Tuesday, August 31, 2010

#TuesdaySerial: Wrenge XV.

Wrenge (15)
Louise Dragon

In the big city, in the quiet nouveau district of Chelsea Street, Alec Nietupski sat sideways on his lighted front porch steps. His bulging yellowish eyes gazed intently at the mysterious winged portal above his front door.
I hope you know what you're doing, friend, he was thinking.

"You got bullets in that thing, don't you," Monks was asking Brad. "Won't matter how good a shot you are if . . . Angie? Angie?"

Brad looked up to see Monks' face drained of color. The big man, mouth wide, was gazing off over Brad's shoulder. Brad heard a sucking-pop and spun around to see a heavy set, naked woman walking toward them in the forty-degree night air. Like a sleep-walker, she slowly raised an arm toward Monks and mouthed theword "blood."

"Monks, what's going on?"

The big man was rooted, eyes wide and unseeing, like a coma patient.

"Monks!" Brad shouted, reaching up and shaking him by the shoulders. "Ernie. Who is that."

Monks shook his head and focused on Brad's face. "That's Angie," he muttered. "That's my girlfriend, Angie."

"Monks, you shithead, you told me that you killed your girlfriend."

"I did kill her. It can't be Angie, but it is. Oh, shit, it's the Memphis-Mangler. Angie's dead. It has to be the Memphis-Mangler fixed up to look like her. Kill it. Shoot it."

Brad turned toward the advancing woman. "Who are you?"

She ignored him. Did not show that she even knew Brad was there but kept advancing on Monks, who by now had retreated until his back was up against Brad's car.

Brad reached out a hand to grab her arm. The flesh was ice cold, slimy, and unyielding, like clutching a dead python. The girl kept walking, knocking Brad on his ass by the base of the big tree. This was when Brad saw the black murky shadow. A shadow so thick and viscid that it blocked out the sight of the leaves that should have been beneath it.

(Cast your shadow in his wake.)

Brad, swallowing his fear, looked up.

In a dim corner of the Morelli roof crouched an oval, purple figure, faintly glimmering against the night ski.

(Beware of watchers as you sleep, or to the eyrie your soul will creep.)

"I'm sorry Angie, so sorry. I didn't mean to do it You know I love you. I'm sorry." Monks blubbered as the Angie-thing moved in.

Brad saw her pointed finger slide into Monks' cheek like a stalk of celery into a Bloody Mary.

Monks screamed.

Brad stood and fired a shot above the thing on the roof. "I see you, bitch. I'm watching. Go to back to hell!"

A wild gust of stinking wind from the junkyard blew grit into Brad's eyes. A sobbing shriek rang out, deafening him momentarily.

Furiously rubbing his stinging eyes, with one hand, Brad lifted his gun to take a shot. This time he'd shoot the Wrenge.

It was gone.

Monks lay half under Brad's car, blood streamed from a hole in his face but he was still breathing.
Continued . . .

Link to Wrenge (1)

Winged with Death

Friday, August 27, 2010

#flashfriday: Ice Armor

Ice Armor
by Louise Dragon

The cabin squatted against the hillside like a camouflaged toad.

Terry was ever so glad to see a sign of civilization blooming in this Godforsaken forest.

“Look,” she shouted to her three hiking companions. “There’s a little cabin over there.”

Gordon shielded his eyes against the afternoon sun and quickly scanned the horizon. “Wow, babe, how’d you spot that? It looks like a relic from another generation.”

“Who cares how she saw it,” Ollie snorted. “All I know is . . . I’m friggin exhausted and if that cabin spells R-E-S-T, then I’m all for it.”

“Lightweight!” her main squeeze Wes retorted as he mopped at his red sweaty face with a jaunty blue bandana.

“I’m with you, Ollie,” Terry said sprinting toward the little hut.

“Wait, maybe someone lives here,” Gordon said quickening his pace to try and head off Terry’s arrival at the little door.

