy the lies
The lies that come against me and tell me I'm not wise
My wisdom comes from He who made the stars His prize. 

I am bold and beautiful, and wrought with love;
And I will stay this course and I will track the dove
And I will follow on this path that leads me fast and true
For I am with the One who died for me and you. 



---

Signed with love,
Squeaks.

May 31, 2018

Cobbled Thoughts - {A Poem}

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My thoughts are cobbled, like east coast streets. 
They're a jilted refrain from an edgy song
That I hummed to the bass and the drums and electric
Neon sounds staggering through my ears. 
And I staggered too, under all those heavy thoughts. 
Broken up and clay-weighted, packed by hands.

The water drip-dropped from the hose 
My eyes filled and emptied their beholdings 
And the sound staggered by on pegged legs,
Echoing down those cobblestone streets. 

It was a creature comfort of a silver kind
Embellished with streaks of blue and white
And in amidst their wanderings I found heaven. 

Sometimes I walk those memory streets
Arounding the shadows into starlit showers
Where the moon dips low and kisses rooftops
And I watch their affectionate embrace
From beneath my wakeful brows. 
And in their glowing beauty - window-panes reflecting -
I see orange-pink blushing gold awaken 
From a jealous sun rising in a coffee bloom. 
And this beauty ices rolls of cinnamon sky,
Fresh browned from the heat of the elements. 

Pausing on those cobbled thoughts, I breathe
And take in the crisply awakened love of day
From beneath the cloak of night. 
It is in moments such as these that logic takes flight
As a fluttering, fragile thing. 
And I grasp the organized chaos between my teeth 
And revel in the unexpected patterns made
There in glittered ink - from chaos to chorus
A song of a soul appreciating life again. 


---

Signed with love,
Squeaks.

May 28, 2018

Little Warrior - {A Poem}

I intend to write much more on this topic in the future. This is a lyrical letter to those of you who are struggling. To the ones who cry themselves to sleep at night. To the ones who barely get through the day. To the ones who feel numb and hopeless. I thought of each and every one of you while I wrote this. I want you to know, no matter what, you are loved and you are special. If you ever need an ear to listen or a hand to hold, I'm always here for you :)

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Won’t you stay alive, I’ll take you on a ride – and I will make you believe you are lovely.
{Lovely – Twenty One Pilots}

I see through the cobwebs and tangled mess. You think you’re alone – you’re not alone. You see the world in shades of grey, but I promise there are vibrant colours. One day, one day you’ll see them too – all greens and reds and shades of blue. I promise you, it’s all true. I’ve been there too and I know you can’t see it now, but one day – I promise one day.

You feel alone, you feel disowned, you feel dead inside. But let me tell you something, let me whisper it to your bones. You’re amazing. You’re loved. You’re needed.

If you sit in inch-deep water, in the middle of your mind, don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. You’ll live to fight another day. The water is cold, it’s dangerous, it’s leeching the life through your skin – you’re seeping out into the world and they could care less and you’re sacrificing yourself as you tread in inch-deep water. 

I know it’s hard. It’s harder than hell. You’re in a battle – you bear the scars. You’re fighting every day for a life you don’t know whether you want or want to leave. Keep fighting, keep fighting, little warrior keep fighting for your life.

It feels ironic when you look out into the world from beneath your mask and see the laughter and the cheer and the friendship, the simple lives of simple people. How you wish you had their joy and nonchalance. How you wish you didn’t know what you know, but you carry old words like bleached bones, rattling beneath your hollow chest.

Keep fighting little warrior – keep fighting for your life. Stay alive, stay alive little warrior. And if you don’t care to stay alive for you, stay alive for me, because you mean the world to this worn down poet with the fading stars between her fingers. You mean the world to me, I hope you know.

I see your pile of sticks and stones, your hollow eyes and broken bones. I see you standing in your mask and here I am, I am here – here’s my mask, all black and blue, I’m taking off my mask for you. I’ll hold it out, I’ll let you in – I want to help you live again. But I can only do so much, so trust me – it gets better, love.

