Category Archives: Passion

Reflections: Vincent’s Descent

Reflections: Vincent’s Descent

Vincent’s Descent is a 26 part story (16,022 words total) that began on April 1st, 2023. If you are interested in reading it, after slogging through the below reflection, I suggest you start HERE. Comments are always read and welcome.

Vincent’s Descent began as a writing prompt.

It was generated during A Prompting of Writers, a group I created and moderate that meets on Saturday mornings (10 am EST/EDT: contact me if you are interested). The prompt I gave the writers was to use any creative figure that they truly loved and knew. Flash Fiction, just under an hour of writing, and then we share with some feedback. The idea stemmed from The Pale Blue Eye show on Netflix (Edgar Allan Poe as the MC) and a few other uses of literary figures as characters.

Vincent Van Gogh was my choice for the piece. I enjoyed what I wrote, and when I decided (extremely last minute) to join this year’s AtoZ, that story was what I used as my jumping-off point.

Van Gogh remained the base foundation for Vincent’s Descent: his color palette, how he applied his paints, the swirls, the golden fields, the starry nights, and his madness. It all influenced many aspects of what I wrote over this challenge.

Almost every title of my AtoZ was based on Art terminology, primarily fine arts but also architecture. I plumbed the online FreeArtDictionary for title ideas when nothing immediately came to mind. Some of the posts (Yosti in particular, but others as well) gave me the clues I needed to complete that day’s posting.

The whole thing with the birds came about with the letter B, and The Beatles song Blackbird got stuck in my head. “Take these broken wings and learn to fly” led me to Vincent breaking one of his attackers wings. With his teeth? Well, horror/brutal, y’know.

Also, I’m not a huge fan of birds.

People have asked me about how I name my characters/places. Usually the name must have a meaning that fits the story. Vincent seems obvious, but beyond that it means “Prevailing.” Humi, Vincent’s late addition father, means “Twilight.” “Oralee,” Vincent’s mom, means “My Light.” I chose Maria as that was the name of the daughter of Sien Hoornik, the only woman Vincent is known to have lived with. As to Ms. Faye Smythe (the only character with a surname): Faye was a play on the Fae (elves) and Smythe came about from looking at my bookshelf, seeing my copy of Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe, and boom! Faye Smythe.

As to anything disjointed or lost over the month, my apologies. If you’ve followed my writing at any time, you know I am a Pantser. I write daily (well, um, yeah, a few days I couldn’t write; I don’t pre-write, seeing that takes the challenge out of this being a challenge.) without an organized schematic, no notes, no plans. The characters/story take me on a daily journey, and then by the end of the month I’m trying to pull it all together and plug up all the holes, big and small. Sometimes it works out.

I’ve mentioned this here and there: I look at the AtoZ as my First Draft Plus. Previous years have had wider followings, and I’ve been asked to take the work, add to it to novelize it. The Abysmal Dollhouse series is one I continue to work on. It keeps alluding me.

I want to thank everyone who did follow along and left commentary and likes. This was my least visited year with AtoZ, but the point is that I so truly appreciate those of you who did follow along. The comments were extremely helpful. Some made me laugh, others had me twiddling my fingers and doing my best villains laugh. Chilling.

Taa Daa! We can now tie a bow around the 2023 AtoZ Blog Challenge.

What did you think about Vincent’s Descent? This Reflection? Tacos?

Yasti Pinnacles: Vincent’s Descent -atoz blog challenge

Yasti Pinnacles: Vincent’s Descent -atoz blog challenge

**Author’s Note: Vincent’s Descent is a continuous story that began on April 1st, 2023, as part of the AtoZ Blog Challenge. Most chapters are not designed as stand-alone. I’ve done my best to keep each chapter a touch over 500 words each so they are not too dense to follow along, IMO. For the entire story, please start HEREComments are always welcome.

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 25: Yasti Pinnacles

            “I’m tired, Maria. Faye.”

            “I know, Vincent.” Maria nodded, staying on the couch but leaning in toward him.

            Impatient, Faye left the living room, returning with a fresh bottle of whiskey. She placed it next to her empty tumbler, keeping her back to him while she opened the top.

