Awen Online Issue 8


Divorcing The Night
 By Rebecca L. Brown 
I used to keep it in a plant pot, tucked between the curly fronds of some kind of fern and a variegated ornamental cabbage (what was he thinking when he bought that? Almost as useless as he was!). After that, I buried it under a little crowd of flamboyant, rummy-cheeked gnomes; unlikely little guardians, I know but I always did have more than my fair share of contrariness.

I would have hidden it in the house but they would have found it a long time ago. Searching room by room every night, inky smears on the edge of imagination, they seep through the cracks in dark corners flowing into every space. Bruising reality. They don’t bother me any more; no matter how much he wants it back, he’ll never let them hurt me. Sometimes I even chat away to them, almost like inquisitive house-cats (although they never need feeding or have accidents on the carpet). They creep around me, whispers of mist, as I drink cups of milky tea and resisted the urge to pet them. Not that they would mind, I’m sure, but I don’t like to mock the minions of darkness. Besides, touching them always sends a shiver down my spine and I hate cleaning spilt tea out of the rug.

He sends them, although I know he’d deny it. I’ve outgrown it, he’d say, why would I still be looking? But that yearning would be right there on his face. He never was very good at hiding things from me (even though he tried; lipstick on his collar for one thing). Keep it, he’d sigh, I don’t need it. Lies, but what else would you expect?

One day, maybe I’ll give it back. Nothing’s impossible, he taught me that. Until then, I’m sure can trust my cheery friends to keep it safe. Dark as death and twice as cold, locked in a silver-lined box. He broke my heart and I buried his soul.

They Claim I’m Mad
By Corey Struss

They can see the red thunder in my belly.
The spirit tormented Demon’s soul that has
built its fortress in my atrium.  It peeks its
head out from time to time.  That neon bride
of his tries to calm him down – to bring him
home.  He never listens.

The disdain in my eye is overwhelming,
some say.  But how can they truly see
when their eyes are sewn shut?  Who are
they to judge my condition?  I have been
plagued by this hellspawn since the fall of
Rome.  Hate eternal.  No control.  Why?

The cellophane envelopes their mouths,
restricting the flow of air.  They can’t
truly be alive.  They are just barely
breathing.  They are the ones that wane.

I’m a mountain that has been moved,
I’m an ocean that’s all dried up,
I’m a sky that nothing wants to fly in.
This is the happiness that I know.

Yet, they claim that I am mad.

By Aeronwy Dafies

They took the truth, transformed it
They took away our hope, hid it
They stole away our cares, concealed them
They stole away our reality, replaced it
Reshaped it all into something else
Reshaped it all and replaced it
What we were, what we had
These became hidden things
What we are now, what we will be
Can be seen, but it is all a lie
They took the truth, transformed it
Bequeathing us falsehood in its place

Whispers in the Dark
By Laura Hutchins

As the two strolled along the ashes of the city, the scarred horizon waned in the distance as night was drawing nearer.
       The area was silent, like echoes from a dying soul.  The eerie sound of a violin concerto seemed to drift softly from inside the man-made structures.
        The mother and daughter walked hand in hand, their azure kimono’s swirled with the wind, and the salty spray from the rising sea stung their porcelain skin. 
        The mother reached an elegant hand out to the railing and almost regally they both ascended the stairs.
         The waters were drawing nearer now.  As they reached the top step, they could see the golden cast left by the sun on the hollow city.  The scattered black clouds distorted the sun’s reflections on the water. 
         The autumn-colored parasol, in the mothers hand, started glowing brighter with each passing moment.  The woven mystical script, that marked the parasol from end to end, started to shimmer. 
          “The time is drawing near”,  mother said gently as she stroked the little girl’s raven hair. 
           The girl squeezed her hand even tighter.  “I’m scared”, she whispered.  The water had now reached the top step. 
           “It’s okay Meeha, there will be others.  I just hope they will learn from our mistakes as we should have done.”  She took her parasol and reverently laid it face down on the water.  As it drifted away, water reached the hemline of their skirts.  Mother kissed her daughter’s forehead as Meeha clung to her, trembling. 
            She whispered, “I love you”, as they slipped into darkness.