Untitled (Effulgent End)

(Another poem that was written by my fanfic character Alice)

 

A Shakespearian death would suit me—a poetic death like the stories of old.

To watch the world and time and my own life play-out and unfold.

I could wear tragedy like a wedding gown and a bloody end like a crown.

I could kiss the soft caress of death’s skirt as she passes.

I wouldn’t mind going early into the youthfully fallen masses.

If it were like flickering out like starlight, would to die young not be a delight?

To ne’er wrinkle nor fade, ne’er know the aging plight, ne’er watch my hair turn white—

I would dance softly into that embrace and whisper soulful sweet nothings into space.

I would fall into the arms of that abyss and express my joy at her story.

In death and youth—such a rare collision—my name never forgotten— I could go in glory.

Such as Vincent and Edgar—my works will come alive while my life fades away.

While my body drinks the night, the leather-bound inked parchment will dry in the day.

 

By Stormy Headley

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Nightshade

A sweet fragrance of the velvet night sky.

Born from a fallen star and grown under a Cheshire cat’s smile so sly.

Madness and beauty are colliding like waves against the shore, and crash into my heart.

A spoon full of sugar makes the poison taste tart.

 

By Stormy Headley

Step Right Up!

Chapter Four

Tea Time!

“What are you going to do to me?” I asked Alice as she twirled, rolling against the wave-shaped mirror gracefully like a dance. She stopped in a dramatic pose and faced me, moving farther away from me as she did. She was coaxing me to follow her deeper into her funhouse of mirrors and memories.

“I’m going to show you the truth,” she smirked. “Each mirror will show you a truth from your past—from long ago or very recently. After the first glimpse, I’ll let you see your sister. Once you have finished the maze, we’ll see if you can take her or not.”

“I’ve overcome all your other trials,” I glared, my voice weaker than I had wanted it to be. “I’m strong enough.”

“Perhaps,” Alice sneered, looking old again, then stepped into a mirror, disappearing.

 

When I woke, I woke outside the Tilt-A-Whirl with two tickets in hand. “All that…and I only get two tickets?” I breathed. I rubbed at my shoulders, though they didn’t hurt anymore, I could remember that pain and the memory was fresh. I stood, looking around to see that the area was clean of any blood, but I knew it wouldn’t last. The ride was starting to spin again, The Red Queen was spinning a new web of pain and suffering. I stepped away, whimpering as the memory of my legs being ripped from my hips shot right through me. I got dizzy as I rushed over to a trash bin and vomited.

My sister’s face graced my memory and I let out a sigh, spit the taste of beer and bile from my mouth. I had to keep going. I couldn’t dawdle or stop myself. I put the tickets in my pocket and walked over to “Tea Time.” It looked like a giant teapot with steam coming out the spout, but I knew better. It was smoke. “Let yourself die. Just let yourself die….” I murmured to myself, eyes watering again. I accidentally bumped an old timer and got cussed as he continued on his way.

When I walked in I stood on metal at the end of a large table full of teacups, saucers, pots…bread, butter, jams, and little cakes. There were crème and sugar, fruits and cheeses…and several decorations dressing the table. The tablecloth was lavender silk and the liner at the center was crocheted ivory Egyptian cotton. I panicked a bit when I saw at the top of the tiered cupcake stand in the center— instead of cakes there were brown rats under a glass cover, scurrying over and under each other scrambling for an escape. Hadder and March were sitting at the end of the table. Each chair looked as if it did something terrible to you—all of different types and shapes.

Mr. Harvey Hadder had the head of a crow with three sets of eyes trailing down his beak. In place of his eyes were two large pincushion needles tipped with bulbous red heads. He wearing a lilac, baby blue, and pink suit. His large and scaly hands were tipped with black talons. His minor baritone voice was powerful, pervasive, edgy, and ranting. His mad laugh was unsettling.

The woman, Miss Mary March looked like a large white rabbit with mange. She wore a green dress that was torn and sported dried blood. Her mouth was full of pins and razors, instead of buck teeth and her eyes were a bright blood red. She was humming something under her breath as she tore into a rat with a little tea fork and a spreading knife…

They both looked up. “Welcome! I am Mr. Harvey Hadder. And this is Miss Mary March,” Hadder said, his beak twisting up into a smile. It was quite demented. “Please, sit.”

“Hello,” I murmured back and came over to the chair next to his. I sat down shakily.

They’d cut the sides of my face and sat me in the iron chair, so that the more I screamed, the larger my permanent smile would grow. Just when I thought it was over, when I thought they were going to let me die, they would shout, “Change places!” and the agony would continue. It felt like days had gone by.