“Naw,” Terry said creaking open the heavy wooden door on its rusty hinges. She paused a moment to spit on the top hinge. “You said yourself it looks like something from another generation.”

“You unlock this door with the key of imagination,” Gordon said solemnly in his best Rod Serling voice. “Do-do, do-do, do-do, do-do,” he went on imitating the sounds of the old sixties Twilight Zone music.

“Can it!” Terry said. “You’re giving Ollie the creeps.”

Petite, blond, Olivette’s eyes had widened considerably at the strains of that old sixties television show, but now they narrowed in Gordon’s direction.

“You cut it out. I need to rest and I need to rest right now. My calves are killing me!” She brushed past Terry and Gordon into the cabin but stopped short just inside the door.

“What the . . .” Ollie’s words trailed off as the door swung inward revealing a clean modern interior that looked a million miles away from the exterior squalidness of this little structure.

“Oh shit, someone does live here!” Terry said.

“How do you know?” Ollie whined. “I just need to sit down for a few minutes. We won’t disturb anything.” She plopped into an armchair and glared at her three companions standing uneasily just inside the open door.

Plink, plink, plink came an unusual sound from the next room – everyone froze.

“Hello,” shouted Terry, “anyone home?”

More plinking sounds . . .

Terry cautiously crept around the corner to the next room. The plinking sound turned out to be a small refrigerator making moon shaped ice cubes, which plinked into a small tray in the freezer.

“Just the ice machine making ice.”

“Ice machine?” Gordon frowned. “Where is the power coming from way out here?”

“Like I said, who cares?” Ollie answered. “Terry will you bring me a giant glass of ice water, Hon?”

“Already done, Hon!” Terry emerged from the tiny kitchen with four large glasses filled to the brim with ice and water.

After passing out the glasses, Terry took a large swig from the remaining glass.


It was the only sound Terry could make. The strange shaped ice cubes fastened around her tongue and she felt coldness traveling down her throat. She shuddered as frosty tentacles of ice branched out into all of the appendages and organs of her body. As the numbing arctic fingers pried into her brain, Terry began to relax. The coldness became a welcoming coolness on this ridiculously arid planet. Internal icy armor to protect delicate new brain cells from the scorching temperatures outside of this haven.

Terry opened cool ice-blue eyes and gazed into three sets of identical peepers from around the room. She cleared her frosty vocal cords and spoke in a cool throaty alien voice.

“What a beautiful little hideaway,” she snarled. “So cool and inviting -- I’ll bet all of our friends would like to visit.”

Icy Worlds of the Solar System

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dragon Chronicles XLI

XLI. For forty years the rainbow will not appear
Greed and avarice float on Mule’s final year
Diversity brings verification to the meek
Elle struggles to bring freedom to the weak

Greed (The Seven Deadly Stones)


Monday, August 23, 2010

#TuesdaySerial: Wrenge XIV

Wrenge (14)
by Louise Dragon

At the dead end of Peebles Street, on the south side of Memphis, Monks' seedy little hovel crouched in the shadow of the barred and deserted Morelli fortress. An enormous birch tree with limbs like girders dripped red, spade-shaped leaves over a small barn in Monk's tissue-sized back yard. "Ernie's Auto & Engine Repair" was scrawled across a wide plank above the barn door. A Buick grille grinned broken teeth across a mound of old, rusted auto parts.

"Business's has been slow," Monks spoke for the first time since giving Brad the directions. "Why don't you pull her around back and pop the hood? You got a valve sticking in there."

Brad opened his mouth to protest, then decided to do as the man asked. Perhaps if he kept him busy, it would help control some of the fear that rolled off Monks like waves of electric current.

While Monks pulled out tools and busied himself under the hood of the Chevy, Brad walked about the property to get a feel of the layout. He was sure the Wrenge would remain high off the ground. Somewhere partially secluded from where it could begin its evil work without detection. That meant, the tree, the barn roof, or possibly the Morelli place.

"It's getting dark," Monks shouted from beneath the hood. "Shouldn't we go in and lock the doors and windows?"

