she loves you.

Albert Memorial, London SW7 2ET, UK.

in sanguinolent dances we trade
our flowers for knots of the moon,
cracking until the leftover asylum of poetry
turns and explodes in our veins,

Let it be the tongue of rocks, where
serenity will kiss you in due time
and frozen fingers wed in the plow of the womb,
floating, innocent of madness, the moon,

she turns an ewe red in the light,
child-like, vanishing in the delirium
death of glass thorns under the lips of
an abattoir. She will kiss you once, though mourning.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Written for the dVerse prompt: Using the 3 word combos, all you have to do is choose one of them and write a poem 3 – 12 lines long.

dance (with me).

all winter, their bodies of yoke
the apple blossoms, like a child,
waking into the sun; I see the sienna
rise in the kangkung flowers
of your hair,

the immobile, the henna; and archaic sands
in blue fibers of fields,
as the moon-eyed dreamers,
you and I—we’re in anamnesis of the womb,
our cerise,

skins to the lemon moon
and velvet landscapes in the dam of the flower
/ latticework /
and cosmic oceans
in baby’s breath, how can we see the sherry midnight
while the petals watch nakedly?
and we’re dreaming of a winter pigment
in the kintsugi ocean waves
aureate from light,
we dance; the moon is bare,
shelved for us in the egg rocks,
fragmented in lychee, dark stars
a ribcaged daughter of the earth,

as poetry sinks into my bones and bloodstream,
you still dance under the moon
with me.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Written for the MTB dVerse prompt. I chose the option of writing poetry inspired by Louise Glück.

As well, this poem utilizes no themes or concepts of death and darkness. Kate challenged me to write a light poem, so I kept that in mind throughout the writing process. I think this should do. Hopefully.


the oscillation from Apollo’s lips
bury me, this womb of glass seas,
relief—a meronym of death’s faces
the last dream my mother gave
to me. Embalm the clavicle
of the tree, widowed
to the eyes, mesmerized
in celestial dying things;
broken sunlight(s),
and milk from the bosom
ancient of woman
in dark places. Bury me
with my fingers
lazuli to the Erebus
threnody, first a dream
within the red-hills
the moon’s décolleté,
as I kiss the hands
in an era with parallel limbs
to the autumn lotus, and veins
of perfume from Paris.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved.

First appeared in Volume 7, Chapter 11 (p. 38) of Visual Verse.

“The Last Vow” by Priya.

Viewer discretion: Insanity and gore warning. And no disrespect to any religion was intended.

He didn’t know why she’d asked to meet at the old cottage. It had been years since his wife had even mentioned this property. She greeted him at the door with a smile, vastly different from the weird behaviour exhibited by her since the last two weeks. “Come in,” she ushered him towards the living room. “Let’s sit and talk for a little while before dinner.”

He sighed, sitting at the far corner of the couch. She would inevitably start with her usual twenty questions. What had he done all day? Where had he been? Why did he not come back to her straight from work? Marrying into her wealthy and powerful family had seemed like the dream come true for a man with little prospects; her obsessive love seemed trivial and easily manageable in the face of an opulent lifestyle that awaited him. But he’d underestimated the strength of her devotion; or rather, her obsessive control over his life and bouts of irrational jealousy that had become unbearable.

A year ago, he’d met Annika and had immediately been ensnared by her beauty and lively spirit. She’d provided a much needed breathe of fresh air from having to live with a wife who blew hot and cold. This cottage, his wedding gift from father-in-law, had been their love nest; a quiet spot away from the all-seeing eyes of her family as well as a spit-in-your-face to the noose that tied him to his harpy wife.

“Do you remember the good old days of our love?” she whispered, looking at him with unnaturally bright eyes.

“We’re long past that, my dear,” he replied, trying to keep the sneer off his face. “If it was even love. I’m not so sure anymore.”


“Your obsession and my greed! These don’t make a good foundation for marriage, I’ve learnt.” She tilted her head, as though trying to view him from a different angle. “Are you in love, then?”