Perhaps you’re reading this discourse and thinking, wow – she’s got a voice. I’ve got a voice and I hope you know, I’ll use it in my inch-deep flow; my flow of water, icy cold, the stuff I sat in – growing old. I hope you know I’ve gotten out, I’ve climbed the cistern, found the spout. I’ve poured my heart out through the top to empty out my heavy thoughts. And here I sit out in the sun, my skin is glowing, victory’s won. I sit and sit and raise my song because I see how things go wrong. I see how suffering creeps by and steals your heart and makes you cry – I know how hard it is to breathe with shattered bones and countless griefs. And from this place outside that well, I now can see between the spells. I know the tricks, I know the lies and how the torment comes disguised.

I want to share my heart with you, to help you know my hope is true. Please reach out, love, reach high and far, reach up reach up and touch the stars. Unfold yourself from deep within and reach for hope, reach with your skin. Reach with your bones and flesh and soul, reach up, reach deep, reach wholly whole. And once you’ve reached with all your might, you’ll find your reach will touch the light. And once the light has touched you back, you’ll find a hope that truly lasts.

I know this might sound really odd – but I swear, I swear, I’m not a fraud. I truly want to see you well, to see you smile and leave this hell. I truly want to see you whole – climb up and out and leave that role. I truly want to see you free, to see you grin, to see you be – you.

It isn’t an easy matter, it isn’t an easy life. And there will be future days that are further filled with strife. You never quite shake the hardships, you won’t forget the pain; but when you’ve found hope and when hope has found you: guaranteed – you’ll live again. You’ll live so full you’ll burst forth – you’ll blossom from deep within. You’ll look and see you’re truly free and that’s when life begins.

I’m not going to say it’s easy, because it’s very very hard. It’s harder than anything ever before, but it’s worth it to trust in …

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And I hope when you breathe in the new life, when you take that first breath with your lungs – I hope you’ll remember this moment we had, because then a new spring will have sprung. And with spring time there comes all the flowers, all the freshness and newness of life, and when you see all this beauty before you, I want you to sing of your strife. To sing of the strife that you suffered and to sing of the hope you have found. The others must hear of your story, so that they can traverse the same ground.

Don’t be afraid, little warrior, if you still feel all hopeless and lost. It takes seasons of time to recover, but with hope… it is worth every cost.  



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Signed with stardust, 
Squeaks.

May 11, 2018

The Mirror - {A Poem}

Sometimes life is going along great and then out of nowhere you practically get clubbed over the head by stuff you've already dealt with. In this particularly case, I felt rather prompted to write a poem :) the product of this endeavour is below. I hope it speaks to you as much as it spoke to me.

*****

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I was brought to this mirror, not by my own will
And I know he who brought me had thought this a thrill.
I tried not to look, for I knew what I’d see
But as time slowly passed, it proved stronger than me.
I took but a glance, just one lift of an eye,
And I thought I might win, but the mirror was spry.
It snatched up my eyes and it forced me to gaze
To behold what I’d been, from the paths I had blazed.
So I stood there, I shivered, I shuddered and wept
And the longer I looked, the deeper it crept.
It showed me the horrors of who I had been
Of what I had done, all the marks of my sin.
And the longer I looked, the more my skin itched
I felt useless and ugly and fully bewitched.

The mirror would have kept on its villainous ways
If the door hadn’t opened and cut through the haze
The sun poured in sharply and shattered the gloom
And I wrested my eyes off the face in that tomb.
A shadow passed over the sun shining in
And a Voice called out softly through all of the din.
“What are you doing, my beautiful child?
Why are you gazing upon the defiled?
Come, step away from the mirror now, quick!
It means you harm and would see you fall sick.”
So I forced myself first to take one step, then two
And hastily there I completely withdrew
And the further I stepped out away from the mirror
I found the Voice sounded softer and nearer.

“There you go, come to Me,” He spoke once again
And I looked and I saw it was Him – my true Friend.
He smiled and He opened His arms very wide
And I found myself rushing to get to His side.
He fully embraced me; held fast to His chest
I felt His relief - but softly, He stressed:
“I told you to never look into that glass,
It only can hurt you with thoughts of your past.
I called you forgiven and now you are clean,
Why would you go back to the way it had been?”

