Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Darkness Comes

I am the one who rapes your daughters. I am the one who shoots down your sons.

I am the one who forces your fathers into submission. I am the one who prematurely kills your mothers.

I am the one who looks away out of convenience, and the one who takes away with impunity, not care.

I am the one who's atrocities are too numerous to count, too details and varied to tally, and too widespread to stop.

I am the one who haunts the dreams of the oppressed, the voiceless, the hopeless.

And yet, why shouldn’t my eye turn to you, those who have unleashed me? Why should I stay my hand for you, those who have foolishly freed me?


Do you not also have daughters?
Do you not also have sons? 

Will your fathers not crumble beneath my greed?
Will your mothers’ wombs not still bleed?

When your victims are gone, fed to me by your fury, I will be too large to contain, too powerful to be tamed.

Will you then look at me with fear and disdain as you try vainly to kill me with your weapons? 

Did no one tell you that bullets cannot defeat ideology, that violence does not destroy itself? 

Did no one tell you that all those who would have stood to protect you now lay slaughtered at your feet, at your behest and ever urgent request?

When I come for you, do not look on me with surprise and outrage. Do not look within me for mercy and compassion. You, my liberators, have shown me the way, and it is my joy to reap what you have sown. 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Old and Noble Art of Necromancy

They are all around us; hiding in the shadows of once-busy streets, clinging to objects from the past, and unsettling us in the small hours of the night. They hover, seen and unseen, around us, and send chills when their matter collides with ours. Many disbelieve, but that doesn't change the reality of the situation.

The living need Necromancers just as surely as the dead do.

Necromancers of benevolent alignment dispel spirits and help them cross over, make peace with their deaths, and forgive those who wronged them, and so keep them in this plain. They wish to ease the sufferance of those past, and reconcile the dead with those who continue in their stead.

Necromancers of malignant alignment bind and hold spirits here, using them as guards for place or objects, using them for personal vengeance, and as sources of energy for other magickal works. It is highly irregular for malignantly aligned necromancers to hold power for long, as Spirits do not suffer the living to mistreat them without repercussion.

Rarely, we find a Necromancer of truly neutral alignment, one who plays by both sets of rules, yet is owned by neither. These folk tend to be rarer solely because they do not advertise their skill. Often, these types are seen as selfish- binding and releasing spirits as it suits their purposes, calling back those who have gone on for information unobtainable through more conventional means, and crossing over spirits who cause more trouble than they are worth.


The Old and Noble Art of Necromancy is often seen with fear, misunderstood in it's greater aspects by those who wish to believe the dead loath the living and envy them their mortality. Those who live in fear of the Art of Necromancy fail to see the practicality, and indeed, the beauty of bridging the plains between physical and metaphysical.

Rare a gift in the olden days, Necromancy has been watered down through the ages to be commonly known as mediumship. While not as potent, it is none the less useful a tool for those following a benevolent path. Few are gifted with true control over the spirits, however, and it is perhaps for the best.

None the less, those wishing to follow the path of the Spirits need simply atune themselves to the hidden rhythms of the night, when spirits more comfortably roam our cities and poke at our dreams.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Snakes of Ireland

I saw him, and immediately I panicked. As he passed me on the busy street, he smiled and nodded, completely oblivious to what I was feeling. Why should he care, though, when he was likely unaware of who he was?

I smiled back nervously and tripped, sending my purse flying. He stopped to see if I was okay. I cringed instinctively from his hand as he helped me back to my feet.

"Thank you for your help." I said. He handed me my purse.

"You're welcome. Are you sure you're okay? That was quite the tumble."

"Yes, I'm fine." I pulled my purse against my body, hoping he would just leave. Thankfully he did, somewhat reluctantly, and I escaped the street. Ducking into a cafe, I hoped the caffeine would stop my trembling hands. I had an important presentation today, I didn't need him to destroy it.

"Patrick?" The barista called. My head shot up, searching the crowd. A middle-aged man claimed his drink. My heart-rate lowered. It wasn't him. I retrieved my coffee, and pulled out my phone. Dialing, I heard a familiar, comforting voice on the other end of the line.

"Hello?"

"Annie, it's me. I saw him. Maewyn. He's come back."

Silence, then finally, "is he aware?"

"No, I don't think so. He was wearing a collar though. He's a priest."

"Always with the priests. I suppose his job isn't done yet."

"We can't keep this up. It's been centuries, and he still comes back. I refuse to die again, because of him."

"You won't."

Annie hung up. I took a deep breath. Annie always had a plan, and this one had been in the works for over a decade. This time, we'd get him first.

*****

She looked so innocent, so young. Such a shame, really, that it always came to the same patterns. The snakes had to be eradicated, though.

