Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

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Sunken Dreams

Isla was the first of her friends to arrive at the ship, as Cora and Kendra could never beat her in a race. She looked up at the ship in awe. It had sunk years before she was born, and the metal was covered in algae and rust. There was something written on the bow, but she couldn’t read much of the human language.  Kendra would know what it said, assuming she ever caught up to read it.

Isla scanned the area for signs of sharks; sunken ships were one of their favorite haunts. She thought she saw something in a porthole, but it was gone before she could identify it.

“Isla!” Cora had finally caught up with Kendra not far behind, “Why do you always feel the need to swim ahead?”

“Sorry,” Isla said, “but I was so excited to see the wreck, I forgot to slow down.”

Continue reading Sunken Dreams

Invincible

I still feel the throwing knives cut my Papier-Mache mind

As I create collages from the remains of my colorful memories.

Memories that have made me, but also eat away at my mind

Like camel crickets eating my clothes.

The holes almost unnoticeable unless you study me.

The bullets hit my beat-up armor bashing me,

The used ragdoll left in tatters,

Leaving black, blue, and green watercolor tattoos on my porcelain skin that only I can see

As I feel shame as a fragile doll, not the machine gun that I pretend to be.

The water fills my lungs as I continue surviving with five-second breaths,

As I pray for the black feather pillow softness of blackout,

But no, I am too stubborn to let go and ease into the darkness.

I’ve gotten too good at surviving, but not living.

Pushing the snowball up the mountain as it transforms into a lead boulder,

But still I don’t stop and give up,

Letting the boulder crush me, cracking my bones,

Smashing my rotten heart.

No, the blood in my veins pump

And my muscles cry out for relief that I won’t give.

My being deteriorates,

A zombie in disguise that won’t die.

No failure, no living, only surviving until nothing is left, but dust.

Such is life filled with pride.

Castle of Crows – Part 14

The hall was empty when I slipped into it, and I grabbed onto the Fortuna coin once more as I tried to decide which way to go. Left felt luckier, though it was the way we’d come from, and I quietly crept down the hall. I continued on like that, holding onto the coin and letting it guide me, always following my first instinct.

Continue reading Castle of Crows – Part 14

The Adventures of Thalia and Friends: Candy Run

Springtime is a good time for my friends and me. It starts warming up, for one thing, and then the humans all start spending time outside, which means we have free reign over their rooms. The best part of spring though, at least in my opinion, is the candy.

I’ve never been sure what it is about this time of year that causes the humans to start hoarding candy, and they don’t all do it. Last year a bird named Melpomene got trapped in the building, and she said the humans collected candy as part of a ritual for appeasing the little humans, but that never made sense to me since our building doesn’t have any small humans in it.

Regardless of why they do it, every year without fail, the humans gather up bags and bags of sugary, delicious candy, and then leave it all in their rooms to go sit outside on a blanket for no apparent reason.

Usually, it’s just Calliope and me who go on candy runs together, but today we’d been invited over by one of the rats who lived on the fourth floor, and oh, how that changed things.

“Thalia! Calliope! There you are!”

Erato greeted us with excitement in her voice, already practically bouncing with excitement. I tried not to visibly swoon. Erato is the cutest rat I’ve ever met, and she’s pretty much perfect in every possible way. Hanging out with her is amazing, but it’s also terrifying because I worry about messing things up by saying something dumb.

Today though, today we had candy to eat. And doesn’t that just make every situation better? Especially when Erato led us back to the room she liked to stay in and revealed the giant bag of colorful little beans that was sitting on the floor.

“Gosh, your humans are great,” Calliope said, staring up at the bag in awe.

“It’s being held shut by a bag clip,” Erato said smugly, grabbing onto the edge of the bag and bringing it down to our level. The simple plastic clip came off with ease, as it didn’t even require opposable thumbs to remove. Silly humans.

The bag opened, and a wave of sugary goodness spilled out across the floor. It was amazing. It was colorful. It smelled so good. It was absolutely—

“Ahhhh! Ew! Oh my god, there are rats in my dorm!”

The three of us looked up in panic to see that the door had opened and Erato’s humans had returned.

