Tag Archives: Storytelling

Ziggurat Englobed: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Ziggurat Englobed: 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 26: Ziggurat Englobed

            Faye shook her head.

            “But, the bodies. All that blood. Vincent,” she was off the couch, “the bodies!”

            “The Condor tore into her. Right out,” he paused, “right out of me. There was nothing I could do. It drove its beak into her midsection, clawed her.” Tears streamed. “Then it morphed into that old bastard, laughing at me, goading me.”

            “Why did he-it-do that?” Maria gripped her arms.

            “His father,” Faye offered, and Vincent nodded. He looked away from them to look out the living room window.

“Mom got me to focus on the ‘I wish’; it was a mantra to protect, bring changes, and do things. She’d sing that Disney song to me: “When you wish upon a Star,” but it was the snow globes for us. Maria, I was able to extend that wish to you, for a short while, in the heat of it all. I knew I would not have the opportunity. I have always trusted you.”

“Oh.” He nodded.

“My father hated that I had a way to safety, hated her for protecting me. Hated her enough so….”

We ran, and it found us.”

            “I erupted that night. The feathers broke through my skin; my face lustered, and my mouth became a sharp beak. Full Grackle Prince.” He turned back, only to look away again. “Then I did what wasn’t expected. I dove at the human shell. I thought it was more. I am guilty of wanting it dead, Faye, but it only left a shell in this world. Real or not, Cat-grandpa was only a shell.

No matter. I fully transformed. That’s what it wanted. What the three of them wanted.”


            “The Condor, my father, and Her Grace.” He stood, walking to the windows. “The birds had always harassed me when I ported, some more aggressive than others. I didn’t understand why, did not know how to protect myself. My mother did.”

            Vincent shuddered.

            “In the psych ward, it happened to the guard. The Condor reached through me, half in this realm sticking out of me. The guard was dead in an instant. I couldn’t take it. I tried to go elsewhere, but too many hands were on me. Too many.”

            Faye put her drink down. She moved closer to him but refrained from touching him.

            “It’s ok, Faye. You don’t have to be afraid of me, well, yeah, but…”

            She reached around, hugging him.

            “No more bird fucking, ok?” She whispered in his ear. He nodded.

            “Thank you,” he said.

            Maria joined them at the window.

            “What now?” Maria asked, looking at the window reflection of the three of them. Faye lightly shook her head.

            Vincent, though, had a serious dead face. She gasped, not being able to see his eyes in the reflection. Turning, she saw they were twilight black.

            “I have to go.” He turned to Faye, then Maria. “For now.”

            Vincent went.

            The world swirled as Vincent ported. Vincent grasped colors, rearranging them, mashing them together, piling one thick, the other etched thin, as he painted across the city. Which became a field of flowers. A range of hills, mounds of earth piled high, plateaus filled with lushness. The sky was white, grey, and streaked with maroon, all moving to shine light from above until everything burst into a multitude of blues and golden hues.

            Vincent walked through it all, over and around bodies of water, through the clouds, until he walked through a window of a cobweb of his making.

            In his father’s twilight office, Vincent became.

            Tucking his wings tight against his body, The Grackle Lord stood before the snow globes. All the dots of fake snow were dancing. Each orb alit, changing shades, soft to dark, mixtures that changed the meanings of colors, yet there was harmony in the movement.

            Except for the one to the far right. It was black, swirled black, minutely changing to every essence of black, and it was a frenzy in comparison.

            Vincent-Inside reached out a claw and grabbed the blackness. He was ready to hurl it through the window when a claw shot out from the darkness, stopping him.

Jerked back, losing a few feathers, The Grackle Lord’s eyes widened, the black pupils deepening. It cawed in defiance, talons extending.

            “Filius,” The Black Vulture croaked as it wormed into the room, blocking the snow globe. “Filius, avis nigra dominus,” it uttered. The misshapen head, long neck, ebon feathers, were less than The Grackle Lord. It knew it. The neck bowed an iota.

It began to change.


            A knock at Faye’s door brought her running. Without looking, she flung the door open and dragged Vincent inside, slamming it shut. Faye grabbed his face with both hands and kissed him.

            Maria, who had remained by the window, smiled. She went over once the kiss broke and circled her arms around them. It was tender, a much-needed calm, and each ached in their private ways.

