Ophidia

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Ophidia.

By Steve Naisbitt

 

Shimmering in light cast by a leprous heart’s desire

To have its decaying flesh fulfilled

She smells new live prey

With silvery flicks

Of syllables well-practiced

Only

To shed that lurid honeyed skin

Displaying translucent dermis

A veneered abyssal silhouette

When her latest meal

Loses its flavor

Like over-chewed gum

Leaving

Septicemia

And

Neurotoxic kisses

The

Necrotizing remains

Of

Forked tongue promise

 

© 2019 Steve Naisbitt

My Death Is a Great Red Pen, Correcting-Kindra M. Austin

New poetry written by me, on HL&M.

Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

What you want, I ain’t got; and

goddamn,

I have the sinking feeling that it’s happening

again,

as night is falling down upon me. I submerge,

accordingly—

await my death.

My death eradicates mistakes I’ve made,

and saves.

My death is a great red pen, correcting

according to

Vodka,

on top of Fibromyalgia,

on top of Anxiety,

on top of Depression,

on top of Rx medication.

*

Two years dead,

and I’m still fucking seeking

mother’s affection.

I beat my breast,

claw my throat,

shake my insignificant

fists.

I cry confessionals ‘til Hell won’t have ‘em.

*

I have the sinking feeling that it’s happening

again,

as night is falling down upon me. I submerge,

accordingly—

await another death.

Each one eradicates mistakes I’ve made,

and saves.

I am pain,

and all my deaths

are a great red pen, correcting—

according to the spiders spinning webs

within the folds…

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Dead Dolly-Susan Shuman

Today on Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen, Dead Dolly by Susan Shuman.

Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

Until the day I die, I’ll never forget them glassy, unblinking eyes.

You know, I’d made that gris-griswhat you all call a Voodoo Doll— myself.  Mawmaw taught me how when I was a kid back in Bayou Lafourche.  She said that since we were direct descendants of Marie Laveau, it was our legacy.  My mama died giving birth to me, so Mamaw was the only one left to teach me.

Ma chère petite-fille, you have to know,” she said.

Shoot, Mamaw didn’t have to twist my arm! Even then, I realized the benefit of such a skill.

Daddy flipped when he found out. Pooyie, it was bad!

That’s when we moved up to Gentilly and I never did see Mamaw again.

Sonovabitch, I still miss her.

It was damn lucky for all of us (  okay, me) that there’d been enough time for her to teach me before I had to go.

Anyway…

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P9: Everyone.

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Knock knock knock.

Ashley’s hands are an itchy scarlet and cracked at the knuckles and fidgeting, coarse from icy desert gales and over-washing. This unclean thing simmers underneath the skin and counts the waxing hours down to the full white face of an apathetic moon. Her eyes are lost and witching like the sidereal realms of the outer dark of the night and she is burdened with the creeping stress and blanched like some forlorn drowned bride. She had become desperate with no answers for a cure and come back to the man who’d initially refused to help. She cannot ask her family and she is alone and she’s desperate and at the bottom of the world.

The sloppy man feels bad for her that much is obvious with his firebrown puppy eyes in the early days columns of light and heavyhearted behind the grease-smudged, thick lenses of his aviators. His potbelly had answered the door from the seam before he had.

If I help, there’s no going back, he says, I make people vanish… ain’t no comin’ back from that. You’d essentially be dead.

She thinks of gone moments smiling and the afire twirl of the warm sun through the skinny, waving arms of mesquites in the morning breeze, because those are the moments that felt the most real, but she would see them again, just never here. Wouldn’t she?

Make me vanish, she says.

 


 

[ ‘Girls That Vanish At Night: New Mexico, 1986′ is the continuation of a short horror series told episodically by Samantha Lucero. To catch up on series 1, go here. ]

 


 

P8: Howling.

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The drone of the petite voice is unfamiliar and he turns to face it.

The ghostly woman is fretful and weary, fiddling with a red-beaded necklace that encircles her wiry throat twice, her wispy spider-leg thin fingers ghoulish pale and jittery. Her lengthy black hair trickles down from a middle part and shines with an oiliness and musky tang his keen nose can corral, dripping over her shoulders like a silken blanket of shadows. His narrow eyes, sun-blinded, browse the bright jewelry for a missing piece, but he can’t tell for certain if it’s a link to the one he’d found earlier on Ashley.

Yes, he answers in the shape of a puzzle piece, hoping that what she will say next fits into his daydreams; everything he needs to know, a lead, a finger pointing in the right direction of a case swiftly dying, collapsing into cold.

She came to my prayer group, scratched up on her face to all hell like, animal or who knows, and uh, she wanted help, thought she was sick, possessed or something. She said we were a cult and left real quick when Jim said it’s not easy to exorcise somebody. We tried finding her after, night’s dangerous here… can be, and the moon was full. It made it easier to see, but we didn’t find her. Drove late as we could, but nothing …just howling in the night. Guess she didn’t show for work either, she says, next day she was dead.

Scratched face.
 Moon full.
 Howling.
 She didn’t show for work.

Where’d you get that necklace? He asks.

Oh, uhhh… lady makes them. Name’s Corrine, she says, Corrine Green.

He grins with recognition.

The dusky man with his worry lines transposing into irremediable creases between his brows excavates a yellow notepad and blue pen from an inner-coat pocket.

What’s your name? He asks.

Cassandra Brown, she says.

Can I see your necklace? He asks, and she lets him. There’s no missing piece.

An hour later, he’s got Cassandra’s necklace in a trouser pocket full of loose tobacco leaves and her phone number on that yellow pad, just in case he needs more answers. He’s knocking at someone else’s decrepit door on a dusty highway.

An elderly woman hardly able to move shambles over toothlessly; he sees her wobbling like a busted toy through the gauzy mint curtains. She arrives out of breath, says nothing when she props open the stuck door that’s ruptured at the hinges.

I need to speak to Corrine, he says.

Corrine gone, the woman oozes, crazy white man at motel take her somewhere, she never come back.

 

TO BE CONTINUED … 


 

[ ‘Girls That Vanish At Night: New Mexico, 1986′ is the continuation of a short horror series told episodically by Samantha Lucero. To catch up on series 1, go here. ]