The Rain

The rain pours from the Heavens
And eases away the pain
It comforts with each drop
And makes it seem as though the world shares my loss
It reflects the feelings within me
The world would perish without the rain
And this reminds me that in time
I will grow a little stronger
From the pain I feel today
And when the sun shows itself once again
I know my pain will fade
And better times will come

Prologue for Ever After

I slammed the book shut. As usual, that one crucial word was missing. It was meant to read ‘and they lived happily in Ever After.’  How was the island meant to recruit new members if no one knew it existed?

Ever After would never be found on a map. Defensive measures had also been taken to ensure no one could find it, on purpose or by accident. Even though the island was impossible to locate, it didn’t mean no-one should at least try to discover it. There was a prophecy after all. It claimed an outsider would find their way in, without invitation. The outsider would bring change and believe me, we needed change.

Living in Ever After came with a few ‘perks’. Inhabitants were immune to aging, though they were not immortal. The moment they left the island, the aging process would resume. Along with most of the others in Ever After, I had lived for centuries. The decline in possible recruits had burdened us with time. Lots and lots of time. We could only leave the island for 72 hours at a time. After that our memories would be wiped and we would forget Ever After. To make sure we didn’t put Ever After at risk we weren’t meant to leave until our replacements had been found.

That one stupid misprint, centuries ago, still haunted us. Of course by the time we realised there was a problem, it was too late. The new ending ‘happily ever after’ had become wildly popular and there was no way to fix it.

As time went by on the island, we became complacent. You couldn’t really blame us though, living this long and being cut off from the rest of the planet had its disadvantages. We slowly lost little bits of our humanity, and our work reflected this. The outside world could feel the effects more than we could. War, murder and all the nasty horrible things happening were mostly our fault. Our hearts and souls were weary and we needed the Outsider. They were our only hope, but even more than that, they held the fate of Earth in their hands.

Five Roses

As winter began to take hold,

He sat by the fire and a story he told,

Of five roses full of beauty and grace,

That in his heart held a special place.

 

The first was a yellow rose that grew,

With petals that sparkled all the year through,

It brought joy and delight to the heart,

But sadly all too soon the rose had depart.

 

And then came an unusual sight,

A peach rose began to grow in the moon light,

It was always extremely strong and steady,

And it petals did not fall until it was ready.

 

Soon a beautiful rose appeared,

And its white petals were deeply revered,

It was so pure and heavenly sent,

That the skies wept when it untimely went.

 

A pink rose then gracefully arrived,

With gentle determination it thrived,

It held strong and proud for all to see,

Beautifully admired it would always be.

 

Then came a rose the most magical of all,

Its beauty and wisdom could easily enthral,

Red petals of courage and love,

A wondrous blessing sent from above.

 

With words of fondness he would tell,

Of their beautiful colours and wonderful smells,

With words spoken from his heart,

Our memories of the roses will now never depart.

 

 

 

 

This poem was written for my Grandfather. Both his Grandmothers were named Rose, as was his mother, his sister and his wife.

Dark Angel

Her black hair snakes down her back

Her eyes are like smouldering coals

Her wings a black downy

Dressed from head to foot in black

Evil pours from her

Anger is her speciality

She stands at his right side

She is the Queen of darkness

The Devils special one

Destruction is her fun

Death her game

Love to her is lame

She is the snake of persuasion

The fear of many

War is her cause

Injustice her invention

Only she is the Devils equal

They call her the Dark Angel

Prologue from Hyde & Zeke

Flashing lights cut through the night, casting everything in an angry orange and red glow. The forest clearing was filled with people in uniforms, but I ignored them. Sitting with a gray blanket draped over my shoulders, I stared into space. I wanted to forget the horror I had witnessed, but there was no escaping it. Those strange green eyes would forever be etched in my memory. An involuntary shiver flowed over my body. I knew that I couldn’t tell anyone what had really happened; they would just think I was ready for the psych ward. Hell, if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it either.

How could it have only been a few hours ago that I had sat around the campfire with my family, begrudgingly enjoying my time with them? I hadn’t wanted to go on this trip, but my parents insisted as it would be the last one before I went off to college. My parents loved camping; they thought it was important to be able to leave all the pressures of everyday life behind.

That day started off just like any other camping trip; we trekked through the forest during the day, and then set up in a clearing near a trickling stream. As usual, we were tired after a day of physical activity, but we stayed up chatting and playing card games. My sister Sarah and I had been the first to retire to our tents, and as I drifted off to sleep, I could hear my parents talking and laughing quietly.

A scream woke me in the middle of the night. It was filled with so much terror that I froze in fear. I wasn’t able to move, it felt like my body was being weighed down with ice. The feral snarls and ripping sounds that followed the scream added to my panic and I almost forgot to breathe.

