No Safe Side to Midnight – Scarier Sequel to earlier Scary Story!

I wrote (for me) a scary story a few months ago. The Safer Side of Midnight. Being Halloween I was persuaded to write a sequel to this story. We left our heroine in a rather precarious situation, happily she manages to get away (that’s another story though). But for this story it’s Midnight and our heroine is …

Scary story, part 2

No Safe Side to Midnight

Was this hell? She couldn’t tell! Things were so unclear, she opened her eyes, only to be horrified by what she saw staring back at her.

the beginning of evil

“Do you see what I see, my pretty one?” He leans in towards her, his words smooth, a sinuous whisper.

She shudders, struggling in a futile attempt to move, trying to look away even as his hands and arms hold her securely. Staring deeply into her lovely green eyes he notices the gathering cloudiness as they fill with fear, dread … and … something more.

“Ah, yes” He thinks. He feels both her fear and her growing desire. He pulls her closer, sighing deeply. His hot breath flays her flesh, while his lips rest gently against her ear.

“I can feel it, you know” he whispers.  “The evil without. The boundaries of your immaculate being contain an evil. Not inside your soul, mind you.” He pauses to laugh. “Not yet anyway!”

He laughs harder. A harsh sound, resonating like echoes from bat wings, flapping in a cave, wakening for a midnight feast. She closes her eyes, he continues to whisper, assaulting her other senses.

“The evil you wear without is of the finest veneer. A covering so paper thin as to have almost no existence.” His tongue savors her taste as he lazily laps an earlobe, pausing once again in contemplation. Her body shivers. He laughs. Playing with her emotions is such a delicious sensation.

“Yes, hardly there at all. This evil laid upon you in a previous life. You were so innocent, more easily tempted then, but it’s still there, your weakness. I feel this exquisite coating, layered upon the exterior of your soul. This ‘oh so slender veneer’ of evil calls you to me as does your purity.”

“Such a heady mixture of both, I can barely contain myself now that I have you, my ‘oh so’ pretty one.” His voice rich, sultry, seductive, playing with the nuance of each whispered word, hypnotic in its intensity of purpose.

the evil within

She feels him staring at her again! Compelling! She opens her eyes. His look, piercing. She tries again to turn away. Her fear, the captured prey of a wild beast. A beast as surely he is, and yet there is a longing – growing deep inside her – a craving, a desire! The fear is real, yet so is the growing need. How to resist? She senses him, can smell his heat and her own, a dampness to her skin, she shakes with the intensity of need, panting …

Waking suddenly, she sits straight up in her bed! Another nightmare. They were becoming more frequent and certainly more realistic.

More than a year since her escape from the cemetery. A lucky thing. The ‘being’ that had first spoken to her had whisked her away from the others. She still wasn’t sure how he’d accomplished this feat. Her body and spirit still badly bruised from the ordeal. He had left her in another part of the woods. His final words were, “I’m saving you for myself, I’ll find you later, after I take care of Him”. She wasn’t sure what sort of creature he was, but grateful for her life, she had made her way home.

And then she moved, far away. Changed her name, did everything she could to leave no trail. Created a new life. The past had stayed in the past until recently – when the dreams began.

What was she going to do now? During daylight hours she had begun to recall previous lives. She remembered the constant running but knew there was something else. But what? She needed to remember in order to protect herself; and even more to the point – why?

Why were they searching for her? Who were they? If it came to that, who was she and what is so special that she can’t remember? And in the meantime – Dear God! She covered her face with her hands. A nightmare when asleep, a nightmare when awake. Too much for any mortal to take, and now she’s beginning  to wonder – is she mortal? She doesn’t know anymore.

Looking through her bedside window she could see it was still dark outside. Did she even dare try to get more sleep? She had been safe during the day, since she moved. But now, he could find her in her dreams. And there were two of them chasing her, the creature from the cemetery and the demon he had summoned. It was all too much. Her memories of the past, her recent memories and now her fear.

