There had always been something about Ariel, something more than just her beauty, that drew men to her like possums to rotten meat. When she was just a baby, young men and old alike oohed and aahed above her crib; then in grade school, it was the bullies who gave her their lunch money; later still, other women’s husbands made fools of themselves around her. And in Ariel’s old age, cranky old men–who weren’t quite so cranky when she was near–drooled over her at Westlake Nursing Home.
Westlake Nursing Home . . . Ariel’s and my home these past seven years.
We’re old ladies now, my sister and I, but the men still crowd around her like pigs rooting in a trough, she takes from them what she needs, and the horror goes on.
I was almost six the night Ariel was born.
Just after sundown, Daddy came out of the bedroom where Mama had cried and yelled all day long, and shut the door behind him. “Look, Katherine.” He squatted down beside me and folded back a corner of the pink blanket, revealing a rosy-cheeked face framed by wispy, blonde hair. “This here is Ariel, your sister. Ain’t she just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?” His eyes were all shiny bright, blue lights peeking out of a field of brown hair and whiskers.
She looked like a plain, ordinary baby to me, nothing to get excited about. But I said what Daddy wanted to hear. “Uh huh.”
The bedroom door opened, and Grandma Eula stuck her head out. Her dark eyes fastened on Daddy. “Thought you was going after the doctor.” Behind the solid, gray wall of grandma’s dress, I heard Mama moaning.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. “Is Mama all right?” Continue reading

Sin Eater

I summon thee, oh Sin Eater
Come to me this night.
Break your bread upon my marble breast,
Your wine from my belly white.

Do not let your eyes wander
To the shroud that covers my face.
Lest not curiosity guide your hand
To lift the ivory lace.

My soul has abandoned my body
Leaving a hunger that burns bright.
If you are foolish and lift the gossamer fabric
You will forever become mine tonight.

Saphire eyes will enchant and enthrall you,
Crimson lips will bewitch and beguile.
Though my countenance promises heaven,
Damnation hides behind my smile

I summon thee, oh Sin Eater,
Purify my soul…ingest my wicked heart.
Then be gone from my unholy crypt
Before I drink your will to depart.


imageHow many ladies here are are married? Ah . . . I see lots of hands raised. And how many of you ladies married Mr. Not-Quite-Perfect, but thought you could fix those pesky one or two little flaws? Didn’t happen, did it?

And how many of you men out there in the blogosphere are mystified as to why your blushing bride started trying to change you before the rice had hardly settled? You probably wonder why she married you in the first place; after all, she knew what you were like before she said “I do.”

I don’t claim to understand this anomaly, but I do know it’s real.

A few years ago, I happened upon a song on YouTube told from the man’s point of view regarding change. It’s a good song with a good beat, and the words, well, just give them particular attention as you listen.

Awesome dancing included . . .


A Christmas Story–2035

Charlie Arbuckle woke up and was still alive; God hadn’t answered his prayers.

He raised a dirty hand, shading his sore eyeballs against the sickly rays that passed for sunlight, while his other hand scrabbled through the damp newspapers that made up his bed, searching for the cool, smooth feel of glass. Ah, there it was. He unscrewed the lid, thanking God–he could do that here: thank God–he’d put it back on before passing out the night before. Hadn’t lost a drop.

Charlie brought the quart jar to his chapped lips. The fiery liquid trickled into his mouth. He swished it around, killing the god-awful taste, and swallowed. Esophagus blistered, stomach scorched, his mind came fully awake.

He pushed up on his elbows, feeling the cans and bottles and garbage and Lord-knew-what-else shift beneath the padding of newspapers, and inched his way backward until he came in contact with the greasy side of the dumpster that had been his home for the past two weeks. A little more wallowing about and he was sitting up.

He took another small sip from the jar of homemade whiskey, then replaced the cap. Had to conserve it. Didn’t know where he’d get the money to pay John Graywolf to smuggle in another. Continue reading

Two From One

gelid night of the soul . . .
January ice chills the heart
many times it has been torn open
the last assault cleaved it apart

two halves that can’t be mended
have drifted out upon the midnight tide
far from the warmth of a human touch
in icy salt water, two pieces now abide

twin bloodied castoffs, missed by no man
rest on the crepuscular ocean floor
algid darkness separate what once was one
destined to remain two . . . forevermore

Literary agents–gotta love ’em

Literary agents come in all shapes and sizes and tastes in reading material.

For example . . .

Many years ago when I first started writing, I completed a novel (Admittedly, not a very good one.) and began submitting it to literary agents. On probably about my twentieth attempt, I received a request from a well-known agency asking to see the full manuscript. Lord, was I ever excited. Then excitement reached a whole new level, moving on to ecstasy when queried agent called to say he loved my manuscript and wished to work with me on bringing it to publication.
He made several suggestions on improving the story, which I incorporated, then sent the edited version back to him. And it was at this point he informed me he was a junior agent and had to get approval from his higher-ups on my manuscript before he could take it on, and well . . . that didn’t happen. Continue reading