No Pomegranates.

A Persephone/Hades retelling.

Inspired by my friends Ken and Roger. Also inspired by this old youtube vid.

~

“Please don’t do that.” My voice sounded strange to me, it felt serrated and too mixed and melted. I tried clearing my throat, I looked for something to drink and found a glass of lukewarm water on the bedside table. I gulped and listened to my insides slosh; I cleared my throat again. “Please. Please don’t.” I sounded better, the other voice whistled and hung in the air. Stop what?  

It took me a while to get up and I felt the cold breath across my naked belly, I ran my hand across the skin there and held it. I let the feeling of my soft belly sitting in the palm of my hand sooth me, when I rolled onto my side, I felt the cold again as long fingers curling around the curve of my ass. “I said please don’t, I have to get up.” 

Stay?  

The plaintive whisper in my ear carried the deep chill of winter in New England right before it freezes or snows. I remembered the sharpness of the air, the way it made my teeth ache and tasted like my lover on my tongue. Please? Percy. I had plans. I had things to do. I had no time for, I lost my train of thought when the cold moved up my body, an invisible hand trailed from hip to breast, to my hair.  

When their cold settled into my hair, I felt my body respond. I wanted to remain stoic, say no but, that cool sweetness on my scalp undid me every time. “It isn’t time yet. Come on.” The memory of winters past slide across my neck leaving chill bumps, the voice followed. But why? I only offer a respite. I miss you. Say my name my love. Just once? 

I rolled over and pulled the blankets off of me. I was starting to sweat, and I couldn’t stand it. Not in that moment. I stood and finally looked at the window, it was still dark out. “Feralis Deus.” I felt the air still, the ambient temperature in the room fell and I sat by the window to get ready. I spoke their sacred names as I unbraided my hair. 

“Profundus Jupiter, Amenthes, Agelastus. Should I bang on the ground now to propitiate my deus?” I fluffed my afro out and the coolness moved from the nape of my neck up my scalp, I thought I said no again but, my mouth followed my body. “Host of our Beloved dead.” It was still late summerish and the heat lingered, it wasn’t time yet. 

Temptation. Must I lure you? I saw the words in a little puff of cold mist that caressed my face as it went by. I wanted to say no. I knew what could happen, but I needed it. I wanted it. I wanted my deus. “Impress me.” The room warmed back up and the air was instantly heavy on my naked body. I felt the sweat bead under my breasts and belly, the sheen of it across my lower back. Outside.  

My little house was not quite secluded but very private. I liked my nudity, smoking time and privacy too much. I walked out back and sat in my favorite chair, wait. Please. “I will wait.” It was hot, too hot for my taste and I immediately resented the sweat and fleshy reek of me. I still hate the heat.  

Wait, beloved.  

The only thing I liked was the light. The golden light of the burgeoning sunset deified me. I stretched out and let the sun turn me from a regular ole Black girl into a Golden Goddess. I waited. When the light faltered, I looked up to see big dark clouds racing in and gathering. The first blast of frigid wind brought me to my feet, and I walked into the yard.  

The air temperature plummeted in what I could only think of as a nosedive, I giggled to myself, giddy with the sudden barometric pressure shift. Fluffy ominous storm clouds crashed above and after a long couple of moments the snow began to fall. It was the heavy, big snow I loved. Temptation beloved, come, come home. 

For years I had resisted the temptation, ignored the burning desire between my legs. I missed my lover. My Deus. We had each other for so many lifetimes, it was the first time I thought about giving in. I was near to going inside as the snowfall turned into a whiteout and my deus silenced the world in a frozen thrall. “More?” 

Wind howled in my ears and caressed my now frosty skin; icy fingers played my ridiculous gum drop nipples. Secretly, I eased open and ready and hot in the one place the wind could not go. “More.” In no iteration of myself have I ever been easy to please. I want extremes and my deus, my Amenthes delivered. 

When the whiteout blanketed my immediate world, I felt the hairs on my arms and legs rise. Something was going on in the air above me, but I couldn’t see it. The world stood still for a bare sweet moment and then it happened. Swirling snow settled to a constant flow of fluff and glitter and then the sky opened and lightening streaked across the sky and just behind it, thunder. 

My mouth ell open and I stared up at the sky as bolt after bolt of lightning flashed and the thunder boomed so hard, I could feel it start in the tiny bones of my ear and in the very depths of my wet cunt. Now? For all my caution and patience, I could not deny me Deus. I ran into the whiteout with my arms open. Ahead of me in the dark I could just see the outline of the arms that would welcome me into Winter.  

