Friday, January 24, 2014

Ghosts 2.0

I went in... a way different direction than usual.

Oh, and I wasn't trying to rhyme or be neurotic about having the same number of beats in each sentence... more, I was trying to get it to 150 words, and couldn't quite do it, so I settled for 175.

And then my arm was hurting, so I just stopped :) Yeah! I get needles shoved in me tomorrow! Acupuncture is kinda awesome.

In an old wooden house behind an overgrown hedge, where shutters lay rusted and breezes still. As the days’ light grows tired, that’s when ghosts come to play.

No spooks in the graveyard, no poltergeist tricks, no crawling of nerves, or in the traipsing cross of black cats. It’s in warm summer twilight that ghosts like to play.

A rattle like bones, a bird-sharp laugh, a tumble of dried ferns, and a wind-stolen hat. That’s how you know the ghosts are at play.

The scratched caw of a raven on the mazed bark of a tree, the tip-toed song of a rainbow, the rustling chatter of grass. That’s how you hear ghosts while they play.

In the kneaded tread of crushed moss, in the rings of small stones, in the scratched painted fence, and snapped boughs of young firs. That’s how you see where ghosts play.

Between tumbled-down tree-forts, and buried treasures of old, rotted rope swings and long-outgrown shoes. That’s how you remember when ghosts came to play.


  1. will read later
    acupuncture is wonderful!!

    1. Yes it is! definitely don't get the same immediate change as with massage, but a few days later, I always notice things are moving way better.

  2. Oh. I really like this. It does have a nicely poetic feel that fits such an odd starting line. Hope the acupuncture went well and should have an entry up later.

    1. Thank you!

      ...and sorry it took me so long to read/reply to these... I've had a... very complicated/stressful week-and-a-half (roommate issues).

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  4. – In an old wooden house behind an overgrown hedge, where shutters lay rusted and breezes still. Dream-speak, but the magician follows it upon a morning waking, walking a world grown small before him to a house that seems rotted from the inside-out and the outside-in as well. The town is not large, but secret lay under it like acne burrowing out of skin. He is sixteen, almost, a magician for over a year and the magic burns so hungry inside him, promising to make everything right if only he will let it out.

    Where he walks, the grass is a little greener and animals come out of hiding places to track his passing. He notices, sometimes, but he has learned not to look to closely at anything lest the magic peel it back and show truths that only hurt. He gnaws his lower lip and stares at the house as he approaches it, his magic an armour in the air around him, a force felt more than it can be seen.

    “You called me here,” he says, and there is something that was a ghost once in the air before him, drawn from the place it haunted by a voice that could wake the dead or bring stars down from a sky. The magician has not yet given up some of his power to a park, not bound it into other people and there is almost too much for him to hold inside his flesh and bone.

    The ghost offers up memories in response, all its power nothing to the magician. Magic answers need, and the ghost has no many needs, so many terrible things it did when alive to friends, to family, burying bodies under a house and destroying lives. The locals that what when Jeremy Carver died the Devil named a day in Hell in his honour, and his need is for redemption and freedom from his home calls to the magician and to the magic.

    The magician shudders at the memories that he cannot unsee and draws his magic up so that he will rarely see a ghost again, his fury both a magicians and that of a child not yet a man. “Very well,” he says, and his magic rips the ghost free of its moorings and binds it into the cemetery were so many of Jeremy’s victims remains. “Free them and earn it,” he snarls, and binds the ghost with his tears as much as words and the ghost laughs coldly at the pain it has caused all the while.

    The magician burns the house to ashes after, but feels no better for it.

    1. Ack. 'The locals say that when Jeremy Carver died the Devil named a day in Hell in his honour' is what that one line should have been. Not deleting it again :P

    2. Wow, nice! Great story you've wrapped into such few words, love that poetic style you have with the magician series, and you have some awesome word-play in there as well!

      'shudders' near the end to play off 'shutters' at the beginning, etc.

      And I am so curious about giving power to a park... is that something magicians often do? I get binding it to other people, but to a park? Now that's an idea I'd love to read more of!

    3. Thanks :) I was trying to keep it short since most of my flash pieces for this get closer to the 500-word mark :) The power this is that most magicians bind themselves to a place (city, town, often where they were living when they became a magician) that gives them a LOT of power but also means they can't leave that place for long periods of time. What the magician did instead was give away a portion of his magic to a park (and an old man in it). Amusingly, I wrote the first draft of a story where the magician talks to his magic -- and the park stuff comes up -- a couple of nights ago.

      Since I'm currently medicated on fun drugs(tm) for back spasms, I have -- FIX/FINISH) on the file for later next week. By which time I hope the story still makes sense...

    4. That's such a cool idea!

      Owwwoowowowowo!! What happened to your back?!?!

    5. No clue. I must have lifted some item of furniture oddly on Monday (none of it was heavy). By Wednesday it was: 'getting drugs now pls'. And spending the next 3+ days being very tired and a zombie for all intents at work. The funny part was that my brother is on meds for his back [other stuff] and said: "I can give you something that'll put you out. I had one and didn't wait up, for 12 hours."

      I looked at the bottle, and then informed him that I was taking said drug 3 times a day to his 1 :) At least now I know why I was so very out of it....

    6. oh my goodness! you were taking the horse-dosage instead of the human-dosage...

      Are you doing any physio or anything to help fix the problem?