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.]

Moondrops – Sarah Doughty

The moondrops glistening on your skin mapped out more than just stars that needed to be named. They were constellations, solar systems, and galaxies. An entire universe awaited to be explored, and though I didn’t know where to start, I knew I wanted to discover them all.


[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.]

The Weyward Sisters: Back to Black/ Collaborative Amy Winehouse Tribute

Rana Kelly/2nd star to the Left, straight on ’til morning

Oh, Amy

Whenever I go walking

In my stilettos,

I hear you talking.

Dream me up a way

Of swishing my hips

And pursing my lips

And singing your riffs

So that I find beauty

Like you.

lois e. linkens

she puts her black dress on
in the dark,
anxious nails red and messy
in their early-morning artistry.
he left the candle burning
in the winter window –
vanilla and cinnamon
on a Sunday evening,
tears and vodka
on a Monday morning.
last week’s relief
breathes
into tonight’s regrets,
but the shadowy smear
on the glass
is all that is left of him.

Aakriti Kuntal/Writings of Aakriti Kuntal

Rummaging through

black air,

nauseous red nails bearing oily seas

Suffocating

existence with conversations,

conversations

with glittering nail cutters,

cracked moons

laughing hysterically in them

Conversations

of fallen boyfriends, of fallen love

Fallen being

the new being

Aurora Phoenix/Insight From Inside

She scrawls lines

up the back of her fishnet stockings

wiggly-lined intoxicated rebellion

strutting down memory lane

flirting shamelessly with self-destruction

as if, in seductive self-abasement

she may reclaim

love from a wayward lover

and from self

Kindra M. Austin

Kohl black kitty cat

Eyes

Lines stiletto sharp

Tongue dipped in honey

Wine(house), oh, Amy

Slay me

Rachel Finch/Bruised But Not Broken

Night chimes, a ringing to remind her,

She can sleep the day away, but the dark

still draws the Soul from the body.

Stars reflecting off bottles, empty, their

contents alive in her throat.

She is midnight, waking the world.

Sarah Doughty/Heartstring Eulogies

I remember how you carried your beauty like body armor, letting the world see a smoke screen, that many didn’t notice. I remember seeing the sadness beneath those wings on your eyes, the way your mouth curled into a devilish smile. I remember seeing your hair down, with those curls that lasted for miles, and how much I wanted just a tiny piece of your beauty. Your essence. Even a little piece of your ability to hold the world in bated breath. I remember your courage to stand in front of a million people and hold them under your spell. But what I remember the most is how you wore your heart on the outside and how pieces of it were broken away and lost over time, exposing you. Like a nerve within a broken tooth, you tried to insulate, but nothing could fix what you’d already lost.

1WiseWoman/A Lion Sleeps in the Heart of the Brave

Hiding in plain sight

Black song bird

Aching to be heard

Darker than the darkest shadows

Praying sacrificial hymns

Will carry away your demons

Hungry hearts rapture in melody

Enchanted with your euphony

An intentional symphony

Desperate on bended knee

Longing to be set free

Blood and wine

Cherry lipstick stains

Broken bottles

Crooked lines

Sing for us

One last time

Zelda Raville/A Sea of Illusions

Our biggest tragedy
was that
our love,
no matter
how much
there was of it
could never
draw you out
from a fatal attraction
to the depths
of your ferocious hunger
for love itself.

Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless

You shot across our heavens

a piercing silver whiskey light

your pain-soaked voice

etching a pin-up girl tattoo on our souls

We died a hundred times with you

Donning our mourning colors

we are left to only say goodbye with words

as your heartbreaking beauty

fades into black

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