Box

Such a pretty box. Wrapped up in gold, bound with a striped ribbon. So pretty I almost don’t want to unwrap it. It’s so big, but I can still hold it up and shake it gently. There’s a pleasing rattle. Something inside.

You tell me to open it.

I tear off the ribbon, rip the gold paper. Slice apart the bit of tape holding the lid shut with your knife. I open the box, look in.

But it’s so dark in there. I can’t see. I only see shadows. Black shadows and… something white.

You tell me to get inside.

The Apothecary, excerpt III

An excerpt from The Apothecary, a romantic horror novelette:

He gave me calming tea that tasted of flowers. He apologized for having no cake or biscuits to serve along with it, as he wasn’t used to having visitors. That was fine though; as much as I liked him, it would have been hard to eat with that mask watching me, crawling like maggots.

In my childhood innocence, and with my da not around to shush me, I asked him what was under it.

“Nothing interesting,” he said. He voice always seemed to come from far away. “I think you’d much rather see something like this.”

He swept a powder into the candle on the table between us and the flame danced gold and silver.

I laughed and he gave me some of the powder so that I could throw it into the fireplace, and the whole room danced gold and silver, including his mask. But that didn’t distract me entirely from questioning him. I ran to his side and said “Where’d you learn all this?”

 

The Apothecary, excerpt II

An excerpt from The Apothecary, a romantic horror novelette:

That first time I met him, he towered above me, encased in a black cloak. At first glance I thought he had no face, until I saw the mask wavering in the shadows.

I was terrified. I hid behind my da as the frightening figure knelt before me and opened a little paper packet. He blew on it – though how he did so with the mask there I couldn’t tell – and fairies and unicorns danced in all the colors of the rainbow in the air between us.

The mask would continue to induce repulsion in me every time I saw it quiver, but I found other emotions were placed beside this repulsion – expectation, wonderment, joy. He gave me sugary candies better than any candy I had ever tasted, and something he called chocolate, which was better than anything at all I had ever tasted. He set off miniature fireworks in the rafters of his workspace. He sprinkled a powder over his sheep in their pen that turned them blue and pink. It was something new every time I got the opportunity to visit.

The Apothecary, excerpt I

An excerpt from The Apothecary, a romantic horror novelette.  It might seem familiar, ’cause I based it off a drabble I’ve previously posted.

“Alisandra?”

I’m jerked out of my daydream by the sound of his voice. I’ve been staring.

“Are you all right?” the apothecary asks. The firelight plays over his mask in blacks and oranges. It’s always so dim here in his home, the windows shuttered tight against the sun, leaving only the hearth fire and the candlelight to illuminate the jars of liquids and powders and plants.

But I always study his mask.

“Yes!” I say, too forcefully. “I’m fine.”

“Then, here is the poultice for midwife Bera.” He holds the tiny paper packet out to me. Though his hands are gloved, I still shiver when my fingers brush his.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” he asks. His mask roils and wavers as if insects crawl under it. “Your face is flushed. I can fix you something, whatever’s the matter.”

I clutch the packet to my chest as if that can slow my heart. “It’s nothing. I just… ran all the way here. Well, goodbye. Ms. Bera’s waiting.”

I dart out the door before he can say anything else. I run down the path all the way to the road before I stop to collect myself.

Stupid, I tell myself. Stupid. Stupid. How can you love a man that won’t show you his face?

A Book

It’s raining on us, the cover of our book soaked through. The fields outside the window are flooded and water runs down the walls. It’s alright though. Someone will find us.

The wind is blowing, flipping our pages back and forth, back and forth. We sway from side to side, unable to keep balance. A page tears, and we watch the earth crack. It’s okay. Someone will find us.

The snow is covering the pages. The words are fading. The fields outside are gone. The walls are vanishing to white. The others are lost.

I wait.

Someone will find me.

Pen

He gave me a pen. I thought it would give me stories and pictures. But not these kinds of stories or pictures. I don’t mean to write these things. I don’t mean to draw these things. These are not mine.

They are the pen’s.

Don’t look at me like that. This isn’t me. These words, these creatures. I try to use the pen and it does this. It comes from the pen, seeping out from the tip in red ink. He put these things in the pen.

This ink and his blood, it’s one and the same.

I’ll show you.

The Snow

MERRY CHRISTMAS.

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Drabble

Don’t go out in the snow. It’s crimson and viscous. Not at all like it used to be. Once it was pure white and like dust, like sugar coating the landscape.

Don’t go out in the snow. It’s thick and it grips feet and legs. Once it was calm. Once we used to walk through it.

We used to throw it and kick it in the air.

We used to never care that it might fall on our heads.

Don’t turn your face to the snow. Don’t let it settle in your eyes.

It isn’t like it used to be.

The Apothecary

This is the last one from the list!  And this one was hard to come up with, probably only because it was the last.  As for other things, I’m working on rewriting some short stories that are part of a series, so I still might not be posting quite so much.

Drabble

He held the tiny paper package out to her, and his leather mask slithered and roiled, as if something crawled beneath it. “This is the poultice for Midwife Bera.”

Though his hands were gloved Alisandra still felt her heart flutter when his fingers touched hers.

“Are you ill?” he asked. “Your face is flushed. I can prepare you something.”

“No!” Her cheeks grew hotter as she smiled at his kindness, always his kindness. “I’m fine.”

She sighed when the door closed behind her. How stupid to fall in love with someone who would never show you their face.

Lost and Found

Found: lost soul. Appears ancient, but in actuality quite young. Wispy and dreamy. Blue and gold. Was found near bus stop in Georgetown.

Sarah looked up from her laptop, out the window at the drizzling rain. The fog it made on the window brought those words back to her mind: Wispy and dreamy. Blue and gold. She had lost her soul so long ago, but this one sounded like hers.

But it couldn’t be hers. Search as she did through the classifieds, no lost and found column could describe her soul.

Her soul was dead.

You just know these things.

United

I’m ready.

The mask is drawn over my face and head, as it’s drawn over yours.

Soon we’ll be one mind, united. I’ve been waiting for this day ever since the day I first met you. I’ll be every part of you from this moment on, and you’ll be every part of me, one mind in two bodies.

It begins, and I see your inner thoughts. They are… Ugly. Hideous. Spiteful. Hateful. You don’t even love me; you just saw this as a means to an end.

Oh God.

I can see all of you.

And you’re in me now.