"Na," Brad said. "Even bars on the windows didn't help your friend, Morelli. I'd rather be out in the open, where I can move around. Got any flashlights?"

"I can do better than that." Monks went into the barn and switched on a floodlight recessed into the eaves of the barn. Night shadows disappeared, leaving Brad an unobstructed view of the surrounding area. "Here's a flashlight too, just in case," Monks said, handing Brad a large red cylinder. "You any good with that thing?" He was pointing at the service revolver holstered just below Brad's left armpit.

"I can shoot a pimple off a wino's ass from two blocks away," Brad said with a nervous laugh.

Neither man noticed the dark stain growing across the fallen red leaves at the base of the giant birch tree.
Continued . . .

Link to Wrenge (1)

Green Grass in the Junk Yard

Friday, August 20, 2010

#fridayflash: Puzzling Pieces

Puzzling Pieces by Louise Dragon

“You killed him!” Dr. Lewis proclaimed.

“I had to defend myself,” I pointed out. “He would have surely hurt me.”

“You can’t know that,” the doctor said warily. “Why then did you dismember the entire body? Why did you line the pieces up so neatly across the bathroom vanity? What was the point of that?”

Some went down the toilet. My mind wandered briefly. Flushing . . . flushing . . . I can see those parts and those fingers scrabbling . . . try to get back up . . . trying to hurt me . . .

“You’re the doctor.” I breathed deeply -- trying to keep the sarcasm at bay while shaking off remembered images of terror. “Haven’t you told me time after time that I have some sort of compulsive disorder? That I can’t help lining things up in neat little rows? Desk drawers, book shelves, all neat and orderly . . . no extra pieces . . .” My voice trailed off.

“Obsessive compulsive disorder would not cause you to kill.” The doctor said. “Paranoid schizophrenia, may be a harsh diagnosis but after seeing those bloody power tools . . .” It was the doctor’s turn to trail off. He rolled his eyes back slightly and shuddered.

“Because of your age, you will be kept here in the state hospital,” Dr. Lewis told me. “No visitors, allowed -- although I believe that by now you’ve managed to kill off your entire family one by one.”

I looked at the green lizards capering across the faded yellow wallpaper and said nothing.

The lizards made nice orderly rows across the walls. Some of them had heads missing, or tails. Sometimes only half a lizard was visible and my mind wondered about the missing pieces of lizard . . .

NO EXTRA PIECES! Did I say that out loud? No, the doctor still droned on.

After he left I managed to remove all of the lizards with missing pieces, scrapping them off the walls until my fingers were raw and bloody. Once the room was tidy, I could relax.


In my dream the world is orderly. Everything is arranged in neat little rows. No dangling wires to trip you up. My brother’s fingers are cool and welcoming, not hot, and grabbing. In the dream there are no extra pieces hurting and taking. In the dream my family stands in neat rows across yellow fields of wallpaper and they are complete again – like a puzzle with no missing pieces.


Across the room in the stainless steel toilet where I flushed the incomplete lizards I hear them slithering up the sides of the bowl -- fumbling and scrabbling up the wet sides of the steel bowl. They should have washed away into the dark currents of the sewers below the city by now – all the extra pieces should be gone. I fear they wait inside the building’s old plumbing.

Could they wait inside the plumbing of all the buildings in the city?

Curled into a tight little ball at the foot of my iron cot I bite down hard on my lip to make sure I’m awake when I first hear the rustling under my sheets.

Five Major Pieces to the Life PuzzleFive Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle

Dragon Chronicles XL

XL. Drowsy with peace, war will arise
For forty years survivors live with darkened skies
One of the infernal offspring of Mabus
Brings the reckoning of an untold succubus

The Lost Book of Nostradamus (History Channel)


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

#TuesdaySerial: Wrenge XIII

Wrenge (13)
by Louise Dragon

Toward the end of Brad's second week of surveillance, he was beginning to feel the effects of his nightly vigils. His days spent collaring shoplifters and cruising the streets of Memphis had become tiring and boring. There was a new woman in Brad's life, and he longed to be out at the park waiting for her.