I shuddered and sniffled and tried not to cry,
“I’m sorry, he forced me – I didn’t think why.
I tried not to look, but the thoughts were too heavy
The pull of the mirror was painful and steady.
I thought it would pass if I just had a glance…
If I gave what it wanted, but it held me entranced.
I couldn’t stop looking, I was rooted in place
And it forced me to see how I’m such a disgrace.”
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My Friend hugged me tighter and bent to my ear
He whispered so softly, so loving, so dear,
“I know how the pull of the mirror is strong
But to look isn’t helpful, it deadens your song.
You must sing through the hellfire, the brimstone, and knives.
You must sing until you can feel help has arrived.
And you know I’ll come quick – I’ll be there in a blink
I’ll be faster than fast and I’ll stand on the brink
Because with Me you’re stronger and with Me you’re fierce
And your song has the power to thoroughly pierce
To pierce through the haze of the mirror’s distortions
That lie to your face and inflate past proportions.
We’ll sing to the wind so it carries our song;
As our harmonies meld we will shatter the wrong
We’ll set up memorials for victories past
All the times we broke out of a horde that was vast.

"You know what I speak of, we fought there together –
Your song and My song were strong through that weather.
Don’t let yourself worry he led you this way
And he forced you to look till you fell in dismay.
He’s always out hurting and harming My friends –
He hates you and wishes you’d meet a dark end.
But look – look at me,” He said with a grin,
“I am stronger and wiser and I always win.
I will give you the courage you need to resist
And when he tries again, you’ll just say he’s dismissed.
Don’t be shy or embarrassed to pull out your sword,
That’s not overreacting when he sends his horde.
My Word is alive; it’s the sharpest blade ever
And it will defeat him – it triumphs forever.
Do you think you can do that, for Me? Can you try?
Can you put on a brave face and shout to the sky?
Let’s raise up a war call and shatter that thing
Let’s lift up our voices - let victory ring!”

And with that He raised up a hand to my face
And wiped away tears that had dampened that space
Then He pulled back and, smiling, He passed me my sword
I took it and breathed out, feeling swiftly restored.
Then I turned and I grimaced once again at the mirror
And I felt the soft tickle of fear edging nearer.
But I raised up that blade till it swallowed my view
And the words there, engraved in its fuller, shone true.

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In step, both together, my Friend and I charged
Our voices went forward – with power they barged
They barged though the doorway; flew straight through the room
They shattered that darkness and dispelled the gloom.
Agreeing together, they covered the mirror
And promptly their truth made the images clearer.
The lies molted off like a snake sheds its skin
All the hate and abuse that was magicked within
It dripped to the ground as a black residue
Now the brightened reflection was the me that I knew.

I felt my soul lift as a smile grew in place
And I turned to report to my Friend my true face.
But in turning I realized I was alone
Though the air shimmered brightly, feeling warm and well-known.
In the emptiness standing there, still as a tree,
I could just hear the remnant of laughter set free
And the warmth in my heart grew immense and white-hot
So I knew He was close, though my eyes saw Him not.

Then I turned, with my sword safely tucked by my thigh,
And I left that old room, now renewed – purified.
I stepped out in the sunlight that glowed through the leaves,
All the crisp smelling life that blew by on the breeze -
And I turned my gaze outwards to uncharted land
Where I knew I was called, for a quest truly grand.
So I set off on foot, all armed to the teeth
A warmth in my heart and my sword in its sheath.
To the faraway lands I will go, I will hunt,
I will take down the enemy on my battlefront.
The victory: won, but the battles we brave
Though we know how things ends, there’s still wounded to save.

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*****

Signed with a silent smile,
Squeaks.

April 5, 2018

Petrigrud's Adventure

Another short story to tickle your senses :) Again, I've taken to writing things on my bus ride in to work. It is a good exercise for the creative mind.


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Petrigrud's Adventure


The forest was shaded deeply, as if it kept several secrets hidden underhand, waiting to deal them to the world when it was least expected. The titter of birds through the leafy undergrowth floated all around. Somewhere in the distance, the ripple of water thrummed. 
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It was in this very forest that the young squirrel, Petrigrud, now found himself. He tended to wander away from home now and then on an exploratory adventure. Yes, simply for the sake of his own curiosity. He was currently perched on a sturdy branch, several feet above the forest floor (well out of the way of the lower-roaming beasts, lest he happen upon one by accident). 