            Vincent led them back to the living room. He lowered the lighting before sitting on the floor on one side of the sofa table. Faye joined him while Maria took to the couch.

            Vincent took the empty bottle of whiskey off the tabletop. After briefly looking at Faye, she picked up her tumbler, looked inside, and set it on the floor under the table. Then Vincent opened his wings.

            Neither had seen the change to his arms. It was a momentary lapse of awareness but soon replaced by wide-eyed wonder.

            Snow globes glittering the landscapes of Vincent’s worlds, ten sat on the table.

            “Vincent,” Maria smiled.

            “Yes,” he told them of his confrontation with his father, a standoff for The Grackle Lord held power. He said of the formed pact so that he could retrieve his & his mother’s snow globes. There were the worlds that he traveled, had traveled, would travel.

            “Except for the black. That is for Her Lavender Grace and her Black Vulture.”

            He looked at the two women in his life.

            “Would you travel with me? I am a portal in want.”

            They both nodded.

            “I wish,” Vincent said.

            They went to golden lands together.

The End


So, here we are. April 2023 AtoZ Blog Challenge has come to an end. 

I hope that you enjoyed “Vincent’s Descent” and are satisfied with this ending. Tomorrow you’ll find the Reflections on Vincent’s Descent post. It should answer some, if not all, of your questions.

If you want more, or you feel I left gaping holes, or whatever, Comments Are Always Welcome.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Xanthic Fields: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Xanthic Fields: 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 23: Xanthic Fields

“I did not kill my mother.”

Faye had been one sheet to the wind when her doorbell rang.

“What the?” she grumbled, putting her whiskey down as she got up from the couch. No one in the building ever came to her door, and she did not buzz anyone in. She stood pissed, gritting her teeth, ready to tell whoever was there to fuck off.

The bell rang again, and then the sound of a fist pounding.

“Faye. Open up. It’s Maria.”

She ran to the door, shooting the deadbolts open, but only a fraction opened the door.

“Maria. Holy shit. You’re,” she said, opening the door fully. And then stopped.

“Hi, Faye,” Vincent said from behind, and to the side, of Maria.  

            Maria caught the door as Faye began to slam it.

            “No, Faye. Stop. Let us in.” She pushed past, grabbing her wrist and pulling her away from the door. Vincent had taken a step closer but stopped in the doorway. Maria turned to him, elbowing Faye in the process. Faye frowned the distance between her eyes closing.

            “Vincent,” they said in unison, but the meanings could not have differed. A pleading from one, a reproach from the other. He nodded, entering the condo and closing the door behind him.

            “Lock it,” Faye shouted over her shoulder as she made her way to her drink. She folded herself in the far corner of her couch, tucking her legs under her. Holding the glass out, Maria tried to take it from her.

            “Nope. Bottle. Bring the bottle,” Faye nodded to the Jamesons atop the sofa table.

            Maria retrieved the bottle, getting a glass for herself. She topped off Faye’s and gave herself warmth, sitting at the other end of the couch. Vincent didn’t drink. He stood awkwardly, looking lost as he did in this world.  

            Maria was about to pat the mid-section of the couch for him to sit when she caught the wide-eye warning from Faye, the slight shaking of her head. “No!”

            “Vincent, pull the chair over and sit, please,” she told him. He nodded, scraping it across the kitchen tile and through the living room carpeting. Maria noticed the rut he made in the material. She shivered, thinking of the river of blood among the tree trunks.

            Faye spit out a stream of obscenities. Vincent lightly blushed, looked at Maria, and shrugged. Maria told Faye everything from her point of view, with Vincent adding in very little about the battle and nothing about the rutting. He mentioned his “I wish” to bring Maria and him somewhere safe.

            “That’s why we were standing outside your door.”

            Faye shot him a look.

            “The look on your face when you opened the door. I can’t imagine what you would have done if we had appeared inside this room.” He smiled, thought better of it, and placed his hands on his knees.


            Faye had her head in her hands, the thrice-filled now empty glass perched on the sofa armrest. When she mentioned icicle missiles, Maria had pulled her legs up, wrapping her arms around her knees. She was exhausted in the telling.

            Faye licked the rim of her glass. Looking into it, she told of her meeting with Vincent’s father, of all their exchanges, of the accusations his father laid at Vincent’s feet.