Odd, Brad thought as he readied reports for filing, that he had begun to think of the demon as a conquest: like a pretty new babe eager for a one-night-stand. Thoughts of the Wrenge made his blood race and his hands tremble with pent up frustration.


Don't be an asshole, he chided himself. She's killing guys, you're supposed to stifle her, not screw her. But the tenderness of that remembered dream -- of their first encounter -- sent such craving pangs of lust to Brad's loins that he again wondered if the lusty union had been only a dream.

"Help me. One of you guys has to help me." Shouts from the precinct front desk grabbed Brad's attention.

"I'm telling you, I want to talk to somebody. I'm confessing, damn it."

Kelly Marshall, the front desk officer, looked back at Brad and raised her eyebrows. Brad threw out a "come on" wave, informing her to send the creep in.

Ernie Monks was an ox of a man. A thick white scar ran across his left cheekbone. The unmistakable fear entombed in his bloodshot eyes broke down his tough appearance leaving him with a skewed, bad-boy look.

"Officer, I killed my girlfriend. I want you to throw me in jail."

"I think we may need a little more to go on. Why did you kill your girlfriend?"

"The bitch was gonna leave me, so I offed her. You can lock me up now."

"Hold on, your girlfriend's name was . . ."

"Angie, Angie Gopez. Her body's in the morgue. Cops chalked it up to a mugger, but it was me that killed her. Found her in the city. Knew she was lying to me. Beat her up in that alley, beat her real bad -- knew I killed her -- took her money so's you guys would think it was a thief. Worked too."

"I see, and if it worked so well, why are you confessing, Ernie, why have you suddenly seen the error in your ways, so to speak?

The thug's face clouded over with a dark stain of fear.

"I seen it, man. This morning I seen the Memphis-Mangler. It'll be comin' for me tonight. I just now it. Now are you gonna lock me up or what?"

"What do you mean, you've seen the Memphis-Mangler? Nobody's seen the Memphis-Mangler and lived. Here you are telling me you've seen him. What you been smoking man?"

Monks sighed.

The fear in the guy's face excited Brad, he squirmed in his seat to keep that excitement from showing.

Monks lowered his voice an octave. "Ain't no he. Tain't human neither. Had me this neighbor, Ed Morelli, 'member Ed? Memphis-Mangler took him out last week."

Brad knew the name. So far Monks was telling the truth.

"What you guys don't know is this: Last year Ed killed a hooker. Dame was blackmailing him. Gonna snitch to Ed's wife. Ed knew his wife was looking for an excuse to leave him so he went into the city and gave the hooker a super dose of the H one night, then made an anonymous call to 911. Hooker died in the ambulance -- over dose. Nobody ever connected her to Ed. I knew, cause Ed made that 911 call from my place. He thought he got away with it. Hell so did I."

(What are friends for? Brad thought, ironically.)

"What's this got to do with the Memphis-Mangler?" Brad wanted to know.

"Hell, don't you guys get it yet, man? Them are the kind of guys the Memphis-Mangler wants. The ones who kill girls and get away with it. Don't cha read the papers? Can't you see it? All them guys were pimps or had dead wives! I figure if I turn myself in. It'll leave me alone. I saw what the thing did to Ed. Freaked me right out. No thanks, put me in jail, man. I need to get locked up today, before it's too late."

"How can you be so sure that today is the day for that, Ernie?"

"Oh, man, cause I saw it this morning, you see? That damn purple freak flew right over my head -- big as you please. Threw a shadow as big as a freight train. Smelled like rotten meat!"

Brad frowned.

