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Haiku Friday – Pink & Shell

21 Jul

mermaid-pink_hair-Haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Poetry

“She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in.”

~J Iron Word

An enchanting mermaid swam through the oceans of the world trying to forget her past. You see, not long ago she found a young man resting on a strip of sand punctuated by palm trees, and it was love at first sight. She lured him to sea and they swam together. They kissed and caressed, as they laughed giddy with pleasure. She held him tight and plunged into the depths, failing to remember in cruel bliss that even lovers drown.

So she swam and swam, all the while the distance she created did not relieve her heartache. She came to a mystical land of pink sandy beaches. Relieved to be far from the terrain of men she rested. The ocean sighed and brought in the tide and as she breathed the salty air she felt a stir in her middle. She rubbed her belly and felt it pop. Soon after, she realized she was with child.

Although the child would be offspring to the one she had lost at sea––the one whose blinding smile still burned in her eyes––she swore to the ocean she would always care for it. But when a male babe was born in the likeness of her lost love she did not know how she would keep her promise. Every day she fed the babe and cared for him, only leaving him at night when she returned to the sea. She always left him sleeping, swaddled in palm fronds in a small trench she dug near the water.

Days turn to weeks and as the little male child grew, so did her suffering for he reminded her of the lover she held too long underwater. Finally, one night she prayed to the ocean goddess asking for help. After hours of tearful prayers she went into the sea to sleep with the coral. The next morning she awoke and swam dutifully to the pink shore to feed and care for her child.

When she arrived to the area where she had left him for the night––he wasn’t there. Swaddled in palm fronds was a large conch shell. She picked it up and examined it in her hand. It was the most exquisite shell she had ever laid eyes on. A soft, mellifluous sound escaped the shell. The mermaid lifted it to her ear and heard the voice of the ocean goddess, “This is your baby boy. He shall be easier to care for now.”

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She danced with coral

Happy as a clam with pearl

Till in love she fell

pink-conch-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Poetry-haiku-Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-mermaid-RonovanWrites

 

Pink and Shell are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

 


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Have a happy Friday, everyone!

 

Spotlight: Hugh W. Roberts

22 May

Welcome to my blog, everyone! It is a happy Monday indeed because I have a wonderful guest today, Author Hugh W. Roberts.

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Hugh is one of the sweetest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet and he is also a talented writer. He writes about all kinds of everyday life. Nothing too serious, mostly about the little things in life and how important they can be to all of us. Some of his posts are humorous while others may bring a tear to your eye.

Hugh spends his days writing, reading, walking, cycling and likes to relax in front of the television with a glass of red wine. He’s always been a morning person and does most of his writing during the day.

Hugh’s first book ‘Glimpses‘ is a collection of 28 short stories that allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax. If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories.

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The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Spotlight-Guest_blogger-author-book-Glimpses

 

In his words . . . 

My name is Hugh, and I live in both the town of Abergavenny and the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

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I have always enjoyed writing and the fact I suffer from a mild form of dyslexia has not stopped me. Yes, I get things wrong with my reading and writing but I now always find those mistakes humorous and always laugh about it. I no longer allow dyslexia get in my way. Now in my fifties, I thought it about time I let my writing become public. Becoming a blogger seemed to be the perfect way for me to do this. I lead a very happy life and always try to stay positive. I share my life with my wonderful Civil Partner, John, and our Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Toby, who I both cherish with all my heart.

Hugh W. Roberts-Glimpses-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-guest_blogger-author-book

I write about life because I find it so fascinating. I have many stories to tell, some of which I have started to put into a book. I think my life has been incredible and I want to share it with anyone that wants to listen. I am also a wonderful listener and I love to be interactive with other people. I guess you could say I am a ‘people person.’

Hugh’s book Glimpses has gotten many wonderful reviews and it’s available on Amazon as a beautiful paperback or eBook.

Check out Hugh’s blog at: Hugh’s Views & News – A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!

You can also connect with Hugh on social media:

Twitter

Instagram

Google+

YouTube

 

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

 

Haiku Friday – Secret & Burn

3 Mar

Welcome! It’s Haiku Friday!

Secret and Burn are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

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Just One Kiss by SatelliteGhost (DeviantArt)

Our secret exposed

Romance reduced to ashes

I still burn for you

And will love you like a wolf

Secretly adores the moon

A woman, against her better judgement, entered into a relationship with a married man. She’s smart and knows relationships of this type rarely workout, if ever, but there was something about this man. She hoped things would end differently for her although, every fiber of her being warned her that it wouldn’t.

Now, the secret of their affair has been exposed and the man she had fallen in love with is begging his wife to forgive him. His words, ‘It was a mistake. She means nothing to me! You’re all that matters in my life. I love you. You are my wife.’ burned a hole in her chest that may never be healed.

Despite everything she saw and heard, regardless of the fact that he had abandoned and forgotten her and lives happily with his wife, in spite of the humiliation she endured, she still loved him and she missed their time together.

This is the lesson, while she continues to be secretly in love with this man, like the wolf’s love for the moon, her love will be unrequited. It’s best to respect another’s marriage/relationship even if they don’t, because it never ends well.

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Have a happy Friday!

Haiku Friday – Sweat & Heat

24 Feb

Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by and reading. 😀 xx

Sweat and Heat are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

♥ I have a short story for you today and hidden (in plain sight) within the story is today’s poem. I hope you enjoy. ♥

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‘Little Girl Shadow’ by Silvia Pelissero (agnes-cecile on DeviantArt)

♦♦

The Girl Who Lost Her Shadow

by Vashti Q

I walked past a schoolyard and noticed several children doing something peculiar. They used color chalk to outline each other’s shadows. It was a brilliant idea, so I entered the yard to join them.

