Shadow demons stalked his room, mirroring the pain and anger rampaging in his mind.  They slithered from corner to corner and whispered their visions of despair.  The storm outside raged, seething darkness and destruction and he began to weep.  Such was the state of his exhaustion that he could no longer hold the worst of his emotions in check and delusions sprang from his spiraling thoughts.  Shadowy teeth snarled.  Sinister eyes flashed.  He knew all he had to do was close his eyes and sleep would save him from himself but his eyes refused to shut.  His monsters ruled the night.

Wind rattled the windows and screamed in frustration.  Of what, he did not know, did not care to guess.  The wind was something he had never understood anyway.  Its howling was not to be ignored, though.  It rose and fell in shrieks and moans, and seemed to give further voice, gnashing and menacing, to the shadow demons.  They pressed close now.  They would loom over him and then flit back to the corners when his eyes darted their direction.  Soon they would grow brash enough to stay even under his gaze.  They would learn that he was powerless against him and then they would pounce.

He longed for that, actually.  Since his eyes refused to shut and he had long before even stopped trying to controls the demons he had produced, letting them sink their teeth and rip his flesh would be an end to his torture of waiting, or watching the minutes tick by, or feelings his mind continue to unravel.  He almost called out to them, “What are you waiting for?”  But, his mouth was too dry to form the words.

It was only a matter of time.  He hoped.  They would come for him.  He hoped.  Then his eyes would close.  He hoped.

Why Should I Believe

You claim to be omnipresent. You are a liar.

Where were you that night when she cried your name? You were nowhere to be found; at least you weren’t by her side. Where were you?

I hope your alternate selection for protection was a suitable one.

You allowed him to lay hand on the base of her neck and squeeze and utter those words so vile.

She lost her soul that night because of you, not him. She plaintively wailed and begged for your return, but you were off. At best case, you were saving countries and lives; at worst, you were answering a lothario’s prayer for a lay. You couldn’t even return to comfort her after the act. You were just too busy.

If anything positive arose, it was me. She finally closed her tear filled eyes. When she opened them, I appeared and she was happy to relinquish control. I have no soul. I promised to protect her. Unlike you, I kept that promise.

May the breath from your prayer return to your lungs in the form of acid.

May your hand sear as it touches my head, not hers. You can only wish to touch hers, but you can’t. You had your chance. You weren’t there. Why should she believe? Why should I believe?

I wanted to write…

I opened a blank page today, determined to write
But the words in my head were at odds with those in my heart
And all my attempts to avoid the brewing fight
Were sabotaged by one or the other before I could even start

On one side: common ground, peace, respect
On the other: anger, blame, selfishness
Without the former our world will be wrecked
But we are too proud to be selfless

I have no magic wand to wave and chant at will
And it isn’t my job to force this world to be better anyway
I have no solution to that which holds us still
But we owe more to each other than the promises we say

My heart sings of optimism, hope, beauty
My head bemoans their absence
Sadly, I know I can trust neither completely
They both are fueled by passion

I opened a blank page today, I just wanted to write
However, I felt no spark to hide truths behind fiction or vice versa
So often turmoil can galvanize thoughts to fight
But all I feel is its grasp, its drain, and its grindingly heavy inertia

If I could…

Rara shared some of her husband’s writing over on Stories. It is a powerful piece, as most of his work is, and it will grab you and make you pay attention. His words pretty much always have that effect on me… Pop on over and see if they don’t grab you too.

Stories that Must Not Die

This was written by Grayson Queen in December of 2012, and published in novellette format to his book, Orange Buffalo. You may remember it from there. He was an artist, a writer, a blogger, a geek, a diabetic, a depression-sufferer, my husband, and billions of other things. His was born David Martinez, and in May of 2015, he died from natural causes– specific reasons still unknown. If you were one of his dedicated readers, please know I’m finding a safe space for each of his precious words, and please keep your eye out for news on my re-publishing and sorting of his works into printed form.

Thank you for your continued readership.
– Ra

Illustrations & Quote by Grayson Queen Illustrations & Quote by Grayson Queen


If I could come up with a solution,

would I bother ( ? … )

to be heard over the blare of mp3 players and bass-booming cars

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He stormed out of the house, slammed his car door and sped away.  It was a mistake, but it was a better mistake than staying and doing something he would regret more.  The anger burned his thoughts, clenched his jaw and urged his foot to press the pedal into the floorboards.  Cars honked and drivers yelled.  He noticed but didn’t care.  They meant nothing to him.  Only the rage mattered.  Only the fire in his heart mattered.

A small voice in his head told him he was wrong.  It told him to calm down and stop.  It whispered that she was always faithful.  But his anger found the voice and bellowed at it until it cowered and shivered in the farthest recesses of his mind.  Then, unsatisfied, his rage pursued the voice of reason, found it, and strangled it with flames until nothing but ash remained.

The driver smiled in triumph and sadness.  He’d won and lost and knew both simultaneously.  The car tore across the asphalt, leaving tread in its wake as tires sang against sharp corners and sudden halts.  The frame shuddered under the strain, moaning and groaning in protest.  It would hold together, though.  He had put it through worse before.

He’d put them all through worse before and would again.  That damn voice of reason was like a phoenix and would eventually come back stronger to soothe away his rage.  It was every bit as predictable as the fight had been.  The whole process was a cycle destined to be repeated as long as their opposites attracted and their love languages differed.  The flames eating his heart began to ebb as exhaustion crept along his nerves and dulled his senses.

Renewed honks reminded him to ease back on the gas pedal.  Using the blinker he signaled and then safely checked his blind spots and merged across the lanes of the freeway to continue on in the slow lane.  He was too tired to deal with the madness in the others.  He was too tired to give them the attention they demanded.  At the next off ramp he exited and found the surface streets that would turn him back towards home.

They would apologize, hesitantly, and they would step back into their familiar patterns.  In a day or two the chill would disappear from their home and smiles and laughter would return.  The upswing of emotions would take control and they would be happy again.  They would be.  And then one day they would fight again, because the cycle had no choice but to repeat, because that is nature and manner of love… right?