Monks, mistaking the frown for one of disbelief, kept on talking. "It's true, man. Ed was my neighbor. That afternoon before he died, he came over to see me. Said he was walking home from work and a big purple thing flew over his head. Said it smelled funny. Thing cast a shadow like a tornado. Gave him the heebie-jeebies. I blew him off. Thought he was sipping from the old brown bottle again. Don't blow me off, man. I'm stone-cold-sober and this is serious. I knew Ed. After his wife left him, he kept his house locked up tight as a cork in a wine bottle. Nothing coulda got in there. Cops had to use a crowbar to break in and get the body. You tell me, how the hell did the Memphis-Mangler get in?"

(Shadows cross where mortals walk. No more pretext, no more talk. Cast your shadow in his wake. Blood and bone from the wicked take.)

Brad's mind worked fast now. The cloudy riddled words began falling neatly into place. He was sure that he could stop the Wrenge in her tracks. And, with the help of Ernie Monks -- he would do it tonight.

(Careful, now, don't spook this man.)

"I know you think this is serious, Ernie," Brad chose his words carefully. "And I'm going to help you."

Monks leaned forward in his chair. "Put me in a cell, man. Do it now."

Brad shook his head. "I'm afraid I can't do that, Ernie. At least not until I check out your story."

"Oh, man. It'll be too late then. You've got to lock me up now. Don't you see?"

Brad held up a silencing hand. "I can see that you're afraid, which makes me tend to believe your story. But the law is the law. Until I verify that a crime has been committed, I have no recourse but to let you go."

Monks by now was swooning, his face a sweating mask of fear.

"However," Brad went on, rubbing damp palms across his knees. "I want to get this Memphis-Mangler creep as bad as any cop in this station. So, tell you what I'm gonna do. I'll give Officer Marshall, over there, your statement to check out. While she works on verification, I'll personally offer you police protection. I'll stay with you, around the clock, until the good officer weeds through the red tape and comes up with a proper arrest warrant. If the Memphis-Mangler shows, I'll blow him away. Deal?"

Monks looked unsure, but some of his color returned. "This thing is pretty big, what if you can't handle it with that pea-shooter, got any elephant guns?"

Brad laughed. "You let me worry about that. See that dark blue Chevy out there by the curb? Why don't you go out and make yourself comfortable in it? I'll make a few phone calls and then we'll take you home."

"If it's all the same to you, I'll wait for you over by the door."

Once Monks was out of ear shot, Brad dialed Alec Nietupski's home.

"Alec, I've figured out those riddles and I know where the Wrenge will be tonight. I'm going after it."

Nietupski's voice came guardedly across the wire. "What do you want me to do?"

"Nothing. Watch that portal, if the symbols disappear, you'll know it worked. If anything happens to me, it'll be up to you to stop this thing. You got it?"

"Yeah, be careful, Brad."
Continued . . .

Link to Wrenge (1)

Fantasy Scene Europa Winged Women Engraving HiltonFantasy Scene Europa Winged Women Engraving Hilton

Friday, August 13, 2010

#flashfriday: A Natural Push

A Natural Push by Louise Dragon

“What is wrong with her?” Meg demanded to a room full of co-workers. “Can you see what she’s trying to do to us?”

“We used to all get along . . .” shy Kate mumbled quietly before looking quickly back down at her busy hands.

“I am so tired of the back stabbing and finger pointing. We’re adults and we need to start acting like adults no matter how spiteful Piper acts,” Shannon pointed out glancing down at Kate’s hands also.

“Now, now,” Lori began, she had covertly called this meeting together to help unify her co-workers, not to split them up. “Piper is just a bit of a perfectionist. I don’t think she can help being bossy and conniving.”

“No offense, Lori, but you’re too kind,” Meg said.

“You really are very kind . . .” shy Kate spoke is hushed tones, barely above a whisper. Lori glanced over at the mousy little blonde and smiled. She remembered that Kate had grown up in the Farnums Hills. Her family was what Lori’s mother called “hill people.” Hill people were a peculiar tribe of gypsy folks living very simply in the cabins and shacks of the Farnums Hills. They grew their own food, took care of their own problems, and pretty much kept to themselves. Shy Kate had apparently ventured out of the nest. She now worked at Village Bakery and kept a small apartment for herself in town. Shy Kate had been the pawn of Piper’s vengeance many times in the past few months, but Lori had never heard Kate say an unkind word about anyone.