A black-rimmed brown triangular hat was perched between his twitching ears. His little rust-red vest, half buttoned up his chest, betrayed soft underfur poking out the top in a ruffled manner. His paw pads were bared against the bark of his perch, and in his forepaws he clutched a small leather-bound book which now hung open to the hastily scribbled directions he'd jotted from Sacreed the Wise. Sacreed was an old, weathered bluebird with a penchant for accumulating heavily feathered hats (why he liked the feathered ones was anyone's guess... they all thought him rather strange, given his own birded heritage). 

Petrigrud usually visited Sacreed on the eve of his wanderings. This time was no different. He had inquired of the old bluebird the whereabouts of the tomb of Kregule. It was said to be buried deep within the Norwoods, far beneath the undergrowth, protected by a hidden entrance and many traps and other such dangers that the mysterious were often shrouded with. He didn't want to find it for the sake of the treasures rumoured to be hidden within; rather, he wanted to find it for the sake of the finding. 

The little black nose on his whiskered face twitched with the onslaught of foresty scents. He peered down at his scribblings again, absentmindedly reaching up to scratch behind his left ear (it always itched when he thought too hard - a genetic defect, clearly... or a bad habit). 

Old birch, biddy crow, bundled brat, beneath bungalow of boo.

The instructions were certainly lacking in some regards. He had no idea which direction to find this old birch...and there were several in the Norwoods (although thankfully not thousands; perhaps a few hundred or so). Petrigrud figured it best to try and find the oldest of the old birches and make his mark from there. 

Thankfully, as a hobbyist adventurer, Petrigrud was terribly good at finding things. This was likely why he decided to risk the tomb of Kregule on the lacking instructions of a half-demented bluebird (don't tell Sacreed this... he'll peck out your eyes...or at least nip your tail). 

Before the young squirrel, a forest of trees (which is usually what a forest is comprised of) stood tall and stately and quivering with life. He was perched on one such tree, and from his vantage point he could clearly see an old birch, a little off to the left. The other trees of the Norwoods seemed to give it berth, as it was surrounded by thick, foamy grass spotted through and through with little petulant flowers. 

This was certainly the birch he had been searching for; he leaned over his notes again and, with his right hand, reached for his charcoal nub to cross of old birch from his horizontal list. 

That done, Petrigrud stuffed his notebook into his little vest, secured the top buttons, smoothed back his ears, and leaped from his perch to the neighbouring tree. The branch quivered excitedly as his paw pads thumped down in place, claws clasping tightly to maintain his balance. 

It was in this manner that Petrigrud finally brought himself to a low-hanging branch in the outer circle of trees around the old birch. It certainly looked old enough. He thought about crossing the outer ring of flowers, but then thought again and stayed put on his perch. 

Old birchbiddy crow, bundled brat, beneath bungalow of boo.

A biddy crow was the next thing to find. Petrigrud's keen black eyes twitched this way and that, in the opposite direction of his ever-smelling nose. 

He certainly didn't see a biddy crow. They were often elderly creatures (as the name implied) and rarely came out of their nests and tree-hollows except to snatch a mouse or, if most unlucky, a sickly squirrel. 

Raising his eyes upwards, he looked at the overgrown treetops and, to his surprise, noticed a small chickadee watching back very intently. 

"Good eve, mister missus chickasquee," called up Petrigrud in his chirpy voice, "Mayhaps you know of a biddy crow in these parts? Perchance might you share your great knowledge with a terribly dull squirreling." 

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The chickadee seemed rather flattered and fluttered itself closer and lower to take a better gander at Petrigrud. It tilted its little head this way and that before chirruping, 

"Do you really think I am great of knowledge, squirreling?" 

"Petrigrud, at your service; yes, indeed I most certainly do. I dare say you're the most knowledgeable chickasquee I've met in these parts." 

The chickadee ruffled its feathers, "Madam Mikmik, pleasure sire, pleasure. What sorts of knowledge are you seeking?" 