            “Enough with the ‘I’m tired’ BS, Vincent.” She turned, having refilled her glass. One hand rested under her elbow while she raised her wrist, taking a long sip. “You didn’t kill your mother, and you didn’t kill the guard.”

            He shook his head.

            “So? Explain.”

            Vincent looked to Maria, pleading.

            “No. You tell her.” She looked at Faye. “She knows enough, now.”

            Vincent hung his head, chin digging into his chest. He sucked in a deep breath, letting the air seep through tight lips. He startled both women with the abruptness of his getting to his feet. Feathers began to poke out of his forearms. Vincent looked down at his plumage, willing it to recede.

            Three remained on each arm.

Faye’s drink sloshed over her thumb. She licked it, moving a step back. Maria reached over and gently pulled her back onto the couch to sit beside her. She placed her hand on top of Faye’s knee.

“You see?” Vincent looked at both of them.

“When I first portalled, I had so little control. That old bastard,” Vincent left out naming his faux-grandfather by designated name,” was brutal. He left inner scars and kept pushing, pushing. He…it…never explained the why of it all. It just drove me, the first guide, the first to punish in both worlds, the blackbirds and this one.

My father pushed me to be with it. Said it was his father, and I should follow its lead. I did as he said. I was afraid of the two of them, Humi and Cat-Grandpa.

I thought I was doing well, but I would get lost and need to be retrieved. The verbal, emotional, and physical beatings grew worse with each ‘mistake’ I made. I always retreated from the blackbirds’ world when I was young, searching for safety.

It was my mother who made the difference.”

“Oralee,” Faye blurted into her glass. She turned to Maria, who nodded back, shushing her.

Vincent nodded.

“She gave me my first snow globe as a child. I loved it for all its simplicity. A house in a field, a grove of trees, and when you shook it: winter in my hand. We kept it by my bed. Nighttime was nightmare time, so with a nightlight ready, I could reach over, shake the globe, and the nightmares dissipated.

Until they didn’t, that was when the birds appeared in my room, at home, or its cabin. My mother would ‘know’; she knew they were in this world. She’d rush in and place herself in front of me, encircling me.  

That was after I had first traveled, maybe the third time? I’m not sure now.

Mom was having a hard time of it. The birds were pecking at the two of us. She was batting them out of the air, speaking in what I now know as their language, but they kept coming. One scratched her deeply, and another dove into her chest, pushing her back. She dropped beside me on the bed.

I had been frozen during all that, but she jostled me. I reached over, grabbed the snow globe to throw at one of them, the bigger of the three, and

It began to glow yellow.

Then it deepened into a warm gold.

My mother placed her hands over mine, put her forehead on my forehead, and the golden light spread over us. She shone like the sun.

The light was warmth and safety. As it reached what I learned later was its pinnacle, it dimmed, and the swirling material in the snow globe settled. The birds were gone, it was just us, and we went to the kitchen for food. We were both ravenous.

And she explained what she knew, that we could affect the axis of realities, the universe. Different planes of existence that living portals can easily travel. The portal stories I’d read were hidden messages disguised as fiction. She taught me how to safely travel, where the Condor was vicious in its agenda.

“Which was, what? Mating with that thing?” Faye again.

Vincent shrugged, nodding.

“Not my idea, Faye.” He made eye contact. “Her Lavender Grace was not my idea. Or my want.”

Faye blushed.

She shook herself.

“Ok. So, you did not kill your mother. Can we get back to that?”

He sighed.

“My skills were limited at first. My mom thought the snow globe was a great focus tool. I still loved them, so they were added to the collection when we found ones that had a specific resonance.

I was able to port easier. She traveled with me when she could, a better guide. We explored, crafted, and we changed the world around us.

My father interfered. He pushed the Condor on me, and I found out later that the Condor sent the murders after me. And my mother.

The night she died – twilight always seemed to be the worst, that death of day to the rising of darkness – was the first time the feathers burst. The pain,” Vincent was panting hard.

“Vincent,” Maria said softly. He focused on her as she modeled a slower breathing pattern, following along.

He gulped, closing his eyes.

