Category Archives: rain

UKI-E: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

UKI-E: 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 21: UKI-E

            “I wish I knew where Vincent is, but I do not,” Faye repeated as a mantra, fighting to remain composed. Her face wan, eyes bleary, the lawyer wanted to crawl into a bottle of single malt. She shook her head, looking down at her notepad filled with legalese gibberish as if the answers were there.

What could she say without finding herself locked in a BBHPC room for observation?

Oh, Vincent grew feathers, and he and his shrink flew away.


As it was, Faye had been questioned ad nauseam by hospital security. After that, the police detective. Lawyer Fayed knew how to concoct a story out of the shock of the situation. She pled the fifth without invoking it.

Vincent was more, and she knew that, but not in this reality. Her experience with him when he portalled; glorious and terrifying. Where Vincent took her, what they did, and what he did. Blood rushed to her cheeks but washed them down with the memory of what had occurred in the room. Watching him shifting in confinement, seeing Maria toss herself on him, and then…poof!

Maria. Fuck.

They could not detain her. A single text waited for her when they finished with her. Faye gathered her things. Before she left the hospital, she found her way to a visitors’ women’s room. Locking the bathroom stall, she sat and finally allowed herself to shake.

Settled, she unlocked the door, went to the sink, and splashed cold water on her face. Looking at herself in the mirror, she grimaced before fixing her face. She was summoned.

“I wish I knew where Vincent is, but I do not.”

“Ms. Smythe, that is not going to cut it. Where the hell is my son?”

Sitting across the carved oak desk at Vincent’s father, Fayed shook her head.

“How many times do I have to tell you? I. Do. Not. Know.”

“Bullshit.” He leaned closer, his hands in a tight grasp of air above his desktop. “Bullshit. You don’t have many tells, lawyer, but even you can’t control your micro-expressions.”

Faye straightened her already straightened back.

“Last time before I fire you: where is my son?”

The threat.

“Fuck you,” and then she told him. Everything.

He did not interrupt her. No nodding of understanding, no shaking his head in disbelief. His tell? Vincent’s father sat back in his chair and listened.

When she went over every last detail, Ms. Faye Smythe stood, wanting to push her chair back so it would topple. Instead, she pulled down her suit jacket, picked up her briefcase, and turned her back on Vincent’s father.

Out of the corner of her eye, Faye looked at the shelf of snow globes, the last vestiges of Vincent’s mother. A space was vacant. Dust motes swirled under the LED lights.

The door slammed in her wake.

“Vincent!” Maria screamed to him as the rain turned from freezing rain to deep, heavy snow.


Her voice, useless, drowned out. The birds. The battle, the destruction, the death of the Condor. Its body smashed those who had remained on the ground. The screams cut off. The inner circle tried to take wing but found the icy storm tucked around them, weighing them in place. Those on the outskirts of the vortex scattered as best they could.

Maria paid them no attention. She was freezing, drenched from her swim through the soupy mud. Teeth chattering, body shaking, she wished for arctic-strength clothing.

Vincent! His gaze shifted to Maria. She was dry and warm in an instant, encased in proper gear.

Then the wind howled between Her Lavender Grace and The Grackle Lord. Her Grace lumbered large, buffeted by the driving icy sleet. Her ebon wings gained a brief coat of white, sloughing off each time she shook herself. The drippings turned to icicles at her pinions. They hung with growing weight.

Her Lavender Grace’s determined eyes never left her Grackle Lord until


Neck twisting, Her Lavender Grace searched for the nuisance. To her left. She honed in on the tree line, eyesight still razor sharp. As she turned her attention back to The Grackle Lord, she thrashed her left wing, snapping the needle-like icicles off and sending them hurtling toward Maria.


Triturate: Vincent’s Descent -atoz blog challenge

Triturate: 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 20: Triturate

Her Lavender Grace breathed in deeply, her expansive chest filling with the deathly air. The taste of blood carried on the winds, and they began to whip around with the fall of the rain. She exhaled with a squawk, a call that further stirred the murder lust around her. She reeked of power and death. The washing rain did not rinse her of cravings.