"Ah, Madam Mikmik, a strong and sturdy name for a strong and masterful chickasquee," Petrigrud flattered unashamedly, "I am looking for a biddy crow in these parts, so that I might in turn find a bundled brat beneath a bungalow boo. I was sent by Master Sacreed." 

Madam Mikmik sharply twisted her head this way and that, chirruping thoughtfully before she answered him.

"Master Petrigrud, I do indeed believe you seek the tomb of Kregule. Dare you? You know the treasures are forbidden us forestlings." She ruffled her feathers and narrowed her brows as best a bird can narrow them.

Petrigrud bobbed his head and cleared his throat, "Ah yes, ahem, indeed Madam, indeed. I am quite well aware, I am simply seeking some old folklore on the matter to ensure that such tomb does exist. I don't think I should be brave enough to dare crossing the threshold of such terribly terrifying resting place, Madam. I do beg pardon." 

Madam Mikmik stared at him, tilting her head this way and that, now and then softly chirruping away - a nervous habit. 

"I think it best you turn and leave, Master Petrigrud." said the little chickadee, "These parts aren't safe for less weathered forestlings as yourself. Not safe at all." 

Petrigrud furrowed his brow and scratched his ear, "I am most well aware, Madam Mikmik, that these parts are dangerous. I did speak to the great and noble Sacreed on the matter, as I have noted earlier. I don't think I intend to cause any disturbances in the region." 

Madam Mikmik squeaked and puffed out her chest, "'T'isn't about that, sire, not the least! Tis about the disturbance of our great dead. I think it best you make your way away now. I haven't seen a biddy crow in these parts." 

And with that proclamation, Madam Mikmik lifted her wings up and flew off in great haste. 

It was all quite sudden and Petrigrud was very puzzled. He scratched his ear again, unbuttoned his little vest, and pulled out his notebook again. The directions were very clear - he must find the biddy crow. 

A rustling in the undergrowth made him pause and he sniffed the air. Nothing betrayed its scent to him, but he wasn't dreaming...he had heard something in the bushes off to the right. He shouted a warning cry, which echoed dangerously loud through the Norwoods. 

He felt his fur rise on his chubby little cheeks. He had embarrassed himself - he hadn't meant to squeak out; it just happened sometimes. 

It was nothing. He pressed his notebook back against his bosom and buttoned his vest. 

A dark shadow passed overhead, but he was too busy buttoning to notice. 

The undergrowth shivered again. 

"Oh dear. I do wish Madam Mikmik hadn't left on such unhappy terms. I am indeed without any further directions now. I haven't the slightest where a biddy crow might nest in these parts." His nose twitched and he smoothed his whiskers down. 

The forest glade was suddenly very quiet. Petrigrud stood to attention, grasping his branch tightly. 

A quiet forest was a bad forest. Every tree made noise - they chattered, they chicked, they grumbled to one another. If a forest went quiet, it meant something unseemly was abroad. Every little squirreling was taught these things before they could squeak. 

While Petrigrud was surveying the grove and old birch, a pair of yellow-green eyes surveyed him from deep in the undergrowth. These eyes belonged to something sinister. Something Petrigrud most assuredly did not want to meet. 

Then, as silently as the eyes had made their way into the undergrowth, they made their way out. 

It wouldn't be long now. Shut your eyes dear reader. We shan't look.

Poor Petrigrud. He knew better than to wander into the Norwoods. And now, his story shall be in the memory of all the little squirrelings. 

Madam Mikmik knew better than to keep him in that deadly grove for so long, but Madam Mikmik was a less than pleasant chickadee herself. She rolled in heaping stores of sugared oats and honeyed pieces from combs thicker than her spread wings. To her small brain, it was no difficult decision to give up the lives of other forestlings to ease her greedy belly. 

So let it be known, reader and friend, that should you adventure into the deep and dark Norwoods, take a company of braves with you. And run when the forest quiets, lest you end up as poor little Petrigrud. 

All that was left of his adventure was a tattered page reading bundled brat and a shred of rust-red vest that no forestling would bury, for no forestling dared enter the Norwood after him. It was too wild, too dangerous.