Lori also glanced down at shy Kate’s hands. Her tiny, bird-like hands, so great with a rolling pin, were now shredding bits of photo paper into a plastic bag in her lap. Every now and then her gray eyes rolled back until only the whites showed and her lips moved as though she were praying silently to herself in the midst of this loud informal meeting of which Piper Palumbo had not been invited. It was suspected that Piper had spies planted throughout the bakery. Spies who reported back to Piper any infraction of the rules – no matter how minute – any infraction, which could bring a quick tongue lashing from Miss Piper at any time.

“She’s not our boss,” Shannon said angrily. “That’s what makes it so frustrating. She’s just a baker like everyone else, but yet so quick to judge . . .”

“Too quick,” shy Kate said abruptly and looked about the room briefly before returning her eyes to her task.

“She’s never going to leave,” Meg whined. “We’re never going to be free of her constant abuse. There’s just no way to be rid of her.”

“There may be a way.” Shy Kate spoke quietly and all eyes turned to her. “There may be a way . . . but it won’t be pretty.”

Shy Kate held up her plastic bag of unusual odds and ends and began to tell of a woman in the hill country named Tansy.

Pauline (Tansy) Swift was one scary old woman but she was everyone’s favorite grandmotherly crone who always came up with a way to handle certain everyday problems.

Shy Kate had been to visit Tansy recently and had learned from her how to bake one of Tansy’s special cakes. “Cake with a Kick” was what hill people called them and shy Kate was working on creating just such a cake for Piper and her workplace spies. She had been collecting items for a special apple cake and was timing out its creation to coincide with Piper’s upcoming birthday celebration, which had been slated for this Friday the 13th.

Shy Kate warned the group not to eat the apple cake even though it would look and smell very delicious and would be difficult to resist.

“Are we talking about murder here?” Lori spoke in a breathless whisper.

“Only if we’re lucky.” Meg spat out, and then quickly clapped a hand over her mouth.

“It’s not poison or anything, is it?” Shannon whined. “I don’t care if we kill the bitch, I just don’t want us to end up in jail or anything.”

“No poison,” shy Kate said quietly. “Just a little natural push from Miss Tansy.” She held up a shiny red apple. “Now everyone take a bite.”

The core was broken in half. Half went into the baggy and the other half was wrapped in a sliver of parchment and tied with a red ribbon—it probably still hangs in Kate’s locker to this day. Lori and the other girls marveled over that dried apple husk many times over the next few years.

As for Piper Palumbo . . . It all started with a case of really bad laryngitis right after her 37th birthday party.

Calls The Shots

Dragon Chronicles XXXIX

XXXIX. From the Cock and Eagle of France come three brothers

The great Vicar becomes anxious to appease another’s

Severe adversaries after several battles

Comes the arc of the snake with a tail that rattles

Rattlesnake Crossing: A Joanna Brady Mystery


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

#TuesdaySerial: Wrenge XII

Wrenge (12) by Louise Dragon

Switching duties with other officers, Brad traded for a few consecutive weeks of eleven to seven, afternoon shifts.

By seven-thirty each night he staked out the desserted park near Mount Mariah, familiarizing himself with the creature's habits.

Every night between eight and midnight, the creature appeared. Most nights it lazily circled the mountain for about thirty minutes, like a health nut grabbing a half-hour jog.

Toward the end of the week, Brad watched it fly off toward Memphis on silent, dark wings. He waited for it to circle back like all the other nights. It didn't.

Two hours later, as Brad sat dozing uneasily in his car, a low cry echoed eerily through the empty gorge. Exhausted, Brad had slipped into a precarious state of slumber fraught with dreams and images. In his dream, he stepped out of his car and stood face to face with the mysterious Wrenge. She was so beautiful, in a sad way. Tears pooled in her ink blot eyes and coursed down across plum-colored naked flesh. "Why do you watch me, mortal?" The whispered words floated gracefully from the perfect lips of the dark angel. "Do your loins ache with loneliness as do mine?"