And the rain began to fall in sheets, shimmering from her wings, running down her dense hide. Pools formed around and under Her Lavender Grace. Her flocks sputtered in the growing density. The rain was brutal, beating down with a rat-tat-tat beat that only gained in speed and force. Her Lavender Grace reveled in the stinging pain that came to her from members of her horde.

Still, her gaze locked on the deadly struggle between her Condor and her Grackle Lord. She lost all interest in Maria.  

The brackish water surrounding Maria got in her eyes and mouth. Maria spit out one mouthful only to have a deluge wash over her from above. She slipped, her hands going deep into the mud. Her struggling to escape the monster’s claws took on a higher energy. The immense shape above her was ever so slowly sinking.

I wished, the thought his Maria, and she wished again. A lightning storm tore the sky open with a force that stopped all action, turning attention away from her. Maria frantically dug into the mud, the pools of water enveloping her in sloshing waves. Forcing her head above the water, Maria took deep breaths. Then down, down, and forward.

Down and forward as the skies broke in streaks of deadly white. The rainstorm blew over the light-rooted birds, trees, and bushes. It softened the land, and Maria took full advantage of this.

Vincent-Inside, momentarily startled by the fierceness of the gale, went full Birdserkr.  

The Condor had let its guard down.

The Grackle Lord’s maw clamped down onto the Condor’s left wing. It snapped it in half, dark-drenched feathers slamming the mob below. Before it could react, Vincent-Inside fed off of all the abuse he carried. Digging his nails into the midsection of the Condor, The Grackle Lord ripped it open. With a whip-shot, Vincent-Inside sent his bloodied beak through the Condor’s neck, the tip breaking through and through.

The Condor choked on its blood.

The Grackle Lord pulled away, claws still inserted in the Condor’s abdomen. Their eyes met. Vincent-Inside held on as he watched the Condor’s black eyes lose their color, their power, grinding to a dusty death pallor.

There was no shudder, no rasp. The Condor had been alive. Now, not.

The Grackle Lord retracted his talons. The Condor fell.

Turning, Vincent-Inside faced Her Lavender Grace. His jet-black eyes went to the claw where Maria had been, but there was only muddy water.

The Grackle Lord, in full fury, scattered the multitudes of lesser birds. Its feathers slicked back, wings tossed wide and beating the air, The Grackle Lord challenged.

Her Lavender Grace faced it, eyes narrowing, wings akimbo. Neck lengthening, beak glistering from the rain, she waited for the attack.

Maria had crawled out of the soupy earth inches from the prison of bone and flesh. Unnoticed, she crawled along the muddy ground, finding a semblance of shelter among the upturned roots of a giant denuded tree.

Along the way, some blackbirds saw her. Grabbing rocks, she smashed a few skulls that got too close to her. The last one that came at her avoided the rocks, scoring a bite through her sodden pants leg. Dropping the rocks in pain, Maria caught its wings and slammed the bird against the tree trunk she was leaning against. And again, until it was a stain on the bark.

Dropping the dead thing, she watched the battle. It was brutal, and her stomach churned, but she knew. And it was done.

Then Vincent turned to face Her Lavender Grace, and Maria inwardly cried, noooooo

And then said: “I wish….”

And the rain began to turn to snow.

Scratches: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Scratches: 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 19: Scratches

The Grackle Lord went for the Condor’s eyes. It cawed, flying backward and up, looping over its young attacker.

“I taught you that, idiot child.” It spat venom toward its foe.

Vincent-Inside banked to the left. The spittle landed on the flanks of the three ravens behind him. Each of them sizzled as they fell to the ground. Twelve others swooped in to attack from the rear, three more to each side.

The Condor dove, batting them all out of the sky, all hollow bones pulverized by the brutality of the strike.

