voxlatina
A quiet muse
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Written by voxlatina

"Where are you going at this hour, conjurer? Could it be that you've finally tired of shirking your duties?"

It had been some time since Nathaniel had heard such irritation in Marbas' voice.

"Your words are as kind as ever, I see." He pulled his greatcoat tight around him as the familiar chill of the creature's presence began to seep into the room. "In fact, I was just about to pay a visit to our dear Frayne. He has been a rather busy man as of late, you know." 

"With what? The man does nothing but choke on his own blood and air his sorrows," Marbas replied, drawing the words out into a throaty growl. "He squanders his power, and you allow him to do it. We had a pact, you and I. You promised that you could use him to bring me others."

"And I shall, once I've had a little more time," Nathaniel said, and bent to gather his boots. "I fear that your little gift may have been...overwhelming. Frayne simply needs to adjust to it, and then--"

"He will use it, or he will perish."

Nathaniel started a bit at that; this time, not only had he heard the demon's voice, but felt it as well, somewhere at the base of his skull.

"He's well aware of that, Marbas! He just needs some convincing."

A low growl emanated from behind him. He knew what that sound meant, and what he would see if he did; having witnessed Marbas' fearful transformation once before, he had no desire to do so again.

"Then do it quickly, before I lose my patience with both of you." Marbas was moving away from him now; Nathaniel could hear the heavy thud of his footsteps, like the paws of a great beast padding across the floor. Something about that sound made the hairs on the back of his neck prickle with fear.

"As you say."

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Written by voxlatina
"Where are you going at this hour, conjurer? Could it be that you've finally tired of shirking your duties?"

It had been some time since Nathaniel had heard such irritation in Marbas' voice.

"Your words are as kind as ever, I see." He pulled his greatcoat tight around him as the familiar chill of the creature's presence began to seep into the room. "In fact, I was just about to pay a visit to our dear Frayne. He has been a rather busy man as of late, you know." 

"With what? The man does nothing but choke on his own blood and air his sorrows," Marbas replied, drawing the words out into a throaty growl. "He squanders his power, and you allow him to do it. We had a pact, you and I. You promised that you could use him to bring me others."

"And I shall, once I've had a little more time," Nathaniel said, and bent to gather his boots. "I fear that your little gift may have been...overwhelming. Frayne simply needs to adjust to it, and then--"

"He will use it, or he will perish."

Nathaniel started a bit at that; this time, not only had he heard the demon's voice, but felt it as well, somewhere at the base of his skull.

"He's well aware of that, Marbas! He just needs some convincing."

A low growl emanated from behind him. He knew what that sound meant, and what he would see if he did; having witnessed Marbas' fearful transformation once before, he had no desire to do so again.

"Then do it quickly, before I lose my patience with both of you." Marbas was moving away from him now; Nathaniel could hear the heavy thud of his footsteps, like the paws of a great beast padding across the floor. Something about that sound made the hairs on the back of his neck prickle with fear.

"As you say."
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Written by voxlatina

Malebranche

Frayne had bled again during the night. He wasn't certain when it had started--he'd felt somewhat better before retiring to bed--but the smear of red on his pillow was still damp. He gingerly pressed a finger to the spot, and then to his own lips, where the wetness still lingered. Had the pact failed him, much like the tinctures and syrups that Dr. Tilvey had prescribed?

"No, it couldn't be," he murmured. "He told me that it would..."

He swallowed the words almost as soon as they left his mouth. What did he know of Nathaniel Bolt, who had promised him such outlandish things? Some man who had come upon him in the street as he lay there, helpless and struggling to breathe? The more that he thought about it, the more suspicious Nathaniel seemed. He had seemed too young to be a doctor, although he had never professed to be one; had he even mentioned having any medical knowledge? No, he had merely held out his hand and smiled.

"If all else has failed you, Mr. Selkirk, then I may have the cure that you seek."

Frayne had taken it, at a loss as to what else to do. He had thought that Nathaniel would take him to the nearest physician, but had been surprised when the man had instead led him into a narrow alley and toward the bachelor's section of town. From there, it had been a short walk to the brick townhouse that Nathaniel had lovingly referred to as his "abode." By that time, Frayne had felt significantly less certain of his decision. Still, he had pressed on, grasping at the bit of truth that he had heard in Nathaniel's words.

His memories were a blur from that point on. He recalled the scent of chalk, and the magic circle that Nathaniel had carefully laid out on the floor in front of him. Fragments of Nathaniel's chant still lingered in his head, some language both ancient and heavy. From there, his mind came up blank, except for one detail. Someone had been speaking to him. It hadn't been Nathaniel, but the Other that had been birthed from the darkness.

"What is it that you desire? Speak, and I shall grant it to you."

Frayne mouthed the words that surfaced in his memory.

"I want to live..."

