Literary Persuits and other Ramblings

The Old Woman

They have no name for her. All they can tell you is that when she is around, nothing good ever happens. That is probably why they have no name for her. The saying goes that there is power in a name, and she is powerful enough as is.

She is not human and she is old. Very old. She smells like sweet decaying flesh. Like a corpse who has been embalmed but the rot and decay is stronger than the embalming fluids and formaldehyde. Like the body had been left in the sun and wet for a couple hours too long before it was embalmed. The smell is worse than death. It has no promise of an after life. Just sordid decomposition. Life turned into something foul.

She is dressed in an old floral dress. There is tattered lace at her cuffs and collars. The material looks hard and stiff, as though it was recently starched and pressed.  It makes a soft rasping noise as she moves. Like two pieces of dried parchment rubbing together. The dress looks as though it will fall to dust at any second, the microfibers blowing into the wind and choking unsuspecting victims on their filth and pestilence. There looks to be dried blood smearing the tattered and torn hem of her dress, as though she recently danced her way through a massacre where what was left of any human was lumps of unidentifiable meat. Absolute carnage is written into the fabric of the dress, in its stiff and sharp edging and movement. The rubbing of the cloth the dying breath of a murdered man.

She shuffles along. Plump. Like an old woman who has had hearty meals her entire life. She moves as though arthritis has long set into her joints. There is pain etched in her movement, the pain of many many long years. Years of feasting and gorging until her corroded hearts content. Years spent travelling, never resting. Lifetimes spent on the road. Centuries spent without sleep. The depravity and gross indulgences are in accord with her every painful movement.

Her skin is white translucent leather. Long since has the moisture been sucked out of it. Yet it hangs strangely across her fleshy physique, as though it was discarded there many moons ago and long since forgotten. Thin spidery black veins can be seen tracing webs along the skin. The veins look like a sick tattoo, a mockery of the passageways which in so many carry the blood which has oxygenated and fed their body.

No one looks at her though. No one wants to draw attention to themselves. They turn their back on her, this old woman with no name. She stands behind each of them, willing them to turn around, to help a poor old lady in need. No one ever does. Fear always wins out. The primal instinct to survive stops anyone from turning and looking at her. Although there are those who always give in. Who turn around and look at her face.

To see her face is to die. No, not just die. Dying would be a mercy. She will make your body dance and twist in a morbid puppet show. Each movement breaking bone and sinew. She will make you pluck your own eyes out and feed them to her. She will make you pull off each nail from all your fingers and all your toes. Make you pull out your own teeth. All while keeping you just on the brink of life where you all aware of what cruel fate you have fallen into. She will make you peel your own skin off, using nothing but the bloody broken stumps you have left. The pain you will endure will be far greater and more excruciating than you can ever imagine, and she will find ways to make it worse.

All while this is happening, the last image you will always return to is her face. For she has no face. It has long since been torn out, a gaping wound. All that is distinguishable amid the straw hair and black crater are the teeth. They are look as though to be children’s milk teeth, yet razor sharp. They are yellow and black. Discoloration to go with the rest of the rotting depraved thing she is.

Protruding from the teeth is the tongue. Her long snake-like tongue. Searching, reaching and touching. Tasting. It is long and dry, like a tentacle from an octopus left to dry and decay in a desert during a drought.

No, she doesn’t need a name. Something so terrifying and powerful doesn’t need to be known by anything other then what she physically is. No one needs to talk about her. No one needs to mention her at all.

For she is the horror to top all horrors. The horror so terrifying, we are genetically programmed to stay away.

Yet she will be there behind you, waiting for the day you slip up. The day you make a mistake. The day you turn around and look at her.

The Promise

You lie there, in the dark, watching her sleep beside you. You take in her scent, watch her breathe, trace outlines on her skin. She is dreaming, you hope that it is about you. She smiles secretly in the dark of the room, and you begin to feel tendrils of fear flicker through you.

You barely acknowledge them at first, but with each breath she takes, the stronger they get. You realize how fragile this moment it. How fragile it all is. She can be taken from you at any moment; swiftly and silently. A stalker grabbing hold of its prey, and there would be nothing you could do to stop it. To save her.

You cuddle up closer to her, feeling her heartbeat with yours and you promise her you will never let anything happen to her. You promise that you will be there for her. That no matter what, you will always answer her call. No matter how silent it is.

But when the day dawns the fears are left in the dark of the night. You fall back into your normal routine. Taking for granted that she will be there, always, when you call. Days turn into weeks, months continue to pass you by, and yet your promise remains forgotten in the depths of the dark of one lonely night.