 

“Hello! May I play too?” I waited for a response but the kids were too busy drawing and giggling to notice me. I shrugged and picked up a piece of chalk left on the ground.

 

I smoothed my hair and fluffed my skirt. I wanted my shadow to look pretty and neat. I looked down–– “Where’s my shadow?” I scanned the area but didn’t find her.

 

I watched the children trace each other’s long morning shadows, smiling and laughing all the while. The day was bright and hot and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I faced away from the fiery sun and stared at the ground. “Where is it?” I sunk to the hard pavement sulking while watching the other children play with their silhouettes.

 

After a while, I left the school grounds. “What was I doing there? I should have been looking for my shadow. Those kids ignored me, anyway.” I rolled my eyes and moved on.

 

Across the street a large smooth wall bordered the sidewalk. Perhaps, I would find my shadow there. I stood facing the beige wall, as if gawking at it would produce a dark form, which would resemble me and mimic my every move.

 

I sighed deeply and turned my sights to a beautiful teenage girl wearing pink satin ballerina shoes and a romantic tutu that reached below her calf. She twirled and pranced up the street toward me. Her ebullient shadow danced on pointes in a succession of slow, soft, lyrical movements upon the wall. As the ballerina’s pose changed from pirouette to arabesque her shadow’s dance created the illusion that their movements flowed from one into another.

 

The ballet dancer and her shadow enchanted me. I wanted to be her–– lithe and elegant and to have a lovely shade to dance with me.

 

“Hello! You’re a delightful ballerina. I love your tutu skirt and shoes and . . .” My words drifted toward silence as she past me by without a glance.

 

I dragged my feet on the sidewalk while heaviness settled in my chest. Nevertheless, I kept vigilant and continued to search for my shadow. “Where are you, my shadow? Why have you left me?”

 

I wandered not knowing where I was going and then I heard mellifluous sounds in the distance. I was compelled to follow it. The music led me to a large cemetery. At first, I didn’t want to enter but glorious angels made of marble beckoned me and I couldn’t resist. “Perhaps I will find my shadow here.”

 

I approached a group of men playing musical instruments. They played a cheerful melody whilst wearing somber faces. “Has any of you seen the lone shadow of a girl?” The musicians ignored me and continued performing.

 

Shadows drummed, blew on clarinets, tooted horns and struck tambourines. The sun was angry now. I raised my squinted eyes to it. It was high in the sky––noon time and the shadows were short.

 

No one took notice of me. No one cared that my shadow is lost. “Why is this happening to me?” I uttered a shriek and kicked a rock lying before me.

 

“Are you alright?”

 

The words made me jump.

 

A boy with a wan complexion stood a short distance from me.  “You look upset.” He stared with doleful eyes.

 

“You are the first person that has spoken to me all day.” I smiled. ” My name is Emily––Emily Johnson. What is yours?”

 

“Hi Emily. I’m Michael. So, what’s wrong?”

 

“I seem to have misplaced my shadow,” I said feeling heat rise to my cheeks.

 

“I don’t have one either.” His voice was sad and he wore a wistful expression. “But the reason . . .”

 

“We both lost our shadows!” I interrupted. “Why don’t we look for them together?” I grabbed his hand before he could utter another word and tugged him all around the cemetery.

 

Michael pulled on my dress’ sleeve. “Emily wait . . . there’s something I must tell you.”

 

The sun began to dim. I brushed his hand away and hurried, my eyes flickering in every direction.

 

There were many people in the graveyard and their shadows were now long and scraggy, some looked rather creepy in the dim light. “We must hurry,” I said. “If we don’t find our shadows before sundown we may never find them.” I snatched his hand again but he wrested it out of mine.

 

He stopped and pointed straight ahead. “Look!” His expression was haunting.

 

I scrunched my forehead in confusion. I swallowed what felt like a sock rolled into a ball and took a few apprehensive steps forward. There was a dark form sitting on a headstone. I inched closer. The silhouette looked familiar. “Is that my shadow?” My words were but a breath.

 

Now, it was the pallid boy that took me by the hand. He led me to the grave where my shadow sat. I stood before it and read the engraving on the gravestone.

Emily Johnson

2005 – 2017

Here she lies but she never died!

*

Grief beyond all tears

Sweet bud that never blossomed

Turn to ageless dust

Burn in Mother Nature’s veins

Set all the blooms on fire

 

Suddenly, I was trembling like my bones had turned to frost. “That’s my name.” I looked at the boy and he lowered his eyes and nodded.

 

“That’s me? I’m dead?” My legs faltered and I fell to my knees. I stared at him. “You––are you dead too?”

 

He nodded. “We both died in the school fire. All the other kids got out but we were trapped and consumed by the fire.”

 

I shook my head in disbelief and pressed my face to my hands.

 

I glanced up and through misty eyes I saw my shadow leap from the tombstone into my grave and disappear.

 

Michael stood by my side and placed a hand on my shoulder. I had not noticed, until now, how cold his hands were. “I tried to tell you,” he said, “it was not your shadow that was lost; it was you.”

 

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I hope you enjoyed the short story and the poem hidden within. Have a happy Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haiku Friday – Eye & Fade

17 Feb

Hello and a warm welcome to my blog! It’s Haiku Friday and I hope you’re having a good one.

Eye and Fade are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

**I will share a short story (flash-fiction) along with my poem this week. I hope you enjoy it.

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Illustration by Abbey Watkins

D. I. D.

What’s my point-of-view?

I hear so many voices

I don’t know what to do.