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Written by voxlatina
Malebranche
Frayne had bled again during the night. He wasn't certain when it had started--he'd felt somewhat better before retiring to bed--but the smear of red on his pillow was still damp. He gingerly pressed a finger to the spot, and then to his own lips, where the wetness still lingered. Had the pact failed him, much like the tinctures and syrups that Dr. Tilvey had prescribed?

"No, it couldn't be," he murmured. "He told me that it would..."

He swallowed the words almost as soon as they left his mouth. What did he know of Nathaniel Bolt, who had promised him such outlandish things? Some man who had come upon him in the street as he lay there, helpless and struggling to breathe? The more that he thought about it, the more suspicious Nathaniel seemed. He had seemed too young to be a doctor, although he had never professed to be one; had he even mentioned having any medical knowledge? No, he had merely held out his hand and smiled.

"If all else has failed you, Mr. Selkirk, then I may have the cure that you seek."

Frayne had taken it, at a loss as to what else to do. He had thought that Nathaniel would take him to the nearest physician, but had been surprised when the man had instead led him into a narrow alley and toward the bachelor's section of town. From there, it had been a short walk to the brick townhouse that Nathaniel had lovingly referred to as his "abode." By that time, Frayne had felt significantly less certain of his decision. Still, he had pressed on, grasping at the bit of truth that he had heard in Nathaniel's words.

His memories were a blur from that point on. He recalled the scent of chalk, and the magic circle that Nathaniel had carefully laid out on the floor in front of him. Fragments of Nathaniel's chant still lingered in his head, some language both ancient and heavy. From there, his mind came up blank, except for one detail. Someone had been speaking to him. It hadn't been Nathaniel, but the Other that had been birthed from the darkness.

"What is it that you desire? Speak, and I shall grant it to you."

Frayne mouthed the words that surfaced in his memory.

"I want to live..."
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As the spirit sat and watched the girl on the other side of the mirror, he felt such sadness. Despite being dead for only a short time, it felt like an eternity. He watched his wife with loving eyes and watched as she.......
Written by voxlatina

Hurt

As the spirit sat and watched the girl on the other side of the mirror, he felt such sadness. Despite being dead for only a short time, it felt like an eternity. He watched his wife with loving eyes, and watched as she drew the razor across one wrist. A thin ribbon of blood followed its movement, and then became a stream. As she made to do the same to her other wrist, the spirit whispered, "Don't." It had become a daily litany for him. If she ever heard, she gave no sign.

As usual, there was slight hesitation before the second cut. Fortunately, he'd seen it often enough to know what the end result would be: two relatively shallow cuts, and perhaps another trip to the emergency room. Another round of calming medications that would soothe the pain, but leave her half-empty in the process. 

"Don't," he said again, even though he knew that it would make no difference. After all, he had gone through the same experience himself, not too long ago. She had cried out to him, begged, screamed, but none of it had changed his mind about what needed to be done. It would hurt her less when he was gone than to spend the rest of her life with him. He had been certain of that.

Now, not so much.

"Please, d--"

The second cut opened like a mouth, swallowing his words and replacing them with blood. 

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As the spirit sat and watched the girl on the other side of the mirror, he felt such sadness. Despite being dead for only a short time, it felt like an eternity. He watched his wife with loving eyes and watched as she.......
Written by voxlatina
Hurt
As the spirit sat and watched the girl on the other side of the mirror, he felt such sadness. Despite being dead for only a short time, it felt like an eternity. He watched his wife with loving eyes, and watched as she drew the razor across one wrist. A thin ribbon of blood followed its movement, and then became a stream. As she made to do the same to her other wrist, the spirit whispered, "Don't." It had become a daily litany for him. If she ever heard, she gave no sign.

As usual, there was slight hesitation before the second cut. Fortunately, he'd seen it often enough to know what the end result would be: two relatively shallow cuts, and perhaps another trip to the emergency room. Another round of calming medications that would soothe the pain, but leave her half-empty in the process. 

"Don't," he said again, even though he knew that it would make no difference. After all, he had gone through the same experience himself, not too long ago. She had cried out to him, begged, screamed, but none of it had changed his mind about what needed to be done. It would hurt her less when he was gone than to spend the rest of her life with him. He had been certain of that.

Now, not so much.

"Please, d--"

The second cut opened like a mouth, swallowing his words and replacing them with blood. 
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What is one thing you've always wanted but could never quite get?
Written by voxlatina in portal Micropoetry

My Heart's Desire

I've always wanted to have the body of a model

Specifically 

One which would run entirely

On Cheez-Its and Pepsi.

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What is one thing you've always wanted but could never quite get?
Written by voxlatina in portal Micropoetry
My Heart's Desire
I've always wanted to have the body of a model
Specifically 
One which would run entirely
On Cheez-Its and Pepsi.
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Written by voxlatina in portal Haiku

Body as sculpture

Line and form, texture and weight

Life imitates art

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Written by voxlatina in portal Haiku
Body as sculpture
Line and form, texture and weight
Life imitates art

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Written by voxlatina

Who will hold you up

When you lack the strength to stand

On your own two feet?