“Uh oh.”

“Eeeek! Kill it! Kill them! This is so gross!”

“We should run now.”

The House on the Hill

Far above us, there sits a house on a hill.
It sits about the valley—watching, guarding, waiting—
Removed from us who live in the valley below.

Its silhouette  marks the top of the hill,
Among the trees and the clouds that abide there.
The house rests at the top of our world,
Presiding over us all.

We don’t know what lives in the house.
No one has ever made it to the top of the hill,
Always getting turned about and emerging at the bottom.

But nothing comes down the hill,
And we are safe, here in the valley.
Safe and contained.

But I am afraid.

Afraid because we know that something is there.
Something  watches over us,
Something waits at the top of our world.

And it has never hurt us, we have never seen it,
But it keeps us trapped here, in the valley,
Never lets us see what exists pasts the top of our world.

No one else sees the house the way I do.
They believe we are safe, protected.
The house and the something within it protect us.

From what? I ask, and get no reply.

I need to know that which we do not
So I will climb the hill, which leads to the top of our world.
And I will not be turned about, and I will not return,
Until I’ve met the something
That lives in the house on top of the hill.

Spring Grass

The grass is growing green again,
Tall and dark and spread thick across the earth,
Nature’s carpeting.

The grass is growing green again,
The brown and yellow of winter is gone;
Spring is here at last.

It comes in fits and starts,
One day hot, the next so cold,
But the sun shines more every day.
As the nights grow shorter, warmer,
The grass is growing green again.

New life is rising,
Budding,
Blooming,
Growing,
Giving color to the world,
Which was so barren for so long.

The trees are budding white and pink,
The flowers blooming in rainbows,
The grass is growing green again.

The rains balance the sun,
Feeding life and cooling earth,
Washing away the woes of winter.

The grass is growing green again,
As life begins anew, fresh and thriving,
A temporary state of being, true,
But such a pleasant one.

Single Action Pistol

I’m a loaded gun with no safety.
No one knows how to take me.
See you think you’ll be okay
Because you know my triggers,
But one false move, one mistake
And I’ll fire.
I could hit you, her, or no one
So be careful where you point me.

Wanna play Russian roulette?
Then don’t be afraid to die.
This is a game of chance.
So, it’ll only be your own fault,
The blood on your hands
Playing with a girl like me.
I’ll kill you.

Don’t you know?
Dating is a game of chance, not skill.
Yeah, we decide how many bullets to load,
But you don’t load your own gun.
I load yours and hold it to your head
And unfortunately for you
I’m fully loaded.

I’m easy to trigger,
Completely neurotic,
One day anxious
Next day depressed.
Lacking control of my emotions
They pour out of me,
The blood gushing out of a cutter’s wrist.
Don’t trigger me.

See, I used to leave my gun unloaded
Pointed against his head,
So, when he pulled my trigger
He was safe from death.
He didn’t deserve that.
I trusted him because he had protected me
So, I was unarmed.
Surprise! His gun was loaded
And when I pulled his trigger
I wish I had died
Because he betrayed me
For loving someone else.
I promise I’m fully armed now.
Don’t fuck with me.

Castle of Crows – Part 13

It took a while before the fear faded enough for me to move again. I crept out from behind the couch carefully, taking in the wreckage of the once beautiful room. There was broken glass, loose feathers, and even blood scattered across the room. Several pieces of furniture had been smashed, and I flinched as my mind matched the wreckage with the thuds and crashes I’d heard earlier.

I moved towards an opened but undamaged armoire; had someone been hiding in it? I replayed the fight in my head. Baron must have tried to hide in plain sight, posing as a decoration. Lilith had also likely hidden in crow form, and probably hadn’t shifted back during the fight. Which left Nixie, who had first spoken from this side of the room.

I pulled the doors open further, finding coats and scarves and, tucked in one corner, the set of glowing bottles Nixie had grabbed. She’d called them elemental grenades and said that each color was different, but she hadn’t explained them further. I grabbed them anyway; it just felt like the right thing to do. I scanned the room again, remembering one of the other objects Nixie had taken from Aunt Pen’s tower and the clatter I’d heard when Amos grabbed her.