She was the first. Always the first. I suppose switching it up would keep things interesting, but ritual was important. Killing was unfortunate, but necessary. Those who wouldn't convert had to be killed. God demanded it. Or, at least His earthly representatives did.

I flipped open my phone speed dialed. Two rings, and the line was open.

"Found one. The Blue Robin, east side of town. Approximately five minutes."

The call ended. I began to backtrack leisurely, following her as she exited the cafe and spoke on the phone. I smirked. It was always the same game. After centuries, they should have learned, but alas, simple minds for simple folks.

Her call ended, and she rounded a corner. A taxi pulled up beside her as I came up on her, and the door opened. She looked at me moments before I pushed her into the car and shut the door. Terror splayed across her pretty face before a black-gloved hand pressed a cloth to her face.

"The pit awaits you, Snake."




This is a work of fiction. It does not reflect the ideas or views of the contributors to the Dreamers Imaginarium. In fact, there is an awesome article that explains why the Snakes=Pagans idea has no actual basis, despite attempts to connect symbolism.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Temporary Widow

... And so she loved him like none before, accepting with him all the flaws and graces that made him uniquely himself. She stood stubborn and steadfast in the face of tribulations, faltering no more than any other woman who'd made up her mind, and in the end she, in her love for him, was victorious.  And through her love, he came to love himself as well, and one day realized that she'd opened the door for him to love, to truly love, another, and he showered upon her the most glorious of gifts, the sweetest of kisses, and the most tender of affections.

Image by Michael Vincent Manolo
But like most great loves, happiness is tenuous, for there came a day when he had to leave her with nothing but promises of a swift reunion. Though she knew his words were said in truth, her heart broke for fear of being separated from that which brought her so much joy. Even the smiling face of her child was but a distraction, as she saw that he too missed his father deeply, and the rifts in her heart tore ever wider at the sadness trapped in those innocent eyes.

Days passed, and their reunion approached with each, yet it seemed like every night stole away with a little more of her heart as it melted from her body through streams of tears shed in lonely, dark hours. Surely she would be cold and distant by month's end, her heart hardened against the softness and vulnerability of love's embrace, and yet with each correspondence between them, she felt a bittersweet sadness rise and take root in her chest. She was not, after all, processing a betrayal as all other heartbreaks had been. She was processing something new, something never so profoundly felt before, and as she realized this, her heart's grief became bearable.

This time, as she went through a period of mourning, she wept not for a corporeal loss of love, but for the senseless loss of time shared in love's good graces. She wept for time lost in her lover's arms, and for laughter's absence in her child's days spent with his father. She mourned not a death, as she'd done previously in life, but for the presence of a void which, in its inherent misery, took joy from all other things and tainted them with the bitter taste of patience.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Encore

The performance ended in the same way it began: with a flourish, a flash of light, and a puff of smoke that filled the theatre with the smell of spent gunpowder and a whiff of ozone. When the resulting haze cleared, the stage stood empty save for the same shining, brass figure that occupied the stage when the curtain first rose -- a black top hat sitting on its head, its shoulders draped with a red-satin-lined cape.

The crowd sat in awed silence for two heartbeats before erupting in thunderous applause that continued fully five minutes before the crowd realized that no amount of cheering would bring the magician back for an encore.

In all that time, the brass figure stood still and quiet -- its arms stiff at it's sides, its eyes closed, its perfectly sculpted brass lips unsmiling while it waited, and the crowd's applause faded into murmuring.

"Is the performance over?"

"I should think the curtain would have fallen by now."

"Should we wait a bit more?"

"Perhaps he has one more surprise for us. He was so full of surprises, was he not?"

"Oh, yes! He certainly was amazing!"

Eventually, even the murmurs faded along with the rustle of expensive satins and the crinkle of crinolines and the polite conversation that accompany the dispersal of a crowd, but still, the brass figure never moved. Still as a Grecian monument in the dimness of a lost temple, it waited until the only sound in the theatre was a faint ticking like that of a gentleman's pocket watch.

Tick, tick ...

The last of the audience drifted out of the theatre's wide, double doors.

Tick, tick ...

The voices from the lobby began to fade as the audience floated away into the chilly twilight in search of a nightcap in front of a cheerful fire or a brandy and cigar in the seclusion of a gentlemen's club.

Tick, tick ...

Tick ...

"Come now, Mister Abernathy," a jovial voice called from the shadows of stage left, "are you going to stand there all night like some great tin soldier?"

The magician stepped once again onto the stage and squinted in the glare of the new electric floodlights. Even out of his usual costume -- he had removed his coat as soon as he left the stage and left it, along with his own cape slung over the back of the shabby chair that occupied one corner of his dressing room, and his black top hat he left perched atop a mannequin head on the dressing table -- the magician quickly found himself over warm and rolled the sleeves of his shirt up over his elbows. In four long strides he reached the center of the stage and stopped in front of the metal man.