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Written by voxlatina
Who will hold you up
When you lack the strength to stand
On your own two feet?
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Written by voxlatina in portal Haiku

The taste of your love

Is at first sweet as honey

And then so bitter.

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Written by voxlatina in portal Haiku
The taste of your love
Is at first sweet as honey
And then so bitter.
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Written by voxlatina in portal Horror & Thriller

Parting

He thought of the woman he loved

And what it was that he loved about her

Her smile

Her eyes

Her hands

He wanted to preserve them in his memory

To save the parts that he liked best

And always picture her face in his mind

When the parting came

He took only those things

And placed them in little jars

Carefully labeled in ink

A lover's mementos

Trimmed in blood

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Written by voxlatina in portal Horror & Thriller
Parting
He thought of the woman he loved
And what it was that he loved about her
Her smile
Her eyes
Her hands

He wanted to preserve them in his memory
To save the parts that he liked best
And always picture her face in his mind

When the parting came
He took only those things
And placed them in little jars
Carefully labeled in ink
A lover's mementos
Trimmed in blood
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Challenge of the Week #55: Write a story of 200 words or more about a stranger. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $200. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by voxlatina

Speak

You don't know me, but I think I know you. Granted, our relationship thus far has been brief, and mostly one-sided: You initiate a conversation, and I fail to respond most of the time. That doesn't seem to deter you; I hear you nearly every day, your muffled voice passing through the wall between us. Sometimes it's a simple hello; at other times, you go on for what feels like hours, although I can't understand all of it. What matters is the warmth and excitement that overflows with every word.

The last time I heard you, your voice was louder than usual. Were you yelling? I couldn't tell. There was someone else, too, someone much deeper and colder in tone. They were quieter, but their words were sharper, like little barbs. Eventually, that voice overpowered your own, and then there was silence. Perhaps you cried. I wanted so badly to speak to you, but I couldn't. The words wouldn't come, and my tongue was leaden in my mouth. I tried reaching out for you, but the wall came between, as always. No matter how hard I beat my fists against it, it would not yield. After a while, I drew away from it and sat, limbs tucked in tight against my body, and waited. I wanted to hear something, anything, from you. It took hours, but finally it came--a short, choked cry that turned my stomach into a hard knot. Then silence again.

How long has it been since I last heard you speak? It is difficult to keep track of time here, when I cannot see the sun, or count the passing hours. It may have been a day, or perhaps two. Surely it hasn't been a week? I still feel your warmth all around me, but it is lesser for your silence. Do you still care about me, as I do you? I hope so.

Maybe now would be the time to show myself, so that we could meet face to face, but something tells me that I'm not ready just yet. No, perhaps I'm just afraid that when I do, I'll be met with that same silence. Perhaps you were never there at all, and I just imagined you into being.

Please be real. Please be there to speak to me when I come to you.

When I am at last born into this world.

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Challenge of the Week #55: Write a story of 200 words or more about a stranger. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $200. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by voxlatina
Speak
You don't know me, but I think I know you. Granted, our relationship thus far has been brief, and mostly one-sided: You initiate a conversation, and I fail to respond most of the time. That doesn't seem to deter you; I hear you nearly every day, your muffled voice passing through the wall between us. Sometimes it's a simple hello; at other times, you go on for what feels like hours, although I can't understand all of it. What matters is the warmth and excitement that overflows with every word.

The last time I heard you, your voice was louder than usual. Were you yelling? I couldn't tell. There was someone else, too, someone much deeper and colder in tone. They were quieter, but their words were sharper, like little barbs. Eventually, that voice overpowered your own, and then there was silence. Perhaps you cried. I wanted so badly to speak to you, but I couldn't. The words wouldn't come, and my tongue was leaden in my mouth. I tried reaching out for you, but the wall came between, as always. No matter how hard I beat my fists against it, it would not yield. After a while, I drew away from it and sat, limbs tucked in tight against my body, and waited. I wanted to hear something, anything, from you. It took hours, but finally it came--a short, choked cry that turned my stomach into a hard knot. Then silence again.

How long has it been since I last heard you speak? It is difficult to keep track of time here, when I cannot see the sun, or count the passing hours. It may have been a day, or perhaps two. Surely it hasn't been a week? I still feel your warmth all around me, but it is lesser for your silence. Do you still care about me, as I do you? I hope so.

Maybe now would be the time to show myself, so that we could meet face to face, but something tells me that I'm not ready just yet. No, perhaps I'm just afraid that when I do, I'll be met with that same silence. Perhaps you were never there at all, and I just imagined you into being.

Please be real. Please be there to speak to me when I come to you.

When I am at last born into this world.
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Written by voxlatina in portal Haiku

Two

Together in bed

We twine around each other

Enjoying shared warmth.

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Written by voxlatina in portal Haiku
Two
Together in bed
We twine around each other
Enjoying shared warmth.

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