Quick step, tip toe,
Secret breath, let go.
Lie still, stay calm,
Hear this, somethings wrong.
Creaking stair, silence falls,
Don’t move, watch the walls.
Burst of sound, throaty call.
Fetted breath, raking claws.
Bitting deep, breaking bone.
Gasping shrieks, snapping jaws.
Moaning pain, rattling air.
Endings begin in a darkening lair.
Hush, murder sweet is calling.
Dost thou hear the music rankle?
Cackle gleefully to ones self?
Shush, now hear it speaking.
Pleading close, secret keeping?
From whence did you fall?
Whisper, come close and feel the blister.
Plead did you for mercy dear?
Whining now for mother near?
Silence, a shadow moves.
Flee, run, dare look back?
Never knowing what’s in the black?
Quiet now, safety found.
Surrounded by four walls, they’ll hold me strong?
Squeeze eyes shut, sing a song, I was dreaming all along?
Hush now, I never left.
Feel my chill, break a sweat.
Hush, murder sweet, I never left.
Silence . . . wails!
when she felt cold pricks
slowly trace her spine, she knew
he found her again
Author Bio: L. Stevens lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two dogs. When she isn’t writing, she is exploring local sites for inspiration and watching morbid amounts of true crime documentaries.
You can read more from L. Stevens here.
Sarah planted both hands on the railing of the boardwalk and peered down at the murky water and ferns. The signs for the preserve had advised to look down at the water as well as out at the trees to spot wildlife. So far, she had only spotted a tangle of wilting pink balloons ensnared in a cypress tree.
She sighed, hoping to spot an alligator, or at least a wading bird before leaving. When she spotted the small, pink sneaker sticking out the mud instead, she leaned closer, fearing the worst. It wasn’t until the little girl sat up from the muck, a crimson gash contrasting with her grey, sallow skin, that Sarah began to scream in earnest.
L. Stevens lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two dogs. When she isn’t writing, she is exploring local sites for inspiration and watching morbid amounts of true crime documentaries.
You can read more from L. Stevens here.
Blood and tears,
Sweat and bones,
From deep with a well I pulled myself forward.
Let go of the past to reach for the future,
I rise from the dark to bask in the warmth.
Breath in, breath peace,
Close your eyes,
Count slowly to ten.
Picture open spaces,
With a cool breeze wandering by.
Release in a hiss, that captured breath.
Open your eyes and begin.
Anxiety is in my periphery,
As a jackal stalking a wounded prey.
Life burns within me inspiring mania,
Even as jaws of failure click shut just beyond my sight.
Slip of foot and tilt of rock,
Break of sweat and pound of blood.
Hear our voices raised in dread,
For the beast will soon be fed.
Wipe the canvas,
Color bold and do not faint,
The road will tumble on.
Wield the brush and twist the hand,
Till our freedom’s bought again.
Call the horn,
Set a pace.
The hue is running onward.
I write to all of you from one of the many computers I’ve used over the past two and a half years that fueled The Ink Owl. As many of you know I work in healthcare on night shift. Much of my stories, musings, poetry and the like have all shared one vital component: they began on the night shift.
It was between the night owls, sleeping patients and ghosts that much of my writing became something. And the people I shared the midnight hours will forever impress upon my mind and heart.
It’s more emotional than I thought. I sit here headphones playing soft music , while my fellow nursing staff talk and chart around me. The lights dim and patient call lights grow still, for a time. I see faces and share smiles with those who have transferred patients, held pressure, compressed sternums, administered pain relieving drugs, and shared more laughs than many other people in my life.
The Ink Owl was born from the deepest parts of the night, surrounded by the most human company I’ve been able to be a part of, a family.
As the pages turn and I reflect on this part of my life I can see the bad and good from numerous experiences. All weave together forming a tapestry full of my darkest and brightest hours.
And now I move forward to the next chapter of life. And it has a classroom. 🙂