“He. Is. Mine!”

Those in the air dove to the ground, the trees, and the jutting rocky landscape. They watched, trembling. The dead around them went uneaten.


The Grackle Lord took this distraction and pounced from above.

They raked each other’s flesh with claws and beaks.

Her Lavender Grace had been waiting for the attack, surprised that it had taken The Grackle Lord so long. She had plucked the sore by his side to prod him. Looking down, she noticed it was still squirming under between her talons. Good. She needed it alive.

Turning back to the dueling pair, Her Grace focused on the rendering, lapping the droplets of sprayed blood that fell her way. She licked her beak with a long pink tongue. Errant members of the frenzied flew too close. Her Grace snatched them indiscriminately out of the air, crunching them into pieces and swallowing them as the opportunity arose.

Maria continued to struggle while blood and offal fell on and around her. She had seen the Condor turn on its own, noticed Vincent soar up, and then when the screeching began, she averted her eyes. Maria contorted, trying to squirm through Her Lavender Grace’s grasp. It was too tight. The pressure on her chest grew.


            Looking up through the gap, she saw the massive eyes glance at her. Maria went still but did not avert her eyes. Taking a deep breath in, Maria held it, counting to calm herself. When she quietly exhaled, she relaxed. The pressure decreased. A chuckle-like sound sent her shivering once again. Her Lavender Grace turned away from her captive and back to the battle overhead.

            Maria looked at it as well. Tears welled up and began to fall.

            “Oh, Vincent,” she murmured, wanting to scream.

            The Condor cackled as The Grackle Lord screeched. The Condor had its claws sunk into its opponent’s legs while a beak surrounded its neck. Both sets of wings closed in on the other, and they began to drop from the sky, falling in a barrel roll.

            They crashed, crushing a multitude of birds that were not fast enough. Those that took flight circled over the pair as they continued their assault on the other.

            The Grackle Lord butted its head under the Condor’s beak, sending the larger bird back.

            Too late Vincent-Inside saw his error. The Condor leaped, beak first, and punctured the flesh under The Grackle Lord’s right eye.

It screamed.

The Condor laughed.

The Lavender Grace stood stone still.

Maria felt herself shuting down. She couldn’t think. There was nothing she could do.

“I wish,” she said.

And it began to rain.

Impasto: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Impasto: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 9: Impasto

Nine years Earlier

             Vincent succeeded on his sixteenth journey. He did not have to have direct contact with his grandfather. The old man followed the trail that Vincent was creating. He was a feather’s breath away, their connection strong enough. Cat-grandpa remained close enough in case Vincent drifted into another Edge.

            Impatience drove the now fourteen-year-old. Vincent had not succumbed to teenage apathy. Instead, he obsessed with initiating the crossing of thresholds, shaping the way, being lead to actualizing. He had been frustrated with his grandfather. Five years since the first gateway unfolded. Five years of walking the old man’s pathway. Five years of internalizing.

            Tap. Tap. Tap.

            There was a thickness in the air, rich enough that Vincent felt it. Vincent swayed with the gusty wind that brushed around him. His long, ginger hair haloed around his head. His arms had hung by his side, but now he slowly raised them, plucking a golden flower from stalks that rose close to his heart.

            “Clothes, boy,” came the chide right behind him.

            Vincent flushed.

            “I wish,” he muttered. Converse blacks, ripped indigo jeans, Hawkwind tee.

            The old man sighed behind him.

            “I would have gotten to it.”


            “Would have.”

            Cat-grandpa laughed, watching Vincent walk further ahead. He shrugged, stopped, and waited until Vincent was out of sight, any humor in him dripping away with each step Vincent took. Once drained, he croak-coughed three times, then blew a sustained whistle.

            Three came, a flexing blackness against a waning bright sky. As one, they landed on the flowers, stiff enough to hold their light.

            Nodding in the direction Vincent went, the old man only wheezed out a series of squeaks.