The question caught him off-guard. He’d been reluctant to end his marriage, though it had become a burden. At Annika’s insistence, he’d agreed to broach the subject of divorce with his unpredictable spouse. “That’s not the issue. What’s important is our failed marriage.”

It had been the right decision, he realised, to start afresh with Annika and the money he would receive as settlement for divorce.  

She nodded to herself once, before straightening her shoulders. “Then it must end.”  


She sat beside him throughout dinner, despite having eaten earlier. Mid-way through his meal, he enquired about the box at the mantel. A big, brown box with two holes centimetres apart, he was surprised it hadn’t caught his attention when he’d entered the room.

“It’s a gift,” she smiled enigmatically. “You can open it after your meal. More wine?” It was still in the aging process, she’d explained the reason for the wine’s bitter taste.  

He approached the mantel, eager to open the present. Not so heavy, considering its size, he thought as he lifted the box.

She watched him curiously, as he dropped the box in shock. The head of a woman rolled out; red hair spilling around her face, fair skin with protruding dark veins and blue lips. Coming up to stand beside her husband, who could only stare at the severed head in aghast, she explained, “I knew about it, of-course. But I wanted to see if you would confess.”

He could feel numbness spread through him, as she went on. “She fancied herself in love with you. Can you believe it? She’d laughed to my face when I told her that we’d promised to be each-other’s forever. Delusional, she called me. So, I showed your mistress the price one had to pay to remain in love.” A distant part of his mind registered her gloved hands caressing his arm.

“She could see you the entire time, consuming your last supper.” With a wry smile, she turned away.

What? He wasn’t sure if he’d spoken aloud, past the huge rock that seemed to crush his lungs.

“I thought it was romantic, watching your beloved drink your poisoned blood. A little twist of Romeo-Juliet.” The last two weeks had indeed been busy for her, carefully making plans and confirming the arrangements. She could have tried to overlook his fling, but booking a cabin on the first available ship to his hometown had been the last straw. If he wished to leave her, she’d oblige him.

She poured a glass of the ruby red wine. “I gave her a large dose of a lethal poison,” she spoke conversationally. “After all, why prolong her suffering? But for you, my dear… It’ll be hours of agony ahead.” His last note had been carefully crafted and placed in the bureau. The coroner was a dear friend of her brother and her husband had unknowingly helped her along, moving the empty glass bottle of poison to the trash bin with his bare fingers. The couple would be found dead in their lover’s retreat, murder-suicide.

They’d empathise with the grieving widow, who’d gone against her family to marry the man she loved; only to be deceived in such a despicable manner.

“Who are you?” he gasped, as his legs gave out. How had he never recognised the insanity shining behind her pale hazel eyes?

She replied with a sweet smile, “The woman who loved you enough to keep our last vow. You remember it, don’t you? Until death do us part?”

To check out more of Priya’s work, go here.

Horror House Flash Fiction Contest #4 Entries.

Here are the rest of the entries for last week’s Horror House Wednesday prompt in the order received:

Dream Girl by C. Hampton-Hill.

His parents had gone to bed and there had been no movement for at least half an hour. Peter laid there; his bedroom illuminated by the screen of his laptop, its warmth seeped through the duvet and into his groin. He couldn’t wait any longer, Carly Electro was the hottest girl on the planet. He clicked the private browsing tab and brought up his favourite site, where the hundreds of women who lived in tiny boxes waited, begging him to choose them; but they would have to wait. He wanted…no, needed, Carly.

She writhed and moaned as her eyes rolled into the back of her head. The sensitivity was excruciating as the pressure between his legs built to a climax. A moment before release, he saw movement from the corner of his eye. A shadow cut across the light from the hall which permeated the gaps that framed his closed door. Someone was outside. He minimised the computer screen and sat up straight, listening.

‘Mum?’ he called. There was no answer.

