Rise Up, My Love

Surge decore meo. Sit vita tua conplebuntur sanctí sedere carinae.” The queen raised her hands above her head and smiled. The smile was hard and resolute. “Surge dilectione mea. Recipe vita iterum.” She took her scepter. The amethyst at its tip ignited. Indigo phantoms waltzed on the chapel’s stone ceiling. “Erige te amica mea. Simus unum iterum.” Purpurescent flames sparked from the scepter’s amethyst and landed at the queen’s black velvet slippers. Her gown created a current of air that wafted to the tiny purple flames and aroused them as she moved. They rose and swelled, licking at the air to consume its life giving oxygen.
Nos simul amor. Surgere, et tuis sociare regina.” The queen approached the alter, and she placed her scepter on a stand near the head of the sarcophagus there. Laying her hands on the sepulcher she spoke, “Surge rex meus et adiunge regina vestra. Rise my king and join your queen!”
Rain pelted the stained glass windows. The wind shrieked as it whirred through the windows’ colored inlays. The queen could hear the birds in the belfry flapping their wings. “Rise my king!” she screeched.
The queen’s hands leapt from the stone lid of the king’s tomb, as if burned by a terrific heat. She stood paralyzed as the stone shifted then slowly slid in a diagonal motion away from the grim enclosure. She recognized her husband’s signet ring on the decomposed fingers that now crawled from the shadows of the sarcophagus and clenched the edge of its lid.
The king, having been roused from his years long rest, pushed the stone to the floor and stood from his tomb. The queen jumped at the sound the stone made as it struck the floor. She saw something she did not recognize in her king’s face. His eyeless sockets found her, and as if he could see without the ocular orbs, his putrified lips turned upward in a grisly smile.
“My queen,” he groaned, though it was barely audible as his tongue was thoroughly deteriorated.
The queen shrieked and fled from him, but he pursued her, the rotting flesh of his legs slipping from the bone and landing on the floor with a wet sound. Maggots covered the bits of flesh on the floor. They crawled on the king’s arms and legs and in his exposed nasal cavity.
The doors of the chapel were immovable, and no matter how the queen fought with them, they remained fixed. She could hear the king approaching, the sound of his feet shuffling on the floor and the wet sound of the maggot infested flesh falling from his body.
The queen turned and pressed her back to the chapel’s great doors. Rigid with terror, she could not move as the king moved in on her. She wept.
The king pressed his body against his queen’s. He put his hands through her hair and pressed his fetid loins against her. She could feel the worms livid and squirming through the material of his tattered burial attire.
“My queen,” the king groaned again pressing his decaying lips to her neck. She wept. “My queen.”

A Crow on the Thatch

As a writer, I let few things go unnoticed. Things that have little or no significance in real life may spark a certain interest in my mind. So when we were paid a visit by a certain individual of avian nature, I was quite taken with him.

It’s not the first time we’ve had this particular visitor. He came once before, cawing and pecking at the ledge, presumably trying to snatch up tiny insects scurrying there. He wasn’t coy about trying to get our attention. He was rather photogenic, too.

Now, as some of you may know, traditionally having a crow caw at the window of one’s sick room is not something you’d want. But I grew up on Poe and Hitchcock and King and all things delightfully frightful. I’m not superstitious, as a rule, and I had to capture this beautiful ebony bird. My  only regret is that I didn’t have a better camera.

I suppose he saw his reflection in the window as he scuttled back and forth on the ledge, peering into our window and the window of the room next door. I wasn’t perturbed by his presence, but he seemed to look at me-right at me-and so I said to him, “Your services are not needed here.” To which he cocked his little head and with a look of apparent understanding in his coal-black eye said, “Caw!” then flew away.