*******

Signed with charcoal,

Squeaks.

April 4, 2018

Candice & the Letter

Here's a short story for you guys :) I wrote it this morning on my bus ride in... enjoy!

*******
Candice & the Letter

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It was a warm and crisp morning. The kind of morning that made you feel a little bit manic, as if you're on the verge of having an epiphany, but the catalyst to such an event is entirely lacking in the air you breathe. Such was the kind of morning that we see Candice walking briskly down Pennington Street. Her shoes semi-aggressively clap-clapping against the cobblestone sidewalk.

It was a beautiful day out. The sun peered hesitantly in between the buildings, shining down the alleyways to light up moderately good graffiti. Several birds swung down low to land on little black-clawed feet in the middle of the abandoned pavement, nibbling at some insect or other that chanced to cross at an inopportune time.  

Candice ignored them. Her honey-brown hair swung around her shoulders in a jagged bounce as her side-bag slapped her hip over and over, in step. Her thoughts were entirely preoccupied today. She would like to be melancholic and contemplative about her life and what it had suddenly become, but she simply hadn't the time. It was much too time-consuming to be off-kilter, despite the aesthetically pleasing countenance she felt it provided. There was nothing more beautiful than a human in deep thought - their eyes peering far off into the past (or future) with a simultaneous sharpened softness that no other mood could muster. She knew - she had tried. 

In any case, this morning was important. 
She turned off Pennington and on to Winterfield Avenue. SteamCloud's overarching storm-grey banner shielding the patio jutted out over the walkway. Candice hurried her approach, ignoring the sting of her bag's complaints against her side. 

The door in to the little teashop was outfitted with a dainty silver bell that gave a jolly tinkle as she pulled it open and quickly claimed her little wooden table for two over in the far corner. 

With an exhaled sigh, Candice set down her bag, flipping it open to pull out her laptop. She set it carefully on the tabletop and turned it on. 

"Good morning dear - the usual?" a well aged, motherly voice interrupted her thoughts (as it usually did). 

"Hi Darla - yes, thanks." Candice offered a small smile. It was a beautiful smile. The kind that could appease a kings anger. Darla returned one of her own as she turned back to the kitchens. 

Candice typed in her password and quickly set about logging in to her accounts - she was the curious kind who had a penchant for being a very private person even with herself and her private life - and checked her email for any good updates. 

There wasn't much other than the usual drivel she received. One letter from a distant cousin, likely inquiring about her health and whether she'd any money to wire across the ocean. Several from companies offering benefits for promotion of their products; she deleted those, she had no time to promote things these days. 

She scrolled, clicked and skimmed and deleted. Her lips thinned into a line of despair. It wasn't there. Not even a hint. 

Darla returned with a steaming mug of dark coffee, a small pitcher of cream, and a bowl of fresh cut fruit. 

"Thanks." Candice offered as the waitress turned to leave. 

"Enjoy, dear." 

She added cream to the coffee and returned to browse through her social media, sipping from her mug as she did. 

The news wasn't particularly useful either. Meaningless celebrity gossip, over-mangled liberal agenda pieces, too many stabbings and murders. She closed those tabs and checked Facebook. That was useless too. Not a hint in sight. 

She exhaled loudly and turned her attention to the fruit bowl. 

"Waiting on something dear?" Darla inquired from her perch near the till. 

Candice peered over at her, taking in the wrinkles and rosy cheeks and stiff joints.

"Not particularly," she replied. 

Darla simply looked at her; the kind of look that said, Oh really? I think not, but the dear lady didn't push further than she was invited to push. She turned her little button nose back to her billings and such. 

Candice looked out the window at the park across the street, where the little blackbirds liked to gather and have a chuckle. She reached up and rubbed her forehead, trying to brush away the growing pangs of a headache. Gathering her hair up and out of her face, she pulled it back into a ponytail. The little uneven edges tickled her neck and she looked back at her cleared email again. No new messages. 

She sat in SteamCloud until lunch hour. Then, when the regular patrons poured through the door on their breaks, she packed her bag, tipped thankfully after wrapping up her bill, and returned to the pavement. 