One chair acted as a Chinese Iron Maiden, allowing the heat under the chair to come up when Mary March poured water on the coals. “This is how we steep our tea,” she whispered and poured a pot of water under the chair. I was steamed alive. Another chair had me pinned and drove giant screws through my forearms, wrists, and feet. Another pressed my legs until they shattered. One chair dunked me over and over until I nearly drowned and then brought me up for air. It left me in the water, with just my head free. For hours I had to crane my neck to breathe. One chair had a metal pot strapped to my stomach and the brown rats chewed a hole through my organs until I finally was allowed to die. When I woke, I was back in the room with them.

“Take some treats with you when you go. You won’t do so well out there if you don’t have something in your stomach to throw up,” smirked Mary March. I sat shakily for a long moment.

“Who are you doing this for?” Hadder asked.

“My sister,” I whispered.

“It wasn’t the Mercury that drove me round the bend. It was this place. I made it all the way to the end and couldn’t…”

“You made it all the way to the end and couldn’t finish?”

“Yes,” Hadder explained. “Many of us get through the Looking Glass and that’s all the further we get. The problem is…you have to win and you have to finish your quest before you can leave. You have to have the strength and mind to carry your loved one’s soul back up to heaven with you. So to avoid having to feel any more pain, I chose to inflict it. We’re all mad here… But we chose the madness because the pain was just too much.”

“So I can’t leave if I can’t carry her?” I choked.

“Nope. That’s part of the deal.”

“What deal?”

“That’s none of your business!” Miss Mary March snapped.

“Doesn’t it hurt your soul to torture people?”

The two of them laughed—a cackling that frightened me—and they both stopped to smile softly at me. “Not anymore,” said Miss March.

Love Lost

(A poem that was written by my btvs fanfiction character Alice)

Your hair is my sun, flickering in the blue sky.

Your eyes like home, and are full of rain.

Dancing and singing through life,

Smiling and inspiring an unnamed pain.

It was something so subtle and silent,

This tea is so bitter and I miss you.

There was a long pause as they heard her cry, and she sang with a closing throat.

Like my flesh aches…here in my heart, I’m black and blue.

In me, there was a fragrance awakening,

A bloom opened in my heart, now petals fall.

The rose buds have been eaten too early,

Before the dawn crested I learned to crawl

—Through the frostbitten leaves and thorns!

The crisp air fills my lungs—and god I wish it wouldn’t!

I keep replaying that red dawn in black and white

And I want to paint it all again—even though I shouldn’t!

And the sun will mourn never seeing your face again

And the stars will never again shine the same

They burn cold as your hands

And we’ll miss your heart that burned such a warm flame

Forever away from me,

Your light will shine long after you’re gone

I’ll search for you in sunsets,

But I’ll always find you in the dawn.

By Stormy Headley

Pearl

(A poem that was written by my Steven Universe fanfic character)

 

Do you know how I stare and wonder where—

I go?

I fall forever through the clouds of a sunset and I know.

I look forward to the velvet night.

As the dark sinks down from dusk, it makes me feel alright.

Because you’re the moon and I’m the stars. I shine and you glow.

You reflect the light of his smile, so bright, you shine like summer snow.

I just want you to see who I am, but there are so many just like me.

So many lights peppered in this beautiful space—I just want to be free.

I want to fall like a comet—to the earth and show you all I can be.

Watch me shimmer, watch me shine, and please see, see, see me.

As I pass back through the atmosphere turning into a shooting star,

See the fire as I fall, and the gravity of my love from afar.

I’ll crash into the sand and I will turn to glass on the shore.

I’ll shatter and scatter and I will shine once more.

Because you’re the moon. I’m the stars. I shine and you glow.

You reflect the light of his smile, so bright on my glittering glass; now I shine like summer snow…

 

By Stormy Headley

Step Right Up!

Chapter Three

The Red Queen

I played “The Strong Man,” where a Minotaur explained that the man lying next to the bell tower was being pressed by stones and the higher I got the weight, the more weight would be taken off the man, but I only had three tries to save him, before they added more stones. If I removed all the stones, then the man would walk free. If I didn’t, he would stay for the next person…with the risk of his life being taken. I couldn’t save him the first try, but I staid and played again…I saved him the second time. Only two tickets left.

I played “Rope Ladder Climb,” where the rope was held at an angle like an old school jungle gym at the park, but the bars were made of metal and instead of something soft below me, fire awaited. The bars were hot and burned my hands, but I didn’t let go…even when my skin melted to the handles…I left pieces of my flesh behind. In the end, I finished and rang the bell.