            “Follow him,” Cat-grandpa commanded. “He will get lost.”

            The largest of the three blackbirds hopped, beating its wings, coming close, eye to eye. The old man did not flinch. He was ready, just in case.

            The bird flew overhead, turning in the direction instructed. The other two took wing and followed.

            Once he saw that they, too, were out of sight, he faded back home.

            Vincent loved the dotted night sky. He wanted a lake and a small town, and it was there. The lake held echoes of light from above and the small village on the other side of the water. He wished for music to float along the top, ripples forming from the energy of the musicians. He began to walk toward the town, it not occurring to him that he could have wished himself there.

            He heard wings flapping behind him. Never a fan of birds, Vincent winced, then shrugged as he continued.

            The sounds followed him as he made his way, swooping in front of him a few times. They cawed when he shooed them away. This annoyed Vincent. Before he made it to the town, Vincent picked up a few rocks, ready for another harassment.

            It came quickly, an onslaught of black wings and golden claws. Vincent struck out with the rocks. His aim was true with one, knocking the bird out of the air. Another came in closer, and Vincent slammed it with a second rock. The bird spun away, screeching.  

            The third kept its distance. Vincent panted, the veins in his head pounding.

            “I wish,” he yowled, but the bird remained.

            “I. Wish.”

            The bird laughed.

            “Grackle Prince,” it said clearly, a harsh vibration that hurt Vincent’s ears.


            The bird said nothing more. It flew off, and the one knocked out of the air hopped and flew after. Vincent watched them, then looked down, expecting to find the bird he slammed before him.


            Vincent felt tired. It was only then that he realized his grandfather was not with him.

            Shrugging, he was torn between entering the town or retreating.

            “I wish,” and raindrops began, adding to the river, reverberating new ripple after ripple.

            “I wish,” he said, and Vincent went away.


There was a long droning noise from the heart monitor.

Dr. Maria screamed.

Hues of the Harriers: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Hues of the Harriers: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 8: Hues of the Harriers

“Vincent,” Dr. Maria nearly cried out. His hand was quicker, palm squelching the sound.

He put his forehead against hers, eyes unblinking. Vincent released the pressure, whimpering softly.

“They are outside. Listen. The flocks. Shh. Listen.”

Wings aflutter assailed her ears, the screeches shrill calling echoing through the cavern. Maria’s heartbeat ached in her ears, drowning out the sound of the sky marauders when they receded. Yet the pack returned, or a new one arrived, and the fierceness overwhelmed her.

In an un-Vincent move, Vincent put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her in tight. She shuddered as the noise intensified.

His lips were on her ears: “You give me strength.” Sotto voce. Barely a breath.

“I wish,” and there was no opening to the cave. Infinitesimal fissures manifested, enough to allow air to circulate for them to survive. Nothing large enough for even the tiniest hunters to see through.

It deadened the caterwauling but did not eliminate it.

Huddled together, mouth to ears:

“Vincent. You promised me….”


“Why am I here?”

Silence sat.

“You promised. Never again.”

Vincent nodded. His chin scruff was rough against her cheek.

“Yes. I. I tried. I…I’m tired, Maria. The drug they gave me. Too much, powerful. I needed help.”

Maria gave one brief nod.

“I touched your hand. It was a mistake.”

“You touched my hand. It was enough.”

Sounds from outside intensified, a whirlwind of activity that stopped instantly. The eye of the storm engulfed the cavern.

“Transgressor” came through the throats of a legion of winged executioners.

“Transgressor, you are known. We are here. You are here. Come, Grackle Lord. Meet us. The Sky waits.”

Vincent shook his head with fervor. Maria bit her lips, and the metallic smell assaulted him. With no warning, Vincent placed his mouth on hers, taking the blood in.

He was not quick enough. He smelled it. They smelled it.

Maria’s head jerked back, hitting the rock wall.


Sledgehammer pecking slammed against the cavern, dust began to fall, a pebble here, a tremor in the wall.