You look at her, trace your fingers along the lines of her face. She is so beautiful, so fragile. You remember you silent promise all those ages ago, and wonder what happened. How did you miss her call? She looks just as she did back then, content, with a secret smile on her face. You want to tell her how much you love her, but the men are closing the lid. You scream at them, fight them off. Deny that she has gone. Deny that you weren’t there for her.

All that’s left now is ashes, and memories that are already beginning to fade. You remember her laugh, her smile. You throw the ashes off the edge of her favourite spot. You had never once taken the time to climb up here with her. Not once. You had always been too busy. Too preoccupied with your own demons to see hers. There are no tears left, and as you watch the last of the ashes float way In them you can see her smiling, laughing. You can see the love in her eyes. The love she had for you.

Hours pass, as do days. You torment yourself with every means possible. Continually, you punish yourself not being there when she needed you the most. Your world, your soul, is black. You are a void. Nothing. No one knows you; no one even bothers to find out. You exist from one day to another, finding an escape from her touch, her scent, her smile. That secret smile she had which haunts your every dream.

What feels like an eternity passes, and you find yourself back at that spot. Her spot. You scream in anguish for the person you have become. Dark and twisted by pain and rage. By the guilt you feel. She wouldn’t recognize you now. You can no longer hear her soft laughter anymore, or feel the way she felt when her skin was pressed against yours. You can barely see that secret smile she had, it has faded from your dreams.

As the tears flow and the racking sobs tear through every fiber of your body, you catch a faint scent, barely there on the wind. You cry out to her, begging her to forgive you, for you can never forgive yourself. You see her, just pass the edge.

You try to grab her, to hold her, to feel her just one last time. Something grabs you, a warm hand on yours. The touch melts the dark inside away, and eases some of the pain. You turn, expecting to see her in front of you, given back to you by some miracle.

It is not her, you find, but someone else. She doesn’t look the same, but she also has a secret smile, and eyes filled with love. She holds out her hand, and you take it.

She stays with you, Answers your every call. Never forgets you are there. You sit across from her and can’t help but trace the line of her smile. You make another promise. This time the promise is not only to yourself, but to to your love and to your love lost. Never again will you forget her. Forget that she is there. Never forget to answer her when she calls.

This time, you promise that you will keep your promise made to a girl with a secret smile.

Mirage

something of an illusion. that is all it was.
I stood there at the edge of something that should of been beautiful. Instead it was desolate, empty and broken.
In the end, it was a mirage

Assurance

So I have wanted to write about my tattoos and their various salient meanings. I say salient, because as I grown and change as a person the meanings behind my tattoos alter slightly. I guess what this says about me is that I spend a lot of time thinking about my tattoos and their meaning. That way I am not going to have a tattoo that loses significance later on in my life.

So, my first instinct was to start from the first…

Then I thought I would start with the tattoo I am planning on covering up.

After the last couple of days, I have decided to start with the last.

The Backwards Text Tattoo

yeah yeah, slightly NSFW.

So, other than those perverts, whovians and OCD cleaners, you may probably notice that the text is backwards. Well duh. If you going to leave a message for yourself maybe you should be able to read it when you look in a mirror. No, that is not the real reason but it is a good reason.

Actual reason: I like to write backwards. So I got a backwards text tattoo. How awesome is that?

So, what does it say?

So I wrote you this song, but you won’t sing along

Okay, that is kinda poetic and cute. Maybe a little girly. Where did it come from?

Well, that part is easy. It is lyrics from a song called Assurance by a band called Hurt.

The significance?

Well it involves a boy. A stubborn, pain-in-the-ass ginger accountant to be precise. There are many ways to interpret that sentence. Lets just leave it as it being said with more than a little fondness.

I fell in love with G almost immediately. Well, he gave me butterflies the first time he smiled at me. An amazing feat considering we were running uphill, and it was some ridiculous time in the morning. Say, 7am or so. I was struggling (because I hate running) and he was prancing around, running backwards and all round being happy. The moment was fleeting as I still had to run back to the kung fu school and do the torment of what was then San Shou training.

However, I was eager to go to every extra training class after that just to see this strange boy (with a fantastic ass).

So, after much flirting (to which he is immune) and dropping hints, I eventually asked the dumbass on a date. I think I have probably fallen in love with him more and more each day since.

The issues started a while into our relationship.

He is grounded, stubborn, logical and prone to depression.

I am all over the place, stubborn, emotional, and well, all my flaws will have to be written up in a another post. We could be here a while.

Needless to say, the concept of opposites attract mostly applies to magnets.