“Sarah!” a familiar voice shouted. It was when I heard my dad that I realised that the scream must have come from a member of my family. Something heavy thudded against the side of my tent. Knowing my family might be in danger gave me the courage to finally move, and my shaking hands tried to open my sleeping bag. Another shriek came from outside and I scrambled to unzip the front of the tent. It was dark, so it took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust. I could see three lumpy mounds on the ground and a large figure was bent over one of them.

I gasped as I realised the mounds were actually my family members. The noise drew the attention of the dark figure. Its head turned in my direction and its eerie luminous green eyes met mine. I backed up, and ended up tripping over one of the tent pins. The impact of the fall knocked the wind out of me, but I quickly forgot about the pain when I heard the thud of paws. I looked up just in time to see it advance on me. I tried to scramble backwards, but I wasn’t fast enough. Now that it was close, I could see that the dark figure was in fact a huge wolf. It bared its teeth as it leaned towards me; I felt its hot breath against my face. Its nose wrinkled, then it smelt the air again before turning its head to one side. It moved back and gave me a strange look before it rose on its hind legs. I closed my eyes, waiting for the wolf to attack, but all I heard was a pained grunt. I peeked through my eyelashes to see the air around the wolf rippling, hair retracting back into its body. I watched the wolf change and take on the form of a man. I was completely dumbfounded. My mind struggled to accept what was happening and I tried to come up with logical explanations for what was going on. But there was no logical answer. My whole world had changed forever.

When the transformation was complete, the only thing that indicated that the man was the wolf, was his eyes. Their colour was so intense that there was no mistaking them. He took a step towards me and I could make out his features a little better. His muddy dark hair reached his shoulders and a scar ran in a jagged line over his left cheek. After another move in my direction, I realised that I was sitting there like a fool and finally my survival instincts kicked in. A quick glance around confirmed that there was nothing that I could use as a weapon, so my only option was to run. I pushed myself up from the ground as quickly as I could and darted towards the tree line. I heard the man behind me mutter something, but when I glanced over my shoulder to see if he was chasing me, he wasn’t there. I came to a stop so I could have a better look around, but I still didn’t see him. He had completely vanished.

I stood there at the edge of the clearing, not sure what to do or how to react to what had just happened. Was this a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from? My whole body was trembling, a mixture of the cool night air and the overload of adrenaline in my system. I wanted to go to my family. Part of me hoped that they might be okay. Deep down though, I knew that wouldn’t be the case. They were dead. There was no way I could see them like that and be able to hold on to my sanity. I was also aware that it would be really stupid to not get help. That man… That thing might come back. The only way to communicate with the outside world, however, was a radio that my parents kept in their tent.

I was going to have to go back to the tents, but it was so dark that I was afraid that I would stumble over a family member. I couldn’t do that, I needed a way to see where I was going.  Just then, the clouds overhead drifted apart and pale moonlight spilled over the clearing. It was just bright enough to make my way. Before I went to the tents, I glanced up to see the full lunar ball above me. I managed to make it to the tent without encountering the bodies of my family and I radioed for help.

The Mirror

The swirling mist inside the glass pulled me into a trance and it took all my self control to tear my gaze away from the mirror. Once I had broken free from its thrall, I quickly covered it with a dark cloth. That did the trick; I no longer felt the irresistible urge to peer into its depths to find my reflection but I could hear its pleading whisper. I shivered as I felt the cool air in the stone walled basement.

‘Your Majesty?’  A familiar voice came from the doorway.  I’d been so consumed with the mirror that I hadn’t heard anyone approach.

‘Hewy, how many times do I have to tell you? It’s Eira.’ I turned around with a smile. Hewy stood at the entrance of basement, his glasses sitting crookedly on his nose as usual. His dark hair curled around his forehead.

‘The Council is about to begin,’ he paused for a moment, ‘will you be joining us Eira?’

‘Yes, I will be along shortly,’ I gave him another smile. I was glad he had called me by my name.

Hewy’s eyes slowly travelled over to the mirror, and I knew he was hearing it call to him. I loudly cleared my throat and Hewy’s whole body shuddered at the sound. He cast me an embarrassed glance before he dashed through the large doorway and I heard his feet thud up the stone stairs.

Covering the mirror with a piece of cloth wasn’t enough. Anyone who got close to it felt drawn to it. I couldn’t keep it here, not when I knew that it had this much sway over everyone. I had been through so much because of this mirror, it had caused my step-mother Mallory to turn against me and try to kill me. I now knew that the Mallory had been convinced by the mirror that I was a threat, not just to her but the whole Kingdom. It had fooled her into believing that I was intent on bringing darkness into the world.

I had to get rid of the manipulative talking object, but there was something about the mirror that made it too difficult to part with. There was no way to destroy it either. I needed to figure out who had sent the mirror as a wedding gift to Mallory, maybe then I could finally free us from it.