“Go back,” Vincent said through gritted teeth. “Wake me up, Maria. I don’t have enough in me to fight them.”

“Grackle Lord,” shrilled an ungodly number of caws.

“Vincent,” she said, nodding.

“I wish…”

Dr. Maria awoke on the floor by Vincent’s infirmary bed. A nurse was bending over her, orderlies entering the room. Resist as she might, they checked her out. One of the orderlies -Tom of the broken nose – got the call button out of her fist. He was gentle enough, yet her fingers hurt from how hard she had grasped it.

They helped her to the chair in Vincent’s room, but they had scooted it away from the bed. Maria saw that Vincent’s eyes were still closed as he strained against the restraints. The machines hooked up to Vincent were squawking at a high pitch.

“You,” she caught the nurse’s wrist. “He’s going to stroke out. Wake him up. Your dose was too strong. Fucking wake him up!”

 Her eyes went to the heart monitor.

Greying, Wings: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Greying, Wings: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 7: Greying, Wings

The devil’s script sells you the heart of a blackbird.”

…and he soared, hoping not to be flying an Icarus path.

He would evade one pack only to encounter another as they crested through the cumulus cloud he rode. The sky was patchy with fractocumulus streaks of puffiness. This allowed the dying star night sky to shine. Vincent hid in one that covered a larger area of the sky, but the Murders pursued him relentlessly. Vincent chose to dive, wings furled tight against his body, heading to the glittering lake below him.

The white puffs had soured, moisture points rising as one joined another, ruining the purity until they grew dense, darker, and greyer. The lake was losing its light.

Vincent touched the ground with talons extended, gripping the silt around the shoreline. Swiveling, he looked for pursuers. Puffing out his chest, the Grackle Lord became Vincent again.

Rain was starting to fall. His unshod feet began to sink slightly into the forming mud. It was cool, but Vincent knew that it would soon get cold. He wished for warm shoes, then added socks inside them. Woolen feel without any itch, black as the drawing overcast skies.

Vincent was forming the landscape. The lake was large, with enough of a mirror quality to it. He saw nothing, and there were no beating of wings to be heard. They could be gliding. Vincent took off at a trot. Crafting a ridge of hills with a plethora of caverns, Vincent made for one to his right. Once inside the opening, he waited for a count of twenty.


He skittered three caves down. There was a thick overhang of ivy and moss; others also had this. Vincent hoped for a chance to breathe.

            The rain fell in earnest, steady. Usually, Vincent felt calm, drifting into the consistency of the sound. Cold seeped into the cave. Vincent wished to be clothed. Thick jeans, black flannel shirt, a thick dark gray sweater, woolen hat. His fingers were freezing. He wished for gloves.

            Fire was out of the question. He had wished for it a few times before, but fire is alive. It has its wants and desires, a will to consume, to control. Its voice was strong, stronger than any of Vincent’s resolves. So, he did without fire.

            Vincent first squatted, then sat, back against the cave wall. His stomach lightly grumbled. Food was easier to come by. He wished, and a paper bag of sandwiches and chips was on his lap. He was biting into his second PB&J when the sound of wet wings and angry cries flew near his hiding spot.



            Dr. Maria’s eyelids flew open. Vincent thrashed in the bed, a droning moan emitting from his tight lips. His body convexed against the restraints then fell back onto the mattress.


            She was reaching for the call button. The dose of Diazepam they injected should have kept Vincent under for a few more hours. Her face was taut. She had the call button in one hand as she placed the other over Vincent’s closest hand.


            “No,” Vincent subvocalized as Dr. Maria sat beside him in the cave.


A to G, the first seven chapters of Vincent’s Descent. H is for Monday, and I kinda/sorta have an idea where this is going now. I told a member of my Writer’s Group this morning that I have no clue to where this will end.

Well, maybe, but don’t hold me to it.