*

Should I take my pills and fade?

Or sharpen my clip point blade?

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I stare into the mirror but it isn’t me I see. Those black eyes staring back at me are not my own. Someone lives inside me and his one desire is to control me.

What to do with a mind you cannot control? A mind that thinks in ways you wish it didn’t and behaves in ways that isn’t you. Every day my body feels less and less my own. I’m fading away like a mist in the wind while this stranger takes over my entire being.

I live in his eyes as a mere spectator to the actions of my body. He comes and goes as he pleases while I’m imprisoned in the shadows of my mind. My desire to break free is great. I wish to burst through his gentle eyes and tear his world apart.

I want to destroy smiles––erase them from every face I see and turn them into horrified grimaces. I want to break hearts and ruin minds. I want to turn laughter into wails of agony.

However, every morning, as sure as the sun rises he takes his medicine and with this simple act I am trapped in the gloom of a foggy night––a prisoner in my own mind.

He peers into the mirror and smiles knowing that I am trapped behind his eyes. But as long as they serve as windows through which I can see the world––I will not fade. I only need wait . . . One day he will forget to take his pill.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Writers Quote Wednesday – The Cursed Tree

13 Apr

A warm welcome to my blog. It is Writers Quote Wednesday and I offer you a quote and a story. Enjoy.

 

“And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone or that’s an evil one because it hurts them. People are too complicated to have simple labels.”

~Philip Pullman

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The Cursed Tree

by Vashti Q

 

 

The earth rumbled, and the sky turned an ominous dark grey. Large black clouds swirled across the heavens, colliding with each other. A sweet, pungent smell drifted through the air. Once the rain arrived, other odors came. The pounding water shook the plants and trees and carried their odiferous particles in the air. Jagged lightning bolts split the skies, spearing trees and turning them to ash. Deafening thunderclaps made the garden tremble. God was angry. Man had betrayed him. The Garden of Eden would no longer be home to Adam and Eve.

 

Only one tree still stood among the devastated land: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It, too, was cursed and would not last long in the tumultuous storm of God’s rage. A powerful gust of wind removed a seed from this tree and blew it out of the garden and into the world.

 

The tiny doomed seed drifted to the area of a large, roaring river and landed near its bank. The winds continued to bluster, covering it in moist soil. Buried and forgotten, the small seed took root.

 

In time, the seed pushed through the soil a green, quivering stem adorned with tiny, prickly leaves.

 

“What is it, Cain?” Abel scrunched his nose.

 

“What does it look like? It is a plant of some kind.” Cain peered at the rudimentary tree.

 

“I know that, but what kind of plant? It looks different from all the other vegetation. I do not like it.” Abel’s thick blond hair fell on his face as he leaned forward to take a better look.

 

“I think it is a newborn tree, and I do like it.” Cain stared at it. “I am going to build a barricade around it to protect it from the animals.”

 

“Why?” Abel asked. “It is ugly.”

 

“I want to see it grow. Besides, sometimes things that begin as ugly can grow to be beautiful.”

 

Abel’s brow joined in thought. Cain brushed his brother’s hair from his face. He could not stand that his younger brother never tied his hair back. On the other hand he always kept his dark brown hair tied back and neat.

 

Cain kept to his word and built a barrier around the small tree. The boy visited the tree daily and made sure it was doing well. He even spoke to it. “I know you probably do not understand my words, or maybe you do. I know not. Nevertheless, I shall take good care of you and see what fruits you bear.”

 

“Thank you,” the tree responded in his mind. He jumped, startled by the strange voice in his head.

 

Cain looked around and saw no one. His deep cerulean eyes gawked at the small tree before him. “D-did you speak to me?”

 

“I did,” the tree said.

 

Cain gasped. He took a few steps back. “How is this so? Trees do not speak.”

 

“Just because one never spoke to you does not mean that trees do not speak,” the tree said.

 

Cain stared at the tree.

 

“Protect me and help me grow and I shall bear extraordinary fruit just for you.”

 

Wide-eyed, he nodded in agreement.

 

He continued to visit the tree almost every day. He pulled any weeds growing near it. He made sure the tree’s soil was moist and that it was receiving enough water. He also took care of the surrounding land. He planted fragrant flower bushes and verdant plants to grow along with the tree. Soon, he had created a small paradise with the tree in the center of it.

 

He had many conversations with the tree and it was a good listener. As Cain grew up alongside the tree, he did a lot of complaining about his brother Abel, and the tree paid attention.

 

Years went by, and both Cain and his tree grew big and strong. He had grown into a handsome young man—tall, with long, dark hair, eyes blue like the twilight skies, and creamy skin the color of golden powder sand. He loved the land and knew how to work it well, and working it made him strong and muscular. Every seed he planted yielded luscious fruits, vegetables, and beautiful flowers.

 

One day, he came to visit his tree. Cain carried a basket filled with delectable fruits and vegetables. He grumbled under his breath as he kicked stones in his path. He let the basket drop to the ground. The crops spilled out and rolled in different directions on the lush grass. He fell to his knees and wept into his hands.

 

“What is the matter? the tree asked. “Why are you so troubled?”

 

“Nothing I do is good enough!” Cain’s eyes were dark and glistened as he continued to weep.

 

“What do you mean? Everything I have seen you do has been extraordinary. Because of you, I thrive.”

 

“My father does not think so,” Cain said. “Only my brother, Abel can do right in his eyes.”

 

“It seems that your golden-haired brother does nothing but cause you grief.”

 

“Even God shuns my crops and acclaims his sacrificed lamb. I am the eldest, yet I have always walked in my brother’s shadow. But there is nothing I can do.”