In his dream, Brad looked down and found himself naked also. Naked and bristling with fear and excitement. Leathery wings folded around his trembling body with the cool delicate touch of a familiar lover. His release was sweet and satisfying . . .

The patter of small pebbles rolling across rock jerked Brad back to reality and told him that the creature had returned.

Looking up, Brad picked up the vague figure posed on the cliff's edge like a misplaced statue. Its faintly iridescent silhouette reflected pinpoints of starlight with chameleon adeptness. The Wrenge blended into the night sky with shrewd efficiency.

The form remained motionless for perhaps five minutes.

Moisture beaded on Brad's hands, but he dared not move a muscle.

Almost invisibly, the dark angel glided out of sight.
Continued . . .

Link to Wrenge (1)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

#fridayflash: Carillon Beauty

Carillon Beauty by Louise Dragon

“Good God, Gwen, don’t you ever wear anything that isn’t gray? You need to put a little color into your life,” Cynthia Guthrie greeted her daughter at the front door.

“Why, Mother, so people will look at me?”

“You’re a beautiful person. When will you start thinking like one?” petite, blonde Cynthia said, sorting through the mail.

“Maybe when you start looking at me,” Gwen said to her Barbie Doll mother.

Cynthia glanced up sharply, “Spending your money on every beauty ad you read in the magazines is doing nothing but making us poorer.” She shoved a bright pink box into Gwen’s twisted hands. “Carillon Beauty? Another overnight remedy? Another miracle treatment? More like another disappointment. When will you learn, Gwen?”

“Look at me, Mother. Does that answer your question?”

Cynthia sighed, “Physical beauty isn’t everything. You’re beautiful on the inside. The work you do in the Children’s Ward—the hours that you spend at the Homeless Shelter—you’re a kind, giving person. I’m proud of you, I love you just the way you are.”

But too often Gwen had seen it. That look in her mother’s eyes. That look screamed “how could someone who looks like me, have a child this ugly?”

Gwen, clutching her newest beauty aid, hurried past the telltale hall mirror to her room. Her mother would never understand. No one who looked like her mother had ever felt the pain of loneliness that rode on Gwen’s shoulders like a heavy, woolen cloak.

Carillon Beauty. Musical beauty. Gwen had seen the ad on television, had heard a few chords of the sweet elixir. At the time, she had to have it; she was positive that this time it would work where all the others had failed.

Gwen threw the pink box on her bed. Now it seemed a pipe dream— hopeless. Her mother was right. All of her past efforts screamed out at her: each disappointment casting another blemish on her hopelessly scarred face. Idly her deformed fingers traced across the pink box. Fingers that she usually kept hidden, from the stares of curious people. Gwen had been born with three fingers on each hand, each finger branching at the first knuckle with a lobster-claw effect. As little claw-like fingers began working at the box, loosening tape and glue to get inside, her mind wandered back to the charismatic ad. A little renewed excitement grew as she remembered the broadcast. “Your beauty will bloom eternally. Let the genuine Akuba Crystal music box cast a carillon spell for you.”

Rough claws traced the beautiful heart-shaped crystal. Squinting through thick glasses, Gwen could see a stately castle nested on puffy white clouds deep inside the heavy glass. A tiny silver windup key was buried in the base.

How could she have thought that a mere $49.99 would earn her the gift of beauty? Removing the bath towel from her vanity mirror, she turned the music box key.

Winding the key was a cumbersome chore that took forever to accomplish with her twisted fingers.

The music was alive: enchanting bells and chimes wafted from the heavy crystal figurine.

Lilting tones hovered, like fluttering hummingbirds, all around Gwen.

With piercing beaks of melody, the music throbbed into her soul.

Mesmerized before her detested mirror, Gwen watched as beauty from deep within began to surface.