So, where does the tattoo come in? Well, it was one weekend. We had been fighting a lot, the first time around (we have tried and failed this relationship twice now) and this weekend we were back to normal. It was my cousins wedding. When we eventually got back to my aunts place and collapsed into the squishiest bed on the planet, I asked him what would be the song that we would play at our wedding.

He said Assurance by Hurt.

So I listened to the song. After we broke up, I listened to it all the time. I still listen to it.

So, what does my tattoo signify?

  • love is not enough to keep a relationship together
  • no matter how hard you try and be someone to another person, sometimes life has other plans
  • sometimes two people who love each other cannot be together, but it doesn’t make the love any less real

It is by no means a sad tattoo. It reminds me of many happy moments I got to share with G.

So mostly, it is a reminder that loving someone is complicated. That combined with the complications of actually being in a relationship with another person means that if you know two people (or more) who have relationships where there is love and it works, you should be really happy for them.

Clives-Adventure-with-a-Boat

‘..through deconstruction, the impossible is made possible because it is sustained by impossibility.’ (Oravecz, 2013) Well, at least Clive learnt something… sort of…

Words

Words

We know so many. We use them all the time.

We tie them in neat little packages and send them a drift in hopes that someone, somewhere will understand them.

They hold so much meaning, these words, but often fail to express what it is that needs to be said.

 That is why I sit in silence. There are no words. Nothing comes to mind.

It is dark inside, and there are parts of me I don’t want you to see because I am afraid.

So, I sit still.

Silent.

Breathing.

Desperately looking for words to describe everything I am trying to hide.

I look at you, willing you to understand, but I can’t face the pain I am causing you. I would do anything to push this all down deep inside to keep away from you. To hide it from you. Just to see you smile.

I loved you selflessly once. Please don’t ask me to do it again. Not when you asked me to love you fully now.

To touch you, to hold you. Everything for so long I dreamt of doing.

A surreal fantasy.

To be around you is peace. There is calm.

There is something safe and secure.

Words. Just more words. Trying to convey a meaning.

Take for instant the word friend. To each and everyone it means something different. I could call you my friend. It would not be a lie. To say you are a good friend would even be the truth.

Distance. Silence.

Two more words to keep a friend a friend. To be only a friend.

To stay loyal and true. To be there through all, and to never leave.

Ah, but by that definition alone I have never been a friend,

Instead I just was there.

I accepted the choices you made.

I still accept them now.

Words don’t make feeling any of this easier.

Commitment. Loyalty.

You have my unconditional love, on the condition that I am not there.

To sit and feel and feel and not speak because there are no words. Words which talk about love, and the joy. Words which make me want to share every second of every moment with you because you are so important that I need to share my life with you.

Indescribable happiness. I want to see you smile. Laugh. Your eyes shine with the burning passion you have blazing deep inside. To share in your achievements, your happiest moments, your love.

To hold you and be your comfort when you are sad. To be your distraction when you are stressed. To just be there when you need someone. To be that someone you need.

To be needed.

Needed and loved.

I could decorate this with words so beautiful, a single perfect teardrop would never compare.

But the words would still be words, and a meaning will still need to be conveyed.

So I stay silent.

I don’t tell you where it broke or got hard. Where your words stopped being words and became so much more.

Where one touch has so much emotion that it is almost unbearable to feel.

I can’t love you like you want me to. Not when it is restricted.

I can’t love you without it hurting. Not when I know it must end.

Oh these words. So simple. So easy. Words that come and go, strung up in different ways to mean different things to many people.

These beautiful, heartfelt little packages which cannot even begin to scratch the surface of all that I want to say to you.

So I sit in silence.

Searching for the words.

Red Rose

Pieces of Shattered lives

A broken relationship left to die

Pain rippling from a thousand knives,

Confused thoughts and questions why

The distance between two so close

A crate defacing a beauty wild

The blackened edges of a red rose

Hatred filling a loving child

All the things that went wrong

The never ending argument of forbidden lust

Remembrance of a love now gone

The last tear falling

Turning to dust.

Childhood Memories

There are many things which characterize my childhood. Lots were good, some were bad. However, there are a few treasured memories that take me back to the best part of my childhood. Where I felt safe from the world, and anything was possible.

It always starts with a car. The same car. I remember my Dad driving it home, and thinking it was the most beautiful car in the whole world. I must of been six or seven at the time.

It was red.

To my young mind that was the colour of all racing cars. Of speed. Of laughter and fun. The lines were sleek and curved gently. In my mind this was the car of romance. A car which represented happily ever after. 

It was the first car that I saw which had a rear wing. This car was so fast it needed a wing! It didn’t matter that I knew nothing about cars. I still don’t know much to be honest. I will always remember this car.