The figure opened its eyes.

"Ah! There you are, my friend! Now let's get to work or we shall be all night."

The ticking increased as Mister Abernathy turned. With one white-gloved hand, he reached across his chest to the opposite shoulder. With a snap and a flourish, the cape was whisked away. In a swirl of black and red satin, the metal man turned and flung the cape over an ordinary table that stood behind him. He paused, touched the brim of his hat, waved a hand over the table and whipped the cape away revealing two brooms.

The magician applauded as vigorously as any of the audience members who so recently cheered for him, then picked up a broom.

"Well done, Mister Abernathy! Well done."

Mister Abernathy removed his hat and took his bow to the continued clapping of a broom against the wood of the stage.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Tyra's Heartbreak.

Gazing over the frozen plains, an odd sort of sorrow overcame her. Hoof-prints visible in the dusting of snow revealed that they had gone, and that he had left with them. She was alone now. The camp her people so recently abandoned still held evidence of their betrayal. Fire pits still warm and smoking, and the rocks from the lodge still red with heat, gave them away.

She should have known better.

Her brand of love wasn't acceptable to them. Instead of her husband, she honoured the other women; Men had little regard to her, with their arrogance and tendency to be all hard lines. No, she preferred the subtleties of female bodies, with their curves and softness. Though she laid with her husband out of duty, they both knew he didn't truly please her.

Being faced with their departure wasn't as hard as she expected. She knew it had only been a matter of time, but being the Spiritman's granddaughter, she'd assumed they would wait until he died before shunning her. Perhaps they knew now about the Chief's wife and niece, or the series of women she'd entertained during the last hunting excursion. 

Whatever caused this, her heart felt sad only for them. She could make-do, she was used to being alone, but they would never change. They could never change. And that, above all else, broke her heart.  

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wishful Wednesday: The Aroma, by Sofiana Rich

Today we wish to introduce you all to our newest addition in the Imaginarium: Madame Sofiana Rich.  Here is a short selection of some of her writing, and we can expect much more from her glorious mind in the future :)

***

Exactly that. 

It's been a constant smell for 16 years, whether dominant or beneath all the others.
 
Exactly that smell.
Photo found on Flickr. 

It's never had a source. There is no memory attached. Just a phantom, an aroma that appeared, tingling and stinging in my nostrils. I tried locating it, labeling it, researching it, qualifying, quantifying, exploring, loving, and fearing it, none of which ever led me any closer to this moment of revelation. 

Revelation can't be tempted, coerced, or read into being. Now I know exactly what, where and when the odor become lodged in my consciousness. I don't know exactly how I know, but the knowing is exact. I find that I'm exactly amazed. 

This will require re-thinking Everything.




***

Monday, 10 February 2014

Gavin, Master of the Winged Ones

He always envied butterflies, with their wings so bright, and the simple joy they brought to everyone. He wished he could be like them, wished he could fly away and make a lonely girl smile, or bring comfort at a funeral. However, he was nothing like a butterfly.

It seemed they started out just like he had. Small, chubby, and vastly different than they would become when they grew up. People always killed caterpillars in their gardens, they were an unwanted nuisance after all, but killing unwanted children was frowned upon and so he was left alone instead, free to wander the confines of his estate home with no hope of venturing into the town just down the road, much less escaping to see the world.

Caterpillars cripples plants, and he crippled faces. When his parents had visitors, they confined him to his bedroom, lest their guests catch a glimpse at the horrific thing they'd created. Few times had he been seen, and each time he bore the shame of witnessing polite smiles distort into melted expressions of disgust and horror, so now he listened and stayed secluded.

But whenever he caught sight of a butterfly, or found a cocoon ready to be evicted, he was overcome with a sense of envy and anger. Why could they change to become beautiful, while he was doomed to grow ever more distasteful as he aged?

"Butterfly Man" by Tariq Shishani
Rage had never served him well, so he turned his emotions into something he could use. He spent many nights wandering the estate, gathering twigs and fallen branches, leaves, moss and sap. He snuck about the manor house and re-purposed colourful fabrics and images left in boxes from times when he'd been a child and wasn't yet bitter. He hoarded his construction materials greedily, and his project became his solace.

Years passed, and his parents grew old. Now well into adulthood, he was finally ready to be free of this perfect cage that kept him so efficiently confined.

An hour after high moon, he stood on the roof of the manor, clothed in nothing but a colourful drapery fit snug about his hips, and a mask across his face. No one would be disgusted now, they would see him for what he knew he was: A butterfly emerging from desolation to stand in beauty and perfection.

With a deep sigh, he turned and marveled at his creation. Even in the pale glow of moonlight, the colours were vibrant and luscious. Nothing, not even the dark, could deny him now. He stepped forward and pulled up his wings, attaching them securely around his chest and shoulders. They were heavy, but he barely noticed. The burden he'd been carrying for so long trained him well.