If you are just coming upon Tale Spinning/”Vincent’s Descent” for the first time, I STRONGLY suggest that you start with the April 1st entry, “Azure Dreams.”

My plan for Sunday is to return to the first post and edit along. There are some things I’ve added as the story has progressed that need to be incorporated into day one.

I’ll post a post with thanks/links to bloggers who have supported my work on Sunday as well. Some really great writers and great new blogs I’ve been introduced to.

Check out other AtoZ Blogging Challenge blogs HERE. As of this writing, there are 228 blogs to check out.

Thanks for reading.

Crimson: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Crimson: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blog Challenge

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 3: Crimson

             oh. blood. yes. 

            Cat-grandpa’s index fingernail was always sharp and jagged. All of the nails were in that shape. He bit instead of cut. He used his hands to talk for him, his fingers acting as punctuations, his palms as rests or, too often, harsh beats. Vincent would zero in when Cat-grandpa’s hands morphed into fists. When the knuckles went white, Vincent’s eyes would tear up.

            “The best portal stories are.” Tap. “Right.” Tap. “Up.” Tap. “Here.”

            Vincent winced. He felt the nail slice into his skin. A light dribble followed. It would leave a scar on top of a scar. His mother never noticed; if she did, she refrained from saying anything. Vincent often looked to see if she had an imperfection in the same place.

            She always wore her hair down.

He held himself still. It stung. Vincent’s mouth went dry. He knew not to say anything, not to make any sound. He felt himself lose focus, his eyes darting for any escape. There were birds in the distance.

            He wished he was a bird.

            They had been sitting on the balcony, Cat-grandpa reading with seven-year-old Vincent. They had finished “A Princess of Mars.” Instead of continuing to the next book, “The Gods of Mars,” Cat-grandpa had Vincent go inside to fetch a different book.

            “But…,” Vincent began, eyeing the cover of the unread paperback. The silence that followed got Vincent moving.

“The second one from the top of the pile,” Cat-grandpa yelled through the screen door as it slammed shut. Vincent walked through the small kitchen, hurrying past the overflowing garbage bin. Flying bugs of all sizes chased him into the living room.  

The worn wooden side table had a tilt to it. Vincent found two books had tumbled onto the convertible couch, face down. The author’s faces stared up at him, the titles hugging the sofa. The scratchy faded orange fabric was shiny with bald patches. He thought it looked like Cat-grandpa. Vincent bit his inner cheek not to laugh.

A pile of books was next to the one teetering to join its brethren. He ignored that pile, unsure if the wanted book was on the couch. Vincent studied the two book towers and made a decision. He was reaching for the second book when he noticed the top one.

“Not the first book?” Vincent yelled, turning back toward the screen door. “It has the number one in the corner.”  

He heard a faint “idiot kid” before, “What did I say? The second book.”

Vincent returned outside, plopping down on his side of the two-person seater. It rat squeaked, the coils underneath hard and sharp.

Cat-grandpa was having Vincent read aloud, prodding him over words he stumbled over. When Lucy pushed past all the clothing and found herself somewhere else, Vincent stopped.

“Like John Carter? Is she somewhere else? Is she on Mars?”

“Narnia,” Cat-grandpa sighed. “Narnia. Different place. Different world, if you like. Not Mars.

The lecture on Portal stories began, ending with the digging into Vincent’s scalp.

The couch had been turned out, another rusted accessory. The mattress was thin, the pillows were essentially pillowcases, and the sheet was a series of threads holding onto each other, so it all didn’t disappear.

Like he wished he could.

The best portal stories as he closed his eyes and went elsewhere.

The lawyer and the therapist stood in the narrow hallway. Vincent sat in the room behind them, alone. The guard inside watched him like a hawk.

“Maria, you’ve got to get him to talk with me.”

She nodded, tucking her lips in slightly. Her gaze flitted over Faye’s crossed arms, the grey suit jacket, the tips of the white blouse, the minute showing of olive-hued skin, and the sharp yellow lacquered nails. There was a chip at the top of the ring finger. Maria wasn’t going to mention it.