The handle lowered and the door opened towards him, screening the caller from view. A faint silhouette of a figure crept along the wall. He groped for the light switch and flicked on his bedside lamp, just as he expected them to emerge- but no one entered.

‘Hello?’ he said. Still no answer.

That’s weird, he thought, screwing up his face. He put his laptop down and walked over to the doorway, checking the hall. Empty. It was probably his little sister Sarah messing around. He closed the door, ensuring he had turned the lock, and went back to bed. Restless and unfulfilled, his mind turned back to Carly.

Confident that he would not be interrupted, he clicked back to her video and hit mute. Turning off the light, he relaxed back into his pillows. There she was again, in a full HD. He was disappointed to find that his previous activity had desensitised him, so he watched in a state of impassive arousal, allowing his eyes to roam freely over every detail of her incredible body. He looked away only once, to glance at the clock. It was 2 a.m. and his eyes felt heavy, his mind briefly drifted towards the test he had the next day before finally allowing them to close. In his semi-conscious state, he felt a soft hand creeping up his inner thigh and the smooth voice of Carly Electro spoke to him,

‘I know you want me, Peter’ she cooed, as her hand arrived at his crotch.

Groaning, he pushed himself into the rhythmic motion of her touch. His eyes opened and quickly regained focus as he noticed the top of a head rising from behind the laptop screen. Blonde hair, matted with blood, clung tightly to the misshapen scalp. His body stiffened and he could feel his heart pounding through his ribs as the creature revealed itself. Her hideous face was now just inches from his own, the flesh had been ripped from the side of her jaw, exposing broken teeth and a deep, mangled hole occupied the space where her left eye should be.

The now frenzied rubbing of his flaccid flesh made him wince. She was so close that he could smell her putrid breath as she expressed a series of guttural moans; her remaining, clouded iris rolling back into her head. He gagged and turned away.

‘Look at me.’ She demanded, in a voice that sounded as though it belonged to ten different people.

He couldn’t. His mind felt like someone was hammering against his skull to get out. Tears stung his eyes and he closed them tight. Droplets of spit spattered his face as she emitted a visceral scream,


With this, he was pinned down by an invisible force and he felt the pressure of a strong, cold hand choking the life from him. He clawed at his throat, but he could feel nothing there.

‘Please…no…don’t.’ he sobbed, barely able to breathe. Then, everything stopped. He gasped as the pressure was released from his neck. Catching his breath, he lay still, whimpering. He didn’t dare to open his eyes.

He took a few moments to collect himself then sat up sharply, pushing himself into the headboard, his eyes darting around the room. The laptop was laid open on the bed next to him. Carly adorned the screen, the face he had coveted for so long, looking at him through the lens while enthusiastically devouring her co-star. His stomach turned and he slammed the laptop shut then threw it across the room where it smashed against the wall, emitting a final whine before the screen went black.

His eyes snapped to the door as it rattled.

‘What’s going on in there?’ shouted his father.

Peter exhaled. ‘It’s okay Dad, just a bad dream, go back to sleep.’ He replied, masking the waver in his voice.

He turned the light back on and pulled the covers tightly around his body until dawn.

The next morning, Peter dragged his feet into the kitchen and poured himself a bowl of cereal. Sarah teased him about the previous night, singing ‘Peter wets the bed’ repeatedly. He ignored her and concentrated on the T.V. He lifted his spoon to his mouth then froze, transfixed. Sara’s voice grew distant as the news presenter delivered her report,

‘We can now confirm that prolific porn star Carly Electro, was shot dead by police last night at the scene of a brutal double murder, the victims are believed to be her husband and his lover. Police state that she resisted arrest and drew a gun on an officer…’

The screen flashed to an amateur video of her laid out in an unzipped body bag, her blonde hair matted with blood, flesh ripped from the side of her jaw and a black, mangled hole where her eye should be.

Untitled by eob2.

