“The Lady In Black”

One, two,
three, four.
I count her steps
from the door.

It’s one of the days
she does appear,
so far and few
I have come to fear.

Five, six,
seven, eight.
She’s a predator
while we’re the bait.

Long dark hair,
shadows in her eyes,
that pretty smile
attracting all the guys.

Nine, ten,
eleven reasons why
we all choose to ignore
that sadness in her eye.

Everyone wants
what they never had.
She a good mystery,
riddling us bad.

Twelve, thirteen.
We all wish for this,
that she’d just pick one
of us to kiss.

But she never does.
While others wear white
she’s always in black
and braced for a fight.

The Lady in Black,
a prey turned predat-or,
her posture straight
an enticing, deadly lure.

Someone much too good
than the rest of us stands apart,
she deserves someone better
to heal her broken heart.

Photo by Jelle van Leest on Unsplash

Flash Fiction – “The Devil”

“You have met with a horrible destiny, haven’t you?”

The devil in the mask held the dagger out, the handle towards me and blood from the blade pooling in its fist. Still as stone, its unmoving eyes bore into mine.

I tried to keep trained on the blade but couldn’t help but let my stare wander back to its face. Not like it had changed the whole time. The same macabre expression of a grin slitted with pointed teeth and a forked tongue hooked out of the right corner of its mouth were still all I could see. Some part of me was trying to see a crack to the monster underneath but masks existed for a reason.

“Horrible destiny….” I laughed, but brokenly. “I think I’ve heard that somewhere before.”

It drummed its claws along the steel, a little ting sounding every time a nail made contact. Then one scratched down a little too far and I flinched, a little too noticeably. So… the devil did it again. And again.

Just to break the cycle I took a step closer, and it mirrored me. When I took one to the left, it took one to its right. Step by step bringing us closer and closer together. Only when I took one back did it not move in turn. It stayed still, that smirk forever painted on its mouth.

It wanted me close. But couldn’t it see that this game was irrelevant? With my posture hunched, and my breathing hitched there was no way it didn’t see how exhausted I was. I didn’t even have my sword anymore. Then there was that dagger… just out for me to take.

If I wanted to survive I needed it. But, the one offering it was someone who wanted to drag me down at the end of all this…. something that would never want to hoist me up.

“All heroes have heard that before.” It bounced the blade in its hand, and the moonlight above glinted off the red steel.

I bit my lip. “I’m not a hero.” Then, I reached out and took the dagger. The devil didn’t let go though as my grip tightened.

It chuckled, low and grating. The sound like nails on a blade. Then it put its free hand to the edge of its mask and tipped it off.

“No, you’re not a hero….” the monster whispered, my own face reflected back at me like a mirror where its own should have been. The expression was familiar but crooked, and hungrily grinning at me underneath the shadow of the mask. “are you?”

I would have taken those pointed teeth and forked tongue for anything now… but they weren’t visible any longer since now I was the one wearing the mask.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

“Thirteen”

Detached
and lonely,
in the coldest
part of the wood
not far beyond
the twisting river
and gnarled elm tree
is where the old shack stood.
Broken windows
but a locked door.
Black walls
in the dark,
but honestly red
at the core.
Inside
there are things
it does not
want you to see
but we all
see them once…
just not early.

The first is used last
when it’s all done.
It has a few names,
including One.

Two has teeth
just like a saw.
With a restrictive diet,
it only eats raw.

Don’t let the size
bring a sigh of relief,
three steals the skin
just like a thief.

Nestled at your throat,
four, is the kiss
of a lover
you will not miss.

This one has a temper
its wit in steel burning.
Feel the tongue of the fifth,
as the hilt is turning.

The devil himself
even has a favorite scythe.
Just guess which
he borrows to take life.

Seven, jealous, does not
play well with others.
It has tried before
to destroy its sisters and brothers.

Perfect eight,
symmetrical and kind.
The holiest death
that one can find.

Brutal and slow nine
is the oldest among
it will take its time
piercing each lung.

Brightness will avoid
ten’s dark heart.
Ignorant and crass
its not very smart.

Eleven, the slyest
and most intelligent in sin
because there are two
and the blades are twins.

Entitled and fortune born
its rust color will suck
the souls from its victims
every time, given twelve’s luck.

The final is classic,
just long and lean,
and that everyone
makes number thirteen.

Far away
and close all the same.
The sinister shack
waits,
the master
of life’s game.
One of the scythes
each of us will meet.
On the day the reaper comes
who are you going to greet?