What was she going to do?

“Perhaps I can help?” A voice said quietly, from the other side of her bedroom. There was someone there. In her room, sitting in the bedroom chair. Shadowy, indistinct but there, none-the-less …  and she was awake.

No safe side to midnight!

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~ Penny

Life’s Reality – or another crazy night? Ligo Haibun Challenge

This week the Ligo Haibun Challenge presents two quotes as prompts! I have chosen the George Carlin quote:

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“And then there are the times when the wolves are silent and the moon is howling.” ― George Carlin

A full moon out tonight, as I walked alone. A clear sky too. Very cool, the air crisp this late in the season. I didn’t notice the full moon right away, my mind turning out to be every bit as full as the moon shining down on me. My thoughts confusing, taken up with the insanity of life’s struggles! The moon seemed to have it’s own agenda anyway, up there so high, aloft from everything happening down here.

I remember shivering, pulling my jacket tightly against my body, I don’t know what possessed me to walk down to the river in the first place. It’s even chillier there, but I could hear the water lapping against the shore and it seems soothing – does that sound crazy – and I’m tempted, indeed drawn to the dark liquid. The need to touch, so strong. It won’t change my existence, still I scoop up the water in my hands, feeling velvety ice water threading through my fingers.

Damn, everything feels so futile tonight, an emptiness. The moon mocking my solo sojourn to the river, as if to echo those meaningless feelings. I see my kneeling silhouette illuminated against the rippling water, proving my reality, at least. My fingers are frozen numb now, doesn’t matter. I could hear the moon, you see. It was howling and I recognized the tune. I’d heard it before.

And with that recognition I could walk back home, even with the moon still mocking in it’s solitary mode. I’m impervious now, entirely focused on rubbing my hands together to get some warmth back into them.

just another night
no winners, no losers – just life
and the howling moon
 
 
 
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For more information about The Ligo Haibun Challenge and to give your writing talents a try click here! A great activity for writers to take part in!

~ Penny

My 800th Post! Thank you and what comes next!

Credit line: © Gloria Rosazza | Dreamstime.com

Thank You! The last post I published was my 800th post and with more than 75,000 visitors in the past year, I am more honored than I can say to have received the attention, comments and support from all of you!

In the last few months I’ve seen far more visitors than ever before and I can only thank my loyal supporters who have passed the word on about my blog as the reason for this increase. That these new readers then become followers is, as I mentioned, a sincere honor.

This has become a very busy time for me as well. As a side product of blogging, I have been asked to write a book (yes, the one that I’m way late on getting the final draft ready for) but I am also very busy with a couple of other things as well.

Numerous emails from other creative individuals have given me a new money making enterprise (who knew) assisting writers, musicians and other artisans with their “works in process” (at their request), helping through the planning stages of promoting their works! (I guess having a marketing background can help, lol!)

And finally my own personal projects! One of which is more research into the roots of the writing style of haibun from an historic and artistic perspective, along with the desire to pass this information on to others. Also to have some creative fun with this. I’ll continue to write pennyquotes for “A Penny For Your Thoughts” – as the muse takes me. Regarding my other projects, I’ll keep you posted on them too!

However, as a result of all the above, I will no longer be hosting or judging for Ye Pirate’s excellent “Ligo Haibun Challenge“. Instead, information for the Ligo Haibun Challenge will be found at the new website Haven of Haibun, where I will continue to promote the Ligo Haibun Challenge activities (and of course read all the wonderful entries). I will also be posting other “haibun happenings” as I discover them! The Haven of Haibun is in it’s infancy but if you’d like to check it out – and give me a hand in shaping it’s creative direction – click here!

As for “The Why About This” blog – this is my ‘online’ home and will always present the “me” that I am. I will continue to inspire, encourage and inform … always from the hopeful perspective of trying to make a positive and creative difference for the reader.

Once again my most sincere thanks to all of you. Some so very special to me (And you do know who you are!). All my very best, keep taking care of you,

And I’ll keep doing my very best to motivate and inspire – helping you to reach your own personal goals.