There was something about the way he wrapped his fingers around my neck. My inner instincts set off the fire alarm. However, my burning desire was in full control, his eyes sent a quiver down my spine, as my lips awaited his.

As he continued to hold my neck he moved me backwards until he laid me across the table, never losing eye contact. He straddled me, feeling his knees pressing the sides of my waist. His fingers tighten, this somehow aroused me more. He leaned down, me anticipating that kiss far too long now. He smiled began to part his lips, then it was too late as I saw the razor blade between his teeth blood dripping in my face.

As my vision began to fade, my last thought why didn’t I heed the alarm. I saw myself upon the table, his calm deadly charm was the death of me.

Isn’t It Romantic? by J.E. Goldie.

“Sarge? Do you hear music?”

Sam’s investigation team had just arrived at the condo. They were told the scene was gruesome but so far, the place looked clean.

“I wish I could afford a place like this. Look at that view!” the officer mused.

As Sam looked out of the window he sighed and said, “That’s the song my wife and I danced to at our wedding. It’s called “Isn’t It Romantic”. Great movie, if you like romance!”

“Hey Boss? I think you should check this out! Someone must have put that record on as a joke.”

The next room held a gruesome scene. An elegantly dressed couple, seated across from each other at a romantic table setting, red roses, champagne glasses poured, expensive caviar and a note saying:

Happy Last Anniversary Darling!

“Geezzz Sarge! Look at their eyes!”

Their eyes were gouged out and placed in the champagne glasses. They had roses jammed in their eye sockets. Their bodies were tied together across the table to keep them in place.

“Sarge? What’s that holding their mouths open?” he gasped.

Sam barely looked, just glanced and shrugged. “Looks like tiny carving knives with hearts carved on them. Seems their tongues were slashed.”

“That’s it! I ain’t ever gettin married!”

“Call my wife, will you?” He said casually. “Apologize for me.”

“Apologize for what Sir?”

“It was our Anniversary yesterday and I forgot to get a present.”

“Um Sarge? She looks a lot like that photo of your wife. Doesn’t she?”

 ”No, she doesn’t. She hated roses.”

Surprise by Harsh.

It was almost nine o’clock. Arthur had just returned home from work. He was almost always late for the past few days. Sam, his beautiful and loving wife, was not happy about it. She never questioned him on being late but, now she had enough. They hardly spent time together and the romance in their life was almost nil. Their love life had taken a back seat in all these. But no more, she said. She decided to confront Arthur.

Arthur knew she would ask some day. He didn’t want to tell her the reason but, he knew she won’t give him any choice. He told her the whole ordeal. It was something like this – Arthur was blackmailed by an ex-employee nicknamed King who used to work with him. He knew about some the corrupt dealings of Arthur and had evidence. He asked for the money Arthur got from the dealings. He threatened to expose him if he didn’t give the money. Arthur was tensed. His career would be over if the evidence came out. So, for the past few days he was trying to negotiate a deal with King.

After hearing this, Sam was a little tear-eyed. She had always supported her husband and that day was no different. She promised to be by his side. On the other hand, Arthur was relived after taking this off his chest.

A couple of days passed, and Arthur took a day off as he wasn’t feeling well. Sensing the opportunity to help her husband and bring back the zing in their love life, Sam came up with a plan. She went out, telling Arthur she needs to buy some groceries and some household things, and she would be back in some time. Arthur didn’t ask anything. He was just trying to sleep more.

Hours passed by. Sam didn’t return home. Arthur was awake and worried. He tried to call her a few times but, the call couldn’t connect. Arthur was restless. He already had too much on his mind. He was about to call her again when the doorbell rang. Arthur opened the door. It was Sam. She returned with the groceries and stuff. She also had a big box with her. Arthur was perplexed.

He asked her, “What’s in this box?”

Sam, with a big smile on her face, said, “It is a surprise for you. I know how tensed you were these days. I was worried. About you. About us.”

“Open the box now. See what I got for you.”