            Vincent coughed. The women looked at him.

            Maria saw the struggle he was having.

            “What is it, Vincent?”


            Faye exploded.

            “Damnit, Vincent. What is it? You put us both,” gesturing to include Maria, “through that fucking hell. Hey!”

Faye vaulted off the couch and stood over Vincent.

“You don’t get to silent treatment me. I’ve been there; I’ve seen you in that psycho world of yours,” Maria winced, “and the violence you are capable of. Then what Maria just said, the death, the killings, and,” Faye was seething, “and we fucked, and it was magical, and then you went and fucked a bird??”

Maria had to bite her cheeks. She still made a short snort.

“Damn straight, don’t laugh.”

             Faye wanted to lay her hands on him but feared being taken elsewhere.

            “So, fucking Grackle King….”


            “Shut the fuck up!” She sighed. “So, what? What were you going to say?

            Vincent looked at Maria, then back to Faye.

            “I did not kill my mother.”

Vincent: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Vincent: 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.

***My apologies for falling behind. This should have gone up on Wednesday. I will do W & X on Friday: one in the morning, the other later in the day. I should not have any other delays so that Y & Z, and the reflection, will all show up on time.

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 22: Vincent

            Vincent fully accepted the Grackle Lord mantle at that moment.

            He screeched, and a half-frozen squadron of his kind jetted; a wall of blackbirds formed a six-deep phalanx between icicle missile tips and Maria. Lanced through the body, wings, and heads. Forty-two skewered for their Grackle Lord. Their blood frothed as the iced-over dead fell to the now-frozen wasteland.  

            Maria was hidden by the dead. Her throat was raw from icy hyperventilating. Crouching amidst the snow-covered roots of the tree she had collapsed on.

            The Grackle Lord squawked, and more of his half-dead murder broke free of their ice entombment. They hopped, flew low to the ground, creating a barrier, weak though it might have been, in front of Maria and her guardian tree.

            Vincent-Inside turned and squawked, this for Her Lavender Grace, who had flapped once and came at him. Her maw opened a return challenge. They met with claws and razor-sharp beaks above the fields of ice and death.

            Escalation on all fronts. The storm turned to a near-white-out blizzard as the wind screamed. Her Lavender Grace ripped into The Grackle Lord’s side, a gouge of intense pain. It countered with a beak thrust, trying to pierce its foe through the neck as it had done the Condor, but Her Grace swiveled.  

            With a greater wingspan, Her Grace backed up, thrusting talons forward. The Grackle Lord took the brunt of the blow above the side wound. It bellowed, pivoted, and flew in under Her Lavender Grace.

            It bit deep into the joint of the body and wing, darting first to the right, then the left.

            Her Lavender Grace yawped, then brought her maw down on the nape of The Grackle Lord. With every bite, a claw would rip. With every evade, a different attack would come.

The larger blackbirds came at the call of Her Lavender Grace, then for The Grackle Lord, then again. No matter the master, one by the other, swatted down, snapped at, torn apart, driven away. The two were monstrous in their struggle.

            The wailing snow blinded Maria. There were glimpses as they thrashed, at times coming directly overhead. She dove face down into the growing snow around her. She wished for something to help Vincent, but whatever had granted her the power seemed absent now.

The sound was deafening as the ground cracked.

Quiet happened, and Maria dug herself up to a kneeling position.

She tried to call out “Vincent,” but what came out was a rasp.

Her Lavender Grace pinned The Grackle Lord against her. Their eyes were locked on the other. Their bodies held gashes, patches of missing or broken feathers, and avian blood mixed in the snow, slowing down from fury to flakes. They settled to a stop, covering the terrain.

 Maria’s jaw dropped as the two disengaged, and then….

 The Grackle Lord flew and then landed behind Her Lavender Grace. It mounted Her Grace, a cloacal kiss.

The birds around them hooted, squealed, squeaked, and clucked, taking to the air in a starling swarm that blanketed the sky until the mating completed. The Grackle Lord cawed, and the pack dispersed.

Her Lavender Grace, upright, had her back to Maria. It was staring at Her Grackle Lord.

At Vincent.

At The Grackle Lord.