 

“Kill him,” the tree said, “you can kill him.”

 

Cain gulped air and stared at the tree, openmouthed. “No! I cannot slay my brother!”

 

“Why not? You are much stronger than he is.”

 

Cain looked bewildered. “I-I just cannot kill him.”

 

“You have never killed but your brother has killed many times.” The leaves on the tree trembled. “Every time he sacrifices a lamb or a goat, he kills.”

 

“This is true, but it is not the same.”

 

“Why?” The tree’s stentorian tone surprised Cain.

 

“Because taking my brother’s life is taking a human life.”

 

“A life is a life! Why did you protect me so, if you did not hold this to be true?” Cain’s heart leaped to his throat as he pondered the tree’s words. “If your brother Abel can take a life, then so can you.”

 

Cain jumped to his feet, nodding. He stared ahead––his blue eyes glittering with the prospect of revenge.

 

“Sacrifice your brother Abel so that you may walk in the light. Once Abel is gone, you shall grow mighty in your father’s eyes.”

 

Without another word Cain rushed to find his brother. He found him on a nearby hill tending after his sheep.

 

“Brother!” He called.

 

“I am here, among the sheep.” Abel’s long, golden hair a mess and flapping in the wind.

 

“You are always among the sheep. It is no wonder you smell like one.” Cain wore a mischievous expression. Abel chuckled until he saw his brother held a large rock in his powerful hand. He looked at his brother’s face, then at the rock, and then at Cain’s face again.

 

“That is a large, menacing rock you carry.” Abel’s voice was tremulous. “What do you intend to do with it?”

 

Cain gripped the rock until his knuckles turned white. He clenched his jaw and flared his nostrils.

 

Abel, who sat on the ground, climbed to his feet. He stared at him with wide eyes and took a step back.

 

Cain narrowed his eyes. He looked at his brother’s hooded russet eyes, at his messy hair and his sun-kissed skin. He puffed and slammed the rock on the ground. “What do you know of fear?” Cain turned and ran away.

 

He ran all the way back to the tree.

 

“I could not do it,” he said breathless. “I hate him. He is my brother and I hate the air he breathes, but I cannot kill him.”

 

“Do you remember the promise I made to you?”

 

“You promised to someday bear extraordinary fruit for me. What has this to do with my current circumstances?”

 

“Have you noticed the small flowers that have grown on my branches?”

 

“I have. Apologies, I have been meaning to compliment you on those, but so much has happened that––”

 

“Apologies are not necessary. I only mention them because in four weeks time a fruit will grow amidst each bloom. A remarkable fruit.”

 

“Remarkable in what way?”

 

“You bring your brother to me in four weeks time, and have him taste my fruit. One bite will accomplish what you could not.”

 

Cain returned home and was at his best behavior. He was obedient to his parents and kind to his brother. He must be pleasant and amicable toward his brother so that when the time came, he would not fear to follow him.

 

There was a consequence to Cain’s feigned behavior. As he became nicer to his family, it seemed to him that they too became more pleasant to be around. He began to enjoy his brother’s company and his parents’ new praises and attention. Being obedient to his parents and kind to his brother had its rewards. He was enjoying his time with them.

 

Four weeks flew by and the time had come to take Abel to the tree. Cain observed his brother as he protected and guided his sheep. Once more he felt remorse. He dragged his feet back to the tree.

 

“I have changed my mind,” Cain told the tree. “I know longer wish to see my brother’s life extinguished.

 

“It is too late now!” the tree bellowed, causing Cain’s head to ache. “He must taste the fruit I bear!”

 

Cain shook his head. “No! I no longer desire his death!”

 

“For years all you talked about was your hatred for your brother,” the tree said. “You spoke of your hatred for him while you watered me. You spoke of your hatred for him as you pulled weeds from around my roots. You said over and over again, as you pruned and cared for me, how your life would be so much better if your brother were not around!”

 

“Things are different now. I am an obedient son and a loving brother. Since I have been good, my parents show me more love and my brother is kind to me.”

 

“How long do you think this shall last? You are not being yourself right now. You are being who they want you to be, and the day you grow tired of being an imposter, they, too, shall go back to the old ways. Remember your parent’s preference for your brother. Remember how they all looked down on you, as if you were lesser than they.”

 

Cain’s heart grew heavy. His face and body slackened. He stared at the tree through eyes blurred with tears. “You are an evil tree and the fruit you bear is an abomination.”

 

“If I am evil, it is only because you have fed me the hatred that consumes you. The fruit I bear is a product of your hostility and your odium.”

 

Cain’s eyes opened wide, his breathing became shallow and erratic. He turned away from the tree, unable to stand its evil presence any longer. He ran as fast as his feet could carry him. When he arrived home he saw his mother watering the root vegetables he had planted for her.

 

“Mother!” he yelled. Eve jumped. “Where is my brother?”

 

“I do not know. He went looking for you.” Eve looked at him with confusion. “You look pale and distraught. Is there something wrong?”

 

“I must find him.” He hurried to the hill where Able spent most of his time with his sheep. He was not there. Instead, Adam tended the sheep.

 

“Father, where is Abel?” Cain asked. “I must speak to him.”

 

“Your brother went off to look for you. He said he would look for you by the river where he thought you would be tending your favorite tree.” Cain gasped and his legs faltered. He plopped onto his knees.

 

His father hurried over. “What is the matter, son?”

 

“Nothing, Father.” Cain clambered to his feet. “I have been running around looking for him, and I am a bit tired.”

 

Adam responded, but Cain did not hear his words, for his pulse beat loud and fast in his ears.

