The Occulta

Photo by Todd McKinley

Sybil awoke to the sounds of birdsong. It was a strange sensation, almost foreign.

How long have I been surrounded by dead stone?

She opened her eyes and beheld more green than ever has been seen in her short life. A veritable sea of green stretches through the sky, with only traces of blue between reaching limbs.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, unable to keep her feelings contained. She was a child again, a feeling of wonder sinking deep into her mind. Vast trees as big around as entire citadel towers stood all around her, reaching impossible heights.

“I never . . . Not this much,” she felt herself say. Beneath her, the ground sank into a soft spongy moss. She wanted nothing more than to languish in the spot and giggle to herself. But years of learned propriety forced her to stand and take a survey of the situation.

She was alone, or so it seemed. The sounds of trickling water filled the air about her.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” she asked, knowing full well there would be no answer.

Silence.

Somewhere far off a bird took to flight, it’s wing beats almost a scream in the forest.

“Hello?” she called again. Nothing.

Call out with your mind, a sudden thought spoke to her, as if whispered in her ear.

Ask us, anything.

The sudden intrusion into her mind left her speechless, and thoughtless. Her legs faltered and she fell back upon the heap of green moss.

“Who are you?” she blurted out, and then remembered the words she’s heard.

Who are you? Sybil asked, her mind echoing as never before as if her thoughts were being listened to, are you there?

Yes, came the reply, more powerful than she could comprehend, yes we are here.

Sybil looked up at the trees once more and then it dawned on her.

The trees.

Who are you, she asked again feeling her confidence grow.

There was a pause and then the trees reverberated.

We are the Forest Occulta.

-M.E. InkOwl

The Devil’s Tooth


Photo by Todd McKinley

It’s said that when the light was divided from the dark, and land torn from the sea, the Darkness could not contain his jealousy.

In anger, he pulled away from the light with jaws of poisonous death.

The light cast him from the heavens, her scorn white hot and eternally sprung.

With mouth spread wide, the Darkness fell, an ungodly scream born from his throat.

And break he did, with shattered teeth upon the mortal realm.

But one tooth stuck fast to a mountain’s peak, never to move again.

And upon that mount darkness grew, from silver-white tooth divine.

-M.E. InkOwl

Guest Submissions Wanted

Calling out to all writers and bloggers who would like to be featured for the month of February! The Ink Owl will be once again taking submissions from guest bloggers and writers to be featured throughout the month of February. (Let’s see how many times I can reword that statement.) Anyway, I always call February the “Month of Love” because it’s never a lovely month to me. I feel like I always end up slogging through the month with all the gray melting snow and bare trees. But not this year!

This year I’d like to shake things up with a new challenge, one that will hopefully test your limits as a writer. This month I would like submissions to be about self-love. Not self-obsession, narcissism, or conceitedness, but actual, genuine self-love.

As defined by Merriam-Webster online dictionary self love is: regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.

Guidelines

I would like guest writers to compose a piece that is about having self-love or compassion for themselves.

This piece can be in poetry form, journal entry, or letter form but must be addressed to you, yourself, the writer.

As always there is a limit of 50 to 1700 words.

You can submit your piece to this email: michael.erickson512@gmail.com

Submissions will close on February 1st. (I usually end up extending it.)

You’re probably scratching your head, or at the least scrolling through to someone else’s post, but I hope you stop and consider participating. I think each of us could use a little more compassion for ourselves, and we learn best by doing.

-M.E. InkOwl

Smiles Upon The Ice

Hunting in the light of a darkening day,

I found you carved between ribbons of ice.

Snow wreathed you brow with a crown of diamonds,

And touched your lips with a sweet dusting of opals.

An age of time had passed since I’d seen you last,

Yet there in the cold flesh of a dying afternoon you were there.

A smile touched your lips,

One of bemused serenity and softened with a cherished thought.

I was too late to save you in the Autumn of our youth,

And now winter has laid its claim upon you.

-M. E. Inkowl

Beyond The Forbidden

Photo by Todd McKinley

“Quickly now!” hissed Temporus, his voice clicking with impatience, “you see, there, the Bridge of Agrust!”

Below them, the sea crashed upon jagged rocks, seething white and dark azure foam. Mareth pause for an instant, following two of the Calvarig’s slender arms. Around her, Icarus Worn, and the others stood at the edge of broken coastline. Beyond them, across the swirling bay,  foreign stones bespoke safety.

A scattering of islands spanned the divide. Between each a graceful bridge arches from one island to the next.

“The Emperor’s Road,” stated Worn, a note of relief coloring his usually stoic tone.

“We’re close!” said Icarus with a smile. Mud covered his sweaty face, and the dark circles under his eyes showed only a hint of the exhausted they all felt, but they had made it.

“Father should be waiting at the end of that road!” Icarus cheered, starting forward after Temporus. Other beleaguered crewmen took heart at Icarus’s youthful excitement. She watched as bowed heads and wear limbs livened up, and even join in a quiet cheer.

Mareth wanted to share in her companions excitement, but unease rippled within her mind.

Something’s not right, she thought, looking back at the sea, there’s something . . . wrong.

Beyond her then sea moved, roaring in tandem with her deepening fear.

A shadow moved across the noonday sun, and for a moment the feeling left Mareth, that was until she heard the screams.

-M.E. InkOwl

Of Ink and Ice

What fell designs have besieged my mortal mind?

For winter has come calling, bring ice and snow upon the revery of autumn.

I am craven, stark-raving by a change of scene.

Spring fork the hounds of my imagination to roll and bark in banks of white.

Inspiration falls as soft as icy down, crystallizing around my ears.

Now is the time to feverishly place pen to paper.

Stories come now unbidden in the darkest hours of an arctic winter.

I can not contain them, my head spills forth with their songs.

Winter’s inspiration has struck me to my core.

And I must write.

-M.E.

Through a Haunted Glass

Photo by Todd McKinley

What secret lies beneath the sleeping wood?

Where mists of doubt and lies cling to root and stone.

With much stillness, does darkness wait below the silvered surface.

For with the steps of mortal man wake ripples of forgiveness.

Why would the child wake the sleeping giant, to heal it’s mortal wounds,

When would creation fall before the blackness of oblivion?

Which path will you take now? The road lies shatter between each trunk.

From here the Deepening lies Unending.

-M.E. InkOwl

Snow

 

 

 

Individual

Containing infinity,

Distinct, Unique, whole.

-M.E. InkOwl

January On The InkOwl

Welcome to January on The Ink Owl! This month will continue to have selections from my story, The Darkwell Chronicles. I’ve loved hearing feedback on such a personal story that I want to share more.

Between these excerpts I have decided to feature a series of winter poems. I think the mix of these two will provide an interesting read for all of you. Thank you for your views, likes and, thoughts on my writing, it is greatly appreciated! Happy reading to you all.

-M.E. InkOwl

Parmara, Shield of the Sea

 

Photo by Todd McKinley

 

Between sea and land,

Upon white teeth of a winding shore.

There lays a city of ruin and growth,

Continually beings swallowed by the sea, and rising from fields of green.

It is where Chimerans reside.

Creatures of myth and strangeness beyond imagining.

Continuously caught between an Empire and it’s rebellions,

Parmara continues to shine, a hardy jewel among tumbling stone.

Shield of the Sea, it means.

For once the crumbling towers and city walls were young and strong.

On one side the sea raged, desperate to destroy the foundation of stone.

Yet as wars clashed from all sides, the city remained, forever between the sea and land.

For hundreds of years, thousands of people come and gone,

Parmarian towers still stand, shielding the land from its eternal nemesis.

Forever caught between.

-M.E. InkOwl