Scarred tissue from years of useless reconstructive surgery smoothed to a healthy pink glow. Jutting, deformed cheekbones melted bringing her beautiful blue eyes out of their dark caves of flesh. Clawed talons, separated into ten tapered white fingers: and yes, Gwen’s curved backbone, answering to the subtle chords of the Akuba beat, straightened, bringing her shoulders back and elevating her once heavy head.

As the beauty previously buried deeply in Gwen’s soul moved outward, it was replaced.

Replaced by something dark.

Something sinister.

Gwen felt this new outlook slither into the depths of her soul just as she

felt the muscles and bones in her body shifting. For the first time in Gwen Guthrie’s pitiful existence, she felt alive—euphoric!


The Carillon Music Box changed Gwen’s life forever. She kept it locked safely away with her growing stash of trophies.

Gwen was beautiful. Even her mother’s fading beauty was no match for Gwen’s bewitching new glamour.

Men who before would have glanced quickly away in horror, now fell at her feet.

Gwen prodded the lifeless male corpse on the floor with the pointed toe of her new, red, spike-heeled pump. With a small penknife, she popped the two unseeing eyes from the face of her dead friend and cut away the excess veins and connective tissues. Two beautiful new trophies to add to her growing collection.

People would see Gwen now; she wanted them to look at her.

Dead Eyes Open (Full Sub)


Dragon Chronicles XXXVIII

XXXVIII. When the sepulcher of the great Roman is found
Fire approached the great new city from all around
Everlasting captives form lightening on the top
Pointed steel driven in till the hilt forces the stop

The Visit to the Sepulcher


Dragon Chronicles XXXVII

XXXVII. Earth-shaking fire moves from the center
From three fronts the enemies enter
Seven months and another will hold the prelacy
Nearby, two columns of Porphyry emerge from the legacy

C1890 Geology Granite Vein Porphyry Sandstone Old Print


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

#TuesdaySerial: Wrenge XI

Wrenge (11) by Louise Dragon

It was approaching midnight when Brad left Nietupski's. He stood on Alec's porch for a moment gazing at the peaceful indigo sky.
He wished he had never come here.
What a mess this was.
He wished he had never known Wayne and Elizabeth Michaels.
What made Brad angriest was Joyce Nietupski putting one over on his father. Brad would never forget that his father sent an innocent man to prison. He hated that stain on his father's memory, would give anything to erase the discovery from his mind. His father -- duped by conniving women yet again.
Driving through the deserted park by Mount Moriah Brad's mind replayed sentences from the rhymes. He knew the words by heart now. Alec had said that everything they needed to send the Wrenge back to where it originally slithered out, was in those words.
(Cast your shadow in his wake, Blood and bone from the wicked take.)
Brad tugged an old picture of Wayne Michaels' death room from his memory. Blood had been there, bone too. The shadow?
Hell, the room had been full of shadows. Alec had said that the shadow was important. Which damn shadow?
Brad pulled his car into the rest area at the mouth of Moriah Gorge. He needed to think, damn it.
He realized that it bothered him most that the Wrenge was female. Brad had never been afraid of a woman before. Never considered them worthy adversaries . . .
(Until now?)
He felt like Rocky Balboa, a little excited at challenging a worthy contender. He'd have to think it through, however. Not rush headlong into something this bizarre with no gloves or protective cup. Didn't want to end up on the ropes looking at the wrong end of a limb!
As Brad sat thinking, mulling over the words from those mysterious rhymes, a stroke of luck -- one that even surpassed all of Rocky's contrived performances -- floated out over the top of Mount Mariah.
Brad sat perfectly still in his car. Tiny little pings from the cooling engine seemed as loud as gunshots.
A dark brooding hulk lifted from the top of the high craggy cliff before him and floated out toward the the center of Memphis. In mesmerized silence, Brad watched until the thing disappeared over the purple horizon.
(Okay, bitch. Now I know where you live!)
Continued in next post . . .