“Look, Faye,” she stopped, seeing the other woman tense. “OK. No excuses. Why do you think he won’t?”

“Fuck, Maria. Don’t therapist me. Answer the fucking question.”

It was a non-staring starting contest.

“He thinks you are afraid of him.”

Faye blinked quickly.


“Sigh. Afraid. You of him. Vincent holds his tongue if he feels someone is afraid of him.”

“Afraid? No. Unsettled? Very much so.  He’s a creepy fuck.  But yes, afraid. Unsettled.  If I wasn’t the family lawyer, after what he did?”

“Really? Isn’t it supposed to be ‘allegedly?’”

The lawyer sighed.

“Fuck this. Fine. Yes. I have to take the stance ‘allegedly.'” She leaned in close to Maria, never sure. “The damn photos, Maria. The photos.”

Ms. Faye Smythe turned her head away from Maria.

“All that blood.”

Blackbird Singing: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blogging Challenge

Blackbird Singing: Vincent’s Descent – AtoZ Blogging Challenge

Chapter Two: Blackbird Singing

            “I’m tired,” Vincent croaked, biting into the blackbird’s wing. He mangled the hollow bones underneath its feathers, cleaving them with his teeth. The blackbird had gotten too close; the tip of its beak had tapped the membrane of Vincent’s left eye. His central vision grew soft, distorted, and blurry.

            “I’m tired.” Involuntarily said as he bit deeper. Vincent spat out blood and feathers.

            “I’m tired,” he laughed, feeling a short sharp shock against his cheek.

            A black mass fluttered in front of Vincent; two more whisked overhead. He stood, again the words “I’m tired” levitated from his cracked lips. As the dropped “…d” moved away, Vincent surged backward, knocking over the chair he had been affixed to.

The wood clattered on the concrete floor.  


            A door slammed open, then shut.


            A whooping assault of sound. Vincent felt shoved, pinned, his back pressed against a rock-hard surface. The noise pelted him; he repeatedly repeated, “I’m tired,” his voice modulating in tone, speed, and volume.

            Rain, he thought. I wish it were raining. The sound of it falling; swallows harshness, makes things softer. It patterns against the windows, a tapping of drops. Not always followed by the clap of thunder, which can break the dulling.

 Snow, maybe. Yes, it is always quiet when it snows. Big, white constant drifting of snow. Cold enough that it coated everything. Yes, I wish it were snowing. Dead of night. It would cover the blackbirds, a glaze of white over their wings, chilling their breaths, cutting off their voices, preventing them from flying, freezing them, immobilizing them, until their innards iced over, their parasites in stasis, easily caught, necks twisted, my being able to gouge their eyes out, my hands…

            His head dropped to his chin, eyelids closing. Vincent took in a breath for a count of five, held for four, then expelled for a count of eight, jaw fully extended.


            “I’m tired.” Barely audible.

            A lighter claw alit on his shoulder.

            “I know, Vincent. I know,” a demur cackle, guiding him back, pushing him down onto the again upright chair. “I know. Would you open your eyes, please?”

            He acknowledged this voice. Different.

            “I’m tired, Maria.”

            Picking up his head, his eyelids followed the trajectory. “Dr. Maria.” He nodded his head to the doorway.

            “I sent…asked your lawyer to leave us for a few so we could speak. And yes, the guard as well.”

            Vincent took it as truth.

            “Vincent, she doesn’t know you.”

            “She’s afraid.”

            Maria put her arms on the table between them, nodding.

            “Why do you think that?”

            Moments filled the eight-by-eight room. The HVAC clicked off, taking the underscore of humming with it.

            Vincent shrugged. Mimicking his doctor, Vincent placed his arms on the table. He felt his hands were sticky. Looking down, he saw they were dripping black-red.

            “Why do you think she is afraid of you, Vincent?”

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.