“That was the night my mother had had enough, found the strength to leave my father. We were in a hotel, hours from our house, and I had only taken the first snow globe with me.

Then the change, and I screamed, and with my arms turning into wings, my mother held me tight, and I felt something calling through my chest, my face ached, and my body convulsed, and I yelled and yelled and screeched and cawed….

And the Condor emerged through me and tore her apart.

Then I tore it apart.”

Weaver Facing: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Weaver Facing: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

**Author’s Note: Vincent’s Descent is a continuous story that began on April 1st, 2023, as part of the AtoZ Blog Challenge. Most chapters are not designed as stand-alone. I’ve done my best to keep each chapter a touch over 500 words each so they are not too dense to follow along, IMO. For the entire story, please start HERE. Comments are always welcome.

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 22: Weaver Facing


            Vincent’s golden world dissembled. Blues were the first to bleed through the multitude of shades of yellows. All at once, oranges burst, dribbling into pinks-crimson-magentas, adding the plushness of greens, from royals to pastels to foams, mixing and cleansing and blending on an ever-changing palette of Vincent’s world. It was all beyond Maria as she fixated on Vincent.

            Vincent stood golden and black, sparkling, staring after Her Lavender Grace. His body was a mixture of feathers and human flesh.

            Maria walked up to him, reached out her hand but stopped herself, a feather’s breath, from touching him. Stopping, her hand slowly dropped, landing at her side. She took in the changes around him. The landscape around them was still gently morphing. She did not know what a touch would do.


            He turned, and Maria exhaled a held breath. His face, Vincent’s face. But his eyes were The Grackle Lord’s penetrating blackness. She held steady, fighting an instinct to take steps back as his arm/wing drew her close.

            His head burrowed into her hair, the crook of her neck. Tearing up, Maria wove her arms around Vincent’s back. His skin texture changed under her hands and arms, the feathers soft and exuding a warmth she accepted. As they retracted, the coolness on the smooth surface was comforting. While they held onto each other, Maria did not feel any change occur on Vincent’s face.

            “Thank you,” he said softly, so close to her ear.


            Her Lavender Grace had taken wing, bloodied and partially satisfied. She flew to her stronghold, passing through Vincent’s golden world and into the jet black of her domain.

            She had coaxed her Condor’s jealousy, urging its lust for power and her. It had taken too long for her liking for the pup to Become. Like so many of hers, the Condor was fodder for her needs. As, now, The Grackle Lord had become.

            The murder followed her as always, forming a protective wall as she nested. Behind them came the loyal who had scattered during the storms. Talons and beaks encrusted with dried ichor, having chased down many of those who stood beside The Grackle Lord. This pleased Her Grace: nothing less for those guilty of such a treasonous act.

            Her Lavender Grace roared:

            “Quis Mecum Stat?”

            The answering cacophony of whistles, croaks, shrieks, trills, squawks, and caws satisfied her. She waited for the exulted assembly to quiet, then called out again:

            “Quis Mecum Stat?”

            The tumult was thrilling. She basked in the adulation.

            Her Lavender Grace unfurled her wings to their fullest, stifling all utterings instantly. She held them open wide, raised her head, and screeched:

            “Qui Me Vindices?”

            A rustling of feathers. A series of squabbles, wails, more than one keening.

            Uneasy heads turned around Her Lavender Grace. She drew in her wings and waited, but not for long.

            A large, shadowed shape flew slowly into view. It circled above three times before it spiraled down to land before Her Grace.  

            The Black Vulture craned its long neck, genuflection to Her Lavender Grace, then raised itself, waiting.

            Her Lavender Grace nodded and laid out vengeance.


            Vincent’s father barely registered the slamming of his office door as Ms. Smythe took leave of his presence and her job. He rose from his desk, walked over to his wet bar, opened the wall-inserted refrigerator, and pulled out a bottle of Spirtus vodka. He poured three fingers into his favorite tumbler.

            Sipping, he turned, leaning back against the carved wood bar top. Glass in his left hand, he ran his right hand along the deep-cut grooves. From top to bottom, right to left, ritualized to the point that he was unfocussed in the gestures.