He faced the moon again and breathed deeply. For the first time in decades, a smile graced his lips, and with one last exhale, he ran and lunged off the roof.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

In Blood and Bone

I asked my father, once, to tell me about my mother.

He said he met her one day when he was playing by the sea when he was just a little boy. She was swimming in a cove sheltered from the wind by high, gray rocks.

"Isn't the water cold?" he asked her?

She just smiled and answered, "Not to me."

They played together all that day, and before he left her, he wished she would come to see him again. Every day, they met at the little cove, and every day he wished she would come to see him the next. And she always did.

They were married by the sea, and my father built her a house on the cliffs where she could look out every day and watch the waves roll and crash. He said she was never so beautiful as when she stood at the precipice, the wind whipping her hair and the seawater misting her face.

He said the sea was her blood, but the land was in his bones. So she stayed because he wished for it every day.

And that was all he would say about her.

The people in the village, of course, were more than happy to indulge my curiosity with their opinions, though the things they said told me more about them than about her.

"The prettiest girl I ever saw," said most of the men, and their wives pressed their lips together and scowled.

"Wistful and sad," said the kinder among the women, while the crones mostly whispered that she was "fae and strange," before they crossed themselves and started discussing the best way to prevent the 'good folk' stealing husbands and babies.

The vicar's wife was the most helpful.

"Your mother was never meant for this world," she said, "and after you and your sister were born, she just started to fade."

My sister...

My twin...

I had no memory of my mother, but I can clearly remember looking into the little mirror she kept on her dressing table next to a pile of pretty shells and sea glass and seeing two pairs of identical blue eyes looking back at me. Two heads of dark curls. Two small, round faces with rosy cheeks pressed tight together so they could both fit in the mirror...

The gossip in the village -- my mother was a popular topic for gossip, after all -- was that after my sister and I were born, my mother became sadder and more wistful (or stranger and more fae if you prefer) than ever. It was said that she became so sad that, one day, instead of wishing for my mother to stay with him, my father wished she could be as happy as he was. They say she kissed my father with tears in her eyes, then took my sister -- we were still just toddlers -- and dove from the precipice into the crashing sea below.

"Suicide," most people whispered. "So sad that she took the babe with her."

"Returned to her people," said the old ladies who still believed.

I didn't know whether to believe the story, but when I asked the vicar's wife about it, she just repeated what she said before: "They were never meant for this world."

I often stood on the precipice and watched the waves roll and crash. As I grew to womanhood, my father said I looked just like her -- like them -- when I stood there with the salty air whipping my hair and the sea spray misting my face. I imagined my mother as I stood there: a girl swimming in the chilly cove and playing every day with the boy who wished for her, a young bride with the sea for her blood, a woman with two little girls at her side...

When my father died, we gave him to the sea. He said she stayed with him because he wished for her, so when he died, he wanted to go to the sea in case she wished for him.

The men who rowed him away from the shore in a fishing boat swore that as my father sank into the darkening depths, they saw a woman's arms reach up and carry him away. They said the waves that broke against the hull of the boat carried the strains of a lament sadder and sweeter than all imagining, and they were weak with the grief of it for days afterward.

The women crossed themselves and gave their husbands talismans or sewed iron buttons into their men's clothes in case my mother returned from the sea in search of a new husband. Or, perhaps, in case her daughters went looking -- one to lure them into the watery depths, another to draw them up to the cliffs. I was carefully watched in case their tokens and talismans didn't work.

I retreated to my father's house on the cliff. I stood on the precipice and remembered and imagined and listened to the sea until I started to hear it -- the song in the water. The sea singing in my veins. The voice of the waves echoing in my heartbeat.  I watched until I started to see past the surface of the waves and began to feel the flow of the sea in my breath.

But no matter how long I stood and watched, no matter how completely the song filled my mind, how fully the sea flowed through my veins, how deeply I drew the mist into my lungs, my bones would not yield.

The land was in my bones.

Cliffs near Giant's Causeway
Photo by Bobbi St. Jean

*   *   *

Monday, 3 February 2014

The Last Farewell

Of all the things I want to say,
I'll simply ask you stay away.
What's past is gone,
I have moved on.
You sought release
And made your peace
But now please move along.

I know that you may need a friend
But I am not the one you seek.
Though things had an abrupt end
I saw that you were weak;

Fear was there where love should thrive
Tests were failed, though I strived
To stay afloat, I drowned too
Though much earlier than you
And in your fear, you were blind-
Left alone, I survived.

Now it's time you do as well
I wish no ill, but hold no love,
No friendship lasts to take hold of.
There's simply nothing where once you dwelled; 

Consider this my last farewell.