Arthur didn’t know what to expect. The box was a little heavy. He slowly opened the box.

He was stunned. He dropped the box and backed away. He couldn’t believe what he saw.

“Isn’t this… Romantic?” Sam asked excitedly.

Arthur, with a sly and evil smile, replied, “You’re a psychopath.”

The box contained the fingers and the severed head of King.

The Anniversary by Monacular Spectacular.

“Six months?! Six fucking months?!” George repeated in disbelief, frantically searching the drawer of his bedside table.

He had no idea what he was looking for. The drawer had become a repository for miscellaneous items; paperclips, Halloween Jewelry, pens, a mass of snaking wires for devices since lost or defunct.

“Since when was this a bi-annual thing?!” George despaired, addressing the lamp on his bedside table.

The lamp declined to respond even after he slammed the drawer shut.

George exhaled heavily, cursing the absurdity of a six-month anniversary, but fearing the inevitable dry spell that would follow if he didn’t produce the goods.

Denise had blown into George’s life six months ago; one drunken night they both claimed to remember fondly. 

In truth, when they conjured the memory of the romance they were imagining, it had been spent with more exciting one night stands that pre dated their meeting.

Perhaps it was this idealised false memory, but their relationship endured longer than either had expected. 

Now to George’s surprise, Denise was expecting a commemorative gesture for their six month anniversary.

“You alright in there, babe?” Came Denise’s voice from the other room, equal parts puzzled and inconvenienced.

“Yes!” He shot back, a little too harshly and then to mask his frustration:

“Just a second…love.”

This hastily added “love” only served to alert Denise something wasn’t right.

George heard the leather from the sofa crinkle as she got up from her seat to investigate.

Panicking now, he opened up the draw again and blindly stuck his hand into the mess.

By the time his perspiring palm had rested on something plastic Denise was standing behind him, hands on hips.

“George! What are you doing?”

George pivoted round in a sort of half-squat position and hoisted his find to beneath Denise’s chin.

“Marry me!?” George blurted out as confused as Denise appeared by his own outburst.

Denise looked down at the pathetic sight before her, accompanied by what was clearly a gaudy piece of costume jewelry painted gold.

George held his breath and clutched the small of his back feeling like he’d been in this awkward position for some time.

Meanwhile Denise assessed the situation, somewhat enjoying George’s pained expression.

“All things considered, I’ve had worse proposals,” she spoke laughing.

George forced a smile to his face displaying too much teeth and laughed insincerely.

“Shitshitshitshit, she’s going to say yes!” He realised.

Visibly sweating now Denise lifted George off the ground, he was at her mercy.

“You psychopath.”

She declared flatly and chuckled.

“Huh?” Was the only thought George’s brain could muster.

“Take off your pants, you idiot,” she laughed

George’s grimace turned to glee and at that moment he almost wished she’d accepted the proposal.

“Happy sixth month anniversary” George whispered in-between kisses.

“Happy sixth month anniversary,” she returned still suppressing laughter.

Untitled by Aahana Aggarwal.

“Why are you doing this? Why aren’t you content?” she interrogated him. The vindictive cycle was repeating itself just the thousand times before!

“You don’t even trust me in the slightest, so should I just shut up and lock myself? Remain hidden from the outside?”, on and on she went.

He didn’t answer, but the anger kept cooking up and suddenly exploded!

He got up and pushed her into the wall behind, smacking her scarless face all the while.

“Don’t you dare ever question me!” threatened he. With a long stride, he left slamming the door as she shrieked through the cracks.

Locked in, she racked her brain, wondering what to do next. Suddenly the door creaked open.

He stepped in and came closer. She didn’t back down but stood up taller like a skyscraper!

Stretching out his gigantic arms, he goes in for a hug. But she doesn’t greet those false arms.

“What are you doing?!” she quivered.

“Isn’t this…Romantic?” he asked, smiling that vicious smile.

“You’re a psychopath!”

