Like a Storm – Sarah Doughty

 

“And I wanted to believe in fate —

I wanted to believe in us.”

 

You said there was no such thing as beginnings and endings. Nothing came into existence or disappeared like a puff of smoke. Matter changed shape, becoming something new — never beginning, never ending. Always changing and evolving. Like ice to water. Water into vapor. Vapor into rain. You said the same thing about us. You and I didn’t become we. Somehow, we always were. I thought it was romantic. That you could think fate brought us together.

And I wanted to believe in fate — I wanted to believe in us. I did. But then everything changed. Just like you said. How could we have been destined — as if we were always one — if we could be pulled apart so soon? Was it some cosmic lesson we both needed to learn? Or was it just you? Playing me for a fool. We were like a storm, you and I. Blowing in from the sea and ravaging the coastline before fizzling out into nothing. It may still be an evolution of change, but if that’s not a beginning and ending, then I don’t know what is.

 

[Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.]

Excerpt from We Cannot Look Away:Not Another Seventeen, Not Another One- Sarah Doughty

Spare me your
thoughts and prayers.
Spare me your
people-kill-people babble.
Seventeen more names
added to a statistic
that will never be used.
So, by all means,
let’s keep sending
millions of dollars a year
to powerful people
in exchange for turning
a blind eye.
Proving over and over again
that dollars mean more
than lives.

Excerpt: A Room So Still and Quiet It Hurts: Sarah Doughty

These bones have grown
weak and weary, while the rest
of the world has gone
dark and gray. Over time,
they’ve become more
than I can handle.
More than I can live with.
And these burdens I carry
are mine alone. No one
deserves to hold them
on their shoulders.
Which is why I’ll take them
with me. After the music
stops playing.

Death Knell – Sarah Doughty

“Then, like a death knell, you arrived.
My monster. In the flesh.”

It was the thump, thump, thumping of your uneven steps, as you made your way in my direction. I knew those footfalls like they were alarm bells going off during a fire drill. They pierced my eardrums like thunder. There was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. And there I was, helpless to do anything about it. So I did the only thing I could.

I counted the steps — thump, thump, thump — each one growing louder. Closer. By the time I counted to ten, the night seemed darker. As if the stars closed their eyes and refused to shine. Twenty. With every beat, my heart pounded, pumping battery acid through my veins faster and faster — thump, thump, thump — until the last step. Thirty.

Then, like a death knell, you arrived. Thump. My monster. In the flesh. Darkening my doorway. It was then that my torment would begin.

© Sarah Doughty


 

[Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.]

‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’: A Shield Maiden Collaboration

1Wise-Woman

Her words, her will, her worth
Trampled and trodden
Forgotten
But for her
Flickering light
Fueled by ferocity
Molded with might
Courage compiled
Resilience reconciled
Wolves wryly grin
Circling again
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Christine Ray

She was told little girls
should be seen, not heard
but silence was suffocating
truth twisted in her stomach
razor sharp
when her voice finally rose
from a whisper
to a roar
they tried to drown her out
their indignation a cacophony
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Aurora Phoenix

her initial protestations
propelled by burning bile
bubbling pique
in a voice squeaky
with disuse
were dubbed whining
she scrubbed corrosion
from rusted tongue
flexed, strengthening
articulate exclamation
strident
castrating
they proclaimed her
nevertheless, she persisted

 

Kindra M. Austin

Disregard your heart, they said
Faith is for the fools
Chasing gold; bold are the weak
Dream seekers
Dreams don’t raise children
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Sarah Doughty

Silence was her solace,
the stillness of the night,
the calm before the storm.
Her voice, long since stifled.
Her body, long since defiled.
But they never broke her spirit.
Nevertheless, she persisted.


 

[‘Shield Maiden‘ is the name adopted by these wonderful women, who are also members of Blood Into Ink Click their names for more information on the individual writers.]

Never Yours – Sarah Doughty

“I was never yours to do with as you pleased.”

[Trigger warning from Sarah: the following may be too much for victims of sexual abuse or assault. Continue with caution.]

My mouth wasn’t yours to silence. It wasn’t yours to fill with words that were not my own. It wasn’t yours to taste, or to swallow what you gave me. My mind wasn’t meant to be manipulated. To be broken. My emotions didn’t exist for you to dictate. How I should love you. Worship you with blind devotion. Or how I needed to fear you. My skin wasn’t yours to beat into submission. To scar like a brand that bore your signature. Or to enjoy in whatever way you saw fit. My hands weren’t yours to train. Not yours to be enjoyed like a lover’s caress. My body, not yours to educate. To move in the way you liked. To feel you in a way no child should feel. To accept your invasions like a ravenous beast only thirsting for more. Like a good girl would do. Your girl.

You might have created me, but I was never yours to do with as you pleased. I was never yours to break for life.

© Sarah Doughty


 

[Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.]