At first, I didn’t see anything that wasn’t broken, but I also didn’t see anything that looked like it had been a box, so I decided to peek under what was left of the furniture. In the end, I found it tucked under the splintered remains of an ornate end table. Nixie’s box, which she said was a prison, and Amos had said only a human could use.

The box didn’t look very special; it was small enough to fit in my hand, made out of light wood with a carving of a Celtic knot on the top. As far as I could tell there was no way to open it, and while I could feel its power, I didn’t know how to trigger it. I sighed, the fear from earlier coming back as I slipped the box into my pocket anyway.

I was all alone in a strange world, and the only people who could help me were captured. I thought of Macey, safe in the tower with Alexei. Would the plan have worked if I’d stayed with her instead? I thought about trying to get back to her, but I didn’t know the way, and there was no amount of dumb luck that would get me back to the human world, magic coin or not.

Thinking of the coin, I slipped my hand into my pocket, rubbing it between two fingers. Was it the reason I hadn’t been caught with everyone else? And, more importantly, would it be enough to help me slip through the mansion undetected?

I felt a warm pulse of magic wash over me at the question and had the sudden feeling that yes, it could do that. I thought back to Lilith’s advice when I picked the coin, telling me to follow my first instinct. The coin had called to me then, and it seemed like it was calling to me now, telling me what to do. I took a deep breath, then turned and made my way to the door. It was time to follow my gut.

But a Memory

As I look over the cherry field
I feel eyes watching me, waiting.
There is something there, something left behind
in the garden that feels caught,
dragging from thorns I never thought to see.
With sweetness but a memory, the fruit is bitter in its absence.
The insects are clearer than ever
but they shrink as I take a step back.

Every step, growing smaller.

Until the cherries from years past shine like the setting sun,
their thorns unfurled
into leaves that brushed my bleeding hands
as they promised a treasure hidden just out of sight.
The further I back away, the more effort it takes
to remember that the cherries are a memory.

To not go running forward.

I tell myself that the orchard is gone,
that the gray briars are all that remain
of that cherry field—
the briars that I planted
as a child, in search of sweeter fruit.
In my hunger, I choked the cherries
that stood tall and still do,

But only in my memories.

Mr. Flubber

Mr. Flubber

You thought it was funny,

To rhyme my name of Glover,

Which I have a heritage with,

With a term to remind me

Why I can’t decide on what shirt to wear,

Why people grab my chest,

Why that girl smacked me on the backside,

And discuss what bra size I was,

Calling me Mr. Tiddies,

When I was only 10 years old,

When maybe the reason,

I was overweight

Has to do with the fact I wasn’t fed as a baby,

I didn’t find it funny,

I was just mentally,

Physically,

And spiritually wounded,

And why these marks on my stomach remind me

Of my messed up childhood.

Thank you,

No sarcasm,

Because you reminded me each day that I should not chew gum,

And that I should starve myself,

And that today I’m not fat with an “f”,

I’m phat with a “ph”.

Mr. Flubber

The Courier

Cometh o’er gentle stair
A steady stomp, the blast of air
Aglow in moonlight’s pallid glare
The storm of pounding, pearly mare
To guide its rider seek…
From vinework thick and forest dark
Did glow the sudden steely spark
And roar of rifle’s thunderous bark
To paint the crimson creek.

Ended was the mission dire,
Tossed from powder’s seething pyre
Splashed amid the muddied mire
Saved from roaring flash of fire
Did the courier shriek.
And did the savior rear up high
A pillar rising to the sky
Was not its purpose here to die
To save its rider, weak?

Their Day – A Snapshot

A woman walks through the garden
Golden roses with fiery edges,
Periwinkle forget-me-nots, pink hydrangeas, and yellow daffodils.
You can barely hear the gravel crunch
Under her black and brown cowboy boots
As Prayed for You by Matt Stell
Flows through the speakers
Slithering into every crevice
Of the hearts of their guests.