Untitled by Nehal Jain.

She took a deap breath and opened her eyes. She looked at him right in the eye and said, “I can’t do this anymore. I want to break up with you.”

“Break up with me? But it’s Valentine’s Day and I brought you a gift,” he said, looking hurt.

“You did?” she asked unbelievingly.

“Yeah, I did. Of course I did. Not like you, you don’t even care about me. I bought you something red as it’s Valentine’s Day.”

He put a bottle containing a red liquid at the center of the table. She picked it up suspiciously. Suddenly, her eyes grew wide with horror as she realised her suspicion might be true.

“Wh-what is this?” she asked, her voice quavering.

“Blood,” he said, smiling evilly. “And you have to drink it.”

“D-drink it? Are you mad? I can’t drink blood,” she said, terrified and threw the bottle at his face. But he just catched it with one hand.

When he spoke again, his voice was

threatening. “You will drink it. Or I’ll bite you. You can’t run away from me.” He smiled again, showing his sharp, white teeth.

“Bite me?”

“Yes, bite you,” he hissed. “And if I do that, you will become a vampire, like me.” He removed the lid and shoved the bottle in her hand. “Drink it.” 

“You’re a vampire?” she whispered, scared.           

“Yes,” he snarled. “And if you don’t wanna be one too, you’ll drink this.”

She looked down at the bottle in her shaking hand with disgust. Drink blood! She can’t do that.

“Make a choice or I’ll kill you, which would be even worse,” he growled.

She used her other hand to steady her shaking one. She heard him chuckle.

“Why are you doing this to me?” she asked sadly. “I thought you loved me. You said this meeting was supposed to be romantic.”

“Isn’t this…. Romantic?”

“You’re a psychopath,” she said quietly, sniffling as she shut her eyes, and raised the bottle to her trembling lips.

Horror House Flash Fiction Contest #4 Winner.

Last week’s prompt for Horror House Wednesday (HHW) was the following:

“Isn’t this… Romantic?”

“You’re a psychopath.”

And boy, you psychopaths really outdone yourselves. 😉

Each entry was different, some were twisted and saturated with horror, others lighter with romance, dark humor and mystery. It was like a Christmas come early or rather a Christmas in July reading these entries and seeing how the prompt inspired you.

Excellent work everyone. I loved each one dearly, but the winner I chose is called a Work In Progress by obbverse.

It has a fantastic, well done rhythm that communicates the narrator’s psychopathy stunningly. Oh, and before I forget, it reminds me of the poem, “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning. Similar themes in each one.

This was an excellent entry, one that I enjoyed reading very much, and employed with such dark humor, I could not resist. You can read it below to see what I mean:

Work In Progress by obbverse

 ‘Isn’t this… romantic?’
You’re a psychopath.”
‘I’m trying to be empathic
So let’s not make this a bloodbath.’

‘What my psychiatrist proposes
Is I indulge in empathetic thinking-
So here’s a bunch of wine and roses
For your nose and for our drinking.’

‘Your eyes look wary and distrustful
Even as my finest Cabernet you sup,
Do my cold eyes turn red and lustful
As I see scarlet dripping from your cup?’

‘I’ve prepared a five-star meal,
Fois gras, truffles and sirloin steak,
My culinary eye can scarce conceal
The chef’s made an all too rare mistake.’

Her sweet face taut with leaden lividity,
Her tender mouth ceases its idle talk,
My eye falls with a dreaming avidity
Upon her gleaming knife and fork.

‘I swore I’d strain to show restraint
But you see the truth, you know I lie,
Now you look like you’ve seen a haint-
Now the knife points out your blind eye.’

It’s the nature of the beast
To take a lamb to slaughter,
My famine has turned into a feast
And my loves blood flows like water.

Congratulations, obbverse. Here is your award for last week’s contest:

All other entries are posted in one post separately.

Stay tuned for tomorrow for the next prompt challenge and contest for Horror House Wednesday!