 

“I must go now, Father.” Cain hurried to the small paradise he had created by the river. Standing next to his tree was his brother, holding a half-eaten fruit in his hand.

 

“You did not tell me your tree has yielded fruit.” Abel smiled. “It is the sweetest and most succulent of all fruits.”

 

Cain approached him slowly, shaking his head––large tears falling from his eyes.

 

“Did you not catch the stench of evil and death that comes from this treacherous fruit?” Cain’s face was marked with anguish.

 

Abel flinched and dropped what remained of the fruit to the ground. His face turned ashen and he dropped to all fours. He sat on his haunches, and his tongue wagged out of his mouth. He rocked back and forth. His mouth foamed and he held his hands in front of him like paws. Then he ran around in circles on all fours, making growling noises and tearing plants apart with his teeth before eating them. He approached his brother and sniffed him.

 

Cain retreated from him, his face twisted in disgust. “He is wild, eats grass and runs around on all fours. He is mad and has the mind of an animal.” Cain’s face was red with rage. “Why have you done this?”

 

“It is what you desired,” the tree said. “You could not kill him because he was human, but now he is but a mere animal. Kill him. Or do you prefer he live like this for the rest of his existence?”

 

“No!” Cain shook his head as his heart pounded.

 

Abel continued to growl and paw at him.

 

Cain stared at him. Tears flooded his face. Abel was human only in appearance. He saw that now. He could not allow his brother to go on like this, and he would not put his parents through the shame of watching their beloved son walk on all fours and eat grass. He would do what he must in order to make this right.

 

He grabbed a large jagged rock and walked over to Abel. He lifted the rock over his head. “Goodbye, brother.” Cain brought the rock down on his head again and again until his brother’s skull became one with the ground, and his warm blood covered his face and hands and colored the verdant grass red.

 

Cain saw what he had done and shouted to the heavens as he pulled the hair out of his head. “My brother’s blood calls out for revenge, so punish me, oh God! I deserve your worst. But before you do, please, allow me to watch the destruction of this evil tree. I implore you!”

 

The earth rumbled and the sky turned an ominous dark grey. Large black clouds swirled across the heavens, colliding with each other. Deafening thunderclaps made the ground tremble. A jagged lightning bolt ripped through the sky and speared the tree, turning it to ash.

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

♦♦

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

 

Writers Quote Wednesday – Fall From Desire

23 Mar

Hello everyone and welcome. It’s Writers Quote Wednesday. Today’s quote reminded me of a short story I had written a while ago, so I revised my story and decided to post it along with the quote. I hope you enjoy.

vampire_quote_writers quote wednesday_The Writer Next Door

Fall From Desire

By Vashti Q-Vega

For my transgressions, I was cast out of Heaven and exiled to planet Earth.

My fall was brutal as my six large white wings caught fire entering the Earth’s atmosphere. I cringed, cried and screamed as the flames consumed feathers and flesh. I looped and spiraled in the air, all the while stirring and reaching toward the flames, but there was no relief from the oppressive pain or the stench of roasted flesh. The fire was quenched when only the burnt bones of my wings remained. I wailed writhing in the air as the bony frames were yanked from my skeleton by a powerful force. This is what the male angels I led astray with my insatiable carnal appetite experienced as they fell from grace. I deserve worse for corrupting so many.

 

I splashed into a swamp.

 

The only light source was the brilliance of a full moon.

 

The swamp was dominated by woody plants and teeming with animal life. The water seemed to push down on me from all sides. I floundered and flailed my arms and legs, which only made me sink faster. I sank further and further into the swamp and away from the light of the moon. Soon, I was shrouded in darkness. My lungs burned for air. In horror, I screamed and warm, murky water filled my lungs. I shook and convulsed as alligators, snakes and all manner of swamp creatures witnessed the water take me away.

 

I opened my eyes. I was floating over the water. I survived? I was not sure how long I was unconscious, only that it was a different night—for the moon was no longer full. I trembled in fear and remained still, allowing the current to carry me wherever it may. As I came near the bank of the swamp, I took hold of a cypress’s knee, clambered to my feet and waded out of the water. I teetered and faltered, inexperienced in walking without wings. I am no longer an angel. The realization pierced my heart. What am I now? I broke the rules of celibacy in Heaven and tempted so many to do the same with my female ways. My lustful desires and sexual appetite were my ruin. Now I am alone, never to feel the pleasure of a caress.

 

My wide eyes flickered in every direction, trying to find a way out of the desolate and wild place. The potent, musky smell of decomposing vegetation and animal matter wafted into my nose, making me grimace with revulsion. There were no such smells in Heaven. Oh, how far I have gone from Heaven’s joyful fragrances!

 

I staggered in circles, my feet sinking into the spongy, wet ground. The moisture was so dense in this habitat that everything was wet. A film of moisture covered my naked body. Water soaked my long, blonde hair and pulled my curls flat. I heard the hooting of an owl. I turned toward a nearby tree and there it was, lurking in the shadows. Its large glowing eyes stared at me. Snakes slithered around my feet. Alligators remained immersed as they peered at me with their strange eyes peeking over the surface of the water. Where am I? There are only wetlands as far as I can see. How am I to survive here? I was not sure I wanted to live––not here. My body trembled, and desperate tears meandered over my cheeks and mingled with the moisture on my face. No one can hear me cry. I walked for miles. There were many sunrises and many moonrises, yet I remained alone in a world of swamps.

 

Swarms of mosquitos tormented me with their stinging and their buzzing in my ears. I had to deter countless attacks from snakes and alligators. I was covered in welts, bumps, scratches, bites and bruises from such attacks. My body itched, ached and throbbed. I deserve no less for sating my erotic desires without a second thought for the countless archangels, seraphim and cherubim I debauched with my impious, enticing and lustful ways.