She crosses the old wooden bridge
Over the pond,
Notes her reflection in the water,
A mature yet young angel draped in lace,
The sunshine making her glow
Like god’s divine light shining down.

Her gaze falls on her lover
With a smile on her blushing face
And glassy happy eyes.
There he stands with a goofy smile,
Wearing a navy vest, cream shirt,
Blue jeans, and brown dress boots,
His brothers by his side
And her best friends waiting for her,
Her daddy wearing a suit, aging blue eyes,
And whitish hair that once was fiery red.
He holds her arm, leading her to the gazebo
To give her away.

The moment is here as she and her love
Stand in front of her pastor.
He reads 2nd Corinthians and Song of Songs.
They tie the knot—gold and red,
Read their vows, and finally he
Slides a titanium band on her left ring finger
Complementing the diamonds shining
On her engagement ring.
She, in turn, slips his tungsten band
On his large sandpaper rough left ring finger.
Love wraps his arms around her
And they kiss as they melt into one with God.

Another love song fills the crowd as they recess
To go take photos for lasting memories
As if they could forget this emotional day.

Later she dances with her daddy as he leads,
Far more confident than she is as she shakes
And resists the urge to look at her feet.
He holds her and twirls her
Like he did when she was five
Until the song comes to an end.

Her husband joins her on the dance floor
For I Swear by John Michael Montgomery.
Everyone who knows them knows they practiced
Because they both usually can’t dance
Unless it’s silly make fun type dancing.
He spins her round and round, dips her,
And steals kisses when he can
As if they can’t wait to be alone
Or are rather proud of this new privilege.

Dancing, food, and speeches consume the rest of the
Night until they cut the cake and smear some
On each other’s noses,
Laughing in silliness as he takes his finger
And licks it off as she blushes
Red as clown makeup.

She throws the bouquet,
Which is caught by her cousin,
Who is to be married in a year.
Her husband removes her garter,
Which is thrown and caught
By his younger brother.
Eventually, they leave ready to be alone
And live their lives together
As lifelong loving partners.

Pet Sematary Review

On April 5th, the reboot of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary hit theaters, and reminded everyone why local pet cemeteries are generally a bad idea. The remake deviates from the original 1989 version of the film, offering viewers not just a modernization but a reinterpretation of the classic tale. With powerful performances from the main cast, some very impressive special effects, and a killer score, this film is definitely worth seeing if you’re up for a little fear.

For those unfamiliar with this film, Pet Sematary follows the Creed family as they settle into their supposedly idyllic new home in rural Maine. However, their new beginning is marked by hauntings and unease, and tragedy looms over them like a shadow. The film’s scares come mostly from suspense and a sense that something terrible is about to happen, even if you don’t know what exactly that terrible thing might be. The jump scares are minimal, but there’s plenty of gore and body horror to go around, and the film certainly earns its ‘R’ rating.

Is this film the scariest ever made? Probably not, though it certainly scared me. Sure, someone in the theater I was in very loudly spilled their popcorn no less than 30 seconds in, but that wasn’t really the film’s fault. However, fans of horror will likely still find the film entertaining, and it provides an interesting new take on King’s classic story. The film makes several nods to the original, though there are a few changes that serve to breathe new, horrifying life to this chilling tale. I would recommend this film to anyone looking to experience a feeling of deep sense of unease for an hour and 40 minutes, but to anyone who would actually like to go to Maine at some point, as I’d rather not be held responsible for any lingering fears of Maine’s beautiful wilderness that develop while watching this film.

Photo by Kerry Hayes/Paramount Pictures

Take Me Home

I am 9 years old with long curly brown hair.
I am three foot tall, weighing next to nothing
With giant burnt brown eyes.
I’m on the playground sitting on the cross
Of the ship made of giant Lincoln logs
With a tearstained red blotchy face
And rosy nose snotty and swollen.
Take me home.

I am dull and unable to read or write,
But good at math though slow.
I was once happy friends with everyone,
Considered a positive “happy” girl,
Despite being stupid.

I am persecuted by adults and later children
Who were once my best friends.
I am an outcast among my peers, family;
Even those who should protect me, take turns stabbing with spears.