A Winter. Broken. – Freebie fiction

HI frens! I have news but we’ll get to it another day. Part of me doing whatever I want to with my words, here is a story inspired by beloved writer Christopher Ropes. I am not sure if this is fan fiction or no but this is inspired by his piece from Nox Pareidolia, which I reviewed back here. So enjoy this lil haunted thingymajiggy.

#

Their hold on me had long since loosened. When I went back everything was the same, suspended in time as the snow fell in silent glory. For years I’d heard the whispers in my dreams, seen and felt the gaze of her. My dreams and heart were haunted by the long shadow of her, Moher Hawthorne. I stood in the doorway of one of the rooms, the air was so thin I could see into the Veil and across it. Time moved behind me but not in front of me. For the first time, I understood that I had come home. He had left a hole in the world only I could find.

“Ser Campbell.” I knew her voice. Her shape. I could see just the bare outline of her moving through the still air. When she touched my cheeks with her rough warm hands, the way she smiled down at me I thought I was going to cry but I smiled. “Yes ma’am.” My voice tore at the air, it was never the same after what happened. “You look like him. Come.”

She led me through the house. The empty halls and abandoned rooms throbbed with pain, eons of pain leached into the very earth with blood and terror. It was no haunt, it was the truth I had known elsewhere. “Mother Hawthorne?” She allowed my arm to snake around her waist and she held me close, “yes child?” As we stopped in front of an empty window, I watched the appearance of footsteps in the snow heading away from us and I could hear the echo of her own mad laughter. “I’m afraid. What if, what if he doesn’t want me?”

I let her walk me into the whiteout and I felt her body move with silent laughter. “Hush Ser Campbell. There has been none other than the two of you to end the story.” Before I could respond she was gone, I heard from behind me the rising howl of laughter and felt her spirit rush by and into the whiteness. I heard her cries on the wind, what she’d said to him before she disappeared. I walked into the snow and felt the hood torn from my head and watched the world tilt and slide around me. On the ground I saw a word, and settled down.

The Veil between us had always been thin. I knew that. My life was ruined the day they came. In that when, I lost my Daddy. I had only been 6 years old and they took him, they hurt him, they ruined us. I lost the heart of my Mother that day and until I was 16 all I knew was desperate terror. Until I felt the pull. For a moment, I saw his face in my dreams and he whispered, hope. I carried his whisper inside my soul until I found the place where the Veil would lift and we could be together again.

Time was running out, the snow was slowing and I had to go. I retraced Mother Hawthorne’s steps and took as big a breath as I could. “Thank you! Thank you Mother!” I hollered and gamboled like a newborn fawn, I galloped through the empty hallway cackling and howling with laughter and fear. I was never graceful and the thunder of my steps outpaced the howl of the wind outside. I burst through the right window and I saw him rise from where he knelt writing in the snow. The wind whipped his hood back and I started screaming, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy wait!”

Brother Campbell didn’t know how many times the scene had played out. His last moments with Mother Hawthorne, his own bitter tears. The sudden loss of so much of his own sorrow had left him adrift in time. He was something worse than a ghost and had almost given up. He’d figured himself to have been just a conduit for the others, for Mother Hawthorne. And then through the eternal bellow of the winter storm he heard it and as he turned to face the old g=house he saw. The snow and whatever the Veil was, gave him a split vision.

His living beauty daughter, whole and unharmed juxtaposed against the ungraceful creature galloping full speed at him. There have been precious few who have gone to their real earned eternal rewards. Brother Campbell had given up the comfort of his own suffering for Mother Hawthorne. He had left the last remnants of his own humanity, the last thing to tether him to the Earth he knew for the others. The snow paused almost and there she was. “Daddy! Daddy!”

The sob he’d held in his gut for he didn’t know how long broke. The young person who flung themselves into his arms was not the ravaged 6 year old he’d lost. “Daddy! Daddy!” They were the daughter he could have had, the potential he’d thought existed but never dreamed to hold in his arms. “They call me Ser Chris Campbell. Is that, is it okay?” He wept, his tears stung his frozen cheeks and he felt the smile crack his frostbitten skin and he looked down at them. “Yes. Of course. Of course, my baby. My darling. My love.”

The two hugged and wept, they laughed and understood. When he could speak he finally asked, “how?” Ser Chris smiled up at him, they pointed at the ground where the word he’d written over and again was disappearing under a fresh layer of snow. “You left hope here.” He pulled her hood up and took her hand. They had few real options in the world and he couldn’t stand the thought of returning to the world she’d been taken from. They stood together a ways down the path, they turned to watch the house.

