13 Kisses in the Dark

She thought it impossible to love anyone more than she loved her magic. Then he said, I’m yours—and meant it—and impossible was nevermore.

“I let them take you. I knew, and I still let them.” The dirt that had sucked her lover’s screams felt cold against her wet cheek. “I wish I could change it. I would give everything I am for a chance—” The idea hit her so abruptly that it was as if it had been born in someone else’s head.

Fueled by desperate hope, she took the shape of a white hare and ran to the Crafter’s cottage.

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“It’s not wise to walk these woods in your fur,” the Crafter said, without looking away from the parchment he was working on. “They’ve been felling trees and turning stones looking for you.”

Crossing the Crafter’s threshold and resuming her human shape, she said, “Can you write my husband out of wherever they’re imprisoning him?”

“I can write anyone anywhere, my girl. But—”

“I’m with child. I know they’re keeping my husband alive to use his magic to rip our babe out of my wound as soon as she’s big enough to breathe on her own… That’s in three nights.”

“They will track you, my girl.”

“Not if you write us into a story your masters will never read.”

The Crafter put down his quill. “Crafting a story world takes weeks.”

“What about that one?” She pointed at the scribbling-covered parchment in front of the Crafter.

He shook his head. “This is a place for punishment, a place where… they hurt people like us.”

“My husband and I will shield our child. We’ll do anything for her. That’s what parents are supposed to do. But I was wrong to expect—”

“They will burn you alive, in this story world,” the Crafter yelled, hurling his quill against a wall.

“We can hide,” she said. “You became slave to people you despise, so those you love could live. My husband and I would give up our magic to protect our child.” She put a hand on his shaking shoulder. “No story world can be too terrible, if we get to be together and alive, Father.”

“They will force me to tell them where I wrote you,” he said.

“I’ll drink your memory of me,” she said, placing a dusty tin cup on the table.

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By the sounds of quill and kettle, the Witch brewed a forget-me tea, and the Crafter wrote his daughter and her family into a story world where the wrongs of magic were made right by fire.

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She poured the tea in the cup. He handed her the parchment with the words she would need to escape their world. His face was warm and wet with tears, when she put her hands on his cheeks and began to chant:

Thirteen kisses in the dark,
they’ll taste of moon full
and of sun-bright;
thirteen touches of my lips,
they’ll make me yours
and keep you mine.

Thirteen kisses in the dark,
they’ll bring oblivion
and memory seep;
thirteen touches of my lips,
in your mind I’ll be nothing
after this sleep.

He slumped forward the thirteenth time she kissed his temple, sipping his last memory of her. Gently, she laid his head down on the table and watched him through blurry eyes until each line of his face was branded in her heart.

They had agreed to leave the empty cup on the table and some forget-me tea in the kettle. His masters would find him spelled, and realize he didn’t remember her. And they would never hurt him; not when he was the only living Crafter, and the other one was unborn and lost to them.

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Inspired by “13 Kisses”, winner of From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 3; and linked to Vanessa Valencia’s Witches Tea Party. Fly over to A Fanciful Twist and see what everyone else is brewing. Oh, and beware of tin tea cups… you know, just in case.

Tin Tea Cup, from Analogue Lifevia

From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 3

It has been a while, since the last time I hosted From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction. Well, now that Witches in Fiction 2015 is almost over (I still have to hear from some of the giveaway winners), I need to get back to the never-ending chaos that is my blogging routine.

I know this is a Friday event, but… I want to use the piece of your choosing as my entry for A Fanciful Twist’s yearly Witches Tea Party. The blog party starts on Saturday, October 24th.

So, my Luvs, which of the following Poem Bits would you like me to brew into a flash fiction tale (of 713 words or fewer) or a full-length poem for the witchy tea party?

Below, I’ve included some of the blackout and handwritten poems I’ve shared since “Always”, the last story before Witches in Fiction 2015 (in reverse chronological order); your mission, if you choose to run with it, is to leave a comment letting me know which of the Poem Bits you would like to see expanded, and in what form. And because everyone appreciates a bit of listing:

1) Which poem do you wish me to develop?
2) Would you like your choice to be flash fiction or longer poetry?
3) *optional* Why?

On Saturday, October 24th, I will turn the Poem Bit with the most votes into a story or a longer poem, depending on your choices. Please, cast your vote before October 23rd at 1:13pm EDT.

“Toxic”
Toxic people are damaged energy. Prevent them.”
– blacked out from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind

“13 Kisses” (Typed—shared on Instagram and Facebook)
Thirteen kisses in the dark,
they’ll taste of moon full
and of sun-bright;
thirteen touches of my lips,
they’ll make me yours
and keep you mine.

“Bones” (handwritten, not blacked out)
love sculpted flower
at twilight, a yard of bones—
remembrance in bloom

“Rotten” (handwritten, not blacked out)
faith hysteria
I remember the Witches—
rotten mistrial

“Warping”
Her will is warping
(dangerous)
under the damage—
abrading might
to weaken bindings.
– blacked out from Caring for Your Book

“Autumn” (handwritten, not blacked out)
in the morn, Autumn
city nature shifts colors—
my potato sprouts

“Demand Wings”
Energy is creative.
Transform your fall
into power to rebuild self,
to renew bone and blood;
demand wings.
– blacked out from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind

“Mine” (handwritten, not blacked out)
I preserve your life
sweetened in rosemary and honey;
death took flesh and bones,
but love, laughs and memories
will always be mine.

“Poetry”
Poetry alighted the dark,
finished the screams,
drummed the soul
moon-bright.
– blacked out from Rio Youers’ “Quoth the Rock Star”, in Required Reading Remixed I.

“Become”
Become your necessity;
matter.
– blacked out from Caring for Your Book

“I Live”
I write art
on purists,
on blank leaves,
on Magic;
I live.
– blacked out from Caring for Your Book

For images of the listed Poem Bits… visit me on Instagram.

Toxic