            A shimmer caught his eyes, emanating from the snow globe shelving. Vincent’s mother’s idea. The only thing she truly defied him on besides how to bring up Vincent. The globes, he came to admit, were far from frivolous. Vincent’s attachment to them, to his dearly departed mama, made it easy to keep track of him.

And so, a light green rose from the farthest globe. The dormant artificial snowflakes rose and twirled, going from dying grass to Viridian. As it settled, the next took on multi-layers of Blues. Then came the Reds. There was a jump, for there was the missing globe, that damned dust swirls, with the next one in line Purples, then Browns, then Pinks, then then then then….

            the last one went black.

            “Fuck,” he said into his Glass as he took another sip, smiling.

            “About fucking time.”


            Ms. Faye Smythe.






            Vincent’s father.



            The Black Vulture.

            “Grackle Lord.”



            “I wish.”

Lavender Grace: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Lavender Grace: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 12: Lavender Grace


            Pure black against waves of lavender. Heads and beaks, eyes and feathers. And talons, claws, ripping sharp, tilling soil underneath. Silence from a noisome horde, attentive. The hunters arrived first, securing the landings. Heads cocked, they wait. Latecomers

 pecked, subdued. They will not do that again if they survive this meeting.

            Lavender Grace arrives after dark.

            She lands on a gathering of her raven elite, each bearing an equal portion of her hollow bones and belly weight. Her Grace has fed heartily, digging into the entrails delivered to her. Her journey was extended to the gathering. All black eyes are on her.

            Diving down from the black clouds, her Condor arrives.

            “Clamma pro-Regina!” It bellows.

            Pandæmonium. Every voice cries out for their Grace. Wings snap open, knocking over the weaker, set upon, for feasting happens. Blooded beaks and wild eyes return to the Condor, hovering to the side of their liege.

            The Condor barks and voices still. Her Grace waits.

            “Regina nostra, Gratia nostra!”

               As one: “Gratia Nostra!”

            As one: “Gratia Nostra!”

            As one: “Gratia Nostra!”

            Her Grace unfurled, puffing out her chest, her black feathers bristling with hints of jade and purples, of deep-hued blues, and blackest of blacks. One eye went to her Condor; the other scanned the sky—the barest of nods, one to the other.

            Her full attention went to the mob.

            “Grackle Prince! ” she thundered. “Find. No rest until you find, then destroy what surrounds him. Bring the Grackle Prince. To me. No rest. None. Find. Go!”

            With that, she jetted out of sight in less than a breath. Her Condor still hovered, glaring.

            The murders, the parliaments, the outrages, the flock dispersed.

            Only the feasted’s feathers remained where the conclave trampled the lavender fields.


            “I didn’t kill the guard.”

            “I know.”

            “You have to convince them. I’m tired, Maria. I am…”


            “Losing. They find me; they keep finding me; they keep coming through me.”

            “Vincent, I…I don’t know how to help you.”

            Vincent bit the inside of his cheeks. Saliva formed slowly, but his throat felt as if he had been the thousands screaming.

            “I may need to die, Maria.”


               “Where are you, my portal, my conduit?”

               Cat-grandpa’s sharp nails tapped down into the wooden arms of the porch chair. He searched the skies.

Kaleidoscope-Around: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Kaleidoscope-Around: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 11: Kaleidoscope-Around


            They had been running under a yellow sun, blue clouds, white sky, all agitated spirals. The air was brisk; it was hot, it howled, it caressed. She had touched his hand. No, he had touched hers. No. She. No.

            Vincent led the way, a zig ziggurat pathway that made no sense. A laugh lurched out of her, not caring. They were nude. Then she was sheathed in linen, and a wide-brimmed hat coalesced around her auburn hair, which had trailed after her, patterns weaving that fell apart with each step.

            Past the flowers, the trees, the greens, the golds, and diving into the clear water of a lake that appeared before them. Nude again, and the cool water licked her breasts. No. Vincent. She touched his back, smooth, and her hands ran up the nape of his head, kissing him, then pushing him under, the two of them, and she a bubble laughed at them as it broke the surface.