The old house moaned under the weight of the snow and the release of generations of rage and pain. As they watched it began to rot and wither away until all that was left was the rubble of the foundation. “Daddy, we have to go now. They will rest.” They watched the shades of Mother Hawthorne and others run and laugh and fade until they too were gone and there was only the sound of the snow and the Campbell’s breathing.

Brother Campbell looked down into the face of hope and he understood how Mother Hawthorne had looked the last time he saw her. Ser looked up at him, their big eyes full of the brightness of moonlight on snow and they looked at him as a martyr beholds God and he understood. They bent together to write one last thing in the snow. As they set out arm in arm, Brother Campbell’s tears gave way to laughter. He laughed and ser laughed and they understood. They all, understood.

Tiny Fictions- Microprose From my Phone

I have been writing microprose on the memo function of my phone. Below find some plucked from my archive.

#1 We never left that golden moment. We knew then, how to be immortal. If only: for a minute.

#2 You’ll know them by the shadows behind their eyes and the blood in their breath. They are the quiet ones.  You’ll know. We all know.

#3 Through the heavy morning. The sun still wants what she wants. She wants I feel her own heat taken in and returned with glory. She wants to kiss my skin like the lover she will never know. She wants to know the sweetness of brown skin and hair that reaches for her too. I tilt my face up. Watch her burn the clouds and smile.

I’m hers. I am always hers.

#4 We see her, all of them. We know them, we Innocents who will not see, we Innocents who must not believe know how her. She walks with q switch in her hips and death in her eyes.

We know. We refuse. It is our right and our demise.

#5 He died.

He’s still dead and I’m still mad. He never saw me confidently reading poetry or heard me drunk and singing dirty blues. His hand still sits on mine sometimes, when I write things that hurt. He’s gone but not.

Occasionally when I write something a little lyrical I hear his shy voice, singing low the way he liked to sing to me on the phone.

But, he died.

~

Short writing lesson babes.

Don’t be afraid to play with microprose. Try a new voice, try a POV you don’t usually use. Try out vocabulary you don’t usually use. Try out, abandoning the traditional Western idea of a story and do something else. Make it like a poem.

Micro/super short flash is a really great way to do this. I also recommend doing it to limber up like stretching before you work out. Sometimes I also use these when I want to write a new story. So remember my loves, don’t throw that shit away.

Your turn, give it a shot.

Fiction Fun Using Prompts

OH Hi there.

So one of my favorite things in the world is to write mythos, y’all know this. I’ve been feeling a little creatively constipated so I brought out the big guns.

Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side by Michael A. Arnzen.* (evil empire affiliate link srry).

This book came out in 2013 and I’ve literally been using it since the week after it debuted. This is one of my favorite books of prompts and it has been so well worth the money. I love to use prompts to see what happens when I poke my brain meat.

Below find a um, refashioning of a Lovecraft beasty. For reference this is about Shub-Niggurath.

For whatever reason, my brain parsed the prompt as, write a Black as fuck new Lovecrafty thing. SO I present you a fresh out of my brainmeat, recrafting of Shub-Niggurath. An origin tale if you will. With the prompt. ENJOY!

Prompt-1.57  

The title of your piece is “Death by Chocolate.” Go.  

Tarasha Golden had a routine. She woke at 5 AM sharp, did her fifteen-minute yoga practice, made her smoothie bowls and spent time caring for her skin and body. Most mornings, she even managed to use some little part of herself as an offering, she kept bits of herself to offer to her Mother to keep their connection. To exist on the Earth meant she had options, her decisions to transubstantiate revolved around her love of the gibbering lust of weak men and her perverted desires to procreate just to see what could happen.  

This time around she built herself in the image of the ones she loved to look at. The Black girls she liked were thick, goddess bodied women who lived in the liminal shadow of hate and desire. She made herself to be in that place. Prior to committing to the physical, she had looked at women all over the world. The coveted beauties. The lotus footed beauties in the Song Dynasty, the lead poisoned priestesses in Greece, the blessed Hijra, the masculine beauties with wives in the American west, so many to choose from. She loved them in their intricate diversity, she walked in their skins feeling herself as the kids started to say at some point. 