 

I continued to wander the soggy swampland and began to feel an unfamiliar burning sensation in my middle. My strength was depleting, and I dragged my feet and panted. Feeling faint, I collapsed. I lay on the water-saturated ground and looked up at the heavens. What is happening to me? What have I become? I lay frozen for hours, feeling so alone, waving off a plethora of insects trying to invade my body. I would rather draw my last breath than spend the rest of my days alone in this sodden nightmare.

 

“What are you?” A masculine voice asked.

 

I jolted upright in a seated position and stared at a magnificent creature. “I––I do not know what I am. I have only knowledge of what I used to be.”

 

“Very well, then what were you?” He squinted his eyes and his eyebrows came together as he stared.

 

“I was once called Rachiel . . . when I was an angel in Heaven.”

 

He looked at me sideways. “You do not look like an angel to me.”

 

“Have you ever seen an angel?”

 

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I have, and angels have wings.”

 

“I, too, had wings. Large white wings—six of them,” I said, my voice quavering. “They were torn from me as I fell through the skies.”

 

He scrutinized me for a while with his piercing violet-blue eyes. “I believe you. I am not sure why, but I do. Perhaps something in your verdant eyes tells me you do not know how to lie.” His wide smile was stunning. “My name is Mendrion.” He was tall. His hair long, thick, the color of nightfall. Lengthy, heavy eyelashes framed his violet-blue eyes. His skin was like an ivory mist. He looked like divine pleasure. Enough, Rachiel! This is why you were cast out of Heaven! I shuddered and got out of my own head.

 

I gawked at his muscular body while he stared at my face and came closer. He searched for some of my hair that was not soiled, grabbed some and sniffed. He proceeded to nuzzle his nose against my neck, my shoulder, the top of my breasts. I closed my eyes. He breathed me in, taking in my essence. He looked up. I opened my eyes, and he stared into them. Then he walked around me, slowly, as he evaluated every inch of my bare body. He parted the long hair that fell down my back and saw the jagged stubs from where my wings used to stem. He passed his hands over them with a gentle touch, and then I felt him bring his face closer to smell the stumps. He came around to face me again.

 

“Are you in pain?” He did not look concerned but more curious.

 

“Since I have arrived on this planet, I have felt only pain, fear and sorrow.” I looked toward the ground.

 

“I can rid you of these malignancies.”

 

“How?”

 

“You need only say yes.”

 

I gazed at him. What am I to do? I am in much pain and I grow weaker with the passing of time. I shall not survive much longer without help. I bit my lip. I was unable to think with clarity.

 

“You do not trust me and I understand, for I have given you no reason to trust in me.” His voice was soothing.

 

“You are an elegant creature, but I do not know your mind.”

 

He grinned and lifted his muscular chest. He swaggered toward me and extended his arm. He passed his hand through my hair and caressed my face. Desire for him grew quickly inside me like a vine strangling all other emotions. Every fiber of my being was ignited. My chest heaved in rhythm with my shallow panting. It is happening again. I am overwhelmed with lustful desires.

 

“You, too, are beautiful to look upon,” he said. “But if you wish to rid yourself of pain and fear you must become what I am.”

 

“What are you?”

 

“I am vampire.”

 

I jolted and gasped. In Heaven, I had heard stories of such creatures from the Observers––angels whose task was to observe the beings on Earth. Vampires are the spawn of Dracul, the infamous son of Lilith and Satan. I recoiled from him.

 

“You know of my kind?” He came closer.

 

“I do.” My lips quivered.

 

“You need not fear me. I mean you no harm. I only seek what you seek.”

 

“What do you think I desire?”

 

“Companionship.” He extended his hand. “Come with me and never be alone again.”

 

I stared at his welcoming hand for a while.

 

“I shall offer this only once.” His piercing eyes were fixed on me. I reached my trembling hand to meet his and he pulled me toward him.

 

He held me tightly and pressed his full moist lips against mine. After the kiss I became lightheaded. Through eyes half opened, I watched as he opened his mouth exposing large canine teeth growing into fangs. I gasped, but before I could move, he sank his fangs into the flesh at the base of my neck. A combination of his saliva and my blood streamed down my neck. I cocked my head back and moaned, my eyes rolling back in their sockets. Both pleasure and pain moved through me. My body tensed. My entire being was at peak response. As he drew my blood greedily, I felt my body meld into his. A delightful pressure began to build inside me. I gasped and groaned with pleasure. The pressure continued to build until I thought I would explode. My body went into spasms of incredible delight, and my mind was flooded with a variety of pleasurable sensations. Then I felt a wave of dizziness, my body slackened, and darkness began to close in on me.

 

Upon opening my eyes, I saw the world differently. The colors of cypress trees became more vivid, and plants were verdant jewels. I almost felt the fragrances of nature. The alligators’ bellows and the hissing of snakes became mellifluous. I lay on the ground, and Mendrion sat next to me. He smiled, and I returned his smile. He kissed me on the lips, neck, shoulders and breasts. His hands caressed my body, and his touch was heavenly. As a vampire, my body was made for pleasure. I sensed so much more and every nerve ending in my body was excited. Every touch sent waves of pleasure throughout my body. I need not food, nor water—I may well live on his touch alone. I was in ecstasy, but then he stopped. He got to his feet.

 

“No, do not stop. I implore you.” I gazed into his eyes feeling affection for him and wholly devoted. “I love your hands and lips on my body.”