~ Penny

Alastairs Photo Fiction – Simple is and simple does!

Each Sunday my good friend Alastair offers up one of his excellent photographs as a prompt for writing a short fictional piece. Be sure to check out this fun activity, click here for more information.

29-10-october-13th-2013

Photo Credit: Copyright © Alastair Forbes, 2013

Simple is as Simple does.

“I just want to leave, daddy!” the little girl said. “I’m not having any fun!”

“But honey, you’ve hardly ridden any of the rides.” The dad was concerned to see the unhappy look on his daughter’s face. He had been so sure, when he picked her up at her mother’s house for his “weekend time”, that she’d love to go to the carnival. Didn’t kids like these things any more?

“I don’t care. I just want to leave and go some other place. It’s noisy and all the rides are scary with people screaming. They’re rude and they keep bumping into us on the ground.” His daughter’s small hand held tightly onto his while tugging him in the direction of the exit.

“Well, wait a minute,” Her dad tried again. “Let’s go by the food stands, they have yummy treats to eat there. That’s always fun at carnivals.” He patted his substantial stomach while deciding there was always room for one more corn dog!

“No daddy, my tummy still hurts from the last ride and we can buy treats everywhere. I just want to go.”

The dad looked and felt very frustrated as they slowly maneuvered their way through the noisy throng of indifferent people who, now that he noticed it, all seemed to be running around in hyper mode; looking for the next great thrilling ride, or fat engorged snack or cheap plastic prize to be awarded for winning a “fixed” game.

When they reached the exit the dad turned to his daughter and impatiently asked “So where do you want to go?”

The little girl answered quietly. “Could we go to the park, just the two of us, walk around, feed the squirrels and maybe you could push me on the swing. Doesn’t that sound like fun, Daddy?”

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Is there a loss of pleasure in “simple things” today? Are we perhaps so inundated with the never ending media of thriller type videos, movies, TV shows, books and of course real life activities, it has become difficult to go to a simple and happier place!

Ligo Haibun Challenge and Warm welcome!

It is my pleasure to announce the addition of a fourth judge to the panel of the Ligo Haibun Challenge: Esenga of Ese’s Voice, a gifted and skilled writer. Read her own words as she explains The Danger of Being Me!  Welcome Ese!

For this week’s (writing) prompt there are two photos from which to choose:

turku-oct-099

or

looking up

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Your haibun writing challenge:  pick one of the above photos (click on either photo for a larger view). Think about the photo you’ve chosen. What does it mean to you? What thoughts, memories, experiences come to mind as you ponder? Consider how you will present your piece?

With that in mind, begin! Write a few paragraphs (one or more), include the haiku (form of Japanese poetry – 3 lines of 17 or fewer syllables), an essential part of your haibun. Your haiku (one or more) can be either a closing to your written piece or in-between the paragraph(s) to add emphasis.

I encourage you to enter. Publish your written piece on your blog for others to read and enjoy. To officially enter the challenge, link your URL Address to the blue link box below.

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To assist in getting a “feel” for the intriguing method of haibun writing, read from our current and past entries. Full rules for entering and to learn more about the other judges (Nightlake, Pirate, Penny) and the “Ligo Haibun experience” click here

Have a great day,

~ Penny

Fantasies of Autumn – Haibun!

There is a place, hidden from everyday view, my mind wanders there frequently – The “Other Place” – where reality lies suspended. A retreat into the world of pure Imagination. A calm from the storm and a safe haven. Both balm and catalyst to those of creative natures. I’ll introduce you more fully to my Other Place later on, but for today, a brief glimpse:

autumn sprite

Autumn Fantasy

vibrant and rich
yellow, red, orange, tan, brown
kaleidoscoping
 

… Autumns arrival.