Tarasha had been all of them, she inhabited the flesh and the experience in ways that as she had learned by the modern age, were easy to use as weapons. The twin flames of lust and hate, rather than greed or even religion were the means she liked to use to destroy the weakest amongst men. Upon close examination of her earliest mates and playthings, their desires cut into their most secret hatreds, their petty jealousies and could turn from a lovers touch to an abusers slap, with the speed of the word no crossing her lips.  

Once she happened upon the broken mix of human malaise and the depths of depravity her favorite prey mates could reach, there was no turning back. In modern times, Tarasha watched for a time. It was time for her to mate and cultivate the Gof’nn hupadgh, her most beloved worshippers once more. She was ready to give them suck of her milk and bear her many children.  

Tarasha chose wisely for both her own aesthetic pleasure and to tickle the hateful madness in her prey mates. She made herself tall and deep dark brown, thick as the human children said, fine and yes, yes she could look at her new form in the mirror, naked and gleaming, gloriously fertile and everything, her prey mates hated, she felt resplendent and ready.  

Once, she had to wait for a new moon and a woodland and the call of sacrificial flesh and blood and other nonsense.  Instead, there was one of her Gof’nn hupadgh, her most fervent true believer who, in lieu of a woodland or person to sacrifice, called under a new moon, in a room reeking of her offspring and jittering with the ruckus of her gibbering dark offspring. They made the wood and thus she came. 

The Gof’nn hupadgh, fell to his knees before her. He could not hide his surprise nor his momentary uncontrolled feral hate and lust, it was delicious. She smiled at him, “what’s wrong Gof’nn hupadgh? Do I not please you?” From her voluptuous lips, the voice churned in the human. He felt it pull and the dank heat of it in his bowels, “forgive me mother but you, you’re-” 

She bent forward and the splendid Black body she had created, undulated and flickered to give glimpses of the gleaming wet black maw of her true self. “I am, what?” The Gof’nn hupadgh’s eyes went white all round as the Black body he wanted and hated, exposed the corpse scented tentacled true body of his most beloved Mother and his little mind, his poor mind could not reconcile the two. Hate, lust, want, need, the impostures of his own broken desires begat a new madness. 

Tarasha, so named by her own mind wanted this and when the Gof’nn hupadgh at her feet, let go and raised his hands to her, his eyes settling between her legs, she understood this new game. She understood the new game in this world, to use their latent hate and allow them to fertilize a new generation of her Dark Young. A new tradition. New fun in form and function. 

She took the Gof’nn hupadgh into her womb and felt, his anger and disgust and need and it was good. Upon taking him in, she let the blessed event proceed as it had done for millennia before. He would be her first, and yet not her last. Upon his rebirth, he knelt at her feet mewling for her milk.  

Tarasha stroked the creature tenderly, a smile on her lush carmine lips. “Yes, I know. Now come on, we have things to do, come come come.” 

Tarasha Golden strode out of the makeshift wood, under the New Moon, in her new skin and feeling fine and ready for the realm.  

Jaggery and Cream – Flash written on the bus.

 Jaggery and Cream

by

Shannon Barber

 

Her lover likes to paint the slight concavity of her empty sockets. Daisies today. She always sits still and allows this silly indulgence, it keeps her lover quiet for a while,  their rants softened by contented soft humming. “Pretty, pretty. Flower baby.” She smiles at the soft nonsense.

“What color daisies?” She can feel her lovers soft sweet smile, “white in the left, blue in the right.” She doesn’t smile so as not to disturb her artist. Her lover has the smoothest most gentle touch, for monsters their lives had entwined into a softness that rarely showed itself for what it was.

She likes to feel the heat of her lovers breast. The naked hot weight of it resting on her near skeletal arm a hot reminder of life. Her lover in their turn loves to brush their long nipples against the ridges of her body, the protuberance of eat gnarl of bone far surpasses anything else.

They are jaggery and cream. All and nothing. The emptiness of after the end and the full ebullience of the beginning. They go on forever.

When her lover is done, her blank eye sockets run with color and life. She smiles and knows her lover has tears on their cheeks. “I only wish, I hadn’t taken your eyes. But I love that I took them.” She always forgives her cream lover. Always.

On Fear and Freedom

HI babes.

GUESS who is back on their bullshit? YEP yo problematic fave.

I’ve been hard at work and I’ve been digging deep into my archives of fiction that I abandoned for various reasons. As much as I talk about how important to me it is to be writing what the fuck I want to write, I still have reservations and fears in terms of genre and style etc.

For me, reconnecting with genre work has been a long ass hard road. I follow a lot of genre related folks, mags, editors, writers etc. One of the things that I still struggle with is that as much as I read, I often feel like my ideas, the methods in which my Blackness informs my work, is a problem.