            Vincent was gentle, gentle rough, exploring hands under a sky that went dark with bright pinpricks of light that caused the lake water to crest and twirl. He was translucent, and she saw his eyes go from blue to green to black.

            She guided him inside, willing, hungry. His crooked smile. She bit his lip. It bled, and she kissed it clean, but it continued to bleed as they continued to explore, and his hips were a piston, and she took each thrust and gave in return, and they cried out at the same time.

            Mistake, for that brought the flock, and they disapproved. One at first sat on a stalk of golden flowers and cawed raw, drawing two others. Three, who squealed, putting their heads together so three razor beaks looked like one.

            Faye screamed as they came at her. Vincent blocked the first strike, missed on the second, took the hit on the third. He grabbed one, gripping its wings to its body, squeezing with clenched hands, white knuckles, and Faye screamed again as the bird imploded in blood and feathers.

            “run,” Vincent cried, flinging the carcass over his shoulder, reaching out for another of the blackbirds. Faye froze as Vincent tore a wing off of their attacker.

            “run,” he struggled to get out as the first of the birds went for his eyes; the membrane reflected the sun’s reflected light on the moon. Faye stood naked under the onslaught of feathers and light, lovemaking gone gone gone.

            And she heard Vincent say, “I wish.”

            And she was gone. And she was afraid. 

            The dreamscape repeated itself, reforming, taking different paths, the color palette constantly changing. But the birds remained the same, and their sex was still vivid, the lust ripe, and Faye woke up once to pour another glass of whisky only to fade back into the world she rejected when awake.

The shape in the bed

            “I’m tired.”

Dr. Maria

            Maria heard. She stood, going to his side, touching only the bed railing.


            “I’m tired, Maria.”

            “I know.” She bent close over to whisper. “You’re back.”

            “I didn’t kill the guard,” he whispered back.


            “I know.”

Evergreen and Golden Fields: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Evergreen and Golden Fields: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 5:

Evergreen and Golden Fields

Vincent ran ducking through a tall golden swarth as a murder swarmed after him. They cackled above him, marking his way as he cut one way, then zigged another. He dove between a dense forest of stalks, holding his breath, face to the ground, doing what he could protect his eyes.

The birds were hungry for them.

A single snorted caw bellowed overhead, followed by a hundred others, which echoed over the open fields a thousand times. The afternoon sky was jet black with wings. The night eclipsed the bright sun. Vincent bolted, staying close to the ground. His skin blistered when the fronds gave way.

A faraway corpse of green came swiftly into focus. As the ground shot upwards, Vincent crested the knoll, laying prone. He searched the branches, but they were high up on the trunks. A giant tree, off-center from the central mass, was dead, an oval cavity that looked large enough to climb into at first. Vincent crawled over, but upon inspection, it was a dashed illusion. Neither large enough nor with any depth, Vincent sank, his back against the bark of Cyprus.

The birds were screeching for him. Vincent banged his head back against the gnarled wood. He felt a trickle of blood leak along the nape of his neck. He slammed it again, feeling something other than the terrors from above. Once more, but too hard and forceful. He began to drift away.

 Blood swirled along the grooves of the tree trunk, draining down to roots that had cracked through the earth. Vincent heard lapping in rhythm with the throbbing in his head. His head fell to his right shoulder, his ear nearly touching, floating slightly above. Vincent’s neck was taut; the muscles strained as his ear wanted to kiss his shoulder, as it moved closer closer closer.

Vincent jerked, eyes bubbling open. The sky was clear blue with a smattering of white clouds that held a hit of grey. Some were lazy in their way across; others appeared to race out of view. Vincent took in the musky smell of wet dirt. His hand was wet. With stiff pain, Vincent took in that he sat on a muddy plain, no tree in sight. He took a handful of mud, grinding it through his fingers. He brought a tiny lick to his mouth, the earthiness-rich loam, a mixture of clay and silt, earth and sand. Vincent was standing but had no memory of standing.

In the distance, the blackbirds were returning. They were calling for him. A fierceness, a desire for him. He wanted to run again, yet what he held in his hands was. There was an enticing smell, and Vincent burrowed his face into his palms.

copper. and salt. and oily fats.