No, it wasn’t a Ferrari, or Lamborghini. To my young mind, those cars couldn’t compare. 

My childhood happiness can be summed up in a Red Mazda MX6. To be more specific, a fire red MX6 with black leather interior with matching stitching. The biggest highlight of the car was the Ten CD Disk changer. That is right. The car could change and skip through TEN CDs.

It was magnificent. 

It never occurred to me back then how impractical this car was, which my Dad bought home in a joyous demonstration of indulgence. Three young kids (ages approximately 3, 6, and 10) all to fit into this sports car every day to school. Not to mention that when I entered junior primary, two other kids joined in the squashing and squishing around bags and books. 

None of that mattered. There was a space for me behind my Dad’s seat where only I could squeeze in. A safe hidey hole with my Dad sitting protection in front to stave off any terror or problem. Carelessly lighting a Camel Filter and looking all cool in his golfer sunglasses and unintentional mullet. I will confess many car rides I was shouted at for putting my Dad’s hair into a pony tail as ‘boys did not tie their hair up’.

The smell of Camel Filter cigarettes still transports me back to those mornings. Back to the MX6. Back to the best parts of my childhood. The small space only I could curl up in behind my Dad. Curled up with a book, safe in my own little fantasy world with my Dad right there to protect me.

I would consume novel after novel in that little space reserved just for me in the red MX6. Often playing would be either Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell or Wet Wet Wet (I don’t even remember the album name). I still hear those songs and think of my little hidey hole. Mostly Meatloaf. He would do anything for love, but wouldn’t do that and rock and roll dreams would come true. 

That glorious red MX6 with black leather interior and ten CD disk changer which only ever seemed to play two CDs (and occasionally the K-TV cd). The smell of a Camel Filter being lit, while turning the pages of a new novel. Greedily taking in all the lives and worlds of heroes and heroines all while my Dad was sitting a safe distance away to protect me should I get scared. To drive fast enough away from any terror or monster or any villain who might escape the pages.

Drive fast enough until the last page where everything was happy.

I believed in those fairy tale endings and romances sitting in that car. I believed that bad stuff was always defeated by the hero, and that if all else fails, my Dad would be the hero I needed.

All because my Dad drove that car.

That red Mazda MX6.

16 Blackthorn Road

It was an ordinary summer afternoon. There was nothing particularly special about the afternoon, nor about the house that our story starts in.

A big beefy man (who looks remarkably like his father minus the very large moustache) sits at the kitchen table, idly staring out the window into the garden. The bush opposite makes him think of years gone by, back to another garden in another perfectly normal neighbourhood. The memory was of his cousin, much younger then, and how he had threatened to set fire to a bush. This of course had been before he had known anything of magic. It was still terrifying to think about.

The man looks back down to the post on the kitchen table. There are a couple of utility bills, a letter from his mother (even though he spoke to her every day) and a large parchment letter addressed to one Mr. V. H. Dursley. Dudley had known this letter would arrive from the day they bought his son home from the hospital. Although little Vernon looked exactly like his father and grandfather in size, with a mop of blonde hair similar to that of Dudley’s in his youth, he had the same large green eyes as Dudley’s cousin.

Of course his tiny wife, who got along famously with his mother, decided all the strange events around their only son were due to ‘psychological’ problems and took him to various clinics and psychiatrists. Dudley didn’t discourage her, nor did he try and discourage his son. After all, having lived through all this before he knew that no matter what he did the outcome would be the same. He also knew that although magic was scary, his cousin had saved his life once. Maybe even more.

This wasn’t to say Dudley was proud to have a wizard for a son, but years living away from his parents had made him more tolerant and wanting to know more about the magical world. Of course, most of this came from twenty-two years of wondering what had happened to his cousin. Obviously whatever it was that his cousin was in danger from had stopped, as there had been no strange incidences on the news. Dudley had also not seen or heard from any of ‘that lot’, as his mother liked to call them, since they happily vanished from their protective detail. Life had carried on rather normally for Dudley since then. He had gone to college, got a degree in business and was now looking at Directorship at the firm he worked at.

‘Dudders, are you even listening to me.’ Dudley was snapped forward to the present very suddenly by his wife’s teary accusation. Looking at Marian, the small petite woman he married fresh out of college, Dudley gave a heavy sigh.

‘Of course, dear.’

‘Well, do you think we should try again?’

‘Try what again, dear?’

‘The electric shock therapy for Vernon. We simply can’t have him acting all strange. He is our only son. What would the neighbours think? Why can’t he be normal like all the other boys his age, Dudders?’