At Vincent, in the throes of changing from one form to the other. The feathers grew dense and blacker than before, only to recede to alabaster hide. Then again, the feathers grew back, and Vincent groaned and howled and cawed, piercing the night into the goldest of golds.

Vincent, the Grackle Lord, gleamed as he/it rose, towering over Her Lavender Grace.

With eyes lowered to the ground, Her Grace bent her neck and folded her wings tight against her side. With grace, she lifted into the sky, flew around Her Grackle Lord, her Vincent, and flew off beyond the plains and out of sight.

Shedding her artic wear, Maria moved forward, away from the trees.

“Vincent,” she was able to whisper.

“I wish,” he/it cooed.

And the world changed.

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.


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.

Refractions: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge.

Refractions: 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 18: Refractions

            Vincent stared at the Condor, his lips pulled back, baring teeth.

            “I killed you.”

            The Condor’s head tilted back, a barked laugh escaping. Its neck leveled out, staring down at Vincent.

            “You killed ‘Cat-grandpa’ in your world. A vessel. Nothing more.”

            Its head tilted toward Maria.

            “You brought a snack.”

            A large crow shot out from under the Condor’s spread wings, aiming at Maria. Vincent reached out, grabbing it midflight. With one hand, he broke its neck and tossed it into the legion of blackbirds.

            They screeched and fed.

Maria stood up straighter. She realized she had had her hand wrapped around Vincent’s arm. She dropped it, staring back at the Condor.

“Fuck you.” Maria bent over, picking up a fallen branch. The first was unwieldy, the second perfectly balanced for her.

“Fuck you,” she sneered.

Again, it cackled. Paused, then hissed.

A black-winged phalanx rained down toward Maria. She swung back and forth, shattering a skull, breaking two wings. From above and the sides, they dove at her, some getting within her arc, tearing clothing, skin, pulling at her hair.

Vincent needed only his hands and teeth. He ripped bodies apart, separating wings from bodies, catching them with hands as claws. A few came close to his face. Their mistake, was as Vincent bit into their necks, spitting the heads away. Gore ran out of his mouth, along his arms. He moved around Maria as a whirlwind, deflecting the murder that Maria did not swat down.

A caw, and the attack formation flew back. The ground around Maria and Vincent was littered with the dead. Vincent kicked a one-winged assailant into the crowd. It was gone in the rending of bird flesh. Maria was panting, scratched, and dripping blood. Carrion birds lifted into the air.

“Vincent,” Maria stood by his side, nodding to the approaching figure in the sky. “Is that….?”

Flocks hopped or flew apart, creating a clearing. The Condor flapped three times, hovering over the multitude, filling the sky with wings spread.

“Regina nostra, Gratia nostra!” It bellowed.

            As one: “Gratia Nostra!”

            As one: “Gratia Nostra!”

            As one: “Gratia Nostra!”

Her Lavender Grace descended. Her size dwarfed the Condor. Talons extended, she lit on the land without a sound. Her wings were multi-layered feathers, plush, spreading along the rest of her humongous frame. Sharp eyes, sharper beak, her Grace fixated on Vincent.

Before he could react, Her Lavender Grace grabbed Maria in one of her claws. Maria’s scream cut off as it started, the pressure from the nails too great. Her Grace continued to stare at Vincent.

Vincent began to run to Maria. The Condor flexed a wing, hitting Vincent, sending him sprawling. The assemblage in front hooted and cawed. His concentration broke. Feathers began to emerge.

All eyes were on Vincent.

All eyes were on The Grackle Lord as he manifested. It raised itself, staring at Her Lavender Grace. Maria struggled in its grasp.

The Condor beat his wings three times. It flew directly in front of its once charge.

“Gratia Nostra!”

 “Gratia Nostra,” The Grackle Lord croaked out, bowing its head to Her Lavender Grace.

And then Vincent-Inside lunged at the Condor.

Perspicuity of Want: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Perspicuity of Want: 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 16: Perspicuity of Want

            Maria’s head whipped up and over to Faye.

            “You’ve been there?” Silence as Faye looked away. “Faye?”

            The lawyer wanted to take out a cigarette and light it right then; she wanted to down a bottle of aged bourbon; she wanted to walk out, she wanted to scream, she wanted. Instead, her mind traveled along the non-linear path Vincent had drawn her into on more than one occasion. Lawyer’s mind took over with a huff.