            “Grackle Lord,” the blackbirds sang out in unison, pitched high and low, lengthy and stringent. “Grackle Lord,” they called Vincent. “Dominus homicidii, Dominus mendacii.”

            Maria and Faye stood in the hallway watching three orderlies subdue Vincent. They saw the blood on his face, on his hands, over the table, over his clothes. He was screaming, unintelligible.

            A team had gone in to tend to the guard alone in the room with Vincent. The RN came out, looking down at the ground, up at Maria, shook her head, and then shuffled down the hallway to her station.

The green noise in the hallways held nothing for Maria and Faye.

Dandelion Passage: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Dandelion Passage: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Vincent Descent

Chapter 4: Dandelion Passage

The hallways of BBHPC (Brooks Behavioral Health Psychiatric Center) sound with the shuffling of feet on white tile floors, the shooshing of opening and closing doors, files being flipped, papers rustling, and muffled screams.

Conversations occurred behind closed doors or were taken outside of the concrete and faux marble building. Faye needed unsterilized air and another smoke. Maria joined her, upwind, so they could talk. Well, so she could mainly listen.

Faye knew the outward details. As a lawyer who would be asked to defend Vincent, she had to. They both had their own version of confidentiality. Maria knew that Faye’s bouts of snippiness with her were frustrations that Maria could not, would not, share more.  

Under swirling, overcast clouds, they walked along the patient garden path. Guards, nurses, and aides moved along, keeping tabs on their charges. Eighteen feet high security-welded metal fence surrounded the BBHPC grounds. Open air, but Maria felt it gave off enough of a claustrophobic air.

Flakes of snowflakes began to drift down. Faye cursed, took her last puff, and threw the butt down to grind it out. A guard “humphed,” and Faye bent over to pick it up to dispose of it properly. If he saw her give him the finger, he gave no indication. Maria noticed.

Fixing their ID lanyards, the two made their way back toward Vincent. Maria turned her head before disappearing inside. The snow had already gained strength. Remembering a snippet of a conversation with Vincent months before the incidents, way before BBHPC, she smiled.

He kept looking outside the window of her office. It had been snowing during the day, and the wind had been whipping up during their session.



“You keep drifting.”

He chuckled, a rare honest one.

“What?” Pause. “Oh. Drifting. Snow drifting?”

Vincent nodded.

He turned to her.

“We’re in a snow globe right now,” he half-smiled. “All shooken up, end over end, everything whirling around.”

Vincent looked back out the window again.

“We’re in a snow globe.”

“What?” Faye said, her annoyance rebuilding as she draped Lawyer Ms. Faye Smythe back on.  

Dr. Maria shrugged it off and smiled.

“We’re in a snow globe,” she murmured as she walked through the door, the guard desk check-in, and into the center.

The walls of the hallway in Vincent’s ward were a soft yellow. It was designed to have a calming effect, as was the ever-constant playing of green noise. It droned in the lowest levels of consciousness, volume raised enough to create a baffle for the HVAC sounds.

It didn’t always have the effect the designers intended.

Vincent, though, fell into the sound. He slowed his breathing and closed his eyelids after Dr. Maria left the room. He was quiet for a long time. The guard thought Vincent had fallen asleep. He leaned against the wall, relaxing.

Arms still on the table, Vincent mentally was tapping away, as dead old Cat-grandpa dug into him, reminding himself that his mind was the way to his portal journey.

The tapping was consistent until it flew away into wings beating.

“You’re back,” the Blackbird yelped.

If beaks could smile.


Ooops. Only the fourth post and I ran into a brick wall.

I will catch up later this evening, so there will be two posts today.

My apologies.

BTW, for those who may only have found Vincent’s Descent today, this is a continuous story. If you are interested, please go back to April 1st’s “Azure Dreams” and read on. Hopefully it will begin to make sense for one and all by the time we get to Z.


Azure Dreams: Vincent’s Descent -AtoZ Blog Challenge

Azure Dreams: Vincent’s Descent -AtoZ Blog Challenge

“Speak now.”