Once my tickets were gone I walked toward the rides on the other side of the carnival, shaking. I stopped when I realized what I was smelling. I thought it was pork or bacon from a food car, but there were no food carts around. I thought it smelt good before I realized what it was. I was repulsed by my own thoughts. It was the smell of people burning. I filled with sheer terror when I looked around at the rides. My eyes welled as I realized I had to do this. I had to go through with it. The only way out was through.

I shakily stood in line for the Tilt-A-Whirl…The people in front of me barely had any color, except for the spatter of blood that seemed to have rained down on them. The man just in front of me turned, his lips blue and his eyes red and puffy from crying. “How many times have you rode?” he whispered out shakily. There was something in his eyes that made me want to run away. A hopelessness, a horror? I couldn’t tell. It was too far away…too gray…

“I’ve…uh…I’ve never ridden a ride,” I murmured in reply. My eyes fell on the title of the ride arching over the line gates. “The Red Queen of Hearts.” The ride was spinning faster now than when I had first arrived in the line. The screams were turning from fear to anguish. The man looked at me puzzled for a moment and then started to laugh…hysterically. The unsettling laughter suddenly stopped as the ride hit its peak speed. Just as quickly…the screams stopped and blood splashed out from the ride, and a severed arm flew out. Panic was nearly strangling me now as blood continued to fly out and the ride began to slow. It rained down on me—warm and sticky.

“I’m sorry,” the man in front of me said as the line began to move forward, slowly. I looked over my shoulder as bodies were being dragged from of the “OUT” door. I stepped up the metal stairs and across the catwalk. I saw the painted line that said “NO RETURN” and a sign pointing at it that read, “Past the point of no return, you cannot leave the ride.” I was shoved forward by a half-hysterical man who was especially eager to get inside.

The sound of my shoes on the rusty iron began to echo as I stopped in the opening staring at the red, black, and white places where we were to stand. Clean as a whistle now, each place designed to look like playing cards, but each place also holding a rack. The torture device that slowly pulled your arms and legs until you were ripped apart. There were ropes at the top and bottom of the cards for your arms and legs. As the ride got faster, the ropes got tighter and tighter, until pop! Splash!

Sitting in the center of the ride was a giant black widow spider with the upper torso of an ugly old woman, wearing a queen’s robe and crown. The red queen, I realized. She readied the men and women in their places, strapping them in with her long hairy legs.

The metal gate slammed shut behind me, sounding as heavy as prison bars. I turned and cried out as tears trailed down my cheeks. “Wait! I-I can’t!” I choked but was pulled away from the door by the spidery woman. It was a blur from the door to the straps, a blur of screaming protests and sobs. I struggled against the ropes, while most the others just stood there, shaking and crying softly to themselves.

I cried as the ride began, reminding myself, trying to find myself in the hysteria. “I’m doing this for my sister!” I saw that the queen’s web funneled down into the black pitch at the center of the circle. She crawled down into her funnel and waited eagerly to feed on macabre royal feast was to fall down to her in just mere minutes.

The ride began to spin… Each second becoming more and more terrifying, then more and more painful. The feeling of my bones being ripped from their sockets with a sick “thock!”… First my arms, then my legs. My flesh stretched and then stopped as my screams reached a shriek, then my skin ripped, and I watched my limbs tumble down, and watched as they were eaten in the grey shadows below. We spun and spun at speeds I could barely comprehend and I didn’t dare look above at the torrent of madness and tentacles in the sky, but I could see the shadow of something as the lightning flashed—something disturbing reaching down toward us.

I grew weaker as my blood drained from my body and was pooling behind me by gravity to the metallic card soldier behind me…the card was morphing from a metallic plate to flesh and pulsing gore—hearts pounding, lungs heaving, and skin—warm skin touching mine. Between the blood loss and my back against something that resembled the cover of the Necronomicon…I blacked out.

Cheropobic

(a fanfic inspired poem)

Family, friends and are my sun and stars. I am the moon of their life.

I’ve been bleeding, bleeding, bleeding light—cut by something sharper than a knife.

I float in this abyss and search for something to hold but the tail of a comet slips through my fingers.

The world keeps turning so fast and what once was no longer lingers.

Time spins as I keep twirling and I just keep unfurling—

Searching for something I once had silver sterling.

The day is all around me, but still, all I see is ebony.

The light is so blinding, take this darkness out of me.

While I wait for dusk to sink into twilight,

I close my eyes and pray to lose my sight.

I’d like not to know what is ahead and I want to forget the past.

I’m frightened that this happiness won’t last…

I’m frightened that this happiness won’t last…

By Stormy Headley

My Red Queen (Stealer of Hearts)

(A Poem that was written by my fanfic character Alice)

 

You can’t see the poetry in my heart or the little invisible scars—

On my mind—like your hair as red as fire in the dead of winter so cold.

