Hall 608 to 615

  • Currently reading: The Outsider – Stephen King
  • Currently listening to: Monster – Skillet
  • Currently watching: Archer

Hall 608 to 615

The expansive network of hotel halls stretch
Away like well-ordered roots of a tree
A bronze number adorning each heavy black door
Sounds from behind each finely dressed pine
Their voices and movement draped in false privacy
Softly, clatter the empty glasses and plates
All askew upon my stubborn trolley
Its wonky rear wheel knows what hides in the wall ahead.
This is a wall that hides a vivid memory
Still hides the victim within its oaken bones
I wish I couldn’t hear her
I wish she didn’t know I could
She whispers through the tattered cloth
Broken nails from digging in the bricks
She’s pleading with my quick steps to halt
The only quicker rhythm batters my ribs from inside
She calls me by my name from behind the chintzy paper
I can smell the moist mortar of her breath
A once homely warmth flees in panic from the hallway
I don’t want to stop but I cannot tell you why
The wall seems to shudder as if mocking my spine
That wonky wheel threatens to run away with me
The memory sobs at me from the depth of her spreading-damp heart
I ignore her impossible words
Wishing they were a trick of badly built acoustics
Then, the landing hits me like a plastic ribbon finish line
Breaking over my chest, reminding me to breathe
That wonky wheel snaps back into line
I secretly hope to myself
That when I have children
their goading chocolate voices
won’t remind me
Of the dead girl in the wall

L.S. Black 2019

In Progress

  • Currently reading: The Shining – Stephen King
  • Currently listening to: Mania – Fallout Boy
  • Currently watching: The OA

Just a little section of something I’m working on between the short stories and poetry. Feel free to let me know what you think but be warned this has not been subjected to the 4 stage editing I am installing in my work at present. It’s more of a ‘Grammarly says its fine’ kind of job.

His hollow eyes stared out into the nothingness from their grey prison on thin and blistered skin. Every breath softly growling through bile and phlegm like an almost inaudible scream of a soul full of regret, drowning in pitiful agony and his own bodily fluids. The trembling muscle spasms had finally stopped racking his bones and he didn’t need to be able to move his head to see that the black patches of dead flesh that had blossomed from the needle marks, old and new, had all but covered his fragile body. Death was close; the smell of its imminent arrival haunted the air around his bed, and he longed for it. Finally, he would be free from the wrong choices that were made, the dark paths he’d chosen that had led him here and eaten him alive. Despite the state of this man, his surroundings were immaculate. Piercing white and brushed stainless steel, as sterile to the eyes as it was to the touch. In the weeks leading to this moment, he had been thankful for being plucked out of the mud and filth with promises of comfort and warmth. He believed it would be his second chance at life, a chance to get back into the city, find a job and maybe he could settle down and have the life he didn’t think he’d ever want. Now though, he was cold to his core and swaddled only in only hindsight and a thin hospital sheet. The realisation that he wasn’t going to be getting better, that they didn’t want to get him back on his feet, had washed over him like leaves in a flooded gutter. They had their own agenda and it was shrouded in lies and faux promises.  This wasn’t a real hospital. Its white-clad and masked doctors weren’t bothered by their patients’ pain or his proximity to death, instead, they delicately tended recording equipment in total silence. A microphone was repositioned by his gaping mouth. A camera at the head of his bed whirred as it adjusted until his gaunt face filled its grainy frame. Ominously waiting like a black and silver mantis to capture every moment of his passing. Those moments arrived and like a neglected car whose parts fail almost simultaneously, once it began it was over in a few sputtering heartbeats. Despite his acceptance his body still fought a weak battle against the shadow of death, his bone like fingers clawing at his sheet, lungs convulsing to draw just another breath. Three minor spasms set his nerves alight, their burning demise making the air forcefully rush from his lungs encased within bubbles of black stale blood. Dry, unseeing eyes became eerily still and with the final rasp of the last of his breath came the almost inaudible words;

“Sun, on a tin roof.”

The doctors switched the camera off. They didn’t offer him any dignity by pulling up the sheet as you would see in all the films. The doctors simply and meticulously packed up around him. A man in black overalls arrived later that evening to wheel the trolley bed and its deceased passenger down the narrow corridor towards the furnace room.

L.S.Black 2019

Oh, Catatonia

  • Currently reading: Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay
  • Currently listening to: Unleashed – Skillet
  • Currently watching: Lucifer

::Work in Progress:: A mildly disturbing piece of poetry from a collection in progress.
A new wardens view of a patient in a catatonic state. I swing from wanting to make it more shocking to feeling like I need to reel it back a bit so perhaps this middle ground is best. I realised after this piece that I have a fascination with alliteration, if it rolls from my tongue when I say it aloud then it’s normally instantly loved. I find the technique drifting from my poetry into my short stories and longer works so occasionally I have to stop myself turning everything into an epic poem.

Oh Catatonia
Oh, Catatonia,
With your tone-deaf eyes that tell no lies. There is nothing inside. It’s where you hide, your mind dried and heart tide.
I’ll bide my time.   
Those scarlet curls,
You’re not like the other girls, with their violent swirls, coaxing pearls of blood in whirls. Spitting, they hurl themselves afar
I’ll uncurl those rings.
How delicate,
is your paper-thin skin? I envision touching and fuck, it makes me grin. Thinking about breaking in, waking you inside.
My mannequin.
For now,
bars separate us. They haven’t learnt to trust and so I must resist until I can thrust my hand through your locks of rust.
Such sweet lust.
Flustered, every time I see you.
Youthful, despite the years.
Tearful, on the inside.
Beside your bedside
I’ll reside till
I can have you
my impassive bride.
Oh…too easy?
Perhaps this doll will not fit my whole, comparing the moments I stole on the payroll. If I can’t cajole you then what’s the point.
Where’s the hunt?
Not today.
I’ll let you stay, unmoving behind my eyes. It’s no surprise that I prefer girls who rise and prise my hands from their thighs.
Where’s the sport?
Stay tucked up,
Fast awake. Your innocents I won’t take.
No move will I make to rake your skin against my skin.
I’ll wait, till you wake.
Oh, Catatonia.

L.S. Black 2019

Brave New Steps

  • Currently reading: The Nameless City – H.P. Lovecraft
  • Currently listening to: Invaders Must Die – The Prodigy
  • Currently watching: Star Trek Short Treks

If you have just wandered in from the depths of the internet, welcome. Please bear with me, as an aspiring writer I am only just toddling out into the world of submissions and competitions so what I have free to share with you is sparse.

My anxiety is on overdrive as I press the send on several of my closely guarded poems having never submitted before, so I am trying to drown this out by working on a few short stories that I hope will join the poems on an email attachment to publications very soon.

The biggest anxiety is seeing the extensive bios of accepted writers already neck deep in previously published glory, whereas little old me has the words ‘Aspiring new writer’ in front of not much else. Daunting is an understatement and I feel like the skinny guy at the Mr Muscles Championship whose mother talked him into it. Yet just like that guy I’m still going to strap on a number and pose my ass off. So rejection, come and get me! (Disclaimer: Please don’t come and get me, rejection. I’m happy not hearing anything and pretending my email was just lost in the ether)