It is the type of cognitive dissonance that for me personally is just, so weird. I will watch folks talk and talk and talk diversity but, I still find a lot of places lacking. I have such a need to see a broader acceptance of Black narratives. The narratives that aren’t super comfortable.

HOWEVER.

Now that I have some distance on writing racial pain porn for pennies, I’ve found an old want and am able to fulfill it for myself. If you’ve been here for a minute y’all know that at the root of my work is the need to create representation. Until now, I have really wanted to find joy in representation, in creating something that is just enough to get me a seat near the table.

I wanted to be at the table.

Somewhere in my quest to provide the representation, things felt grim. Of course I’ve had the Daiyuverse but, things were feeling a bit lacking. I felt kind of constrained.

Representation by itself is not enough. It is great. It is my dream. But, it is not enough to sustain me in my creative life.

So, I let it go.

And then, I started fictioning again and I’ve found my joy again.

I’m remembering that I don’t have to give a certain narrative about or around Blackness. That I can do what the fuck I want and still represent.

To the end of joy and shit I love doing, here’s a bite of the fantasy story I am retooling.

The King came out of the privy still buttoning her breeches, her sword clanking on her hip.“So, I looked at him dead in his Gods Damned eye and said no but I’ll sit on her-“Her ribald story came to as abrupt a halt as she did. Standing right there, one ear turning, tail swishing, was the cat woman. She stared up at the King with her enormous pumpkin colored eyes.

“You’d sit on her what your majesty?”Her whiskers twitched. The King stammered and dropped to one knee, unfortunately her breeches were loose and several men got a good half moon. She was too rapt to feel the breeze across her crack.“I, I oh please a thousand pardons Lady Cat. I hope I haven’t offended you. May I ask, what is your name?”

With that, I say good day sir.

Good. Day.

Yeah, Write #390- Death in the Jungle

Death in the Jungle

The corner was busy, always busy.  The same grimy business of survival. Cars passed, girls and not girls on the stroll, bindles and cash got passed. Things are the same forever but, folks’ bodies remember it all. It was business as usual in the jungle.  In the bright of daylight when the shadows hide nothing, shots echo.  

But when they all ducked, nothing was there.

Call Her- Microprose Practice

Call Her-

Microprose practice for Christine.

by Shannon Barber

How to raise them, stand hand in hand, speak and dream together. Sing the scabrous music of the Outer God. Call Nephren-Ka, Goddess of Bloody Tongues.  

Sing children. 

Fm’latgh. 

Burn. 

 Call her- 

Leviathan.

Yeah Write #373- On Post Coital Sagacity.

 

On Post Coital Sagacity.

by

Shannon Barber

My roommate watched me kiss her goodbye. I grinned at him.

“What’s wrong sugar pie?”

I was fuck drunk and slightly slurry.

“How the fuck?”

He gestured at me, then the door, then my crotch. I let him smell her on my breath.

“Pussy sapience. Nighty-night, booboo.”

“Night, asshole.”

###

Yeah Write #369 Weekend Showcase- Cutter

Cutter

Okay friends. Buckle up we’re gonna go for an adventure in The World. 

Remember hypertext? We’re doing some hypertext. Click at will. Here is how it works. Every link relates to The World. Another story, or a post about how this world building works. You can navigate to more stories from the bottom of each post. Enjoy. Share with friendos.

This is very close to the idea I had originally about what I wanted to do with The World. It could still happen. Who knows.

~

I am the Cutter.

My phone chirps the perkiest alarm at 11:15 PM on the nose. My girlfriend doesn’t stir except for the hand she had resting on my ass squeezes and flaps away, she’s used to it by now. I follow the eccentricities of lunar librations and tonight is the night. Daddy called it sorcery, Mama called it necessary and The Worldcalls it pleasure.

The Boss Bitch Squad shows up bristling with their nails done and hair tucked up. They gleam and exude sex and death, they greet me with hugs and cries of “hey girl hey”, they call me Cutter.

At the appointed time they stand respectfully behind me and I draw my own blade. She is black as sin and sharp as the edge of death. The World quivers against my skin, crawling along my spine and pulsing with need.

We take no time for ceremony or elaborate sorcery. When The World leans on me full and fat, my blade finds her home. The World splits like ready flesh, my blade slides through and when the word and The World ooze together around me and the Boss Bitch Squad runs into battle and the beasts of the dark run to meet them, I am alone and I am one with all worlds.

I am the Cutter.