I smile in church,
Leading worship,
Singing “I am a flower quickly fading, Here today and gone tomorrow.”
If only… Take me home.

On the cross, I sit alone again
And all I have is you, God.
Please take me home. Continue reading Take Me Home

Child of Starlight: I.3 – P.4: Walking Death P.2

Jacobus turned around to the empty clearing now only littered with possessions and the few corpses. “Grim though it may seem, it would be a shame to leave it all. They may come back and re-arm themselves.”

Aliene handed him his pack and nodded as the two began collecting up the supplies. Jacobus dressed, adding the Schillian armor and sword, as well as a pair of heavy boots from a pile. Aliene found a purple tunic without sleeves as well. She took a recurve bow, testing the draw; satisfied, she smiled. The two picked up as much as they could and began walking, never catching sight of the other bandits.

Within an hour, the two reached a large road made from smooth stone. It stretched far into the distance in either direction. The Fuschian Road, as it was called, became a bridge of equal splendor reaching over the river they had been following. Aliene knelt down, rubbing her hand over the stone. “So this is the great pathway carved by an old Divine Mage.”

“It is the safest way to travel; some think that the magic the Divine used lingers. This keeps the beasts at bay to a degree,” Jacobus said, looking around along the tree line.

“You think magic could last that long? It was hundreds of years ago.” Aliene rose as she asked the question. Continue reading Child of Starlight: I.3 – P.4: Walking Death P.2

Castle of Crows – Part 11

The change was instant. As dim as the woods had seemed before, they were even darker now, and when I looked up I could no longer see the sky above me, but it didn’t seem like it was day anymore. When I turned back I could still see the castle, and it was even still day there, but everything past the fence was foggy and seemed distant. Baron stepped through behind me, and as he stepped through he became clearer. It was a strange thing to watch, and I turned back to look at the woods instead.

The feeling of power was intensified here, and I felt other kinds of magic besides the trees. The trees were tall, and it almost seemed like they moved every time I looked away from them. There was a clear path leading away from the fence, but it branched off the further we moved from the fence. Everything about this place seemed unnatural to me, and I was very glad that I wasn’t alone.

Lilith was leading now, and no matter how many times the trail split she never seemed unsure of where to go. It was quiet as we walked, quieter than any forest ought to be, and while we saw no creatures of any kind, I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were being watched. The forest didn’t change as we walked, and the only way I could tell that we’d moved was that I could no longer see the fence behind me, which didn’t really make me feel any better. I almost thought we must have gotten lost, but the others showed no signs of unease past their extra alertness. Continue reading Castle of Crows – Part 11

Child of Starlight: I.3 – P.4: Walking Death P.1

“I, Abijah Crimson, am a priest Cruor, the master of bloodshed.” Abijah let his arms fall slowly, then drew the claymore from his back. “You can make your deaths easier by” – he paused, fixing his gaze on Aliene – “removing anything of value.” He traced over her outline in the air with the tip of his blade, the glaring eyes shining with a dull red beneath strands of bright hair. Snickering from the group behind him made a toothy grin split Abijah’s face as his reach encompassed the two travelers.

Continue reading Child of Starlight: I.3 – P.4: Walking Death P.1

Within the Ice

Far to the North,
Before the world’s End,
There’s a cave in the Ice,
Where no mortal dare tread.

On the surface is beauty,
Blue ice rising from white snow,
Catching the light on the sun,
Hiding secrets we will never know.

Deep within those ice blue walls,
Where the world knows only cold,
Lie sleeping creatures terrible and great,
Lost since days of old.

Slumbering giants trapped below,
Alive and waiting in the dark.
The sun does not reach them there,
Yet they await its warming spark.
Within the Ice they’ve slept for years,
Creatures old and patient still.
What difference does a century make,
When faced with such an ancient will?

One day they will arise once more,
Though it’s doubtful to be soon.
When they come they’ll bring the cold,
And trap us all beneath the moon.

The world was dark and fearful once,
And one day those fears will return.
But for now, they sleep beneath the ice,
Until they feel the sun’s sweet burn.

Photo by David Rucker