 

He extended his hand like he had done before. “Take my hand, Rachiel.” I beamed when he mentioned my name. “I shall allow you to keep your original name, for it pleases me. Now go and join the others.” His words filled me with confusion.

 

He pointed to the swamp.

 

I turned my face and gasped. My eyes opened wide with disbelief. There were other fallen angels like me in the swamp. They were all converted into vampires—no doubt in the same way as I was. There was not a happy face among them.

 

“Go on,” said Mendrion. “Take your place among them. You are now a swamp vampire. You shall feed on the blood of alligators, snakes, beavers, frogs and other swamp creatures.”

 

“I shall not!” I screamed. I clenched my jaw and held back tears. “You deceived me.”

 

“I told you only the truth. You no longer feel pain, am I right?” He waited for my response wearing a wry grin. “If you do not feed on the blood of these swamp creatures, you shall die a slow and agonizing death.”

 

“I shall go away!” I turned my head this way and that, my eyes flickering in every direction.

 

“You have nowhere to go. You belong to me now and there is no escape, for your blood calls out to me and I shall find you wherever you go. Besides, you can no longer live without my touch.” He was right—losing his caressing is what I feared most. “Join the others now, or you shall never feel the gratification of my touch.”

 

Upon hearing his final words my face slackened. I shuffled through the bog and entered the dark, gloomy water. I stood amongst the others, merely another beauty in the murky swamp. The others glared at me––another to whom they must share him with. We were all doomed to the same punishment. Our bodies made for pleasure and overwhelmed with desire, condemned to long for the touch of the same master.

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

Fall from Desire-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog-Victoria Frances

Illustration by Victoria Frances

 

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Short Stories

17 Feb

It’s the middle of the week and that means it’s time for Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Welcome everyone! I love short stories. I enjoy writing them and reading them as well. I have written several short stories for this blog, although it has been a little over a year since I wrote the last one. That’s because I’ve been so busy working on my Fantasy Angels Series and what little free time I have left after working on my series I use to work on my blog posts, social media, and blogging.

I haven’t had the time to write short stories in a while and that makes me sad because I love doing it. Anyway, I have gotten several new followers since I posted my last short story, so I decided to post the links to some of these stories. That way, those of you that have not read them can check them out, if you like.

A Town’s Perception

Murder She WrotePart 2, Finale

Raven’s Masterpiece

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance, Part 2, Finale

The Cursed Tree, Part 2, Finale

The Writer Next Door

“I would also suggest that any aspiring writer begin with short stories. These days, I meet far too many young writers who try to start off with a novel right off, or a trilogy, or even a nine-book series. That’s like starting in at rock climbing by tackling Mt. Everest. Short stories help you learn your craft.”

~George R.R. Martin

“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.”

~Neil Gaiman

“I love short stories because I believe they are the way we live. They are what our friends tell us, in their pain and joy, their passion and rage, their yearning and their cry against injustice.”

~Andre Dubus

“I find it satisfying and intellectually stimulating to work with the intensity, brevity, balance and word play of the short story.”

~Annie Proulx

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and Colleen have joined forces! He has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts feel free to do so and link them to Colleen’s post. She will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up she does each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

Enjoy your day! And don’t forget to read one of my short stories.

They will haunt you . . . 

A Town’s Perception – Short Story

31 Aug

 

A Town's Perception

 

Hello everyone! Thank you for visiting my blog today. I’m featuring a short story inspired by a nightmare I had. The nightmare was somewhat bizarre, as night terrors often are, but what I remember of it became the creative impulse that led to this story. I’ll call it a Sci-Fi/Horror.

WARNING: The story is a bit macabre.

 

( ^ Click PLAY to hear soundtrack ^)

 

A Town's Perception_Vashti Quiroz-Vega_The Writer Next Door

A Town’s Perception

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

It began with the moon.

One evening I lifted my eyes to the skies, and the moon appeared to have doubled in size. After that, all sorts of curious phenomena began to occur. Everyone in my small town was in a panic.

Strange swirls of indescribable colors were seen in the night skies. During the day the sun shone blood red and colored the skies pink. It was as if we had been transported to a different planet overnight.

When I saw the ships in the sky, I knew it wouldn’t be long before they came for us, and I was right.

In the middle of the day, they came. I watched them disembark their ships, small groups at a time. They resembled men of diminutive stature with large heads. They appeared to waddle rather than walk. They wore weird metallic suits with respirators attached to their faces.

I rushed to my daughter’s side. She lay on the bed in her room, stared ahead at nothingness and wailed, as she had done for days.

My poor child. Her mind was not equipped to handle this invasion. I held her tight. I would not allow her capture. Who knew what these small creatures were capable of doing to her—-to us.

I pushed the barrel of the gun up against her temple to keep my hand from trembling. The cold metal did not stop her wails. Poor thing, her voice was so hoarse. I would extinguish the fire in her gullet.

I pulled the trigger. She fell on her side, her eyes still open wide, as if she could still see this nightmare. I shut her eyelids and finally gave her peace.

It was my turn. I’d convinced myself, like so many others in this town, that this was the only way out. I was the last to take action since I was taught to always have hope, but even those of us who always have hope had given up.

The priest took most of the townfolk. After his last sermon, he instructed the congregation to get on their knees and pray. While the town’s people prayed, the priest left the church and locked the doors behind him. Then he set the church ablaze.

Pitiful man of God, his mind also handled the crisis poorly. He burned those people alive: men and women, young and old. He had invited my daughter and I to attend his last sermon, and I agreed to go, but my daughter was not doing well, so we stayed home and were saved from a horrific death.