Fall fairies abound, pixies, brownies and the like, woodland creatures. Seasonal changes find them everywhere painting our landscape with colors of autumn. My favorite creature is the “Sprite of Leaves”. Gloriously fluid, she performs her acrobatic dance in whirl winds. Spiraling leaps with twists and turns as she glides across the land. She is glorious isn’t she?

 
leafy sprite dancing
vibrant colorful myriad
autumn sensations
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Thank you,

~ Penny

 

Your Written Words – A “Simple” Universal Truth!

jdurhamWhen we express ourselves through our written words, sometimes we add to the meaning of a reader’s understanding. But our blogging words aren’t necessarily the truth, or a fact. Just us expressing our perspective of our own understanding on the topic.

Therefore, when others read our words their interpretation may be different from what we meant to convey. As a result you may think to yourself (when you read the comments in your comment section)  … ” that’s not what I meant, or that’s not what I meant to say. Or “you don’t understand”.

Communication – that which connects all humans at a primeval level can and often does break down. This can occur with the spoken word as well.

In addition, all languages (around the world) structure their words according to ethnology (origin, history and characteristics of their race) and while there may be similarities, many aspects of the written word translate into different meanings, comprehensions and understandings.

So, while our purpose is to communicate with others (our thoughts, ideas, worries and concerns) depending on the readers focus, his/her personal life experiences to date, their own mindset from these experiences, and their understanding of the language, they may miss the intended meaning the writer was attempting to convey.

Sometimes communicating your thoughts and feelings in your blog, may be exceedingly difficult. When this occurs. Simplify your expressions. Go back to a few basic words. Some words are universal in their meaning and understanding. Words like Love and Hate. Good and Bad. Less and More. Sharing. Selfish. Indifference. War. Peace. Death. Life. Balance. Caring –

“One People! One Planet – One!”
Penny L Howe, 2013

It is ironic that the most profound thoughts are almost always expressed in the simplest manner. Then again perhaps proving the “truth” to this article.

Thanks for reading, have a great day.
~ Penny

Ligo Haibun Challenge – Honorable Mentions!

There is something wonderful about the art of crafting words. Some extra energy being generated inside ourselves when we sit down and pen our creative thoughts, emotions, ideas.

The nature of writing haibun extends this feeling. We find ourselves exploring and delving into the method and manner of our expressions even more fully.

Singling out a few for honorable mentions for August from the Ligo Haibun Challenge was difficult! All the entries were entertaining and well written. Thank you Nightlake for your wonderful descriptions of each of the following Honorable mentions:

Twoscamps: As the writer travels, you willingly join her on the various ligo haibunjourneys. Such is the strength of description in these haibun that you will find yourself moving with the words. While all the haibun here need a special mention, do take a look at one called ‘illusion’.

Peripatetic Eric: Depth and ease with which the words flow are the hallmarks of this writer.  His various haibun touch a chord in the reader, but the one titled, ‘Oblivion’ needs to be mentioned.

Reading Pleasure: Celestine’s haibun are emotional, passionate and always come from the heart. The haiku towards the end of her narrative is compelling and captivating. Check out her latest haibun for this.

Aesop Clerk: If you want philosophical writing with insightful knowledge of history, read Aesop Clerk’s haibun. Faith and facts are always analyzed in his haibun and the conclusions are summed up in a unique manner. For example, go through his haiku on ‘Liberation’ drafted in the first week of August.

Jules: Jules makes her point clearly and stresses her ideas with more than a haiku. Realism and a simple, but highly effective writing are her trademarks. Her haibun, ‘Aglow’, written on August 1, illustrates these points.

ligo_circle_of_appreciation2Congratulations to all! Your words – a pleasure to read. Be sure and take your “Circle of Appreciation” home and display! Our way of saying thank you!

Also an update: The Ligo Haibun Challenge, will continue to be hosted at Nightlake  and Pirate’s most excellent blogs. I will be one less host for everyone to check in with, lol. While no longer a host, I am continuing in my role as one of the judges and will also be submitting my own haibun each week. Thank you everyone for participating, and I encourage you to continue to do so.