The little park across the street called to her - a tantalizing undertow of what if, what if, what if, what if. She ignored it and turned back towards Pennington Street, her feet clap-clapping the cobblestone. What-if's were best ignored when you could see beyond their teasing to the dark whispers they muttered. Most what-if's were harmless, but Candice's what-ifs were not and she knew better than to let them get the best of her. She'd allow, every now and then, a well behaved perhaps or even a remember, but not a what-if

After all, it was a what-if that forced her to SteamCloud every morning. That was the only what-if she would allow in her life; one was trouble enough and she refused to let more take over her thought-space. 

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Her bag felt extra heavy today. Reaching the entrance to her apartment complex, she punched in the gate code and let herself through to the stairwell. Her bag slapped her hip again as she closed the gate behind her, checking twice to assure herself. 

The stairwell was a rickety old fellow. All wrought-iron and twisting in its upwards manner. It was terribly noisy and Candice always tried to muffle her steps to no avail. Once you were on the stairwell there was nothing you could do about making your presence known to every neighbour in earshot. She tried to climb it as swiftly as possible - right to the top floor. Then it was a left turn, thirty steps, and her front door. 

The poor thing was battered and peeling and normally Candice gave it a pat as she unlocked and let herself in. 

Today was different. 

Her door was different. 

Pinned to the very center, right at the level of her headache, was a thick letter upon a bronze nail -- her poor door -- and practically dripped luxury. 

The blood drained from Candice's face. 

There was only her name, written in elegant cursive, on the packaging. 

She was frozen in place, staring at her name as it stared back at her. 

Then, like a rabbit unfreezing from the choking glare of a wolf, she fled. 

The hallway remained empty. Her footsteps thrashing the iron stairwell soon disappeared into a distant ringing, until even this eventually faded from the atmosphere. 

The letter simply hung there - pinned on that glaringly bronzed nail; Candice's name gleaming back, frozen in an endless weeping of ink. 


*******

Signed with a blackbird feather,

Squeaks.

February 13, 2018

Sifted City Hero {A Poem}


18.02.13 - Sifted City Hero
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Ashed words filter down, flecked and smoldering from flame
Flitting, floating, flatly coming to rest against pale skin. 
Here I stand in the wreckage, the ruin --
Distempered skyline drips oil and fire on the billowy aftermath.
Sheet-like gray as a cold counter, 
Careless and loveless, like a necrotic old woman
Hacking up laughter at the street corner,
Bluish and greenish, salivating at every word dripping
Slipping from the maw of men. 

They cradled you, tempered you with metal and stone;
They plundered you, deep and dark and dismal
They curved their sickled fingers around the outline 
Of your cityscape and you cracked and crumbled.

Red red, red as the blood from the corner of your lips,
Pulse pulse, pulsed out and pulsed away. 
I am standing here, watching you stumble, fall, flicker
You can't stand under the crush of the sky
As it glares down, glittering anger and greed. 
But I will stand for you. 
I will hold you as you crumble, crash and break. 
I won't leave you as you disappear into the soil
To mix with earth and stardust. 
You won't be alone through this end. 

Here I stand, staring at the ripped ethereal inverted globe
Reflecting the chaos and culture of a dying world.
Shifting smoke and smelted gold,
Sticking, slipping, seething eastward. 

Here I stand, last guardian of the rift between realities - 
Battleworn, rusted, regulated war-child. 
Here I cling to my weapons, leathered long and daggered,
Rising up I surge through mud and blood and refuse, 
They cling to my body, curving possessively, 
But called by gravity, they resist momentarily
Before slinking homeward. 
And I stand, heavy-booted, heel-toeing up and out. 

You'll watch me suffer, climb and stand 
Conquer pit and beast, stand. 
Conquer wrath and rage, stand.
I stand, and I demand my land returned, 
And I will stand and stand in stalwart patience,
Ripping heart and teeth from enemy lies,
Till I have returned this city to rest. 

Forbid me passage: may you fear. 
I come to cleanse and heal and clear.




Inspired by Until We Have Faces by Red (album), N8Bennett's discussion of superheros, and red eyeshadow.

Signed with a dystopic breeze, 
Squeaks.
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