            “Yes. There,” Faye answered. “many ‘theres.’” She crossed her arms, hip jutted to the side.

            Maria took in the stance, analyzing the depth of her voice, the rigidity. She turned to look at Vincent. He was wide-eyed, staring up from his imprisoned bed at Faye. His eyes shifted to Maria.

            “Oh.” Dr. Maria sat still.

            Faye went to her briefcase. She picked it up, held it against her side, took two steps to leave, froze, and retraced. When the case thunked against the tabletop, Ms. Smythe’s hand still clutched the handle. Her back was to both Vincent and Maria.

            “Well, now.” She adjusted her shirt sleeves, pulled the suit jacket taut, let go of the briefcase, and turned. They were equidistant from each other on three levels: standing, seated, and prone.

            “Patient/Lawyer confidentiality is out the window now, yes? Yes.” She hadn’t waited for Maria to answer.

            “I know Vincent is…has…is more than what he appears. I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud, but he is a walking fantasy novel.”

            Maria, as the observer, noticed the eye contact between Faye and Vincent: harsh to wounded.

               The lawyer turned her focus to the doctor.

“It is obvious, Maria, you know this for truth.”

Maria nodded.

“Fine. Ok. Details don’t matter. For now.” Pause. “For now.”

Maria nodded again, turning her attention to Vincent.

His mouth was taut, brows convexed. Vincent, hard to read at most times, was unguarded then. Maria was about to turn back to Faye when she noticed that Vincent’s face began to strain. A vein popped up on his left temple.


He shook his head, jerking to the sides.

Faye either didn’t see any of this or chose to ignore it.

“What do you mean that you did not kill that horrible old man? ‘It.’ You were there, Vincent, the blood dripping off you, pieces of him….” Faye Smythe sucked in a breath, “pieces of his flesh under your nails, between your teeth.

Vincent! Look at me! Enough of this fucking around.”

Maria pushed herself out of the chair and got between Vincent and Faye.

“Enough, Faye? Look at him. You’ve traveled with Vincent. I know what I have seen. We have a different lens to look through, how to approach all this. Stop this, Faye. Look at him.”

The lawyer bristled. She pushed Maria out of her line of sight.

She blanched.

“Fuck no.”

Black feathers were pushing their way out of Vincent’s arms. The IV worked its way out of the vein it had dug into, rejected alongside the now torn-apart restraints.

Vincent was thrashing, trying to contain Grackle Lord from emerging.

Maria saw he was losing. She rushed over to the bed and jumped on top of him.

They went away.

Faye was alone in the room as security and nurses burst in.

Notan (then): Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Notan (then): Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 14: Notan (then)

            The first sharp pointed tip of an ebon feather burst through Vincent’s right forearm during that sleep. Vincent screamed himself awake, sweat-drenched, prone on his back, and surrounded by a host of black shapes. Head shifting, his eyes went to the pain.

Vincent gagged at the sight. His soft white skin, ripped open, weeping red-black. His focus shifted beyond the emerging quill, taking in the army of blackbirds. He froze. Their beady eyes were on his arm, beaks slightly ajar. A fluid dribble left a giant bird’s beak inside his peripheral eyesight. He heard a sizzle as it hit the ground near the bird’s talons.

Trembling, Vincent attempted to rise, but the pain sent him sprawling back down. He was gasping for breath when again he screamed, his neck arching back, his body seizing.

The assemblage hooted their approval. The multi-level noise thwacked his eardrums.

            Vincent’s eyelids shot open, his eyes bulging as he ground his teeth together. His lips pulled back, a grimace stretched. With watering eyes, Vincent took in flashes of distorted chromatics. The black of the birds, the reds of their tongues were offset by the white of his skin, the blood pouring out, the emergence of more black-blue pinions. His world was in a color schematic wobble, the skyscape palette constantly swishing.

            Pain erupted now from his left arm, then his legs. Vincent’s clothing faded to nothing as the ever-materializing feathers replaced them. He felt his body shrink into itself, bones rearranging. He cried out with each shift, each noise sounding less like Vincent and more birdlike.

            Stomach churning, Vincent turned his head, vomiting what little remained in his system of PB&J. His throat was on fire as his inner organs revolted around the change he was undergoing. He felt his legs crack and bend, his arms extend, his chest cavity grow round.