For those with a little time please check out some of the other wonderful Haibun entries below:

Everyone have a positive and creative week ahead!

Thank you,
~ Penny

The Saga of Glory Rose!

The Saga of Glory Rose

When she was just a little girl she’d gaze up at the sky

viewing sun and clouds, the moon, the stars, and wonder why.

Why she lived upon this place, and how she came to be.

She wondered as she wandered, so curious was she.

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On the day that she was born, a very early sign,

a birthmark on her tiny arm was there for them to find.

The mark shaped as a rosebud, “My Glory!” someone exclaimed,

And so they called her Glory Rose, and this became her name.

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Rosebud tattoo began to fade with each new passing day,

Finally very few recalled why she was named this way.

And yet her name defined her in everything she tried,

her love of life and need to learn, she lived her living – wide.

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She went her way and as she learned she spread her learning too,

Glory Rosy was glorious to all of those who knew.

She troubled over little things; none too small, too few.

“Please, take the time,” they’d hear her say “… before the time takes you!”

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One day there was a mighty storm it blew in from the west.

The rivers flooded with the rain, ‘Mother Nature’s’ test.

One of the homes was swept away before all could escape

Raging waters swelling, they were no longer safe.

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Glory Rose, not waiting, ran along the torrent’s wend.

Keeping pace with floating house until the river’s bend,

she dove into the waters, swam to the floundering home;

its timbers being tossed and torn, midst the swirling foam.

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Among this chaos, trapped inside, she found the family bound.

Glory Rose untangled them and brought them safe and sound,

to the swollen rivers shore, where they could then be found.

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Energy never flagging, as back and forth she came

until each were safe from harm, the river could not claim.

Just as she finally headed home, there came a giant surge

Glory Rose herself engulfed, within the river’s purge.

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Town folk lined the river’s edge and hoped she’d reappear,

They held their breaths and waited, her death they greatly feared.

But Glory Rose still struggled, breaking through the pounding waves,

After being there for others, herself she then did save.

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The saga told of Glory Rose began that very day,

Her bravery was amazing, but what did she have to say?

Well …

She laughed it off and then replied, “I lived up to my name!”

She then went on to live her life – pretty much the same.

No danger was too great, to save the others living

She saved herself,

she cared enough, 

to live – while she was giving!

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“It’s a very good thing to take care of others,
Just remember to take care of you too!”

Penny L Howe, 2013

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Why do we write Poetry?

What is it about the particular nature of a poem? Whether penning or reading. A poem sets itself apart from all other written words. Various sized packages of contained messages of our thoughts, our feelings, our expressions. We the author and presenter of chosen word and format.

Do we write for ourselves when we write a poem? Do we write for others? Yes and yes.

With poetry we tap directly into our feelings about things, bringing forth those emotions, thoughts and ideas inside of us to be viewed through our written words. We are reorganizing our insides when we do this. And when others read our poems they frequently will do the same thing.

Should you write a poem? Yes?

Why?

Because:

It’s therapeutic. Not only letting out what’s inside, but presenting a microcosm of your heart and soul you can view and share with others.

It’s wonderfully creative. Your journey through your own nature with the poetic word while you find yourself exploring all sorts of creative avenues of expression.

It is encouraging, helping you and others to “Open Up” inside. Writing poetry and sharing your words, creates a stronger environment for learning and growing yourself. Online today there are many *websites and forums – groups actively in pursuit of knowledge and understanding from poets of the past and present.

The Poem

“Such beauty you bless in the form of a rhyme
Such feeling, such rhythm your words so divine
I am lost in your glory, sensation sublime
Sharing forever, time after time.”

Penny L Howe, 2013

So today, write a poem and share with others, read a poem and enjoy someone else’s creation. Both will be uplifting and illuminating … I promise.

Have a great weekend,

~ Penny

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All Poetry.com
WritersCafe.org
Poetry.com
Ligo Haibun Challenge
ThePoet Sanctuary.net