Your smile that shines in the sunlight of Sunnydale’s hits me and I’m sold.

There’s something in the way you look at him that reflects in me,

And as much as I want to, he is something I can never be.

I could never win that battle, sometimes love ages like wine,

And you’ve loved him for such a long time…I’ll be fine—

Here in your peripheral vision and I’ll try to peel my eyes off of you.

I can’t even be mad, your red and his blue would make the prettiest hue.

It just hurts to know that our fire could blaze brighter than the sun.

One plus the other is two, but red plus orange could be so much fun.

 

I know I need to let this feeling go, never let you know, never let it show…

I know I have so much more time, and so much room to grow,

I’ll find a way, I will, I know, but until this feeling is finally gone,

It’s going to be over before it began and I’ll still be trying to move on.

 

There’s something special in a young heart, something ancient, something strong—something new.

They say we’re too young to fall in love, but there something about our love that is so true.

It’s innocent and pure—unscarred—unafraid—because we haven’t experienced that pain.

It’s clear as broken glass, falling, scattering reflections of the sunlight, cutting through the rain.

 

I know I need to let this feeling go, never let you know, never let it show…

I know I have so much more time, and so much room to grow,

I’ll find a way, I will, I know, but until this feeling is finally gone,

It’s going to be over before it began and I’ll still be trying to move on.

 

I’ll let you go because you’re my January Embers and I need to find my center in May.

I need to let the chill of something that never lived melt away to something that will push through the clay.

Like a lotus I need to rise to the sun, persevere, open, bloom—I will stay strong.

Despite the fact that you’re worth all the poetry in the world—I am worth more than a sad love song.

So I’m letting go of Pan’s hand and falling from Neverland and down the rabbit hole.

I’ll sip tea with Mad March and the Hatter and ask him to stitch this heart you stole.

While the butterflies kiss the tulips in a Golden Afternoon, I’ll face my Jabberwocky in mid-June.

I’ll take my vorpal blade and sing a little tune, watch it gleam under the smiling crescent moon…

 

I know I need to let this feeling go, never let you know, never let it show…

I know I have so much more time, and so much room to grow,

I’ll find a way, I will, I know, but until this feeling is finally gone,

It’s going to be over before it began and I’ll find a way to move on.

 

By Stormy Headley

 

Step Right Up!

Chapter Two

Drink Me!

The three of us began down the hill. I spoke.  “My name is Killian. My older sister is Rory. We grew up in Westchester, New York.”

“I’m Riley,” said the man. “My husband, Ian and I are soldiers. We died on the battlefield not even an hour ago. At the gate, Ian was turned away.”

“I’m Hailey. My daughter is Amelia. I waited for her, but she never came. I asked later that they tell me when she passed, so they did. When I asked where she was, I heard she was down here. I couldn’t leave her.”

“Try not to lose your mind. Not just for you or your loved one,” I said. “You don’t want to become one of hell’s imps, urging souls into madness with a—!”

“Step right up!” shouted a man at a game tent as they entered the carnival. “Try to get a ring around a bottle!” smiled the man. He had wild white hair and bright red eyes, grey skin. He seemed middle-aged and dressed like a salesperson with a bad tie. His name tag said Frenzy.  “Get the ring around the right bottleneck. Because whatever bottle you catch, is the one you have to drink!” he sneered.

“What all is there to drink?” I asked suspiciously.

“Oh, we have soda, liquor, antifreeze, and lighter fluid. The works,” Frenzy answered with a snide smile. I stared at the bottles. The screams of people on the rollercoaster to my left shot right through me. The sound grew and then faded as the coaster came round the bend and then left again. They weren’t the familiar screams of fright and fun, but of horror and pain. The reality of the situation began to dawn on me as I turned pale. I would have to endure torture to play games that would kill me…over and over and over again….

“How many do we have to drink?” I asked as anxiety built up inside me.

“You hand me one ticket, and you get as many rings as you need to drink as much as you can. Then when you’re finished, I tell you your score,” Frenzy explained.

“So we just keep drinking, until we can’t anymore?”Hailey asked.

“Yep!” the carnie smiled.

‘But we don’t want to waste our ticket,’ I thought, eyeing the bottles. There were so many colors, some were warm, and some were cold. ‘We’ll want to make it worth every bang for our buck.’ “Alright,” I answered quietly and handed my ticket to the carnie.

“Fantastic,” he took the ticket.

“Really? You’re going to waste your ticket so quickly?” remarked Hailey.