I live a block away from the church, and I heard the screams and howls of the burning souls. I ran down the street and was met with a fiery inferno. The stench of burning flesh and hair made me retch. I released the contents of my stomach right there on the street. What did it matter? There was no one around to watch me. I saw the priest stagger from the back of the burning building. My stomach was tied in knots.

“Demons! The demons are upon us,” he shouted. “If you remain they will take your soul!”

“What are you talking about?” I gasped and pointed a shaky finger at the combusting church. “There are people burning alive in there.” I ran toward the church’s double doors. The heat of the blaze stopped me. I sobbed unable to act. Those were my neighbors. My friends.

“You have to burn! Otherwise the demons will take your soul. I burned them because the fire will purify their spirits.” He stared at me with wild eyes.

My hands flew to cover my mouth upon recognition of what he had done. My legs faltered, and I fell to my knees. I trembled uncontrollably as the priest took steps toward me. I extended my quaking arms before me.

“Stop! Stay away!” I made an attempt to get to my feet, but my knees buckled.

“My dear, you must not remain alive. The demons will take your soul.” His voice eerily calm. He continued to trudge in my direction.

“You’re right!” I shouted. My head nodding briskly. “I know I must die. I must tend to my daughter’s demise also.”

“What? Your young daughter is still alive?”

“Yes, she waits for me at home.”

“No, no, no!” The man of the cloth pulled on his sleeves and shook his head like a madman. “You must go to her! It may be too late already. The demons do not waste time. A young soul like hers is a prime target. Go to her! If her soul is still intact, take her life immediately and then take your own.” He took a lighter out and flicked it on. He bent over and put the small flame against the hem of his cassock.

I tried to scream as I watched the fire spread and grow on the flammable cloth of his priestly vestment, but I opened my mouth and sounds did not leave my lips. I gathered all my strength and lifted myself off the ground. I wanted to run. Instead I barely escaped the wailing priest who floundered, engulfed in flames. I staggered past him. The crackle and pop of his burning flesh lingered in my ears never to be forgotten. Noxious smoke attacked my nostrils. The stench was so great, I could taste it.

The very next day, the little men came.

It’s time now. My daughter is gone. The entire town is gone.

*

A gunshot is heard. Men in white lab coats and facemasks run into a young girl’s bedroom. On the twin bed, dressed in pink, lies a pre-teen girl and a thirty-something-year-old woman. Both females are deceased due to gunfire wounds to the head.

“We’re too late,” one of the men in lab coats said.

“Well, maybe it is for the best,” his partner said. “There is nothing we could have done to reverse the effects of the chemical agent.”

“It’s a shame what happened in this town.”

“Yes, but how could we know Compound K would have this effect on them?”

“No––we had no way of knowing that the solution we prepared to cause infertility in the men and women of this town would turn into a powerful, hallucinogenic, mind-altering drug when combined with their water.”

“We’ll have to look into the town’s filtering system before we try this again in the next small town.”

“I agree, but let’s not allow this small speed bump to deter our cause.”

“Doctors,” a young man interrupted, “you asked for bottled water?” The men nodded and each took a bottle. They hardly took notice of the fellow. The young assistant leaves.

“Of course it won’t deter us. Our cause to save the planet by ending overpopulation goes beyond a few casualties.”

“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call five hundred people a few casualties, but such things happen in the name of science.”

“Absolutely.” The scientist gulps down his bottled water. Suddenly, he sputters. His eyes widen. “Th-thi-this water was bottled right here in this town!”

The other scientist fumbles with the bottle, trying to see the manufacturer’s name.

“How could this small town have a bottled water company?” Wide-eyed and hands trembling, the scientist stares at the lettering on the bottle. He reads, “‘We take pride in our fresh, clean mountain water and we use the highest quality water filtration systems.’ They bottled this water four days ago.” He drops the bottle, and it crashes to the ground.

“No!” his partner yells. “We put Compound K in the water supply seven days ago!”

“Maybe it won’t affect us in the same way as the townspeople. We’ve only drank a small portion in comparison to what they must have drank in the course of several days.” His voice wavers and his body shudders at the thought of having ingested the solution that caused all the townspeople to go mad and kill themselves. The other scientist stares at him, unnervingly silent.

Unexpectedly, the first scientist cries out and recoils. “Stay away from me! Don’t come near me. You will never take me alive!”

“What is the matter with you?” Staring at his partner and looking perplexed the second scientist takes a step back. “Oh, no.” His face slackens as realization hits.

His partner continues shouting, “You’ll never take me alive, Nazi!” He grabs a lamp and charges.

The scientist wrestles with his crazed colleague and seizes the lamp from him. The madman bites him on the shoulder. The scientist beats the man on the head and shoulder repeatedly until the lunatic finally unclenches his teeth and falls to the ground dead.

The scientist falls back against the wall, panting. He slides down the wall, landing in a crumpled mess on the floor. He holds his head in his hands and stares at his partner’s limp body, whose blood meanders toward him. Rivers pour from his eyes. His body shakes and convulses.

His eyes do not reflect what his mind sees.

The flames of hell surround him while demons dance around and torment him with everlasting pain.

 

A Town's Perception

Copyright © 2013 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday

1 Jul

Hi everyone! I’m posting this very late today and I have Comcast to thank for that. Since I moved to my new house I’ve had nothing but problems with Comcast and my WiFi connection. It works one day and then it’s out two, three, or four days. I’m getting really frustrated with this situation. Well, my internet is finally working––lets see how long this will last. Okay, I’m done venting.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday | Silver Threading

Writer's Quote Wednesday

Horror Quote

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'”

Do you enjoy reading horror novels? What are some of your favorite horror writers/novels?