Vincent stared at the back of the caerulean blue cell phone on the tripod. He did not blink. The video picked up the slight tic from the corner of his green right eye. There was a crust of dried blood on his bottom lip. His lips were tightly closed now, giving a droop to the otherwise vacant expression most were accustomed to. The single drop of sweat that meandered from the forehead down the nose, a bead forming at the tip, until it dropped into the three-day growth of his ginger beard.

The lawyer sighed. The veins of her left hand were bulging from the fist she hid under the table.

“Look, I don’t have all day. Speak. Now.”

Vincent heard the exclamation point. It came into focus in front of him, a dark royal red. He felt its disdain. It shimmered over his lawyer’s head, fuzzing with golden tufts that faded away in a glowing haze. A breeze entered the sealed windowed room, a soft hum that buzzed into a howl. Vincent felt a chill from his sopped chin, moving inch by inch along his jawline.

He heard blackbirds calling from behind her, off in the distance. They took off as one, flying just past her shoulder. The three landed on a dead tree, perching on the same branch. They cawed intermittently, a basso screeching that pounded inside Vincent’s head.

“Spppeeee,” cawed one.

“eeekkkk,” another.

“Nooooooooowwwwwwwwwww,” came the third.

Vincent looked up and out of the ceiling; the sky was swirling. His eyes were blistered by the refracted light of the dying sun as night came to claim everything.

Vincent did not move. He felt his hands merge into the arms of the chair, his back becoming an extension of the wood and fabric he sat on. He was able to move his eyes but wished he hadn’t.

The biggest of the blackbirds, beak extended, leaned in. Its breath was hot, smelling of the dead flesh it fed upon. Black eyes. Vincent felt the eyes eating him.

“I give up,” the lawyer said, turning to guard. “I’m going for a smoke.”

She looked up at the camera in the corner. “He’s not to be spoken to until I return.”

Turning off the camera, she got up from the table, pushing the chair back under. It screeched like the birds to Vincent. The chair was another carrion.

The door buzzed to let her out. She stopped part of her wanting to return to Vincent, put her hand on his shoulder, shake him, pat him, slap him. The urge to punch him propelled her to the locked door.

A buzz. The lawyer was able to open the door. She turned, her instinct to go back, get him to talk. Her feet chose a different path. The door slammed behind her.

She left him staring up at the ceiling of the room.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: April 2023

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: April 2023

Please check out the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge

The annual Blogging from A to Z Challenge begins tomorrow, April 1st, 2023. For those of you unfamiliar with it, those joining in are asked to create 26 posts during the month. The title of each day follows the alphabet, with April 1st using the letter A, the next post starting with B, and so on, with Z falling on April 30th.

All those in the challenge are asked to post a reflection on May 1st.

I started this blog in 2011, joining my first A to Z that year. I’ve been intermittent with my commitment to the challenge since then. It has been a couple of years since my last foray. This is also a very last-minute entry into the challenge. We were supposed to do this much earlier in March.

Procrastinators unite tomorrow?

What To Do?

For those of you who have followed me, you know I am partial to a serialized story as opposed to one-and-done. This year will be no exception. I will do my editing best for brevity, but we also know that that promise can easily go out the window depending on the day’s writing.

So, Rum Ball, please…or Black and White Cookie (preferred):


Theme: psychological horror/thriller.

Make of that what you will.

See you tomorrow?

Comments are always welcome.

Chicken Dinner: A to Z Medal of Honor

Can’t believe I did it, but I did it.




A cryptic series of notes were left on the bloggers triple-axel backwards encrypted PC:

The weed of Time bears bitter fruit.

-The time is right, right now

Time is on my side

The Time is high but I’m holding on

Time takes a licking but keeps on ticking

-It is Time for you to stop all of your sobbing

It is time for you to laugh instead of crying

At this point, a link appeared. When clicked, the following video played. And played. And.

Ad infinitum:

Reflection on Liquid Time, 5/4/2021

Liquid Time: Beginning to End

Liquid Time: A Portend

ABSOLUTE 31,536,00














ON – Ω – OFF













REFLECTIONS (will be posted on May 4th, 2021)