“It depends on how many bottles I drink whether it was a waste or not. I can’t get scared of being poisoned or killed by a bottle when there’s worse to come,” I replied as the carnie sat a small fry basket in front of me full of little rings. I took a deep breath as I twirled the rings in my fingers. “You two ought to figure out what you want to do,” I said to them.

“Good luck, young man.” Hailey gave my tense shoulders a squeeze. The two of them walked away, knowing that I was about to kill myself and I didn’t want them to watch.

I flicked one of the hoops out and it tapped over several bottlenecks before it stopped. The game-man watched and then grew a wide and bright smile. “Arsenic,” the carnie chuckled and reached over the large table of bottles. It was then that I noticed that his arms were long and spider-like. The carnie took the bottle off the table and handed it to me. “You aren’t timed. You just have to finish it.”

I grimaced as I took the bottle, my heart racing. “Alright,” I exhaled and put the bottle to my lips, raised the bottom up, and began to chug. My eyes clenched shut as I forced myself to find a memory of my sister: something to keep my mind off the pain and the taste of it. Several people on the thoroughfare paused to look at me. I could barely hear the Carnie announcing that I was chugging arsenic.

“What a champ! What a chump!” laughed Frenzy as I was snapped back. I stood and looked over at the carnie in charge of the game. I swerved a bit as I stood and leaned on the bar. I took another hoop with a shaky hand and tossed it lazily. It tapped against a few bottle tops and looped around one’s neck. The carnie picked it up out of the field of bottles and I grimaced. “Oooo, this stuff is what drove Mr. Hadder off his head,” Frenzy murmured with a wink, setting it down. “Mercury.”

“A bottle of mercury?” I whispered, sick to my stomach again.

“Yep. Drink,” said the carnie, looking more serious at me.

I hesitated, staring at it.

“You wanna tip, kid?” smiled a blonde girl with curls and a blue dress. She had such lovely soft features, nothing like most of the people that worked there. Most of the carnies looked like demons. She looked like some kind of angel. “Stop being afraid of dying. You’re already dead. Sure your soul dies over and over again, and it’s painful, but it’ll come out the same in the end. You die, and it’s a peaceful quite black for a few seconds, then you’ll wake up again…right back here.”

“Alice! Stop talking to my customers!” snapped the carnie at the lovely girl. The young woman giggled, waving to me, and walked away. I blushed a little.

I looked from Alice, back to the bottle. “Who was she?”

“Oh, that’s Alice. Now drink up, kiddo.”

“Alright,” I muttered and took the drink in my hands.

“Alice is right about death being the only peace you get here. Until that black falls on you though, you still have to deal with the pain. And trust me, you’ll experience every ounce of Mercury poisoning before you actually die,” smirked Frenzy.

My eyes watered. I tried not to be intimidated and began to chug the bottle of liquid.

I awoke to my organs failing, my skin feeling as though there were thousands of little bugs crawling under it, and as if my face were melting. I was on the ground again, but this time, I woke myself up from panic, into a world of agonizing pain. I gasped and began to sob, grasping for life again. I was struggling before I remembered what Alice had said. I wondered, if I were to survive, would I end up like this “Hadder” person the carnie had mentioned. I knew if I died that the mercury poisoning would end and I would wake as though nothing had happened. ‘Let yourself die,’ I thought to myself. ‘It’s okay to die…’

The pain lasted thirty long seconds before I tasted that obsidian peace. When I woke I felt no pain; I was just covered in dirt. I stood again. “What the hell?” I breathed, leaning against the bar again.

“Another hoop?” asked the carnie, offering me another plastic piece.

“Yeah,” I breathed, taking it.

“Seriously?” chuckled the carnie, impressed. “Usually people stop by there second poison.”

“I don’t care where people usually stop. I love my sister. I’m doing this,” I tossed the hoop. I rubbed at my face in exasperation, and then shakily put my hand back down on the bar as the hoop chose another drink for me.

“Heineken,” Frenzy sighed, “Dang. So close to the antifreeze.”

“Not the best beer, but I’d take it over bleach or gasoline,” I muttered, a relieved sigh on my lips as the glass was sat in front of me. I chugged the bottle, enjoying the taste in comparison with my last few. I finished it easily and looked at the man. “I’m heading to the next game, thanks,” I said and began on my way.

“Alright buddy!” the carnie chuckled. “Do you wanna know your score?”

“No. Just send it to whoever’s in charge,” I answered, too afraid to know if it was good enough or not. I had thought about chancing another, but knowing I had pushed it just a bit further than the others made me feel more comfortable. As I walked away, I wondered if he said that to everyone and that made my stomach roll.

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