Energy Gifts

I make trinkets out of my horrors.

Remember that railroad spike? No, love, not the one impaling society-spawn shame to rotting tongues I want nothing from—that one can’t be removed without reviving dead brains or touching hearts that lie… lie as elusive as the common-sense continuum. I’m talking about the rusty one, the one clad in bloody screams from trembling young lips (my trembling lips). Yes, love, the spike that tried to break my teeth, the one that scared me (once), I turned it into a bouquet of nightmares that sits charmingly outside time, guarded by sentinels crafted out of all your energy gifts.

I shall never run
out of shields, my wicked love,
not if I have you

 

 

the (not so) wee notes…
– some people have justifiable (even cool) phobias. Then, there is me: I have a mostly irrational fear of rust. So, when a friend (who has seen what rust can do to me) said, “What is a jar of giant rusty nails doing by your bed?” I told her the truth: “They are doing absolutely nothing. They probably want to, but they can’t. See that lovingly grinning skull? It was a gift from my boy. The stones, crystals, marbles? Gifts from different friends. All of them guardians. Rust can’t touch me.” The latest boost to my shield is a spoon made of horn bone. Yep, now one of my sentinels can also make sure that I never run out of spoons. Thank you so much, Kerry.

Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

 

Blood-Shod Witch Can’t Tell the Old Lie

Georgia ran into her sister’s back. She had tried to stay awake, but flesh betrays mind when a tired body has been marching for hours in the dark.

“Sorry, sis. My eyes closed on me. Are we stopping?”

“No,” Xiomara whimpered the word. “I had to slow down. My feet are too swollen.”

“I took my boots off after the fifth blister burst,” Georgia said. “I’m blood-shod. We should take a break.” Her pack was already dragging her down to the ground. She surrendered to its weight, and let herself collapse.

“Not here, sis.” Hunger and exhaustion had muffled the sounds of fireballs hitting trees and claiming souls, but a witch’s brain is especially good at prioritizing when survival is at stake. “We are too close to the rebels.” Xiomara looked behind her. “We’ll be slaughtered, if we—”

The putrid, greenish mist of a flesh-melting airhex engulfed Xiomara’s body before Georgia could block the killing curse. Her right hand flew to her throat. The other reached for her sister.

Georgia tried a purification spell, but she was energy barren. She had used the last of her strength during a self-healing attempt that failed. She watched as her sister drowned in the thick fluid of her own melted tongue. The sight and smell of Xiomara’s liquefied innards oozing out of her nose, ears, eyes… filled Georgia’s mouth with bile. She swallowed it down and tried screaming, but no sound crossed her lips.

.
Casilda hovered above Georgia’s sleeping form. She stopped chanting, waited until the Energy Law Enforcement Commander’s body twitched less violently. She was about to stop the nightmare spell, when Georgia’s words came back to mind. “We’ll get rid of three healers,” she had said. “Most ELE witches are capable of self-healing, so why waste funds? We need to attract younger ones, less expensive witches, if we are to mold the future.”

The words boiled inside Casilda’s heart. The changes did not affect her directly—she was a warrior, not a healer. But she refused to be part of ELE after the healers were terminated. She tried reasoning with Georgia when the casualty count surpassed the number of names at roll call. Nothing worked. Seasoned witches continued to die of wounds. The pay of a veteran witch was used to hire ten novices who were ready to give their lives for what they thought they believed in. So many died in Casilda’s arms…

The memory filled her eyes, squeezed her heart. She bit her lips until she tasted blood, and continued chanting her interpretation of Owen’s words into the other witch’s nightmare:

“Your sister drowns in the thick
fluid of her melted tongue.
Innards ooze
out of her nose, ears, eyes…
Your mouth fills with bile.
You swallow, but can’t scream
your desperation.
You want to help your sister.
You want forgiveness,
try to say you did it for the greater good,
but choke on your own treachery—
a blood-shod witch can’t tell The Old Lie.”

Casilda knew her actions weren’t commendable. Not even fair. But fairness had been slaughtered a long time ago. And she was going to do all she could to make sure the murderers felt the loss.

.
the wee notes…
– Inspired by Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est”.
– First published in 2011. I revised it… just a bit.