            Then his head. His head, as his face, was the last to go through metamorphosis. It narrowed and grew outwards. The feathers burst through what skin was left, the meat falling and lost. A grand beak formed from Vincent’s Romanesque nose and tight-lipped mouth. The slight distance in the bridge between Vincent’s eyes grew less as the eyes went round and full black.

            An “I’m tired” scream started in English and ended in Caw.

            A shadow passed overhead, momentarily blocking magenta sun rays. Once-Vincent’s head followed the massive form. An exceptionally long wingspan jutted from the bulky form. With its next passings, the landscape went orange, then blue, finally settling on golden again as the bird touched the ground next to Once-Vincent.

            It looked down at him, a bare black-red hue to its head, its long primary feathers appearing as sharp, fingered look. Grey-white feathers mixed in with the deepest blacks, all shining with the changing luster from the overhead suns.

            Suns, Once-Vincent noticed, and felt his chest tighten.


            Once-Vincent’s attention focused on the danger looming over him.

            “Tandem Advenit!” It screeched, raising its caruncle-laden beak high.

            “Gratis Princeps,” the multitude sang out.

            The condor lowered its head to speak to Once-Vincent. The voice was now familiar.

            “Welcome, Grackle Prince.

            Once-Vincent, the now Grackle Lord, felt his breath catch.

“It took you fucking long enough.”

Monochrome Variations: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Monochrome Variations: Vincent’s Descent – atoz blog challenge

Vincent’s Descent

Chapter 13: Monochrome Variations


            Vincent found his way as he strode through colors.

            First beats, the tap tap tapping that Cat-grandpa drilled into him. Yet, unsatisfactory, for that was how Cat-grandpa broke through, shifting from one pathway to another. Vincent found this a narrow trench, but it morphed too quickly. Concentrate as he could; the tapping led to a different beat, a song he had just heard, fallen into, and the journey would unravel.

            Each time Vincent was backhanded, each one harsher. The last time, the sharp, sharp nails scored Vincent’s cheek and chin. Bloody tendrils ran down his face, mixing with his tears. The tears drew another blow. Vincent picked up the chair he had sat on, tossed it through the living room window, and rushed outside.

            Vincent ran over the waist-high green grass that dotted Cat-grandpa’s yard. The rusted gate was hanging open. Another infraction: keeping it locked, a duty Vincent often “forgot.” Screeching came from behind him as he leaped over the large rocks that obscured Cat-grandpa’s shack. He continued upwards, cresting the hill, and was out of sight.

            Stumbling, Vincent tripped over the upraised roots of the largest of the Cyprus trees. Before he tumbled down the slight decline, the colors assaulted him.

            Cat-grandpa was yowling for him.

            Greens. Violets. Browns. Blues, reds, golds, yellows, whites. They mixed, muddying the purity of each.

            When Vincent stopped rolling, his chest heaved, catching her breath, and he raised his arms to the Goldenrods in front of him. He went.

            Silence, ‘cept for the breeze that swayed the fronds.

            Vincent raised himself, seeing all things in a golden hue. The flowers, yes, but the sky, the clouds as well. His arms were still raised. His hands glowed gold, and pushing up his sleeves, he saw the color also permeating his forearms. Vincent smiled, imagining that his lips were gold, his teeth as well, and the tears he shed now were gold.

            He walked on and thought of all the colors passing him when he fell down the hill.

            Green, and all was green, and Vincent ran with the widest of smiles.

            He revisited each color, living in those moments, absorbing the varieties they offered. The golds and yellows were his favorite, and he stayed there the longest, but the blues found their way in. Vincent initially pushed them away, but the more the shades crept in, the more he grew to love them.

            All the colors pulsated, and Vincent felt at peace for the first time.

            Time had no meaning. Vincent traveled, meeting no one, happy that up to this point in his life, there had been no one he wanted to be with. Not his mother, nor his absent father, and not Cat-grandpa.

            Vincent sat when he grew tired and slept when needed.

            He found “I wish” by accident. He grew hungry, finding only berries and fruit along the way. Golden strawberries, white cherries, purple apples. Yet, he wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

            “I wished I had…” and he had a blue PB&J sandwich in his lap.

            Vincent was in his golden world when the black found him.

He was asleep at the time.

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.