‘The neighbours don’t care how he acts or what he does Marian,’ Dudley exasperatedly told his wife for what felt like the millionth time. ‘And don’t call me Dudders’

‘Fine then, what about me Dudley? He scares me. Strange things happen around him. Just last week I tried to put him in a jumper your mother bought for him and no matter how hard I tried it would fit. It was as though it was shrinking in my hands’

‘The same thing happened to my cousin Harry once. I think it was the only time something strange had happened around him that my parents didn’t punish him for.’

‘You are missing the point Dudley. I just don’t know what to do about our son’ with that Marian burst into tears. Once again, since his son had been born, Dudley found himself wishing he had some way to contact his cousin. He knew Harry would be able to help him with the boy. Maybe even help explain things to Marian. As he watched her sob into her dishcloth, Dudley felt torn for the second time in his life.

‘Marian..’ He started, but was interrupted by a tapping sound at the window. Looking up, Dudley was surprised to see a large white snowy owl at the window. Quickly, he opened the latch.

‘Dudley, what are you doing! Don’t let that horrid creature in here’ Marian screeched, running out of the kitchen. Smiling to himself, Dudley looked at the owl. Promptly, the owl stretched out her leg waiting for Dudley to untie the letter attached to the Owls leg. After the owl was free of it’s burden, it fluttered around a bit. Remembering the bits of bread Harry occasionally fed his owl, Dudley offered some to this owl and then proceeded to read the letter.

Dear Dudley

It has been a while. I am not even sure where you live or what you do. I know Mini will find you however.

With that Dudley looked over to the owl, who apparently decided it was time for a nap and was roosting comfortably in the chair opposite. He wondered how they had come up with the name Mini for what seemed to be such a large bird. Turning back to the letter, Dudley continued reading.

Ginny, my wife, insisted I write to you. Although I am sure I am the last person you would like to hear from. Ginny is the sister of my friend Ron. Tall guy, ginger hair, lots of freckles. I don’t know if you would remember him or any of his family. Anyway, I got married to her. We have three kids now. James is our oldest, Albus the middle and Lily the youngest. She is eleven now. I believe that is the same age as your son.

That is the reason I am writing. I heard he was offered a place at Hogwarts. I do realize this must be very hard for you and a shock. I do remember how much magic scared you. I also do realize that this was partly my fault considering I resorted to threatening you with magic out of defence when we were growing up. I guess the manner of our departure from each other’s lives was also less than encouraging on the magic front.

It is all over, in case you were wondering. We defeated Voldemort. Many died in the battle. A whole war went on, and I don’t even think the Muggles even noticed it. Of course it took a long time to sort out all the mess afterwards. Arresting people, finding out who were operating under their own free will and who were not. It was a very long, very drawn out process. By the time it was over I had figured you, Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had moved on with your lives and would prefer to not ever see me again. In all honestly, I never planned to see any of you again.

 I digress however. 

Lily will also be attending Hogwarts this year, and we will be going to Diagon Alley to get all her school stuff. I know you have no experience in this, and well, Ginny offered that you could come with us. That is if you do send your son to Hogwarts.

You can attach a reply, as well as your response to Hogwarts (I suggest you respond unless you would like a repeat of what happened when they were trying to contact me and your father ignored the letter) to Mini. She will ensure both are delivered.

Your cousin

Harry

P.S Lily named Mini when she was younger. You know how kids can be

Dudley read the letter again, and felt a sudden weight lift from his shoulders. Harry his cousin was alive, and was willing to help him with his son after all. Smiling, Dudley picked up the Hogwarts acceptance letter. ‘If you don’t mind waiting here for a bit, Mini, I have to go tell the wife.’

With that Dudley strode into the living room, calling his family as he did so. Quickly, and concisely as he could, Dudley explained the events of his childhood, the two letters and what it would mean for his son.

‘I know it is scary Marian, I have seen what their world is like. However, I think sending him to this school where he can learn about his abilities is a much better option that sending him for more shock therapy which is clearly not working’

Marian, however, did not take the reassurance and ran from the room. Vernon looked torn between excitement, and concern for his mother.

‘Don’t worry boy,’ Dudley said gruffly, ‘she will come around. Let’s reply to the school together shall we?’

With that, Dudley wrote on the two blank pieces of parchment provided. One was a letter to Harry asking if they could meet in a couple days time in London. The second letter read:

I, Dudley Dursley, hereby give permission to my son, Vernon Harry Dursley, to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this September

Wistful

it has been a long time, however this time of year always makes me feel wistful.
There is nothing I can do. What has been done is done. There is no turning back. Sometimes I see a glimmer of a hope. But that is all it is.